Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Always been a big fan of Bill Murray. One of the first movies I ever saw was Meatballs and the combination of boobs and burping made me a huge fan (I was eleven after all). That was the first movie Murray ever did. Apparently the producer had no idea if he was going to take the part until he showed up to shoot his first scene. This is Murray. He's his own man. He's missed out on plenty of roles over the years because he has no agent or manager and apparently has a number that goes directly to voicemail as the only means of contacting him. Thing is he rarely checks it.
Meatballs was the first of a glorious trifecta - after that came Caddyshack and then Stripes and for a kid barely into his teens those movies were the gold standard for years. I've seen Caddyshack since and it hasn't aged all that badly although its weird to see Chevy Chase actually being both cool and funny. Those days are long gone. Watching favourite old movies is always worrisome. I watched Goodfellas last night and it remains awesome. A few nights previous I watched 48 Hours with my wife, who had never seen it (she is seven years younger than me, yeah I know, enough with the bragging) and before the movie I said that it was absolutely hilarious, mostly because of Eddie Murphy, who was also both cool and funny at the time and, like Chevy Chase, not so much anymore.
Turns out the movie is pretty good but really not as funny as when I was fourteen. Oh well.
Murray is like most actors I think, well maybe not most, but many. I think that basically he plays himself. I'd bet that if you met Tom Cruise he would be a brash, cocky little weirdo who likes to run (seriously he and Will Smith, always running, every movie). John Candy was always the jovial guy with the nervous laugh. Ed Harris is always weird and intense.
As a young man Murray was wild and goofy and childish. In later years he was more biting and sarcastic. And now, as a slightly elder statesman, he has gotten rave reviews for his work in movies like Broken Flowers and, of course, Lost In Translation. He's laconic, sly, joking, in short he is what you'd expect him to be like in real life. Or at least how I expect him to be.
In Meatballs, almost a quarter century before, he is the young madman, a role he plays in Stripes as well (giving Sean Young, this is before she went crazy, the 'Aunt Jemima Treatment'). His riffs are bizarre oddball tangents to nowhere as he leads his sadsack campers to victory over the snooty cheaters from Camp Mohawk in the annual Olympiad between the rivals. And there is the classic speech, the 'It Just Doesn't Matter Speech' .
Even if God in Heaven above comes down and points His hand at our side of the field!
That's the thing about training camp. It just doesn't matter. Who's the kid from Ottawa who tore it up a few preseasons ago and started on the top line as a result? Bochenski? He's on, what, his third organization since then now? O'Sullivan ripped the cover off the ball last autumn and Hemsky always looks bored and disinterested and terrible and last year Jacques looked like a world beater.
You're playing against and with wannabes and also rans and you're not firing shots in anger and for most of these guys their fates are already decided.
It just doesn't matter.
Sure you get your nice stories, the return of Comrie last year and the arrival of the new kids each season, the promise of the future.
But really, it just doesn't matter.
Except when it does.
When Patrick Thoresen comes out of nowhere to earn a spot in 2006. When Gagner, Cogliano, Brodziak and Gilbert all confound the odds and make the squad in 2007. Even the emergence of Jacques last year, if only for a short time.
Every year there is a surprise or two or more. Look up and down the roster. My guess is that most of the spots are accounted for. Barring a trade or injury the following players will be on the roster on opening night:
Horcoff, Hall, Hemsky, Gagner, Penner, Eberle, Paajarvi, Cogliano, Brule, Fraser, Stortini, Jones, Whitney, Gilbert, Smid, Foster, Vandermeer, Strudwick.
Pretty well guaranteed.
So that leaves five spots by my count. Two up front, one on the blue and two in goal.
Lets start in net. If Khabibulin is healthy then there is one and its between Dubnyk and Deslauriers for the second spot. I think Dubnyk has the inside track myself, based on the fact that he went to the WC last spring. Messier came to the Oilers and said give me a guy (I surmise), they sent Dubnyk. Enough said.
If Khabibulin is not able to go then its both kids. Again.
The seventh defenceman is going to be Peckham I think. Down the road, maybe soon, he is going to get passed by Plante and Petry, imo, and with the injuries that invariably happen we will see both of those guys at some point I think, assuming they trend well. And Belle will get the call too. But presently its Peckham, I believe. He adds toughness and enthusiasm and he's waiver eligible and I think that does matter. Unless he is absolutely terrible or someone else is brilliant, its his spot.
Up front there are two spots. Based upon very early returns Paajarvi looks like he fits. No surprise. He's fast as hell and has two years pro experience under his belt. He's got it made. Hall too. The one question mark amongst the big three is Eberle and he will be given every chance to make it. Too bad for Linus Omark who may very well be the most ready to play of all of the kids. He is the oldest and has oodles of pro experience. (OODLES!) The problem is he needs to be a top nine guy I think. Better playing twenty minutes and the PP in the AHL than eight minutes a night in the NHL I think. For his development I mean. I'm sure he'd prefer the latter. Really though I think he's relying on an injury, a trade or Eberle to really really suck it to make it. He'll be up soon enough, someone will get hurt, but I think he goes down to OKC.
So who sticks? Well there are a few choices for the 13th/14th spots but for now we'll go with Reddox, whose motor, as usual, was running steady at the Joey Moss Cup, and MacIntyre, because he's the designated goon.
Disclaimer - I'm always wrong on this shit. Last fall I called Kip Brennan a good choice to stick. Buddy got cut just a couple of days later. Same as pretty well every other guy I figured had a shot. So it will probably be Vande Velde, Giroux and Chorney.
Really though, someone will get hurt and someone will suck it and so in a couple of weeks the last cuts will get their shot anyhow.
It really just doesn't matter.
Posted by Black Dog at 3:35 PM