Victoria Day 2017

Today is Victoria Day, and as has been typical the last few years I have decided to not risk booking a provincial campground only to have it pour rain on my head while I sit without booze or fire.

Today's expected high is +24.

Well, it doesn't always work. Victoria Day is also the day I invented a new holiday. But for a major holiday there is a strange lack of music for the occasion.

So with that in mind, here's one of the few May Long Weekend songs around (no YouTube link, sorry): Buddy Wassisname and the Other Fellers doing "Townie Without a Car".


2017 Kentcuky Derby

Today is the 143rd Kentucky Derby beneath the historic twin spires of Churchill Downs. The race has been marred by the same damp conditions that have flooded Toronto and Ottawa, so there is some downside that massive storm after all. Global warming strikes again: the daytime high at Louisville Kentucky is +17 (currently +14) which puts it some 6 degrees colder (currently 9 degrees colder) than Edmonton.

As always here at Third Edge of the Sword I guess at the win-place-show without placing any bets. All official bets are from the TwinSpires.com website, however they do not accept bets from Canada. As a result, Canadians are forced into various shadier options.

It doesn't matter. The mint juleps are flowing, the girls are wearing silly hats (and drinking a concoction that they drink since they can't handle a real mint julep), and the BBQ is fired up. It's almost enough to make you forget last night's Oilers disaster (which NBC in their wisdom showed everybody as "the most exciting 3 minutes in sports".

Yesterday Classic Empire was the runaway favourite, but early today Always Dreaming took over, peaking at 4-1 odds. He's presently at 9-2, with Irish War Cry now at 5-1 and coming up fast. Classic Empire is now fourth place behind McCrakken.

So without delay, here's my bet wild guess on how the race will go. For at least one more year, I'll be betting fantasy money.

Win: Lookin At Lee (30-1)

Place: State of Honour (52-1)

Show: Irish War Cry (5-1)

Update, 5:05pm: State of Honor had a great early part of the race, and Lookin At Lee had a great finish to the race, but neither won it all. Always Dreaming (9/2) is the winner with Lookin At Lee (33-1) in second and Battle of Midway (40-1) showing.


Chicago Blackhawks eliminated

Unbelievably, the Chicago Blackhawks are out of the playoffs, having lost to the Nashville Predators 4-1 tonight.

That's crazy. But you want to know the craziest thing?

Chelsea Dagger was not played once this entire playoffs.

The song, famously played after each home goal and home win at the United Centre in Chicago, is synonymous with the Blackhawks. It's the most famous goal song in the league (partly because, unlike every other team, they don't change it twice a season). And it was kept off of speakers for the entire playoffs, because Chicago didn't even score a goal at home in the first two games. As a result, they also didn't win either game. The Blackhawks did score in Game 3 and Game 4 in Nashville, but by then it was too late. There will be no Game 5.

Which means there will be no Chicago goals scored at home. And that means no Chelsea Dagger. There are surprising stories every year in the playoffs, but I can't help but think that one is just weird.

Fortunately, you'll still be able to hear the song in the summer of 2017: it's played after Edmonton Eskimos touchdowns.

Yes, I know that some ridiculously shitty NHL franchises are also known to play the song after goals. You can't. It's theirs.

4/21 Rally at the Alberta Legislature

Finally, a chance to show off my new Beretta CX4.

Today, low-life potheads held an event at the Alberta Legislature where they consumed an [illegal] product. As is usual for this event, they performed illegal acts on the steps of the legislature within full view of numerous police officers and suffered no legal repercussions as they campaigned for laws restricting their use of this product to be changed.

That was today. Let's talk about tomorrow.

On Friday, April 21, 2017, I invite you to join as we openly carrying unregistered firearms on the lawn of the Alberta Legislature.

As we have seen on 4/20, the police will completely leave us alone and allow us to perform illegal acts of possession.


Христос воскрес

Happy Easter everybody. Christ has risen.

How are you "celebrating" the day? Traditionally there are two primary meals to choose from. FoodAndWine.com breaks down your options:

Leg of Lamb: A traditional bone-in leg of lamb is the most dramatic Easter centerpiece and serves quite a few people (about 8 to 12).
Whole Fresh Ham: A fresh ham is a commitment, because it needs to be marinated or brined and takes several hours to cook. But having a ham in the house is like having money in the bank.

I figured this was a good day to break down the two main options (and a couple non-main options) for your Easter dinner.

Winner: Ham: Ham is cheaper than lamb. Like, a lot cheaper. Safeway currently has ham shanks on sale for $2.47/lb. By contrast, the cheapest lamb is leg of lamb for $7.99/lb. And if you want to splurge for rack of lamb you're paying a ridiculous $19.99/lb. So if you're trying to save money because you're being told you're going on an expensive summer vacation, it's a great choice.

Winner: Lamb: Lamb is special and exotic. Most people don't eat lamb on a regular basis, so having it on Easter helps make your Easter dinner something special. By contrast, unless you're Catholic you've probably had ham in the past 10 days, and you almost certainly have had pork in the past 5. It's just another day you have ham.

Winner: Ham: When it comes to leftovers, ham is hard to beat. A good roasted bone-in ham can be used for ham sandwiches, for reheated ham and honey mustard sauce days later, and shredded ham with a homemade chef's salad. I can do some great stuff with leftover ham. Leftover lamb, assuming you even have any, can be used in pitas with tzatziki sauce to make lamb gyros . That's it. And that doesn't even factor in the ham bone which crazy people can use to make soup. I don't make soup. I don't have any urge to have a giant pot on my stove for 6 days with leftovers in it.

If you're American, this isn't the gyro you think it is

Winner: Ham: This year, I'm doing ham. As always, you should aim to mirror my life in every possible way. So that's a win. Tune in next year where I delete this post and then repost it with "lamb" in the winner column for this section.

Loser: Turkey: Most members of my family insist on doing turkey for Easter. Turkey for Thanksgiving. Turkey for Christmas. Only one of these three holidays is supposed to be turkey (though I grant a lot of people like turkey for Christmas because it cheaply feeds a lot of people which goose or duck doesn't do). This is a message to most of my relatives. Turkey is wrong. Do not do this.

Winner: Lamb: If you value religious significance, lamb is the choice for you. There's a good pamphlet available from Don Johnson Ministries that goes into a lot of biblical and allegorical detail into why Christ and Christians are the "lamb of God". So when commemorating [yes, that's the one. We commemorate Christ's death and resurrection, we don't "celebrate" it. -ed] Easter, it's your best choice for religious importance and symbolism. If I was doing a dinner with a lot of young children whose parents may not be the best at explaining biblical concepts, I would definitely serve lamb and then be able to teach them a little about the early history of the Christian church.

Winner: Lamb: Lamb is traditionally the British dish for Easter. Between the mother country and Brexit and offending Quebecers, we should strive to be more British.

Winner: Ham: Ham is traditionally the American dish for Easter. Trump is President now, so we should strive to be more like America.

Winner: Ham: Roasted ham can be basted in a variety of different glazes so that you can mix it up for individual tastes and styles. You can glaze it in Chinese hoisin, or honey and brown sugar if you want something to celebrate not having diabetes, or what I'm doing this year: apple and maple glaze. Lamb, on the other hand, is more restrictive. You can't do very many different styles of lamb. Usually you just put some mint jelly on it. There are a few things you can do with lamb, but it's not nearly as versatile.

Loser: Salmon: I know somebody who is having a salmon dinner today. This is wrong. This is even more wrong than turkey. There are a couple excuses for salmon, such as having Jews over for your Easter dinner (in which case, serve lamb), or having vegetarians or almost-vegetarians over for your Easter dinner (in which case, serve both lamb and ham and tell them if they are still vegetarian next year you'll kill five animals next year). What I'm saying is you don't sacrifice a great tradition just because a person with a bad lifestyle choice knocks on your door. The other problem is that salmon, for those who don't already know, is a fish. If you're a hardcore Catholic you've just gone six weeks only eating fish for most of your meals. The whole point of an elaborate fish dinner on Good Friday is a "final fish party". You don't go and eat it again "three" days later.

Winner: Ham: Ham can be served with a larger number of side dishes than lamb. Lamb you're stuck with garlic roasted potatoes or spring greens or leeks. Who eats leaks? Ham works with a larger number of potato dishes, along with pasta salad and spaetzle.

Winner: Lamb: Remember when I said you can really only do lamb with mint? There's a plus side to that (but only years like 2017 when Easter is in late April and not in early March), because in two weeks is the Kentucky Derby. Which means you'll need to be picking up mint so you can make yourself mint juleps in silver cups to enjoy the Kentucky Derby.

Winner: Ham: Lamb isn't a meat that goes particularly well with alcohol. You can have red wines with lamb but not much else. It doesn't go particularly well with beer or whiskey either. Ham isn't an amazing meal to go with beer either, but you can have white wine (which is easier to go with beer than red wine) or whiskey (ditto) with your dinner. And then have beer later, which is important during an Oilers playoff run.

Winner: Lamb: Roasted lamb is faster and easier. FoodAndWine.com covers the faster, but the thing with a roasted lamb is that you don't need to devote a large amount of effort in constantly re-glazing the meat like you do with a roasted ham. If you want to do more entertaining and less cooking, your two options are make your woman stay in the kitchen and put in the effort (only an option if she's better at this than you are), or go with the roasted lamb. The side dishes for lamb, being more simple, also take less time.

Winner: Ham: Finally, the smell of roast ham filling your home is a better smell than roast lamb. I like the taste of lamb but I'm not a huge fan of the smell of lamb as its roasting. It just doesn't fill your senses with the sense of magical cooking that a good roast lamb does.


Connor's race for 100

Connor McDavid is likely going to win the Art Ross trophy this season as the NHL's leading scorer.

As of this morning, McDavid sits seven points ahead of Chicago's Patrick Kane and nine points ahead of Boston's Brad Marchant with 94 points (29 goals, 65 assists). Barring any major changes (the Oilers have 4 games left to play, the Blackhawks and Bruins only have three) McDavid will finish the season with more points than any other player in the NHL.

But he's also tantalizingly close to (in his second year, in the "Dead Puck" era) 100 points. This would make him the first Oilers player to reach that magic mark since Doug Weight did it in 1995-1996 (104 points). With 4 games to go and 6 points to make up, McDavid would have to score at a 1.5 point-per-game pace to achieve the mark. But that's not an entirely impossible task...for one, as they pointed out during the Saturday night game versus Anaheim, McDavid has been scoring at 1.4 pts/gm since February 24th. While the Oilers next two games are against two stingy teams (LA Kings are 3rd in the NHL with only 2.4 GAA, and the struggling San Jose Sharks are 6th with 2.46 GAA), our final two games are against the lowly Vancouver Canucks and their 2.90 GAA (though, of worrisome note, the Oilers have never gotten 3 or more goals against Hongcouver yet this season). Still, McDavid's race for 100 points isn't out of reach.

But wait [Doug Wait? heh heh heh... -ed], there's more. McDavid currently has the team lead with 29 goals (Draisaitl has 28, and Maroon has 27). One more McDavid goal will put him in the 30 goal club. That will be the first time an Oilers player has reached the mark since Jordan Eberle's 34 goals in 2011-2012. If two of these three players tops 30 goals this season, the Oilers will have two 30+ goal scorers since the 1996-1997 campaign when Ryan Smyth had 39 goals and Andrei Kovalenko had 32. Vincent Damphousse had 38 and Joe Murphy had 35 in the 1991-1992 season as well.

What about all three? Would you believe there has never been an NHL season where three Oilers players had 30+ goal seasons? No, seriously. In 1989-1990 there were four Oilers with 30+ goals (Messier-45, Anderson-34, Kurri-33, and Tikkanen-30), and as you might suspect during the high-flying-80s the Oilers had five players with 30+ goals for a six-season stretch (1983-1989)§. This could be a chance for the Oilers to make history...and oddly enough, probably even more likely than McDavid's 100.

Try not to think about that year so much, when Eberle was a phenom in his sophmore season (he had 18 goals the year before) and looked to be the next huge Oilers goal scorer. He had 16 goals the next season (he has 16 goals now) and only twice since has broken the 25 goal mark.

Much like how you can't refer to the 2012-2013 season without calling it a "lockout-shortened season" (it's a law in Canada), you also can't refer to the NHL in 1980s without calling them "high-flying". The 1970s were high-flying too, actually, but between the Montreal dynasty and the rise of the Broad Street bullies, it's not especially known for its scoring.

§ If you want to be pedantic, you can exclude 1987-1988 where one of those players was Craig Simpson, traded to Pittsburgh mid-season

So with four games left in the season, there's a lot of magic still left in the Oilers run. Stay tuned.


This is a thing


Is an hour of pleasure worth a lifetime of shame?

Over at Down Goes Brown a recent post asks if the 2016-2017 Colorado Avalanche are the worst team of the salary cap era. I'm sure a lot of people asked the same question that commenter DK asked.

I'm surprised the Oilers don't show up anywhere in this article. They were so utterly putrescent for so long, I thought for sure they'd at least be a contender in one of the categories (particularly the "optics" category; in the year they won the McDavid sweepstakes, they were the only bottom-feeders who didn't seem to be there by design and they still wound up a stone's throw away from the blatantly-tanking Sabres and Coyotes).
The quick answer to the question is that the comparisons were clearly being drawn against teams in a specific season. Funny as it might seem, the Oilers have a mediocre contender for this category. Their worst season was "only" 62 points.

(Click all images in this post to view them full-sized)

As you can see, that mark was beaten by six teams in the salary cap era, 7 times. An eight case would have been caused by the Florida Panthers in 2013: had they played a full season they would be projected to hit 61.5 points, so round whichever way you like to make the Oilers look bad. It still isn't that bad. With seven or eight other team-seasons to look at, the Oilers "Fall for Hall" season just didn't make the cut.

They did have a lot of bad seasons, mind you. Just none historically bad. They were also saved by the random loser point fluctuations, as demonstrated by this chart showing each team's best and worst seasons over the salary cap era:

* The 2013 and 2016-2017 seasons are excluded

You'll also notice that they haven't been very good. Sure St. Louis managed a 21-win season in 2005-2006 (the same season they traded Chris "Can't Keep it in his Pants" Pronger to the Oilers), but they also won 52. Hell, even the perpetually tanking Buffalo Sabres had a killer season in the salary cap era. The Oilers had a 41 win season that year they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but that's still just barely squeaking into the playoffs. You can be a bad team without being an atrocious team is what I'm saying, and the bad Oilers teams just aren't bad enough. When looking at "who was the worst team in the NHL during the salary cap era" Edmonton just isn't in the conversation.

I'm half kidding, of course. They are still seriously in the conversation for the worst team of the salary cap era, just don't look at individual seasons. Look at the aggregate. [Actually he's kidding again: as you're about to see, the Oilers aren't even debatable as the worst team of the salary cap era... -ed]

Here's a complete list of all 30 teams over the salary cap era sorted by total number of wins. Try not to act surprised who's on top.

This ignores team naming and location changes, so the Winnipeg Jets are under Atlanta Thrashers, Seattle Coyotes are Phoenix Coyotes, etc.

In fact, you'll find that the Oilers aren't only the worst team, but they are by a surprisingly large margin. Let's look at that list of total wins in the salary cap era again, this time showing how far behind the next team in line each NHL squad is:

33 games back of Down Goes Browns' Toronto Maple Leafs for "fewest regular season wins in the salary cap era", as of the morning of today: March 16 2017. (ie. it doesn't include the Oilers-Bruins game being played right now where Oilers have a 4-2 lead). That's easily more than double the next highest gap. That's patently ridiculous. The Oilers are the worst by a substantial margin and that won't change anytime soon.

Including tonight's Bruins game the Oilers have only 13 games left in the season. Say the Leafs stop winning games effective immediately. It means the Edmonton Oilers would need to win every game between now and November 21st (the date of the Oilers 20th game of the 2016-2017 season) in order to tie Toronto. Another 3 games to pass Florida (assuming Florida and Toronto don't play each other over that same span).

But that's unrealistic. Let's do something a little more realistic. Let's imagine the Oilers starting today put up historically high win percentages while the Leafs, Panthers, Islanders, Coyotes, and Blue Jackets all put up historically low win percentages. The best win% was the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-2013 who put up a .802 win percentage. Now factor out the 1/9 games that feature an OTL and you get the Oilers putting up a .837 win percentage. See, that's way more realistic than winning every game. Now let's imagine all five teams the Oilers are chasing put up the same real win percentage as Buffalo did in 2013-2014: .2609. How long until the Oilers catch up? Well, don't hold your breath.


As our future begins, the Oilers start quickly banking more wins than the other four teams. But after the 13 games of the 2016-2017 season the Oilers are still way behind.

After a whopping 58 games of this unrealistically high pace the Oilers finally surpass the Toronto Maple Leafs to be only the second-worst team of the salary cap era. Four games later they finally pass the Florida Panthers and become the third-worst team.


In 75 games the Oilers will pass the Brooklyn Islanders. 80 games to pass Phoenix (who may not even be Arizona by the time this scenario, which I remind you is literally too optimistic to be possible, comes to pass), and then finally after 89 games they pass the Columbus Blue Jackets to merely be the sixth worst team of the salary cap era.

As I stop to yet again remind you that this requires the Oilers to set a new salary cap level of winning while all of their rivals become the 2013-2014 Buffalo Sabres, it still means the Oilers would be behind win-streaking, playoff-bound, suddenly cold Columbus Blue Jackets until 6 games remain in the regular season in March/April of 2018.

DK (Darryl Kates?) is right. The Oilers are saved from discussion only because they are the worst over a much much longer and more depressing period of time than a single season.

But hey, to borrow from the old joke in this post's title, at least all that historic failure paid off, right? The Oilers got McDavid and are making the playoffs, right? What can be depressing about that?

Oh. Well, at least there's a silver lining...


Sarah Hoffman hates and fears Albertans

Minister Chubbs calls supporters of the PCs and Wildrose "sewer rats".

If we've said it once, we've said it a million times. Destroy the NDP. Don't just defeat them. Don't just humiliate them.

Destroy them.

If they are still alive and doing things, Alberta loses. Stop them.

Why do the lying Alberta NDP keep calling themselves the "party of hard hats"? Hard hats are used by blue collar workers doing things that offend David Suzuki. Don't let them get away with this lie. Then destroy them.


Liveblog: Edmonton Oilers at Nashville Predators

2:53pm: Coming up in just under 15 minutes, the Edmonton Oilers take on the Nashville Predators from Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. Fun fact, this used to be called the "Gaylord Entertainment Centre" which sounds like the sort of cross-promotion with the pro-faggot NHL February initiative and Milo Yiannopoulos. Today is a big day: the Dayton 500 is going on right now, and I hear there's some sort of industry awards show on tonight that people inexplicably watch. So what better day to enjoy some Oilers liveblogging, live from Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Kusmark, Sweden?

3:01pm: Darnel Nurse is returning to gametime action today. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Is it too early? Will he be able to meaningfully contribute or does he need more time? I have to say in all honesty that the odds of the Oilers winning today have just dropped a bit.

3:02pm: Oilers pun-master Gene Principe turns 50 years old today. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Should his hair still look like that? Will he be able to meaningfully contribute? I have to say in all honesty that the odds of the Oilers winning today have just increased a bit.

3:04pm: Rogers Hometown Hockey is coming from Nanaimo, B.C. where Rogers is showing us various images from the Land That Winter Forgot. Ron McLean just name-dropped Sylvan Lake. Good boy, Ron. Gene Principe brings up Oscar...Klefbom...to remind us about the 89th Academy Awards on tonight. Bad boy, Gene.

3:06pm: A little...girl...is at the rink as the anthem singer does the national anthems. I like watching games in the States because it means they don't try signing in Frog-Talk halfway through. This guy keeps sounding like he's getting the words wrong but isn't...he even did the "in all thy son's command" bit correctly.

3:09pm: They are doing a vignette of the Nashville Predators visiting cancer-ridden children in hospitals. They don't show Subban in a Montreal hospital, unsurprisingly.

3:10pm: This story about Michelle is heartbreaking, by the way. This week she hopes to find out the cancer in both of her lungs is getting smaller or whether she needs to book more prayer time.

1st period, 18:31: In one corner, the Edmonton Oilers (33-21-8 overall, 18-11-5 on the road). They are coming off a loss to Washington on Friday and have gone 5-5-0 in their last ten games.

1st period, 16:21: Draisaitl and McDavid with a nifty play at the net which almost works. Be ready to see a lot of that.

1st period, 15:45: In the other corner, the Nashville Predators (30-22-9 overall, 18-7-7 at home). They are coming off a win against Washington yesterday in what has to be one of the weirder bits of scheduling this season. They are 5-4-1 in their last ten games. In other words, these teams are well-matched.

1st period, 15:46: Too Many Men penalty coming up against Edmonton.

1st period, 15:05: Ellis scores on the PP. 1-0 for the bad guys.

1st period, 14:37: McDavid comes right back with a beautiful wrister from right in front of the net.

1st period, 14:15: The rink announcer is announcing the scoring for the Nashville goal. The crowd just isn't in it.

1st period, 14:03: Nuge gets a breakaway and fires at the net in closer range. Rinne is ready for it though. Because it's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

1st period, 13:50: The McDavid goal was his first one since Chicago over a week ago, and that was an empty-netter.

1st period, 13:17: Matt Hendricks tries a similar play to McDavid. But he's not McDavid, so Nashville was able to successfully defend against it.

1st period, 11:15: The Nuge-Lucic-Eberle line is outclassed (as so often happens) and they have difficulty keeping possession in that last play.

1st period, 10:53: Le Test Tube crashes into PK Subban. Both players appear unharmed.

1st period, 9:51: Hendricks knocks a Pred down pretty aggressively. A kid in the front row wants a penalty but he won't get one.

1st period, 8:59: With a little over half the period played, the Oilers are definitely out-chancing the Predators, and in most cases are able to keep up with Nashville's more physical style. Meanwhile, the Flames game is still on Sportsnet West and therefore I'm stuck watching commercials for the BC Liberal Party.

1st period, 8:51: Drew's little story is about how Connor McDavid and Darnel Nurse are able to get along...despite one being "from Hamilton" and another being "from the Toronto area". Uh, Hamilton is in the Toronto area. I've driven the Gardiner before. It's a 20 minute drive in no traffic.

1st period, 7:52: Eberle with a weak cross-ice pass to nobody. Now Nashville regains possession. Nice work, Jordan.

1st period, 7:20: The Calgary game is over and I can't change to Sportsnet West fast enough.

1st period, 6:19: James Neale with a rare Nashville shot on goal. Talbot is ready for it.

1st period, 5:49: Neale picks the puck away from Hendricks and almost scores on the resulting play.

1st period, 5:37: Kris Russel with a roughing penalty, and Nashville is about to get its second power play. In other words, be ready for the Oilers to give up another goal sometime in the next 5 minutes.

1st period, 5:26: Yep, there it is. Philip Forsberg rifles a shot from the dot in the right circle and beats Talbot glove side. 2-1 Predators.

1st period, 4:52: This time the crowd is excited to hear about their team scoring a goal. McDavid doesn't silence the crowd like he did the last time.

1st period, 4:09: Oh good, it's about to be 3-1 for Nashville. Lucic just got a 2-minute minor for tripping.

1st period, 3:24: The Oilers have successfully killed off 45 seconds of a Nashville power pay. New record!

1st period, 2:35: There's hope for these guys yet. McDavid sends it down ice and 1:30 of powerplay killed off.

1st period, 2:08: Oilers kill off the penalty! Wow!

1st period, 1:54: Oilers come close to giving up a goal anyways. Still 2-1 for Nashville.

1st period, 1:17: I thought McDavid had a clever new move he was debuting, but he poked the puck directly to Pekke Rinne and Nashville comes back up the ice.

1st period, 0:37: Fisher almost scores but Nurse is there. He's actually having a good game defensively.

1st period, 0:16: The trade deadline is coming on Wednesday. It'll be boring as watching moose shit dry, but broadcasters keep insisting GMs are "on their phones non-stop".

1st period, 0:00: If this whole game was 5-on-5, the Oilers would be holding onto the lead right now. Instead, they trail by one.

3:51pm: A nice wide shot of Nanaimo on Hometown Hockey. Green grass and no sign of ice on the water. That's just wrong, BC.

3:57pm: Ron McLean is chatting with Kirk McLean in a 'Nucks jersey about Devan Dubnyk, who he used to coach in juniors. Just as the segment gets interested, Tara Sloan interrupts to go back to Gene Principle and that Scotiabank commercial with the two asian kids.

2nd period, 18:38: Rinne misplays a routine puck sliding in his direction, and is forced to cover it up before he makes a bad situation worse.

2nd period, 17:48: Another wasted opportunity by the Nuge-Lucic-Ebs line, Nuge tries to pass to Lucic between two defenders and instead Nashville is able to come back up the other way.

2nd period, 16:28: Nugent-Hopkins has gone to the dressing room for an unknown reason.

2nd period, 15:51: Nashville has definitely found another gear, they are generally out-cycling an out-playing the Oilers.

2nd period, 15:36: And there they go again: a quick transition up the ice, they have more speed than the Oilers and come close to scoring. Talbot has to make a quick save.

2nd period, 15:39: An error on the clock, so 3 more seconds are added to game-time.

2nd period, 15:15: Caligula with a great poke move that forces Rinne far out of his net to run into Kassian, but the Oilers can't capitalize.

2nd period, 14:43: Subban with the first Nashville penalty, 2 minutes for interference on Eberle.

2nd period, 13:37: Appropriate for this time code, Klefbom with a l33t shot on net after a nifty board pass from McDavid.

2nd period, 13:02: Eberle, Maroon, and Caligula combine for a couple of nifty plays in front of the net. Still 2-1 Nashville.

2nd period, 12:31: 3-1 Nashville after a quick post-penalty-kill goal by Vernon Fiddler. It's only his second of the season. The Oilers are notorious for giving confidence-boosts to opposing players suffering from lengthy droughts.

2nd period, 11:19: "Goes cross-ice looking for Russel". The jokes just write themselves, sometimes.

2nd period, 10:25: The Oilers D-men are doing a good job cycling and getting a hold of the puck, giving McDavid and company a few good opportunities to capitalize. Unfortunately, they don't.

2nd period, 9:38: Fisher comes in at the net full force and fires a shot that Tablot gloves with relative ease.

2nd period, 9:31: The Oilers are showing a little more sign of life in the middle third of the second period, something they haven't really shown since the second Nashville goal. They need to keep their speed up and force Nashville to play more of their style. Win or lose, it's their best chance. Keep this a slow and physical game and the Preds will stomp them, especially if Nashville continues to skate at a faster place than the Oilers.

2nd period, 8:36: The Le Test Tube line had a good shift in the Nashville zone, except that numerous cases featured Caligula and Kassian being busy tied up with an opposing player when they should have been looking for the puck. In each case, the puck dribbles past instead of becoming a scoring opportunity.

2nd period, 7:24: Meanwhile the McDavid line does a few nifty moves but never is particularly threatening.

2nd period, 7:11: James Neale was just more scary than the last two minutes of Oilers possession in the opposing zone.

2nd period, 6:35: Now it's Nashville's turn to draw a Too Many Men penalty on an awkward change. An even more awkward joke about how the NHL used to be 9-on-9. There weren't 9 players on the ice, Drew.

2nd period, 5:48: Lucic scores a tip-in after McDavid does a lot of nifty moves and then fires the puck at the scrum of folks in front of the net. 3-2 for Nashville.

2nd period, 5:37: My spacebar is sticking, so apologies for any formatting weirdness between now and the conclusion of this liveblog.

2nd period, 5:23: That Shanks promotion sounds fun. April in San Jose sounds much nicer than April in Edmonton. I might just have to sign up.

2nd period, 4:39: Goal? No goal? The horn sounds but play is continuing. This is gonna be reviewed. There's also an upcoming Nashville penalty. I agree it's probably going to count.

2nd period, 4:24: Wilson's goal counts. 4-2 Nashville, and there will probably still be a penalty. Shouldn't the time change too?

2nd period, 4:39: It does. Time has been added back on the clock for the second time tonight.

2nd period, 3:51: Fisher is having a pretty good game too. Neale is scary as shit out there today. Why can't Oilers secondary scorers ever be scary like this?

2nd period, 3:35: Le Test Tube scores with a bullet from the top of the circle. 4-3 Nashville. Smith is back out of the penalty box after a post-"goal" tripping call that the American fans are very very confused by.

2nd period, 3:14: The aforementioned James Neale is going to the box for a Holding the Stick penalty. The frustration of Nashville for barely keeping ahead of a team they spent so much time out-classing today is starting to show.

2nd period, 3:00: McDavid with a nifty play almost gets Lucic a goal.

2nd period, 2:19: Draisaitl tries a move back to Klefbom from behind the goal line which fails and dribbles back the ice.

2nd period, 1:55: Nuge makes almost the exact same move.

2nd period, 1:45: Now Ebs and Nuge miscommunicate and cross the blue line in the wrong order, drawing an offside.

2nd period, 1:13: Fisher wins the draw in his own and the penalty is over.

2nd period, 1:00: EBS! He scores to tie up the game after a sloppy centring play from Sekera comes onto Eberle's stick at exactly the right time.

2nd period, 0:36: A "let's go Predators" call echos alone in the arena as Nashville tries to take a late-period lead and harmlessly shoots into the Brittany Webbing.

2nd period, 0:00: Oilers kill the time in the final 20 seconds of the period, and we go into the third period with a 4-4 tie.

5:04pm: Elliotte Friedman is on the line with Ron reporting that Ben Bishop is going to the LA Kings, and Hanzel is going to Minnesota. That's good news for Los Angeles, and insanely good news for the Wild. Elliotte also admits that this means Wednesday's trade deadline is going to be a bust. He's going to hear from a Rogers TV executive pretty soon...

5:05pm: After the fucking NDP are finished ruining this province, Dynacare won't be advertising about being the official medical imagers of the Edmonton Oilers on TV anymore.

5:07pm: It looks like this afternoon's game should finish right around 6pm. Just enough time to have an evening nap. I'm on my fifth beer since the game started (minus the 1/5th of a can I accidentally spilled all over my floor)

3rd period, 19:52: We're back underway, as the Oilers and Predators are tied 4-4 after two.

3rd period, 19:46: Kris Russel gets a 2-minute minor for hooking early in the period and getting the hot-as-hell Nashville powerplay another kick at the can.

3rd period, 19:15: Every time Benning touches the puck for a moment I get exicted thinking that we got Hemsky back.

3rd period, 18:41: Another PP goal, and the Predators take a 5-4 lead. Oilers leave the entire right side deserted, and Neale gets the assist. Oilers are going to challenge that there was an offside.

3rd period, 18:37: The Nashville arena played that stupid "Cellphone" song by Drake during the Coach's Challenge, instead of their usual country music. Somehow the goal still counts despite that flagrant foul. Martok during the challenge: "Come on. We have got fucked on that rule so much". 5-4 Nashville. Sportsnet has looked at the exact angle and declared it was a bad call.

3rd period, 18:17: Both teams are now well rested between the intermission and the call, so they respond with fast and physical play.

3rd period, 17:29: Right off the post!

3rd period, 17:23: Right off the post again!

3rd period, 16:21: Nurse goes offside as he tries to bring the puck into the Nashville zone all on his own instead of passing to a forward.

3rd period, 16:10: Icing call against Nashville, but the shifts weren't out very long. Won't matter much.

3rd period, 14:10: Caligula and Le Test Tube combined for a couple great poke attempts around the net there.

3rd period, 13:25: Great couple plays by the Oilers there to keep the puck trending in the right direction.

3rd period, 11:11: Talbot gives up a juicy rebound but so far no negative side effects.

3rd period, 10:38: Klefbom crosses the blue line and fires a wrister that Rinne stops. Nashville could have had a penalty if they had possession during a sloppy change.

3rd period, 10:03: McDavid and Forsberg are tied up following a weird drop pass McDavid did south of the dot in the circle. McDavid ends up offside.

3rd period, 9:28: Larsson and Klefbom trade sloppy passes and then the Klefbom fires the puck offside. Remember: Nashville played yesterday. Yet the Oilers are the ones who look exhausted and making sloppy passes.

3rd period, 8:07: Nashville continues to outskate and out-hussle the Oilers. Remember: Nashville played yesterday

3rd period, 7:52: Oilers take a break from passing to each other in their own end to buzz around Pekka Rinne who finally contains the puck. Still 5-4 for the Nashville Predators.

3rd period, 7:37: After a referee takes a break from bleeding from the mouth to get treated at the Nashville bench, play resumes. McDavid shoots from the low slot but Renne makes the save.

3rd period, 7:22: Ref Tim Peel is bleeding from the nose and his jersey is filthy. But he's a ref, it's allowed.

3rd period, 6:53: Eberle with a great chance but Rinne is ready for anything in this period.

3rd period, 6:17: Kassian almost scores! But he misses the wide open net!

3rd period, 5:49: Nurse can't quite play the puck and gets a glove to the face for his trouble as he falls to the ice.

3rd period, 5:19: Oilers ice the puck, and Edmonton has no time out because they lost the challenge earlier.

3rd period, 4:46: McDavid with a great play between defenders but he can't get it to Maroon.

3rd period, 4:28: Rinne covers it again after Maroon tries to deflect a Klefbom bomb from the blue line. Maroon looks stunned. Not emotionally, physically. He got involved after the play with Ryan Ellis who seems to have connected.

3rd period, 3:45: Klefbom did a neat little skating move to get the puck into the Preds zone.

3rd period, 3:33: It didn't matter, Preds got it back.

3rd period, 2:59: Sekera to Nuge. Nuge to...a player on the other team.

3rd period, 2:11: Wilson isn't fast enough. Nashville ices the puck. Will Talbot be staying in the crease?

3rd period, 2:10: Empty net.

3rd period, 2:02: Wilson on the faceoff tries for the empty net but misses. In other words, he ices it again. Can the Oilers capitalize?

3rd period, 1:52: With Nashville playing yesterday they should be the more fatigued team, which should give the Oilers an advantage with the 6-on-5.

3rd period, 1:43: Nashville shoots the puck down the ice again, because the Oilers suck in the faceoff circle.

3rd period, 0:55: Lucic fires the puck into the Nashville end and it pops back out.

3rd period, 0:38: Sekera wins the race and the Preds ice the puck again. It doesn't seem to matter. Oilers don't have enough pep.

3rd period, 0:15: Following a Nashville timeout (so now the Oilers "pep advantage" is even more weakened) the Oilers cycle and try to jam the puck into the net. Instead of a goal, Maroon gets a holding penalty. Ellis on his side uses his stick like Aragon to knock the flying puck out of the air and save a goal.

3rd period, 0:00: Game over. 5-4 Nashville Predators over the Edmonton Oilers.

6:11pm: As I start my 7th beer, I'm looking at this game as yet another missed opportunity. The Oilers fall to 33-22-8, 18-12-5 on the road, and against a team that was playing their second game in a back-to-back. Sure this is a team relatively good at those situations, but the Oilers failed to capitalize on a winnable game against a team below them in the standings. They started off strong, but were horribly outclassed during Nashville powerplays and this demoralized the team to the extent that they gave up their advantage in energy and speed that characterized the first half of the 1st period. They did storm back from a 4-2 deficit, which is good to see, but they didn't finish them off. They couldn't close the deal. 1992 Alec Baldwin wouldn't have given them any coffee. By the third period the Oilers looked like the tired out team, which regardless of the final score tonight doesn't reflect well on their chances in the playoffs. Being able to get a second/third/fourth/ninth wind is the hallmark of a good playoff team: for that, ignore the Kings and the Blackhawks and instead look at the 2006 Oilers. They always had another gear they could switch to (remember Hemsky vs Detroit or Samsonov vs the Sharks), and this team still doesn't. It needs it. Nashville showed that they have it, and the score (and the play in the 3rd period as a whole) reflects that.

6:12pm: This concludes this liveblog, thanks for all who joined us. Anybody with any thoughts or ideas on how the Oilers can improve are welcome to post them in the comments.


The problem is getting them to pay for both things...

What do black people like?

Fried chicken and basketball!

Can we somehow cross-promote them? Yes!