Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

“Forced Watching” is a weekly feature where the loser of the wagering game on the podcast is forced to watch the least interesting game on the schedule (in the opinion of the winner), and write about it. No offense if your favourite team is involved. Well, some offense.


Hi, again. I suck at this so you’re stuck with me again.


I’m actually kind of looking forward to watching these teams though. We’ve got two not that great teams that had a good week, some great young players and my favorite player in the league.

Setting the over/under on Brian O’Reilly jokes: 6.5


1st Period

20:00 – Dubnyk and Varlamov tonight. I’m kind of excited to watch Dubnyk. I’ve criticized him a lot this year but seen great flashes from him. Curious to watch a whole game.

19:30 – Joe Sacco being the Avs coach confuses me. I’m watching the Avs, I hear announcers saying Joe Sac- but it doesn’t end in –ik. I want Joe Sakic to coach the Avs. I want Joe Sakic to do everything. I miss Joe Sakic.

18:53 – The Avs are only 4 points out of a playoff spot. Seriously. I would never have guessed that and I have the standings in front of me every day during the podcast. I am not observant.

18:16 – Oh, yeah, right, I’m starting with the Avalanche feed tonight. I feel Edmonton’s will be very…Canadian. I hear Canadian feeds all the time. Broaden horizons and whatnot.

18:00 – Landeskog’s passes are hard. I know we’ve talked before about how hard NHL passes are and there’s not really such thing as a “soft” pass but damn. Just whips them across.

17:22 – I actually like watching the Avs because it reminds me of those old NHL yearbooks I’d get every year as a kid. An Avalanche or Red Wing was always on the cover. Or maybe one year was Hasek. Either way, watching the Avalanche now (because I so rarely do it) always takes me back to watching hockey in the mid-90s which is when I really became a fan. Just thought I’d share. I know you guys care so much.

16:20 – Hahah, Mike Brown. Oh yeah. Forgot about that.

15:38 – Still crazy the kind of year Gagner’s having. I like him a lot and obviously he can play but still. If I had 5 guesses who would lead the Oilers in scoring this year, he would not have been a guess. I know I’m not alone in that.

15:14 – The Avalanche announcers trying to work out scenarios in which the Avalanche can win their division is kind of adorable. They sound just like me when I talk about the Leafs. “Well, if they can get hot and play well and these teams lose these games, etc.” I mean, the Avs aren’t out of this discussion yet but it was still funny.

14:04 – Colorado is dominating so far. For all you puck possession people, the Avalanche are doing well in that department.

13:10 – Does anyone else always want to pronounce Kobasew as “Kobasov?” No? Just me then?

12:29 – Gagner and Yakupov are developing some really good vision with each other. Yak just came off the boards perfectly and Gagner found him in front of the net. Didn’t result in a goal but was fun to see.

11:45 – Hall misses an open net while blowing a tire. Bourne related Hall to Brett Lawrie this weekend when we were watching the WBC in the sense that Lawire goes 110 mph all the time and he needs to learn to let off the gas occasionally and he said that Hall is similar. I think I agree.

11:23 – Oh, so close Eberle! Amazing move to streak in and get around the defender but couldn’t quite finish. Eberle the best.

10:34 – Our first commercial break 9:26 in? This is kind of great. Fast pace, good chances. Compared to the Leafs/Jets game that’s on my TV right now which is about as sloppy as sloppy gets, this looks fantastic (Oilers/Avs are on my computer).

10:34 – I thought the guy in this Nova Home Loans commercial was the guy from Better Off Ted (he played Ted) and I got really sad for a minute because that show was awesome and so was he. Wasn’t him, though. Close call. Got through it.

10:34 – More Matt Duchene highlights, please. I’ve never gotten the “home points vs. away points” for a player before. Seems like kind of an arbitrary divide to make. They’re professionals. I have a hard time believing it really has that much of an affect.

9:16 – Announcers took a conversation about the best pairs on a line ever (they listed Gretzky/Kurri, Sedin/Sedin, etc.) which then leads to one of them saying “a line is really just two guys” which doesn’t make any sense. I kind of get what they mean but that was McCarver-esque in its delivery. Needless to say, it entertained me endlessly.

9:01 – The Oilers threw 55 shots at Varlamov last time they played. Jesus.

8:40 – Horcoff (?!) picks up a loose puck and walks in all alone and puts it past Varlamov to make it 1-0. Landeskog fell down and he was all alone. Even Horcoff couldn’t screw that one up.

8:21 – I am incredibly disappointed with Gamecenter’s closed captioning feature. Every word is spelled correctly and it’s not even that far behind. I was expecting some real word bungles to entertain me. This is such a shame.

7:42 – I’m not the only one that pronounced Milan Hejduk as “Milan Hedgeduck” when I was a kid, am I? I can’t be. By the way, I knew how to pronounce it (thank you Jim Hughson and NHL 98) but, c’mon, it’s fun. Hedgeduck. Tell your friends (don’t tell your friends).

6:29 – One thing I really like about Yakupov’s game: his cycling ability. He’s got really good ice awareness. I wish we hadn’t neutered his entertainment level already.

5:48 – Wasn’t Paul Statsny supposed to be amazing? Or am I just imagining things again?

3:42 – And another one for Gagner. Whitney absolutely let it rip, hits a man in front, puck is all set up for Gagner to put it in the back of the net. If only Varlamov didn’t believe in that phony mental disease called anxiety or whatever that might not have gone in.

2:49 – Gagner gets a couple really nice chances on the PK almost scoring a shorthanded goal through the legs of the defender. I know he’s been particularly hot lately but he is really impressing me tonight. This is already the most fun Forced Watching.

2:07 – Landeskog collides with Parenteau, everyone’s fine. Every time Landeskog collides with anyone I freak out a little bit purely because of his history. Even a small collision. Just worries me.

1:20 – Some chippyness after the whistle. John Mitchell trying to stir things up. I forgot about John Mitchell. I am not sad that I forgot about John Mitchell.

0:23 – This is from the Leafs game on my TV but why did an ostrich just try to sell me gum?

0:00 – That was a quick period. I…actually enjoyed that? That can’t be right. I don’t know how I feel about this.


2nd Period

20:00 ­– The Western Conference is crazy tight this year. Calgary is technically still in this thing (6 points back). Is this parity or a shortened season? Or both? Go Columbus.

19:49 – I’ve decided to stick with the Avalanche feed for this period because, well, because I wanted to. Deal with it.

19:35 – This Avs feed shows some cool stats to start the period. Just showed scoring chances, face off wins, and odd man rushes. Not exactly advanced stats but still nice to see. Way to keep us informed…whatever channel this is.

18:00 – Maybe it’s because I don’t live in Edmonton nor read Edmonton coverage but why isn’t more being made of Nuge’s struggles. I’m not saying I think more should be made of it but I haven’t heard nearly as much about his struggles this year as I expected to.

16:30 – P.A. Parenteau is a player I could watch always and be very happy about it.

15:16 – Varlamov’s career trajectory fascinates me. His whole “is he the starter? Yes. No” thing in Washington and then being dumped for Neuiverth who later got dumped for Holtby and then Varlamov finding himself a starter in Colorado. Reading his Wikipedia page is dizzying.

13:46 – Jordan Eberle be on the Leafs, please. Just…just leave Edmonton and come to Toronto. That’s legal, right? C’mon. I’ll be your friend?

12:43 – Damnit, I spell Varlamov’s name wrong every. Single. Time. That second ‘a’ is an ‘a’ and not an ‘o,’ Jake. Get it right.

12:40 – Power play for Edmonton. Yay.

11:20 – Gagner’s just Phaneufing all over the place. That means he missed the net with a slapshot on the power play by a country mile.

10:32 – God, Eberle is so good. He almost tucked that top corner coming in from a weird angle. By the way, if you’re going to accuse me of having a man crush on Eberle, remember that I am the guy that literally wrote him a sonnet on Valentine’s Day this year. So…yeah. Dignity.

9:18 – I love the announcers call of “Schultz, across the ice to Nick Schultz.” Hell, yeah, Colorado guy. Emphasize his first name because it’s different from the other guy’s. How great is it that they play together? I think it’s pretty awesome. I’m weird.

8:32 – Neither goalie has been particularly outstanding tonight but neither have really been all that awful, either. Pretty much what I expected from Dubnyk and Varlamov, actually.

7:44 – Awesome goal by Magnus Paajarvi. Brings it into the zone, gets a shot off, gets stopped, puck goes in the air, waits until the puck gets below the crossbar and then he smacks it out of mid-air and into the net. Jake like.

6:10 – Just saw that Corey Perry hit. Ho-lee. I say he gets 3 games. Not yet sure what I think he should get.

5:38 – Latislav Smid makes a really nice defensive play and I don’t know what to do with myself. Who am I going to make fun of now? Probably still Latislav Smid.

5:31 – These announcers are so desperate for Duchene to break out of the zone and do something awesome. I’m right there with you, guys.

5:17 – Colorado PA guy playing AFI. But it’s the bad AFI of recent years. Points for effort, though. Still got nothing on Columbus’

3:26 – Couple of nice shot blocks in close by the Avs with Varlamov out of the net.

2:55 – “Who’s gonna be the guy for the Avalanche,” wonder the announcers. I think Colorado fans have been wondering that for a few years, now. At least now they have some actual players that could become the guy.

1:20 – John Mitchell runs into his own player while carrying the puck which leads to a turnover. There’s the John Mitchell I knew.

0:58  – Nice rush on the power play by Colorado, started by O’Reilly and Parenteau. No goal but just more praise for Parenteau from me. O’Reilly was only able to do it because he freed his mind of all psychiatry.

0:00 – Two quick periods. Keep it up, boys.


3rd Period

20:00 – Subway has way better sandwiches in the States. I can’t eat any of them because I’m a veggie but I have to think that Canadian Subway needs to step it up. And, by step it up, I don’t mean that horrible salmonella farm they call egg salad.

20:00 – Heh, Avalanche announcers going on about how awesome they think it is that Yakupov’s first name is Nail. Yes, they’re pronouncing it like a thing you hammer. I like these guys.

18:08  – Announcers let us know that the Ducks won on a late goal in Minnesota. Yeah, they did. If I’m going to cherry pick a team I like for Forced Watching, why the hell do I keep taking the Leafs instead of the Ducks? This is poor planning by me. I am bad at life.

17:22 – I also just saw that Bourne won tonight’s pick after the Blue Jackets lost to the Canucks in shootout. Are you kidding me?! Come on.

16:15 – Scores! Oh. Waved off. Goaltender interference. Aw, man. I thought this was going to get exciting and close. Get it together, David Jones. And it was going to be credited to Landeskog, too! Worst.

15:09 – Ryan O’Reilly can’t get the pass across on the odd man rush because psychiatry. Also, the Avalanche crowd is not pleased after that disallowed goal. And now a too many men penalty to the Avs. Lotta boos. This is when it is okay to boo.

13:28 – You, Nugent-Hopkins. Score a goal! Heh, I told him to do that. Oh, uh, yeah, Nuge scored. 2nd of the year. Unexpected kind of game all-around. Good for him, though. I’m not his biggest fan but I really hope he gets it going and I really wish announcers would stop talking about his World Juniors performance this year. I know that he scored a lot but he wasn’t very good. That sounds weird but you know what I mean.  If you don’t, go watch our vodcasts. Actually, don’t go watch our vodcasts. Forget I said anything.

12:20 – PA guy breaking out The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. 13-year-old Jake would love this guy. Starting to creep up on Columbus’ guy.

11:51 – Hey, Avalanche. Protip: don’t leave Taylor Hall all alone in front of the net. Varlamov bailed you out there. You got lucky.

11:35 – Hooray, tonight’s Justified is up for downloading. Er, I mean, not downloading because that would be immoral. I don’t do that. Heh…

10:09 – I just tried out Gamecenter’s picture-in-picture. My eyes hurt.

9:50 – Avalanche feed lets us know that, every year since 2002-2003, the Eastern Conference has more 30+ goal scorers than the Western Conference. The Avalanche announcers are blaming that on the travel requirements of being in the Western Conference. Not sure I buy that. Kind of interesting, though.

9:42 – Apparently Horcoff has two goals in two games. Horcoff back?

9:32 – Mike Brown shot on goal! Mike Brown shot on goal! Announcers call him a hustler that will give the Oilers some energy. I think I’ve seen this episode…

7:24 – I wish this was a closer game because I’ve actually legitimately enjoyed it. Would have really liked some excitement in the latter half of the 3rd but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

6:32 – I want to put Brian O’Reilly, Tom Cruise, and the Time Cube guy in a room together and record the conversation.

5:38 – Chaos in front of the net as, after a bouncing rebound, Colorado once again can’t put the puck on the net to try and get one. Dubnyk was flail-y on that one. Still, he’s got the shutout so far. Perhaps I was wrong about him? I know, I know, one game against the Avalanche. Not saying he’s necessarily Edmonton’s goalie of the future or anything. Just that he might be better than I originally thought. Amazing what you learn by actually watching the guy.

1:14 – Oilers have a PP to end the game and the announcers are calling the Oilers out for putting their main PP unit out on the ice up 4. Screw that, I want to see an Eberle goal. C’mon.

0:00 – That was actually pretty fun. I’d watch these teams again. Knowing my skill in predicting games, odds are I probably will in the not too distant future.