Somewhere in the mid-90’s, while I was emotional, young, and twisting the dial on the radio, the Razor & Tie record label released a little thing called Monster Ballads. A compilation album that came about right before Napster and long before iTunes. ‘Twas a sweeter time, when late-night commercials for CD’s was a profitable business. Somehow I ended up with said disc and the subsequent sequels, and the rest is a tearful salute to being young and “rocking out” in your car. I clearly needed more professional sports in my young life.
Skid Row made the cut with “I Remember You”. The hair bands in the lineup on Monster Ballads all follow the same pattern. Somewhere, in some dark corner of the world, a person had a great idea. I can hear the conversation now.
“I have an idea. Let’s legitimize our ballad/torch music by making bands that look nice from the neck up (hair included), but give off this appeal of scuzziness.”
“We can sell them as metal bands, but with a junior high leaning capability. The result will be hugely successful!”
I’d love to shake that man or woman’s hand, look them in the eye, ask, “Why have you done this to music?!?!”, and then promptly thank them in the same breathe. I can’t deny it – I love hair music.
And Skid Row fit the fight card perfectly. The hair. The pout. The sound. The makeup. It was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but quietly (and away from other guys my age) behold their decadent glory.
Take “I Remember You” for example. Reminiscing about a former love while it’s raining outside, with Sebastian Bach doing his gravitas vocal performance. It’s all a thing of beautiful dis-taste. In addition, Sabo, Hill, Bolan, and Affuso all melted together into a gooey five-some that wanted to steal your heart while also looking as if they’d steal your wallet (poetically, they did). I still find this song amusing in the same way I find chunky peanut butter amusing. Sooooo good, but yet sooooo weird.
It dawned on me this week that I too “Remeber You”, ye Oklahoma City Barons that found ways to win in adverse situations. I speak fondly of you because it’s been quite some time since you’ve been around. There have been many “sleepless nights” and “endless days”, but in the end “you’ll always be my dream come true”. A team that wins. A team that wins often. A team that wins often enough. And so we call upon the sagely advice of Skid Row — remember the Barons.
Following a three-in-three that featured the two best teams in the Western Conference, I’d say a weekend where the team went 4 for 6 possible points was indeed a success. The success was further compounded knowing that both teams were in the same division as the Barons. Points well earned.
And so the Barons head home for another three-in-three starting tonight in OKC. Twice they’ll play the Rockford IceHogs, then they’ll saddle up, head south, and face the San Antonio Rampage. Both are unique opponents. Both present a different style of play. All three games are winnable by OKC.
Rockford, the team with a heavy fist, is second only to the Syracuse Crunch in penalty minutes in the entire league. Over 1300 PIM through 56 games is both highly questionable and oddly entertaining. Yet they aren’t entirely punchy in the way you’d expect them to be as only 55 of those minutes are actual fighting minutes. That’s near mid-pack in the league.
What this means is that Rockford plays a gravel-in-your-face hockey game. They’ll punch you in the face while also handling the puck. They’ll not back down from a snide remark from Darcy Hordichuk. They’ll laugh in the face of Erick Lizon. They know how to push a button or two. And that’s admirable when your team really isn’t all that good (I suppose).
Just behind the Barons in the current West standings, the IceHogs have been surging lately. 7-3 in the last ten is better than OKC. And they’ve swung up and down all season much in the same fashion as the Barons. They are also touting one of the best power play units over the last two months. So if they get you in trouble penalty wise, they’ll make you pay. And that would fall right into their gameplan – hook, line, sinker.
Oklahoma City played them once before this season, and won. Historically speaking, that’s a common thing. Only losing to a team twice over an eleven game arc of three years is impressive. The Barons just really have the IceHogs number. And that always makes me nervous.
Pirri , St. Pierre, and Morin are fine players and they handle the bulk of the scoring load for the team. But rookie, Adama Clendening has 31 points in 53 games. Impressive.
Then there’s the Rampage, whom the Barons face Sunday in San Antonio. They are sheepishly hanging around being done for the entire season. 55 points isn’t worst in the league, but it’s a far cry from respectable in the South Division of the West. And so they are a desperate team looking for desperate points. Again, this season will be coming down to the wire for playoff spots, and I get a little more nervous every night. I wouldn’t be surprised if San Antonio unleashed a couple of good games just to even things out. Just hope it’s not Sunday.
Although they’ve been good of late, they’ve only beaten a majority of the teams outside of their division. And the weeks ahead prove stingy as they stay in the deep recesses of the South Division for a handful of games, including three against OKC.
In case you’ve forgotten, they are a deceivingly chancy team. They’ll snap your neck without any forewarning. The Barons have taken four of the last five, but these teams haven’t seen each other since January 19th; a lot has changed in well over a month for both squads.
This weekend’s roster for Oklahoma City will be without Tanner House for Friday and Saturday as he’ll serve a suspension from a hit he took on a Texas Stars player earlier in the month. Also, your two goaltenders remain Niko Hovinen and Olivier Roy. Roll the dice on who starts.
Chris VandeVelde will also make the trek back to Oklahoma City after eleven games with the Edmonton Oilers. His prescence with the squad instantly adds more depth at center (Arcobello, Stretch, Martindale, House, CVV). That’s a good thing.
Likely starting lineup:
Cornet – Arcobello – Cheechoo
Rajala – Stretch – Hunter
Green – Martindale – Byers
Hordichuk – CVV – Tyrvainen
Injured: Pitlick, Pelss
Clark – Fedun
Jones – Teubert
Marincin – Plante
Healthy: Hotham, Deck