Sunday, April 23, 2006

Well Done!


Looking at the half-hearted crowds in Game One and Two, Detroit fans look like they're a little too used to having a winning team in the playoffs, with even the ubiquitous tradition of throwing octopi on the ice looking staid and routine.

Luckily, some brave Oil fans upstaged this farce of fan-ery and added a new twist: Grade A Alberta beef thrown over the boards in an attempt to please the hockey gods. The deities must have been pleased with our fandom, as our other sacrificial offering, playoff virgin Brad Winchester, ended up with the game winner and his first NHL goal.

Much hullabaloo about the Oilers using "the trap," but the weakest part of the Oilers game going into the playoffs was their neutral zone messiness. If anything, it makes me think MacT is capable of making adjustments beyond sponge puck blocking drills. The only difference from Game One seemed to be some smart pinches from Oil defenceman, a good forecheck and some lucky breaks. In my Zany Playoff Picks I pointed to Detroit's defence, coupled with unproven goaltending, as being the one possible weak link on the team. At least on one goal that was the case (with Chelios skating by the puck, crossing wires with Maltby on Pisani's game-tying play), although there were a couple of glaring turnovers. Overall, a better effort 5 on 5, with a tip of the foam finger to MacT for putting Brad Winchester in place of Georges Laraque.

As for the refs, well, I almost feel bad for them. If they were to call everything by the rules, a Red Wing would be in the box almost the whole game. Lots of weird calls, like the first period Hemsky hooking penalty where the ref somehow missed Maltby punching Hemsky in the mouth in retaliation. There was others. Perhaps it was best summed up on a replayed CBC sequence of Chris Chelios in front of the net:

John Garrett: "Now here you see a good job of...uh..."
Mark Lee: "Well that's just interference!"

Yep. Oh well, who cares.

Enjoy the flight to Edmonton International Airport, Red Dinks. And be best advised: I wouldn't leave your hotel once you get here (and not because we'll kill you, it's just there's just not much happening for nightlife downtown). Can we re-open Goose Loonies?

GAME RATING: 8 Maalox tablets out of 10


Anonymous said...

Were we even watching the same game?? The game 2 I saw featured Edmonton players draped all over detroit players, hooking, holding, and everything else under the sun except biting to slow detroit down with very few on these penalties called (on Edmonton). Not that this is an excuse for the total lack of passion and intensity Detroit showed late in the second and in the third. Oh well, congrats on one win, at least.

mike w said...

The only (somewhat) objective barometer I can use is how many times I heard "no call on the play" or "that could have been a penalty" by CBC commentators, referring to mostly Red Wings defencemen.

Datsuk didn't look passionless so much as not entirely healthy. Lang sucked. Hard to believe Lidstrom was minus 3.

mike w said...

Although I'd trade Torres for that Kronwall guy.

Anonymous said...

"here"? are you back in edmonton, you sonofabitch? get your ass over to the steakhouse. i'll see you on brokeback, jack twist!

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

If by "brave Oil fans" you mean "radio hosts looking for a way to make people listen to their morning show" then your assessment of the Alberta Beefing would have been more accurate.

mike w said...

Bah! I know! I was disappointed to hear it was probably the idea of some asshole DJ in a Hawaiian shirt.

It's still kinda funny.

Garnet said...

There are only so many things evocative of Alberta, and it would be hard to sneak a barrel of crude into the arena. Wait a minute -- should someone throw Ralph Klein onto the ice before Game 5?

Anonymous said...

Re-open Goose Loonies?!?! That's like the 3rd sign of the Apocalyse. Lot of bodies buried there...

Taking a page out of the "Don't watch the game they win" playbook, I did not get out of bed at 1am to listen to the game. I awoke to a sweet 4-2 win, it made not watching the playoffs almost bearable. By this logic if they win the cup I won't mind not seeing it. Does that make sense?

Staying true to my prediction, Coilers will win the series.


Julian said...

The beef throwers had a little inside help in smuggling the roast or whatever it was into the arena. The one who got ejected managed to get back in and found himself in a suite, so don't weep to hard for him.

case said...

i wanna see a cow thrown onto the ice at rexall and then sacrificed with hockey sticks, apocolypse now style. just for joke.