San Jose 0
It was back in 1992, the last time the Oilers were in the Conference Finals, and I remember the sort-of hapless Chicago Blackhawks smoking our ass with a peace pipe, on way to quickly being dispatched by the quasi-dynastic Pittsburgh Penguins. Me and my friend, Andy Tachuck of Sherwood Park, shrugged it off it in sort-of Oilers fan disbelief, thinking of it as an anomaly less than a harbinger of things to come, and played a mindless game of street hockey or "shots" as a two player game was called back then. Little did I know that my body, brain, and hockey fortune would forever change, lasting most of my adult life.
Flash forward to 2006, you see before you a fully virile male adult with a dead end job, complete with matted chest hair and a fully saturated sense of ennui that only twentysomethings know so well. For all of those Ottawa/Calgary bloggers out there, I can honestly say I never thought I'd see the Oilers do better than this in my adult life. Anyone with this absurd idea that Oilers fans are full of small-market wah-wah along with a spoiled sense of entitled glory obviously haven't studied closely the finely loomed tapestry that makes up Oilers fandom.
No Oiler fan born past 1980 or so has had any realistic expectation that Oilers would ever do well again, and if you were to point out that the 5 Cups happened a long time ago you pretty much would have called our insecure bluff. Of course, we've had plenty of hope along the way, you know, the odd Dallas or Colorado upset, and I'd like to think we've made the most of these crumbs as such. But I ask, for any Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary fans: can you honestly accuse Oilers fans of hubris when you see drunken fans lined up on Whyte Avenue after a Game 2 in the first Round? Clearly, this is not the cool-headed reaction of fans that think they're going all the way. Is cheering for Anaheim - a team that can barely sellout playoff games - anything but a twisted gesture from a jilted and bitter fan? I think not (nor is it highly original, for all of those Tom Benjamin supposedly "outsider" blogger types that seem to be rooting for the same team).
I implore you: join our "Covered" bandwagon; I've even laid out some blankets, Colby Cosh is playing the banjo, and the coffee is free.
As for the game: everything I said about Peca sucking magically became untrue for one night. He skated faster than Pisani, for instance, and wrestled Scott Hannan for the puck only to score top shelf. Later, Roloson and the Oilers shot-blocking defence added the exclamatory mark of a shutout to wrap up the series. And how about those fucking nine breakaways? Vesa Toskala should sleep well tonight, as should most of the Sharks (except that sad sack Joe Thornton, of course).
What was extra special was the cell phone calls from home, along with with an e-mail from my parents, decisively lukewarm Oilers fans at best (which I quote: "Hi Mike,Yeah, the oilers won!!"). On the way home from Ted's Wrecking Yard in TO, I shouted "Oillerssss" to a hipster biker with an Oilers jersey only to have him look at me like I was a crazy. Um, HELLOO, fucknuts? It's times like this that I wish I was getting a police shield in the face on Whyte Ave.
Bring on those shittily-named Anaheim Mighty Ducks, along with their non-existent fans who could care less!
PS: Attached is a bar-drawn picture of Shawn Horcoff from fucking memory! (Nose is too big, not enough forehead)
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Posted by mike w at 12:37 AM