The Hated Ducks 6
Okay, all mentions of "lucky charms" and "hubris" must now officially end, at least on the Covered in Oil blog. I've been as guilty as the next guy, but things like shaving, when not to shave, lucky hats, lucky mugs, wearing the same ginch, etc; all of it must come to an end. I mean, ARE WE NOT MEN??
When I was a kid I had more than a touch of OCD, constantly afraid that I'd die tomorrow, or that my dad would die tomorrow and that I'd have to start working at McDonalds at the age of 8 to support my family. This extended to hockey games, of course, and I had a bizarre array of rituals to help the Oilers win, including: making sure I clicked my teeth on left side of my mouth the same number as the right, flexing my leg muscles during commercial breaks, making side-deals with a god that now, when reflecting upon it, was clearly of the Old Testament variety - picky and mean. Crazy, huh?
Well, lately, it doesn't seem all that crazy. If the Oilers are as good as we secretly think they are, they'll win. If not, we'll go back to wallow in our little grief holes. But after tonight's game, I feel oddly optimistic. My thoughts are pieced together mostly from what I saw at work, along with the last half in a Toronto bar, but I liked what I saw. The ease in which the Oilers wormed thier way back into a game that was essentially spotted to Anaheim through penalties and sloppy play is much more encouraging than the alternative lock-step 4-1 Ducks win. Anaheim's defence makes more mistakes than Stanley Cup finalists should, whether it be inexperience or an over-reliance of 1-2 D to chip in most of the offence. They also pinch a lot, and for the most part, it's cost them (cue: Peca highlight reel goals). Goaltending, at the very least, so far, is a wash.
But Anaheim hasn't played like a team that deserves to be swept, and a 7-game winning streak is a remarkable thing at any point in a season, so I'm not surprised the luck ran out on the Oilers. Some of the early penalties against the Oil made me spray coffee over the TV screen in disbelief, but as they say, you have to pick your battles. The key to next game is slowing everything the fuck down in the neutral zone. This is the third game in a row where I've seen Andy McDonald and Selanne zip past two guys at the Ducks blueline. The beat us with team speed, so bring out the trap if necessary, but I like our chances when we play a defensive, patient game.
Debate topic: Covered in Oil blogfriend Chris! thinks Dvorak is kind of ass (notably, when down two goals late in a game). As Sacamano at BoA knows, I'm also a big D-Vo fan, even if he has hands made of Cabbage Patch doll parts. My argument, as such, is that Dvorak is a) probably the most consistent Oiler and b) good defensively, and most importantly, capable of using his speed to get the play deep in the opposing team's zone. Opinions are welcome.
Matt Greene, I wish you skated better. Then again you're what, 20? A couple of big hits made me feel like a man, vicariously. Still, our back pairing is a horror to watch in our zone, and guys like Torres (what's a matter? lose 12 pounds or something?), Stoll and Moreau have had better games.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The Hated Ducks 6
Posted by mike w at 10:26 PM