Edmonton, narrowly, 2
First off, I may as well get this out of the way: Wooooouuooo [running up and down the hallway of my apartment, pants on my head, home-made Oilers banner flapping in the wind].
Penultimate riots on Whyte Avenue tonight, and I'm sure the mob will raise a few Heritage buildings for good measure, since, afterall, this is the greatest day in modern day Oilers fandom. A Stanley Cup Finals appearance is an indelible marker in history, rarely lost in the murk of a hockey fan's playoff memories, plus... WE WON A BOWL!
The Clarence Campbell bowl is actually one of the finer looking pieces of NHL hardware, but as per tradition, Jason Smith wasn't touching the fucking thing. Four more wins! Four more wins! Four mor-... sorry, this mob thing is easy to be fall back on. I watched the game with about 20 or so Edmontonians in an eastend Toronto bar, with slightly bemused serving staff changing the channel and turning up the sound for the gang. Of course, I spent most of the game squeeling in falsetto whenever the Ducks had the puck in our end, which was often, and most of the subway ride home was in a state of dumbwondered disbelief. Partly disbelief that we're in the Finals, and also disbelief that we won the game, considering the Oilers spotted Anaheim a red card-esque half game on the Powerplay.
Anaheim's soft underbelly was a 11% powerplay (which would have been 31st in the league during the regular season) that could have used a true second unit quarterback on the point, and goaltending that let about 2-3 soft goals at bad times. That's about it. I did spot a "our kids are better than your kids" sign, which is probably true, but then, all of the 2005 veteran acquisitions like Roloson, Pronger, Smith, Peca (!), outperformed Anaheim's key elder players, with the lone, tragic exception of Todd Marchant. All told, I feel very lucky as an Oilers fan.
Tonight's game featured a better result from the very players that sucked balls Friday night, including Torres, Moreau, Dvorak and, well, Roloson. Torres' tip-in should be cast in bronze if possible, and the Oilers PK did that very underappreciated and nearly always unaccounted thing of being in the way of shots. Roloson's rebound control should get its own special engraving on the Clarence Campbell Bowl's nameplate. During the last three minutes, we should have let a goal in, but we didn't. All of it was Roloson.
Even better is the precious layoff 5-6 day layoff that will allow Torres and Horcoff to eat a few more steaks and multivitamins, Hemsky to heal from whatever he's suffering from (likely a bruised brain, in "upper body injury" parlance), and Spacek can figure out a special strategy on how to be good again.
More Oil Spuzz:
- the "kindly send off Bob Cole on an ice floe" file: Jason Smith was somehow confused with Ryan Smyth for the fourteenth time in the series, despite standing perfectly still at centre ice accepting a trophy, with no other players around him, while wearing a jersey with his name on the back.
- Who do we want next? I hate this parlor game. Carolina has some pylons in the backend, more so than any other team thus far, while Buffalo has some serious injuries to capitalize on. Carolina, however, features Glen Wesley who I fondly remember sucking air as a rookie for Boston the last time we won the Cup. But ah, who am I kidding. I want my EA Sports fantasy Oilers vs Sabres final, with Buffalo having been my Eastern Conference sister-market, hard luck favourite team for years.
- Dvorak Watch: Plus two on the night, despite wiffling on the puck everytime I pointed him out to a dismissively drunk and belligerent Chris
- First 8th seed in the Stanley Cup Final! (Blogger friends, a query: who was the guy that back in September predicted the Oil to win the Cup, as a throwaway guess; I'm thinking Sports Illustrated but I know it's something else like that)
- Foam Finger Award: the 150 or so Oil fans gathered around the benches, giving Oilers high fives on the way to the dressing room
- Wayne Gretzky was skulking around the building, presumably trying to jinx the Oil or perhaps try to sell the younger players Ford F150s and McDonald's fries before the game. Listen up, Oil alumni not currently employed by the Oilers: STAY AWAY. All evidence has shown that this glorified 1980s revisited stuff just distracts current Oil trying to do their own thing, SO LEAVE THEM ALONE.
[triumphantly kicks over his laundry basket]
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Edmonton, narrowly, 2
Posted by mike w at 11:07 PM