Monday, June 5, 2006

Hey, remember hockey? Those were good times.

Jesus, has it really been 11 days since the Oilers last played a game? No wonder my life seemed so much emptier than usual. I have to admit that as exhausting as this Cup run has been to watch, it's been just as trying to not watch — I mean, I'm not the most imaginative guy in the world, and without an Oilers game to sit in front of (or a, uh, job to go to), I've had a hell of a time trying to come up with things to do your average balmy Toronto evening. That is, until someone suggests getting drunk on a patio, then everything falls into place. God only knows what we'd be doing if my friends actually waited for me to suggest an activity. Buying cheese at Kensington market? Chasing raccoons with sticks? Playing basketball to win against little kids at the elementary school on Manning and Ulster? The mind recoils in horror at my unemployed lameness. Thankfully, my pals are content to just let me sit here, play NHL 2006 (six consecutive Presidents Trophy/Stanley Cup for the now-unrecognizably Euro-dominated Islanders and counting) and let the beard grow.

At least, I thought it was growing, until I saw Sacamano's recent beard post (in which he starts out as a wild-eyed mountain man with nothing to lose and progressively turns into a responsible family man with a decorative elephant plate) and realized that this hair, which started out so excitingly, so promisingly, is now going nowhere fast. Has my beard peaked? Tough to say — but like the Oilers, its lease on postseason life has been about a month and a half longer than most people thought it would be, so I can't be too upset about it.

Which is not, of course, to say that I'm prepared to let the Oilers off as easily. As we all know, merely getting here has been a feat that few outside of Edmonton expected, but by no means is it enough. I want that Cup. I want Calgarians to look to the northern horizon, see its gleam shining brighter than the sun and feel sad that they don't have it. Only this will make me happy. I'm sorry. I'm a petty man.

But first, we have to make it past Carolina. I like our chances, but the Canes are clearly not a team to be taken lightly. Sure, one might look at their lineup, note the dangerously explosive offense tempered by unconfident goaltending and a lean defensive corps and wonder if we had not kicked this very same ass in every round before. But you can tell by Carolina's eyes that things are going to be different. They've battled hard to get here, and getting here has not been enough. Glen Wesley wants that Cup. Rod Brind'amour wants that Cup. Doug Weight, Mark Recchi, Aaron Ward... they all want that Cup so bad they've been forcing their wives to dress up like it every time they've had sex for the past two months.* Wresting it from these veteran hands will be one hell of a battle, and holy hell am I looking forward to watching it shake down.

It'll be hard fought, but I can't help but think the Oilers will get this done in six, kicking things off with a 4-2 win. Bonus prediction: if Dvorak scores tonight, Edmonton wins in a sweep. You heard it here first.

Probably going to check the game out at Paupers Pub on Bloor and Lippincott (539 Bloor West), but there's nothing set in stone blog-party-wise, as Mike won't be able to join and I'll be taking off right after to see a show at the Silver Dollar. But if Toronto Oilers fans feels like dropping by, it'd be great to get some solidarity going.

So yes: I hereby declare this thing to officially be on. Can I get a fucking "GOILERS" over here or what?

Also... BEARD, bitches!

* not actually true.


Jameso said...

Well, as a Torontonian in exile (Birmingham UK), this site and similar have officially made me care about the Oilers, though I started with nothing other than a desire to follow the NHL from afar.
Which is my way of saying thanks, but now I have to stay up till 4 AM at a friend's (who has cable) and still make it into a meeting tomorrow. And repeat 3-6 more times. Thanks.

Eau de Chacin said...

See you at Paupers...I'll be the guy with the full-body Bill Ranford tattoo.

Anonymous said...

hey james. channel five is showing the series on terrestrial tv.

colm in belfast

mudcrutch79 said...

I too will be at Paupers. I'll be the guy regretting all of his cocky internet banter (I called Carolina the worst team Edmonton has faced on CBC's site) if Edmonton falls behind.

Jameso said...

Hey Colm, thanks. That's actually what I've ended up watching. Still at a friend's as, my TV's crapped out. First playoffs outside the CBC...