Monday, June 12, 2006

Let us proceed to do this thing

zzzzzz.... z-huh? What? Oh, is Blogger finally back up again? Christ, it's getting to the point where I need to set aside half the day just to hit the refresh button 40 times just to get a post up. BAH, I SAY.

Anyhow, whoo. Breathe out. Close your eyes, and focus. If I may wildly understate things for a moment, tonight's game is kind of a big deal. The Oilers battled hard on Saturday to pull themselves within one, and tonight is the night where the series must be tied. If they get to three wins, we could find ourselves on the outside looking in. They cannot win tonight, in the Oilers' barn. Indeed, they cannot be allowed to ever win again. This is possible. It must be done.

Lot of positives to take away from Game 3, which was one of the best games of the series so far, and not just because the good guys got the W. The Oilers went back to a tight-checking system and made the Canes fight like dogs for every inch of ice they got. We contained their big offensive guns with strong positional play and surprisingly adept goaltending (while few have said it, this may have even been a shutout for Jussi if Brind'amour's first shot hadn't been blocked by Smith's throat, freezing both the attacking defenceman and the goalie and allowing Rod to waltz right in). And while we didn't finish out chances as well as we have in the past — due to some very good reactionary netminding by Cam Ward, who despite his rebound control has won my admiration — the puck trickled in when it counted most.

As we've seen, there has been some controversy about Smyth's winning goal in the Caneosphere, thanks to the theatrics of Brind'Amour and Laviolette at Saturday's post-game conference. Obviously, they're both pissed about the loss, but anyone with eyes could have seen this was a completely legal goal, so chances are they were just trying to get into the refs' heads and get them to start calling more interference on Smyth. Not a bad idea, and no one here is arguing that Smyth doesn't ever interfere with goaltenders (just as Giguere how he feels about that), but his last goal was not one of those times. Sorry, folks. It may have been ugly, but it counted fair and square. There's no room, as they say, for pictures on the scoresheet.

Regardless, we've said our piece on the matter, let's not harp on Brind'Amour anymore. Canes fans like the Acid Queen have taken offense to our opinions on the matter, which is a shame, considering I find her to be a class act and a rare, true fan of the game. But really, AQ: it's nothing to start quoting Babylon 5 over. Obviously, opinions will split down tribal lines on the press conference shenanigans, and I hope you weren't being so metered and fair on this board only because the Oilers were trailing and you didn't see us as a threat. Because as Canes fans may have noticed, this team is a serious threat.

Anyhow, there's no need to wish that we should know fear. We've known it every series of the playoffs. If anyone needs to start sweating a little bit, it's Carolina. You've known you were the best team in the East for the entire post-season, but no one's name is engraved on the Cup just yet. So settle in, folks, because this is going to be a long series. And these dogs aren't about to roll over and die just yet.

In honour of Mr. Sacamano's sad departure to the far reaches of cold, cold Siberia, I stand aside for today's BEARDWATCH to salute the greatest Woodshack Nutbar Beard suburban Edmonton has ever seen. Seriously, I'm surprised the community league didn't hold a meeting to figure out a way to get you thrown in jail.

Excelsior, sir.

Now if I may: GOILERS.

FOR IMATRA!

8 comments:

Dave said...

Man, I wish you guys would put this wonderful blog on Wordpress. Blogger super-sucks.

GOILERS!!!

The Acid Queen said...

I gotta lotta 'splainin' to do, but I won't do it til it's all over.

Me said...

Now THAT's a playoff beard.

Chris! said...

Eh, no explanation necessary, I'm sure. We all get frustrated by other fans and fly off the handle from time to time.

mike w said...

They turned their game around, but I sure as hell hope that the Oilers play a better game tonight. As fun as Saturday was, we won't have much hope to win if we get outplayed two out of every three periods. At least Pronger admitted as much.

Goddamn, I'm nervous.

Chris! said...

Me too, buddy. Me too.

Neil said...

"MENNÄÄN OILERS!"

I think...

sacamano said...

Sigh. I'm actually quite bummed. I think perhaps, just perhaps, cutting my beard was the worst decision I have ever made.

Thanks for the Honourary beardwatch, though. I have a lump in my throat.