Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Okay, great sleep? Check. Sun shining? Check. Stanley Cup win? Uh...

Well, fuck, people. Now that everything is finally over and the Oilers have come home with empty hands and an entire summer to reflect on what might have been, what else can you say but fuck?

Last night's game, like every other in this final series, was a painful and difficult one to watch — the Oilers came out so flat in the first that it looked as though, amazingly, they had forgotten everything that had got them to this Game 7 final in the first place. The key to beating Carolina on the road — as we all assumed they had learned by now — is to hit hard, clog up the middle and pounce on turnovers; instead, the Oilers trepidatiously tiptoed out of the gate already strangling their sticks and proceeded to flub their checks, miss assignments and run around in their own end like a bunch of abandoned horses on a Civil War battlefield: wildeyed, indecisive, terrified. After Carolina scored their first, it felt like Game 2 all over again, and I suppose its only due to Edmonton's eventual late-game composure that the score didn't reflect that as well.

I know there were some positives for the Oil out there last night — Jussi's unbelievable play being one of them, Fernando's otherworldly heroics another — but to be honest, I can't bring myself to sort it all out right now. It certainly doesn't help that my analytical faculties were completely obliterated by the ecstasy of unbridled fandom somewhere around Game 4 of the San Jose series... but also, you know, I'm not ready to let go of that just yet. I don't want to begin the slow dissociation process, to return to all the things, the normal, human pursuits that I've cast aside for the last eight weeks quite that easily.

For Edmonton — the team, the fans, indeed the entire city — to win the Cup would have been everything. Literally. It would have felt so right, so completely and utterly earned. And maybe today it stings a little bit that a southeastern team with a fantastically rapid but comparatively small contigent of faithful gets to feel good while an entire population, a generation that has lived and died with the fortunes of the Oilers, is forced to hang its head. Maybe today we'll look south with wet, bleary eyes and say to ourselves that they don't love it like we love it, this Cup, that they simply have no idea what it could have meant. But as my friend Garnet put it a few weeks back, the fact of the matter is they don't just give this prize away to the culture that appreciates it the most; they give it to the best team on the ice. Last night, we just were not that team.

Today, it hurts, but it should be a day to look back at all the ridiculous joy we've felt over the past two months and remember why we cared so much in the first place. Today is a day to revel in our near-ludicrous string of firsts and absurd accomplishments, to scoff in amazement at the emotional rollercoaster we've just endured, to marvel at the distance of our fall. How high, Edmonton. How high we were.

Thanks, Oilers, for the unbelievable season. Hopefully the next has a happier ending.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a beard to shave.


MacPhisto said...

I still thought the Oil would tie it, but then Ryan Smyth made that dumb penalty and THAT was the very moment I felt it was ovah.

I did not root for you guys, given our 1st round series, but you should be proud of your team - they deserve it.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

I think you need to keep that beard until the next playoff run Chris! until it is DanHaggerty like.

Maybe not.

A great run with a painful ending.

Thanks for the fun times online and also for organizing Oildom (Oilerhood) here in T.O. Saturday night was one of the best times I have had in a while.


LittleFury said...

Here's a thought to give all us despondant Oil fans a bit of sunshine: we may have lost the Cup, but at least we don't live in North Carolina. That makes us the real winners here.

Anonymous said...

Heh - that's right. If you lived here, it would bring down the neighborhood. ;P

Chris! said...

ZING, kind of...

Brian said...

but at least we don't live in North Carolina

Ever been to NC?

Anonymous said...

I will always be an Oilers fan and the cup definitely belongs in Canada. But lets take a moment and review: The Hurricanes Stadium RBC Centre - Royal Bank of CANADA! The Cup will spend ample time in Sherwood Park and Fort Sask, along with many other Canadian cities thanks to the players that won it for the team! So really. What is Carolina without Canada? Exactly...

GOILERS! #1 in our hearts, #1 in Canada!

Andy Grabia said...

How about, "thanks Oilogosphere, for the unbelievable season"? Would it have been half as good without us acting like retards online all year? I doubt it. It has certainly made my grief and frustration easier to handle, while enhancing the pleasure and joy of cheering for a sports team. So here's a big fucking high-five to us!!!

Just to clarify, though: I am a UFA next year, and I'm looking for a big payout. Talk to my agent, Drew Rosenhaus. No comment. I've had a great time in the Oilogosphere uniform, but it's a business, man. I have to feed my kids. I really don't want to move on, but I have to do what is best for me and my family. This is a great opportunity for me to get a fresh start in another city, and really take a run at the Stanley Cup. That is really all I want at this point in my career. I have money. I want the Cup. Here's hoping the GM and my agent can work something out.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Hey Andy, do you work for a living? Every site I go to you've just been there.

Wait a second, what do I do for a living?

And actually I've been to NC many times and its pretty damn nice country. I'll give them their due there.

Anonymous said...

Though I've never been there, I've heard Canada is beautiful as well.

Andy Grabia said...

Hey Andy, do you work for a living?

You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Let's just say I'm living the dream life.

Anonymous said...

Everyone's gotta give props to jussi. that guy was king last night. finnish goalies are always so darn intriguing and amazing when they get into their zone. i dunno, i thought jussi was the only finnish goalie who didnt look like he came from the same mould as the others; he proved me wrong, and a lot of you guys too.

having said that, i really really really felt shocked that they lost. i mean, no disrespect to the canes, i know teams have to get lucky every now and then to be able to get as far as they have (and the oilers had their fair bit of luck), but those douchebags had potter luck all the way through.

fuck those assholes and their 3000 faithful fans. fuck all of you on your undeserved, injury plaguing run of 2005/2006. the fucking canes had to have had the luckiest run i've ever seen in my life. their goalie is a midget and a cocky little asshole who snorts cocaine before games and has vodka in his water bottle---wait, that was grant fuhr :P

looking at those cocksuckers on the stand and their testicle faced coach raising that cup over their brainless heads made me want puke. i tell you, they didn't drink any champagne out of that stanley cup, they drank the blood of all the teams that they speared to defeat.

fuck you, carolina, north and south.
fuck you, U.S

and most of all, fuck all of you douchebags in the rest of canada laughing it up. your piece of shit teams will never have the character that this year's edmonton team had---i guarantee that.

and a big fuck you to nose face rod, traitor-dick sucker doug weight, luckiest-piece of shit-goalie alive, cam ward, adam west's brother, glen wesley, goat-boy, kevyn adams, that arrogant-fuckhead/overrated eric washroom staal, fat-piece-of-shit luckyass coach of theirs, and whoever else that's on their team.

and oh yeah, i really hope eric cole gets his spine broken in half all the way through next year.

fuck you,




Fuck you, calgary.

Anonymous said...

I'm really hoping it was Bob Layton who wrote that last comment.

Chris!, your post brought a tear to my eye. Like you said, they don't give the Cup to the city that will appreciate it the most; it's the best time on the ice and you simply can't win a game seven as an away team when you play like ass for 40 out of 60 minutes.

Let's hope we can resign Pisani. That hero is a free agent this year.

-- Steve