Monday, June 19, 2006

Pre-game titters and jitters

I'll admit that I got caught up in the heady post-Game 6 celebrations Saturday Night, making idiotic hops of joy as I bounded down Jasper Ave, high fiving every person and car in site. Covered in Oil correspondent Pleasure Motors even injured fellow blogger Chris' girlfriend in the fracas, crushing her head against the cement in an unsuccessful and toppling hug. After a bag of ice, some nightclub dancing and a couple of days to mull it over, the inebriating effects of game 6 have worn off and all that's left is the sobering, dark unknown of Game 7, just sitting there in front of me like a black obelisk from 2001. Trapped here in my office cubicle I'm trying to get work done as best I can, pretending to be normal, but for the entire day my heart rate has been elevated at about 20 bpm above normal.
I harbour no illusions: the Canes won't collapse and die like they did in Game 6. While Carolina were outhustled and outskated to the puck, I didn't think Carolina looked tired per se. As one of their players said afterwards, "The game just slipped away from us," which is similar to what happened to the Oilers in Game 2. Playing from behind is an uphill slog late in the playoffs and sometimes teams look terrible trying to get back into it. Nope, I expect the worse.

The odds, Covered in Oil bloggers agree, is about a 40-60 split in favour of Carolina, which is more than enough to make any steely-orbed Oilers fan nervous. In the Stanley Cup Final, the narrative of Game 7s tend to rigidly structured with few plot twists or surprise endings: a result of two teams doing their best not to make any mistake that will remembered for 50 years. Aside from the first goal, which may well be the final fate-turner for either club, the real wild cards would be 1) the refs calling 5 Matt Greene penalties for no reason 2) Cam Ward and 3) the Oilers powerplay, which looked tenuously much-improved in Game 6.

Whatever happens, I'm sipping champagne tonight, and not just the cheap stuff either. Forget karma: even if they go tits up, I'll still want to toast a miracle season that I never expected except as an EA Sports dream scenario, leave alone the nearly-unspeakable flipside possibility of a Cup win. If you see a gibbering mess curled up on Bloor street, wrapped fetal around a green bottle, you'll know the Oilers lost, and likewise, if you see a gibbering mess curled up on Bloor street, wrapped fetal around a green bottle, you'll know we won. That's hockey for ya.

Alas: goilers.


chumly said...

Hope you have a good puckin game day.

Eau de Chacin said...

GOOD OMENS: in today's Spain - Tunisia match, the winning goal was scored by a young upstart named FERNANDO TORRES, who is the World Cup's top scorer so far. Clearly these names have some sort of mystical power about them.

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

did Torres score after rushing into the Tunisia zone, giving the ball to a defender, then simultaneously charging, boarding and elbowing him to get it back?

Zanstorm said...

I'm not even a big fan of either team, but I'm still jittery as well. God, I love hockey. Rum, Coke, and HOCKEY. Good luck Oiler fans, and screw you, my yankee loving betraying friend! You know who you are!!

mudcrutch79 said...

Fuck eau de chacin, we're on the same wavelength (probably because we're both procrastinating on the same thing). Fernando Torres added another one as well.

Jeff J said...

Event Horizon? 2001? Holy Spaceballs of Power, what's with the sci fi references all of a sudden?