FLAMES AT OILERS
CBC, 630 CHED, Internet radio
Well, shit. Can you believe that it's the start of another season already? It feels... weird. Watching the Leafs get their asses predictably kicked by the Senators at work last night, I was surprised to note that I wasn't really, you know, enjoying it, despite the fact that Leafs losses are typically the most enjoying thing in the universe to me.
Maybe my detachment had something to do with all the memories of three months ago that came flooding back while watching the Carolina Hurricanes raise their Cup banner to the rafters on TSN moments before. I mean, really, people: can you believe how close we were? How would we feel heading into this year as Oiler fans if Edmonton had actually won the Stanley Cup? Would we be satisfied? Would we expect another? Would we deign to imagine that we could possibly have that opportunity again? That EA commercial that Mike posted a while back, lame and somewhat revisionist (y'all didn't the beat the Oilers with Roloson in net, folks) though it may be, really hammered home what a razor's edge we were on that Monday night in June. How easily could Eric Staal have lost that faceoff; how easily could Aaron Ward's shot from the point have careened harmlessly off one of the five bodies it narrowly missed on its tumble towards the net; how easily things could have gone the other way. If only they had, had, had.
But now, tonight, a new Oilers season begins, bringing with it renewed enthusiasm, hope, fresh uncertainties. It's hard to believe how much this team has changed in three short months, in some ways for the better, in some ways not. Of course, the sting of Pronger's jilting is one that will live in our hearts for a long, long time, and as an Oilers fan, I will enjoy hating him. But as Battle of California's Earl Sleek has so sharply pointed out recently in his elegantly titled post, "WAA! Gimme back my superstar!", we are not the only fans in the history of professional sports to feel this pain, and the self-pity stops today.
Chris Pronger can go to hell. This team will win without him.
I feel giddy about tonight's game against the Flames, full of the flutter of a new relationship — optimistic about the future, but cautiously vigilant about the present. How will this rangy young streetfighter we've cobbled together, all attack and no blocking, do out there in the wild? Are we going to be, you know, any good? I can't wait to find out. And a win against this supposedly upgraded Calgary team would kick things off rightly.
(Oh, and please take the time to scroll through our site's front page here; we've been burying one another by posting like crazy over the last couple days, and I doubt our output will ever be this feverish again.)
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
3-2 Oilers win, with goals by Horcoff and Lupul (2). Matt Greene catches Alex Tanguay with his head down in the first period and separates his shoulder with a borderline illegal hit. Flames go back to having no offence. A barely perceptible smile crosses my lips.
CONFLICTING EMOTIONS (Opposing players I have in my pools )
D Dion Phaneuf
Ladies, gentlemen, if I may: GOILERS!
Thursday, October 5, 2006
FLAMES AT OILERS
Posted by Chris! at 9:56 AM