One win left, go Oilers go!

Post ImageEdmonton played an absolutely amazing game tonight, easily shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes with a final score of 4-0. That means that for the third time in a row, the Stanley Cup Final is going to game 7. The 16,839+ in attendance at Rexall were super loud, and thousands more flooded Whyte Ave and Jasper Ave after the game (no doubt the partying is just getting under way!). Jasper Ave was especially noisy tonight, with some intense honking (here are some pictures)! Some notes on the game:

  • Hurricanes forward Erik Cole made a surprising return to the lineup for Carolina tonight after missing several months with a fractured vertebra. Doug Weight was out with an upper-body injury, creating the lineup opening.
  • Pisani’s goal moved him into the league lead with 13 in these playoffs. His assist on the Torres goal tied him with Chris Pronger for the team lead in multiple-point games these playoffs with seven.
  • Terrible officiating once again – really, is it so hard to get some decent calls? Tonight was harder for the referees, I admit, as you could barely hear the whistle half the time. A few times tonight they called penalties against a team when they still hadn’t touched the puck, drives me crazy! I am glad they finally called a diving penalty though, first of the playoffs if I am not mistaken.
  • Finally, finally, finally – Horcoff and Dvorak (and Smyth) did something in this series! Horc was my MVP until this series began, after which he was largely invisible until tonight. Dvorak should be elevating his game, as he’s fighting for a chance to stay in Edmonton as far as I am concerned, so it was good to see him get a point tonight.
  • Spacek and Pisani had great games, with two points each. Jussi played good, but wasn’t really tested with only 16 shots on goal from the ‘Canes.
  • Three powerplay goals! That’s the biggest story of the night as far as I am concerned. The Oilers are clearly the better team at even strength, and have been all series long. Tonight was the first night that the Hurricanes powerplay sucked, and ours clicked.
  • I think Torres had an awesome game tonight, with a goal, two shots, three hits, and one takeaway. He set the tempo early and kept it up all game long.

So it all comes down to Monday. One game, for all the glory. I am confident the Oilers are bringing the cup back to Edmonton!

Carolina didn’t look like a team hungry for the win tonight. Not only have they lost two games in a row now, they’ve missed two chances to win the cup. The Hurricanes looked tired, beat up, and ready to call it quits. If Edmonton plays on Monday like they did tonight, bringing the body, shooting lots of pucks, and driving for the net, I think we’ll handily take the win. The powerplay/penalty kill will also be important, so they need to continue to do whatever it is they did tonight that turned the tables on special teams.

Number six is coming in 2006!!

Edmonton Oilers Fan Content

Post ImageUnfortunately there are lots of negative stories in the media about Oiler fans, but we’re not all bad. There are so many amazing fans in Edmonton, I am just continually amazed at the things they create! If you’re looking to get pumped up, there’s lots of fan created media online.

Bruce Thiessen aka Dr. BLT sent me a link to a song he wrote for the Oilers, called “Oilers on Ice“. Bruce describes himself as a “Canadian-born and raised prairie boy” and he does the Oilers proud with his song.

Still on the topic of music, 91.7 The Bounce has seven different Oiler songs for you to enjoy, including one with Georges Laraque! Not to be outdone, The Bear created a song for Fernando Pisani using the music from Abba’s “Fernando” track. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be online yet, but I’m sure it will be eventually.

What about the vehicles? If you live in Edmonton, you’ve no doubt seen the trucks driving around with oil derricks on the bed, and other vehicles similarly decked out in copper and blue. Even our public transit system, ETS, is showing their Oiler pride. There’s lots more pictures on Flickr too.

Want to see the antics of crazy fans? Look no further than YouTube. As of the time of this post, there are 276 videos that show up in a search for the Edmonton Oilers. Unfortunately there are quite a few videos of Don Cherry too 😉

Here’s a small list of some of the other stuff out there:

There’s lots more great stuff, just do some searching! Go Oilers Go!

Oilers force game 6!

Post ImageI just got back from Whyte Ave where Tom and I were walking around high-fiving everyone and of course, filming it all. The Oilers won tonite 4-3, and will now come back to Edmonton for Game 6. I’ll post that video later (also got more footage of craziness in the cars on Jasper Ave) but for now, let’s take a look at the game:

  • The Oilers won in overtime, on a breakaway goal by Fernando Pisani (shorthanded no less). I am so glad he got the breakaway, because he can actually score!
  • We got off to a good start tonite too, scoring just 16 seconds in.
  • Carolina scored all three of their goals on the powerplay. And really, if it wasn’t for the referees, they wouldn’t have even come close to forcing OT. The officiating was absolutely horrendous tonight – the NHL should be ashamed. If the new NHL is calling non-existent penalties and not calling the blatant ones, I don’t want it.
  • I also don’t like that they called a penalty against us in overtime. At that point in a knock-out game in the Stanley Cup Finals, you swallow the whistles! Only extremely horrible penalties should be called, otherwise, there’s no way the refs should be deciding a game.
  • Boo hoo, the ‘Canes had to deal with a time change for once. Cry me a goddamn river.
  • They also appear to be hurting, with lots of guys in and out of the dressing room tonight. Keep up the good work Torres!
  • Stellar game tonight for Pronger, who finished a +3. Hemsky also played very well. And no, Greene did not play badly at all. The penalties he was called for (especially one of them) were not penalties. I’m so glad Charlie Huddy was there to pump him back up on the bench.
  • Thank goodness MacT finally came to his senses and replaced Laraque with Harvey. He didn’t contribute offensively tonight, but he only played nine shifts. I think he’ll have a bigger impact in game 6.
  • Once again, Markkanen was awesome, making the key saves we needed him to make to keep the score close.

The other thing I wanted to mention – CBC blows. Bob Cole and Harry Neil are clearly Toronto fans, who do nothing but make the Oilers seem crappy when calling the game. They can’t say enough nice things about Carolina. But it wasn’t just them tonite, it was the whole broadcast. They only spoke to Oilers after the third and after the win, though they spoke to the injured Eric Cole and a few other Hurricanes like Brind’a-whore. They usually show a “back in time” clip, and what did they choose to show this evening? That’s right, a clip of the New York Islanders defeating the old Oilers. No footage of Rexall. No footage of Whyte. I got the general feeling that they expected, or maybe even wanted, Carolina to win as the broadcast just wasn’t balanced. The only redeeming quality of CBC is Ron Maclean. No, not Cherry, who is a complete idiot most of the time – stick to hockey Don. Coach’s Corner is not the time or place to be making political statements. And who cares if the scoring leaders are all Canadian? And how many times did we have to see Staal’s goal!? Jeez.

So the next game will be here in Edmonton. I know the hometown crowd is going to be crazy, so let’s hope the boys give it all they’ve got again. I think they outplayed Carolina tonight, despite what the scoresheet says (thanks alot you idiot referees) or what the announcers said (Bob and Harry are morons anyway).

Go Oilers Go!

REVIEW: Game 2

Post ImageIt hasn’t been a great week for the Edmonton Oilers, who lost again to the Hurricanes tonight. Actually, they got slaughtered 5-0. Here are some thoughts on the game:

  • Jussi Markkanen played goal for us tonight, and he did a good job. Even though he let in five goals, it was a product of the team sucking hard, not Jussi failing to make saves. He’s no Cam Ward, but at least he handled the puck well and didn’t have any blunders like Conklin did.
  • Ryan Smyth gets my vote for worst Oiler of the game. He continually missed pucks, and was no where near the front of the net where he is most effective. As the leader on a team in desperate need of some momentum, Smyth really needed to produce tonight and he didn’t. He was -1 tonight, after a -2 performance last game. His only bright spot tonight was that his 4 shots on goal turned out to be more than any other Oiler.
  • Why is Georges Laraque playing in this series? Unless you’re gonna stick him in front of the net to cause trouble for Ward, we don’t need him. I agree with my Dad, bring Todd Harvey back into the lineup!
  • All of the Oilers need to learn to hit the net! So many shots were not even close tonight, it was sad. And on top of that, we need shoot more! And for crying out loud, get the puck high! Ward always seems to be down, so start shooting above him.
  • We were in the penalty box way too many times, and for some reason, our usually amazing penalty kill was terrible. Not all of the calls were our fault (I thought the officials made some really questionable ones on us, and missed some blatant ones on them).
  • On a related note, our power play totally sucked. No other way to say it.
  • I don’t know what game Kelly Hrudey was watching, but I completely disagree with him – the Oilers did not do a good enough job of sending a message to the ‘Canes when it was clear the game had been lost. We were in the penalty box a lot, sure, but for stupid calls, not for rough play that would be considered “sending a message.”
  • I think we gave up way too many odd man rushes tonight.

Now the series shifts back to Edmonton, where I expect the Oilers to fare much better. I am hoping this will be a repeat of the San Jose series, where both teams win their first set of home games. The puck drops at 6 PM MDT on Saturday. Go Oilers Go!

Roloson is out, what now?

Post ImageAs you probably know by now, the Oilers lost game 1 tonight against the Hurricanes, and worse still, Rolson is injured and likely out for the remainder of the playoffs. So the choice now is either Jussi Markannen or Ty Conklin. Listening to Overtime Openline on 630 CHED, I need to point some things out:

  • Al Stafford keeps pointing out that Ty/Jussi won over half the games they played for the Oilers, so don’t discount them. He’s missing the point. Most of the games we lost with those two could have been won if only we’d had one or two key saves, something Roloson has been able to do.
  • Don’t kid yourself. The main reason the Oilers are in the finals is Dwayne Roloson. He’s been able to keep us in games when we’ve needed it most. We’ve been outshot almost every game so far in the playoffs.
  • If you take out the first three games Roloson played for us this season, he’s been amazing, and better still in the playoffs.
  • Not Bergeron’s fault? There was no need to hit the player into Roloson – it was completely boneheaded. I would bench Bergeron, he played an absolutely terrible game.
  • Ty Conklin should never be allowed to play for the Oilers again after a play like that. Miscommunication or not, cold or not, that just isn’t something you can do in the Stanley Cup Finals. There’s a reason he isn’t a starting goalie, and he proved it right there.

There’s lots of faith by a lot of people that Ty or Jussi can step up, and I just don’t think it will happen. And we need the goalie to be amazing, it’s the way we play. Giving up lots of shots, sending lots of players up on rushes, etc. I mean the Oilers have still got a good shot, they’re playing amazingly well as a team, but losing Roloson is a serious blow. I guess we can only hope the Oilers will find a way to get it done.

I say play Devan Dubnyk. He’s a young guy, with something to prove, and the rest of the team can rally around him. And he doesn’t carry any negative stuff with him, like both Ty and Jussi do. Either that, or let’s put Pronger in net. He stops more shots than Conklin, seriously!

Oilers going for the cup!

Post ImageFor the first time since 1990, our beloved Edmonton Oilers are heading to the Stanley Cup finals against either Buffalo or Carolina. The Oilers took their third win in Anaheim tonight, by a one goal margin winning 2-1. The first period wasn’t great, but the second and third were fairly solid.

  • Roloson’s 12 wins are the most by an Oilers goalie since Bill Ranford won 16 in the 1990 playoffs.
  • The Ducks finished a combined 1-6-1 against Edmonton in the regular season and playoffs this season.
  • The Oilers killed off all but one of their 11 penalties in this game.
  • The Oilers are the lowest-seeded team to ever reach the finals.
  • Edmonton outscored Anaheim 16-13 in the series, but they outshot the Oilers 183-121.

For more on the game, check out EdmontonOilers.com and NHL.com.

Did I think the Oilers would make it this far? Certainly not at the beginning of the year, though as a fan there’s always that glimmer of hope and belief. Roloson was a major addition to our team. Most of the season I complained along with everyone else about our goaltending, so to be in the finals with a great goalie is a nice surprise. The team is playing really well at the moment, and will certainly make great use of the time off before the next series starts.

And let me just say, Carolina or Buffalo, it doesn’t matter. I really hope we don’t hear crap about them not being hockey towns or any of that. Any team who can make it to the finals fully deserves to be there.

Let’s bring home the cup boys!

Five wins to go!

Post ImageFor anyone not currently in Edmonton, the Oilers won again tonight, defeating the Ducks by a score of 5-4. If you’re in Edmonton, you can no doubt hear the cheering and honking from wherever you are reading this! The game ended up being much too close, as the Oilers fell asleep and blew a four goal lead. That said, we’re only five wins away from bringing the cup home baby, back home to the City of Champions!

  • Tonight’s game was Chris Pronger’s 100th playoff game.
  • Toby Peterson scored the first goal tonight, his first ever playoff goal.
  • Steve Staios also scored his first ever playoff goal tonight.
  • The Ducks have lost 13 consecutive games in Edmonton, dating back to Feb. 24, 1999.
  • Tonight was the seventh consecutive playoff sellout for the Oilers.
  • Before the game, anthem singer Paul Lorieau pointed his microphone to the crowd as they sang O Canada.
  • Anaheim has outshot Edmonton in all three games of the series.
  • Peca has scored a goal in four straight games and has points in his last six.
  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman took in the game and got a mix of cheers and boos when his visit was announced on the JumboTron.

For more on tonight’s game, check out NHL.com and EdmontonOilers.com.

Let’s go Oilers, let’s go! Hopefully Thursday’s game is much less stressful than tonight’s.

Oilers make the Western finals!

Post ImageTonight the Edmonton Oilers defeated the San Jose Sharks by a score of 2-0 and will now face Anaheim in the Western Conference final. Unfortunately I missed the game, but I had up-to-the-second text message updates. I can’t imagine what things are like back home in Edmonton! Here are some things to note about tonight’s game:

  • The Edmonton Oilers are in the Western Conference finals for the first time in 14 years (not since 1992).
  • This game was Roloson’s first career playoff shutout.
  • Harvey’s assist was his first playoff point.
  • It was the first time an eighth seed has advanced to the third round since the NHL adopted the conference format in 1994.
  • This is the second consecutive season the Sharks have been knocked out by an Alberta-based team.
  • Edmonton fans cheered the U.S. national anthem so loudly that the noise drowned out singer Paul Lorieau. Oilers fans were asked to be on their best behavior after some in the crowd in San Jose before Game 5 booed the Canadian anthem.
  • The Oilers are the only remaining team that has won a Stanley Cup title.
  • Edmonton played its 12th game this postseason, the most of any team.

More on the game here and here. Game 1 of the series against the Ducks is Friday night at 7 PM MDT, so don’t miss it! I know I won’t.

UPDATE: Check out the world’s smallest Oilers logo from the UofA’s NanoFab lab!

Edmonton Oiler Playoff Madness

Post ImageWhat an amazing game! The Oilers scored five unanswered goals to come back from a 3-1 deficit and defeat the San Jose Sharks by a final score of 6-3. Some really great goals in this game, like Samsanov’s out of the penalty box. The Edmonton Oilers website has a good recap.

Playoff fever here in Edmonton has reached crazy levels. I’m too young to really remember the madness of the dynasty, but some say this is worse (or better, depending on how you look at it). Whyte Avenue was shut down this evening, open only for pedestrians, because it was just too nuts. Jasper Avenue was pretty insane too, so I took some video of it. Loud horns, hundreds of flags, lots of jerseys, etc – very crazy indeed! The roughly 10-minute video features me walking into traffic, and Oilers music courtesy of 91.7 The Bounce. Enjoy!

Click here to watch the video at YouTube. Or if you’d prefer, you can download it (better quality) in WMV format, 25 MB, from here.

Go Oilers Go!

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