You're In REAL Oil Country
If you're not a hockey fan, you have not idea what this post is about, but that's okay:
Let us pray.
In the name of the Pronger, the Pisani, the Horcoff and Stoll.
Our Oilers, Who art in Edmonton,
Hallowed be thy Team,
Thy Sharks they come, Thy deed be done,
In Anaheim as twas in Detroit and San Jose.
Give us this win,
Shutout by Roloson,
And forgive us our neutral ice turnovers,
As we punish those who turnover against us,
And lead us not unto the links,
As we've lead those who played before us.
So anyway, when the Oilers came to San Jose to play in the previous round, al the fans there boo'd their way through the Canadian anthem. The local papers there made a big thing about it, they were quite offended really.
Then came the next game in Edmonton:
There are a couple of priceless moments in this little clip:
Like the San Jose player who would rather be ANYWHERE than standing on the ice at that very moment in time - he would have traded is stick right there and then for his set of PINGS. That's okay - that happened about two hours later. :)
Here is a clip of the mayhem right after the Oilers eliminated the Sharks, same night:
To get the full impact here, you have to understand what hockey is to the City Of Edmonton. Right now the Oilers are playing in their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals in more than a decade. The last time they were there, there were still players on the team that were there during the dynasty years of the 1980's. Now there are none, a bunch of young-buck new faces. The coaching staff has been lacking for a long time, and it has only been in the last two or three years that coaching has been changed, and Craig McTavish, once a captain for the team in the dynasty years, is now the coach. A very cerebral and strategy-based one at that.
In actuality, the entire team management, from GM to coach, assistant coach, they're all players from the Glory Years. They have instilled in these kids what it was the Old-Timers accomplished, what it took to get it done. Now they know. And they are winning. They are battling through a nasty flu bug on the team, bad enough to force lineup changes, and still, they are winning through it. It is truly inspiring to watch this happening there. The fans view hockey in Edmonton like New Yorkers view the Yankees. It's an identity. A deep one. There's been a drought for a very long time. Looks like the drought might be over. I gotta think there's a good "Cup-Run" in the offing here.
I've sat in that building many times over the years, and I was lucky to be there when they won the first cup way back when... (I was a limousine driver at the time) Mark Messier took the cup across the street to the strip bar right after, where champaigne flowed out of it all night long. (Don't ask me how I know that...) This was not a private party or celebration either, he ran out of the Colliseum on foot, across the street full of traffic, and over to the bar with it in his hands, held over his head.
There is an interesting thing about the cup. If you look at it closely, you can see it is not exactly in pristine condition. There are dings and dents all over it. It has been in some pretty weird places.
Anyway, I digress... GO OILERS!!!