Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Hockey Gods kick Oilers Fans in the Balls

It was all going so well for the Edmonton Oilers.

They had a 3-0 lead on Carolina in the second period of game one, and they were outplaying and out-shooting an opponent for the first time in ages.

Chris Pronger (!) scored on a penalty shot...Fernando Pisani became the first player to reach double digits in goals in these playoffs (before Rod the Bod passed him), Dwayne Roloson was sucking up pucks like a vacuum, and the Canes looked tired and lethargic.

The Hockey Gods decided that they had built up the hopes and dreams of Oilers fans enough and decided to take the pipe to their collective legs. Last night's loss had to hurt on so many levels.

I can only imagine the sinking feeling Oilers fans had when Dwayne Roloson was lying in pain on the ice. Oilers fans had built up a collective cockiness that they were an unstoppable force, and Roloson is/was the cog in their machine. Seeing Roloson on the ice must have smacked them back into the reality of just how fragile their cup chances are.

Covered in Oil put it pretty well:
"No," I gasped aloud after glancing at the TV screens overhead. "No. Tell me that man with the number 29 on his back is not skating into net for the Oilers. Tell me that whatever happened to Roloson was so bad that we have to bring Ty fucking Conklin into a barn-burning, high-tempo, 4-4 STANLEY CUP FINALS game. Tell me that what I see is not fucking real."

Oh, but it was real. You could see it in the eyes of every Oiler on the bench for the next six minutes: Dwayne Roloson, our saviour, the man with the magic mask of gold and the special eye exercises, was gone. And in his wake, the shittiest goaltender to nervously guard the Oilers twine since Pokey Reddick, or possibly Mikhail Shtalenkov. You're not real. This can't be happening. You're already dead. Weren't you? Why are you dressed? Didn't we waive you? Is this a joke? WHO IS LAUGHING, TY CONKLIN? "
I knew the Oilers were cooked when they had to put Ty Conklin in net. I figured it was only a matter of tick-tocks before Conklin let in a bad goal or something.

Still, who could have expected 'The Goal'? At least Steve Smith now has a partner for counseling.

What a terrible way to lose a great game. I'm sure Conklin was already nervous enough about being thrown to the wolves so suddenly. You know he wanted to prove himself worthy of his chance. Now, he's going to have a 24-hour suicide watch put on him.

I'm not going to sit here and gloat about this, despite what you might think. This type of injury is not something a good fan wishes upon the team they cheer against (unless it's against Sean Avery, then such an injury should be celebrated with much merriment). I'd rather have the Hurricanes win in a more 'legit' fashion, and Oilers fans, for all of their whining and gloating over the years, don't quite deserve to have their balls kicked so hard.

I really do feel sorry for Ty Conklin. He's already reviled by the team's fans and his coach has no confidence in his abilities. Now, his teammates probably have no confidence in him and Ty will have a hard time being in the same room as them, knowing just how badly he screwed up.

If I'm the Oilers, I'd definitely start Jussi Markkanen in goal next game, barring a miracle recovery for Mr. Roloson. Markkanen is capable of playing very well in short stretches, and Conklin is now just damaged goods.

If I'm the Hurricanes, I'd drive to the net with even more reckless abandon. Juicy Markkanen or Ty Conklin will give up many more rebounds than Roloson the vacuum, so it's important to throw the puck and the net and follow up on the play.

Oh, and Oilers fans ought to send some of their venom to Mr. Bergeron. Pushing an attacking forward into your own goaltender is a stupid, stupid, stupid move. I see this happen quite often in scrums in front of the net, but a guy will cause more damage when he's skating fast directly towards your goaltender.

Ah, you're a good man for not gloating, Jes.
I hope its Markannen too, Jes.

I don't blame Bergeron though - remember Wade Redden and Jason Pominville? Ladd had room to cut across as Staal had in the second period I believe. If he had let Ladd go and he had cut across and scored ...

Bad luck, I think, more then anything.

So it goes. We'll see if the Oilers can do it with Conkannen. Probably not but we'll see. The Canes' D didn't look all that great to me.
man - i thought markannen was the backup ... when I saw conklin skating in - I almost lost it.

Start Markannen for sure. he can handle this - and he's the better goalie.

Bergeron was a goat all game. He should have his minutes cut.
I was suprised to see smith look at the puck like it was a hand grenade on "the play."

I guess it shows how little confidence this team has is Conklin.
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