I figure that if I’ve got my own blog, and I’m supposedly a hockey freak, then I’d better damn well make a hockey post before the season is over.
Well, tonight could be the end of the season, so here we go.
The Edmonton Oilers.
Once a dynasty, but sorely trying to live up to that reputation for the last 15 years or so. Well, this year, they’ve finally done it. I didn’t know whether to be pissed off or really happy when the Oilers defeated my beloved Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs, but then I remembered that I’ve been an Oiler fan since the day they stepped foot in the NHL in 1979. It’s hard to believe now that I remember at the age of 4, I was watching Wayne Gretzky step onto NHL ice for the first time.
But now, finally, the Oilers have made it back to the Big Dance, challenging for the Stanley Cup.
But there’s only one problem. Tonight’s game is one game away from elimination and a “Cinderella Loses Slipper After Horrible Beating” headline in the papers.
Come on, guys, it’s the Carolina Hurricanes. Sure, they’re a fine team, but this is the HARTFORD freaking WHALERS we’re talking about here. (You’d better know your NHL history here to get what I’m talking about.) Yes, the Oilers have been plagued by an injury to #1 goaltender Dwayne Rolosson. But Jussi Markkanen stood on his head in game 4. ON HIS HEAD! He can get the job done.
So, what’s wrong?
How about SHOOT THE DAMNED PUCK for starters?
If I had a dollar for every time I screamed “SHOOOOOOOOOOT!” at the TV in game 4, I’d have a numbered account in the Caymans and a young buxom wench cleaning my house every day. (Just a joke, Steph.) When you’re down 2-1, and you NEED to win the game, you can’t run around the ice playing a game of “Let’s see how many times we can pass the puck before it finds its own way into the net.” There was a power play early on where I’m sure I counted at LEAST 15 passes, and not one single shot – even with an open net and the goaltender out of position.
Come on, guys, this isn’t rocket surgery.
You have to SHOOT THE PUCK before you can put it in the net.
Get back to the Oilers hockey that killed Stevie Y’s potential last chance at a Stanely Cup before he retires. Smashmouth hockey. Get guys in there and muck around in the corners to dig the puck up. You did that great in game 4. Keep it up. But you’ve GOTTA set guys up in front of the net and SHOOT the frigging thing! You’re not going to win the Stanley Cup on highlight-reel goals each and every time. You’ve gotta get some garbage goals – bounce a puck off of 5 guys in front on the way past a bewildered Cam Ward and into the net. Crash the net and bury some rebounds. Get your stick on the ice and deflect a shot or three.
Cause if you don’t, you’re going to spend the offseason crying into your beers and wondering “Why”? instead of crying into Lord Stanley’s Holy Grail.