Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Western Conference Finals -- Game III


Wow, with the holiday yesterday (Cheers to the Queen!) this game really snuck up on me. I think we could all use another day off Mr. Bettman.

Torres and Bergy are apparently back, but Smith and perhaps Horc are out (he says writing at 7:00 am before any game day reports have come out).

I dunno; what's to say about tonight's game? At no point in this series has my blood pressure risen above a cool 90/50 mmHg. Mike w summed it up exactly:

It's the Orbs of Power effect, that even with total puck control domination I never felt really all that worried, miles away from the pure distilled fear of the Detroit series.
It's almost like the Oilers fans are in a holding pattern. Oh sure, outwardly some people are still maintaining that we can't look ahead; but I don't know anyone who hasn't (at least inwardly) already forgotten about the Ducks. Is this dangerous? Meh, I'll take my chances.

The fact is, I don't only want, I need a quick series. In fact, I need two quick series because on June 14th I leave the country. It would just about kill me if the Oiler won the Stanley Cup and the biggest party in Edmonton in over a decade happened two blocks away from my house -- and I wasn't there. It is for this reason alone that I still have my ever-growing playoff beard -- not because the Oilers need the love of the Hockey Gods, but because I do.

I'm thinking that the crowd propells the Oil to a quick start, and they go into the second up 2-1. Each team will score one in the second, and the Oil will turn the gas back on in the third.

Sacamano's Key to the Game:

Prediction: 4-2 Oil (Dvorak, Ken Lowe, Dr. John Clarke, Roloson).

Go Oil!


This isn't really deserving of its own post, so I thought I would drop it here. Check out Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail calling Chopper a "journeyman" in his article today. The article even notes he has only played for two teams his entire career, and STILL persists in the "journeyman" description. Who the hell hires these people?

I now play the "Predict Sac's Prediction" game- I had you down for a 4-2 Oilers win, but you surprised me on the goal scorers for a change. Here's to the training / medical staff!

I also like to play a game called "Predict Hugh's Sac." Small world.

What? Did I kill the mood?

What? Did I kill the mood?

This series thus far has killed it. It's not a good sign when the Oiler-Duck blogs can't find much positive in the games thus far (because other teams aren't going to find it for us).

The Oil, of course, have a big positive: 2 wins on Anaheim ice. But in terms of watchable hockey, we're really cementing the notion that for the league, it probably would be better had these teams just lost when they were supposed to.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we don't have many people watching anyway, but I don't think we are winning over any passer-bys.

But in terms of watchable hockey, we're really cementing the notion that for the league, it probably would be better had these teams just lost when they were supposed to.

That makes no sense at all. While I agree that the series has been a snoozer, I don't think certain teams (ie. whichever ones you like) are ENTITLED to winning the Cup. It seems to me that the league will be happy that hope has been restored to a solid Canadian market, and that hockey is being played in another great hockey market (Buffalo) and two sun belt markets. It is asinine to suggest that the Oilers and Ducks don't deserve to be where they are. In fact, they are EXACTLY where they are supposed to be, and so are the teams that couldn't beat them. Winners advance, losers go home.

It seems to me that the league will be happy that hope has been restored to a solid Canadian market, and that hockey is being played in another great hockey market (Buffalo) and two sun belt markets.

I don't give the league such credit. They are money-grubbing as ever. I'm not saying that there can't be an Anaheim-Edmonton final in the future, but I don't think the league will see fit to have another Anaheim-Edmonton final played like this.

Some of the reasons for this play are OK (you can't do much about fatigue or illness/injury), but if you are against Calgary 1-0 hockey, you should probably be against this style also.

The differences are very negligible, at least through the first two games.

I think we can all agree that the series has been a snoozer. I just don't think it is right to suggest that some teams are more entitled than others to still be playing. There is no such thing as Manifest Destiny in sports.

The definition of journeyman isn't 'having played for many teams.' Have a look.

So now you are pulling out the literal definition? Weak. Quit defending your Globe buddy. We all know that the sports definition of "journeyman" is a player who has played on lots of teams. Was he referring to an electrician? Cmon, Mirtle. I didn't even give the sports definition of "journeyman" and you knew what I meant.

There is no such thing as Manifest Destiny in sports.

No, but there is such a thing as ratings, which the league does care about. Probably more than the purity of sport.

If we continue to deliver unwatchable hockey with little built-in fan-base to back it up, when will the league's business sense kick in? At least with popular franchises you can have more people watch unwatchable hockey.

Remember, we stopped watching a sport back in 2004 (if not before). Since then we have been watching a business.

I agree. They should fold the Ducks.

They should fold the Ducks.

Possibly this is right. Possibly the league should forget about its expandability and revert back to its hardcore roots.

However, I'm proof that there was something sellable about the game, there was something better about watching hockey. It wasn't about geography, it was about on-ice excitement.

Where did it go? Now the most exciting thing at the end of the day is the result; watching makes it less exciting.

I think if the NHL wants to put a good spin on this they can. Sure they don't have the huge media markets that they would have liked on a huge collision course for the playoffs. On the other hand the lockout was suposed to be about "parity" keeping the playing field level and allowing anyone to have a shot at the championship rather than being outspent to victory.

It was to keep the "small market teams in business and competitive" or at least that was the owner's propoganda during the lockout. From that perspective, with Anahiem, Edmonton, Buffalo and Raleigh being the last teams standing Gary Bettman can book himself an aircraft carrier and unfurl the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

And in Edmonton, and Buffalo the league seems a couple teams which have had their troubles in the past get a shot in the arm. Heck if the Oilers win the Cup, chances are the next day Ralph will cut a cheque for a new barn for them. Buffalo almost folded a year or two ago, so its good to see them have a deep playoff run to excite the fanbase.

In Anihiem and Raleigh some playoff success brings in new fans to non-traditional markets and helps sell the game.

Truth be told, a Red Wings/Rangers final that might have some ratings gurus salavating would have done jack all to sell the game to new fans. I'm not going to pretend that an Oilers/Sabers final but it certainly would help both franchises, and if Carolina or god forbid the ducks make it that would probably help them extend their fanbase.

Pulling out the literal definition? That's what we do every day here.

Here's one of our senior editors who handled that story:

"Journeyman, by definition, has nothing to do with how much one travels or journeys. It's someone who has finished his apprenticeship/training in a craft but works under the supervision of someone more experienced or talented. Its secondary meaning is someone who is reliable but unspectacular.

"That's all journeyman means. I think Moreau is indeed a journeyman. He's a capable player but not a star."

I hope that's enough to convince you Kerr's phrasing isn't incorrect. He's based in Vancouver, and, as such, I've never met him, but I do know he's an extremely experienced reporter.

Well, of course your editor would say that! He's the one who let it slip through. The guy shouldn't be editing the sports page if he thinks those two meanings are the only ones available. We all know it's a sports colloquialism, meaning someone who has played on several teams. Google "sports journeyman" and see what pops it.

P.S. Aren't blogs wonderful? Where else would I have access to a writer and editor at the Globe & Mail?

And Cosh must really be sick. He hasn't piped in to make fun of the Globe once today.

Wow! The crowd even pumped me up, and I'm just watching on TV.

That shot of Joey Moss crushing out the anthem was gold.

Wow! This game is scrappy. I love me this old-time hockey!

Also, Selanne's a bitch. Way to dive after getting tapped on the chest, Teemu.

The only thing more egregious is Harry Neale's commentary. How the hell does what O'Donnell and Pronger did constitute fighting? Ugh. I can't wait for NBC to start up their nightly coverage.

And speaking of bad...that Moreau-DiPenta tilt has got to be the worst fight ever.

So much for this series being boring. Must have been the ice in Anaheim.

Harry Neale is a bitch.

I loved watching Pronger mouth,"Drop Them!" over and over again to Selanne from the box.

I'm surprised the league hasn't warned Rollie about his mask. That is like the 10th time that has happened.

Are those two announcers retarded? Neale just said that Roloson was keeping the Oilers in the game. What game is he watching? Has Anaheim even had a scoring chance?


I'm sure Neale will say it should have been goaltender interference.

Damn. I missed the goal!

I just wrote a letter to the CBC.

Never before has the contrast between the quality of Kelley Hrudey and Don Cherry been more evident. Cherry spent half of the segment complaining about the technicians running the clips, and the other half talking about Ted Nolan and RCMP officers.

There is a terrific game going on and he talks about that stuff? Come on.

Lupul sold that high stick. It was phantom. No one even hit him.

I now hate the Ducks. They are diving, falling, running the goalie, the whole nine yards. I'm glad Cambell and Bettman are at the game. I hope Lowe has a little chat with them, and even shows them some video.

Le GG looks great. If he scores they are going to set a new sound record at Rexall. People are gonna lose it.



This is gonna get ugly, fast.

Uh oh.

Am I the only one with wireless internet and a laptop here?

Jesus. This has the makings of a helluva stomach punch loss.

This is the Miracle on Manchester all over again.

Pisani! The kid is clutch, baby, clutch.


If I have a heart attack tonight, Sac can have my hockey cards.


Did you see the hands on that goal? Everyone is going to compare him to Druce, but he has always been money. He just doesn't get enough playing time.

Pisani is going to become a local folk hero if he keeps playing this way in the playoffs, hell he IS already a local folk hero.

Well, I guess we are out of that boring game rut eh?


I haven't been joking when I said I was gonna name my next child "34".

5-4. God. Cmon, boys.


Anyone else think that was kicked in?


Am I dead?

Marchant kicked that last goal in. Clearly. It was a skillful kick over Rollison's shoulder. Won't matter now, but they really missed that call. So did the Oilers, who didn't seem to complain about it, but damn. Of course it went in, but damn announcers, makwe a useful observation already...

Go Oilers!

Dead, no. But you did post "BLOWOUT" about 45 seconds before Anaheim came back to score 3 in a row.

Please. Don't. Do. That. Anymore.

(I also blame a buddy of mine who phoned to say what a great game this was and that we were going to win. After 3:54 on the phone, the 4-0 lead fell to 4-3...he has to take his share of the shame for the near-loss).

I only meant that there were going to be a lot of fights. But duly noted. I realized the bad karma I sent out almost immediately.

I'm a little worried, now. Anaheim thinks they have a chance now. They won't even think about being down 3-0. All they will take with them is coming back like that. I hope the coaching staff keeps them as much in check as we do to each other on here.

Jesus, what a third period. More action in 20 minutes than the first two games combined. I was here watching and yelling "yes!" then "no! god no!" then YES! The hockey gods have toyed with my emotions.

That was a poorly disguised 80s game, wasn't it? The fighting, the scoring, the skating, the comebacking...hot damn, that was fun, even if it was painfully nerve-wracking.

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