Tuesday, June 20, 2006


The morning after the night before

It was pretty fun listening to Calgary radio this morning. Mood watch: roughly 50% elation, 50% relief. I'm positive that if it had been Oilers in '04 and Flames in '06, all this would have been exactly reversed, but I found it simply amazing how many hosts/callers/etc. felt exactly the same way I did. That is: I don't begrudge the playoff success the Oil had at all. It's just so much bloody fun to go through, I don't see how any essentially nice person who is a Flames fan could. BUT--the Cup would have been too much to take.

Now that it's over, and the result was what it was, there's a strange common bond between Oilers and Flames fans. You can argue as you like about which team was more legit, but we now have a shared experience. Hell, even most of the details are identical. Next season is going to be interesting: unless one of our teams really falls apart, we've entered a second Golden Age of NHL hockey in Alberta.

**Housekeeping item: the 'Canes player referred to below who'll be earning NBC a nice fine from the FCC was Ray Whitney (thanks AQ). And to be clear: the phrase in question was not "This f*&%$*% rocks!" nor was it "FUCKIN' RIGHT!". Not to lord my Canadianness over anyone, and I haven't played the game myself in 17 years, but: it's "Fuckin' rights!". I don't need to see a replay. It's basic hockey vernacular. Why? Who knows. Why do people from Saskatchewan call it the Safeways, even though there is quite clearly no 'S' on the end of the 10-foot-high sign?


Entertainingly, mudcrutch is reacting to disappointment the same way as last time (after the abortion in St. Louis): by poking at fellow Oilfans.
If you're curious over the next few days as to who the people are who really live and die with the Oilers, just look for the ones who aren't saying that it was a great run. As much fun as it was at points-the third period of G6 against Detroit, G3 against San Jose, G6 against Carolina and seeing the atmosphere at Rexall every single game stand out to me-it's still a hollow run.

By that standard (not endorsed by this writer), let's go to the tale of the tape.

PASS (though there's still a couple of days left):

Pleasure Motors:
I mean, I know, I know this is more than we expected. But dammit, I'll be restrospective in retrospect; right now, this really sucks.


Today, it hurts, but it should be a day to look back at all the ridiculous joy we've felt over the past two months and remember why we cared so much in the first place. Today is a day to revel in our near-ludicrous string of firsts and absurd accomplishments, to scoff in amazement at the emotional rollercoaster we've just endured, to marvel at the distance of our fall.

Cheering for the Oilers in Edmonton this spring was a little like being Pinocchio and awakening slowly to the unfamiliar throb of real veins and sag of flesh. It wasn't always comfortable: with real life, loss is part of the bargain. But even taking the ending into account, it is a matter for envy, not pity.

Thanks to the Edmonton Oilers. You had a great year and coming up one game short is about one thousand miles farther than expected. I'll never forget this team.

Most of all, congratulations to the Oilers for a wonderful run.

6 is just another number, but this playoff run was something special.


Vic, speeds, and the lads at IOF; The Prez.


mike w:

Alex Abboud:
...I'm not a die-hard Oil fan...

Andy Grabia:
Is it wrong for me to admit that I feel pretty good this morning?

Kipper wins the Vezina Thursday; draft goes Saturday; free agent signing period starts one week thereafter. Training camp isn't much more than 8 weeks after that. Take a breath, folks.


WTF? We get nothing? Give me back my banner, fucker.

And don't bother doing it now. You're dead to me, Fenwick.

Fixed! And congratulations, that's extremely nuanced.

The burn on Abboud allows me to forgive you. Let us not forget, the douche cheers for the Leafs.

They're all fucking liars Matt. All of them. They're saying the right things but they don't really mean it.


I meant every word.

hey matt,

Its true, the sentiment was pretty similar in 03-04. I cheered (not loudly) for the Flames as they proceeded as the "Canadiana Primo." As the SCF final began, started to cheer for Tampa Bay and grinned when the closed it out.

Now, I see that we are psychic siblings -- having each gone through the rollercoaster of love and pain; envy and derision of our own teams and each others.

You would think it would make us all closer, and choose a greater evil to cast our hate to (say Toronto).

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

What I meant with the "exactly reversed" comment was that I know there was a lot more Oiler fans cheering for the Flames in '04 than there were Flames fans cheering for the Oil yesterday, BUT, it's not a comment on either group of fans -- just a consequence of timing.

If the Oil had done this in '04 instead of this season (i.e. instead of the Flames), Calgary would have been a lot more behind them then than they were yesterday.

And, Leafs suck.

I'm surprised that Andy didn't mention how happy he was when the 'Canes eliminated the Leafs in 2002. It's unfortunate that it took them beating the Oilers to do it, but I'm glad you have finally come around and also despise Carolina.

What I meant with the "exactly reversed" comment was that I know there was a lot more Oiler fans cheering for the Flames in '04 than there were Flames fans cheering for the Oil yesterday, BUT, it's not a comment on either group of fans -- just a consequence of timing.

This is true, and at a moment when Oiler fans are being internationally recognized as the planet's finest, Calgary deserves credit for doing one thing quietly right--maintaining a correct attitude toward the ancient enemy.

But while timing is important (with respect to the CBA as well as the order of the twin playoff runs--there's no longer a feeling that Canadian hockey is collectively threatened), the double-standard is also a consequence of Calgary's shitty performance in the postseason. Edmonton fans found it easier to jump the Calgary bandwagon in a year when the Oilers weren't in playoff contention at all. Calgarians were inoculated against the same contemptible tendency because the Oilers not only got past the first round, but disposed of Anaheim in a way that left no possible illusions in Manureburg.

(Well, no rationally tenable illusions, anyway. I'm sure the crimson filth are contorting themselves into some awfully amusing shapes trying to explain how the #8 seeding, the flu, Roloson's injury, etc., were actually lucky breaks for the Oilers.)

I don't even want to think about it. I went for a long walk after the game last night; today I want to know what they're going to do to make this team better. Onward and upward, I guess.

It's too soon (for me anyway) to look back on the whole run and think warm thoughts about it. Game 7 last night is the still the freshest thing in my mind, and therefore all I can think is "this really fucking sucks".

Perhaps when they're able to spend some money to retain/aquire some players becuase of the revenue this run brought in, maybe then I'll appreciate it a bit more.

Of course, who knows what the EIG has planned for that revenue. I don't suppose anyone can really hate them for wanting to pay off some of the outstanding debt (they do still have some, no?) or getting their refund for the cash call from a few years back.

Hopefully they put enough aside that the team can afford to add the crucial peices during the season as the holes are exposed.

I just hope the player budget will hover somewhere around the 35-38 million mark. I never want to see Conklin again.

I just hope all of you guys pull up your panties and stop sobbing. You guys are embarrassing yourselves. Yeah, I'm talking to you cosh!

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