Feb. 22, 2012 - Issue #853: Folkways
Looking forward, looking back
Memories and insane predictions dominate this week's In the Box
The Oilers had an eventful week that started poorly, got worse but ended well. Started poorly: A home OT loss to the Leafs. Got worse: Home losses to Colorado (3-1 stinker) and Vancouver (5-2 drubbing). Ended well: A trip to Calgary and a 6-1 roasting of the Calgary Flames. The Oilers haven't beaten those turkeys much lately so that was Flame-tastic!
Memories of Battles of Alberta
Watching the Oilers manage a good one against Calgary was a tonic. Even in a nothing game, beating Calgary still resonates. The win reminded me of one of my favourite Battle of Alberta experiences. Let's go back to April 16, 1991, when Birtles was probably nine years old or something.
It's Game Seven of a roller-coaster first round playoff series between YEG and YYC. I was in Lethbridge, away from Edmonton for the first time, attending college. A bunch of us were enjoying beers and ready for the game. Since I was in southern Alberta, I was outnumbered by Flames fans, including present-day CJOB (Winnipeg) sports guy Jim Toth and Lethbridge Hurricanes sales guy Neil Fraser. Yeah, I'm naming names here. The Oilers fell behind early, trailing 3-0 but the great Esa Tikkanen fired the Oilers up, scored a couple goals in regulation and helped the Oilers send the game to OT. The Grate One kept the momentum going and scored a stunning OT winner. I went home happy.
About an hour later, I got a call from Neil:
Neil: "Hey Dave"
Me: "Neil. What's up? Great game, wasn't it?"
Neil: "Yeah, about that. You should go check your car. We got a bit carried away. Jim and I egged it."
Kudos go out to Neil for experiencing post-prank guilt and owning up. He didn't need to give me the heads-up. Hell, the guy even helped me clean the car up.
It was worth it, though. I'd egg my own car just to see a playoff series like that again. DY
Just when we were about to go injury free for the first time all year, the Nuge goes down with another shoulder thing. Then the coach goes out with a concussion. The coach?!? How the heck does this happen? If it were just the Nuge I might say, "Did that rat bastard Sheldon Souray have a point about the way this organization handles injuries?" but with Renney—I call him "the Ruge"—out as well, what can the answer be?
The Mayan calendar.
Seriously guys, the end of the world is coming and we're just seeing a few cracks forming in the space-time continuum, raining peril upon us early before we get a taste of the real thing in December. By then, however, we'll have seen a new rash of injuries. Steve Tambellini will go deaf the day before trade deadline day and won't be able to wheel and deal on the phone. Organist Gordon Graschuk will be struck with 27 hangnails and will be out of commission for weeks. Devan Dubnyk will be haunted by the ghost of Jacques Plante—who played one season for the Oilers in the WHA—and he'll refuse to come to the rink. Chris Pronger will get healthy and beg to come back to Edmonton. It'll be absolute pandemonium. BB
I was a bit negative last week. Here's some positive take-aways to focus on from this season:
• Smytty. It's still comforting to see #94 (hasthtag bigbrain) back in Oiler colours.
• The Yoots. RNH, Taylor Hall, Ebs and even Samwise Gagner are showing chutzpah.
• The Jets. Another Canadian team is in the NHL this year. O Canada!
• @SHorcov. An alternate Oiler reality is being created 140 characters or less at a time.
• Draft pick. Draft day will be fun again with what should be a top five pick.
• Um ... Ummmm ... Ummmm. Yeah, that's about it. DY
Oilers Player of the week
Ben Eager: Goal against TO, assist versus Avs, assist against Flames. Waking up. DY
Ryan Smyth: Happy belated birthday Smytty. Great show versus Calgary. BB
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