For a long time, the Oil were team 1B for me. As a teenager, they were a team I could root for in the post-season while my leafs golfed.
When they won the Cup in '90, a buddy of mine phoned me from his home in the North East corner of Edmonton and I could hear the car horns blaring in the background throughout the call.
Sadly, that's the closest I've ever been to celebrating a Cup win.
Both of these teams have more in common than any Oiler fan would willingly admit: from terrible ownership (bordering on corrupt and criminal in both cases) to their formidable history; from bringing in players on the wrong side of their careers (Nedved; Nolan; Nilson; Oates; Gingras; Laraque) to patches of horrific drafting. And, for both of these organizations, their best years are well behind them.
Yeah, the Oil had a tremendous run in the 80s that will likely never be seen again - and their fans will be the first to remind you about that - but I have to ask what's the statute of limitations on nostalgia? It's been 40 years for the Leafs and 18 for the Oil...Sure, I'd rather be on the side that only has to count to 18, but when you start measuring in decades it's a bit like bragging about being the world's tallest midget.
My dad's favourite player. I remember him playing with the Whalers and burying the Leafs one night when I was seven or eight years old. My dad was thrilled. I was right pissed off - at Keon, at my Dad and at Ballard.
Nice work by JFJ to get him back. Lowetide has a nice post on Keon as well.
The 1967 Reunion
Glad they did something for the team on this anniversary but I'm not so sure that centre ice before the game was the right time and place.
I certainly can't recall any other professional sports team recognizing a (rather embarrassing) milestone like this. At least Anne Murray wasn't brought out to mark the occasion...
I'd love to know the Leafs record following ceremonies like this one.
They lost when the Gardens closed, they lost the night they honoured Kelly, Day and Salming, they won when Sittler's 27 went up...I just have a feeling that, more often than not, these opening ceremonies end up in the L column for the Leafs.
The Penalty Shot
Likely the right call, but why the delay? That ref took his sweet time to point to centre ice...Anyone know Raycroft's stats on penalty shots? Given his stats in the shootout (23rd overall, .600 save percentage) I'd guess he's right near the bottom among active goalies. Maybe they should have stuck Aubin between the pipes for that one.
With the Oil falling further and further from the post-season I'm extremely doubtful that they're going to be buyers in the next two weeks. This road trip (pasted by Boston?!?) has tilted the scales from buyer to seller. Moreover, the Oilers strike me as a team more in need of a puck moving D than a scrappy PP specialist like Tucker (and I'm pretty sure Craig Simpson could figure out how to make Tucker ineffective on the Oiler powerplay anyways.)
All of that to say, did anyone notice Lupul tonight? Did the guy even dress? This is who Leaf Nation is talking up? Over 14 minutes, 21 shifts, -1, 1 shot on net. Meh. The Leafs might as well spend $2.5M on the invisible man. This is not a guy I want on the Blue and White.
The Meaningless Projected Standings as of Saturday Night
|Team||Win %||GR||Record to 92 Pts||Record to 95 Pts|
|2. NEW JERSEY||0.667||25||7-18-0||8-14-1|
|6. TAMPA BAY||0.575||22||11-10-1||13-9-0|
|9. NY ISLANDERS||0.542||23||14-9-0||15-7-1|
|11. NY RANGERS||0.526||24||15-8-1||17-7-0|
Teams are sorted by winning percentage, not points. Teams have not been re-seeded by division standings. Philadelphia cannot make 92 or 95 points.
Math was done by hand - let me know if there are any errors...