GAME DAY BITCHES!!!!! Here we go! Another day to roam around in Orange and high-five random strangers and honk my horn and drive with my car flags flapping proudly. Here we are, in the middle of April, a legit contender. Up 2-1 against the defending Champions of the West, dominating them physically, backing down from nothing, our best player doing very little in the way of offense and being led by a reclamation project and being backstopped by Glen Sather’s last favour to the Oilers.
What a life. For years we have been waiting for this. For years we have talked about getting all the right pieces and building around the “core”. Well, now that we have the core seemingly correct, the pieces that we added are a true compliment to the players we need to lean on to go deep. Our first line hasn’t produced and we are still in a position to put the Sharks away at home.
The team isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t matter at this point. Once the deadline passed, it was time to embrace the young men who are going to war for our City. Was DeDe my first pick as a depth center acquisition at the deadline? No. But, I’m not the one with the degree from Harvard and the Stanley Cup ring, so I will defer to the Stanley Cup winning GM. Think about how good this team is going to be when our young captain and blueliners turn into men? I believe in this group of young men. I am excited. I want it. In my time writing here, I have tried to not use WE and referred to the Oil in the third person. After the decade of heartache, I feel like I have earned the use of this pronoun for this Stanley Cup run.
I went to games 1 and 2 and the excitement is great. The arena is packed and beautiful and fans are amped up. We looked at selling our game 2 tickets and we just couldn’t do it. The excitement is just too real. It has been too long. Which reminded me of a 2006 Cup Run story…
I was working at Earls at the time and I was sitting on the patio with a couple of buddies and they were going to the first home game against the Red Wings. I was telling them how bad I wanted to go – well, this nice gentleman a table over from us had heard us and offered me two tickets for $300 each – said his cousin had them. I said yes and he went and got them, we met, I gave him cash and we went our separate ways. One of the bartenders was going to meet me at the game and I gave him his ticket. I went down to the arena early to enjoy the atmosphere and grab a couple of beers. The lineups for beer was insane and I saw someone walk out of the arena with one. I figured I would just go in and grab a beer and head back out to the beer gardens. There was a mini lineup to get in and the ticket scanner seemed to be not working right. I just bypassed the line and walked in – I mean, I had a ticket and I was just going to grab a couple of beers. On the way out, she scanned my ticket and I went on my merry way. BZZZZZT! BZZZZT! My Motorola flip phone rang and I answered. It was Greg, the bartender who had the other ticket, “OUR TICKETS ARE VOID!” he blurted. We scrambled to come up with a plan. We knew we had been duped. Should we hustle to find a seat at a local eatery or bar? Should we persevere and try to find a way in. Persevere.
We wait in line, nervous. Once I get to the front I let the lady scan my ticket. She says: “this is strange, it says your ticket is void and yet it says you’ve been scanned out.” I put my ticket in my pocket and walk past her while saying: “ya, I know, those things have been on the fritz all night, hey? Have a good one!” Greg, in the lineup next to me, covers his ticket where they have written VOID in Sharpie and swipes the ticket at the scanner and before the young man can stop him, he disappears into the crowd. Success, we are in!!!
LET’S GO OILERS! I BELIEVE! IF NOT US THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN?