GDB 32.0: FOND MEMORIES

Jason Gregor
December 10 2013 01:03PM

The Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes don't have much history, except for that outstanding seven-game series in the 2006 Cup finals. The ending wasn't great for the Oilers and their fans, but the 24 games between April 21st and June 19th created some outstanding memories.

I'm guessing most Oiler remember where they were when Pisani scored shorthanded, in overtime no less, to send the series back to Edmonton for games six. Game six was the best atmosphere in an NHL arena that I've ever experienced. It was Saturday night, 6 p.m. start, but the building was packed by 4:30. The emotion and excitement inside Rexall Place was intense, heart pounding and euphoric, all before the game even started.

One of the coolest parts was when the fans showed great respect by singing the Star Spangled Banner prior to belting out Oh Canada. 

Or how about the goal at 4:00 of this video...I'd say it is the nicest goal of  Ryan Smyth's career, and it came in game six of the Stanley Cup finals. 

It was a magical run. Shirts off for Horcoff was an actual thing. The Human Rake was a beast on the blueline. Fernando Pisani was a local here in Edmonton, especially in Little Italy. The Oilers had an outstanding combination of skill, experience, toughness, size, grit and a strong desire to win.

The Rake should have won the Conn Smyth despite losing. He did everything, including scoring on a penalty shot in game one of the Finals.

The forward group had skill in Horcoff, Hemsky, Samsonov, Pisani and Smyth. Grit and toughness with Peca, Torres, Stoll, Moreau and a 4th line that found ways to contribute with Murray, Winchester, Laraque, Dvorak, and Harvey.

Behind the Rake, he played 31 freaking minutes a game, Spacek played the best hockey of his career, while Smith and Staios were all heart and determination, and made the opposition battle for every inch on the ice. The 3rd pair was a mixture of Greene, a big, strong, young D-man who played 10 minutes a game, and Tarnstrom and Bergeron who played 13 minutes a night, mainly ES with 2 min of PP time.

Roloson was a journeyman goalie, who battled on every shot, and Jussi Markanen played very well considering the situation he inherited between games 2-7 of the Cup Final.

Overall, it was an epic journey, and even though the Oilers lost, I'd bet that for most of you reading this, it was the best time of their hockey fan life. Some of you are lucky enough to have been around for the five Cup runs, but the 2006 run was so unexpected that many fans have told me it was the best two months they'd ever experienced, despite the gut-wrenching game seven defeat.

Of course the ending sucked, but that shouldn't overshadow how fun and exciting the previous two months were. That loss likely toughened you up enough that you've been able to sit through eight subsequent seasons of losing.

As you get set for a game 32 of an already frustrating season, take a moment to remember who freakin awesome the '06 run was. For fun, do a quick comparison of those teams, and you will see how many changes the current Oilers need to made  if they ever want to reach the Stanley Cup Finals again.

LINEUP

Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Joensuu-Arcobello-Hemsky
Gazdic/Smyth-Lander-Jones

Craig MacTavish was the coach in 2006 and saw first hand the type of 12 forwards you need in order to win. This group's natural maturation will help, but it is clear he'll need to change over at least half of the aforementioned group before this team can win regularly.

Ference-Larsen
N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Belov/Marincin-Potter

We all know MacT's biggest test will be re-shaping the blueline over the next few years. Marincin has looked decent, and I think he is on a solid developmental curve at this point. How far he can improve from here will determine if he can become a solid NHLer, or just a fringe D-man.

Dubnyk 

TUESDAY TIDBITS

  • Chris Kunitz had 25 and 21 goal seasons in Anaheim, (60 and 50 points) before being traded to the Penguins. In his first three seasons in Pittsburgh he scored 50-13-19-32, 66-23-25-48 and 82-26-35-61. If you combine last season and the first 32 games this year, Kunitz has tallied 80-39-44-83 and that is why he is in the mix for team Canada.

    His best 80 game stretch has come at the best possible time for him to be considered for the Olympic team. Playing with Crosby helps, for sure, but over the past 80 games only Ovechkin (54), Stamkos (43), Tavares (40) and P. Kane (39) have scored as much as Kunitz.

    I understand why he is in the conversation for the Olympic team, but he wouldn't be my first choice. Seventeen of his 39 goals have come on the PP, only Ovechkin has more 25, and if he does make team Canada, is he going to be on the first PP unit? I doubt it. That is a factor.

    Kunitz and Crosby have chemistry and Kunitz;' 83 points are 6th most over the past calendar year. He is producing, and often a player who is playing the best right now will make it over someone who played great two years ago. Kunitz deserves to be in the conversation, but he is a bubble guy at best.
     
  • Speaking of Crosby, he only plays :38/game on the PK, while Malkin, Kunitz and Neal don't play PK. Craig Adams, Brandon Sutter and Pascal Dupuis are the three main guys, while Tanner Glass is 4th at 1:14/game. The Penguins don't take many penalties; they've been on the PK for only 151 minutes this year, 7th best in the NHL.
     
  • The Oilers have been on the PK for 181 minutes, 23rd most in the NHL, but they've had 192 minutes of PP time, 2nd most in the NHL. The Oilers spend more time on special teams than every other team in the league. They have played 373:33, about an average of 12:04/game. The PP and PK are 13th and 15th respectively, and the only way the Oilers can win is if their PP sits top-five, because their 5-on-5 play is horrible.
     
  • The Oilers have given up 72 goals 5-on-5, but they've only scored 47. The organization needs to stop focusing so much on the PP, stop believing that the PP is the engine that drives the team, and realize that until they improve at ES they won't win. It is painfully obvious.
     
  • The Oilers have scored 22 PP goals, and allowed 19 PK. Their special teams basically cancel each other out.
     
  •  Richard Bachman was re-assigned to OKC today. Jason LaBarbera will be sent down once Bryzgalov has another practice or two. Jeff Petry practiced, but won't play. He is day-to-day.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The ghosts of game-six past will appear and help the Oilers win 4-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Hurricanes are 0-3 when the second game of a back-to-back is on the road. The Canes have outshot teams in the first game of those sets, but they've been outshot 78-104 in the 2nd games. Oilers will outshoot the Canes 33-24.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Riley Nash, Oilers first round pick, 21st overall, in 2007 will be booed every time he touches the puck. If Ladislav Smid can be booed, there is no reason that a former draft pick you refused to sign in Edmonton can't. When you don't have much to cheer for, the fans need to find something that will entertain them throughout the game. Riley wears #20, in case you were wondering.

DAY EIGHT...MONTH OF GIVING...

Thank you to the Edmonton Rush for donating their VIP package yesterday and to Robert for bidding on it. Through seven days we have raised $22,450 for charities.

Today's package is unique. There are two items up for grabs, and the winning bid can choose which one they want.

Supply and install one High Efficiency Furnace or a 13 Seer Air Conditioning System courtesy of
G & H Heating and Cooling Solutions.

This is what you get with the furnace:

  • One high efficiency furnace
  • All venting
  • All electrical connections
  • All drains
  • All sheet metal modifications to maximize performance of new equipment.
  • City permit and City inspection fees
  • Removal of old furnace

This is what you get with the Air Conditioning System:

  • One 13 Seer Central Air Conditioning System
  • All electrical connections with outdoor safety disconnect
  • Anti-vibration pad
  • One heat/cool thermostat
  • City permit and inspection fees

You will receive a site visit from one of their comfort advisors before installation to take measurements and determine proper size of Air Conditioning system/Furnace for the home and where it will be installed.

To bid you can call 780.444.1260 between 2-6 p.m. today. Thanks in advance for your bid. All proceeds will go to Operation Friendship Seniors Society.

 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#151 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 10:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

@Andrew

He burned his TO on a first period icing if I recall.

Avatar
#152 The Soup Fascist
December 10 2013, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers

I am beginning to think the Oilers may be a team with some flaws in their defensive play.

Avatar
#153 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 10 2013, 10:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Was that 26 or 99? Nice pass.

Avatar
#154 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 10 2013, 10:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

What happened to the team from the 1st period? I liked that team. The team from the 3rd looked pretty familiar though...

Avatar
#155 vetinari
December 10 2013, 10:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Don't give us a PP!!!! They score on us when we are on the PP!!!

Avatar
#156 cubsfan
December 10 2013, 10:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

someone get in front of net

Avatar
#157 cubsfan
December 10 2013, 10:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
cubsfan wrote:

someone get in front of net

thank you, thank you , thank you

Avatar
#158 The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33
December 10 2013, 10:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

This team is as baffling as the Nicholls for Sandstrom and Granato trade. Head scratcher man.

Avatar
#159 vetinari
December 10 2013, 10:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Bruins are going on be tough. Really, really tough. Even short a few guys.

Avatar
#160 pkam
December 10 2013, 10:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
madjam wrote:

I wonder how good we might be if we had a decent physical defence ? They sure look bad/brutal defensively .

Everything looks great in 1st period, including the defense. The problem is everyone stops skating after we scored the 4th goal and lead 4-1.

Looks like we are the tired team who played last night. Everyone just wants to finish their shift and goes back to the bench and watches.

Avatar
#161 Rocket
December 10 2013, 11:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
pkam wrote:

Everything looks great in 1st period, including the defense. The problem is everyone stops skating after we scored the 4th goal and lead 4-1.

Looks like we are the tired team who played last night. Everyone just wants to finish their shift and goes back to the bench and watches.

LOL Katz! I'm not like a grammer Nazi or anything but your present/past tense thing is really messing me up.

Also, I agree with you about the team not being able to protect a lead.

Avatar
#162 tileguy55
December 11 2013, 09:48AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Anybody else think that penalty on Nuge in OT was cheap? Somebody has got to teach that kid to protect himself and not put himslef in vulnerable positions. He turned his back at the very last second, what is a checker to do?

Avatar
#163 Ari Gold
December 11 2013, 02:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
tileguy55 wrote:

Anybody else think that penalty on Nuge in OT was cheap? Somebody has got to teach that kid to protect himself and not put himslef in vulnerable positions. He turned his back at the very last second, what is a checker to do?

Did you see the lil twinkle of embarrassment in his eye when asked about it post-game? I think this means one of two things:

1. He dove. (I suspect this.)

2. He knows he put himself in a foolishly vulnerable position.

I'm happy we won but he needs to either smarten up or just get smarter.

Avatar
#164 fred
December 11 2013, 02:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I am sick of fans wanting the gm, coach, president all gone. Its not happening so stop it. We insist on playing Dubnik hoping he lets in less than four goals, one would think after 8 years of this crap we would make the most important move. Gagner has also been here too long, Arcobello should take his place. Oilers need to be taught how to keep the puck, it seems when ever an oiler is approached his first thought is to get rid of the puck anywhere, like Eberle did yesterday. To be successful its the details that have to be focused on, I am so pissed off with those low percentage back pass, not finishing checks, taking shots when chance is there, losing pucks, on and on and on.

Avatar
#165 tileguy55
December 11 2013, 03:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Ari Gold wrote:

Did you see the lil twinkle of embarrassment in his eye when asked about it post-game? I think this means one of two things:

1. He dove. (I suspect this.)

2. He knows he put himself in a foolishly vulnerable position.

I'm happy we won but he needs to either smarten up or just get smarter.

I suspect the foolishness, He has to promise us never to do that again.

Comments are closed for this article.