BEST COLLAPSES IN SPORTS

Jason Gregor
May 15 2013 02:12PM

Don't worry Leafs' fans, you aren't the only ones who've felt the pain of a tough loss.

Ask a fan of the Oilers, Canucks or Flames about their recent heartache. The Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup final in 2011, the Oilers did the same in 2006 as did the Flames in 2004. Sure, none of them had a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to play, but your collapse came in the first round, not the 4th so it likely evens out.

What I respect most about hockey fans, is that despite having felt your own pain at one point or another, you rarely feel much empathy for the fanbase that just experienced a devastating loss. I love that.

Sports is the one aspect in life that fans shouldn't take too seriously, but it does require an extensive amount of passion to be a "true fan." You can't half-ass it. You need to be invested. That doesn't mean you need to read the Nation five times a day, or listen to every minute of a sports show like mine, although you should, but the best part of being is fan is the feeling the highs and the lows.

When the Leafs went ahead 4-1 and CBC panned to Maple Leafs Square, I loved watching the unbridled enthusiasm. There are few things where men will openly showcase their emotions. We should do it more often, but we don't, except when it comes to sports.

I watched strangers hug one another with pure joy after an Oilers goal during the 2006 Cup run. Some of those same people would struggle to hug their aunt at a family reunion, but the euphoria of watching sports brings out real emotions in many of us.

It is awesome.

What is equally awesome is watching a team you don't root for crash and burn. I'll admit I jumped up off the couch and celebrated when the Bruins tied the game. I don't even know why. I don't cheer for the Bruins, and they've never been one of my favourite teams, but I was caught up in the excitement of watching an epic collapse.

My wife isn't a huge sports fan, but she loves watching the playoffs in any sport. She told me last week that I'm not great to watch the game with because I usually don't show any emotion. The Miami Dolphins haven't been in the playoffs for years, neither have the Blue Jays or Bengals. Those are three teams I cheer for, and she was correct that I haven't allowed myself to get caught up in a game in awhile.

I did, however, get amped up during the final 10 minutes of the Leafs/Bruins game and it felt great. I had no vested interest in who won, but I was cheering for the Bruins in OT. It made for a better story, sorry Toronto fans, but it's true. Had the Leafs won, there would be no collapse or comeback story.

Sports needs good stories, and sometimes many of them contain heartache.

Sometimes the outcome will make you cry, and sometimes the euphoria of a big victory will last for months or years. Either way it awakens our senses and allows us to truly feel and capture the moment.

Maybe the Leafs will learn from their collapse and become a legitimate Cup contender in the next few years, or maybe those final 10 minutes will go down in history as the greatest collapse in franchise history. Either way, that game will be talked about for years, both positively and negatively, depending on which side you were cheering for.

In honour of the Leafs, I looked up a few other epic collapses that might make you chuckle or cry depending on your connection to them.

PREMATURE CELEBRATION 

I love how the guy who ends up winning still celebrates early, despite watching the other guy crash while doing the same thing. It's a subtle jab, but it made me laugh.

GREG NORMAN AT 1996 MASTERS

 I didn't use the english version, because his actions told the story. An epic meltdown.

Jean Van de Velde, 18th hole at the 1999 British Open

This video is great because Van de Velde tells you what he was thinking during this meltdown.

MIRACLE ON MANCHESTER, OILERS/KINGS 1982

 The Oilers hold the record for surrendering the largest lead in an NHL playoff game. They led 5-0 after 40 minutes, before giving up 5 goals in the third and then losing in OT. The Kings made it 5-3 with 5:22 remaining in the third, so the Oilers meltdown was much worse than the Leafs when you consider time on the clock. The video is great because it includes Mark Messier and Marcel Dionne giving their team's perspective on what happened.

What sporting collapse (one game/event) was the most memorable for you?

FINAL DAYS

I'd be lying if part of me isn't hoping someone has a small crash and burn on the Karaoke stage this Friday, but I don't see it happening. The competition will be fierce, and hilarious. You only have three days left to get your tickets to the King/Queen of Karoake party at On The Rocks this Friday. I'd like to sell 50 more tickets, and raise a bit more money for MS. So if you don't have plans, get your tickets here and come out for a great time. Strudwick is confident his performance will be talked about years. I wonder if his dance moves are as epic as this guy's.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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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
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#1 Todd
May 15 2013, 03:58PM
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DSF wrote:

I'm guessing you aren't old enough to drink.

The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups.

While they haven't won one since 1967, it's also true that the Oilers haven't won one for 23 years.

Leafs won their cups when there was 3 teams in the league, players drank beer in the dressing room, didn't workout in the summer and goalies didn't wear helmets.

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#2 Frogger
May 15 2013, 07:50PM
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Please for the love of god, can you please ban that tool DSF, this is getting ridiculous.

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#3 Quintana
May 15 2013, 09:05PM
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DSF wrote:

My goodness I have a lot of "mys"

How are those Dallas prospects doing DSF? oh wait nevermind............ Barons 7 Dallas prospects 2........next!!!

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#4 dougtheslug
May 15 2013, 10:11PM
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Quintana wrote:

How are those Dallas prospects doing DSF? oh wait nevermind............ Barons 7 Dallas prospects 2........next!!!

I notice Pitlick has 6 points in 8 playoff games for the Barons -perhaps a corner is being turned? And although I hate to acknowledge He Who Must Not Be Named's existence, I notice Connauton, Oleksiak, and Benn were a collective -6 tonight, and have been outscored 11-3 in the last 2 games. Man, those Texas Dmen are killing the Barons!

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#5 Spaceman Spiff
May 15 2013, 04:11PM
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Oh, it’s the Miracle on Manchester, no doubt about it.

I remember it well. I was Grade 4 and I can remember laying on the living room carpet in front of the TV at my grandparents’ house in Grande Prairie. I remember pounding the floor each time the Kings scored in the third period... and my grandmother telling me to "settle down!"

It was a humiliating experience, even for a kid like me back then, because even I was old enough to recognize a superior team stinking things out for 20 minutes. Even I knew how bad those yellow jerseys looked that LA wore.

Of course, the Oilers had a chance to redeem themselves on home ice later in the series. That’s actually not mentioned that much in connection with the Miracle on Manchester – the fact that it wasn’t in an elimination game. And that the Oilers folded again at home.

But, in a way, the Miracle on Manchester cemented my loyalty to the Oilers forever. They were (and still are, I would argue) a team that does not do ANYTHING small.

When they win, they win big. When they lose, they lose big.

When they make a big trade, it’s trading away the Greatest Player Who Ever Lived.

When they’re great, they win five Cups, make it to seven finals and fill out the nucleus of two Canada Cup-winning teams. When they’re bad, they miss the playoffs for seven straight seasons (and counting) and can’t attract the attention of enough media guys to get the league’s leading rookie scorer a nomination for the Calder trophy.

When they draft badly, they do it with guys who quit hockey to become firefighters and owners of dirt-bike tracks. When they draft well, they grab guys like Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe, Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri, Andy Moog, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr, in three straight drafts.

When they come back from leads, they do it when they’re down three goals to Dallas with a few minutes left in 1997. When they blow leads, it’s five goals in 20 minutes against Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor, Charlie Simmer and a bunch AHLers in yellow jerseys.

The Miracle on Manchester came at the perfect time for the young Oilers – it taught them a valuable lesson in losing. But I’d also argue that it set the tone for a franchise that’s forever been a wonderful and awful and fun and dreadful and entertaining and frustrating roller-coaster ride.

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#6 Wax Man Riley
May 15 2013, 05:04PM
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DSF wrote:

I'm guessing you aren't old enough to drink.

The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups.

While they haven't won one since 1967, it's also true that the Oilers haven't won one for 23 years.

When was the last time your Canucks won a cup?

And your Wild?

How about your Panthers?

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#7 GVBlackhawk
May 15 2013, 09:28PM
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Quintana wrote:

How are those Dallas prospects doing DSF? oh wait nevermind............ Barons 7 Dallas prospects 2........next!!!

DSF's prospects play for the "stacked" Houston Aeros....who crashed and burned in round one.

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#8 ghostofberanek
May 16 2013, 10:59AM
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DSF wrote:

I'm guessing you aren't old enough to drink.

The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups.

While they haven't won one since 1967, it's also true that the Oilers haven't won one for 23 years.

My Mother would certainly approve of this statement:

Good lord, are you ever a tool of epic proportions. Oilersnation would be soooo much better without you. Go do something constructive.

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#9 madjam
May 15 2013, 04:38PM
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Great entertainment and underrated Leafs almost completed an epic choke of the Bruins . If Leafs were expected to win series then you could call it a choke of grandiose proportions - but it wasn't even expected they would get as far as they did . Our own Oilers were expected to win and got surprised by L.A. - now that's a choke ! That's what makes the sport worth more watching . Cudos to the Leafs for getting that close .

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#10 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
May 15 2013, 07:10PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

interested in taking me literally hmmm....

....so that's what trolling is.

"DSF" is douche for "troll".

Jk, DSF. Douche is obviously not a language. :)

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#11 Wax Man Riley
May 15 2013, 10:49PM
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Rocknrolla wrote:

The epic comeback against the Dallas stars I think it was 1998.

People left the building and were coming back in. I was in Ottawa and had turned it off.

My brother phoned me to turn the gane back on. We won. Epic!

1997

Dallas was up 3-0 with 3 minutes left in the game. I think Weight potted the first. I remember thinking "Hey! They broke the shutout. Too little though."

Then I'm not sure who got the second. Maybe Grier got the 3rd? and of Course who could forget the OT winner...our very own Associate Kelly Buchburger.

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#12 Darrell
May 16 2013, 04:46AM
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DSF wrote:

I'm guessing you aren't old enough to drink.

The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups.

While they haven't won one since 1967, it's also true that the Oilers haven't won one for 23 years.

When is the last time the Canucks or wild won a Cup dip sh!t ?

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#13 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
May 16 2013, 06:27AM
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DSF wrote:

My goodness I have a lot of "mys"

weird. it's almost as if you show up around here and talk out of your ass all the time.

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#14 K_Mart
May 16 2013, 07:24AM
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The Canucks have won ONE more playoff game than the Oilers over the last two years. I'll take whatever I can.

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#15 Reg Dunlop
May 16 2013, 08:55AM
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The worst implosion I can think of was the Buffalo comeback over Warren Moon and the Oilers in the playoffs 20 years ago. I still cringe...

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#16 captainnapalm
May 15 2013, 02:39PM
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Don't forget this epic collapse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iwnnE12HCM

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#17 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 15 2013, 02:45PM
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This one is up there and still pisses me off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlXiwCSuWgI

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#18 vetinari
May 15 2013, 02:56PM
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Sadly, misery loves company... my brother-in-law is a huge Canadiens fan and always goes on about how great they are and I secretly did a happy dance when Montreal was eliminated... now I bug him that we both cheer for teams that are not going to win the Stanley Cup this year... the only difference being that my team will have a better potential selection at the draft.

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#19 mayorblaine
May 15 2013, 03:13PM
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anything that involves the leafs, their fans, and heartbreak/collapse is the BEST thing in the world to me.

leafs suck. always have, always will. collapse away...

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#20 DSF
May 15 2013, 03:50PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

anything that involves the leafs, their fans, and heartbreak/collapse is the BEST thing in the world to me.

leafs suck. always have, always will. collapse away...

I'm guessing you aren't old enough to drink.

The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups.

While they haven't won one since 1967, it's also true that the Oilers haven't won one for 23 years.

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#21 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 15 2013, 03:50PM
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Where's your sense of "typo levity"?

BTW... you're doing it wrong.

you are still hopping off the "coach", which I still think sounds hilarious in a non-malicious way.

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#22 Todd
May 15 2013, 03:56PM
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I think this one is the best ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc3aokM2Pzk

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#23 mayorblaine
May 15 2013, 04:12PM
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DSF wrote:

I'm guessing you aren't old enough to drink.

The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups.

While they haven't won one since 1967, it's also true that the Oilers haven't won one for 23 years.

interested in taking me literally hmmm....

....so that's what trolling is.

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#24 JMC88
May 15 2013, 04:41PM
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Miracle on Manchester hurt, but, for me, the series loss to the Flames in 1986 hurt even more. We were on the edge of our seats during those 15 minutes of hockey after the Oilers' own goal in the 3rd period of game 7. Then, when the game ended, it was hard to fathom as an Oilers' fan what had happened. Took until winning the 3rd Cup to get that monkey off our backs.

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#25 atleastwehavethekhl
May 15 2013, 05:18PM
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mayorblaine wrote:

anything that involves the leafs, their fans, and heartbreak/collapse is the BEST thing in the world to me.

leafs suck. always have, always will. collapse away...

I absolutely agree with this.

To paraphrase a pretty good Sloan song:

"It's not the Leafs I hate, it's their fans."

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#26 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 15 2013, 05:33PM
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Everyday Kevin Lowe shows up for work.

It's a recurring nightmare that still occurs to this day. His teammates made him a 6 time Stanley Cup Champion. Without all his teammates to help make him look good, well, we see the results. Toronto Maple Leaf fans now laugh at Edmonton, as well as the rest of the NHL.

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#27 madjam
May 15 2013, 07:25PM
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BEST NONCOLLAPSE IN YEARS : THE ARENA DEAL IS FINALIZED -IT'S A GO !

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#28 DSF
May 15 2013, 07:28PM
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@Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

Clever boy.

I'm sure your Momma is proud of you.

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#29 DSF
May 15 2013, 07:29PM
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madjam wrote:

BEST NONCOLLAPSE IN YEARS : THE ARENA DEAL IS FINALIZED -IT'S A GO !

Now Edmonton just needs an NHL team!

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#30 DSF
May 15 2013, 07:30PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

When was the last time your Canucks won a cup?

And your Wild?

How about your Panthers?

My goodness I have a lot of "mys"

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#31 madjam
May 15 2013, 07:53PM
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It must be quite the adjustment for our players coming up from obscurity in OKC to the pressures of packed houses and scrutiny that is the NHL ! So far they are not making that adjustment well .

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#32 Jester
May 15 2013, 08:43PM
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Is the AHL a bunch of talented small forwards who probably can compete in the NHL

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#33 Jester
May 15 2013, 08:45PM
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Whoops Can't compete in the NHL

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#34 Rocket
May 15 2013, 08:59PM
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Yeah that miracle on manchester game really hurt.

Glad Toronto lost. I hate cheering for a Canadian team to lose but love to see all the sad sports media analyse it to death. ~Compelling television~

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#35 madjam
May 15 2013, 09:44PM
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Monumental collapse of Philly is probably biggest collapse this year . did they make the Weber offer by the way . Look at their over budget problems . Only good contracts are Giroux and Couturier and they will not be letting either go . Going to be some real bargains coming out of that club probably this season . Bryzgalov-5.66M-6years , Pronger 4.91M -4 years , Brier 6.5M-2 years , Timmonem 6.0M-1 year . Now the overpay middle group : Hartnell 4.75M -6 years , Voacek ? 4.250M-3 years , Simmonds? 3.95M-6 years, Coburn 4.5M 3years . That a lot of overpaying for a non playoff team ! Other teams have the odd one or two , but nothing near as bad as Flyers .

Heres another list of overpays that clubs might want to move cheaply : B.Richards 6.667 M-6years ,Myers 5.5M-6 years , Leino 4.5M-4 years ,J.Stall 6.0M-6years , T.Ruutu 4.75M-3 years , A.Semin 7.0M-5years , Zajac 5.75M-6 years , Lecavalier 7.27M -7 years , Perry 8.65M-6 years , M.Koivu 6.75M-6 years ,B.Burns 5.76M-4 years , P.Hornqvist 4.250M-5 years Luongo 5.333 M-9 years .

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#36 Taylor Gang
May 15 2013, 09:58PM
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DSF wrote:

Now Edmonton just needs an NHL team!

Even though Edmonton is one of the few markets that makes a profit despite being the only team in the NHL to have all their revenue come from the games rather than outside business...

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#37 Devolution
May 15 2013, 10:19PM
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:

Oh, it’s the Miracle on Manchester, no doubt about it.

I remember it well. I was Grade 4 and I can remember laying on the living room carpet in front of the TV at my grandparents’ house in Grande Prairie. I remember pounding the floor each time the Kings scored in the third period... and my grandmother telling me to "settle down!"

It was a humiliating experience, even for a kid like me back then, because even I was old enough to recognize a superior team stinking things out for 20 minutes. Even I knew how bad those yellow jerseys looked that LA wore.

Of course, the Oilers had a chance to redeem themselves on home ice later in the series. That’s actually not mentioned that much in connection with the Miracle on Manchester – the fact that it wasn’t in an elimination game. And that the Oilers folded again at home.

But, in a way, the Miracle on Manchester cemented my loyalty to the Oilers forever. They were (and still are, I would argue) a team that does not do ANYTHING small.

When they win, they win big. When they lose, they lose big.

When they make a big trade, it’s trading away the Greatest Player Who Ever Lived.

When they’re great, they win five Cups, make it to seven finals and fill out the nucleus of two Canada Cup-winning teams. When they’re bad, they miss the playoffs for seven straight seasons (and counting) and can’t attract the attention of enough media guys to get the league’s leading rookie scorer a nomination for the Calder trophy.

When they draft badly, they do it with guys who quit hockey to become firefighters and owners of dirt-bike tracks. When they draft well, they grab guys like Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe, Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri, Andy Moog, Paul Coffey and Grant Fuhr, in three straight drafts.

When they come back from leads, they do it when they’re down three goals to Dallas with a few minutes left in 1997. When they blow leads, it’s five goals in 20 minutes against Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor, Charlie Simmer and a bunch AHLers in yellow jerseys.

The Miracle on Manchester came at the perfect time for the young Oilers – it taught them a valuable lesson in losing. But I’d also argue that it set the tone for a franchise that’s forever been a wonderful and awful and fun and dreadful and entertaining and frustrating roller-coaster ride.

This is very true and it continues in micro scale this season. Last season they lost an excruciatingly large number of one goal games. This year they won 6-1 or lost 6-1. Go big or go home!

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#38 Rocknrolla
May 15 2013, 10:28PM
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The epic comeback against the Dallas stars I think it was 1998.

People left the building and were coming back in. I was in Ottawa and had turned it off.

My brother phoned me to turn the gane back on. We won. Epic!

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#39 Wax Man Riley
May 15 2013, 10:55PM
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Just looked it up. Such a great series!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQbuTZ_EEIc

It was game 3 in Edmonton. Weight, Kovalenko, Greir and yes, Bucky.

The link is a TSN feature on the series. Joseph was amazing in that game 3 and the whole series. After that game, I didn't miss a playoff game at Skyreach until they didn't make the playoffs in '02.

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#40 The Beaker
May 15 2013, 11:11PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

1997

Dallas was up 3-0 with 3 minutes left in the game. I think Weight potted the first. I remember thinking "Hey! They broke the shutout. Too little though."

Then I'm not sure who got the second. Maybe Grier got the 3rd? and of Course who could forget the OT winner...our very own Associate Kelly Buchburger.

I was twelve. My dad took my brother (10) and I. We left with 5 minutes left and by the time we got to the car they had tied it... *Sigh*

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#41 madjam
May 15 2013, 11:12PM
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Classic collapses are almost a daily thing in NHL , that's a great thing about hockey enjoyment .Thanks for upsets as one gets bored if results are as they should be .

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#42 lucky
May 16 2013, 12:22AM
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@Frogger

Oh come on now it's not that bad. DSF has posted 300,000 times in the past year. One was even insightful!

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#43 Walter Sobchak
May 16 2013, 04:16AM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

1997

Dallas was up 3-0 with 3 minutes left in the game. I think Weight potted the first. I remember thinking "Hey! They broke the shutout. Too little though."

Then I'm not sure who got the second. Maybe Grier got the 3rd? and of Course who could forget the OT winner...our very own Associate Kelly Buchburger.

IIRC Kovolenko had one of the goals

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#44 Shredder
May 16 2013, 08:59AM
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Time for Gregor or someone to write an article on the arena again...so happy it's done, not happy I'm paying for most of it, but hey, my season seats should be upgraded.

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#45 madjam
May 16 2013, 09:02AM
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With nothing concrete coming to our Oilers as yet , hard to fathom we will be any better next year in a harder division than this year . Most , truly did not envision our team to show such little progress with additions of Schultz and Yakupov .

Is it work to be done by MacT. , or is it an impossible dream ? Wouldn't it be neat to hear all the conversations on possible trades , etc. , and deals missed ?

I don't think Oiler fans can be duped into thinking we are really improving bringing up prospects (suspects ) in our system , and this years draft that will not be a NBR.1 . We have been there , done that , far to many times only to be disappointed once again .

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#46 The Beaker
May 16 2013, 09:16AM
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Didnt some NCIS football team lose a 33-0 halftime lead last year (or the year before)?

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#47 Jeffff
May 16 2013, 06:58PM
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If Im making an educated guess these are the players Oilers are looking at draft 2013

Nichushkin

Monahan

Lindholm

Zadorov

And possible trade down

Horvat

Lazar

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#48 ubermiguel
May 16 2013, 08:22PM
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Watch that winning goal in the Miracle in Manchester and then try to tell me faceoffs don't matter.

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#49 Aitch
May 16 2013, 09:04PM
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@ubermiguel

They matter as much as every other puck battle that happens during the game. The team that wins more overall battles will probably create more chances. More chances lead to more goals, more often than not.

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#50 capebretonoilers
May 18 2013, 05:06PM
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That was quite the "celli" on the 5-0 goal by the Great One -- Anyone criticize him for that back in the day ?

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