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Off Day Thoughts and an Ode to Dads

While we wait for tomorrow’s Game 7, I started thinking about the playoff run so far, the ups and downs of playoff hockey, Leon’s hat trick, and more.

WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT

I’ve been lucky enough to go to five games so far on this playoff run, but my old man has never been to one ever. Back in 2006, I was a sales rep for a promotions company that, completely by fluke, ended up getting company tickets for all of the home games and I basically went to every game in the first three rounds. As fun as it was to go to those games back in 2006, and then to Whyte Ave immediately after the final buzzer sounded, it always felt like something was missing.

My dad was never able to come with me back then because of work, life, and otherwise and I’ve always felt guilty about it. That’s not to say that I didn’t invite him back then, but sometimes life gets in the way and getting him to his first playoff game was something that I would never have expected to take this long. Little did we know that the 2006 Cup run was the beginning of the decade of darkness and that holding onto those playoff memories was all that we were going to have for the next 10 years.

I was lucky enough to score some tickets to Sunday’s game and was finally able to take my dad to his first playoff game. Not only did I take him to his first playoff game, I took him to Rogers Place for the first time – period. Seeing him walk around the concourse and soak in the atmosphere was really special for me. Having my dad help me take pictures and film things for our social accounts was the cherry on top. To say that my dad, a civil engineer, doesn’t really understand what the hell I do all day is an understatement, but he got a taste of it on Sunday night and it gave me a sense of satisfaction that’s hard to explain.

I became a hockey fan because of my dad. When I was a kid, he used to take me to as many Oilers games as he could and going to the Northlands Coliseum Skyreach Center Rexall Place indirectly lead me to this job 20-some years later. While there’s nothing I can do to repay him for all of those moments that created my Oilers obsession, being able to take him to his first ever playoff game, and watching him enjoy every moment, was worth more than the tickets and for that I’m grateful.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • Being at the game on Sunday night was absolute magic. Not only was Rogers Place bumpin’, but it was also one of the greatest games I’ve ever personally been to. The only thing I can really think of that compares was when I was at the OT game back in 2006 when Ryan Smyth got his teeth knocked out and then came back to get an assist on Horcoff’s game winner. Obviously, the two situations were drastically different but the vibe inside the building was familiar.
  • After getting home from Rogers Place, I was obsessed with watching highlights and going on Twitter to check out all of the stuff that I missed. My absolute favourite moment that I didn’t really get to see at the time was Zack Kassian’s goal celebration. The way he celebrated with the fans was magic and I just wish there was a camera angle from the other side to see the face he was making from the other side. All I know for sure is that Kassian and dude behind the glass really shared a moment there. Check it out below:

  • Shout out to the Oilers for donating bags full of lids from Leon Draisaitl’s hat trick to the Bissell Centre, Hope Mission, and Operation Friendship. My hat was probably among those included in the donation and I’m happy to see that it didn’t just end up in a garbage somewhere.
  • Speaking of the hats, Cam Talbot said in his post-game interview that he’s never seen so many hats hit the ice after a player popped in three goals. I was sitting behind the Oilers bench on Sunday and, because of my seats, I ended up being one of the first to throw my hat onto the ice and it was amazing to see them all continuing to rain down for over a minute.
  • The Oilers loaned William Lagesson to Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2017-18 season. To me, having the Oilers loaning their players to other pro leagues makes a bunch of sense as it allows them to gain some experience while also maintaining a comfort zone. I dig it.
  • Is anyone else cracking up at Eric Gryba’s #GrillingWithGryba Instagram posts throughout the playoffs? It was only a matter of time before he did some duck, and it cracked me up even though it was the most obvious joke ever.
  • How amazing are Edmonton Oilers fans? How about a watch party selling out in two minutes? I don’t care what anybody says, Oilers fans are some of the most passionate human beings on the planet.
  • JudgeDredd

    Game 5 vs San Jose was the first game my father and I had gone to since i was a kid (33 now) it was both of ours first playoff game too and his first game at Rogers. Seeing the smile on his face and being able to cheer for our Oilers is something i will never forget!!

    GO OILERS GO

  • D

    Thanks for sharing the Dad story BaggedMilk. That is really awesome. I went to playoff games in Edmonton in the 1980s with my Dad and was able to take him to one in San Jose and one in Anaheim this year. We’re also going to Game 7 tomorrow. These moments are gold.

  • CRONENBERG

    Did my comment get deleted 🙁 They gave ‘McDaniel’ an honourable mention! I took a screen shot!
    Either way, great article. There’s nothing I’d like more than to be able to take my dad to a game.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    One thing I do know is that the 500 oilers fans in the stands tomorrow night will be just as loud as the 17,000 duck fans and louder than the 2,000 empty seats!

  • geoilersgist

    I look forward to creating these memories with my kids soon enough. My daughter keeps asking for me to take her to a game a Rogers Place. Wish I could get up there this year, unlikely as I just started working again. Next year though, it is on like Donkey Kong. LETS GO OILERS LETS GO!!!!!

  • GPMUDDER

    Never got to go to an NHL Oilers game with my dad. We did see a couple of WHA games way back in the day.
    One story I do have though is heading down to Jasper have after the first cup win with my buddies, and who do we see on the corner with a case of beer under his arm and a black eye. I remember yelling DAD? Him with his newly bald head (chemo) just looking at me with the biggest smile! After that he was the coolest Dad to my buds, but always was and is to me. R.I.P Jack!! GO OILERS GO!

  • Alberta Ice

    The Sportsnet site has a great post on game 7 finals involving the Oilers. Many great memories; but some not so nice. (One of my close friends was at the infamous 1986 BOA 7th game and was disappointed he did not grab Steve Smith’s broken stick after that game. That was a low light 7th game.) Let’s trust we get a new string of high light 7th game memories going on this marvellous Oilers TEAM 2017 run to the Cup.

  • Jay (not J)

    That Kassian celebration reminded me of a Randy Moss SI cover from many years back. it would have been a great shot if someone got it, but I was just as impressed by a whole section of rabid Oiler fans who didn’t have their phones in their hands and were just enjoying an amazing moment. (Even in light of game 5, there was something about that goal right after the Ducks’ timeout which signaled a long night for the visitors.)

  • Anton CP

    I’m expecting about a quarter to one-third of the Honda Center will be filled with the Oilers fans. Californians aren’t that interested in hockey and with the passion of the Oilers fans that they will buy every available tickets to fly down Anaheim to watch the game 7.

  • Dustin Terpstra

    Sunday was the first playoff game I got to share with my Dad as well. I lived in southern Alberta for the 05-06 cup run so I didn’t make any games that year. I got to go to Game 1 of the San Jose series and Game 4 of the ducks series but sitting watching a game with Dad has always been one of my favorite things to do. The fact that it was a 7-1 beat down was just the cherry on top.

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Not a Dad story but I took my Mom to game 2 of the San Jose series. (I’d asked Pops if he wanted to take her but he has trouble with the steep stairs and tight knee space of the Upper Bowl and declined.). Anyways Mom had tears in her eyes through the whole game. She still thumped me for not being nice when I joined in a ‘Refs You Suck’ chant though…

    We left with her saying she really likes that Kassian fellow… if you’d told me even just two years ago that my Mom would be impressed by Zack Kassian I would have laughed you out of the building… Man the world is a weird place…

    • Leaking5w-30

      Love this story . Reminds my of my second game with my dad when I joined in a $hlt goal chant. I was too young to know it was a bad word… but that didn’t save me

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