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.
- 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:
— Round 2 Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) May 8, 2017
- 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.