Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Great Oilers Moment #8

8. Upsetting the Canadiens

The year was 1981. The Oilers finished 6 games below .500 in the regular season (good enough for the 14th seed in the NHL) and as a result of the playoff format at the time, had to play the #3 seed…the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens of 1981 were still a hockey powerhouse featuring the likes of Guy Lafleur and Larry Robinson, so needless to say there was plenty of scepticism heading into this one, even by the Oilers players. The Canadiens expected an easy win, and Lafleur even told the Montreal press that he would put Gretzky “in [his] hip pocket.” It obviously made for good bulletin board material in the Oilers locker room because in Game 1 of the series, the Oilers won 6-3 with Gretzky recording 5 assists. They won Game 2 by a score of 3-1 and after two losses at the Forum, the Habs were shocked. The Oilers put the series away in Game 3 when Mark Napier gave the puck away to Gretzky who turned it into a short-handed goal, giving the Oilers a 4-2 lead. They would go on to win the game 6-2 and complete the sweep of the Canadiens.

This moment provided the hockey world with a glimpse of the kind of team the Oilers would become and galvanized the fan base in Edmonton. Unfortunately, the Oilers would lose in the quarter-finals to the eventual champions, the New York Islanders.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Great Oilers Moment #9

9. Todd Marchant Eliminates the Stars

I know that some fans have grown to hate Todd Marchant because of the Oilers’ recent series with the Ducks, but I just have to say that those fans are retarded. Todd deserves a pass because of his (relatively) recent contribution to Oilers history.

1997 saw the return of the Oilers to the post-season after missing the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons. As such, the expectations were fairly low, but the team featured rising stars such as Doug Weight, Curtis Joseph and Ryan Smyth. In a way, this was also the ownership’s last gasp at glory before things really started to come unglued for him.

One of the best moments of that series happened in Game 3. Down 3-0 with about 4 minutes left to play, the Oilers somehow tied it up to send it to overtime and Kelly Buchberger scored the game winner. Most of the fans had already left by that time, and when they heard what was going on, they turned their cars around and headed back to Skyreach. The series would end up going to Game 7 in Dallas. The game was tied 3-3 after 60 minutes. In overtime, Joe Nieuwendyk was robbed by Curtis Joseph, even though he was badly out of position. A few shifts later, Todd Marchant took a pass from Doug Weight and beat former Oilers goalie Andy Moog over his shoulder, signalling to the Edmonton fans that the dark days were over and kickstarting a new heated rivalry with the Dallas Stars. This would turn out to be a very significant contribution to history, as the Oilers would meet the Stars five more times in the playoffs, and would lose to them each time.

The Oilers would go on to the second round only to lose in 5 games to the Colorado Avalanche.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Great Oilers Moment #10

Hopefully this will be educational for all the new Oilers fans out there. Welcome aboard the bandwagon, now learn a thing or two about what your new favourite team has done over the years.

10. 1985 Stanley Cup Win

The Oilers had captured their first Stanley Cup the season before, and they finished the '84-'85 season with 109 points. Only one team had a better record and that was the Philadelphia Flyers. And wouldn't you know it...they faced each other for the Stanley Cup.

I place this Stanley Cup victory at #10 simply because of the dominating fashion in which it was accomplished. Hockey fans love drama, and the Oilers didn't provide any of that. There was never any doubt from the get-go...the Oilers swept the Kings and Jets, beat the Blackhawks in 6, and beat the Flyers in 5. The series against Chicago saw the Oilers breaking the record for most goals scored in a playoff series with 44. This was actually a more memorable series than the Stanley Cup final...hell, the old Chicago Stadium had a mystique about it and it was a terrifying place for the visiting team. But the finals had a few notable moments...the Oilers kind of underestimated Pelle Lindbergh at first but after losing Game 1, they bounced back to win the next 4. Gretzky set an NHL record with 30 assists and 47 points in the playoffs and won the Conn Smythe Trophy for his efforts. Also, Paul Coffey shattered Bobby Orr's record for goals and assists by a defenceman in the playoffs with 12 goals and 25 assists. And when you consider that the Oilers hadn't beaten the Flyers in 8 straight games before this series, it just goes to show that regular season crap doesn't count for too much in the playoffs.

Still, fans certainly didn't complain about winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, but people tend to always remember the win in 1984, and this one is always the afterthought. I think that some fans take this one for granted, but when you win the Stanley Cup in only 18 games, it means you're the real deal.

I like ice hockey

The last time the Oilers made it this far, the Soviet Union was decaying, Saddam was getting all ready to invade Kuwait, the world was mourning the death of Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson, all the kids were listening to MC Hammer and New Kids on the Block, people tuned into Twin Peaks to find they had absolutely no idea what was going on, and Lucien Bouchard had just formed the Bloc Quebecois.

We started getting drunk at 4:30 at Boston Pizza and stayed there for the duration of the game. I have to say it wasn't looking very good at the end when the Ducks got there 6-on-3 power play, but somehow the Oilers managed to hold on to win. Then we went rioting down Whyte Ave., and I was quite impressed that the police closed it off to vehicle traffic. It was really quite something, but there were too many people doing the forbidden "We want the ____" chant. Hopefully, the hockey gods weren't listening.

Starting Monday: In honour of the Oilers 7th trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, I will be putting up the top 10 Oilers moments of all time.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Photo captions

This photo appeared in the Calgary Herald, and is hilarious. I think it was taken just after Pronger knocked Teemu's ass to the ground.

Now, what could they have been saying at the time? Here are a few suggestions:

Ref: Now I didn't say that you were the 3 stooges, just that you reminded me of them.
Pronger: There is no way that I look anything like either Curly or Shemp!
Horcoff: Horc but pawn in game of life.
D-Wayne: Whoa... I can see up your nose!

"D-Wayne, it's not YOU, it's ME... I just need some space, to get things figured out for myself..."

D-Wayne: "Hey you hoser...that was the last beer eh! They might just kill you."


Any others?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

5 more wins

Wow...who would have thought that after I wrote this post in October that MacTavish would eventually turn those 7 losses in a row around into 7 wins in a row in the playoffs! I certainly didn't, so I thought it's only fair that I come back with a MacTavish photo stamped with the word "genius" even with his brain fart tonight which caused the Oilers to flush their time out. And if MacT deserves that honour, then surely Kevin Lowe does as well...

No update for the Roloson Watch right now (I left all the stats at work and I'm not about to go back and calculate it all over again) but as for the Peca Watch, with his goal and assist tonight, his point streak is now at 6 games.

Oh, and if the Oilers fans start chanting "We want the..." well, I won't finish what they said because it carries such a strong jinx, but it rhymes with "pup." If they start cheering that again, I think I am going to have to start cheering for the L.A. Kings. The Hockey Gods, infuriated by this display of hubris by the fans and by Georges Laraque, rewarded the Ducks with 4 third period goals in the span of 11 minutes as thunder and lightning crashed and rumbled over Rexall Place. They did the same thing to the Calgary Flames in 2004. As Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final sat tied going into double overtime, the fans rocked the Saddledome with the "We want the ____" cheer. The Hockey Gods rewarded Martin St. Louis with a quick goal and I guess they were still pissed off two days later for Game 7 because the Lightning went on to win the Cup. I'm hoping we didn't piss them off that badly since they decided the Oilers should still win the game despite such arrogance, but should the Ducks come back to win the next four, everyone will know why.

Roloson Watch - Updated

Through the last 8 games, D-Wayne has a 1.62 GAA of and a 0.942 save percentage. In the 3rd round, it's 1.00 and 0.970 so far. Should the Oilers manage to get past the Ducks (it takes FOUR wins to win a series, more, no less) I think D-Wayne should be strongly considered for the Conn Smythe. He's giving the Oilers the opportunity to win every night, something they couldn't get from having Bozo the Clown in net for most of the regular season.

And I suppose we can start a Mike Peca watch...his point streak is at 5 games now. Who'd have thunk it? I guess my brother did, but who else? Kevin Lowe perhaps?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

NHL Playoffs: Round 3

And then there were four! The last time the Oilers were this far in the playoffs, Serbian troops had just seized Sarajevo, Barney and Friends was making its debut on TV, LA was rioting over the Rodney King verdict, John Gotti was arrested and sentenced to life in prison, "Jump" by Kris Kross was all over the radio and in your tape deck and kids started wearing their jeans backwards, and fucking Sinead O'Connor ripped up a picture of the Pope. It has certainly been a while.

Stats will be done a little bit differently this time since I have some playoff numbers I can use...

(8) Edmonton vs. (6) Anaheim: Can anyone believe that this matchup is taking place? If anyone had told me at the beginning of the season that the Oilers were going to make the third round of the playoffs, I would have laughed, patted them on the head, and called them a good little delusional Oilers fan. I'm going to enjoy this and savour every moment of it, since every team goes through their ups and downs and I have no clue when we might make it this far again. Anyway, looks like D-Wayne's old demons come back to haunt him. Remember in 2003 when the 7th place Mighty Ducks swept D-Wayne and the 6th place Wild in 4 games? However, the shoe is on the other foot now as the Oilers went 4-0 against the Ducks this season. That can be a major psychological road block in the mind of the opponent. But 6 playoff wins in a row? That's impressive. I'm not worried about the Oilers starting this series so soon after finishing the last one, but they always seem to play like shite after a long break. I'm not worried about the Ducks being rusty either...I think that's bunk. I realize I haven't given the Ducks much respect this postseason as I've picked against them both times. Unfortunately, my crystal ball has now become obscured with a thick cloud of homerism, so all I can see is the Oilers in 7.

EDM goals 3.17 per game vs. ANA 1.82 goals against per game
EDM goals against 2.42 per game vs. ANA goals 3.00 per game

EDM 20.9% powerplay vs. ANA 91.0% penalty kill
EDM 86.7% penalty kill vs. ANA 12.7% powerplay

EDM shots 27.8 per game vs. ANA 27.1 shots allowed per game
EDM shots 34.4 allowed per game vs. ANA 31.4 shots per game

A few more interesting stats:
1) Edmonton has never lost when they outshoot their opponents. Conversely, Anaheim has never lost when outshot by their opponent. Something has to give here. That being said, Anaheim has taken more shots than they have allowed on average and the opposite is true for Edmonton. Weird!
2) Edmonton has never lost when leading after 1 period. Anaheim has never lost when leading after the 1 period and after 2 periods. Methinks it has something to do with all the shutouts they've been getting. Clearly, it is important that Anaheim never holds a lead when the horn goes, yes? See #3 below...
3) Anaheim has never lost when they score first. Also something to do with all the shutouts.
4) Just to update the Roloson Watch, in 6 games in the second round, D-Wayne had a 1.81 GAA and a 0.931 save percentage. Still good enough to start on my team, but compare that to Bryzgalov who had a 0.94 GAA and a 0.967 save percentage in the second round. This will be the battle of the goaltenders.

(4) Buffalo vs. (2) Carolina: What happened to Brodeur? I mentioned that Cam Ward was not to be fucked with in my round two predictions, and it seems like that's just what the Devils did, hence why they're now out of the playoffs. They couldn't score to save their lives. Other than that, I completely missed the mark on the Carolina/New Jersey series. I was very pleased that it only took the Sabres 5 games to dispose of the Senators instead of 7 like I had thought. However, Buffalo won all of their games by only one goal with 3 of them needing to be decided in OT. It could easily be the Senators in this one if they had better luck. Buffalo has all the depth, but Canes are just that good at home. If Buffalo stays out of the penalty box, it will prolong the series and if not, they're in real trouble. Of course I'll be cheering for the Sabres so my Stanley Cup prediction of Dallas/Buffalo can at least be half right. Hurricanes in 6.

BUF 3.91 goals per game vs. CAR 2.46 goals against per game
BUF 2.46 goals against per game vs. CAR 2.91 goals per game

BUF 15.4% powerplay vs. CAR 84.5% penalty kill
BUF 85.2% penalty kill vs. CAR 27.8% powerplay

BUF 29.4 shots per game vs. CAR 26.5 shots allowed per game
BUF 29.9 shots allowed per game vs. CAR 33.0 shots per game

Monday, May 15, 2006

Black Sheep

"Oh man...I'm so high...I have no idea what's goin' on..."
"Hey Marcus, the Miami Dolphins want to offer you a contract!"
"The Miami who???"

I knew sooner or later somebody was going to roll the dice and pick up Mike Vick's little brother, but I laughed and laughed when I heard it was the Dolphins. They shove one pot smoker out the front door and another one comes right in the back door. This makes Marcus the fourth QB the Dolphins have brought in, joining Culpepper, Harrington, and pre-season superstar Cleo Lemon. Little Vick is listed as being a QB/WR/SP so basically, they have no idea what to do with him at this time.

Anyway, as far as cases of locker room cancer go, Little Vick is a real dandy. Let's have a look at his college career:

-Arrested for providing booze to three underaged girls
-Arrested for reckless driving and possession of marijuana
-Had sex with a fifteen year old girl
-Flipped the bird to the crowd during a game in West Virginia
-Elbowed West Virginia's coach in the back of the head during the same game
-Intentionally stomped the leg of DE Elvis Dumervil during the 2006 Gator Bowl
-Arrested for misdemeanour charge of driving on a suspended or revoked license
-Charged with 3 counts of brandishing a firearm, 2 days after declaring himself draft eligible

If that's what he can do in college, I can't wait to see him move his shenanigans up to the next level in the pros.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What a week it has been...

Ever had a day where you just want to curl up and wish your life still followed some old boring routine from the past? It's been one of those days all week. If every week was like this one, I probably wouldn't live to see the end of the summer. Far too many things going on and too many goddamn extreme highs and lows. Let's recap:

Reffing football and birthday party for my brother. The entire family shows up at my house. It's also the Game 1 of the Oilers/Sharks series, which they lose by a score of 2-1. The Oilers played pretty crappily, I'm sorry to say.

It's my first day at my new job all by myself. Things are pretty overwhelming on the first day and everything seems to take me forever. Time just flies by and before I know it, it's 2:30, meaning I've stayed half an hour later than I was supposed to. Before I leave, though, I check my grades on Beartracks like I'd been doing (obsessively) for the past week. They're all up and I have 2 B's, 1 C, and 2 D's. I declare to everyone in the lab that I've passed and will actually be graduating. I had made plans with Weeds to watch Game 2 at the E & C so I have some time to kill. I call Weeds but she's at a job interview and Mick wasn't around either. So I go to Southgate to pick up Mother's Day crap and then I go back to Weeds' place and we drimk 6 bottles of Pil each and then head over to the E & C. I don't remember much of the first period. I had chicken wings and a Bud, and then passed out in the first intermission from being so goddamned tired and wake up with 13 minutes left in the 2nd period. Real nice, eh? The Oilers go on to lose by a score of 2-1 again and I realize that it's getting pretty late, so Weeds let's me crash at her place. I pass out around 12:30 and wake up at 5:15 for work.

Not a lot happens (the calm before the storm?) Miraculously, I make it through my work day without passing out and I head straight home for a nap before football practice. However, I nearly fall asleep at the wheel on my way there. Practice is held indoors tonight because the city closes all the fields after it rains. I'm not a big fan of indoor practice. After it's over, I drive home again and go straight to bed.

Same old work day, and I'm killing time at the end of the day, visiting various websites. For some reason, I go back to Beartracks and click the "view my graduation status" link. It comes up as "Denied." I find myself at a loss for words, but I drive home anyway. When I get home, there is a message on my cell phone. It's from some advisor with the faculty of science named Kevin. He tells me that I'm too dumb to graduate, even with a general degree (not in those words obviously) and that I have to come back to complete a minor. I hang up use a movie reference, it's kind of like in Sideways when Miles finds out his book isn't getting published. Anyway, I go to practice at 7:00 and that completely takes my mind off everything until it's over at 9 and I have to face stupid reality again. Game 3 is on when I get home but I'm too embarrassed to hang out with my dad and my brother so I miss the whole thing, including all three overtime periods. I learn the next morning that the Oilers won 3-2.

I drag my ass into work. My co-workers notice that I'm shuffling along, quietly doing my job and not really saying much, and when several people ask me to comment on last night's game, I give them all the same answer: "Didn't watch it." When asked why not, I just shrug. It's as though part of me has died. So I get through my day at work avoiding talking to people where possible and when it's over, I head over to the university. I drop by the faculty office and ask about the requirements for a history minor, and they say I need 4 more courses instead of 2 like I had originally thought, so this has just gone from bad to worse. After this, I go up to see the immunology and infection advisor. I tell her what's going on and she tells me that something like this hasn't happened before. I tell her that it's stupid to need a 2.3 GPA in your last year because I've passed all the classes needed for this fucking degree and now they're telling me the sum of all the parts does not equal the whole. She leafs through the calendar trying to find where it actually states that a 2.3 GPA is required to be in good standing in the program unsuccessfully. She then promises to ask somebody else, the associate dean maybe. I tell her that I'll talk to her later and then I go. There's practice again tonight and after that, the team goes to the bar for a beer as is the custom after a Thursday practice.

The most boring day of work so far. I was actually fighting to stay awake after 9 AM. I e-mail the student ombudservice but the lady who works there is retarded and doesn't answer any of my questions. At the end of the day, I check my e-mail and my advisor has sent a message saying that my best option is to go into the general program and that I can fight the university about the calendar, but that she does not support this endeavour, sorry. I tell her that it's too bad she doesn't support it because NOBODY can find it in the damn calendar where a 2.3 GPA in the previous fall/winter constitutes good standing, but that it's okay because I don't need to spend 4 months and $2108.80 on anything better. It feels good to tell off a prof. I highly recommend it. Then I have to drive all the way out to the Park to pick up my Oiler tickets from Marc and then I go over to Weeds', we drink wine and then go to the game. The Sharks jump out to a 2-0 lead after their first two shots which kind of takes me out of the game and I'm almost falling asleep in my seat. However, after Horc scores, I'm wide awake ( When Samsonite scores to tie it up, the place goes nuts and when Gator scores to tie it up, I thought the roof was going to blow off the place. I'm pretty sure that this one stands as the best Oilers game I've ever been to. After they finish winning 6-3, we go down Whyte Ave. to see all the crazies and maybe some breasts. We don't stay long and I head home shortly after.

I catch up on a lot of sleep and head out to the Stallions/Seahawks exhibition game. When I get there at 4:45, most of the team is already there. I pick out the jersey which bears the closest number to 44, and it turns out to be #46. Anyway, the game turns out much as I had predicted it would...We ended up kicking off to them a lot which means that I got to see a lot of time on special teams (I got one special teams's always fun to hear the announcer say your name), but I didn't get much time on defence. For all the times I went in at corner, we went 2 and out, 3 and out, 2 and out, 1 and a turnover. So that was a good thing since we ended up winning the game 50-6. After that we went to Showgirls to celebrate and then I came home and started writing a blog post about my week.

Sorry this post is so long but I mainly just wrote it for myself. I'm looking forward to coming back and reading this a year from now and remembering all the crazy shit that's taken place this week.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Emergency Press Conference

Thank you all for coming...

The worst of my fears has come true. My application to graduate from university was denied. I thought I had it all worked out, but I was wrong...again. Apparently, I needed a 2.3 GPA to graduate and I only got a 2.1. In short, I'm going to need to take two more classes before they release me from their stranglehold. That means going back in the fall, something I swore I would never do. I guess that makes me a loser and a failure. A couple of people have already told me that nobody's going to think any less of me for it, but I think I'll let people make up their own damn minds. I'm a thumbprint on the window of a skyscraper. I'm a smudge of excrement on a tissue paper surging out to sea with a million tons of raw sewage.

Just thinking about it makes me want to retch. I have passed all the required courses for a degree in immunology. That means I've never failed a class and have never been on academic warning of any kind. So now they tell me that I'm not in good standing in the program? That's the definition of a joke. I realize that continuing in the program each year requires a 2.3 GPA but nobody who's graduating is continuing in the program. It's a joke. And so many idiots can get through this program, so why couldn't I? Maybe it's because those idiots never did anything fun during university and are all trying to get into med and grad studies and just pulled the average up. It doesn't matter that I know maybe 60% of what I should have learned from the program, but since everyone else knows a little more than me I can't get the degree? That is also a joke!

Anyway, the rest of 2006 is going to be hell for me. The other day I realized that I couldn't even stand to look at the university buildings anymore but it was all OK because I would never have to go back there. Now, I'll not only have to look at the buildings, I'll also have to look at the inside of the damn classrooms from the view of one of the fucking desks. As disgusting as this notion is, I'll see it through to the end. I've been called many bad things...a liar, a loser, a cheat, a fink, an asshole, but never a quitter.

Anyway, since you all know me as a failure now, I suppose there's no reason to keep The Project under wraps. I kept it quiet because it had a pretty high chance of failing, and thinking back on it, I wonder why I even thought I could do it in the first place. I had been considering taking on The Project for a couple of years now, but when I discovered how to work out and gain weight, that's when I realized it could actually happen.

Let me just say this: when the clock read all zeros on October 27, 2001 in Okotoks, as the Strathmore High School Spartans lost to the Holy Trinity Knights 49-7 in the Big Sky Conference Semi-Finals, I knew that I would never play another down of competitive football again in my life. I didn't think, I knew. Well, it turns out that I was wrong...yet again. The reason I was trying to gain 20 lbs. was that so I could play football again, and there was a team out there that was willing to give me a chance: The Edmonton Stallions of the Alberta Football League. The AFL can be described as a combination beer/semi-pro league, in that everyone in the league is playing only for the love of the game, but the calibre of play is really quite high. Many of the players have junior or university experience. In fact, a few players have gone to the professional ranks in Europe (which admittedly, aren't all that professional) straight out of this league. A former player has even signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. And now I'm a part of it, playing cornerback for the team that went 9-0 last season. Actually, it's not exactly finalized yet which is why I haven't brought it up until now, but it's highly unlikely I'm going to be cut loose from this at this point.

I know that some of you probably don't think it's a really big deal, but if that's what you think, fuck you. This has been a huge deal for me. It's made me believe that hard work and dedication toward a goal can lead to amazing results, something I haven't believed since the army rejected me for being allergic to peanuts. And as of this morning, it's pretty much the only reason I have for getting out of bed.

Anyway, that's what I'm doing this summer. I put our game schedule up under the Dumb Things I Gotta Do so hopefully you can make it out to a few games if you want. We do play twice at McMahon Stadium for you southerners out there, hopefully you can make it out.

I'll take your questions and comments now...

Roloson Watch

Through 3 games in this second round series, D-Wayne has a 1.65 GAA and a 0.941 save percentage.

Where are all the "We shoulda traded for Raycroft!!" or "We should have traded for Biron!!" armchair GMs now?

Friday, May 05, 2006

NHL Playoffs - Round Two

Well, my first round picks were roughly half right, so there's some room for improvement for sure. I won't comment too much on the Flames/Ducks fiasco, but I was somewhat relieved that the Flames/Oilers series didn't happen because deep down in places they don't talk about at parties, every Oilers fan knows that our team can't beat The Robot. Anyway, here are some more predictions that we can all have a good laugh at once this round is over:

(8) Edmonton vs. (5) San Jose: The Oilers are a confident bunch after disposing of the best team in the league. I think I should mention that everything I said about the Detroit/Edmonton series came true, and I just didn't have enough faith in my convictions to predict an Oilers win. The Oilers will certainly have their hands full trying to contain Marleau, Thornton and Cheechoo. This is where Mike Peca comes in, and I thought he did a fantastic job in the first round. Their bastardized version of the trap isn't going to work against the Sharks since they will go into the corners and battle for the puck unlike the Red Wings. As you will see below, the Oilers have a substantial advantage on special teams, and given their ability to keep pace with Detroit's unbelieveably good special teams, I think Craig Simpson must be a genius or something. And they will need to rely very heavily on their power play, since the Vesa Toskala allowed only 3 even strength goals in 5 games against Nashville. Oh yeah, and Pronger will have to continue to keep himself out of the penalty box. Sometimes I think he gets penalties just so he can take a friggin' break for a couple of minutes. Oilers in 7.

EDM #15 goals for vs. SJ #11 goals against
EDM #12 goals against vs. SJ #7 goals for

EDM #14 power play vs. SJ #23 penalty kill
EDM #8 penalty kill vs. SJ #13 power play

(7) Colorado vs. (6) Anaheim: I wonder how many Ducks fans scoffed at the notion of home ice advantage during the playoffs. I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours, but I think the hockey gods have a sick sense of humour because the Ducks had about 3,000 empty seats in each of their 3 games in the first round. The Ducks threw everything they had at the Flames and came away with a monumental upset. The Lanche are well-rested after only taking 5 games to beat the Stars so I question whether Anaheim has enough gas in the tank for this round. The Ducks are carrying a goaltending controversy with them into this one, although I think it would be silly not to start Ilya Bryzgalov. The Lanche had to steal games in OT against Dallas, so this series will at least be close. The Lanche will need to play better defensively and Theodore will have to step it up a notch. This alone will not win them a series against the Ducks, since Calgary was substantially better in both categories, but the Lanche have quite a few guys who can put the puck in the net. Avalanche in 6.

COL #4 goals for vs. ANA #7 goals against
COL #14 goals against vs. ANA #13 goals for

COL #9 power play vs. ANA #13 penalty kill
COL #6 penalty kill vs. ANA #15 power play

(4) Buffalo vs. (1) Ottawa: This looks like it will be the best series of the second round. Buffalo doesn't have a lot of playoff experience so the Senators have quite an edge in that department. The Senators took advantage of the Lightning's awful goaltending and scored plenty of goals in the first round. But the only reason the Philadelphia/Buffalo series was even close was because Buffalo let them back into it in Games 3 and 4. There was no reason they couldn't have won in 4 games. Hasek is doubtful for this series, and I don't know how much longer Ray Emery can get the job done. And did I mention how much I love Lindy Ruff as a coach? Sabres in 7.

BUF #5 goals for vs. OTT #2 goals against
BUF #10 goals against vs. OTT #1 goals for

BUF #3 power play vs. OTT #4 penalty kill
BUF #2 penalty kill vs. OTT #4 power play

(3) New Jersey vs. (2) Carolina: Don't look now, but the Devils' winning streak is now FIFTEEN in a row. The playoff version of Martin Brodeur is amazing as always. Cam Ward has emerged as the hot young goalie in this year's playoffs so he should be able to at least break the winning streak, but I certainly don't see him beating Brodeur head-to-head. Like most people I had counted out the Canes by Game 3 of the Montreal series, forgetting that a team must win 4 games to win the series. The Habs really came apart after losing their captain, scoring only 5 goals in the last 4 games of the series. I'm also worried about the long break for the Devils possibly killing their momentum, but I say Devils in 5 anyway.

NJ #22 goals for vs. CAR #20 goals against
NJ #9 goals against vs. CAR #3 goals for

NJ #18 power play vs. CAR #19 penalty kill
NJ #16 penalty kill vs. CAR #17 power play

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Cut the shit, sonny..."

I've been without internet for a week now as a result of moving. This represents my first blog post from work. Originally I thought I was working from 6-2 this week, but a power outage last week fucked up all the Bud yeast so I've been here doing all these tests, so I'll be working from 2 AM - 2 PM for a few days, and I'm not too happy about it.

How about that Game 6? To be outshot 17-2 in the 2nd period and then to complete the comeback in the 3rd by scoring 4 goals was incredible. Fernando was great, Roloson was the reason that game was even close, and I think that Oiler fans will be talking about "the time that Samsonov made that sweet pass to Hemsky who scored with 1:06 left in the game to win the series" for years to come.

More about hockey later. I'm posting this because I've been less than forthright about certain events in the past four months. The truth is that I've been working on something that we will dub "The Project" for right now. I've kept The Project as protected information because the last time I attempted something like this, it was a miserable failure and keeping The Project quiet would allow me to sweep it under the rug as if it had never happened in the event of a similar failure. Well, it doesn't look like that's going to happen anyway, but that's not a sure thing yet. Anyway, let's just recap some of my lies, half-truths, and details intentionally left out:

-I purposely tried to gain 20 lbs. in 12 weeks using a combination of a high calorie diet with lots of protein and weightlifting and no cardio to speak of. After 12 weeks was up, I started running again. You may recall that I never start a workout routine without a specific goal in mind, but I never said what that goal was. Why would somebody want to gain weight like that?
-My bank account is $776.15 lighter for reasons not related to school or living expenses. These were the funds required to get The Project off the ground.
-On Feb. 25, I mentioned going on a tour of the Maverick Brewing Company. When Gord asked me what my business there was, I didn't really have a good answer.
-When Labatt told me of their plan to get rid of the midnight shift, I vehemently refused to work afternoon shifts at any time during the summer without giving a reason.
-When asked about certain weekends this summer, I haven't been able to make any concrete plans with anybody. Examples include My Cousin Joey's keg party and certain events during the weekend of Convocation (June 10-11).
-On the weekend of March 17-19, Blobra and Vineyard paid me a visit. I requested that they be gone by 2:00 PM on the 19th, as I had a "thing" to go to. I had been disappearing like this every Sunday since Feb. 12 for a couple of hours in the afternoon, except for March 5, when I was at the Oiler game with Weeds.
-This one's a real mess. On Saturday (April 29), I declined an invitation to go the E & C to watch the Oiler game. At 11 AM, my dad and my brother showed up at my house with a U-Haul to find that I was not at home. They picked up some of my stuff for me and didn't inquire into my absence, but I returned to the White House at 5:30 PM, with a slight sunburn on my face and arms. This 11-5:30 absence was repeated on Sunday as well. There are several stories circulating around as to where I was during this time, including reffing football, watching the game somewhere, at my house cleaning up, or moving stuff to and from St. Albert. Obviously, none of them are true.

All of these incidents are directly related to The Project. Go on and speculate as to what I'm up to, but I'll only make public the nature of The Project when the time is right and I know that it's a done deal. That should be in a week or two.