Wednesday, June 07, 2006

NHL Finals

Ok, we moved offices and all my spare time has been taken up with hockey, boozin' and Hitman: Blood Money. Anyway, on to the Finals....

Before the series started, I picked the Oilers. They were the 8th seed in the West and knocked off every team that, on paper, were better than them. Goaltender Roloson played amazing throughout the playoffs, and the entire Oilers team played gritty, but skilled hockey.

Then, the Finals started. I thought the Oilers outplayed the Hurricanes through the first half of the game, then Carolina stormed back. After leading 3-0 in the 2nd period the Oilers gave up 4 unanswered goals. Roloson played great, but Cam Ward was amazing. The Oilers were pressuring and tied the game, then the nightmare happened. Roloson, Conn Smythe candidate, out for the Finals in Game 1. Oilers lose on a misplayed puck by an inexperienced goalie thrown into a tied Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals with less than 5 minutes left.

I just watched Game 2, and I have to say, although they were spanked, I thought the Oilers played well in the 1st period, and Markkanen played pretty good for a guy who hasn't seen game time in over 3 months. But Cam Ward was great again, and the Oilers just couldn't score. In my opinion, the reason the Oilers lost tonight was the fact that they wouldn't shoot on the power play. They looked aggressive to start the game, everyone taking shots, but on the power play, they just looked like they were looking for a "pretty" goal. You can say what you want about the goalie in a 5-0 loss, but if you want to be real, a goalie who makes 55 saves and loses a game 1-0 was AWESOME. Too bad his team didn't score. Carolina won Game 1 5-4, but both goaltenders were great. The Oilers failed to score tonight, so the loss is not all Markkanen's fault.

Anyway, I'm hoping the Oilers win both games at home, and that McTavish starts Conklin (he was the original backup for a reason [3-0 to close the season at the end of April; Markkanen hadn't played since March 1st]). He probably won't, but I think this Oilers team can come back. Go Oilers! Saturday, 5:00 Pacific, CBC and NBC (I recomend CBC).


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