G2 11-12 Oilers at Wild

As a kid, I feared nothing more than the family trips up the Fraser Canyon. My Dad would drive the ’53 Flathead Ford from Whonnock to Hope, we’d stop for awhile while he filled up and then it was game on. I remember it like it was yesterday–the old man having a wonderful time negotiating the turns in a car that (despite the look) could flat out fly–while my Mom would (with trembling voice) say “I-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ra” 500 times, in the way you’d hear in a Vincent Price movie (including echo). I swear to you I still drive that route in my dreams, through the tunnels and the turns, through Hell’s Gate and on to the fruit stands that meant we’d arrived for summer vacation. Despite all the bother the old man brought it in on time without a scratch every year. Miss that guy.

The thing about dreams like that one (this is a photo from about 1960, a few years before I was in the back of the Ford) is that they end. Not quite nightmare quality, there’s excitement in them and since the dream has been experienced before (and the outcome is known) there’s also joy in the little things. I can still remember that massive steering wheel (seriously. If you’ve never seen a big old car from that era, check the steering wheel. You’ll laugh out loud) and the way Dad used to time the engine by listening to its hum (not bragging, the guy could fix any engine).

My experience with the Minnesota Wild is the exact opposite. There is no joy–at all–in the game, and that little bit of hope one has for the Oilers is shot dead as soon as Minnesota scores the first goal. Oh, and by the way the always score the first goal.

Oilers might as well start Khabibulin tonight, hell start both goalies it won’t make a difference. I blame Jacques Lemaire, he poisoned the water hole in Toy Story, he destroyed the beauty and poetry of hockey, he cracked the block of that flathead Ford.

See you in Hell’s (gate) Jacques.

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