HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA

My brother and I used to play outside on Saturdays, sometimes against the Schwartz kids but mostly one on one. The goalie was two 10-gallon buckets and the goal was a sawhorse and there wasn’t a lot of room. We’d come in frozen in time for Bugs Bunny (seriously. Bugs Bunny) and then HNIC followed every Saturday.

In my mind’s eye, I remember them all like it was yesterday. Bobby Orr, the kid so incredible even my Dad said nice things about him (my Dad hated the Bruins because of their hair, but never said a discouraging word about Orr. He’d have held Derek Sanderson down and shaved his head for free, though. The Bruins, according to my Dad, were “hippies” and “hoods” and hoods were the absolute worst. Maybe that’s why I loved the Bruins).

My Grandma loved the Leafs, even after the rest of the family left them (Dad stopped talking about the Leafs after the Frank Mahovlich trade which I remember extremely well) she hung in there. Grandma loved Mike Palmateer, but she’d yell at him for leaving the net. “Get back in there!” she’d yell. I miss her, she was a terrific woman. One time the Leafs were on HNIC in a snowstorm and the antenna on the roof moved so we didn’t get a good picture. She sent Grandpa up on the roof in that storm, just because she couldn’t see Dave Keon.

Keon was a wonder, especially on the PK. Dave Keon was very fast and smart, those two things being important to the PK. They used to give the good linemates to Norm Ullman and Keon would get the grunge or the kids, but soon enough they’d be scoring too.

The fastest men I remember were Yvan Cournoyer–I hated the Habs, but he’d bring chills to your spine, the guy was electric–and little Oakland Seal Bobby Sheehan. They interviewed him one night on HNIC, I watched intently while holding this hockey card

sheehan2

and I saw Cournoyer take Minnesota’s Cesare Maniago’s head clean off (almost) with a slap shot just inside the blueline. The Flyers were on sometimes, Bobby Clarke was always the big story. Mostly it was the original 6, the Hawks with brilliant Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita but also men like Cliff Koroll and Eric Nesterenko. The Rangers were on plenty too, its funny but they were the team with helmets according to my memory but Bruce MacGregor is the only name I recall wearing one for them during that period.

It was a lot about the Habs getting every damn call you could think of, and hating them for it. It was a lot about the Bruins and their offense, about the Leafs and their young defense and about those hours on Saturday night when the television was on while the adults drank beer, played cards and asked me for the score (I always watched the game, usually with the adults to start and then they’d go play cards but keep one eye on the game).

sc 85

By the time the Oilers started winning Stanley’s I was an adult, but the HNIC experience was still strong in the playoffs. I remember the night EDM won their first Stanley, the pass from Kurri to 99 on a two-team line change everyone but the two HOFers agreed on and the two Pat Lafontaine goals that had us holding our breath for half an hour. I remember G7 in 1987 and the pure joy of 1990. In 2006 spring my wife and kids watched the Stanley run with me–just like it had been so many years ago with my Dad–and I genuinely hope we get to do that again someday.

HNIC is probably coming off the CBC in a year or two and it’ll get a facelift and a fresh coat of paint. I don’t think it will matter–hockey on Saturday in Canada remains a beautiful tradition. I think my Dad would be pleased that its one of our shared experiences I still hold dear. I might be able to get him to sit down and watch for awhile. He might even like some of the haircuts. He’d be pissed about the lockout (God Almighty I don’t know what he’d say but it wouldn’t be good), but I’d get him talking about the Mahovlich trade before the first goal and he’d be swearing at the Habs by intermission.

Time to welcome back the hoods and hippies. Our beautiful game is once again under the bright lights of the big league. It’s Hockey Night in Canada.

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147 Responses to "HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA"

  1. HBomb says:

    About damn time.

    That being said, sad news from the baseball world hitting Twitter a few minutes ago – Earl Weaver apparently passed away last night. Figured this was worth a mention here.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Aw, shit. Earl Weaver. I didn’t know what a platoon was until Earl Weaver and his handling of rookie starting pitchers (bullpen year one) remains the best plan. Crap. Sail on, Earl.

    He used to do postgame interviews naked. Seriously. 20 scribes in jackets and Earl with the Johnson in the pure light of day.

  3. leadfarmer says:

    I see NBC is opening with its standard Philly vs Pittsburgh matchup. I swear they rotate the same 4 east coast teams.

  4. leadfarmer says:

    In case your wondering why I’ve been commenting a lot more lately, I am studying for my boards so all procrastination efforts have been doubled.

  5. HBomb says:

    leadfarmer:
    I see NBC is opening with its standard Philly vs Pittsburgh matchup.I swear they rotate the same 4 east coast teams.

    I, for one, am not the least bit upset about this. The playoff series last spring was insane.

  6. Woodguy says:

    Kinda glad the Oilers aren’t playing tonight since my day got booked up for me.

    Based on all reports, the fans are back and more rabid than ever.

    HD TV (the main driver of NHL growth in the US imo) is only getting better.

    The US economy is heating up, Canada’s remains at a reasonable level out East and the West Coast and hot in the Prairies.

    The cap for next year is set at $64.3MM, but it might bounce right back to $70MM the year after.

    I agree with Mirtle. The cap might be at $90MM by the time the CBA gets to its opt out year.

    Heady times for Gary’s league.

  7. mumbai max says:

    Yup, Saturday HNIC was great, but for me nothing matched Sunday afternoon radio hockey. I grew up in B.C. so it was always afternoon. Curled up on the floor in front of the fire. We had a HUGE old radio that stood on four spindly legs. There was a dead moth trapped in the dial. Still is. It was almost always original 6, and it always Toronto or Montreal . Danny Gallivan. Foster Hewitt and later Bob Cole. Thrills up my spine when it was from Madison Square Garden, the most famous venue for everything. Chicago with their blasting foghorn. Detroit with Gordie and the boys. And as a Ranger fan the home of my arch enemy, tiny Boston Garden. Yes we had Park, but they had Orr. We had Ratelle, Hadfield and Rod, but they always got trumped by Esposito, Hodge and the hated Wayne Cashman.

    I still love radio hockey but without Gallivan, Cole and Rod it has lost its lustre. That being said my
    default is to turn the t.v. off and turn on the radio.

    Now I live in Bombay. I could watch game 1 of the season on the Al Gore, but you will not be surprised to hear that instead I will relish every minute, lying on the couch imagining the game bought to me by Jack and Bob.

    Go oil Go.

  8. HiddenDarts says:

    Great reminiscence as usual, LT. Love the Seals card. After reading Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the Seals: Hockey’s Most Colorful Team, I went out and bought this gem:

    http://www.glassbangers.com/products/California-Seals-t%252dshirt.html

    Love it. Sad I missed the era (I was born in the middle of it!), but the 80s were a pretty great time for hockey.

    Looking forward to LA-CHI and TOR-MON today and tonight respectively.

    Time to see just how good this hockeystreams subscription is. I dumped the Gamecenter for now, but if streams is weak, I’ll probably go back.

  9. Woodguy says:

    So is BOS going to keep Hamilton all year and is MIN going to keep Dumba all year?

    Seems like an awful waste of an ELC year for a young Dman.

    You could say the same for Yak, but as a forward he can be protected more and if he doesn’t make the NHL team, then he plays in the KHL and its probably best to keep him in EDM.

    I see TOR sent Rilley back.

    Is it only 2 NHL games before the contract kicks in this year instead of the usual 9?

  10. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    So is BOS going to keep Hamilton all year and is MIN going to keep Dumba all year?

    Seems like an awful waste of an ELC year for a young Dman.

    You could say the same for Yak, but as a forward he can be protected more and if he doesn’t make the NHL team, then he plays in the KHL and its probably best to keep him in EDM.

    I see TOR sent Rilley back.

    Is it only 2 NHL games before the contract kicks in this year instead of the usual 9?

    The Leafs have a lot of D that they did not want to lose on waivers, and who they want to evaluate and decide who they want to keep.

    The NHL season will extend far beyond the end of the CHL season. I think the Leafs plan for Rielly this year is finish the CHL season, then finish the AHL season (a la Eberle), and then maybe tack on the 5 games in the NHL at the very end.

  11. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:

    The US economy is heating up, Canada’s remains at a reasonable level out East and the West Coast and hot in the Prairies.

    The US “recovery” may just be a mirage. The postman always rings twice.

    Europe, Japan, the US, Canada, China…all look to me pretty much (to varying degrees) of bugs looking for a windshield. And in this case, the domino theory applies. If one of the big four bugs finds its windshield, they all will.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Touching tales LT!

    Your family sounds like a riot.

    My Dad learned me on hockey like most. In BC he was a Habs fan, but with the expansions he lost any loyalty. However, he was always insistent on one point: The Canucks are a bunch of classless bums. The cog driving his hatred was a single episode involving the Gare family (many of whom have an Oiler connection).

    His memory is more emotional than accurate and I can’t ever get the “details” such as they are straight… but the crux is that one of the Gares was playing against the nucks at the old Pac. Coliseum and at some point in the game (before, after, intermission, not sure), the announcer honored one of the other Gares because he was retiring for something, or for his contribution to something off-ice… and the story goes that the fans booed this other Gare (I’m guessing it was Danny and Morey… but not sure). The first Gare was later interviewed and said something like “This town never had any class did it?” which sounds like something someone from Nelson might say about Vancouver.

    Most of this is probably lost or fabricated by shoddy memory and enhanced by time…

    But somehow this event left an indelible affect with my Dad… one of unspeakable disgust, which he lovingly passed on to me.

    So, you see… I come by my hatred of the Nucks honestly, via the pater familias

  13. Bar_Qu says:

    I’m not there yet, still feelin’ it from the lockout, but i will still watch tomorrow, or at least as much as the kids will let me. ;-)

  14. LP says:

    Thank god hockey is finally back!!

    Didn’t see any news of this, was wondering if there will be some radio shows coming up LT?

  15. Dipstick says:

    I was hoping we would have Nation Radio today. Is it coming back? If so, when?

  16. Lowetide says:

    Rom: Thanks, and love that story. I remember the Pacific Coliseum well, went there many times in the 1970s for Jehovah’s Witness conventions. There I am, in an NHL building in July–having never seen an NHL game–listening to 12 hours of talks about the world coming to an end.

    And they say God has no sense of humor! :-)

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    leadfarmer:
    I see NBC is opening with its standard Philly vs Pittsburgh matchup.I swear they rotate the same 4 east coast teams.

    Did you see this:

    http://deadspin.com/5976808/nbcs-nhl-promo-tries-to-rewrite-last-seasons-playoff-results

    also good luck with the exams.

    (you may need to pull the plug on the modem at some point)

  18. dawgtoy says:

    My memories of the 80′s were filled with 630 Ched and a Hall Of Famer named Rod. Those days the Oilers weren’t televised as much as today, if a kid wanted his Oiler fix, it often had to be on Radio. We’d turn the radio on in the kitchen and listen. Once homework was finished, the crib board would come out. We’d anxiously listen to the game, and in the meantime I’d try and stack the deck. My dad would still peg like a mad man and eventually make it close, but invariably I’d often win somehow. I’d be wearing the number 7 Jersey of my fave Oil of the day. That eventually became a number 11. I’d often be allowed to stay up and listen, and Rod could make every game sound like the Stanley Cup final. When we’d watch on TV, we’d still have the Radio on, as nothing beat Rod Phillips.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Re: Nation Radio. I’m hopeful, but have no updates today.

  20. regwald says:

    Woodguy:

    Is it only 2 NHL games before the contract kicks in this year instead of the usual 9?

    It is 5 games for this year only because of the shortened season as per McKenzie. Game 6 burns a contract year.

  21. Woodguy says:

    regwald,

    Thanks Reg.

  22. Woodguy says:

    Bohologo:
    Bless you LT for keeping the faith during the lockout, and keeping the faithful huddled together here on this small but cozy corner of the net.

    Took my eldest for a skate today on one of those bright and chilly Moscow days that make me think I’m back in Edmonton.There was a young kid in a Caps Ovechkin sweater shooting it around, but when he saw my old school Oilers colours he said Gretzky was his favourite player (amazing for a 10 year old in Russia-he even knew 99 used to put baby powder on his blade). An older guy with a shovel who saw the orange and blue and told me, the Oilers, now that was an excellent team.

    At Red Army games here they sell banners that say: Hockey Is Our Game.

    I think the game is for anyone who still loves the thrill of the ice on a sunny winter day, no matter where, no matter what age.

    Pretty great story, top to bottom.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:
    Bless you LT for keeping the faith during the lockout, and keeping the faithful huddled together here on this small but cozy corner of the net.

    Took my eldest for a skate today on one of those bright and chilly Moscow days that make me think I’m back in Edmonton.There was a young kid in a Caps Ovechkin sweater shooting it around, but when he saw my old school Oilers colours he said Gretzky was his favourite player (amazing for a 10 year old in Russia-he even knew 99 used to put baby powder on his blade). An older guy with a shovel who saw the orange and blue and told me, the Oilers, now that was an excellent team.

    At Red Army games here they sell banners that say: Hockey Is Our Game.

    I think the game is for anyone who still loves the thrill of the ice on a sunny winter day, no matter where, no matter what age.

    As WG mentions, great stuff and the last line is absolutely spot on. It’s Canada’s game and Russia’s too, and America’s for those who love it.

    Does anyone remember when the Oilers used to practice at WEM? I always enjoyed watching them–doubt they enjoyed it in the least.

  24. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed. Here in Minnesota if you go to a bar or restaurant, one of those nonclassy ones with TVs, during the state high school hockey tournament it will be pretty much the only thing on and the place will be packed with a lot of die hard fans. I didnt go to high school here so I dont care all that much, but its pretty impressive.

  25. Marc says:

    A couple of addendums to my Luongo note from the other day:
    - Vancouver doesn’t have to rush to move him, but they absolutely have to move him before the start of next season. The Edler deal means that they have just under $4M in cap space to sign 9 players for next season. If they buy out Ballard that would give them just over $8M to sign 10 players – that would mean almost half the team on the league minimum. They need Luongo’s cap space to give them a little room to maneuver.
    - Toronto moving Lombardi and waiving Connoly may well mean that they are out of the Luongo race. They no longer have the depth at center to give up both Bozak and Kadri (and they seem to be signalling an intention to keep Kadri in any event). Pension Plan Puppets seem to have reached the same conclusion as I have (http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/1/17/3886828/tim-connolly-waived-Maple-Leafs-Training-Camp-2013-Nazem-Kadri-Matt-Frattin).

    I suspect Florida, Chicago and Vancouver’s starts to the season will determine how this turns out. If Florida or Chicago gets off to a bad start then they might be more willing to meet Vancouver’s price. If Vancouver gets off to a bad start though, then I suspect they take Gagner+ for Luongo to shore up their top 6.

  26. leadfarmer says:

    Not to mention US pond hockey tournament going on in South Minneapolis this weekend.

  27. Bushed says:

    Great memories, Lowetide. I remember all those guys, and the endless fascination with the game from an early age. School was a full-time forum for arguments about favourite players and teams, and trading hockey cards. The most popular books in the library were about hockey. I recall being deeply impressed with Stan Mikita’s story, and his strength of character to overcome being an immigrant kid in a tough situation. (maybe that’s why I was such a huge fan of Hammarstrom and Salming years later, too).

    Then when Esso brought out those hockey stamp books, I drove my dad crazy by not letting him buy more than the minimum 5 bucks worth of gas needed to get the next couple of packets of player stamps, which were rabidly traded, coveted, and fought over at school breaks and lunch hours. My dad, who finally lost all patience, finally somehow bribed the Esso owner into giving up handfuls of the things, so that I could complete the book (think it cost him a 26, but small price for his sanity). I was in my glory, with a complete book, which was then flipped through so many times that the pages needed to be taped together (oh so carefully). When the statistics stickers came out, it was the icing on the cake–now there was “proof” that this guy was better than that one (ha).

    “The game” goes so deeply into who we are and how we got there, doesn’t it?

  28. cadooo says:

    This tweet sums up my feelings.

    @Alyssa_Milano – Hockey. That is all.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: Thanks, and love that story. I remember the Pacific Coliseum well, went there many times in the 1970s for Jehovah’s Witness conventions. There I am, in an NHL building in July–having never seen an NHL game–listening to 12 hours of talks about the world coming to an end.

    And they say God has no sense of humor!

    That’s exactly the kind of (excuse my blasphemy please) “dickish” humor God specializes in.

    The stories of Job and Abraham are both moral allegories about faith and tie in with the theological idea of theodicy… but cynically they simply read as the capricious acts of a psychopath.

    A favorite joke of mine, from G.C. Lichtenberg:

    “When Pythagoras found the theorem that is named after him, he made a sacrifice of one hundred oxen to the gods; since then all oxen tremble when a new theorem is discovered.”

    ps. Charles Taze Russell strikes me as an interesting guy. I imagine the late 19th century American millennials were all pretty captivating. Still can’t help but think of millennials and this hilarious clip from Ghostbusters II:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kiiuc0M4L40

  30. Gerta Rauss says:

    Bugs Bunny/HNIC was the ritual from my youth as well- a single TV in the house and a grainy picture as we jiggled the rabbit ears on the TV. When we got cable in the early 70s the joy was indescribable-and cartoons on Saturday mornings. Glorious.

  31. iwin76 says:

    Bohologo:
    Bless you LT for keeping the faith during the lockout, and keeping the faithful huddled together here on this small but cozy corner of the net.

    Took my eldest for a skate today on one of those bright and chilly Moscow days that make me think I’m back in Edmonton.There was a young kid in a Caps Ovechkin sweater shooting it around, but when he saw my old school Oilers colours he said Gretzky was his favourite player (amazing for a 10 year old in Russia-he even knew 99 used to put baby powder on his blade). An older guy with a shovel who saw the orange and blue and told me, the Oilers, now that was an excellent team.

    At Red Army games here they sell banners that say: Hockey Is Our Game.

    I think the game is for anyone who still loves the thrill of the ice on a sunny winter day, no matter where, no matter what age.

    Great story! Love that the NHL is back, excited for the season. God I hope the Oil don’t shit the bed.

    For me, hockey is an escape, pure enjoyment. The higher the caliber, the better, so I’m excited the NHL is back. I can understand that businesses, arena staff, team employees all suffered during the lockout, but there are greater injustices in the world to direct one’s anger at. I’m not sure why people we’re expecting such backlash. The billionaires bickered with the millionaires, and everyone acted pretty much like a bunch of pricks. They worked it out, and they should be embarrassed about their behaviour, but I had no dog in that fight. Just glad they’re back on the ice so I don’t have to listen to them bitch about each other to the press.

  32. melancholyculkin says:

    Rereading my comment from last night I come off as a bit of a dick. Sorry about that.

    Regarding MIN. As I said, they were -49 last season. Even assuming that Suter and Parise are worth +50 goals (which is likely being generous) that gets them to level ground. For them to have a shot at finishing top 3 in the west they should need to be ~ +30 in goal differential. To make up that last 30 goal difference Granlund will need to turn out to be Mike Trout (something like +15 goals in his rookie year), Heatley will need to reverse his decline, and others will need to have career years.

    It’s just not reasonable to predict MIN to finish anywhere higher than 6th.

  33. Chunklets says:

    Sad news about Earl Weaver. My favourite Weaver anecdote comes courtesy of Alison Gordon, the first female beat writer for an MLB team (she covered the Jays in their early years). As you can imagine, there was a great deal of prudish harrumphing when women were first allowed into MLB clubhouses, on account of the dreadful possibility that they might actually see a naked baseball player (or manager, in Earl Weaver’s case).

    Anyway, Gordon related that Earl Weaver once introduced her to his wife, at a party, with the phrase: “Honey, this is Alison Gordon. Alison’s ok; she ain’t no pecker-checker.”

    RIP Earl

  34. Lowetide says:

    Yeah, its an interesting story about Russell and how predictions impact people. We were told ‘make do until 1972′ and then ‘stay alive til ’75′ and after that I didn’t hang around for the next rhyme.

  35. Pete says:

    One of the best things about this blog is the comments from posters all over the place – Britain, Japan, Russia, Bombay(!), wherever. It’s fascinating. When I was living near Mexico City a few years ago, I read Lowetide religiously – it rapidly took care of any nostalgia or homesickness I’d feel, and then I’d go out and enjoy myself. It’s a fond memory.

    Growing up in the 80s, my eccentric parents didn’t have a TV, so most of my memory of the glory years Oilers is filtered through the voice of Rod Phillips. Even now the sound of his voice makes me think of sitting on the living room floor by the stereo on a winter evening, or riding around in the back seat of a late 70s Oldsmobile or Pontiac, with those over-upholstered seats that always stunk faintly of cigarette smoke.

  36. wordbird says:

    Growing up smack-dab in the middle of Saskatchewan in the 70s-80s meant no clear NHL allegiances. Adults in my family all seemed to cheer loudest for the Leafs, altho none of them would admit to being diehards. My mom dated Dave Keon, briefly, when she was in nursing school in Ontario. i was too young to tell for sure, but i think she had a wistful look in her eye whenever she talked about it…
    Strongest HNIC memory is winter visits to the grandparent’s house in Milestone, SK, more-than-likely Leafs on the tube, and my granddad getting up after Don Cherry, having a stretch and a yawn, then heading to the kitchen to whip up some of his ‘famous’ chocolate milk floats…

    then the Oilers hit the scene, some Gretzky fellow too, and there’s me lying on my bed in the dark with a big blocky Zenith radio stuffed under my pillow, tuned into Rod Phillips. Cold, clear nights were always the best, reception-wise… Rod’s voice fading in and out, country & western and whacked-out radio evangelists competing for the frequency… so many Oiler moments existed strictly in my mind’s eye (pre-TSN/Internet highlight days)… 50 goals in 39 games, a 10-8 win over Vancouver after trailing 6-2 (Semenko sparking the comeback?), the Miracle on Manchester…

    Video may have killed the radio star, but radio helped birth THIS hockey fan.

  37. spoiler says:

    I grew up on just the other side of Lloydminster from LT, a few years later… Saturday was the best day of the week. The Flemings were our opponents in that day, having three boys the same age as my brother and I. Their dad ran the local Summer Hockey School, which was a pretty big deal as they weren’t that common back in the day.

    They had a lot and a half and a glorious backyard rink that stretched the length of it, complete with boards. It was like a kid magnet. We would play for hours, kids coming and going, all of us declaring which NHL player we were and I was very lucky and usually got to be Bobby Orr. Fascinating as kids that we would naturally gravitate towards avatar heroes.

    But there was no way we were missing Bugs so at 4:30 it was “next goal wins”, and then off with the skates, on with the boots, and then a run home, about 3 blocks. Walking in the front door, we would be immediately submerged into the smells of Saturday night’s supper which invariably was roast beef, mashed potatoes and large spoonful of mushy carrots. My mum was British and liked to prove it in the kitchen every night.

    We had a black and white TV back then and I would have to lie on the. Floor to watch it, in case my dad wanted a channel changed. Kids were the remote controls back then. I can remember the closing theme of Bugs, the smell of boiling carrots, the feel of that 70s carpet and then the triumphant trumpets of the old HNIC theme like it was yesterday, now over 40 years ago… Like a little slice of heaven…

    I can’t wait for that puck to drop again.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well, LT… those are pretty late predictions by Watchtower standards… Originally Russell pegged 1914… and when you consider the impact of the lead-up to WWI you can certainly imagine the psychology of his followers. It must have felt very real to them.

    Of course, after 1914… 1918, 1920, 1925 and 1941 were all tried on for size.

    I take it there’s a kind of generational narcissism at work throughout history that has fostered these movements… that and the existential threat the death of the Sun implies (luckily for us, not for a long, long, time).

    melancholyculkin,

    just curious… are there any precedents for that kind of short turn around in the underlying numbers for a team?

  39. Gerta Rauss says:

    My strongest memory of Rod Phillips was the first round series against the Kings in ’82.

    The family packed up the motorhome and we spent the Easter weekend in Fairmont-we were going all the way to BC for the weekend!!

    The teams had split games 1 and 2, and as game 3 started I had a hard time picking up the reception on CFRN…my Dad was surprised we got the broadcast at all.The signal was faint,
    and in order to hear, I had to swing my legs up over the drivers seat of the Winnebago in order to get my head next to the speakers.I would give my Dad game updates on a regular basis,
    as the reception faded in and out for periods 1 and 2. As the 3rd period started,my Dad could hear me cursing and swearing-I fiddled with the radio but it was no use-the reception was gone for good.

    No matter though,we both slept that night secure in the knowledge that the Oilers were up 5-0 after 2 periods,and victory in game 3 was assured.

  40. FPB94 says:

    What a cruel god that made your grandma like the leafs.

    Only a road of despair and deception.

  41. RexLibris says:

    Great stories, LT. This business of sport crud just makes me feel cold sometimes. Thinking back to the HNIC days of yore (not to mention the nights of Beachcombers, Littlest Hobo, and the Muppet Show) light a fire in the soul during times like that.

    Personally, I’ll always remember watching HNIC, my dad sitting on the bed and cursing the Oilers to hustle down the ice or keep their sticks down. On the occasional evening when the Eskimos were playing as well he’d watch the tv while holding his old transistor radio he’d bought in South Asia a million years ago to his ear.

    I swore sometimes, if I ever developed a heart condition I’d have to stop watching hockey. Or at least my Oilers. Probably still will.

    Thanks for the memories, LT.

  42. melancholyculkin says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    For MIN to have a real shot at finishing near the top of the west they need an approximately 80 goal improvement to hit +30, and that hasn’t been enough to win the conference in recent history. An 80 goal improvement makes them real challengers to take the NW from VAN. Since 2000, teams have improved by 80 goals or more in <2% of all possible times it could have happened (http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/11/15/using-goal-differential-to-predict-the-future).

    Not a reasonable bet.

  43. FPB94 says:

    I say Minnesota doesn’t even make the playoffs.

    Also: Remember they doN,t have to improve THAT much since it’s a shortnened season.

  44. blackdog says:

    Great post Lain.

  45. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Growing up in Newfoundland the games started 3½ hours later than they do out here, and the televised games started a ½ hour later than that, joined in progress with usually 3-4 minutes left in the first period. My brothers and I would always hope for an early brawl so that we’d miss less game action (though then we would wind up lamenting missing the brawl!)

    The reception was the pits on the Rock, especially the mid-week games on CJON (the affiliate of the emerging CTV) and the ol’ rabbit ears would help a little and so would the “vertical hold” dial — sometimes. Other nights the picture would conk right out, but we could still listen to the game while staring blankly at “Sorry — picture trouble is temporary — please stand by” for the whole damn game. Especially if it was stormy, not that rare a state of affairs in Newfoundland winters.

    All through my grade school years my mum would make me go to bed and “sleep” for a couple hours before the game, be it Wednesday or Saturday, during which time I never slept but developed a very good mental timer for counting down the minutes.

    On Sunday nights it would be off to bed at the usual time for school the next morning, & I’d sneak my tiny transistor radio — about the size of an iPhone but 3x as thick — under the pillow and put it on the lowest volume, hard against the “click” that turned it right off, with my thumb on the dial in case the door opened suddenly. Way back then Foster Hewitt did the Leafs radio even as his son Bill did HNiC telecasts. It was the same split as Saturdays — half Leafs games, half Habs. The games from Chicago — way out west in Central Time Zone! — wouldn’t even start ’til 10 p.m., and sometimes when the Hawks were playing well you couldn’t even hear Foster or Danny over the hubbub of the crowd, sounding like they were right in the middle of Section ZZ or something. On such nights it was generally bad news if my Leafs were playing, but if it was the hated Habs I didn’t mind Hawks fans having a real good time. I cheered equally for the four American teams — against them if they were playing the Leafs, for them if they were playing the Habs, with no rooting interests when they played each other cuz those games were NEVER covered.

    On with the show, this is it!

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Which reminds me, the 6-team NHL is alive and well and living on NBC.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Thanks, Pat!

    Bruce: lol. Nap before the game. Hahaha. I’d get so excited my mom would threaten Gravol! Moms. They’re the best.

  48. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I’ve never understood how the players themselves can Possibly have a pre-game nap.

  49. FPB94 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I’ve never understood how the players themselves can Possibly have a pre-game nap.

    IIRC some teams have really early practice times. So partying out + early practice = nap.

  50. raventalon40 says:

    Hockey.

    When I was much younger all the kids on our block couldn’t afford hockey sticks or equipment but we still played with our feet, with brooms, with tennis balls or broken hockey shafts we found and taped back together. It didn’t matter.

    I think at one point I used an umbrella and a taped up ball of socks.

    Hockey.

    :-)

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Thanks everyone for all the stories!

    Here’s an alternate take to get you ready for the puck drop:

    The “Nessun Dorma” Aria from Puccini’s “Turandot”

    Here’s a great, great, great Pavarotti version:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTFUM4Uh_6Y

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nessun_dorma

    The final words are:

    “Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle! All’alba vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!”
    (“Vanish, o night! Set, stars! Set, stars! At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win! “)

  52. bookje says:

    Lowetide,

    Even before that, they used to tour surrounding towns. I remember when they came out to Stony Plain in about 82.

  53. leadfarmer says:

    Nothing like having a celebration for something you won 8 months ago. Kind of sucks for the players, not a lot, but a little.

    In other news looks like Penner lost some weight. Doesnt have the jowls of last year. I am predicting a rebound year for him.

  54. leadfarmer says:

    Looks like Kulikov is too jetlagged to play. Cmon dude you are 22 years old, cant complain about jet lag till at least 30.

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Colin Fraser & Dustin Penner both pulled off the same feat of winning the Cup the year before they came to Edmonton and winning it again the year after they left.

    Sucks to be us.

  56. Marc says:

    So apparently one of the provision of the new CBA is only players on their ELC have to have roommates on the road, instead of players with fewer than 600 games of NHL experience (http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1317357–nhl-s-roommate-culture-becoming-thing-of-past-feschuk). I completely understand why the players asked for this, but it still saddens me a bit. I always thought that it was one of the cool quirks of hockey that multi-millionaire pro players still roomed together on the road, just like hockey players at every level from minor hockey on up.

    Playing minor hockey in Jasper, we were on the road every other weekend playing the other small towns within a 2-3 hour drive from Jasper – Hinton, Edson, Grand Cache, Valemount, McBride, I think Whitecourt sometimes. The town had a couple of those big 15 passenger vans, which were driven by a couple of the dads. We slept 4 to a room on the road. Once a year we’d go in to Edmonton and get our asses kicked by a city team (a couple of times we played at Northlands so they must rented it out for minor hockey back then) and then watched an Oilers game.

    Roomates on the road is one of those things that connects NHL players with fans in a way that you just don’t find in other sports, so I’m sad to see it go.

  57. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Great post LT! Great pics to.
    Regardless of what has transpired over the last 6 months this is a great day for hockey.
    Fantastic show put on by LA with the raising of the banner.
    How the hell was there no NHL in the peg for what was it? 12 years? What a travesty, That barn is rocking!

  58. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Hockey’s back, but so is Mark Lee

  59. Adam Dyck says:

    Absolutely fantastic post, LT. I’d put this right up there with some of Pat’s best work, and that’s saying something.

  60. godot10 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Which reminds me, the 6-team NHL is alive and well and living on NBC.

    The NBA was dying until TV made it a 2.5 team league in the eighties. i.e. the Lakers, the Celtics, with a dash of the Sixers.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Hockey’s back, but so is Mark Lee

    Mark Lee is like a blanket set out on the clothesline that is so wet it’s still dripping.

  62. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Wasn’t gamecenter supposed to be free for Jan?

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Clitsome… great name!

    Also, was Wellwood playing RW at all last year? Or, only now that Jok is in the lineup?

    Plus… did Phillips look horrible on the Kane drive, or what?

  64. speeds says:

    I don’t like the changes to the scoreboard at NHL.com, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to just pull up the boxscore of a game. Am I missing something, is there an easier way to do it that I’m not seeing?

  65. "Steve Smith" says:

    speeds,

    I think maybe there’s just a glitch of some kind that makes the page not realize that the games have started; I suspect that once the page becomes convinced that the games have started, it will be as easy as ever to pull up the box scores.

  66. "Steve Smith" says:

    I don’t have any great stories of the NHL and my youth to share, so I’m going to lift this off a Facebook friend’s wall (he’s now a doctor working in the inner city, and most of his Facebook activity is darkly comedic observations on that, which I hope establishes the context for this post):

    When I was ten years old, I had a little brick-red portable radio that someone had given me for Christmas. It was objectively terrible – it required constant tweaking to stay on a given frequency, and (this being the days before headphones were small and cheap) I don’t even think it HAD a headphone jack. But I loved that little thing, because it was my lifeline to hockey.

    In the days when the Oilers were always the second game on HNIC, especially in the playoffs, my bedtime usually came during the first intermission or so. And so I would reluctantly go to bed, but I’d know that I would be able to surreptitiously listen to the game on 630 CHED, the volume kept to a minimum to reduce the chance of discovery, the radio poised to be snatched under the pillow at the first sign of the door opening. I’m pretty sure my parents knew – sometimes I’d get excited and let the volume creep up, and there’s not much a 10-year-old me could’ve used all those 9-volt batteries for – but I suppose they figured I wasn’t getting into any trouble shut up in my room.

    I developed a complex system of superstitions; I could only listen to every second game, or else I’d curse the Oilers to losing somehow. I’d usually crack around the middle of the second period, inevitably to hear Bill Ranford let in a goal and I’d flick off the radio, my heart pounding in excitement and guilt. And then I’d turn it back on again.

    In May of that year, disaster struck: my parents took us on a trip to Banff. Nice mountains, sure, but they had the effect of blocking most radio signals. And the Oilers were in the Cup finals! After being sent to bed, I laid there, tossing and turning and probably sulking, withdrawing from the tinny little radio speakers. Until my Dad took pity on me, and gave a Canadian boy the greatest gift ever: he let me breach the sacred bedtime, and come down to watch hockey on the little tube we had in our rented cabin. That first game was probably a mistake, since it went to triple OT and I’m pretty sure I dozed through most of it, but it’s still the best hockey memory I have, and one of the best I have of my Dad.

    So welcome back, hockey. I might even stay up late to watch you, for old times’ sake.

  67. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Ugh, Healey is back to. I’d pay good money to see PJ Stock feed him his lunch

  68. Lowetide says:

    Beautiful.

  69. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Watching Ron stand there like an idiot, twisting with that ipad and narrating awkwardly over a pre-taped and edited video is just…. the worst.

  70. commonfan14 says:

    How does the NHL not have a twitter feed that just tweets goals and assists in real time? Seems like a no-brainier.

  71. Bruce McCurdy says:

    So is touching Alex Burmistrov now an official penalty?

    Diving little weasel.

  72. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Watching Ron stand there like an idiot, twisting with that ipad and narrating awkwardly over a pre-taped and edited video is just…. the worst.

    The best/worst part was when Ron interrupted to mention Willie Mitchell’s grandpa, then interrupted himself to not finish the thought. I had just mentioned to my wife during that Stanley Cup ceremony how I had always been a fan of Willie Mitchell since actually meeting his grandpa at a game at (what is now) Rexall about a dozen years ago, when Willie first played for the Wild. The grandpa was sitting in the row in front of me in a fully appointed Mitchell #2 jersey (the white one, which is by far the nicest of the Wild jerseys) so I struck up a convo with him and he gave me the Port McNeill story and a bunch of background on his grandson and he was just as proud as you’d expect a grandpa to be. As I recall grandpa said it was the first time he’d seen him play a live game, as Willie had been a semi-regular in the other conference previously.

    Anyway, young Willie turned out to be a helluva player, and now he’s got a ring. So I said to my wife this aft while we were watching that ceremony, hmm, I wonder if Willie’s grandpa is still around, and not an hour later Willie gets featured and grandpa gets mentioned by Ron MacLean on a completely different hockey broadcast. Too bad he was too distracted to finish the thought.

  73. Lucinius says:

    Well, I just picked up the Hockey Streams for a year, what with hockey being back and being tired of hunting down free streams. Nice quality, was a bit surprised. Nice and cheap, too. Should make it easy to follow more than just the Oilers.

    I did not miss the CBC staff like I missed hockey.

  74. oilersfan says:

    i am irritated that CBC didn’t get the Oilers Flames game on today. They had two options. One would be to play them at 5:00 MST during the Leafs-Habs game and still have the Canucks play the late game. Clearly the center of the Universe thinks the whole nation MUST be able to watch the leafs play when probably 95% of people west of the Ontario border hate or don’t care about them. The 5% of westerners who prefer those teams could have watched it on the French CBC.

    Alternatively, they could have started the Ottawa-Winnipeg game at 1:00EST, Toronto Montreal at 4:00 EST, Edmonton-Calgary 7:00 EST (5:00 MST), Anaheim Vancouver at 11:00 EST.

    All they had to do was bump the first two games up one hour.

    Seriously these guys are Toronto centric idiots. Or assholes. Or both. I am surprised a bigger fuss hasn’t been made about this.

    It isn’t rocket science. Maybe CBC doesn’t have the personnel to run 4 games on one day, in which case they don’t deserve to be the flagship carrier of the NHL on opening day.

  75. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Great story!

    I’m sure you made his day, giving him someone to pour his pride into.

    oilersfan,

    I get your frustration… but they are just protecting their viewership. Like it or not, the leafs and habs have fans all over and the GTA and Ontario control the universe in hockey and politics.

    It is odd though on what is a lot like those great “Hockey Day in Canada” days that they have ANA playing Van and not EDM or CAL.

    Does anyone else find that Garry Galley eerily sounds like Kevin Weekes?

  76. FPB94 says:

    Oilersfan:

    Ontario and Quebec population is about 6X the population of Alberta. You figure it out.

  77. spoiler says:

    This might be one of the best threads ever. Love the stories.

  78. SK Oiler Fan says:

    The CBC crew gets very thin on talent with even 2 games in one day.

  79. hockeyguy10 says:

    speeds,

    Mirtle tweeted the NHL site crashed

  80. oilersfan says:

    FPB94

    What difference does that make? There are still 4 million people in Alberta and Saskatchewan who would have watched the Flames-Oilers and CBC could have played 4 games instead of 3 and had that extra game instead they gave the Oilers’ season opener to Sportsnet for tomorrow.

    I understand Toronto-Montreal is a big game for those out East. Most of us out here could care less. They could have played them at the same time, with those few out here who care to watch it on the French feed, or played all 4 at different times in the schedule I suggested earlier.

    You always think you are so smart. Really you are just a 19 year old who thinks he knows everything. Life will teach you that you don’t and when you are 40 you will realize, you didn’t know dick when you were 20.so quit correcting everything people write like we are all idiots. You have a bit of Toronto -itis even though you live in Monrtreal.

  81. vishcosity says:

    The Kings game is basically over so I may as well take a moment to expose my slightly weaker hockey history. LT that story was tremendous for me. and the one about Moscow. And the rock too.

    Dad wasn’t a hockey fan, yet a neighbour had given us some tickets a few years prior and he took me along. I remember the Oilers got killed by the Whalers, moreso I remember being mezmerized by the lights and energy in the crowd before the game.

    We got our first tv probably around 1980, and on that tube I eventually saw hockey again. While living in Connecticut, we had been through NYC and while I knew Edmonton was less of basically everything, I remembered the buzz in that building from years before. One night dad was watching the Oilers and Habs in the playoffs for some random reason, probably Hee Haw was already over. At the end of that game we all knew something meaningful had happened. It seemed that night that little Edmonton was on at least one level the same as those big eastern cities.

    The next year we moved to Toronto and I realized the meaning of hockey to kids. We played street hockey every day, I discovered trading cards to be worth more than the gum inside, I remember Peter Stastny cards were ubiquitous.

    Returning to Edmonton in 1982, I landed on the wagon firmly entrenched. In Ontario I had generated a much deeper interest, and with these magical kids I sensed a real possibly the little northern town could be somehow significant. I was fascinated that Edmonton was playing with New York, and winning.

    I remember one school night in particular. My mom thought something terrible was happening so as I ran past I tried to describe. Before I left the bedroom I knew they’d figure out I was listening to the radio, but I figured the punishment would be less painful than missing the replay. She was decent enough to let the situation roll. She followed me and together we saw it, we saw the replay of Wayner scoring his 50th in 39. Granted, it was a replay, but I heard that live, on a little radio, under the pillow, basically the same as described by a few others above.

    Truly Edmonton was on the map with that, surely because of Wayne the little town would be a big city soon.

  82. Lucinius says:

    Personally I’m glad the Oilers don’t play tonight. I wish our opener was against Calgary, but meh, small matter for me. I’m just pleased its not on CBC. Granted, Sportsnet isn’t exactly better.

    WTB 82/48 game coverage by TSN with Ferraro.

  83. Lucinius says:

    So apparently NBC pulled an ol’time CBC trick; swapped feeds late in the game to a different game, on those watching Chicago-LA; hilarious.

    I remember when CBC did that once to an Oiler game in the early 90s (I think) and my father exploded in rage. Went so far as to write CBC a letter. This is a guy who might have written two letters in his life and normally went by the ‘eh… screw it’ apathetic, lazy way of life outside of work. He’s never forgotten, or forgiven. Apparently they did it a few times in the 80s as well, and a few more since… but that’s the one time he always remembers as it was an important game somehow. Ever since then, CBC is the station that hates Edmonton and the Oilers in his view (and not exactly wrong, except its less hate and more ‘don’t give a shit’).

  84. bookje says:

    Oilersfan – as a wise 40something, I am sure you know the historical ratings for CBC broadcasts, the costs in covering the games, the advertising revenues, and so on. Otherwise you are totally clueless about what the best decision is for the CBC.

  85. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Great story!
    I’m sure you made his day, giving him someone to pour his pride into.

    Yes sir, that is exactly right. All I had to do was gently prime the pump, grandpa talked a blue streak, and we both absolutely loved it. The fact that I knew anything about his son and was interested to know more made his day. (Well, given that his day was already pretty nicely made at that point.) One of my favourite memories of a “random fan moment”.

  86. FPB94 says:

    oilersfan:
    FPB94

    What difference does that make? There are still 4 million people in Alberta and Saskatchewan who would have watched the Flames-Oilers and CBC could have played 4 games instead of 3 and had that extra game instead they gave the Oilers’ season opener to Sportsnet for tomorrow.

    I understand Toronto-Montreal is a big game for those out East. Most of us out here could care less. They could have played them at the same time, with those few out here who care to watch it on the French feed, or played all 4 at different times in the schedule I suggested earlier.

    You always think you are so smart. Really you are just a 19 yearold who thinks he knows everything. Life will teach you that you don’t and when you are 40 you will realize, you didn’t know dick when you were 20.so quit correcting everything people write like we are all idiots. You havea bit of Toronto -itis even though you live in Monrtreal.

    Go fuck yourself. The last part of your message wasn’t necessary; if you weren’t a saggy old man going in thinking my message meant to be mean spirited there wouldn’t be drama.

  87. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Well… I’m 3 hours in to watching hockey on tv and it is now 6:25 EST… so I think it’s only fair to end the wait…

    I’m enjoying this, if you were here, I’d pour you one. It’s delicious:

    http://www.allthingswhisky.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/June-Long-0611.jpg

  88. Lowetide says:

    Okay, lets settle down. FPB, I’ll leave your remarks but I’d request you drop it. A lot of us are disappointed at not having the Oilers game tonight–certainly you can understand that.

    Now, I don’t want to delete anything but everything from this post on that is outside the line gets drilled.

  89. raventalon40 says:

    CBC has limited resources and they should give the bigger market their due, this I can agree with. But there’s no excuse why they can’t figure out blackout zones and give each region the game they want to see. I mean, Sportsnet and TSN do it all the time right.

  90. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    You sound like a great listener. Its a rare skill to actually sit, listen and thoroughly enjoy the life experiences, hopes and disappointments of others.

    A good story is often contingent upon an enthusiastic audience. Of course, this makes sense, since stories were told and often sung long before and after they were written.

    Also, Friedman is worth a boat-load. CBC needs to dramatically expand his profile… in fact, they needed to do that years ago.

  91. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    (Feel free to delete the below if you find it unhelpful, LT.)

    FPB was subject to some provocation there too, I think. I’ve noticed that, in general, people are often quick to dismiss his point because he’s been candid about his age. There’s no doubt that he exhibits the arrogance of youth from time to time, but he’s hardly alone in that here (nor, if people’s accounts of their own ages are to be believed, is he anywhere near the oldest person here to exhibit it). He almost always substantiates his arguments, and you can imagine how galling it would be to have such arguments still dismissed with “What-the-hell-do-you-know-you’re-19-years-old”. We should also bear in mind that he’s making these arguments in his second language, which is harder on every level, including the level of smoothing rough edges.

    I sometimes also wonder if the reception he gets is at least in part attributable to the fact that he’s a i. left-wing, ii. Quebecois iii. separatist. Granted, it’s only because he occasionally drags politics in here (in my view, unfortunately) that we even know i and iii, but he’s not exactly in like-minded company here, I don’t think, and I wonder if that doesn’t affect people’s responses to him. That’s supposition on my part, though.

    Long story short, he’s obviously a smarter-than-average young man, and I wish he was more frequently treated as such. The humility might come with age or it might not, but he’s a valuable commenter even without it.

    None of this is intended as specific comment on oilersfan’s post, just as general comment on the reception I’ve noticed that FPB often gets around here.

  92. FPB94 says:

    Lowetide,

    As I said earlier, I didn’t mean to be a grunt about it. I only said what I thought was the rationale for CBC.

  93. Bar_Qu says:

    Lowetide,

    LT gently admonishing the commenters? Now we are in mid-season form. ;-)

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I admire your ability to draw out a story from a random stranger, something I with my limited communications ability can’t do (unless its a room of eleven year olds). Most people want to be listened to, especially when they have something that good to share.

    FPB94,

    Are you 19 now? My time flies. Seems just the other day we were hearing about your new radio with the old car attached to it. Still appreciate your insights into hockey as played in that separate country here in Canada.

    My 6 yr old was in tears at the end of the Winnipeg game, first time he’d ever seen them or the Senators play, but he’s a Byfuglien fan now and an enemy of all things Senator for eternity (he gets the intensity from his mother, I swear it).

  94. Lowetide says:

    FPB94:
    Lowetide,

    As I said earlier, I didn’t mean to be a grunt about it. I only said what Ithought was the rationale for CBC.

    Its cool FPB. I just wanted to make sure we don’t go off the rails as I drink more this evening. :-)

  95. Lowetide says:

    SS: Great post. Everyone should read that post and remember some of the people here are generations ahead or behind. And of course you’re all bastards. :-)

    Bar_Qu: First Oiler game I took my son to the home crowd booed the hell out of Poti, who was his favorite player. He couldn’t figure it out, was a complete mystery. Thing is he liked Poti BECAUSE of his food allergy (my son is allergic to peanute butter and had asthma as a child) and liked the style he played.

    So the taunts seemed completely unfair to him. On the way home, he informed me he had a new favorite team (that night’s opponent, Anaheim).

  96. Lucinius says:

    Lowetide,

    And you didn’t dis-own him!? You’re far too soft, LT.

  97. Derek says:

    Simple Plan.

    And I wasn’t going to drink tonight.

  98. 83 days says:

    Lowetide,

    Hey LT,

    Loyal reader of half a decade posting here for the first time ever- you and BOHOLOGO finally drew me out of the woodwork. I got to watch the Oil practice at WEM one January in I believe 1998, about ten years old. One of the players railed a puck over the glass and into the netting- with a few encouraging nods from security, I ducked under to retrieve it. The following evening, at my first ever NHL game with my Dad, I carefully paid attention to the Jumbotron in the warm up and discovered that the blonde guy wearing #26 who’d shot over my new souvenir was none other than Todd Marchant. Yzerman opened the scoring for the Red Wings that night, but the lowly Oil ended up downing the powerhouse Wings by a score of 4-1, much to my delight. I still have Marchant’s puck tucked away in a drawer.

    Your blog has been a great source of in-depth info about the Oilers for expats and fans the world over, so thank you for all the time and effort you put in. It’s been particularly useful for me since I moved to France, and I love reading the comments from other Oil fans in remote corners. About two months ago, I was enjoying a beer in Arras after attending the Vimy Ridge remembrance day ceremony- a man walked in, picked out my Oilers hoodie right away, and we ended up having a brief chat about the lockout. It’s amazing the connections that hockey can bring about.

    Please keep up the great work blogging LT, cheers.

  99. Lowetide says:

    83 days: thanks, and now that you’ve posted I expect to read you more. :-)

  100. wordbird says:

    that’s a pretty awesome way to open a
    season, Montreal.

  101. FPB94 says:

    wordbird:
    that’s a pretty awesome way to open a
    season, Montreal.

    Haven’t watched? What’d they do?

  102. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FPB94: Haven’t watched? What’d they do?

    Basically brought out all the old hab greats and had an Olympic style torch ceremony

  103. Lowetide says:

    The Beliveau moment was terrific! Especially on the day we lost Earl Weaver. Beliveau was an exceptional player when I saw him, and that was near the end.

  104. wordbird says:

    FPB94,

    it appears this season’s theme is “Raise the torch”. darkened rink, stirring music, spotlights reveal legends bearing a flaming torch: Beliveau, Damphousse, Savard, etc. Beliveau hands torch to Gionta, who passes off torch at centre ice to next teammate, and so on. simple, classy.

  105. FPB94 says:

    Yeah. Seems cool. I went last year and it was similar.

  106. vishcosity says:

    Here in Arizona Direct TV has free NHL centre ice! Very nice. while checking, I just saw Huberdeau score after drafting him in the pool last night.

    Anyone know if this is planned for the season, or just a month? Anyone else get such?

  107. oilersfan says:

    FPB and SS

    I would like to defend myself a bit from my previous post.

    I made a post stating my irritation that the CBC and the NHL did not figure a way for the Flames and Oilers to play tonight. I presented two alternative methods the CBC could have done it. They do it every year for Hockey Day in Canada, and see no reason why they could not have done it in this case. My case was made that they could have shown the Eastern Games AND the Western games.

    FPB stated :Oilersfan:

    Ontario and Quebec population is about 6X the population of Alberta. You figure it out.

    I did not state the population of Alberta/Saskatchewan warranted playing the BOA INSTEAD of the Eastern games or even the Vancouver games. I simply stated it could have all been done and the CBC displayed typical lack of respect for the western markets. FPB came back with a condescending and confrontational post. I was already irritated by the CBC and did not require a second irritation from an eastern based poster who has not been a long suffering westerner forgotten by the CBC, and did not need to make his comment condescending. His post did not respond to any of the points I made, rather, it made a point unrelated to any of my points, then went on to say “you figure it out.” How is that not confrontational and insulting?

    So, being insulted and confronted, I responded with a post then responded with an insult at the end to respond to the insult first thrown at me.

    FPB responded by telling me to go fuck myself.

    So in two consecutive cases, FPB escalated the argument 10 times more than from the basis it started, and both times was condescending, insulting, and confrontational.

    You will forgive me if you don’t allow me to not respond that his initiial and secondary responses were illsuited, poorly stated, insulting, and confrontational.

    In other words, he started it, he escalated it, I responded, and Steve Smith comes out defending him?

    Not to mention, neither of you really responded to my initial comment about how irritating it is the CBC left two of the top ten markets out of the most exciting time for the NHL in 7 months, and in 9 months for both markets.

  108. "Steve Smith" says:

    oilersfan: Not to mention, neither of you really responded to my initial comment about how irritating it is the CBC left two of the top ten markets out of the most exciting time for the NHL in 7 months, and in 9 months for both markets.

    Because I didn’t disagree with it.

  109. Lucinius says:

    Nice to know Cherry is still insane.

  110. HBomb says:

    Tragic day for baseball just got even sadder.

    RIP Stan Musial

  111. jp says:

    Byers (Pitlick, Green)

    Anyone still care about the Barons?

  112. geowal says:

    vishcosity,

    I believe it is just free for January, $50 total for rest of year

  113. delooper says:

    Oilersfan: the only time people respond to my posts is when I talk about sex or Messier, or Monty Python songs about Finland (and that’s only Bookje…). I don’t know why. Regardless, there’s no reason you should expect a response to every point you make. That’s not how these fora work.

  114. Lowetide says:

    JP: GDT is up.

  115. Lowetide says:

    HBomb:
    Tragic day for baseball just got even sadder.

    RIP Stan Musial

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Well damn. Fuck.

  116. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    Leafs Habs
    Jets Sens
    Oil Flames
    Nucks Ducks

    Which of these is not like the others, CBC brain trust?

  117. oilersfan says:

    Delooper, I would not mind if everybody ignores me. That happens alot. What bugs me is he responded by ignoring all my points, making a separate, ridiculously obvious point as if it were somehow relevant or the answer to my initial points, then finished by insinuating that my post was not well thought out. That pissed me off and got me going.

  118. oilersfan says:

    Russian alphabet man:

    I agree completely. That is the genesis of all my comments today.

  119. oilersfan says:

    and back to the whole CBC thing. what really bugs me is that Anaheim is playing the Canucks tonight. It really should have been the Oilers or the Flames playing them. If neither, then they should have got their own game.

    Are the Oilers and Flames the only teams not playing in the NHL tonight? How does that make any sense? They are both top ten in the league for HRR, and sell out every night. Way to reward the fans, NHL. Thanks. A. Lot.

  120. Lowetide says:

    Years ago, I’m in PHX at spring training. I’m watching Wil Clark covering 1st base on grounders (Dave Righetti was the pitcher iirc) and there’s a guy maybe 150 years old next to me. He lived in St. Louis his entire life, then moved to Boston in 1967–saw the Cards and Browns and then the Red Sox.

    Anyway, I say to him: “who’s the best player–one season–you ever saw?” and he says “Fred Lynn as a rookie–no check that. Stan Musial the year he played CF.”

    I thanked him and ended the conversation. Stan Musial never played CF. I went back to the Rodeway Inn in PHX and looked at my baseball encyclopedia.

    And found, once again, I’m an idiot. Musial played CF and won the MVP in 1948.

  121. jb says:

    Lowetide:
    Beautiful.

    Just the word I was going to use to describe this thread. Love the different stories.

  122. Rebilled says:

    One of the guys on Hockey Central was saying the Oilers should go after Arnott.

    Wonder if the brass is going to make any more deals…i’d guess no…

  123. Smarmy says:

    NHL Gamecenter rules so much when they think you live in French Polynesia. Streaming four games at once!

  124. commonfan14 says:

    I get rage at the CBC when they don’t cover an Oilers game, but can they really be held responsible for no game being scheduled tonight?

    I’m guessing there are powers greater than them with the final say over such things.

  125. pboy says:

    Most people are completely unaware of how amazing Musial actually was. I remember when they were letting the fans vote for the All Century team and Musial was way down in the voting. The guy was the equivalent of Ted Williams in the NL. RIP

  126. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hey LT,

    Your boy Winnik making good… how good would that 3rd line grit look in Oiler silks huh?

  127. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    commonfan14,

    Even if they were playing tonight it’s more the raised eyebrow.than the finger. There were leaks about a flames oil opener. CBC prolly got the 3 they asked for.

  128. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    oilersfan,

    N64 for short by the way. Handle is just the TM for same.

  129. wordbird says:

    CBC/Sportsnet might want to rethink the giant roundtables of so-called ‘experts’. there are orangutan enclosures with more civilized discourse (and less poo-flinging).

  130. spoiler says:

    delooper:
    Oilersfan: the only time people respond to my posts is when I talk about sex or Messier, or Monty Python songs about Finland (and that’s only Bookje…).I don’t know why.Regardless, there’s no reason you should expect a response to every point you make.That’s not how these fora work.

    Wow, I love that Mark Messier. Sex, too, if I can watch clips of Messier at the same time. But I prefer to pine for the fjords of Norway over the fine fauna of Finland.

  131. Lowetide says:

    delooper: I read ‘em all, enjoy your posts. Are you sure I haven’t called you an ass somewhere? I usually lead with that.

  132. Gerta Rauss says:

    The Canucks could be a little crabby tomorrow. The Oilers better be ready.

  133. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    I was thinking the same thing… but there is a lot of talent on there. they can always turn things around right quick… still I’m enjoying the hell out of this beating they are taking.

  134. OilLeak says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    The Canucks could be a little crabby tomorrow. The Oilers better be ready.

    Yeah, but until then I choose to laugh at the goalie drama that continues in Vancouver

  135. jb says:

    Any seasoned hockey minds have an explanation as to why the Canucks are so bad? You’d think every team would at least the potential to win a cup, but Vancouver just doesn”t have it in em. Never have, never will. Why are they so solid on paper yet I’m so confident they still can’t win it?

    Is this simply a case of the hockey gods eternally punishing a fan-base?

  136. Lowetide says:

    Canucks look a little sleepy. I’d hate to be the team playing them tomorrow night.

  137. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Oilers seem to meet most of their opponents at bad times – hockey gods hate them

  138. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Road teams doing well north of tbe border tonight. Hopefully that continues for another day

  139. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Selanne’s like those cuban baseball players right? They’r lieing about his age. What a freak

  140. OilLeak says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Oilers seem to meet most of their opponents at bad times – hockey gods hate them

    But then we get 1st overall picks, so I guess it evens out.

  141. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Stan the Man. RIP.

    This one strikes real close to home, one of my earliest sports heroes and the one athlete I associate more with my dad than any other. His passing today hit me like I’d just lost Dad all over again. Harsh.

    A good life well lived though. Fitting to find reference to Jean Beliveau in the same thread, cuz I was thinking earlier if one of my hockey contacts who didn’t follow baseball were to ask me for a comparable, that’s exactly who I would choose. A fantastic athlete and even better man. Pure class.

    I don’t do this often, but here’s an old post I wrote on my first blog Oil Droppings about Stan the Man and related connections which remains among my favourites, probably because it is very personal in nature. I even mentioned that 1948 season in there, LT! I’ll say the same thing about that season as about the Man behind it — one of the greatest ever.

  142. delooper says:

    LT, no you haven’t called me an ass yet, as far as I know. Sometimes my dad reads your blog and tells me to post stuff. So I post his comments. You seem to respond to those comments. Sometime this summer I’ll teach my dad how to post on your blog.

  143. lawrenharris says:

    Lowetide: As WG mentions, great stuff and the last line is absolutely spot on. It’s Canada’s game and Russia’s too, and America’s for those who love it.

    Does anyone remember when the Oilers used to practice at WEM? I always enjoyed watching them–doubt they enjoyed it in the least.

    Pretty late to this thread, I know. Somewhere in an old box in my basement I have a photo of Gretzky, Kurri, Messier, Kent Nillson and Rexi Ruotsalainen leaning on their sticks as they discuss, like, the power play on the ice at WEM. In the background, a big glass enclosure full of tigers. Gotta dig that thing up.

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