Thursday, June 15, 2006

Saint Fernando

Can you hear the drums Fernando?
I remember long ago another starry night like this
In the firelight Fernando
You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar
I could hear the distant drums
And sounds of "Oilers!" calls were coming from afar

• I am terrified to watch this game, and the number one reason is that I don't think I can handle seeing Smytty cry if we lose.

• The Oilers are dressing Harvey over Schremp. If we lose, and especially if the powerplay sucks again, I will still be complaining about this in a year.

• Smytty did his part by uncovering the coin under the ice in Raleigh.

• It's funny to think that this series would be tied at two games a piece if it wasn't for a total Oilers collapse in Game One. The Chris Pronger penalty shot seems like it happened an eon ago.

• Hurricane Alberto caused some major flooding in Carolina today. Good or bad omen?

• The Oilers have had a five on three in the first period four times in this series. They haven't converted on any of them. Nuff said.

• If the Canes do win, will they bring Ron Francis out on the ice? It's funny to think that he only retired last September.

• The motto of the Red Sox Nation is "Keep The Faith." I'm trying my best, but I'm a pessimist and a fatalist by nature. In short, I'm dying inside.

• How many Canadians are there at the game? Or is that Americans singing the Canadian National Anthem so enthusiastically?

• NBC shows a shot of the banners hanging in the RBC. They are banners naming the Canes participants in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Snicker. Moving stuff.

They were closer now Fernando
Every hour every minute seemed to last eternally
I was so afraid Fernando
We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die
And I'm not ashamed to say
The roar of horns and Caniacs almost made me cry

1st Period
• Pronger scores 16 seconds in to the game!!! Should I be happy? Should I get my hopes up? What do I do? I've been preparing myself for the loss since Monday. Will they do what they always do, and play well when they absolutely have to? Or will they do the other thing they always do, which is let an opponent back in the game? The key here will be to take advantage of Carolina’s shitty 1st periods.

• Can I just point out that Cam Ward has looked awful on first shots in this series?

• There it is. We take a penalty right after the Pronger goal. Total momentum killer.

• My God. How many penalties has Matt Greene taken in these playoffs? 20? 30? I am literally shaking, like I have been oustide in -30 weather in only my banana hammock for the past three hours.

• Fuck. 1-1. Matt Greene, you poor, stupid bastard. We let them back in it again. We get leads, but can never seem to deliver the knockout punch.

• Fucking Matt Greene again. How the hell does he get outhustled by Ray Whitney?

Gong. That was the sound of a death knell. At 2-1, the game is over. The Canes want it too much. They are everywhere.

• In the "new NHL playoffs," goaltending isn't the most important determinent of who wins and loses. It is the powerplay that matters. Forget goaltending.

• I must be some sort of sadomasochist to watch this game. I am in a terrible amount of mental and physical anguish, yet I can't turn away.

• Shoot fucking faster!!!!

• About time Ales Fucking Hemsky shot the puck. YES!

• The Canes have had four powerplays. Three of the penalties taken by the Oilers were by defencemen. Carolina has scored twice on the powerplay already.

• OFF THE POST!!! Fucking lucky Canes. Cam Ward sucks ass.

• That call by Devorski on Tarnstrom was a joke. That is now four penalties by Oilers d-men.

• Pierre McGuire is talking about the animosity between the teams. A lot of talking is apparently going on between the benches. Good. I hope they hate each other.

• PECA, YES!!! That is 3 goals on 10 shots by so-called Conn Smythe candidate Cam Ward. I am sure the MSM will continue to ignore the facts and praise his name.

Joey Camel-Vagina-Face looks strong on the draw again tonight. I'll have to look and see how he did after the game.

• I have never been bothered much by the plentitude of penalty calls this year, but the 1st period tonight was a fucking joke. Eight penalties called. That is 16 of 20 minutes taken up by special teams. Of the five goals scored in the first, four occured with men in the box.

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though I never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando

2nd Period

• No Aaron Ward. No Glen Wesley. KILL THEM ALL!!!

• Raffi Torres is the new Craig Muni. Or Ulf Samuelsson. He has knocked Aaron Ward out of this game. Looked like a shoulder to the head. Clearly a concussion. How many players has he knocked out now? Three? Four?

• This fast-forward camera on NBC is giving me vertigo.

• Another two penalties called. Shocker. The Stoll call on Vagina-Face was a joke.

• Another penalty. Defenceman again. Steve Staios, who stopped a scoring chance by hooking onto a guy's stick. Hooked a stick. Apparently every move ever taught to Canadian hockey players from the time they were four is now illegal.

• Joey Camel-Vag-Face dives after getting hammered by Moreau. He then pulls Moreau down to the ice, and no call is made. I really hate the fucking Carolina Hurricanes. I never thought I would say that.

• ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!! WHY DID THE WHISTLE NOT GET BLOWN!? There is no way Devorski could see that puck loose under Jussi. Unfucking believable. 3-3, on a horseshit non-whistle. Have I been magically transported into a Camus story?

• Carolina has scored 3 powerplay goals. The Oilers have one powerplay goal, and one 4 on 4 goal.

• Matt Greene has been involved in all 3 Canes goals, whether by being in the box, or on the ice. He may have to commit seppuku once this is over. Rolo-san can oversee its execution.

• One of the Adams-es-es-es stops a goal on a Smytty wrap-around. Damn it all to hell.

• Another penalty called. I should copy that text, because it appears I'm gonna be pasting it all night long.

• My stress level is high. Insanely high.

• Pronger’s broken stick could have cost us the Stanley cup. Use a wooden stick, fuckface!

• The Oilers' powerplay is looking awful again. They simply can’t perform in the 2nd period. It's like watching two different teams with these guys. They never circle around and shoot. They always look to the point. And the Canes always read it.

• How many shots have the Oilers missed in this period? My lowball guess is a gazillion.

• Old man Recchi should stick to passing. You can't handle the Torres, Mark! You can only hope to contain him!

Now we're old and grey Fernando
And since many years I havent seen a stick in your hand
Can you hear the drums Fernando?
Do you still recall the frightful night we won in Raleigh?
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight to bring the Cup into this land

3rd period

• Through 40 minutes, 24 minutes of penalties have been called.

• Doug Weight is hurt!!! Wooo hoo!!! RAFFI! RAFFI! RAFFI!

• This is the 2nd powerplay chance for the Oilers this period. They HAVE to score. Hemsky must shoot the puck.

• Sigh.

• One total shot between both teams after 7 minutes of play. It feels like overtime already, and I don’t like that.

• Aaron Ward as Willis Reed? No fucking way. HAMMER HIM AGAIN!!!

• I wish Tarnstrom was on the 1st unit of the powerplay. He has looked great the past few games, and I never thought I would say that.

• I forgot to mention: after the 1st period, Don Cherry showed Matt Greene crying on the bench. I feel bad, but I still think he needs to disembowl himself. It's the only honourable thing to do.

• How many fanned shots from the point have the Oilers had in this series? I need some medication.

• Shawn Horcoff looks fucking awful tonight. Four guys at the line, and he tries to carry it in. I just let out a thundering Ignatius J. Reilly yell: " That Play Was An Abortion!"

• Who will be the hero? I am going with Stillman for the Canes, and Hemsky for the Oilers.

• A Ray Whitney shot off the goalpost. Fuck me. I don't think I could have handled that. Visions of Guy Carbonneau just danced in my head.

• Torres with a huge hit on the inbred abomination, Eric Staal!!! Staal must fit right in with the rest of the circus freaks in North Carolina. I bet he has fans over weekly for a good ol' fashioned Appalachian hoe-down.

• The Canes are constantly bumping Jussi. I have no idea why we haven’t Kypreosed Ward.

• Still no sign of Doug Weight. Eat a big fat Kelly Dickburger, bitch!

• Fucking Pronger. WRIST SHOT!!!

• What a dive by Bret Hedican. He must have learned that salchow from his wife.

• Overtime. I fucking knew it. Two Canes shots in the 3rd. That should make me happy. Instead it terrifies me. Hold in there, Andy. Hold in there.

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though I never thought that we could lose
Theres no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando


• I am huddled on my couch, holding my pillow. I should have had ten shots of tequila line up to quell my nerves.

• Dvorak looks dangerous. Will Matt’s prediction come true?


• Bullshit tripping call on Stev Staios. Stanley Cup over.


There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though I never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando
Yes, if I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando...


• I bet the reporters won't confuse Pisani with Jason Smith any longer.

• It is midnight and the Whyte Ave crowd is still chanting. My God is it ever loud.

• 15 penalties called on the night. 13 of them were obstruction calls (holding, hooking, interference). Of the 7 goals scored tonight, 6 were scored with men in the box. A black eye on the NHL, in my estimation.

• Joey Camel-Vag-Face was back to form in the faceoff circle, going 14-22 (64%) on the night.

• I predicted that Cory Stillman would be the hero. Instead, he and The Inbreeder were the goats.

• Kudos to the Clay Aikens (Canes fans) tonight. They were loud the whole game long, even standing for prolonged periods of time.

• What is the status of Aaron Ward, Glen Wesly and Doug Weight? Will they return for Game Six? I imagine so, but I hope Raffi puts them on a stretcher, Buddy Ryan style.

• Chris Pronger referred to yesterday's storm as "Hurricane Alberta." I love the insensitivity.

• MacT said that the coaching staff had finally found a way to motivate Raffi, but refused to say what it was. My gut tells me it involves a hooker and some pastrami.

• Fernando Pisani has now been canonized in The Holy Edmonton Oilers Church as "Saint Fernando," Patron Saint of Lost Hockey Causes.


At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bonus points for the Camus reference. With the Oilers it seems so well-suited that it is a wonder no one has utilized it previously.

At 1:43 AM, Blogger mike w said...

Now that's blog post art! Good job with PhotoShop.

Ah, victory is like morphine.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Andy, I didn't read this till six in the morning the day after, but you chronicled my feelings minute for minute. I don't know whether to love you or hate you. I spent most of that game debating getting my teddy bear out, and then having another drink. I held my hand out for the last two minutes of regulation so I couldn't see anything except the timer.

I don't know if any of us can handle Game Six. I'm going to need a drip.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Black Dog said...

Add this to the many classic posts to come out of this playoff run.

What a game!

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is my tribute to Fernando:
"It was in my pants!"

Best. Line. Ever.

As for a good dig-slash-injury-"report": ricane_alberta_heads_home/

Great sum up, Andy. We Oiler fans in Ottawa congregated at Minglewoods (sticky carpets and heaps of nachos) and did our part for cheering. We had a crew of about 30 Oiler fans out, of which at least 10 were UofA alum.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger andy grabia said...

I held my hand out for the last two minutes of regulation so I couldn't see anything except the timer.

I can't stop laughing about that one, only because I can imagine thousands upon thousands of Oilers fans doing the exact same thing at the exact same time all around the world. What a night. Thank God for the layoff. I don't think I would be ready by Friday night.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

You remind me of someone who said to me, glumly, "If the Oilers are going to lose they might as well get it over with tonight."

Such pessimism!

I'm just grateful that we at last have an Oilers team that's capable of winning the Cup. I want to win it too, but the knowledge they're good enough to win has provided a calming influence through the playoffs.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger d-lee said...

The only thing worse than your lame nicknames for the Canes is the amount of faith you have in your own team.

Don't ever say "it's over". Be glad that the boys in white last night didn't have your "fuck it.. we're gonna lose" mentality.

Sorry, again, that I didn't post on my blog immediately after the game. I hung around in the parking lot after the game, chatted with some visiting Oilers fans, had a beer with them, then I had a 1.5 hour drive ahead of me. I didn't get home until about 3 in the morning. I was too tired to write.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger andy grabia said...

God. Not all of us can Vulcans like you two.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger andy grabia said...

And don't doubt my belief in my team, David. You haven't earned the right, yet. The Canes have been in existence for what, nine years? Talk to me when you go through what we went through in the nineties.

And my nicknames rule!

At 5:37 PM, Blogger d-lee said...

By the way.... sorry. I got confused. I'm easily confused. 'Specially when I'm as tired as I am.
The part where I indignantly explained the fact that I didn't post until this afternoon wasn't meant for this place. I was supposed to have done that somewheres else.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger andy grabia said...

No worries. I have nothing but love for you, Clay Aikens! :)


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