I watched game one. Well, actually I watched MOST of game one. It went like this:
Oiler Goal, Oiler Goal, Don Cherry in an insane suit made of drapery remnants saying that Edmonton would win (did I mention I’m so happy to live close enough to Canada to be able to watch the NHL on HNIC), Oiler Goal. Chuck thinking, wow, these guys are dominating. I had a feeling it would be a five or even four game series.
That is when I had to walk away from the TV and do some things… first I had to carry a bag of rabbit food out to the barn. It took me a while. When I walked back in the house the score was tied 3-3… before I could digest that Carolina scored again… then I noticed Edmonton had switched goaltenders. I then had to make dinner, but kept walking over to the TV to stare slack-jawed at what was happening. I iChat a friend in Vancouver who informs me as to why Roloson was off the ice… his own teammate dumped an opposing player on him and he’s tweaked a knee. That is exactly how my hockey “career” ended. sigh. At least Roli’s happened in a Stanley Cup final instead of a Wednesday night beer league game. :\
(Un)fortunately I was unable to watch game two, but Chuq posted a nice analysis, and this still could be a sweep, or maybe a 5-gamer but not in favor of the Oilers. Oh well.
There have been some legendary Cup Finals where injury-plagued underdogs pull off amazing feats. Ironically, my favorite was in 1987, when the Flyers (a team I hated up to that point) managed to wring seven games from what was essentially the Hershey Bears first two lines, up against the legendary Edmonton Oilers. What got them there was a hotheaded but brilliant Goaltender named Ron Hextall. You can’t win Stanley Cups without goaltending and the goaltender that got the Oilers there is now out. It will be a miracle if the Oilers can pull off a win, much less a Stanley Cup.
I hate to see it go that way, but as Don Cherry says on Coaches Corner “Kids, watch this… YOU DON’T DO THIS: Dump a player on your own goaltender!” I don’t know if Grapes pointed out Marc-Andre Bergeron’s grave error, but he should have.