Thursday, July 26, 2007

BLOG OFF FOR BREAST CANCER V2.0 -- VICTORY

Being the sports nut that I am, my thoughts immediately went to sports when I received this weeks word in my inbox. Well either that or Stewie from Family Guy who is known for saying "Victory is Mine!" But I realized there was no way I would be able to write a whole post about him so I decided to stick with sports.I have always loved sports (watching, not playing). I remember as a kid when my dad would take me and my brother to Pee Wee and Jr hockey games at the rink near our house. Perhaps that is where it all started. While I love baseball and NFL football, hockey is and always will be my number one favorite sport to watch. I truly am a Canadian at heart and I grew up watching the fast paced and physical game that is hockey and it will always be far and above my favorite. So naturally, being from Edmonton, the word victory holds all sorts of meaning for me as I think about my favorite hockey team and a team that is known for being one of the greatest sports dynasty's of all time. I of course, am talking about the Edmonton Oilers.
To be labeled a dynasty there of course has to be victory to get you to the places that make you just that. The beginning of what would become one of the most storied franchise in all of sports began way back in the 70's when the Oilers were part of the World Hockey Association and then joining NHL in 1979. Perhaps the most important of all was the acquisition of a young phenom by the name of Wayne Gretzky who was signed by Oilers owner Peter Pocklington to a 20 year service contract. You may have heard of Wayne considering he went on to become the greatest player that has ever laced up a pair of skates and played the game.The Oilers built a team of young and talented players around Wayne Gretzky and went on to win 5 Stanley Cups in a span of 7 years. 83-84, 84-85, 86-87,87-88 and 89-90. Most of those cup victories came when I was too young to truly enjoy what was happening. I remember the cup win in 1990. I was 12, but still at an age where even though I loved the Oilers I was still a little too young to really get caught up in all of it. However, the 05-06 season was a little different.
The Oilers didn't have the greatest regular season but with a few trades towards the end of the season to solidify their goal tending and defense they managed to get into the playoffs as the 8th and final seed in their conference. No one gave them a chance in the first round as they would be facing the Detroit Red Wings who finished the regular season with the best record in the league. The Oil went into the series as underdogs but pulled off an amazing upset and beat the mighty Red wings in 6 games They were victorious in round one but still had a long road ahead of them.Next up was the San Jose Sharks. Again no one gave the Oil a fighting chance. Things did look a little questionable when the Sharks took a quick 2-0 lead in the series. But the Oilers fought back and won the next 4 games to win the series in 6 games. Again they were victorious but once again the critics said they didn't have what it took to beat their next opponents in the Anaheim Ducks. Once again the Oilers proved the entire hockey world wrong and defeated the Ducks in 5 games to win the Clarence Campbell Trophy as the Western Conference Champions and were on their way to the Stanley Cup finals. Game 1 of the finals saw the Oilers hit with adversity as their starting goaltender Dwayne Roloson was injured with the game tied 4-4. Backup goalie Ty Conklin came in and immediately fumbled with the puck behind his net and turned it over and allowed the Hurricanes to score the game winning goal. Game 2 saw the Oilers other backup goaltender Jussi Markkanen be named the starter for the rest of the series. Jussi was amazing all the way through to the final buzzer of game 7. The Oilers came up short that season. They lost the clinching game by a score of 3-1 and the Carolina Hurricanes won their first ever Stanley Cup Championship.

While the Oilers didn't win, they achieved victory on many different levels throughout the playoffs that year. As a fan I enjoyed every second of the ride they took us on. With each victory the excitement grew and the excitement that once took over the city of Edmonton in the Oilers glory years had returned. While the Oilers have yet to win another championship it is a victory in itself for them so be able to say they have won 5 Stanley Cups. Lord Stanley's cup is the most cherished trophy in all of sports and there are NHL teams out there who haven't even won it once. So while I wait for my Oilers to return to glory and bring the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton I am still proud to be a fan of a franchise with such a deep tradition and rich history. I am proud to wear the jersey of a team who has so many times defined the word victory.
This was a post for the blog off for breast cancer. If you would like to make a donation to this great cause, please click on the banner below and leave Courtney a few bucks towards her walk for the cure. You can also find the links for all the participants in my side bar if you would like to check out some of the other posts on the word victory.

14 comments:

courtney said...

Oilers Schmoilers. Go Canucks!

*ducks*

Hehehe, my good friend is a big Oilers fan.

Evey said...

Yeah you better duck!!

Sketti said...

Whoo Hoo! Go Oilers! I remember that last year...I followed as best as I could (as Hockey isn't really watched over here...) I was so impressed that my oilers had made it back on top again...That is Victory enough for me!

Tammy & Jeremy said...

GO FLAMES GO! (haha...I just had to say it!)

Anonymous said...

I must say as a fellow Edmontonian and huge Oilers fan who sat on the edge of her seat through every game of that series, that was the best blog ever!
It brought back all the memories and emotion I felt during those games. Thanks Evey, it was awesome

Corinne

Kelley said...

Great post Evey. Similar story happened to the Canucks in '94. Toni and I had got engaged part-way through the play-offs.

QueenieCarly said...

I've always had a soft spot for the Oilers. They've probably always been my favourite Canadian team, although (and I know you're going to kill me for this) lately, I've started cheering for the Flames. But, of course, I pay less attention to hockey than I do, well, pretty much anything else.

Evey said...

Carly, the Flames? REALLY!?!?!?! That is worse than the Canucks and I am pretty sure I just threw up in my mouth a little. And now I think I need to take some time and consider whether we can continue to be friends or not!!

Vegas Princess said...

As soon as we got this word I immediately thought "I bet Evey is going to write about hockey!" :) I am glad you didn't let me down. What an exciting string of games!

Although your post made me a bit upset. I can't STAND Family Guy and am very ticked that that show uses my quote from my post...I had said that YEARS before that stupid show was even in existance. I should have copywrited it.

Tammy & Jeremy said...

Don't mind Evey! She is just in denial that the Flames rock!

tarsi210 said...

Wow, I can completely and utterly make no relevant comment to this post. I've only ever seen 1 hockey game in my entire life. :)

tarametblog said...

Thanks for the history lesson on the Oilers, it puts my Rangers to shame-- since we don't have 5 trophies.

Kelley said...

In a related hockey note, Brian Burke had the Stanley Cup at the local mall this weekend. No we did not go with the million other people to see it. Burke brought it here for Chilliwack hockey fans to see because he owns the Chilliwack Bruins WHL franchise.

Lynn said...

YES!!!Canadian victory!
Our house was always alive on Wednesday and Saturday nights with Hockey Night In Canada. On late night games I would be awoke from a deep sleep as my Dad's bellowing "OH!!!No!!!! or YEAH! fielded from the living room.
Love it!