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Sunday, June 18, 2006
Update (1:04 PM): Alanah over at VCOE takes issue with my comments on the fans at Rexall place. Like I said, I understand the sentiment, but I think that kind of chant should be saved for times when the Cup is a guarantee. It's a celebratory cheer but Edmonton hasn't won it yet. I know I kept thinking, "It's too bad this isn't Game 7," and I'm sure the fans there were thinking the same thing so maybe it's a natural reaction. Still, it was just Game 6 and the Oilers have only put themselves in a position to win the Cup, no more. Tomorrow night, we'll find out whether or not they'll finish the job. I'm not berating the fans at Rexall place. I think they're great for the overwhelming show of support they give the Oilers. They really do put fans in other areans around the league to shame. I just think that particular chant was premature. By the way, Alanah, you've been writing far more great material lately than I have! - Matt I have to say I'm a little shocked at how much the Oilers dominated tonight. Did Carolina forget that they could have won the Cup had they shown up to play? Edmonton clearly wanted it more and absolutely outworked the Hurricanes, who put up one of the most pitiful performances of the playoffs, notching just 16 shots, seven of which came over the first two periods. Scott Oake was trying to pin it on travel, which Carolina is not all that used to, but it's hard to discount Edmonton's performance. Their power play was strong, racking up three goals in nine chances and putting on a good show on a couple power plays on which they didn't score. They were far more physical than the 'Canes all game long and won the majority of the battles along the boards. Cam Ward kept the 'Canes in it, as did their skill (luck?) at blocking shots. Otherwise, it could have been ugly. Laviolette's pep talk in the second period during his time-out got Carolina playing more respectable hockey but they still were nowhere near the form of earlier in the series. Once again, the fans at Rexall place put other arenas to shame with their raucous support of the Oilers throughout the game. I have to say, though, that their chant, "We want the Cup!" toward the end was pretty lame. As far as I'm concerned, you only cheer that during a clinching game or between the end of the game and the actual presentation. You don't cheer it in Game 6 when the series is going back to the other city. All that's going to do is give the 'Canes that much more to draw on for the seventh game. Besides, I don't think anyone in Edmonton really wanted to see the Cup tonight because it would have meant a Carolina victory. I understand the sentiment but it's just obnoxious. I stuck around and watched the post-game interviews on CBC and think I am scarred for life after seeing probably all but about three inches of Chris Pronger's thighs as he sat with Michael Peca to talk with Oake and Kelly Hrudey. I know you're a big man, Pronger, and it must be hard to find shorts long enough, but I never want to see that again. Game 7 is Monday night in Carolina and I hope the 'Canes show up to play, for their fans' sake. The Oilers obviously smell blood and have a heck of a lot of momentum. If the Hurricanes react to tonight the way they should, Game 7 ought to be amazing.