If the Edmonton Oilers fail to win another game all season, Thursday’s humbling of the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs and its frequently obnoxious fan base, should provide sufficient chest thumping for fans of the NHL’s most northern outpost.
And they did it on ACC ice, motivating the blue-and-white-clad jersey faithful to religiously chant “Let’s Go Oilers! Let’s Go Oilers!”
Believe me when I say, Canadians across this great nation got their collective hate on this evening, chanting with great jubilation “Bend over Buds!”
At least, that’s what a group of well-lubricated card-carrying members of Oilers Nation were singing on the corner of Jasper and 109th moments after their highly touted rookies, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi, left their mark at the ACC – not to mention a brilliant 33-save performance from veteran netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.
With his agent and NHL legend Bobby Orr watching high above the Air Canada Centre ice, Hall scored his seventh and eighth goals of the 2010-11 season, firmly placing an exclamation mark behind his first-overall draft selection.
Edmonton’s shutout, the first-ever as a visitor over the Leafs, also concluded a 3-0 eastern road trip for the copper and blue, which also claimed victories in Ottawa (4-1) Monday and Montreal (4-3 in OT) Wednesday evening – outscoring their opponents 13-4 along the way.
Oh-oh! Don’t look now Oiler fans, but the team with little expectations is on a three-game roll…and it gets better! When you look at the standings in Friday’s paper, look who’s licking the dust off your Alberta boots – that’s right – the Calgary Flames.
Hot dang Santa! Christmas done come early for fans of this once-proud franchise.
Alas, ‘tis early in the season, and true enough this lineup is stacked with inexperienced “raw rookies”, but it’s amazing how a little confidence can fuel – perhaps even expedite – the maturation process of an emergent team that’s beginning to establish its on-ice identity.
We’ll see if that “roll” will continue to gain momentum when the Oilers kick off a six-game home stand Saturday, down at The Drug Store, when they welcome an undoubtedly surly St. Louis Blues team that hasn’t tasted victory in its last four.
For now, however, a 5-0 beat down over the “stinkin’ otta be tossed out of the NHL” Toronto Maple Leafs, has the hard-luck Edmonton fans licking their chops at the promise of a bright future.
Until, of course, those same “raw rooks” blow a tire and lose five-out-of-six on home ice!
Ahh, such is the life of an Edmonton Oilers fan these days.
In the meantime Oiler fans, chins up…sticks down.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.