Sunday, June 11, 2006

Just About Halfway Home

After Game Three, the whole buzz was about how the Edmonton Oilers are now back in the series. That irks me. First off, outside of the Game Two debacle, they have been a pretty solid team. They haven't played up to their par, of course, but that's a lot to ask of a hard-nose team like the Oilers. Sometime, they will have to get weaker with the style of play.

The thing that gets me is if the Carolina Hurricanes get a split and go up going back to Edmonton, the Oilers are right back out of it, making it the quickest time a team as good from back to out in a matter of days. That's what bothered me about the playoffs, it seems that whenever a team goes down two and then wins a game, they are back in it. It's not often the case, but it's a cliche that's thrown around a bit to much for my liking. Now, if the Oilers split, they are back in it for me. I've said one win does not a series make, especially when you would have hoped that the Oilers would pull at least one win off in their own amped barn.

Game Three had it share of weirdness, Mick McGeough tripping again on the opening faceoff then frantically calling off the Ethan Moreau goal since it seemed no one else knew were the puck was, then the third goal, which could have gone either way with the goal or a penalty being called. All in all, it probably has been the best game to watch this series.

What needs to be done for Game Four?? Well, the Oilers need to take this win in stride. They got the job done, but it wasn't as convincing as they hoped for, especially since they were feeding off the crowd. They did what they needed to do and went back to playing their style of hockey. They don't need to believe the hype that they've already won Game Four, but they can't overcommit and make some mistakes that could cost them.

The Canes need to take the anger on the third goal and translate that into a strong game Monday night. Cam Ward was amazing in net again and has been the guy keeping the Canes in the series. The Canes did well against the rabid fans in Edmonton, which some teams have had issues with. Right now, the Canes need to use their speed and play like they did in the last 22 minutes of Game One and all of Game Two to have success in Game Four.

The one gripe about the game is that the NBC Affiliate in Seattle didn't show the game. Now, granted, CBC has had the best camera work and Don Cherry, but I can't stand another minute of Bob Cole and Harry Neale in the booth. It's almost like Statler and Waldorf, but much less funny and blinder. God love 'em for what they have done, but right now-- I think CBC needs to take them out to pasture and let them go about their days. Hopefully, the Spokane NBC Affiliate will have the game on Monday night, or else it's going to be WWE and The Score for me.

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