|The Last Cup Won By The Oilers|
I had a good conversation with a couple of friends the other night on twitter (they disagreed with me) about whether or not the Oilers should make a run for the playoffs this year (not really our choice). This conversation was sparked by Tom Renney's words earlier on this week and it wasn't until the Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones egged it on even more, that we started to talk more about it.
Renney had this to say, "It won't surprise me when we make the playoffs. It won't. The biggest surprise of all might be if we don't."
He then went on to say, "Just because I know how deep the care is. I know how willing they are to be coached. How proud they are, quite honestly, to be here doing this in Edmonton. That's the hard part about losing. The masses don't get an appreciation for how badly our guys want to do well and win and be a playoff team. When they have those tough nights, and there's more to come, we all know that, it's tough."
So the coach believes this team can do it even if it will be tough to do. Well... I believe it too. I do.
Is it wrong for the Oilers players to want to make it to the real season we call the playoffs? Is it wrong that the players don't want to roll over and play dead, no matter if Tambellini is willing to acquire better talent to help them out or not? Is it wrong that the Oilers players don't see or want another high draft pick in the clubs future?
I don't think so. I think it's great that they want to win. I think it's great that they want to get a taste of the playoffs. I think it's great that the word loser isn't in their vocabularies.
I said it at the start of this year that the kids will want to win (can't find link). They didn't make the team to be losers. The returning players had enough of that the last few years and good for them to not want to be a loser ever again either. Finishing last might have been OK with some of the fans, but it shouldn't and won't be OK with the players. I can respect that. A lot.
Some might say that no matter how much the Oilers want to make the playoffs, they can't without another decent center and some better defenceman. Fair enough. But I will say this. If this club DOES make the playoffs (today they are only 8 points out of 8th place) with the current roster as is, -- I'm not stupid. Some trades need to and should happen anyways. Playoffs or not -- then they deserve a chance to prove us wrong. Even if they get swept in 4 games, they earned it and they deserve our praise and admiration.
So let's not cheer for the Oilers to bomb again.
If I remember correctly, by the end of last season there wasn't very many people/fans other than myself and a select few that kept following the team to the bitter end. Not many people gave a crap about the Oilers until the 1st overall pick was granted to the Oilers. The fan support sucked and I don't want that to happen again either.
I'd rather have a mid round pick and see the Oilers get that taste of the playoffs rather than have that crappy taste in my mouth as we watch them sputter to another last place finish. Remember, Ales Hemsky was picked 13th overall and correct me if I am wrong, but isn't he the Oilers best player right now?
Bottom line, if the Oilers want to ever win the Stanley Cup in the future, then at some point they need playoff experience. Look at the Pens, Hawks and Caps. No team wins without experience. No team.
I can put my personal guarantee on one thing. The Oilers rookies will not give up. They will not lay down and die for the sake of the fans. They will not beaten down because a part time bandwagon fan (or a fat sports writer) thinks it's the best choice. I am a proud Oilers fan and I'll support this team not matter what. I would hope that you would do the same.
This is my Edmonton Oilers. Everyday of the week. Everyday of the year. 24/7.
-Written by Smokin' Ray-