Back when the Oilers decided to go outside of “The Family” and hire Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan, I knew that the dark days were over. Gone were the rookie coaches and GMs. Gone were the days of trying to re-hash the great Oilers teams of the 80s. And gone were the unfulfilled promises of BOLD moves…
A new era was about to begin.
Now the first season of that era didn’t quite come out to a flying start. In fact, it fell flat on its face but there were signs of improvement. Signs we didn’t see previously.
But in the second season, when a more complete vision of the roster Peter Chiarelli had envisioned came to fruition. Bigger bodies were brought in and players with excellent leadership traits were acquired. Then magically, the injuries stopped, the defense came together, and the players started playing for each other.
The team became… A TEAM!!!
The signs of improvement were signs no more. What we were seeing were actually improvements! This was a team capable of competing AND winning in the Pacific Division! A perfect formula for making the playoffs, no?
Fast forward to yesterday, a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking game 7 loss to a more experienced Anaheim Ducks.
I wasn’t sad and I’m not down because the Oilers lost. I tried to explain to my wife that I was disappointed because I wouldn’t be able to watch my team play anymore. And then we started making plans to come back to Canada in October 🙂
I’m not going to harp on individual players or performances at this point. I probably saw the same thing as you and there’s no really point in bringing that back up. It was a tough game for everyone, neh! A tough series for everyone and I can’t wait until the re-match next year!
You see, the correct reaction to this is not to get down or angry, it’s to confront the challenge head on and be happy it’s there to give you something to aspire to overcome. Life, it’s funny that way. You think if you just surrounded yourself with happy and positive things that you yourseld would be happy and positive but in fact, the unhappy and negative experiences bring much more out of you.
REACTIONS FROM THE OILOGOSPHERE
“At the end of the day, we didn’t get the result we were after but that’s okay. For the first time in 10 seasons, the Edmonton Oilers were a damned good hockey team that put the league on notice for something other than draft lotteries” – Bagged Milk, Oilersnation
“The Oilers season may have come to a close, but this team went above and beyond and definitely built themselves a reputation” -Sammi Silber, Oil On Whyte
“We needed this run. And I am sure as hell glad we got it.” -Bret Litke, The Oilers Rig
“I’ll just say this: that even though the Oilers did come a long way this year, the Taylor Hall trade was a joke.” – Who Cares? Copper and Blue
“We’ve been in plenty of dressing rooms where the dream has died over the years, but can recall very few where the leap from tonight to tomorrow was so easy to make. There are the ingredients of a Stanley Cup champion in this Oilers room now.” -Mark Spector, Sportsnet
“If you’re an Oiler fan who shelled out financially or emotionally for 10 years, and received so little in return, the team made a payment this spring. But these Oilers are on an instalment plan. You couldn’t get it all back at once.” – Dan Barnes, Edmonton Journal
“The Oilers have become contenders.” – Kurt Leavins, Cult of Hockey