I could write another stunningly accurate oracle against the Calgary Flames today (I'm pretty sure Yahweh's anger against them hasn't subsided) but at this point I think it's time for Alberta hockey fans to come together. Like Jacob and Esau, we've been fighting since
birth... conception... at 22 days when the heart starts beating... our time together in our father's loins... for a long fucking time... but this is a time to come together! The Oilers have lost twelve in a row, the Flames nine. Both teams are exactly two losses away from tying their franchise record for consecutive games without a win. Whoever loses tonight had better lose their next game. This futility needs to be historic.
So yesterday Matt Fenwick suggested that tonight's game be dubbed "Keenan and MacT Appreciation Night" and I must say I'm drawn to the idea. I figure reminiscing over our shared recent past is something to bring us Alberta fans together. Had to make a quick change on the title though. More after the jump.
I think it's important to lay some ground rules at the outset. Craig MacTavish made mistakes. I know it, you know it, everybody knows it. But I'm not going to talk about his faults today. What I'm talking about here is MacTavish being willing and able to match lines. I'm talking about MacTavish having a strategy with his defenders that went beyond 1-2-3. I'm talking about MacTavish taking Kyle Brodziak's talents and carving out a role for them. I'm talking about MacTavish sending J.F. Jacques to the minors instead of the first line. I'm talking about MacTavish believing in Shawn Horcoff and Fernando Pisani and turning them into hockey players. I'm talking about MacTavish being saddled with Gagner, Cogliano, a slew of other rookies and a bloated Dustin Penner on a team that the GM expected to win but deserved the lottery. I'm talking about MacTavish flashing "Seven!" with his hands to the fans in Carolina after Pisani's overtime winner in Game 5. So thanks Craig MacTavish. I think you did a good job here in Edmonton... except on the powerplay... (I almost made it without criticizing).
So how about you all? What do you Oiler fans appreciate about MacTavish? And how about you Flames fans? What do you miss about Mike Keenan? As for the game (8:00 p.m. MST, CBC), here's a BoA score prediction tribute: 3-0 Oilers in regulation, Dvorak with the hat trick and Roli gets the shutout.