I know I'm a bit late on this but... On June 17, 2006 the Oilers beat the Hurricanes 4 - 0 at Rexall Place. We as fans had no idea that we were witnessing the last playoff win that the Oilers would have over the next 10 years. So I thought I’d take a quick look at what made that game so special.
Game 1 saw the Oilers lose their MVP goalie when Marc-Andre Bergeron collided with Dwayne Roloson and ending his season. Backup goalie Ty Conklin came in as Roloson’s replacement which ended up costing the Oilers the game with 32 seconds left. The Oilers lost 5-4
Game 2 Craig MacTavish wasn’t going to risk losing the series on Conklin’s poor play so Jussi Markkanen got the start. The game did not start nor end well Markkanen allowed 5 goals while Cam Ward shut the door.
Game 3 Markkanen got the start again even after his poor play in game 2. This time he’d play well and give the Oilers a chance. The game was won by typical Ryan Smyth goal in the 3rd period. The Oilers would win 2-1
Game 4 this was probably the toughest game of the series to watch. The Oilers had a few PP chances but couldn’t capitalize. The Hurricanes on the other had took advantage of the PP and scored the game winner late in the 3rd. The Oilers would lose 2-1
Game 5 was a nail biter. Overtime, tied 3-3 and with just over 3 minutes gone in the first overtime period, Steve Staios tripped Mark Recchi and was headed to the penalty box. Here is how it played out:
The Oilers defense held the Hurricanes to 16 shots all game. Pronger played over 30 minutes in the game and his D partner Spacek played over 25 minutes. As a rookie, Matt Green was the only Oilers defenseman to play less than 15 minutes in the game with just over 10 minutes. The Oilers had arguably the best defense in the league.
This game and playoff run was probably the most memorable of my life. In the 80s I was too young to appreciate it. The Oilers’ first cup came when I was only 4 years old and by the time they won their last cup I was only 10. This run occurred when I was 26. I was old enough to drink, I could do my own thing and I had no children yet.
I was working downtown Edmonton at the time. After work we’d all head down to the Stonehouse on Jasper Ave to watch the games. On weekends we’d go down to Whyte Ave after the games just to celebrate with everyone. The playoff experience is euphoric. Hopefully I can experience it again but this time with my kids and hopefully before they are grown up and out of the house.