Still a faithful fan, no matter the score

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 06:00 am

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Get me off this crazy roller-coaster.

I had so much optimism at the start of the season, even when others didnít. Alas, Iím going to have to watch the Oilers pack up and sit out of another playoff run.

And, I mean Edmonton Oilers, not Okotoks. Although I was just as sad to see our local boys get knocked out of the AJHL playoffs.

Oilers fans (I know thereís a few of us out here in the foothills) have had to get used to the rollercoaster.

I felt a twinge of relief on Friday night when the Oilers beat the Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks. Itís a small victory after a bad couple of weeks. Then, the New York Rangers came to Edmonton to win 5-0. Itís frustrating to watch a humiliating 8-1 defeat to Calgary one week, and a gritty performance against the Ducks another as new goalie Ben Scrivens netted a stellar performance facing 51 shots. This comes after a record 59 save performance against San Jose this year.

The team hasnít had a good run of luck in the last few years. Sure theyíve got some holes to fill, but theyíve got lots of talent.

Iím no hockey analyst, so Iím not going to start comparing the Oilersí goals against numbers to the defenceís performance. Iím just one of those fans who is patiently waiting for some glimmer of hope.

Itís been a painful eight years since the Edmonton Oilersí Cinderella cup run in 2006. Iíve been ever faithful and I thought things were going to look up for the team this year. Yes, they still had a developing group of players and they needed a serious boost at defence, but look at the names on the front lines Ė Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent- Hopkins, David Perron. I think theyíve finally solved their problems in goal with Scrivens.

At the very least, I thought the Oilers would finish the season above the Calgary Flames.

I get the frustration of the fans who tossed their jerseys on the ice in the Coliseum (I know itís name is Rexall Place, but I still use the name I grew up with). I have to say I agree with everything Scrivens said in defense of the jersey and the Oilers after the loss to the Flames.

Iím a proud owner of an Oilers Jersey. I still have the Bill Ranford and Kevin Lowe cards I waited four hours in line at West Edmonton Mall to get them to autograph in the early Ď90s. I get a new Oilers calendar each year, and no it doesnít end in April.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Iím ever the optimist where the Oilers are concerned. I think the Oilers have solved their goaltending problems with Ben Scrivens and I think they will solve their problems at defence.

I canít wait to see the Oilers finish above the Flames next year, but I donít think I can get off this roller-coaster quite yet.

I guess Iím getting to know what it feels like to be a Maple Leafs fan.


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