With tonight's loss to Minnesota, the Oilers are all but mathematically eliminated. Yeah, I know, I know. There's going to be a whiny HF voice in the crowd crying:
"NO! NO We're NOT DONE! BELIEVE! BELIEVE! ARE YOU AN TRUE OILERS FAN OR WHAT?"
Despite the resounding reassurances, the Oilers are done. Put a period to it.
At best they can play a spoiler role and help the Nashville Predators make the playoffs instead of the Vancouver Canucks.
Looking back on the season, on an overall basis, it was definitely disappointing. From an off-season with some terrible moves, injuries to key veterans, followed up with lottery bound status for the first 4 months - well, that's a bundle of disappointment. The final 2 months were encouraging, but next year will tell a story on whether this was just a bad team playing good hockey once the pressure was completely off them [See: Toronto, Florida, and in previous years Phoenix, St. Louis]. Nonetheless, there are legitimate grounds for optimism with the nucleus of good young players - whether that means the playoffs next year, I'm not sure.
On a personal level, the passion/emotional investment into the Oilers faded away. Akin to a struggling couple who couldn't make it work, on the brink of hiring flashy suit men to finalize the divorce.
I've missed between 30-40 games outright this season. All but 1 or 2 PPV games,a bunch of HNIC games (during the time in which I was PLAYING hockey) and a series of other games throughout the year during the time in which I took advantage of the athletic facilities at the University of Alberta, playing basketball, badminton, and soccer. With regards to attending games - just two - and 1 of them included free tickets from David Staples. This contrasting to 5 games in 2003-2004 and 9 games in 2005-2006. It was a year I was more interested in the business side of the sport (Salary cap, statistics, Katz, New Arena saga, etc.) rather than the on-ice play.
Even tonight's critical game - turned it on and once it became 2-0 then there left no motivation to complete the game. Perhaps I expected the outcome and didn't see a reason to waste time. Perhaps it's being disgusted with the annual, "Just watch next year!" mantra. Or perhaps it's just a sign of age and maturity - as a maturing young adult you begin to see sports as merely entertainment, not passion.
Which perhaps may just be a good thing. I love hockey, but no question that I've spent too much time reading/gathering information/watching hockey. Life is too short.
And Stuff like this is exactly why you won't see me posting at HF much anymore. You don't get ahead in the corporate world wasting too much time on nonsense like this.
You just don't.