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The Kings Dethroned

The Edmonton Oilers Defeat The Conniving Kings

By D. J. ReddallPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read

If you are a contemporary Oilers fanatic, there is something especially savory about a convincing dethroning of the LA Kings for you and your trusted friends and allies. LA “stole” the venerated Wayne Gretzky from the Oilers' roster many years ago, and in more recent seasons, this has been a bitter and venomous rivalry.

Tonight, on home ice in Edmonton, the Oilers dashed the dreams of the dastardly Kings and ended a three-game slide that managed to evoke plenty of anxious hand-wringing and pearl-clutching from fans and critics of the Oilers alike. I find the fickle, ephemeral nature of the local fan base vexing and eminently comprehensible at once: this season, the Oilers had a ghastly start. They replaced their head coach and embarked upon a sixteen-game winning streak that tied the record for the longest such streak by a Canadian team in NHL history. The All Star Break robbed them of some of that stunning momentum, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth resumed in earnest: “They are back to their losing ways; the Knoblauch bounce was a fleeting fluke; once again, a magnificent squad on paper will make a hash of what was supposed to be a Stanley Cup worthy season.”:

Not so fast, my friends. Stuart Skinner made 40 saves this evening; Ryan-Nugent Hopkins was a magician in the faceoff circle and scored the fourth goal to put the game on ice and Draisaitl, Hyman and Bouchard, the latter of whom has proved to be as dangerous offensively as he is stalwart defensively, left the mighty Kings grinding their outraged teeth. A 4-2 victory makes the Oilers sole owners of third place in the Pacific Division, a single point behind the reigning Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights:

I understand the tendency of Oilers fans, analysts and commentators to sour swiftly when losses begin to mount: the eternal return of the same, brainchild of the enigmatic and ingenious Friedrich Nietzsche, has a powerful hold on many minds. We have lost before; we will inevitably lose again.

A Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche by Edvard Munch

However, significant changes have occurred this season that make cynical resignation seem churlish and obtuse. Knoblauch is not afraid to experiment in terms of tactics, strategy and personnel, and to his credit, if an experiment fails, he sticks with what works. Connor McDavid, who will soon be canonized as a living saint even if the Cup is not in his hands when the curtain falls on this season, has shown himself to be extraordinarily nimble, adaptable and protean: if he is prevented from scoring, he sets records for assists. If he is battered and bruised by the opposition, he responds with leonine ferocity and courage.

NHL Hockey, like human life in general, is rich in complexity, drama and pure weirdness. Sometimes the statistical analysis proves worthless, the predictions are revealed to be empty wind and superstitious rituals prove to be as efficacious as all of the granular video replay dissection a beleaguered coaching staff can muster.

Tonight, the Oilers showed that talent and discipline, skill and spirit, compliment one another in subtle and gratifying ways. They ought to relish this victory over their nemeses, and sustain their momentum as they await the St. Louis Blues, who will roll into town on Wednesday night with the potential to play a song that St. Connor and his merry band will dislike. One thing is certain: Roger’s Place will rock, and in all likelihood, dethroning the Kings will galvanize the Oilers and allow them to pile up many more sterling victories. Faith untested is not faith. Oilers fans should be as tenacious and stoic as the players they love.


About the Creator

D. J. Reddall

I write because my time is limited and my imagination is not.

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    I'm not a sports fan but I still read this although I didn't understand it very well hahahahha. My favourite and the one I understood the most is, "We have lost before; we will inevitably lose again."

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