A lot has changed in the past five years.
The Oilers are no longer that team that got to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Two players remain from that team (unless you count JF Jacques who did draw in for a handful of games during the 2005-06 season) and both are currently injured.
I'm no longer that new-to-Vancouver waitress making my way back to school. Two years of broadcast school and I'm a news anchor in a major market. I talk little about my favourite team, having to fake enthusiasm and hide my disgust for the Canucks on a daily basis.
Hot Oil is not much more than memories of Ulanov, Roloson, and of course, my Marty.
But tonight, as the worst team in the league, beat the best team... I was proud once again. (The Canucks in the number 1 spot is also troubling, but I remember what position the Oilers were in when they made it all the way in 2006.)
I haven't watched a lot of games this season. In fact, the Oilers are probably 50-50 when I tune in. Maybe I should have tuned in more often.
Despite the bad moves over the last five years, my dissatisfaction with the people of Edmonton being forced into paying for an arena, and the piss poor results we've seen since the cup run - I'm still an Oilers fan.
Next Sunday, Oiler fans in Vancouver are getting together to mark the final game of the season.
From the Facebook event:
Wanted: Displaced Oilers fans in need of friendly faces.(Really, tell your friends, we'd love to have a full house, just like we did at the Frog, 5 years ago.)
The last game of a long season is almost upon us. You've been suffering alone long enough - mosey on down to the Black Frog as YOUR Edmonton Oilers end their season against the Avs and spend a Sunday with people who get you.
Black Frog opens at 11:30. Game starts at noon.
Be there or be square.
Tweeting not required, though encouraged. (#stilloilfans is the hashtag. Use it. A lot.)
If you just feel like getting tipsy on a Sunday, feel free to stop by, but no mocking or jerky comments about the season, the Oilers or Edmonton.
Tell your friends!
The Oilers have a lot of things to be thankful for, including a storied history, a relatively recent cup run and a lot of good young players. The end of this season has been painful, not because of all the losses, but because we're not part of the run. Battling for 8th is a lot of fun. I don't need a Stanley Cup to enjoy my team. I just don't want one in the hands of the Canucks or Flames.
(I'd say the Leafs too, but c'mon.)