Friday, May 26, 2006

Hockey Night in Canada: Rexall Place, Plus-Minus, and Pisani

(photo courtesy of Dave at

I can’t guarantee the Edmonton Oilers will win the Stanley Cup or even if they’ll defeat the Mighty Ducks. I can tell you why I’m rooting for the Oilers, though; Here are my Top Ten reasons:

10. Sergei Samsonov: Sami is the AMHL photographer’s (newbies: my wife) favorite player, and what’s good for her is most often good for me. He’s also a plus-8 in the 2006 play-offs.

9. ABBA: When Fernando Pisani scored a goal against Dallas in the 2003 play-offs, the Edmonton music guy played ABBA’s song about two friends crossing the Rio Grande on a starry night …. I love ABBA!

8. Thundersticks: You won’t see or hear those societal blights at Rexall Place.

7. Rexall Place: Maybe the ice is a little soft by Edmonton’s standards, but all we need is an Alberta Clipper to chill the arena and harden the NHL’s best ice.

6. Fernando Pisani: The North End (Edmonton) native scored 18 goals in the regular season but leads his team in the play-offs with nine lamp-lighters.

5. Jason Smith: Who can resist rooting for a team whose captain doesn’t lead his club in scoring—but rather in blocked shots (176 in 76 games he played during the regular season)?

4. The Other Smyth: Ryan gets his teeth knocked out in Game Three against San Jose but returns to the game to factor in the game-winning goal in triple OT.

3. Michael Peca: I’m not a huge fan, but he’s on the same line as Fernando Pisani—Peca to Pisani. Goal! Let’s go to the North End for pasta!

2. Roloson: Let’s hear it for 36-year-old goalies who like to wiggle their helmets off their heads to force a whistle!

1. CBC: I like Bill Clement and crew, but the AMHL photographer and I will be on vacation next week, watching Hockey Night in Canada… in Canada, rooting for the home team.

Tune in next week with a report from St. John’s, Newfoundland!