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As of today - 20 years of Oilers fandom

3 min read

I came to Canada in 1992, too young and new to the country to know/care about hockey. The oilers failed to make the playoffs from then until 1997.
I was 15, life was shitty (really shitty), but the Oilers made the playoffs and everyone was going crazy about it so I watched.
The oilers were the 7th seed, playing the 2nd place Dallas Stars. This was literally the first time I paid any attention to hockey outside of NHL '94 for the Sega Genesis. I barely knew the rules, but I was a bandwagon fan because of the excitement of the city and my friends. I watched every game, getting more and more excited each time we took the series lead, and getting deflated when the Stars tied it up. With the Oilers unexpectedly up 3 games to 2 in overtime of game 6 the Dallas Stars boogeyman Mike Modano again tied the series forcing it to the epic game 7.
I watched game 7 in the basement of my moms house, with my brothers, on an old crappy tv (CRT right?). Expectations were high. Even though it was only the first round, it was my first playoffs, and I was 6 games invested already. It might as well have been for the cup.
Then Dallas took the lead less than 2 minutes in... and the oilers responded quickly. Then came the Andy Moog show. The Oilers had tons of great chances were denied by some unbelievable saves. The pace was high, full on back and forth hockey, but the Stars were edging out (and mostly out-playing the oilers for a while) and earned a 3-2 lead. In the final minute of the game Todd Marchant gets a 2-on-1, passes to Andre Kovalenko who buries it and ties the game with 19 seconds left. Oilers were about to be eliminated, then a miracle goal, and we're still in it.
Overtime was tense, incredibly fast paced. Dallas was swarming and Curtis Joseph was making all kinds of ridiculous saves to keep the Oilers in it. Then he made the save of his career:
Less than a minute later Todd Marchant gets a partial breakaway and buries the goal that eliminates the Stars, gets Oilers to the second round and cements me as a life-long fan.
Of course it got a little depressing after that for a while, but I was hooked.  This is a good time to be celebrating 20 years.  As of right now we're 2-0 up on Anaheim in the second round and confidence has never been higher.