When I was growing up Saturday was a day indelibly connected to Hockey. Sitting on the 'high stool' in a flanellette nightgown as mother tortured our fresh-from-the-bath hair into pin curls for Sunday - watching Hockey Night in Canada with Foster Hewitt announcing the play by play. Ducking whenever Eddy Shack from the Toronto Maple Leafs decided to get into yet another fight with John Ferguson of the Montreal Canadians (or Habitants) because Mom would be cheering them on, waving the tail comb dangerously close to our heads. We cheered for Toronto because they were the closest team to us out here in Western Canada. Then when Edmonton got their own Oilers, we switched allegiances. Natch. When I got married, my husband and I decided to forego the dubious pleasures of television which meant no more hockey. Then, when our children were younger a friend took pity on us and donated a television to our household just in time for my children to watch the Edmonton Oilers, helmed by Wayne Gretzky, begin a winning streak that, for some reason, made us proud even though the only contribution we made to their wins was to watch them on television and yell 'shoot, shoot'. Important, but, I'm sure, had a minimal impact on their success or lack of.
Now, after a fourteen year dearth of even getting a whiff of the Stanley Cup, here are the Oilers on the brink. Can they pull it off? Why do I still care? I don’t know. I haven't watched hockey for years. I’ve never met these people and will probably never get to. But the colours on their sweaters are familiar and a part of my children’s childhood. My two sons are avid fans and I’m sure they are sending enough ‘positive vibes’ out to their beloved Oilers that mom doesn’t need to join in. My nerves can’t take it anymore. I’ll find out tomorrow.