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Saturday, December 11, 2010

*THIS* Is Why We're Here - A Guest Post

I'm sure everyone has seen Linus Omark's shootout goal from last night (If you haven't, you can leave your Oilers card at the door). Having gotten to see him play live those 16 times, it felt pretty cool to see someone go and have success at the NHL level. Late last night, another OKC blogger, and someone who's gotten to be a pretty friend that just happened to have season tickets two rows behind mine, put up a pretty awesome post that pretty much sums up my feelings. She also reminded me of why I stick mostly with stats because of how my writing ability still lacks pretty bad. Candace Riley writes A New Ice Age. If you haven't seen it yet, she gives a pretty great recap and adds in pictures that she takes throughout the game. Go and check it out. So without further adieu, here's Candace's post.

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Not long after Tuesday night's game against Houston, the rumours started running hard and fast about the Oilers calling up a couple Barons players. The likely duo was named as Ryan O'Marra and Linus Omark. The rumour became truth early Wednesday afternoon. They were pulled off the ice during the Barons' outdoor practice and shuttled to Edmonton that afternoon/evening.

They both played in their first game of the season with the Oilers Friday night. Ryan had seen time with the club last season, but this was Linus' first taste of the regular season big show. As it would turn out, one taste wasn't enough, apparently.

Each one registered an assist during the 2nd period of a close game against Tampa Bay. Tampa led on a couple of occasions, but Edmonton fought back to take a 3-2 lead to the 3rd. Steven Stamkos would tie the game for the Lightning early in the 3rd. We arrived home from the Barons win over Manitoba, and we'd see it go to overtime, then finally a shootout.

The Edmonton announcers on Rogers Sportsnet were pretty excited with speculation as to whether or not Oilers coach Tom Renney would put Linus in the shootout. I almost couldn't believe it when they said that, yes, he had made the list of 3. He would shoot third, behind Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.

Eberle scored on his attempt, and Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Marc Pouliot on his. Taylor Hall would be stopped by Dan Ellis, and the same for Steven Stamkos.

Then, it was Linus' turn. He took a very quick run to the puck, but was stopped by the referee at center ice. Apparently in his excitement, or that of the entire crowd at Rexall Place, he hadn't waited for the whistle to go. On his second go.................................magic.

Already hoarse from the Barons game, Aaron & I both screamed loud enough to doom what was left of our voices, pretty much. JF Jacques was the first player off the bench to grab Linus, and the entire building was so loud I think it was shaking. I know *I* was.......

It finally hit me a little while later................*THIS* is why we're here. The Barons. The fans. To support these guys on whatever journey their career might take them. Sure, I knew it and understood it before. But to be caught in that actual *moment* that takes your breath away.............seeing a guy's dream come true, is just almost too much joy for a heart to bear.

I know Linus didn't want to be here. I know some things were said in interviews early on that may have been.....questionable. Some so-called fans tried to turn it against him.

I. Don't. Care. I understood WHY. And now, tonight, we as fans were able to understand it and live it with him.

Whether they play one game here, or an entire season, they'll always be "ours"....if only for fleeting moments. From then on, all joy and heartbreak will be shared by us all. It's positively heartwrenching to see them go, yet that's all you want for them....is to have their dreams come true.

They may play one game up there, or we may never see them down here again.........NHL superstars and fixtures from then on. Linus may never do another thing in the NHL ever again, and it wouldn't matter. He still can say that he *owned* the night of December 10, 2010.....when he set all hockey related electronic media on fire and kicked it off stage. TOP THAT, he seemed to say.

I watched a player named Rene Corbet score 2 goals in a Stanley Cup final game in early June, 1996 for the Colorado Avalanche. Who, you might ask? It doesn't matter......he was my favorite player, it happened, and I remember it.. And just like tonight..................it was magic.

Linus, should lightning strike and you ever read this......I understand why you didn't want to be here. I accept that with all my heart. And after tonight, I hope I never see you back again. The hockey world belongs to you tonight, if only for this short, fleeting moment. I can only hope you grab it, hold on, and DON'T LET IT GO.

Gratis, Linus...one more time.

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Be sure to check out Candace's Twitter, @SoonerPenguin. She's a Pens fan, but don't hold it against her. Thanks to Candace for letting me repost this.

Be sure to check out the Barons game starting in about an hour. You can listen on 1000 KTOK or follow along on Twitter, @AHLBarons. Barons will play again tomorrow in Milwaukee at 7 CST/ 6 MST.

1 comment:

  1. That was seriously one of the best posts that I have ever read. Kudos to Candace.

    ReplyDelete

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