ENS Gameday Preview: Farewell, Jungle
First off, I’d like to thank Hank for graciously allowing me to do the gameday blog for the final game inside our magnificent Jungle. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be at a hell of a lot of games at that barn since 2006, a stretch of 433 home games. I’m not sure exactly how many I’ve been to, all time, but it’s been a lot. I was fortunate enough to attend 98 consecutive home games between 2007 and 2009, ending that streak before the milestone much like Glenn Anderson. I’ve seen some pretty incredible things happen inside those gargantuan concrete slabs, and tonight…tonight will be the last time I embark on an Oilers game inside our arena. Rogers Place may be pretty, and new, and have glass, but the Jungle will forever be my home. It’s where I grew up watching hockey. It’s where I’ve shared so many unforgettable memories. It’s, simply, legendary.
I’ll miss it all: The tiny concourses. The lack of cup holders. The plethora of concrete. The Old Dutch signs. The 1980s out-of-town scoreboards. The balloons that have accumulated at the roof. The echos of “cooooooooolllldddddddd beeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr” that can be heard from the other end of the arena. Sneaking down to the club access thanks to a tip from an anonymous ENS fan, Ben. The Oil Derrick, which at this point I’m sure isn’t coming to the Rog. I’ll seriously miss everything there is about that place, except “Stadium Love,” which I hope we leave there to die. Not that the Jungle deserves that, because it doesn’t. But because I never want to hear that song again.
|Glenn Anderson||Doug Hicks||Craig Muni|
|Ron Anderson||Darcy Hordichuk||Jim Neilson|
|Danny Arndt||Bill Huard||Bernie Nicholls|
|Ken Baird||John Hughes||Fredrik Olausson|
|Bryon Baltimore||Pat Hughes||Ryan O’Marra|
|Frank Beaton||Peter Ing||Steve Passmore|
|Shawn Belle||Chris Joseph||Rusty Patenaude|
|Dennis Bonvie||Dennis Kassian||Scott Pearson|
|Fred Brathwaite||Steve Kelly||Ross Perkins|
|Sean Brown||Kerry Ketter||Ferando Pisani|
|Ken Brown||Petr Klima||Shjon Podein|
|Brett Callighen||Phil “Skip” Krake||Pat Price|
|Steve Carlyle||Igor Kravchuk||Kevin Primeau|
|Anson Carter||Mike Krushelnyski||Billy Ranford|
|Ron Chipperfield||Stu Kulak||Marty Reasoner|
|Paul Coffey||Jari Kurri||Steven Rice|
|Cam Connor||Marc Laforge||John Rogers|
|Shayne Corson||Mark Lamb||Tom Roulston|
|Wayne Cowley||Dave Langevin||Reijo Ruotsalainen|
|Cory Cross||Georges Laraque||Terran Sandwith|
|Louie Debrusk||Moe Lemay||Dave Semenko|
|Jess Deslauries||Willy Lindstrom||Tim Sheehy|
|Boyd Devereaux||Ken Linseman||Gord Sherven|
|Jim Ennis||Barry Long||Craig Simpson|
|Bob Falkenberg||Ron Low||Warren Skorodenski|
|Sir Scott Ferguson||Kevin Lowe||Geoff Smith|
|Chris Ferraro||Dave Lumley||Doug Smith|
|Bob Fitchner||Blair MacDonald||Dan Smith|
|Val Fonteyne||Troy Mallette||Ryan Smyth|
|Norm Foster||Kirk Maltby||Jason Strudwick|
|Doug Friedman||Jussi Markkanen||Todd Strueby|
|Grant Fuhr||Dean McAmmond||Andy Sutton|
|Joaquin Gage||Bob McAneely||Scott Thornton|
|Danny Gare||Ted McAneely||Craig Topolnisky|
|Mathieu Garon||Bill McDougall||Garry Unger|
|Martin Gelinas||Ryan McGill||Wayne Van Dorp|
|Tom Gilmore||Ray McKay||Ron Walters|
|Brian Glynn||Marty McSorley||Mike Ware|
|Steve Graves||Larry Melnyk||Stan Weir|
|Josh Green||Mark Messier||Brad Werenka|
|Wayne Gretzky||Scott Metcalfe||Mike Zanier|
|Brent Grieve||Eddie Mio||Brad Zavisha|
|Al Hamilton||Mike Moller||Wayne Zuk|
|Greg Hawgood||Barrie Moore|
|Ian Herbers||Wayne Muloin|
Thought we’d do something a little different tonight. Instead of the lineup of guys who got blown out 5-0 by Calgary on Saturday, let’s look at the legends who have given up their time to say farewell to the barn they once called home.
Big lineup news to pass your way as the great Scott Ferguson has answered my prayers and is coming back to the Concrete Jungle!
What a goddamn time to be alive!!! I’m infinity more excited about seeing Scott Ferguson get announced onto the ice than I am for the Oilers to play the Canucks. This is a moment I’ve wished would happen since it was announced we’d be moving into a new arena. I might cry.
Sad to announce my other favourite Oiler of all time, Rem “the gem” Murray, is nowhere to be found. Was also really hoping him and Todd Harvey would return to the Jungle, but can’t win them all. Same with Mike Grier.
I really, reallllllyyyyy wish Gator, Dougie Weight and Todd Marchant could have been back for this one, but they have big boy jobs now.
In an outrageously bold move, Steve Kelly is making his highly anticipated debut in Edmonton.
Friends of ENS Al Hamilton, father of Andrew and Brett, and Dave Lumley, father of Kate, will be in attendance for the big dance. Special shout out to those two, I’ll be giving them a massive ovation tonight.
I don’t remember Shjon Podein playing for the Oilers, but I do remember him playing for the Avs. I also remember the first time I seen how he spelled his name, which is preposterous. You were born in Minnesota, Shjon. Spell your goddamn name right.
Keith Gretzky’s brother showed up.
Craig MacTavish is somehow not on the list, which is strange. Could he not get the day off work?
Dancin’ Anson is back!! But no Dancin’ Billy, sadly 🙁
Finally, my vote for biggest cheer of a player not in the hall of fame goes to Ryan Smyth, with Georges Laraque picking up the silver medal and Party Marty Reasoner getting the bronze.
What Needs To Happen
We need to find out if the roof is truly as indestructible as it looks.
What Can’t Happen
What Will Happen
Seems like neither team can score worth shit, but what the hell. The Oilers send off the Concrete Jungle the exact same way they welcomed it, with a 6-4 win in front of Bryon Baltimore and the other 132 Oilers Alumni who have RSVP’d for the game. Connor McDavid puts on a show in front of every hall of famer we’ve ever had, picking up four points and his first NHL hat trick. The Big Rig also gets jazzed up for this one and feeds off Connor’s success with three points of his own. And just for the hell of it, Yak with two.
Let’s do it, boys. Let’s send this baby off in style. Long live the Jungle.