ENS Gameday Preview: Farewell, Jungle

farewell-rexall

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.

Lineup

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!

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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 🙁

bill-guerin-celebration-dance

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

friggin-todd-upset

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.

Nail-Yakupov-Goal-Celebration

Let’s do it, boys. Let’s send this baby off in style. Long live the Jungle.

gagner-eight-points

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