I rarely listen to podcasts at work - except for stuff that's arguably work-related, I've never done so before. I made an exception today when I saw interviews with Roloson, Conklin, and Markkanen pop up on the Oilers podcast. I had a listen, there's about 9 minutes with Rolo, a minute and a half with Markkanen, and about 6 with Conklin.
It boils down to this: Roloson says he'll make a quick recovery, third degree MCL tear or maybe a bit less, but he has no hope at all he'll be back for the finals. He said for a change, he didn't feel that when he got run that time that it should have been a penalty, and that Bergeron was just doing his job. He said he also hyperextended his elbow (seeing him favour his arm, I'd thought at first that it was a shoulder injury, so at least I'm not totally out to lunch).
Markkanen didn't say much, just that it will be "a big challenge" and "a second chance."
Conklin said MacTavish had yet to make a decision about who'd be starting, and he'd likely find out when the reporters found out. He sees this not as "a second chance, but it's an opportunity" - something along those lines. Interesting he rejected the words Markkanen used. They asked him about The Play last night, and did he wish it had gone differently - he said "Yeah, I wish the puck hadn't gone in the net," and that there'd be plenty of time in the summer to beat himself up, if that's how things went.
So, yeah. Roloson's gone, the Oilers are back to where they were in February, except if Conkannen gets hurt or falters, there's not even Mike Morrison in the ECHL waiting to be called up, just Jeff Drouin-Deslaurier, who has hardly impressed.
They said all the right things, and even with Conkannen stinking it up every other game practically (there was a stretch of what, 5 games, where whoever started didn't finish?) the team was still above .500. While I have to admit that my hopes aren't what they were 24 hours ago, I'm hardly ready to concede the bet, sorry Wade.
Why not? Just said, this was a good team even before Roloson came along. They're playing about as well as can be expected defensively and they haven't had a lot of trouble scoring goals these playoffs - they're still in decent shape. They've got leadership galore, including Michael Peca who, lest we forget, knows exactly what it's like to get to the Finals and have one's hopes dashed to flinders by a crappy play. Ryan Smyth, Chris Pronger, Jason Smith, all those guys know what it's like to get just the slightest lick of the brass ring. Their younger guys have all been steady.
At the other end of the rink, Ward's been hot, but so had Toskala been and they lit him up for 6 - twice in a row. Legace was extremely good all year, they got to him too. They pumped 5 pucks by Bryzgalov. Score like that, and the other team's got to work really hard to beat you. Ward's young and Gerber's as vulnerable as Conkannen.
It'll be tight, but the Oilers are hardly sunk. The series is still very much up in the air.
I'm still going to be reading up on MT docs as to how to change colours though. Just in case. And I wanted to anyway, this default scheme sucks.