Work in Sports
Shouldering the Weight
Oilers captain puts up hat trick in Game 3 win
Posted: Monday May 08, 2000 09:33 PM
By Mario Annicchiarico, SLAM! Sports
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The slogan says Go Crazy.
In a serious display of one-upmanship, the Oilers stuck it to Ken Hitchcock's Dallas Stars last night by a 5-2 count that mirrored the manhandling they suffered in the good ol' U.S. of A.
Led by captain Doug Weight's first career playoff hat trick, the Oilers dominated from start to finish in a very thorough dismantling of Dallas.
It was a total reversal from Games 1 and 2 in the Big D and it cuts the Stars' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series.
More importantly, it proved the locals are not a roster of Dead Men Skating.
THAT'S A RECORD
They did it with a franchise record-setting 22 shots in the opening 20 minutes that broke the old playoff mark of 21 on April 24, 1983 vs. Chicago and May 4, 1997 against Colorado.
Weight had three of the 22 offerings - behind only Tom Poti's four - in a performance that exuded leadership.
"I think this is a few years brewing for Dougie," said Oilers head coach Kevin Lowe of his captain's performance.
"As much as [the Stars] deserved to win the games down there, we knew as a team that we hadn't played as badly and Dougie was the first one to mention that.
"He knew himself that he had heard enough of other people's performances. He wanted to be the guy first mentioned tonight."
Weight guaranteed that with the opening goal 8:40 into the lopsided first as the Oilers dominated both on the scoreboard and in the physical department.
"Not much to say, besides good old-fashioned Oiler hockey," said Lowe of the 3-0 lead generated after 20 minutes.
FINALLY, SOME SHOTS
Edmonton opened up an 8-0 shot advantage eight minutes in before Tommy Salo faced his first shot, a long slow roller. Yet the scoreboard read 0-0.
That quickly changed as the first goal went in off Weight's skate and then Derian Hatcher's stick. Jim Dowd's was plucked out of the air on a deflection.
Both -- in a span of 1:16 -- were reviewed on video, the first because of a Weight high stick that missed the puck as it fluttered through the air, and then to make sure it wasn't intentionally kicked in after it came down.
Dowd's was dangerously close to a high stick, but Edmonton benefitted on both bounces, which were a direct reflection of hard work and determination.
"I just thought that Edmonton had 18 desperate players plus the goalie the whole night, and I don't think we had very many at all, for the level of play," said Hitchcock. "Their level of desperation was far above ours. You're not going to win if you don't have everybody desperate. Not in this building."
Ryan Smyth made it 4-0 1:16 into the second as he finished off a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Ethan Moreau. Smyth left the game less than seven minutes later when he took Brenden Morrow's shoulder straight in the jaw.
Morrow finally got Dallas on the board with a power-play goal at 2:32 of the second before Weight completed his hat trick -- also on a power play -- at 6:13. The fans responded by firing a steady stream of hats onto the ice.
Mike Modano collected his first goal of the series 4:46 later to end the scoring.
"The performance speaks for itself," said Oilers winger Bill Guerin of Weight. "Dougie's been the guy who has taken the weight of this team on his shoulders.
"He's wanted the pressure, he's wanted the opportunity to step up like that and he's been doing it all year."
Two Oilers power-play markers and a shorthanded effort capped the showing that had the 17,100 fans screaming from start to finish.