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Drop the gloves during the playoffs with SI.com's writers in the NHL Cup Blog, a daily journal of hockey commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
12:26 PM ET, 6/14/06

That's Oil, folks

Posted by Tom Layberger
An inconvenient truth of hockey life: one must seize a golden opportunity when it is presented, lest there be no tomorrow. The Oilers failed to capitalize in the opening period of Game 4, and tonight they venture into a region of Carolina that may as well be called the Devil's Triangle, although it is the home of the Hurricanes, a sea of red anxiously anticipating its first sip from the silver chalice.

While Edmonton may not disappear from the radar easily –- these Oilers are a little too resilient to do just that –- the Hurricanes are on the verge of becoming the sixth different winner to lay claim to Lord Stanley’s Cup in the last seven postseasons.

They will not disappoint.

On Monday night, Edmonton had its chance to narrow this series down to a best-of-three. But the Hurricanes played like they were on a larger mission, which is why it is difficult to imagine them letting what would be the greatest moment in franchise history slip away in front of a roaring faithful. (Can we please get a shot of some other joint besides Damon's?)

True, we have come to expect the unexpected in this two-month playoff journey. But tonight belongs to Rod Brind'Amour, Cory Stillman, Eric Staal, Cam Ward, and Glen Wesley (a former Hartford Whaler who will shed the label of having participated in the most playoff games among active players without winning the big prize), Bret Hedican, Doug Weight and all the 'Canes and their Caniac supporters.

What do you think? Do the Oilers, with their malfunctioning powerplay and backup goaltender, stand a chance tonight?

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