The Edmonton Oilers took us on a great ride, eh! Yep, a lot of ups and downs while they were in the play offs for the first time since 2006. And then to be robbed of victory because the referees failed to call goalie interference when the Anaheim Ducks’ player was obviously pulling the Edmonton goalie’s pad. Eschia!

I have to say it was very exciting to have so many Canadian teams getting into the playoffs, and then having two teams into the second round. Can we now say the Oilers were one of the best eight teams in the league this year? Well yaaaaaaa!

And Ottawa is in the final in the East, so I’m saying they are one of the four best teams in the League. Certainly, even if they lose this series they can say they ended up tied for third in the Stanley Cup championships.

My best experience was when Jean and I went to our first playoff game ever on Easter Weekend and the Oilers tied the series up. Woohoo. It was pretty awesome alright. We went there an hour early and the excitement was intense, even outside where people were trying to buy tickets.

Rogers Arena is incredible! We sure appreciated that we didn’t have to stand in line outside while waiting to go through security because it was raining. It will be great to go inside to line up when it’s thirty below.

And the energy was wild as soon as we got in; we could hear people chanting and the game didn’t start for an hour. I “had” to buy an Orange Crush jersey – another first. Hahahaha. And Jean bought a t-shirt. Then we walked around admiring the building, and joining in the spontaneous chants that broke out.

The feeling in the building was electric. People were high fiving with strangers including us, and not only during the game when the Oilers scored, but even when we were walking around at intermissions. During the game, the crowd did the wave and we joined in. People cheered without being prompted by the big screen or the music. Jean and I even made it on the big screen a couple of times.

The game was incredible, and the Oilers cooperated. Cassian was buzzing around like a crazy man causing cheers to erupt. And when the Oilers won, the feeling was unbelievable. After the game, we were walking out and I had my picture taken with two young fans who were dressed from head to toe in Oilers gear.

On our way out through Ford Hall, there were well over a thousand people standing around talking excitedly or dancing to a Deejay. Here again, people were singing, chanting, and high fiving or dancing with strangers, including with us. Some people had obviously been drinking, but some weren’t.

It was totally awesome. I can only imagine how it was when the Oilers beat the Ducks 7-1 in the second round. Holy moly.

There was something special about watching the Oilers that helped me to let go of the stresses from school. I was on an adrenaline high for sometime after this game. My sons and I kept texting about it that night and throughout the Oilers’ run, which was a great way to stay connected.

I was disappointed when the Oilers lost to the Ducks, but it was a good distraction that helped ease the stress of school and it brought a lot of people together from all over. We talked to people at the game who had come from Fort Smith, northern Alberta, and Winnipeg just so they could cheer for the Oilers.

And certainly, the City of Edmonton came out and supported their team and can also say, “what a ride the Oilers took us on.” And they are only going to get better! Woohoo!!!!

Now I’m back at my books and enjoying the spring weather. I’m focusing on my studies, counting down the next four weeks of classes, and look forward to my practicum in Yellowknife. At the back of my mind is the ride the Oilers will take us on next year. Eschia!

Roy Erasmus

Roy Erasmus Sr. Is a certified wellness counsellor who survived heart disease and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.