Sport isn't like real life. In life, you can count money made as a measure, or who gets the hot wife, or who turns out to become a rock star, but I always loved one thing about team sports: You can quantify virtually everything. There is fuck all room for debate when counting cups won, or points scored. Which is why I always win hockey arguments with flames fans.
Islander fans might try to pull the old four in a row argument out, but in the end I wait them out and they usually end up crying. Four in a row is great, but 5 out of seven eventually trumps it every time.
It's also the biggest reason I'd have loved to have played in the NHL. I'd have gone in knowing it wasn't going to last, so I'd just try to stick around for as long as I could - knowing full well that when it ended I would have something to look back on that I could count, and accept the fact that the rest of my life would be for the most part the same chaotic mess that is it for most people.
I also happen to hate the current Detroit Red Wings. But I cannot deny that they're a really successful team.
It wasn't always the case. I remember seriously feeling sorry for Steve Yzerman who was a great young player, because he had to play on such a shitty wings team. Or gloating when Slats raped them in the Jimmy Carson trade that I always thought put the finishing touches on the 1990 cup winning team. How times change. One thing I do like about Detroit these days is their fans(non bandwagon) understand what winning hockey is about.
I never thought much of Jari Kurri until 1990. Up until then, it had been a combination of other players I preferred, as Kurri just seemed too defensive and boring. Sure he'd score a lot of goals, but I thought he was Wayne's goal suck.
Before you crucify me, I hadn't yet made teenager. I'd grown up watching this crazy team and they had so many facets of interest for me that I'd often end up liking players for reasons other than technical ability. Kurri seemed like one of those old metallic table hockey players, in comparison to some of the other Oilers.
Then 1990, and the Wayne-less Oilers went on the rampage, after quite a scare at the hands of their playoff girlfriends the Winnipeg Jets. If you think the Oilers were the Star's gfs in the 1990's, you should have seen the Jets. The remnants of their dominating WHA team, the Jets tried to play open hockey against quite probably the greatest attacking team in history. Every time they met in the playoffs, it was usually a nice easy sweep or something. The Jets weren't even girlfriends. The Jets were the chick that blows the team behind the bike shed.
But in 1990, the Jets went up 3-1 in the annual whipfest. It looked like the boys were goners. Then Messier woke everyone up, and bingo the Jets blew the series.
That's when I started to understand just how great Jari Kurri really was. And wow what a player! Defensively so conscientious that the coach could trust him in any imaginable situation and be secure in the fact that Kurri would play perfect positional defensive hockey. I mean perfect. Then, the other Kurri - a goalscoring whiz. The perfect scoring winger. On the same level as Mike Bossy. Seriously.
The reason I'd overlooked him for so long was, he was perfect. Out of all the Oilers dynasty, Jari Kurri was just perfect.
I'm already getting comments about how I need to start picking post 1991 Oilers in my all time fave list. But honestly, who can compare to the 5 players I've listed so far?