Countdown To The Cup: The NHL playoffs are underway and that means we’re just a few weeks away from the Stanley Cup Finals. Maybe you’re team will be lucky enough to play for the greatest trophy in sports or maybe you’re just a fan of hockey at any level. Whatever the case, the Tulsa Oilers are inviting you to the biggest hockey parties in the state at Twin Peaks for each game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Bring the family and become a part of our hockey family as we celebrate the game we love with cold beer, good eats, and great friends! Each party will feature games for the kids, trivia and prizes for the adults, and most importantly hockey on dozens of HD, flat-screen TV’s! No matter which team you support or where you come from, you don’t want to miss the hoisting of the Cup and you definitely don’t want to miss the party at Twin Peaks! The Stanley Cup Finals should begin in mid-June so be sure to check back at www.tulsaoilers.com for dates, times, and all the details.
Playoff Update (No, not the NBA. The real playoffs.): We’re only halfway through round one and already we’ve been treated to overtime thrillers, line brawls, the return of playoff hockey to starving fan bases, chirping in the media, and of course the yearly disappointment that is the Vancouver Canucks.
#1 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #8 Minnesota Wild (Chicago leads 2-1)
Jason Zucker’s overtime winner in Game 3 pulled the Wild back into this series, but the best story of these playoffs is Minny’s goalie, Josh Harding. Everyone should be rooting for this guy.
#2 Anaheim Ducks vs. #7 Detroit Red Wings (Series tied 2-2)
A gorgeous snipe from Pavel Datsyuk and the hustle of Damien Brunner gave Detroit a comeback victory in Game 4 and Jimmy Howard played his best game of the series to give the Wings a much-needed lift in net.
#3 Vancouver Canucks vs. #6 San Jose Sharks (San Jose leads 3-0)
You mean to tell me that a team with no established #1 goaltender and all the skill in the world, but not nearly enough grit is getting shelled in the postseason? Shocking. The Canucks annual playoff freefall looks even worse because the Sharks have been so sensational. San Jose was 17-2-5 at home this season. Get your broom out.
#4 St. Louis Blues vs. #5 Los Angeles Kings (Series tied 2-2)
The defending champs dug themselves out of an early 2-0 hole and held serve on home ice in Game 4 on Monday night. If you like collisions, this is the series for you. In Game 4, the two evenly-matched squads combined for 88 hits. Old-time hockey is awesome.
#1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #8 New York Islanders (Pittsburgh leads 2-1)
Isles fans waited six years for a home playoff game only to watch Chris Kunitz spoil the party with a powerplay goal in overtime to give Pittsburgh a 5-4 win in Game 3. New York forward John Tavares is a superstar and could be in the Crosby-Ovechkin-Stamkos conversation if he played for another team or if the NHL made any effort at all to market its best talent.
#2 Montreal Canadiens vs. #7 Ottawa Senators (Ottawa leads 2-1)
Where to begin? This series has featured a controversial hit and subsequent suspension, a reference to a “fat walrus,” a donnybrook, one coach screaming at the other coach, and one player intentionally firing a slap shot at an opposing player. This is what Canadians refer to as “fun.” Cancel whatever plans you have and watch Game 4 tonight. Seriously, do it.
#3 Washington Capitals vs. #6 New York Rangers (Washington leads 2-1)
After scoring just two goals in the first two games, the Rangers found their offense in Game 3. The 4-3 triumph at the Garden made head coach John Tortorella only slightly less confrontational than usual.
#4 Boston Bruins vs. #5 Toronto Maple Leafs (Boston leads 2-1)
The Leafs faithful followers have no sympathy for the Islanders. Toronto fans waited nine years for a home playoff game and then watched their team fall flat. It’s cruel that the Leafs are taunting their fans with hope. This won’t end well.
Meanwhile in the CHL…: It’s a #1 vs. #2 fight for the Ray Miron Presidents Cup as the Allen Americans and Wichita Thunder face off in the CHL Finals. The series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 in Allen tonight. The teams have alternated victories and now Allen has regained home ice advantage. In Game 2, a 5-2 Allen win, the teams combined for 164 penalty minutes. The Thunder, 10-2 in the playoffs so far, hasn’t won a league title since 1995 while the Americans are seeking their first championship.
The Amazing Battaglias: Brothers and former Tulsa Oilers, Bates and Anthony Battaglia, are one million dollars richer after winning the 22nd edition of CBS’s Amazing Race. Bates, 37, and Anthony, 33, dubbed themselves “Team Mullet” and covered 30,000 miles over 10 countries before arriving at Mount Vernon in Virginia to claim the victory. The Battaglia’s played for the Oilers during the 2010-11 season. Anthony appeared in 37 games and put up 33 points while Bates suited up for six contests alongside his little brother.
Try Hockey For Free!: On Saturday, May 11 from 5:30-6:30pm, the Oilers Ice Center and Tulsa Junior Hockey will be holding a “Try Hockey for Free” clinic. This program is designed to introduce kids to the sport of hockey. Boys and girls ages 4-8 are invited to attend and hockey equipment will be provided. To register and reserve equipment, call the Oilers Ice Center at 918-252-3673 or visit www.tulsajroilers.com for more information. If you have a child or grandchild who wants to try a new sport with absolutely no pressure and no obligation, this is the perfect opportunity to get on ice, learn about the game, and have some fun!
Learn Hockey Safety at Camp Bandage: For the second straight year, the Tulsa Oilers will have a booth at the annual children’s safety festival known as Camp Bandage. On Saturday, May 18 from 10am-3pm at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Broken Arrow (400 N. Aspen), the Oilers, will demonstrate sports safety. Let your kids take fire a few pucks at the slap shot booth or let them try on the hockey pads to find out how Oilers players stay safe on the ice. Dozens of exhibitors will be handing out free prizes and food and the day will come to an end with a mock car accident. Get an up-close look at how our first responders save lives and how you can prevent serious accidents. Visit www.campbandage.org for more information.
Tags: allen, amazing race, anthony battaglia, bates battaglia, camp bandage, nhl, playoffs, stanley cup, tulsa oilers, twin peaks, watch parties, wichita