I don't want to make it sound like I can't sympathize with the emotional impotence that left Peter Chiarelli's entire upper body limp. I think anyone that has ever been fully invested in a contending team's Stanley Cup run has dealt with disappointment so shocking that looking up at the world no longer seemed like a viable option. Giving up a three goal lead in almost exactly three minutes with those three minutes being the final three minutes of regulation in the most pivotal game of the series is certainly an extreme example of the bipolar unpredictability of the NHL postseason. Still, I truly think it's something Oilers' fans needed to experience.
Things had simply been too easy for them up to this point. Some might say that Edmonton has dealt with enough misery over the last decade, but there's a distinct difference between misery and heartbreak. Before you-know-who arrived, the Oilers' faithful were basically resigned to failure. They were a dead horse beaten excessively into a state of prolonged depression by the laughable deficiencies of their franchise. Now that horse is alive and kicking, and it has to re-learn what it feels like to abruptly have the reigns yanked back while running at full speed. I don't think I am going out on too far of a limb by assuming that Connor McDavid might make another playoff appearance or two, so the people that are counting on him needed to realize that even the best fall down sometimes. It's not sorrowful regular seasons that makes the glory that much more satisfying, it's the pain from the most unlikely of crushing playoff defeats. To borrow the timeless words of 'Chumbawamba', you have to get knocked down to get back up again, and its tough to get knocked down when you're at rock bottom for umpteenth time in a row.
On a side note, I am so glad this wasn't called goaltender interference....
That's not to say that it wasn't, but it is to say that calling it as such would have zapped the spirit of playoff hockey right from it's very soul. Ryan Kesler may have been doing what Ryan Kesler does, but there is nothing more invigorating than the all-out chaos surrounding the mess of bodies that are characteristic of late game desperation. The Oilers had plenty of chances to get out of there with a win, and Cam Talbot had enough of a chance to stop the all too important puck that sent the game to overtime. Maybe that goal is overturned if it's scored with 8 minutes left in the second period, but you can't overturn it during a point in the game when Edmonton would have gladly stretched the rules to keep from going to an extra session.