Thursday, May 11, 2006

True Grit

From the Hat in today's Globe:

On the winning goal at the 2:24 mark of triple overtime, Oilers forward Ryan Smyth centred the puck in front to Horcoff, who jammed it in from the top of the crease where he got inside of defenceman Jose Gorges. Smyth missed the second half of the second period of regulation when an errant Chris Pronger clearing pass hit him in the mouth, knocking out three teeth and cutting him for eight stitches. Smyth returned for the start of the third period and made a Herculean effort on the winning goal.

"It was a huge lift," said Horcoff, of the example that Smyth set for his team. "He lost three teeth. We were picking them up, off the ice. I'm saying, 'is that his tooth?' Yup, that's his tooth. So we went over and picked them up and he's got stitches. Talking on the bench, I could barely hear him because his mouth is numb. I mean, what do you say about Smitty? He's done that his whole career. I realized that about Smitty along time ago. He's established himself as that type of player, so it didn't surprise us at all."

Smyth was scheduled for a pair of dental appointments — one right after the game, then another first thing Thursday morning. The hope is that his teeth can be saved.

Or as Sacamano puts it:

If he wasn't already there, Ryan Smyth has just joined the pantheon of athletes that should only play for one team. Losing his chicklets and then coming back to play the way he did in the third and OTs? Unbelievable.

Smytty's been a favourite of mine for years and after the Samsonov deal there was some talk of the possibility of him moving along. Now I like Sammy, I really do, but the reality of it is that they're probably going to have to decide one or the other and spend that 4M elsewhere - goaltending, RW, top 4 D etc etc - one place the Oil are loaded at is LW. I can't see them dropping 7-8M on two LW.

Down the stretch Smytty was there. First round he was there. Last night ...

I like Sammy. I do. But its a no brainer.

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