Check back for all the fun.
7:00pm - No beer. No chips. No pizza. Just me, the computer, the television, and a bottle of Propel. Game on.
(Nothing like a little "Lingo" on GSN to warm us up. And the weather here is good, which probably means that the satellite dish won't fail me at any point *fingers crossed*.)
7:02pm - Eddie Olczyk has just made his first dumb comment tonight. He'd rather be in Carolina's room because "they're at home". Hey, Eddie, the last time they were at home, they got pretty thoroughly outplayed, especially in the third period and overtime (all 3:31 of it). And need I remind you of the last game these two teams played?
Carolina might win, but it won't be because they have momentum or they're at home or OMG A BUNCH OF HOME TEAMS WON GAME 7s 30 YEARS AGO. They'll win because they played better.
Edmonton has momentum, and history doesn't matter a lick right now.
7:06pm - Hats off to the music peeps at RBC Center. They've played Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" after visiting team goals, and they just played Aerosmith's "Dream On" during the pregame.
By the way, if you're keeping score on "Really dumb comments", Olczyk has a 1-0 lead over Ray Ferraro. He's gone into a trap to try to hold the lead.
And if you missed it earlier, Barry Melrose flip-flopped, going against the team he picked at the start of the playoffs (Carolina) in favor of Edmonton. I really don't like Edmonton's chances as a result. The hockey gods don't like flip-flopping.
7:10pm - Doc Emrick announces that Rexall Place in Edmonton is sold out tonight. The game is in Raleigh. I wonder if RBC Center was sold out for Game 6 in Edmonton...
7:17pm - Thank you, Edmonton fans, for setting such a fine example in how you treat both national anthems. The Carolina fans have clearly taken your cue, led by some
7:19pm - GAME ON!!
7:21pm - Uh oh. Too much traffic, and Aaron Ward beats Markkanen down low. Oilers got caught running around a bit, but still a lot of time.
7:27pm - We've had our first horribly bad call of the night, and Edmonton has had their first horrible power play of the night, though they did pull a couple chances out in the final seconds. Carolina definitely getting the better of things right now, but Edmonton is getting their legs.
(The call? Eric Staal went for a collision in a tight space behind the net on the goalie. Three seconds later, Erik Cole got away with a pretty blatant hit from behind right in front of the referee, and on the Staal hit, you could blame the goalie for the contact as much as Staal. But such is life. DON'T EVER TOUCH THE GOALIE.)
7:35pm - Yes, Carolina has the early goal, but Edmonton is clearly not phased. Ward, however, is off to a shutout-worthy start.
7:38pm - That won't rate as the smartest penalty Jaroslav Spacek has ever taken. Power play Whalers. Oops.
7:40pm - John Davidson said that Doug Weight has a third-degree shoulder separation. Credit Weight for even TRYING to get ready for this game, but there's no way any doctor with a license could let him play with that injury.
7:45pm - Edmonton needs to a better job of responding physically to Carolina. The 'Canes are hitting because they have to, and Edmonton needs to hit because it's what they do.
And Carolina needs to stop bringing the puck in offsides.
7:50pm - Matt Greene just took a dumb penalty. Shocking, I know.
(On a side note, they're letting a lot of high hits go for both teams. The officials better be careful, because I know the players will do what it takes to win, and the officials have to keep a certain amount of control over this thing.)
7:55pm - I think Steve Staios just saved a goal. For now.
And they were about to make a really bad call against Ethan Moreau of Edmonton. Really bad call. Awful. Homer-esque call.
8:00pm - John Davidson is stupid. When he goes to bug the replay booth for an official explanation of a call that only he fails to understand, maybe he can look up the official rule regarding touchups on delayed penalties, because he's sorta fuzzy on that, too.
End 1, 1-0 Carolina. They'll have 1:56 or so of Moreau's lame penalty left to start the second.
8:21pm - Apparently, I missed an explanation of the no-goal call at the end of the first period while watching the bra and panties match on RAW. Meanwhile, NBC needed 10-12 minutes, but their crew was able to render a replay that showed the puck apparently crossing the line. Can't blame this one on the league, because even the best technology would take far too long to allow such a view to be used.
8:26pm - Dumb penalty. Goal Carolina. Why isn't Carolina called when they use their sticks to interfere with Edmonton players' sticks, but Edmonton guys are called for doing the same thing?
(Side note: John Davidson just made another really dumb comment. He is apparently shocked that all these fans are standing as much as they are.
JD: When have you ever seen fans stand straight into the second period?
The answer, John, is "Pretty much any college hockey game in the United States outside of Minneapolis."
8:36pm - Memo to Edmonton forwards: STOP DROP PASSING. YOU SUCK AT IT.
8:46pm - More drop passing by Hemsky, who is officially a piece of crap.
Wow. They actually called a penalty on Carolina. The nerve of those evil officials.
This is a must-score power play for the Men of Oil.
8:49pm - Here you go, Edmonton. Two-man advantage for 1:56. They won't get a shot.
8:50pm - Told you. Game over.
8:57pm - 2-0 after two, and it looks a lot worse. It's Game 6 with the wrong team winning this time. Congrats to Edmonton on a great run, but it appears to have fallen short. They have themselves to blame, really, with all the great chances they've squandered tonight with bad passing and tepid shooting. You can't play like that, and Edmonton has played like that wayyyyy too much in this series for the Oil to successfully overcome.
9:03pm - Oh, and because I'm a relatively gracious individual: Congratulations to Carolina and their fans. I hope they stick around for more next year, because besides the cagy veterans, they have some great young players. This has been a great series, and for many people, a great re-introduction into this great sport. I couldn't be happier about the playoffs I've witnessed, even though it appears that the team I wanted to skate with Stanley will fall just short.
9:16pm - Third period underway. Taken out of context, admittedly, here is a quote from JD:
"If Edmonton doesn't get a power play in the period, it will certainly help them."
Good call, JD. You've clearly been paying attention to the Edmonton power play.
GOAL! Conn Pisani makes it 2-1.
9:35pm - Bret Hedican just took the dumbest penalty of his life. Well, he played at St. Cloud State, so that might not be true. Then again, a post-whistle roughing minor in Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final is about as dumb as you can get.
Oh, what's that? Edmonton's getting a power play? DAMMIT BRET!
(Correction: Penalty was dumb, but not post-whistle. Confirmed after the commercial by replay.)
9:40pm - Typical Edmonton power play, featuring tons of passes between the wings and the points, and not nearly enough shots. You'd think they would have learned by now, especially after the "get to the net and take some shots" approach worked so well in Game 6.
9:46pm - Timeout Carolina, 3:04 left. Good move, because the Whalers (oops) just iced the puck after a rather long shift.
Still 2-1. Should be a fun finish, which is all we can ask for.
9:50pm - That should do it. Empty-netter, and the rednecks go nuts. Great scene for the sport, even though no one is watching.
(Actually, that's not necessarily true. The ratings have made marginal improvements over the last three games. We'll see what Games 6 and 7 look like in the coming days, but they went from a 1.7 in Game 3 to a 3.0 in Game 5. It's not a good rating, but it'll work because it got better as the series wore on, assuming the improvement continued.)
9:53pm - Don't let this get chippy. 3-1 should be your final. Thanks for following along, either live or post-mortem, or both. I may never live-blog again, or maybe I will. Who knows?
I'll have more on the game tomorrow morning. And I guarantee you I won't be live-blogging any NBA games anytime soon.