The viewing party outside Rogers Place Saturday buzzed with excitement ahead of Game 3 as Oilers fans rallied hoping to crush the Avalanche in Edmonton.
Hundreds packed the Ice District, enjoying food, drink, and live music leading up to puck-drop at 6 p.m., hoping the Oilers would turn the tide after losing the first two games in the Western Conference final.
Greg Brost proudly wore his orange Oilers jersey with “McDaddy” scribbled on the back in black marker over masking tape, a make-shift Connor McDavid tribute he said took him five minutes to make.
“He’s our saviour. He’s our McDaddy. We all look up to him, we love him. Why wouldn’t he be our daddy?” he said.
“The way he moves is inhumane. He’s so good … you see those spin moves — what other player in the league is doing that?”
An Oilers fan since he was in Grade 5, Brost said seeing the team come this far is “an insane experience.” He likes spending time at the fan zone — which he has done for every game — because of the atmosphere: “Everybody’s here to get hyped for the same reason. Every time there’s a goal, everyone just goes crazy.”
Brost was confident Saturday night’s game would be a victory — especially with McDavid’s help.
“Oh, a 6-0 win, easy,” he said. “We just need McDavid to pop off. McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl need to show up, we need Darnell Nurse to get his head in the game — we win.”
Finn Pierson said he was “just vibin’” in his fan gear: temporary Oilers tattoos on his cheeks, an orange wig, and a number 44 long, beaded necklace for Zack Kassian. He was also confident the team would come out victorious, not just for this game, but for the Cup.
“We’re winning 7-2 (tonight). I’m very confident. Because Connor McDavid is the best player on earth,” he said. “We’re going to play New York Rangers in the final and we’re going to win.”
Jacob Patenteau stood out with his bright blue in the sea of orange. He wore a Colorado Avalanche jersey he purchased 20 minutes earlier at West Edmonton Mall, and planned to return it the next day.
“I can’t cheer for the Oilers. My parents are born and raised in Calgary, so I can’t disobey them,” he said. “Whoever can beat Edmonton — I want them to win.”
Patenteau said he got a little bit of negative attention for his attire. His friend Mason Stevenson, an Oilers fan, joked he didn’t know why he was hanging out with someone cheering for Colorado.
“When I was here for the Flames, game — oh, it was bad,” Patenteau said. “Everyone was chirpin’ me.”
Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee was spotted heading through the fan zone and into the arena. He was also confident the Oilers would win: “They better — absolutely. It’s do-or-die tonight.”
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