Oilers fans sizzling with Cup playoff fever

KRISTEN VERNON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET

The countdown is on, with Oiler uber-fans like Mick Poliak champing at the bit for the playoff games to begin.

"Look out, Detroit!" he said.

Poliak said he's glad Edmonton faces Detroit in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs - not because it matters to him who the Oilers play, but because he's a fan of Red Wings Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

"We have so much hunger, we'll kick the crap out of whoever we play," he said.

Poliak expects to join his neighbour, a season-ticket holder, at most playoff games. He said he'll line up with other fans to secure tickets for the games he doesn't join his neighbour at.

A limited number of tickets are being made available to private Edmonton Oilers Pipeline members Thursday; they're required to register before midnight Tuesday to be eligible.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Poliak is optimistic the Oilers will win the first round, which starts Saturday in the Motor City.

"We have no pressure because we're the underdog," he said. "I know the boys are going to play hard."

The 43-year-old self-styled "biggest Oilers fan there could ever be" lives in a house he describes as a hockey Hall of Fame.

He has six rooms in his house dedicated to hockey, including one for the Oilers and one for Wayne Gretzky. Each game he buys more memorabilia to add to his collection, despite running short on display space.

Maurice Berube, who lives in Beaumont and works out of town, said he plans to watch the Oilers games on television - either at home or at a local watering hole.

"Wherever there's a TV," the 48-year-old said. "It's pretty exciting. "I think they'll do well."

Excitement is building at the Coliseum Inn and Pucks Sports Bar, at 11845 Wayne Gretzky Dr.

The Oilers playoff run is giving Pucks its own post-season; the bar is only open during Oilers games and concerts.

"Normally it would just close down for the summer, except for concerts," said James Dobbie, a front desk clerk at the hotel.

And the hotel's 98 rooms are expected to be booked solid when the Oilers play across the street at Rexall Place.

"What would be the beginning of the in- between season becomes an extra season for us," Dobbie said.

"I'm excited for the business, but think I'll be bringing in a Detroit jersey for the first round," said the Leafs fan.


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