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Perhaps it is a good thing the Edmonton Oil Kings only make the trip to the Western Hockey League U.S. Division every other year.
This season’s excursion to face the Spokane Chiefs, Tri-City Americans, Portland Winterhawks, Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds turned into Death Valley for the Oil Kings, losing all five games.
They also dropped a contest to the Kootenay Ice in a shootout on the way to the United States.
“It’s disappointing, I didn’t see it coming after the start we had,” said Oil Kings head coach Brad Lauer. “We’re still in a good position. We played some good games, we just couldn’t find a way to win them. We didn’t take that next step, and unfortunately, we didn’t get the results we wanted to.”
The trip was always going to be a challenge for the Oil Kings, having to play six games in nine days.
They started by battling back to send the game against Kootenay into overtime with a tying goal five seconds from the end of the third period.
The next night, they lost 3-2 to the Spokane Chiefs in another game they had to battle back from behind.
After a couple of travel days, the Oil Kings played four games in five nights, losing 6-4 in Tri-City, 8-2 in Portland, 5-3 in Everett and 7-3 in Seattle.
“There is some humble pie there, that’s for sure and there is nothing wrong with eating a little bit of it every now and then to bring you down to where we need to be,” Lauer said. “The one thing about sports is that your highs can’t get you too high and your lows can’t get you too low. You have to balance that.
“When we left we were on a high and now we’re on a low, so we have to understand the importance of monitoring that. We just have to learn from them. Of the six games we were probably in most of them. We did get behind in all of the games, but we were able to fight back and tie some of those games and we couldn’t find the next step up to go and win the game.”
Having come of age this season after a pair of rebuilding years, the Oil Kings got off to a great start, winning their first five games of the season.
They hit the road after losing 5-3 to the Saskatoon Blades, but still feeling good about their game. The longest road trip of the season was to provide a gauge of where the Oil Kings stood in the WHL pecking order.
“It’s great benchmark for us, you hear a lot about the U.S. conference, about the way they play,” Lauer said. “Going there and seeing how their teams play compared to us, I do think there is a benchmark there that we definitely have to improve on. It’s still a work in progress for our group, but it sets the bar where we want to get to and it’s good to see it this early in the season.”
Slow starts proved to be an issue for the Oil Kings on the road, which is understandable having to try and shake out bus legs after long days of travel.
The Oil Kings did well to battle back in most of their losses, but were unable to complete comebacks in Kootenay, Spokane and Tri-City.
“I think except for a couple games we were in all of them,” said Oil Kings captain Trey Fix-Wolansky. “We gave good efforts, but a couple of mistakes hurt us and the other team capitalized on it and we really couldn’t get out of that hole. All the teams down there battle really hard. They’re really hard-working teams and that kind of gives you a perspective of how you need to play here in order to have success.”
With a new coaching staff and a number of fresh faces on the roster, the trip did provide the Oil Kings an opportunity to bond and get to know each other better.
“I think the guys learned a lot about each other,” said Oil Kings defenceman Conner McDonald. “We got to do a scavenger hunt in Spokane, which was neat. You get to go out and see the city. It’s a nice city so it was enjoyable.
“You get to know the guys a bit better. It was good bonding experience for everybody, even the guys that you’ve been around with for three years. I learned things about Trey that I didn’t know, all positive of course. You get to know each other pretty well.”
Moving forward, the Oil Kings, who are now 5-6-0-1 after starting the year with five consecutive wins, are hoping the experiences on the road help through the rest of the season, starting with home games against the Red Deer Rebels on Friday (7 p.m.) and Kootenay Ice on Sunday (4 p.m.) at Rogers Place.
“It was a humbling experience for sure,” McDonald said. “I think the underlying theme was how good we have to be on a nightly basis in order to be in hockey games and to win consistently, and that’s what we’re here to do.”
On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest
(Edited for 10/15)
TW - Team of the Week
MS - Milestone
PT - PrimeTimeDaily Content
PrimeTime: McDavid 89
Milestone:Players Upgraded During October
Gibson (83 TW-BU)
Lindholm (83 TW-DW)
Bergeron (86 PT-FM TW-FM)
Krecji (83 MS-DW)
McAvoy (83 TW-BM)
Pastrnak (86 PT-DZ TW-S)
Lindholm (83 TW-S)
Tkachuk (84 TW-BE)
Aho (84 PT-S TW-PP)
Foegele (76 TW-CS)
Staal (83 TW-FM)
Debrincat (82 TW-BE)
Kane (86 TW-TB)
Keith (83 MS-HT)
Toews (85 PT-FB TW-PP)
Columbus Blue Jackets
Panarin (86 TW-BU)
Werenski (84 TW-DW)
Benn (86 MS-BR)
Bishop (82 TW-BR)
Seguin (86 TW-BE)
Detroit Red Wings
Nyquist (82 TW-T)
Zadina (75 TW-CS S)
- McDavid (89 PT-??)
Los Angeles Kings
- Kovalchuk (83 MS-DZ)
- Dumba (84 TW-NP)
Plekanec (80 MS-CS)
Tatar (82 PT-S)
Forsberg (85 TW-TB)
Johansen (84 TW-NP)
New Jersey Devils
Kinkaid (79 TW-DW)
Palmieri (82 PT-CS)
New York Islanders
Beauvillier (81 TW-HT)
Pulock (81 TW-CS)
New York Rangers
- Buchnevich (82 TW-DZ)
Chabot (81 TW-DW)
Lajoie (71 TW-DW BM)
- Voracek (85 MS-PP)
Letang (85 PT-PP)
Kessel (85 PT-BU)
Saint Louis Blues
Schenn (84 TW-FM)
Steen (82 MS-BM)
San Jose Sharks
- Pavelski (85 MS-BM)
Tampa Bay Lighting
- Joseph (75 TW-HT FM)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Gardiner (82 TW-BM)
Marner (84 TW-BU PT-PP)
Matthews (86 PT-FB TW-BU)
Rielly (83 TW-HT TW-HT)
Tavares (87 PT-NP)
- Pettersson (75 TW-BU S)
Vegas Golden Knights
Backstrom (85 MS-T)
Carlson (85 TW-CS)
Kuznetsov (86 PT-FB)
- Ehlers (84 TW-BU)
Looking to get my furnace and ducts all cleaned out - anyone have any suggestions? Alberta Carpet Cleaning had a package for $129 plus any ducts over 10, and they apparently take apart your furnace and look all about. But each extra duct is like $13, so that adds up super quick. Also, they give you a FREE FILTER! (oooooooooooh, those things are kinda not expensive). Then (my favorite name cause its ridiculous) Guaranteed Carpet, Upholstery and Air Duct Cleaning Ltd (formally Sears) is doing a deal for $239 - all ducts in with a more glance around the furnace to check (though they say you need to be a certified type person to actually do any real checks) AND they clean your hot water tank out included. So after adding up all the vents its cheaper to go with the company formally known as Sears - but does anyone have any suggestions\recommendations\horror stories?submitted by /u/Electric_Andry to r/Edmonton
The past few months have been basically a promotion for the use of marijuana. At least ten minutes of every newscast has been almost indoctrinating Canadians about how “safe” it is, and messaging that “it is just like having a glass of wine”. Surprised that Trudeau’s government hasn’t sent out free samples to every family. Here’s a message that you will not hear from your politicians or media. All drugs, including drinking, are bad. Don’t ever use marijuana, or tobacco, or alcohol. Drugs only damage your life and our society.
Iain G. Foulds
Spruce Grove, AB
(But should people be criminalized for using such things?)
DUDE, WHERE’S YOUR PLAN?
We must be the laughing stock of the world. We have been and still are consumed with Canada becoming the pot king of the universe. Six pages in today’s paper describing everything one needs to know about pot. Three years of this madness, will it ever end? Maybe the potheads can now turn to what the real issues are, but I doubt it.
(It’s the provinces and cities that have been preoccupied executing Justin’s dream.)
Trudeau legalized pot for votes and now wants to retroactively erase pot convictions for votes! There is a formal process for getting a pardon, whereby an investigation is done to determine the circumstances of the conviction and if it warrants a pardon. Many of those with convictions for pot possession, also have convictions for other, often serious criminal offences. Will Trudeau expunge those convictions as well? How will he choose what is a minor pot charge? Like his father did when his brother was charged for pot possession, Trudeau is now turning the justice system on its head with this purely vote- getting move!
(They’re streamlining the process for specific convictions, which seems reasonable given it’s now legal.)
I am scandalized by the position the Liberal government is taking regarding restricted weapons. I am a licensed restricted firearms holder. The procedure you have to go through is very thorough, you have to pass the government mandated examinations, and then you are interviewed by a senior member of the RCMP for, in my case, an hour and a half. Then the RCMP contacts everyone who knows you, including your family for references as to your character and propensity for violent acts. The position the Liberal government is taking by, inference, makes legal gun owners one with criminals and gang members. Mr Trudeau, I am insulted by your lumping in of me and my fellow gun owners with the low life members of our society. I also realize you are using these type of non-issue as a smoke screen, to make the populace of a Canada forget about your abysmal track record on the real important issues you are making a mess of; the Pipeline, Churchill, Carbon Tax, being bullied by the U.S., etc. I am not going to commit a criminal act sir, I believe implicitly in the rule of law and the democratic process, you want to take away our legal rights to make Canada forget your bungling, for shame.
(We’ll do our best to ensure no one forgets the bungling.)
Personally I can't consume marijuana because I have a heart arrhythmia, and I'm pretty jealous of everyone who is having a great time today with friends and family. Feels like im on the outside, not allowed to have fun. So what are some reasons why I should be embracing this change instead of being bitter and angry over it?submitted by /u/BeautifulPhase to r/Edmonton
I know this has been discussed before but would like to start this conversation up again.
For my 12 team league, I have 4 divisions rather than 2 conferences:
Pacific Division: Calgary Edmonton BC
Central Division: Saskatchewan Winnipeg Western Ontario (based in Thunder Bay)
Ontario Division: Ottawa Toronto Hamilton
Atlantic Division: Montreal Quebec City Halifax
Playoffs format: Top seed in each division makes playoffs, plus two wild card spots (across the entire league).
Just interested in what ideas you guys have for expansion and cities that the league could expand to.submitted by /u/LegendaryCanuck to r/CFL