Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers 1/27
Usually when I have a break between games on the road, I just go to local malls or museums, something to do to pass the time, but, thanks to the NHL schedule, I had something a bit more Odyssey related to do. The night after the Sharks came in and made the Oilers look all Jekyll-y, their SoCal counterpart (the Kings) brought out the Hyde-y side of the Copper and Blue.
On this night I definitely saw a much more exciting, closely fought matchup (Oilers won 4-3). The lead went back and forth all night, and saw the Oilers score twice in the third period to get the win. I again talked to the Oil fans sitting around me, again, very nice people. When a man sitting in the section behind mine, in the 300s (read: seats 3 inches from the rafters) won 29,000 CAD in the 50/50 drawing, everyone in my section practically gave him a standing o when he triumphantly ran down the stairs to claim his prize.
It was weird being a fan of another team, just because I've never had to do it before. I have some sort of problem with not having a jersey or a team paraphernalia when I'm at a game, even if I don't much care for either team. It's some sort of disease, it gets into my brain and rots away at my wallet. After deciding which players I could and could not wear on my player t-shirt, I set off to the store to pick one up. Lupul - no, too new and people don't like him that much. Torres - hell no, he's pretty despicable because of that Michalek hit, and to see it again, and see that his original target was Marleau makes me that much more steamed. Roloson - shoot me now, he does have a great glove hand, but never have I seen a goalie who is better at diving than Greg Louganis. There was no Stoll, Smith, or Smyth, so I took good ole Ales Hemsky (little did I know he would record 4 points).
With that circle and the dripping "Oilers" on my chest, I set out for my seat, being a part of the Oil faithful. I didn't mention yesterday, but the walkways at Rexall are stupid narrow (that's how the kids say "very narrow"). It's impossible to walk around without crashing into someone. The concourses are kinda nice, but waaay too small to inhabit anywhere close to the 16,800 some that fill Rexall each and every night.
When the Oilers scored first, almost instinctively I jumped up from my seat and started celebrating Ryan Smyth's goal. It must have been the Canadian (Molson) I had on a fully empty stomach that temporarily brainwashed me into genuinely caring for the Oilers like a team I had been caring for my whole life. I never did utter a "let's go oilers", but I did do plenty of clapping, none of which can be traced to me (and if you try, I'll deny everything). I did stand up for each goal, and was happy to see the Oilers win, but partially because I didn't feel like coexisting with angry disgruntled Oiler fans two nights in a row (and it helps that I don't care for the Kings).
I tell you though, it was nice to not have a target on my chest and back for once. I could walk around the concourses and not hear who "sucks". I got nary a stank-eye from any Oiler faithful, and it was nice to not be booed when I got on and off the LRT (and nobody tried to block me from boarding the LRT either). I'm not sure I would cheer for the Oilers again, but that's just because I am not a true Oiler fan, my NHL allegiance lies elsewhere.
Sharks visit Vancouver to take on the Canucks tonight (7:00 pst). Check 'er out.
Go Sharks (hooray for soon-to-be me in warm weather [I land in Vancouver at 1:35])
Oil usually comes from a derrick, in this case, it was the Oilers who came from said derrick.
The Party Zamboni. Nuff said.