Hey it’s Holty. I know I didn’t get around to the blog last week. It’s been a brutal 11 day stretch, but no excuses, I need to be better. So let’s catch up.
You may require weekly blogs, and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.
Now for the blog…
Just wanted to start the blog by thanking everyone in Edmonton for a memorable trip recently. To my benefit, I did not need to walk outside to get from the hotel to the rink. It was great to walk in that dressing room and see so many familiar faces on staff, on the team, and involved on the media side of things. Getting to see James Hamblin’s NHL debut was pretty special too.
During the pre-game I had a chance to join Tony Brar on the Oilers+ pre-game show. Condors365 Members, check your e-mails today as we’re sending out an exclusive access code as part of your membership to check out Oilers+. In addition to the content on there related to Condors players and staff, the Oilers crew may be visiting Calgary on the team’s extended January trip.
Over a slice of pizza during the second intermission, Oilers GM Ken Holland asked me what I thought the difference between NHL&AHL hockey was. Aside from the plethora of food everywhere you looked, my answer was consistency. Players in the NHL are consistent in what they do daily and there is a certain expectation that comes along with that consistency. AHL players show flashes, as we’ve seen, but it’s that day-in-and-day-out consistent performance that separates the two leagues, in my opinion.
Now for the elephant in the room: the Condors need wins. No, the sky isn’t falling, but this is a big six-game stretch leading into Christmas for the club. Alex Peters was loaned to Fort Wayne yesterday, which would lead you to believe Yanni Kaldis and/or Vinny Desharnais are close to returning. Calvin Pickard has been skating and taking shots, so that is also a positive sign. Up top, with Kailer Yamamoto back, the Condors should get at least a forward back when Warren Foegele is ready.
In five of the six losses, the Condors have been tied or leading at the midway point of the third period. Three of those losses came with game-winning goals in the final five minutes. It’s a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” but if you get those three games into overtime, the last 11 days looks quite different. The Condors have as many regulation wins as fourth-place San Jose. And remember, this was a Condors team that started November 5-0.
However, things do not get any easier for the Condors. In fact, after Saturday, the team has just seven home games until mid-February. That’s good for the per diem and food pics, but a difficult road awaits.
Saturday is Blackout Cancer Night. We’ll have the majority of player jerseys online for auction, with a select few going in-house before the team departs to San Jose. Blackout Cancer Night always brings me back to the Condors 17-game win streak, where the last home win came in overtime on the night.
Until next time Condorstown…
Ryan Holt aka Holty is the Voice of the Condors in his 12th season. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense.