HOLTY’S BLOG: The Waiting Game

With just four games between Oct. 11 and Oct. 31, there isn’t much cooking on the content front. There’s been a lot of practice and Saturday, the Condors will finally play another competitive game.

I could use some more games, but I’ll level with you, it’s been nice not having to try to plan around the Red Sox World Series bid. You may only care about hockey during hockey season, and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. And that was clear as day fan interference. They should be imprisoned.

Now for the blog…

To put the Condors schedule (or lack thereof) into perspective, the four games between the 11th and 31st is followed by four games in eight nights. The downtime now means it’ll just be made up somewhere else during the season. That will come with flights from Sacramento to Denver, Austin to Denver, and later on from Winnipeg to San Antonio. It’s not often the Condors are in a road city and fly to another, but it happens three times this year.

Future Watch in Edmonton this week focused on the Condors rookie line of Benson, Marody, and Hebig. The latter has four points in four games while the first two have three points through the opening four games.

It’s only four games, but the Condors have to get more production offensively five on five. The team is averaging 33.25 shots per game (7th) and is third in the league in shots against (24.75), but they have just five even strength goals this season. Compare that to five on the power play, two shorthanded, and one shootout, and there’s room to improve five on five in terms of shooting percentage.

Goaltender Al Montoya is exactly where you’d expect him after three starts. He’s allowed two goals or fewer in each start and has a .926 save percentage. He will give the team a chance to win just about every night. Which is good, because it gives the opportunity for the preceding bullet point to come around.

In addition to practice this week, the team has mixed up some off-ice activities to still be competitive outside of practicing. Ping pong and Spikeball have been the two prominent ones. Word is Tyler Benson is one of the better table tennis players, though the Gust/Esposito v Malone/Russell doubles matchup yesterday was pretty intense.

The team will hit the links on Monday for the annual golf classic at Rio Bravo. Evan Polei got an early look at the course on Wednesday during some media time. Typically, hockey players are pretty good golfers and there’s no shortage of them on this team. Braden Christoffer and Josh Currie are two that come to mind. We’ll see who takes home the title this year.

Saturday’s game in San Diego is a 7:30 p.m. start due to their television coverage. If the Dodgers win tomorrow, Condors action will be on Fox Sports 970 Saturday. If the Dodgers lose, then my stand-up routine will return on Comedy 800 AM. You could stream the game as well through AHLTV which is now on Roku, Apple TV, and a host of other OTT apps.

Edmonton plays their home opener tonight finally after 19 days on the road to begin the season. Nice comeback the other night with three ex-Condors scoring (Rattie, Puljujarvi, Nurse) as the team came from three goals down to beat Winnipeg in overtime.

LOCK OF THE WEEK? Here’s a five-pack of road (since the Condors are on the road) NFL picks to hold you over on Sunday. Entertainment purposes only:
New England (-3) @ Chicago
Dallas (+1) @ Washington
Cincinnati (+7) @ Kansas City
Detroit (-2.5) @ Miami
Buffalo (+9) @ Indianapolis (this game appears it might be the worst in history, so it might be good)

Until next time Condorstown…

Ryan Holt is the Voice of the Condors and in his 8th season. He still sits four seats behind the bus driver, as he’s done since day one. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@bakersfieldcondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.