It’s January 19 and we’re just now preparing for our first trip up the 99. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but that’s the situation.

You may want us to go up the 99 sooner 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.

Let’s start by tying up some loose ends from the Outdoor Classic with a very nice piece on hockey in Condorstown, Wayne Gretzky, and the growth of the game in this Edmonton Oilers article.

Mentioned in that piece was Bakersfield’s own Brayden Watts. The 17-year old was the first-ever Condorstown native to play in the WHL and was recently traded to the Vancouver Giants where he has three points (1g-2a) in three games. He’s NHL Draft eligible this year and works out with the Condors in the offseason.

This is a big weekend for the Condors. It’s no secret the team has struggled away from home and they currently sit seven points back of their opponent this weekend, with a game in hand, for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Pacific Division. A crooked number in the win column this weekend would be welcomed.

What also would be welcomed is if that team up the 99 didn’t start their games at 7:30 p.m. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Could use a lot of this from the young Finn. By the way, he’s the second youngest player to ever play in the AHL. The youngest? One of his opponents this weekend, D Oliver Kylington.

On that front, Jordan Oesterle returned to practice yesterday from Edmonton as did veteran D Mark Fraser. Dillon Simpson is skating as well, but didn’t practice yesterday, so I would not anticipate him playing this weekend. Just the additions of Oesterle and Fraser alone would make me feel confident in saying we won’t see a seven spot put up on the Condors again.

– The Condors released G Branden Komm from his PTO today, which one would assume means G Jonas Gustavsson is good to go for the weekend. Also D Bryce Aneloski signed an AHL contract with the Condors today. Very deserving with the way he has played this season.

Up in Edmonton, the Oilers have won four straight and Jujhar Khaira became just the second Sikh player to score in the NHL. He left the game injured last night though and Todd McLellan described it as “out a little bit.” For Khaira’s sake and the Condors sake, let’s hope he’s back in the Oilers lineup soon.

Speaking of Edmonton, some members of the Condors staff are with the Oilers this week getting shown around the new digs and doing important things like meeting with management. I’m the voice of the working man, so I’m not there. Besides…Who else would go up the 99?

Lock of the week? You may be thinking I go with the Pats here against friend of the blog @Joe_Babik, but that’s not the case. I’d take +4 with the Packers and hammer the over (61). Life’s too short to bet the unders. Remember that.

Until next time Condorstown…

Ryan Holt, aka Holty, is in his sixth season in Condorstown. His Pandora station for the bus ride today will be early 90’s hip-hop. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to Rholt@bakersfieldcondors.com for blog questions, comments, or ideas!