It is a wonderful day to be a hockey fan in Oklahoma City. I haven’t always been able to say that, but without hesitation, there are few cities in the US where you will get a better hockey experience than the one about to be bestowed upon us.
The Edmonton Oilers, who practiced yesterday in the Cox Center, have arrived and are ready to take on the Dallas Stars in the NHL Showcase tonight at 7:00pm. Dallas, having just lambasted the Colorado Avalanche 5-1, will head to Oklahoma this morning. What lineup we will see, we just don’t know yet. Last night it was Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Erik Cole on the top line.
Dallas plays against Edmonton at Oklahoma City Friday. Dan Ellis will likely get the entire game in net, while you will likely see players like Colton Sceviour, Kevin Connauton, Jyrki Jokipakka, Patrik Nemeth, Chris Mueller, Travis Morin, Matej Stransky and some holdover veterans from Thursday’s game.
So you are paying $45 to see a good NHL Oilers team play in preseason, but a really shmugly NHL Stars team. Okay then.
This was going to be a weird event regardless of who played, and here is why. You have to assume that there is a pretty good group of Dallas Stars fans living in Oklahoma City because, like me, as a youngster it was the closest team in proximity to the state. They were the team you followed. Seeing the “B” team is kind of a bummer, but this is intended to be an organizational showcase for Oklahoma City – thus the Oilers reign supreme. I can live with that.
**I have no idea what the proper etiquette for cheering will be. Can I cheer when both score, and boo when MacIntyre punches out Roussel? What a conundrum.
The arena will likely contain a big crowd. The tarp has been removed from the 400 level seats in the nearly 15,000 capacity arena in downtown Oklahoma City. Between you and me, less than 4,000 would be a disappointment. C’mon OKC, surprise me.
Down I-35, and towards Austin, Texas, the Barons travel to take on the minor league stars in Cedar Park. The round robin tournament, of sorts, features Oklahoma City, Texas, and San Antonio in a weekend schedule that will be very entertaining to follow. Linus Omark leads the charge for the Barons as very few roster cuts have been made in OKC training camp. Announcements forthcoming, I’m sure.
For great information on the Stars, the Barons, and this weekend’s action at Cedar Park, read 100 Degree Hockey. Great stuff.
I fancied it strange when the Barons agreed to a weekend preseason series when the Oilers were playing in Oklahoma City for a showcase event. I still find it strange. But we, the fans in OKC, will enjoy the rare top-notch hockey experience. It really will be a treat.