Oilers Gameday vs Vancouver: Pray for Humboldt

Oilers Gameday vs Vancouver: Pray for Humboldt

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Oilers Gameday vs Vancouver: Pray for Humboldt

The Oilers are back in action tonight to take on the Vancouver Canucks in the final home game of the season. Tonight also marks the last career game for the Sedin twins, who pulled off some twin magic in their final home game in Vancouver.

Tonight’s game marks the last time we’ll see this iteration of the Edmonton Oilers on the ice, and that’s probably not a bad thing. Next season has to be better, because it really can’t get much worse.

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • It’s game 82, and the Oilers seems to be hitting their stride. Whatever worked last game should work tonight.

Vancouver

  • The Sedins have more points against the Oilers than anyone in league history, so they should get the puck all the time and score a million goals.

Players to Watch

Edmonton

  • Connor McDavid has 106 points, and will win the Hart trophy for the second year in a row. Look for him to have a big night tonight.

Vancouver

  • Obviously the Sedins are going to be worth watching tonight. Their twin voodoo is astounding.

Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Nugent-Hopkins-McDavid-Rattie

Khaira-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi

Lucic-Strome-Caggiula

Slepyshev-Cammalleri-Kassian

Nurse-Larsson

Sekera-Russell

Auvitu-Bear

Talbot

Vancouver

Sedin-Sedin-Gagner

Goldobin-Horvat-Jokinen

Gaunce-Sutter-Dowd

Leipsic-Gaudette-Virtanen

Edler-Stecher

Del Zotto-Pouliot

Sautner-Biega

Markstrom

 

Notes

Usually there are some cracks about the Oilers penalty kill and their inability to keep the first shot out of the net. Today, though, there aren’t any jokes to be made while the hockey world is reeling from an unspeakable tragedy.

On Friday night, the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL was involved in a fatal collision. Of the 29 people on board the bus, 15 have been confirmed dead, with everyone else having been taken to hospital with varying degrees of injury.

While not everyone in Canada plays or has played hockey, there’s still something familiar in travelling across the prairie on a road trip. Those open highways are, for me, some of the best places in the country and when I was younger I couldn’t have imagined anything better than a long bus trip with my friends.

There aren’t any words that can adequately express how I feel today, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for the people directly involved. This is going to be felt for years to come, and in the coming days and weeks I can only imagine that we’re going to learn more heartbreaking details about what happened last night.

I teach high school, so the kids on this team are all of the age that they could have been my students, and that caught me right in the heart. When I heard about the crash last night, my first thought was that the families of the players were going to be forever changed. To know that these kids were so far from home, trying to live their dreams only to have those dreams cut short is devastating. But I also thought about how when those kids go back to school, there will be empty desks to serve as a reminder of what happened. There are chairs at dinner tables that will not be filled tonight, and there will be empty stalls in a locker room that may never be used again.

As Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs said, our thoughts and hearts are with them.

If you want to show some support, you can donate to a GoFundMe started by a resident of Humboldt.

Locally, our friends at OilersNation got together with Print Machine and created a charity t-shirt, with 100% of the proceeds going towards the victims.

 

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