Tulsa Oilers vs. Mississippi Riverkings: Meh.

Tonight’s game between the Oilers and the Riverkings was not exactly full of promise, since the RK are fighting for their lives right now, and the Oilers are already dead (much like the NHL version). All that was on the line for the Oilers was pride, and sometimes, pride is not enough. At least, not enough to play a halfway decent game of hockey.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to dissuade you from taking in an Oilers game. By all means, if circumstance should find you in or near Tulsa, you should go to a game, and certainly next season, when I am told a new arena will open downtown. And it looks like the cat’s ass, which is a good thing. For now, the cat has the better deal, and the Oilers may have to sign him to a contract next year. That is, if they want to have a full bench.

But the Oilers, who are out of the playoffs according to math, the law, and the new testament, decided not to show up for the game tonight, at least not in any way that would have won them a hockey game. They did show up in the penalty box. Hell, they set up a nice condo in the penalty box.
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A few double minors didn’t help them, along with some plain idiocy. For instance, the spearing double minor to Kal Magnussen was such an obvious penalty, done right in front of the ref. It not only negated a penalty on the Riverkings, it put Tulsa on the PK. Then a roughing and a slash a minute thirty later put the Oilers down by two men long enough for the ‘kings to score. Twice. And that was the game.
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And the worst part? The Oilers have to play in Colorado for the weekend, with a Saturday night game in Windsor against the Eagles (1st in division) and a Sunday game against the Rage (2nd in the division).

Let’s get to the photos.

On the drive in, I passed the Kansas Coliseum, home of the Wichita Thunder. A barn, I saw the longest minute of hockey in this arena, in 2005.
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The Tulsa Convention Center is just that, and not your new fancy CC, it’s your old CC, built when attaching a rink was a good idea. It does remind me of Amarillo, where the rink is attached to the theater, but a little cleaner.
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Here’s the layout of the place. A little 1970′s, ya think? I’m reminded of Buck Rogers.
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Hockey is not the only thing in town. For example….
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The arena is a lot like the one in Roanoke, and that is not a complement.
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On to the game. Which was notable for… FIGHT!!!!!!
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Line Brawl!!!!!!

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This guy handed out free taco coupons after the first goal, another highlight from the game. Who wears a tux to a game, and doesn’t own the team? In Tulsa?
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This came at a point when the Oilers didn’t need anything other than a mercy killing, or a really fast clock. The game was over, and they weren’t playing for pride, just fighting with it. There was no message to be sent, nothing to be gained. But it was probably the only thing the fans could go home happy with.
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The new arena looks like it could be cool, at least on the outside.
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I don’t have any idea what it’s going to look like on the inside, but I have great expectations. A nice new place for all of Tulsa’s minor league teams to play.

I’ll let my experience in Tulsa be summed up with one last picture. I have been in beat towns before. Really beat towns, where hockey isn’t even an afterthought, and Les Miserable coming to town is an event. But this is the most beat thing I have ever seen.
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That is beat.

Tomorrow night, if I get up in time, and drive like hell, I am seeing a game in Bossier City, LA, another CHL matchup. It will probably be my last live game of the year. You gots to do what you gots to do.

Comments

  1. Brilliant photo diaries. I love these things, keep it up!

  2. Dario – Thanks. I was starting to wonder if anyone read or looked at these things.

  3. This is some of the best material in the hockey blogesphere right now. The hockey contact page is brilliant. Don’t get frustrated with activity on the comments or anything because a lot of what you post is a good read well after the fact. I could read your Johnstown photo blog post two years from now and enjoy it. I sent an email to Buccigross at ESPN regarding your post on the Walleyes after he mentioned it in his latest column. He would love this site. I’ll try to post more, comments are addictive and kids don’t like to get on the dance floor until there’s some action.

  4. Yeah Tape,

    Keep up the good work. I’m a frequent visitor, infrequent commentor – my bad.

    In retrospect, I’m not all that sad I missed this debacle. We’ve got to get you up for a Blazers game sometime.

  5. Mike – Yeah, you didn’t miss much from that game. I have thought of some other game notes that I should have added from the game, but I didn’t think of them at the time of writing.

    Commenting on blogs is huge for the blogger when the chips are down and it doesn’t seem like you are getting anywhere. I know the two things that don’t help me in that department have been taking a few long breaks from the blogging (necessitated by my work schedule at the time), and the fact that I make the full post available by an RSS feed. Anyone who subscribes to my feed gets the full content, and therefore doesn’t have to come to the blog, keeping them away from the comment form.

    But then again, I don’t do a lot of things that would make my blog more “popular.” It’s about the fun for me, and the interaction with other hockey fans via the blog is more fun than the blogging itself sometimes.

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