Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will square off against the Calgary Flames in what will be their second match this season. Already, the Flames have rocketed to the top of the Western Conference with 3 straight wins against Vancouver, Montreal, and Edmonton.
However, despite Calgary’s recent success, it seems that the odds makers are favoring Edmonton to win this game. From what it looks like, odds makers have the betting line somewhere around -110 for Edmonton and +103 for Calgary. Now, I have to be the first to admit that I’ve never actually bet on a sport in my life–heck, I haven’t even played SportSelect. Years ago, I watched a movie, Owning Mahoney, which featured a great performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman. After enduring the two to three hours it took to watch that movie which I might add is one of the most depressing movies to watch in history about the moral depriavity of gambling addiction, I’ve never been much inclined to get involved with gambling. Indeed, Owning Mahoney is probably one of the greatest cautionary tales for anyone with an addictive personality who considers sports or casino gambling.
Ironically enough, a few days after watching that movie, I went on a business trip to New York. A group of colleagues including one of my friends made it out to watch a NY Mets game one afternoon. To be honest, the heckling Mets fans were nearly as entertaining as watching the Mets host the Giants. Back to the story… My good friend seated next to me was sitting in his chair writhing in discomfort bordering on a state of complete agitation. At the time, I wasn’t sure if his appendix was about to burst or if he was on the verge of having a stroke. Instead, being at the game had triggered his gambling compulsion and he was apparently trying to resist making a call to his bookie in front of his work colleagues.
After about two minutes of squirming, he gave into his compulsion and I overheard him place what sounded like at least $800 dollars worth of bets (probably around 1/5 of his monthly take-home pay at the time) in the span of about 45 seconds. Immediately there after, he regained his composure and was able to sit still and enjoy the game. He later reflected to me that despite being an avid baseball fan, the only way he could be entertained by watch the Mets and Giants play (2 teams he had little interest in) was if he had money riding on the game itself. At the time, I can remember being baffled by all of the sports betting jargon that he used during the call. I was also trying not to pay much attention, but he was sitting right beside me.
Back to the Oilers… After two games, it sounds like Pat Quinn is reuniting the Horpensky line as the Oilers top line. In the previous two games, JFJ/Horcoff/Hemsky was able to do little else than ‘saw off’ some of the other teams toughs. Patty O’lantern remains on the second line with JFJ moving down to join him while Sam Gagner gets the promotion up to complete the line. Comrie slides down to the third line along with Ryan Stone with Brule remaining at center position. For the fourth line, Moreau and Stortini will be sandwiched around Cogliano. Overall, these lines represent a significant change from the previous two games.
Flames 4 / Oilers 3 (OT)
Wow, these two Calgary games have been pretty trying times for Oilers fans. With a mere 1.5 seconds left in the game, the Flames scored to bring the game into overtime. During the second period, Souray was tripped by Iginla heading into the corner. He appeared to get a cut on his face also from Iggy’s stick and left the game with a mild concussion. It’s pretty easy to dismiss Iginla’s play as a careless accident, but there’s not question that it changed the momentum of the game. Both Souray and Iginla were racing for the puck and to completely dismiss Iginla for slew footing Souray with his stick and falling on top of him when he didn’t even have the puck is giving Iginla a free-pass for what was either a pretty irresponsible or dirty play depending on how you view it.
Moreau/Visnovsky/Hemsky scored during regulation for the Oilers 3 goals.
During the last 30 seconds of the game, Quinn put Moreau/Horcoff/Penner on the ice to run the clock down. Apparently, Moreau didn’t read the memo and tried to play the puck to the net The puck got redirected which lead to a rush bringing the puck back into the Oilers zone. With the clock nearly run down, the Oilers forwards looked to be waiting for the buzzer. A shot from the point which was redirected (yet again), though this time it looked like a high stick to my eye. The goal was allowed and we went to OT.
Gagner took a shot with a slow release from a distance with Kipper cutting down all the angles which was easily stopped. O’Sullivan managed to beat Kipper glove side with a quick release of a shot. Hemsky tried the same play except that the Kipper was positioned on the left side of his net which effectively closed any opening on his glove side. Calgary scored on their both of their first 2 shoot-out attempts for the win.