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Recap Oilers @ Sharks: NHL Cancels Game Before it Takes Place

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A bit unusual, indeed

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at San Jose Sharks Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I was all prepared to do a proper recap of this one. I sacrificed my sleep in order to make sure I could stay up late, take some notes, and watch this game that was supposed to end somewhere around 11PM. Oddly though, the game didn’t take place. I sat down in my recliner, turned on the TV, had my notebook and pen handy, and yet, there was no game to be seen.

I tried to find an official explanation from the NHL, but came up with nothing. I’ve only seen this maybe once or twice before — off the top of my head, I remember game 5 vs Anaheim in the 2017 playoffs. Usually when a game gets cancelled, it’s due to a snowstorm, a hurricane, maybe an illness breaks out, etc. but in this case, nothing.

Now, I have a job to do here. I have to write a minimum of 400 words for every evening an Oilers game is supposed to take place — I can’t just take the night off because a game did. Because neither the NHL or the Oilers have given me a reason why this happened, I am going to guess what some of the reasons might be, and what definitely would have happened had this game taken place as scheduled.

The most obvious and likely reason why something like this would happen is that the Oilers use Air Canada as their airline. I’m not sure if you’ve ever flown with Air Canada, but massive delays are not unusual. Sometimes you’ll be sitting on one of their vessels, you’ll be all ready to take off, and then they’ll get up on the intercom and direct passengers off the flight because they have to do some unscheduled maintenance. A delay like this can take hours, and sometimes your flight gets cancelled entirely. This seems like a likely reason, but I remember seeing the Oilers do some pre-game interviews today, so I know they’re there, and they didn’t have one of these awful delays.

Luckily, we don’t have to get off of the Air Canada theory, because there are other possibilities. The Oilers would have had to fly from Los Angelas to San Jose, and they need their equipment to come with them. Losing baggage is Air Canada’s specialty, they know as much about doing that as Kevin Lowe knows about winning. When I was flying back from Costa Rica two years ago, my luggage made the trip from Liberia to Calgary with me just fine on United, but as soon as I had to transfer my bags in Calgary to board an Air Canada flight, they couldn’t handle getting my bags with me to Edmonton. They did eventually find them luckily — I would have had to replace a lot of Hawaiian shirts, otherwise — but they found them in a very interesting place — Jacksonville, Florida. That might not seem completely unusual, especially compared to an NHL game being cancelled without notice, but when you factor in the fact that you can’t get a direct flight from Calgary to Jacksonville, it really shows the skill that that airline has when it comes to losing bags. So this is the likely issue, the Oilers didn’t have gear, because their stuff got sent some place else. Possibly Cuba... But that can’t be possible, because I saw that the Oilers had a morning skate. I guess we’ll have to keep looking.

Maybe there was a protest. San Jose is full of hippies, all of California is, maybe they heard something about some Oilers coming in from Alberta, and had to put a stop to that immediately. They likely braided up their beards, put some extra stink in their hair, hitchhiked their way down to the SAP Center, and had a dope-smoking music festival. They must have stunk up the place, playing some crappy music on an out-of-tune acoustic guitar, and used their smell-warfare to prevent players, coaches, and executives from getting in. I know this stuff is possible, because I’m from BC. I’ve seen some of the laziest, dirtiest, aggressive, protesting hippies this continent has ever seen. Given some of the other things hippies like to falsely equate , I have no doubt in my mind that they could very much be involved in stopping a hockey game thinking that they’re blocking a pipeline... But this also can’t be true, hippies are smoking dope by 8:30 PM and have usually forgot what they’re protesting by then. Hippies are an afternoon people, they like to get their obstruction done in the middle of the day while people are at work. And mostly, they’re only interested in protesting things that might accidentally result in them having a job. They don’t want any part of that. So, I’m going to have to keep thinking of things.

Maybe it was this flu bug that has apparently taken over the San Jose Sharks Dressing room. Yes, this is it. I saw a report earlier today that it was so bad that they were going to have to start a goalie named Aaron Dell. If they’re doing things like that, you’d have to think that the rest of the team would be fighting this too. Maybe it actually is so bad that they couldn’t play. This is what I think it is. This is the most logical explanation given the information we have.

I bet though, had this game actually taken place as planned it would have gone really well. The Oilers would have come out flying, there wouldn’t be any unfortunate bounces, Cam Talbot would have made a bunch of saves like he did in Anaheim, and the Oilers would have cruised to an easy win. And with San Jose’s backup in net, maybe even Milan Lucic would have scored for the first time in 41 games. Nah, I’m not going to get ahead of myself. Scratch that Lucic part, if I’m just going to speculate on what would have happened if there was a game tonight, i have to keep it at least a little bit realistic. Let’s just say the Oilers would have won, and it would have been great.

So there you have it, I managed to recap a cancelled game. I know you wish you could have stayed up and watched a late game on a Tuesday night, but the powers that be have other ideas. I don’t know if we are taking the forfeit or the Sharks are for this one, but I have a feeling we can expect another tick on the loss column.

The next game is Thursday against the Panthers — as long as it doesn’t get cancelled too.