By Jeff Vinnick
This trip is finally winding down. I'm hoping the team can pull two points out of Rexall place tonight. After all, the photos are way better and the guys don't mind having their picture taken on the heels of a victory.
Game day routine doesn't change that much from city to city. Everyone is down in the lobby for breakfast early. We're staying at a hotel downtown. It's not that busy so there's plenty of room for the whole team in the restaurant. Most of the guys are pretty quiet - they tuck into the papers right away.
Everyone loads onto the bus after breakfast and heads down to Rexall for the pre-game skate. Edmonton's rink is a lot like Montreal's in that the rafters are full of banners. I was fortunate enough to shoot some of the Stanley Cup finals here and witnessed Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier hoist Lord Stanley.
I'm sure when the boys look up and see the history it can't help but remind them of past glories experienced in this city.
Most of the guys crowd around the room as they wait for the Oilers to clear the ice. It's pretty laid back: guys are doctoring sticks, or going through notes, or watching the in-house TV.
The mood is very relaxed today but there is a definite tension in the dressing room, most likely because of the loss to Calgary. Tonight's game is huge and the players know it. The focus is on and in only a few hours, they are back at it again with their divisional rivals.
A ten-point gap between the two teams would be a nice cushion to fly home on.