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Edmonton Journal: Scattered thoughts on a Friday night



EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Been a bit quiet last 24 hours, so sorry about that. Some of it was health-related (a very bad back flareup, but which is subsiding a bit as I type this, thanks to some on-the-floor exercises and some steroid medication). Some of it was a bit of drama at the Airbnb I stayed at for a week. I won’t go into too much detail, other than to say I knew I was asking for trouble when I broke my two-year-old self-imposed rule of: No roommates, no housemates in an Airbnb.

So, I’m now at a third location on this, Day 42 of my stay in Edmonton. I spent a fair amount of my day making arrangements to transfer locations. It’s a normal hotel, near the arena. It’s gonna cost a little more, but peace and quiet and no drama? Worth it.

Thanks to many of your generous donations to the Avalanche Travel Tip Jar, the economic pain has been lessened. Y’all are the best and I appreciate it.

I like to do columns sometimes where I just bounce around from topic to topic, so if you’ll indulge me:

  • The two-day pause in the Avalanche-Stars series – will it benefit the Avs health-wise and, ultimately, hockey-wise? We’ll see, but cynically speaking, it can’t hurt. Guys like Matt Calvert and Joonas Donskoi and Nikita Zadorov get a couple more days to try to heal up from their various ailments. The team will resume practice tomorrow, and Jared Bednar has been pretty open about timetables on some of the injured guys, so we just have to wait and see what he says tomorrow.
  • I really liked the job Logan O’Connor did in Game 3, and if he can continue to play like he did – feisty, hard on the forecheck, physical – I think the loss of Calvert becomes much more minimized. I think O’Connor has a future with this team.
  • The Avs have to keep playing physical, like they did in Game 3, but they have to thread the needle of not getting too far down into the mud with the Stars, who have instigators such as Jamie Benn and Corey Perry and and Jamie Oleksiak. If you’re retaliating in hockey, you’re losing. So, it’s a fine line the Avs have to walk.
  • If Zadorov can’t play in Game 4, no question about it, I go with Connor Timmins as the replacement. He’s played on big stages before, with Team Canada in the World Juniors. I think he’d deserve the shot.
  • I don’t talk politics on this site, as I said the other day. I don’t try to lecture others how to think, and I don’t want to be lectured to myself. I can make up my own mind on things, and so can you. That doesn’t mean I’m apathetic and don’t have beliefs. But as I said, this is a site devoted to coverage of the Avalanche, and that’s it.
  • Yet, politics have intruded on this series and on this sport. So it’s part of the story now and I’ll write about that part of it as things happen, and as it affects this series, this sport.
  • The president and CEO of the Dallas Stars said today that the team has lost season-ticket holders over the team’s “support” of social-justice issues. Story here.
  • So, I don’t really get Canada sometimes. I love Canada, always have. I used to draw flags all the time of Canada when I was in kindergarten. The people are, for the large part, polite and respectful of others. But I don’t quite get why things are so locked down here too because of the coronavirus as they are in the U.S. There is hardly any of the virus in Alberta, in Edmonton, in the country as a whole – at least in comparison to the U.S. And yet, the same mask laws are in effect, the same social-distancing mandates in effect. Hey, great, better to be safe than sorry I guess. But in reading the newspapers here today, the province of Alberta is getting crushed economically because of all the restrictions. There is now an all-time record $24.2 billion deficit for the province of Alberta. Downtown Edmonton is reeling, by the looks of it. Many, many restaurants and stores are shuttered. There is, frankly, a very large homeless population in this city. Talking to people in this hotel and in stores around town, there is a lot of economic worry. This hotel is empty, it seems like. Very few people are out and about, eating out or shopping. The whole city seems to shut down by 6 p.m. or so. So my question is: why are they shutting everything down when there are almost no cases around here? There have been a total of 237 deaths in the entire province since March attributed to the virus. We have 181,000 in the U.S. Why are the restrictions so severe here then?
  • Didn’t I just say I don’t talk politics on this site?
  • I know a lot of you are dying to know why I left the airbnb. Let’s just say there were some “irreconcilable differences” between me and the host. Not a big deal though. No hard feelings.
  • Life, to me now, is all about experiences – not money or fame or being liked on Twitter or any of that crap. And I certainly now have some new experiences to tell some good stories about with that airbnb stay, just like the first one.
  • I saw “The Foreigner” at the airbnb on advice of the host, and I loved it. I can thank him for that at least.
  • This city has some damn good Indian restaurants. I had some unbelievable butter chicken tonight.
  • I walked five miles from the airbnb to this hotel. Hey, it was good for me. I needed it.
  • OK, more tomorrow. Hope everyone is having a good night. I should have a new podcast up tomorrow.

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