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bet365 Travel Diaries: We made it Dallas and lost our minds for the Game 1 OT win

Pre-game skate in Dallas
Photo credit:Baggedmilk
baggedmilk
27 days ago
The boys advanced to the third round of the playoffs, which meant Tyler, Liam, Jay, and I were back on the road to cover the festivities.
After hopping on the Red Eye flight to Dallas late Wednesday night, we finally arrived in town after a quick stop in Atlanta with just enough time to check into our hotel and settle in for a game-day edition of Oilersnation Everyday. Tired but excited, the boys knocked out a fantastic episode of the show that was full of spiciness despite the general lack of sleep we’re all working with.
I wasn’t even on the show, but I had a great time watching the boys yell at each other about lineup decisions that they weren’t a part of making. Honestly, my favourite part about being on the road with these guys is that it’s turned into almost a brotherly level of chirping each other, and yesterday’s live show was a prime example.
With O.N.E. wrapped for the day, we did our best to shake off the cobwebs and prepare for the game. Running on fumes, we grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading back to the room to crank out a hotel-room edition of Real Life to work through our WCF predictions and superstitions.
Once the shows were edited and published, we snuck in a nap since sleeping on a Red Eye flight isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. However, the pre-game excitement started creeping in and gave us all a second wind. Put another way, we decided to sleep when we’re dead, and what was more important than napping was putting a few bets down on the game and getting set for puck drop.
Jersey’d up and ready to roll, we wandered the few blocks from our hotel to the arena to soak in the scene and gauge how many fellow Oilers fans made the trek to kick off the Western Conference Finals. Walking up to American Airlines Arena, I was instantly impressed with the pre-game festivities the Stars had set up outside the arena.
They had a band playing live music, a pop-up rink for some street hockey, stuff for kids, and vendors everywhere. To their credit, the Stars put on a great show for fans before getting into the arena, and it created a wonderful atmosphere that was very easy to get wrapped up in. Of the three cities we’ve visited in the playoffs, Dallas’ pre-game activations were the best by a country mile.
Once we got into the building, we did our usual laps around what I’d argue is the most unique concourse I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never been to American Airlines Arena, the best way to describe it is that it feels like a nice hotel. There are no vast, empty concourses in Dallas, but rather nicely finished hallways that look like they belong in a museum or something.
As for Stars fans, they were easily the friendliest bunch that we’ve interacted with so far in the playoffs. Unlike the Canucks fans who spared no opportunity to yell at us, the folks down here in Dallas were almost thrilled to see that we flew down from Edmonton to watch the games. Outside of a few jokers here and there, I have nothing but good things to say about the fans we interacted with throughout the night.
When it came to the game, we had fantastic seats in the upper bowl that felt almost like we were at the Loge level back at Rogers Place despite being up near the roof. The sight lines were great, the seats were comfortable, and we had a perfect view of McDaddy’s overtime winner, which happened right in front of us in the opening minute of the second OT period.
Despite a long day of travel and being generally exhausted, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to end the day. I know I’m absolutely biased here, but the boys deserved to win that hockey game and to see them get the job done in that fashion was so damned fun and an experience I’ll never forget. Needless to say, it was an incredible first day in Dallas.

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