We’re coming down the home stretch, the playoff race is tight, the trade deadline is behind us, and I thought today would be the perfect time for another dose of Random Thoughts to offer up some fresh takes on what’s been happening around here.

LET’S GO, BEN!

On Thursday night, the Oilers were lucky enough to welcome a very special guest for the game, and I wanted to show the team some love for what they did for Ben Stelter. As we all saw before the game, Ben stood right next to Connor McDavid during the anthem and it was really fun to see the crowd give him the biggest cheer of the night. Anytime Ben was up on the screen, the crowd went bananas and I absolutely loved the energy the fans at Rogers Place were sending his way. It was a great moment and I was very happy that the Oilers gave the young man a wonderful night.
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What a lot of us didn’t see, however, was what happened after the game when Ben made his way into the Oilers’ locker room where he was named player of the game. As you can see in the video his dad, Mike, shared on Twitter, the boys were fired up to bring Ben into the room and let him experience their post-game celebration. I loved seeing Ben walk into the room, get a fist bump from Mike Smith, and have the boys cheering for him.
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I can only imagine what the Stelter family has been going through over these past weeks and months, but one thing I hope for them is that they felt all of the love Oilers fans were sending them and, most importantly, that Ben had the best time. The Oilers did a wonderful job here from the players for their part to the staff that put the whole thing together, and I love that they took the time to put a special day together. Go, Ben!

I MISSED ROAD TRIPS TO CALGARY

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Yesterday, we put together our first roadie to Calgary in more than two years, and I cannot even begin to express how great it was to have a bunch of Nation Citizens vibing on a bus again. From the moment we left the parking lot in Edmonton to the minute we arrived at the hotel in Calgary, the energy on the bus was spectacular as everyone was buzzing to get going. There were chants, there were chirps, there was trivia, and I cannot begin to describe how much I missed it. At this point, I’ve lost count of how many of these roadies we’ve done but I haven’t missed one yet, and this most recent weekend was yet another reason why I don’t think I ever will. Even though I’m not exactly feeling my freshest today, I wouldn’t trade this headache for the world and I want to thank everyone that joined us on the bus from the bottom of my heart because it was another great weekend. We may not have gotten the result we wanted but we had a good time anyway. Another big thank you goes to Backside Tours for putting the whole thing together.

OUR RECORD SUCKS THOUGH

I was talking to Nation Dan this morning before we made our way back home and he was telling me that our record on our bus trips to Calgary is 1-6 and that random not-so-fun fact felt like a kick to the shin. How can it possibly be that the Oilers have only won a single game in the seven times that we’ve been down there? It had me thinking that we either have to stop doing these trips — we won’t — or I have to bring some kind of pre-game sacrifice with me before the next one.
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PROPS TO BRETT KULAK

I know that the cost of acquisition on Brett Kulak is something we’ll probably be arguing about for weeks, but I’ve gotta say how much I’ve enjoyed watching him play these last two games. So far, the first thing that’s stood out to me has been his wheels and with boots like that combined with a strong first pass, I’m starting to think that the second-round pick might be well worth the price for an upgrade. Now, I’m fully aware that I’m being a sucker for a first impression and that the Oilers got killed last night In Calgary, but right now, at this moment, I’m a big fan. Welcome home, pal.

LISTEN TO BETTER LAIT THAN NEVER

I’ve got another brand new episode of Better Lait Than Never is out! On this week’s show, I looked at a couple of tough losses for the Oilers, talked some pop music, and answered all of your questions. Did I succeed? Only you will have the answers after you listen to this week’s episode of the podcast. Subscribe for free on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts. 
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