Monday, October 29, 2007

A Cool and frosty night at the Honda Centre

If the cold front from Alberta had arrived last week, then those Southern California wildfires wouldn't have stood a chance.

There were extra security guards on hand Sunday night in executive row at the Honda Centre, just in case Brian Burke and Kevin Lowe wandered into each others personal space. But in the end the extra help had a rather peaceful night of it, as the main protagonists of the Anaheim/Edmonton Cold War stayed cooped up in the respective sky boxes.

The Oilers made their first appearance in Anaheim since Dustin Penner sent Brian Burke’s blood pressure a rising by accepting an Oiler offer sheet in the off season. It was a gesture that put Burke and Oilers GM Kevin Lowe at the top of the great feuds of 2007-08 list and made this season’s match ups a little more interesting for the traveling media.

The Oilers first appearance in Southern California this year, provided Dustin Penner with the opportunity to pick up his Stanley Cup ring and receive the accolades (or raspberries) of the Duck faithful who greeted his return with a lukewarm reaction, mixed with cheers and jeers.

As for the anticipated main event of a Burke/Lowe meeting, it never came to pass. The two most likely chose to avoid each other, rather than tempt the fates of an accidental run in and the possibility of a headline generating scream fest and subsequent censure from the head office.

The rhetoric has died down quite a bit since those early days at the start of the season when Brian Burke proclaimed his anger and amazement at what the Oilers had decided to do to stock their team.

For a few days it seemed that a Burke and Lowe under card could be the ticket to financial success for the NHL, who merely needed to put their debates on Pay per View and watch the cash roll in.

Instead, it seems that a hold your fire edict may have been issued, as the two contenders for the title of most outraged of the year have been keeping a rather low profile lately.

It’s probably not good for selling tickets, but the league probably prefers it this way. After all when you’re portraying the image of one big happy family, having two of the older brothers brawling out in the family room, isn’t very good for the image.
At the end of the night, Burke was most likely in the fouler of the two moods as his Ducks came up on the short end of a 3-2 loss to Lowe's Oilers.

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