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If Players Didn't Care About Winning...

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"Your fan club's here," says Gene Principe, pointing at the monitor at the front of the press box,

Jared looks at the screen and spots the pair of twin girls who sit at the Oilers glass with their parents almost every home game, waving at him during warmups and giggling. Somehow, they've migrated to Calgary for the night and are holding up a sign with "Where's Jared?" written on it in orange and blue letters and surrounded by way too many hearts.

"Well," Jared thinks to himself, "at least somebody notices I'm not playing."

Or maybe he said it out loud, because the next thing he knows, Principe - about to head over to the Oilers' booth - has his hand on Jared's shoulder. "You should be out there," he says quietly.

*

The last person Jared would have expected to be texting him at ten minutes to game time would be Chaz.

J: everything ok?

C: w/ us yeah, but does everyone on the Oilers have the flu?

J: ????

C: Last minute lineup change

J: What?

C: Halla and Rogers both out for tonight. Says they're sick?

J: WHAT??

*

It looks like last minute texting didn't hurt Chaz's game, because he scores twice and picks up two assists.

Bryce gets a hatty in the first period, then scores once more in the third.

*

Ordinarily Jared would be way more bummed to be scratched and see his team lose 9 to 2, but when he gets a look at the sour expression on Deslauriers' face up on the tv screen as the game comes to an end, it's almost worth it.