Now, I haven’t been to a real hockey game since high school when I saw the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves battle their opponent to the death. That’s right–Seawolves. Very dangerous creatures, those! They are the WOLVES of the SEA.
Despite the lack of my presence at actual games, I do love hockey. This love for the sport harkens back to the days of yore when my sisters and I received coveted roller blades and street hockey sticks and puck from our parents. Many an hour was spent out in the garage playing “hockey”. I, for the most part, was the goalie so I feel special affinity for that position.
My sisters and I mastered the skills necessary for the game of hockey by watching The Mighty Ducks Trilogy (yes, there are three of them) numerous times and so while I was watching the game last night certain phrases came back to me.
I also found myself wondering if either coach of the teams on the ice ever had their players practice “soft hands” by using raw eggs instead of pucks, or if they ever tied their whole team together to show them how they must “skate as a team” and work together to achieve a common goal. I’m sure that they show all coaches these techniques when they get their coaching whistles.
As soon as I walked into the sports arena last night, I felt the thrill that one gets as they start to watch any major sporting event. The thrill of the win, the agony of defeat. They crowd is up, it’s down–it’s quite a rush. However, it was somewhere in the first period when my hockey knowledge started to fail me. I found myself wondering if football terminology would apply. Did that player just get an “interception”? Is there such a penalty as “roughing the passer”? If so, those refs were falling down on the job. Not that I’m judging. Hockey ref – now that’s a tough job. I saw one ref wearing a plastic facemask and thought “Well, his buddies will probably call him a wuss, but I bet his Mom would be proud of him!”
I’m glad to say that I got to see most of the game despite the people sitting in our row who had to exit and enter EVERY SECOND to refill their beer cups. Hey, guys? I didn’t pay good money to stare at your back. Towards the end of the game, the spirit of hockiness started to invade my body and I was channeling all my energy to keep from tripping or pummeling the six people who kept interrupting my view of the ice. I just wanted to sit them down and explain (albeit with clenched teeth) that since they barely saw half of the game, it probably would have been cheaper for them to watch “Miracle” at home. Sheesh.
I’ll say this – the hockey people know how to do music. Every second there wasn’t hockey going on, there was some sort of music blaring that kept the crowd engaged with what was happening on the ice instead of texting their friends or knitting a sweater. C’mon – you can’t tell me this doesn’t make you want your team to take home the win!
I don’t know if I would have been able to handle all the excitement if it wasn’t for the Zamboni breaks. I think the Zamboni guys have the most peaceful job in the hockey realm. Think about it…just moments before players were smashing each other against the boards, getting into fights, battling their way towards the goal and then they all leave the ice and the Zamboni drivers get to make the ice all pretty again. It must be very soothing to make the world clean and bright. Yes, I think I’d like to be a Zamboni driver–I bet they get in free to see games and can talk with the players without loosing all their teeth. That’s the kind of job I could get behind…
Meanwhile, I think it’s best that I brush up on the actual hockey rules before the next game. No offense to Emilio Estavez but I feel my knowledge is lacking…I didn’t see either team employ the “flying v” all night.