The Rivalry Lives On.

I saw this in the Scheels sporting goods store at the Fox River Mall in Appleton, WI, and had to take a picture of it.

Avs - Wings Display

Right side good, left side bad.

At the Bar

Since the Appleton Radison does not have Versus, I am out and about watchin=
g the game. I am guessing I’m the only one in downtown Appleton barhopping=
and watching the game, much less walking around in a hockey jersey.

Since the game is about to start, I’m going to say Ducks in 6, but I’m real=
ly hoping for Ducks in 7, since I have monday nights off, and this is going=
to be another long offseason.

What’s better than watching the Stanley Cup Finals? Not much.=

Jersey Post: Game Worn Dynamo 2

The Russian Super League seems to have a special place in my jersey collection. For some reason, the designs of these jerseys, along with the writing, appeal to my sense of the unique and different. Usually, these are the jerseys that get the most conversation out of people. Hockey fans stop and ask about them, and people have even stopped and spoken Russian to me (I don’t speak any other languages, so I get confused pretty quickly. Still, I love the jerseys. This one is a little bit of a fluke, as it was bought for me without knowing anything about the player. But as it turns out, it’s very fitting.

Game Worn Dynamo Front

The jerseys is a Game Worn Moscow Dynamo. It was worn by Yuri Babenko. When this jersey was given to me, I had no idea who had worn it. After I found out his name, I found out he was a second round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 1996. Even though he only played three games with the Avs, it makes for an unusual Avalanche jersey.

Game Worn Dynamo Back

From my other Moscow Dynamo jersey post, I found out the large logo on the front, and the red letters on the back say Russian Federal Insurance. The D on the front is the Moscow Dynamo logo. The jersey was made by Lutch. I believe there was some dispute as to the design of the jersey, and who the primary logo should be, with this being the outcome, but I don’t really know. If anyone can shed some light on that, let me know.

More jerseys soon, including Russian, USA Juniors, and others.

Eagles Win!!!!

The Colorado Eagles have won the Central Hockey League championship 4 games to 2 over the Laredo Bucks to win their 2nd Ray Miron President’s Cup. If you don’t care, I understand. Myself, I’m pretty excited (even though I’m a thousand miles away, literally).

In other CHL news, the Ft. Worth Brahmas will make their return next season. Short and sweet, that’s all for now.

Blogging the Show and Game

7:30 pm – I am working backstage right now in Appleton, WI. Even though a show is going to be happening, the game is going to be on, and I can do both. So, from the Central Time Zone, here is a live blog of the whole thing.

7:38 pm – First crisis is out of the way, with a quick mic swap (actors get their own mic wire, but substitutes need to be changed). Other than that, about 1/2 hour until the puck drops. The show is starting, about on time. No one in theater shows up late to work, or starts the show on time, if they know what is good for them.

7:50 pm – First cue of the night is out of the way, about 5 minutes until the next one. While it may seem like there isn’t much going on during a show, like most things involving live sound, it can be hours of boredom, seconds of terror. You can’t always stop bad things from happening, but you spend plenty of time preventing.

7:59 pm – Second cue of the night done. The biggest part of the job is making sure none of the actors hit the stage with a bad mic, either by bad equipment or the common destroyer of mics, sweat. The problem is, sometimes the wireless mics don’t get into range until right before an actor goes on. That’s when the terror part kicks in. Pregame coverage just started. And the balancing act of my job and hockey starts.

8:03 pm – I hate Zetterburg’s hair. There, I said it.

8::12 pm – You can never gage a game by the first minute, but the Ducks certainly showed up for the game. Can they sustain? I have to go deal with Hyenas. Back in a minute.

8:16 pm – I go to my cue, the Ducks are on the PP, I come back, it’s 4 on 4. I have no idea what happened. ( says tripping for Holmstrom, but the Ducks penalty isn’t up yet)

8:19 – Ducks Goal!!!! From the faceoff!!! Niedermayer!!!! Shorthanded!!!!! I can’t yell like the other day, as there is a show going on, and I am about 20 feet from the audience. They have no idea what I’m doing.

8:24 pm – First commercial break. More cues coming up. The show rolls on. The other sound guy will be happy the Braves are beating the Mets (for those who don’t know, that’s something they call baseball). But tonight, it’s all about the hockey backstage.

8:30 pm – I get back from the cue, and see a great shot on goal, and a solid check. Do cue, get hockey.

8:39 pm – The Ducks are ruling the play, or they are ruling the play when I’m watching, and the Wings are taking it to them when I am not (in Fantasyland). Still, I don’t expect them to come out like this in the second period. You do not make it to the Conference finals without having a response to a flat game. I hope the Ducks realize this. The end of Act 1 fast approaches.

8:43 pm – Too many men on the ice is no way to win a game.

8:47 pm – Killing it off and getting Lidstrom in the box is.

8:51 pm – End of Act 1 and End of the 1st period. I have a braut brought in by the local crew in hand, and the Ducks are winning 1-0. So far, I’m pretty happy. Both intermissions should last about the same amount of time, so I will be back around the start of the period.

9:09 pm – First song on Act 2 is over and the game is back on. Like I said, Detroit is coming out with more jump. Anyone who didn’t see this coming is in denial. A replay of a Selanne slapshot is my highlight.

9:19 pm – Did the Ducks not read what I just wrote? This is not the way to win games. Stay out of the box!!!!

9:20 pm – GOALLLL!!!!! 2-0 Ducks!!!!

9:39 pm – I leave for a little bit to deal with some things, and all hell breaks loose.

9:40 pm – And it works out just fine. DUCKS GOOAAAALLLL!!!!!!! The best part is where the ref was. Good thing it didn’t need the video review.

9:54 pm – Moving into the final scene of the show, and the final period of the game. Ducks are up 3-0, and the show is going smooth enough. I haven’t had to boogie for anything tonight, which is a plus. When you wind up running, something is horribly wrong. As soon as the show is over, I have to shut down the sound system, collect the mics, and find a bar to watch the end of the game in. This may be the final post at the show, but I’m sure I’ll put the finishing touches on this once I get home. Go Ducks!!!!

12:04 am – Back in the hotel room after the game, a few beers and some deep fried mac and cheese (notice that “fried” and “deep fried” make the final product sound vastly different). What is there to say other than

DUCKS WIN!!!!!!!!!!

Pretty damn happy about that. In fact, as the seconds wore down, and the Wings fans at the bar were screaming out for the tying goal, I was bouncing up and down like I was at a Ned’s Atomic Dustbin concert. The Red Wings go home, Bertuzzi gets nothing, and the crappy Wings fans who spew bile and hatred get to sit on their thumbs and whine about how life is not fair (note that not all Wings fans are like that, and I could even name a few, but it only takes a few to ruin things for everyone). The Wings fans in the bar shook our hands and we celebrated by drinking Spotted Cow beer (local delicacy).

As I finish up for the night, I wish the Ducks the best against the Sens, and thank the NHL scheduling gods that games one, four, and seven are on Monday nights, which just happens to be my day off. Other than a Battle of California, the Flames to step it up (you know, if they were going to beat the Avs, they might as well do something with it), and Marty Turco getting to see what round 2 was like, there is very little more I could have asked for from these playoffs. The finals loom. I need a new Stanley Cup patch.

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Come On, Ducks!!!

With the Avs out of the playoff race, I had to pick my bandwagons. From the beginning, I was hoping for a Nashville – Anaheim Conference Final, with a Buffalo – Ottawa East. But Nashville decided they didn’t want it that bad, and so I was hoping for a true Battle of California. San Jose, why did you quit playing? What was wrong with you? While the conference in the east came out how I wanted, once both teams were in the Conf finals, I achieved a zen like state of blissful ignorance about them. No matter who won, I was OK with it (even if I was secretly pulling for Buffalo just a teeny tiny bit).

But Ducks – Red Wings. This is a whole other story. I want things to happen to the Wings, like elbows to the head (check), checks into the bench (check), and demoralizing goals in the last seconds of games (super check). I want to see Bertuzzi looking down at the ice, wondering where it all went wrong. I want to see Giguere thrust his arms in the air in victory. I am ready for the Red Wings season to be over.

Yesterday, between shows, I was able to watch the game from backstage. The last ten minutes was a tension filled time for me, while the rest of the company was off having lunch/dinner or taking a nap before the final show of the day. When the puck went in off Lidstrom’s stick, I couldn’t help yelling “Yes!!!” I yelled it a lot. And as the cast came back, and we had to prep microphones, I was sure the Wings were going to score when I wasn’t looking. But when I was looking, Selanne roofs it on the backhand, and I found myself jumping up and down, running around backstage yelling, “Ducks Win, Ducks Win!!!” A few of my new coworkers thought I was a little screwy, but the ones who had dealt with me before knew I was always this screwy.

I hope, I pray, I quiver with anticipation, for a Game 6 loss by the Wings. Ending the series now, Ducks versus Ottawa, would make for some great hockey. I’m tired of watching the Red Wings. I think their season should be over. I think it will be soon.

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Not Standing Still

Very few hockey bloggers make a living blogging. Not that many make any money at all doing it. For me, one of the benefits of that is I can take a few days off when I need to. When work gets in the way of hockey blogging, I don’t worry about it that much. I am a little read island doing my own thing, and money, like in the rest of life, just complicates matters. I can be funny one day, serious the next, and quiet later on.

Work is a significant factor in my ability to blog about hockey. Being a stagehand (working backstage in theater, opera, rock shows, and whatever comes along), I am usually working nights and weekends, exactly when hockey games are on. Being “in the entertainment industry” you have to entertain when people want to be entertained.

Work changed quite a bit in the last few days for me. Yesterday, I flew in to Appleton, WI, where I will be working for the next 5 weeks on a show in town. Aside from being very busy this week, the 4 after will be spent away from a VCR, Versus (unless I go to a bar), and hockey. Basically, I’m cut off a little. All of my hockey viewing for the next while will be the On The Fly: Final show, wither on Versus, or on my computer (thank goodness I have high speed internet in the room). I may not even be able to watch much of the Stanley Cup Finals. I wish I could tell you how hard that will be. At some point, I’m going to try.

After 5 to 6 weeks, I may be home in Denver, or I may be in St. Louis. I really don’t know right now. In the world of musical theater (can you believe I just said that?), 5 weeks can be a long time. I just got done working an opera that ran for 2 1/2 weeks, and only did 5 shows. That was the entire run. Madness, I tell you.

But I am not shutting down, not even close. There is a certain perspective that you get from being a fan in exile. When you have an NHL team in your backyard, and every game is broadcast, you forget how hard it is for other people what aren’t as lucky to be in your situation. Being stuck in a hotel room with 29 channels and none of them are hockey, you start to panic and feel the pains a little. Also, I brought a few jerseys with me, so expect some jersey posts. I have a pretty cool one to put up soon, something a little different. And there is public skating close by, including some pickup and local hockey. Maybe a few reports.

So, take a little pity on my small corner of the world. Check in often, look back in the JAHL archives, and enjoy. I haven’t gone away.

In the meanwhile, who’s got a DVD recorded I can bribe?

Thin Air: Playing Catch Up

Ah, the flowers, the clean air, the blue sky. Well, so much for that, I better get back to blogging. The return of Thin Air, short hits about the hockey world.

  • Last weeks elimination game between the Rangers and the Sabres was the perfect game to play on NBC. With all the hoopla over the Rangers being in the playoffs, overshadowing that was the game itself, which had speed, flow, intensity, scoring and saving, and the score mattered right to the end. For me, it was a great showcase for the game, one that could create some buzz, if only there were some place to create buzz at.
  • Every time I look at my Feedreader (which I am now doing with Google Reader), and I see Avalanche news, I keep hoping for the news of the Theodore buyout. No luck yet, but I have to believe it’s coming. Instead, I find out that Joe Sacco will be the head coach of the Avs new AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, and that Stan Kronenke, owner of the Avs, has bought a stake in the Arsenal football club. Yes, that Arsenal, over there.
  • The USA is out of the World Championships, losing to Finland 5-4 in the (wait for it…) SHOOTOUT!!! That, of course, is the way international hockey goes, but, and I said this before, is it satisfying to anyone but the victor? In a sport where ice time is at a premium, I understand doing what you have to, such as curfew games and shootouts, to make the sport happen. But the shootout is so unsatisfying. (side note: How do the Europeans feel about it?)
  • That said, it’s time I said this publicly, and let the chips fall where they may. I miss tie games. As fun as the shootout can be (so is the circus), I have become bored with the novelty. While playing for a tie sucked, I like this solution even less. The whole argument that no one leaves during the shootout is bogus as well. Of course they don’t leave, the game isn’t over. There is still one point to hand out. The fans didn’t create this, but they do have to live with it. Some like it, and that’s fine, but I don’t.
  • The kids continue to be alright for the Avs, as Paul Stastny had a good performance (4 G, 4 A) at the World Championships, and the Avs signed Forward Codey Burki to a 3 year deal. Youth will prevail.

A few off topic items for you:

  • Many of you know, I work as a stagehand, either on tour or here in Denver. This past week, we were very busy putting Wicked into the Buell Theater. Wicked is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, and how she became so wicked. I have yet to see it, but I must say, the sets are amazing, the music (the snippets I listened to in rehearsal) is decent, and from what I have heard, the end of Act 1 is one of the best ever. Want something different while in Denver? Check this show out (until June 3rd)
  • Westword is the local arts rag here in Denver (which is part of a larger arts rag network of papers). Yesterday, I read the review of 28 Weeks Later (which looks interesting, except for the horror and gore aspect. I have a weak stomach for such things), and this part caught my eye. I knew I had to share:

From the social breakdown of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) to the undead blowback of Joe Dante’s Homecoming (2005), the standard zombie diet has consisted of two delicacies: human flesh — preferably brains and viscera — and subtext, traditionally seasoned with sociopolitical flavor. You are what you eat, and if you happen to eat people, there’s bound to be some anthropological gristle to chew.

Holy cow, who’da thunk?

More later.

Devils Done, Lou Looks Ludicrous, Film at Five

Well, that makes two-thirds of my trifecta of evil couch potatoes. I don’t have much pity and interesting to say about tonight’s game, so I will point you to someone who does. This post from Drop the Puck says it all. It even has lots of pictures for Devils fans who can’t see through the tears (snarky? me?). In Lou who trusts?

Now, if the Sharks can kick it in the ass, I could be a happy man.

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Open Thread: Comment Away

Something a little different. Let’s open up the comments here for some playoff chatter. But, there are a few rules:

No trolls

No crying

Other then that, go to town. This is a discussion, let’s talk.