This is almost a week old, but I think it’s important reading for anyone who is thinking about buying a new RBK EDGE jersey.
Always remember, especially with the new cut, new materials, and new prices… Try before you buy.
Afternoon games are tricky things. People are at work, teams aren’t awake yet, what are you going to do? But when it’s the holidays, you can bet the fans are going to show up, you just can’t be sure about the players. And so it was that the Wild clashed with the Blue Jackets, and I got to be there.
First, let me say that the Xcel Energy Center is a very nice place to see a game. This was my seventh game there (third this season), and there isn’t really a bad seat in the house. But I have only been able to find one escalator to the upper level, and my friends, that just won’t do. But my birds eye view was nice, allowing me to see the entire ice surface.
To say the Wild had a slow start is to take away from their slow finish. The boys had no real jump throughout the game, and could only sustain bursts of energy for a few minutes. The fight between Derek Boogaard and Jody Shelley was pretty sad, with only a few punches thrown. And the march to the penalty box was sustained through all three periods. See?
The big story here is Pascal Leclaire pitching his team record sixth shutout of the season. He had quite a bit of help, some of which came from dog of the day Referee Tom Kowal, who blew the whistle for no apparent reason a slight moment before Bouchard snapped one in the net. I don’t like to bang on refs too much, but he seemed more concerned about faceoff positioning than anything else in the game.
Todd Fedoruk? How about four minutes in penalties. Way to help, Todd. Sean Hill? One shot and Minus one. Welcome back to the league, Sean (it was his second game back). There was nothing inspiring about the way the Wild played, and the fact that they took less penalties than the Jackets should surprise most people who watched the game. The power play didn’t click, the passing was off, and the energy was low.
Still, a live hockey game is a great way to spend the afternoon. I had a great time, even if the Wild faithful didn’t. And the score keeps the Avs in first place in the division, at least for a moment longer. Your final, from the Xcel Energy Center:
Sunday, if I get up in time, I will be taking in the Rockford Icehogs. See you there.
Some nights, hockey is very disappointing. It rarely goes completely the way you want. Your team wins, but so does your hated rival. You pull out a single point in overtime from a sub .50 team, and you wonder why for the next day. A single play kills momentum, and so goes the rest of the game.
Today, for Thanksgiving, hockey went completely my way.
I get that the Senators are kicking some serious ass, and there is some fun watching their run for the money, but I have a little (small, very small, almost miniscule, not Crosby related) affection for the Penguins. Mostly, my hope for anything positive stems from Pat, one of the prop people on the show (which means he is in the props department, not that he is a prop). Pat is from Pittsburgh, and it seems like every time he asks me how the Pens are doing, I am the barer of bad news. The Pens pulled it out in Ottawa, and I can’t wait to see how excited Pat is. The final shootout goal was a beauty. I’m sure shootout goal that Gerber put in with his elbow will be debated for weeks, and it surprises me that it counted, but such are the rules. Three point game, nobody really loses.
Is there anything better than the Wings losing? Actually, there is. How about Dominik Hasek looking like a complete tool? Yeah, that puts the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie. Yep, first he trips a guy and gets two for interference, not while stopping a puck, but while going to the bench for the extra attacker. Then, as he launches from his crease for a second time, he slams into a Predator and falls on his backside. He probably could have been called for diving on that one, but wasn’t there enough embarrassment by then? Oh, the spirit of the holidays.
And then, the last score, the final game ends, and oh, was it ever sweet. Sure, there were the downsides, but the two points on the road sure feel good. And they feel even sweeter as the Avs claim first in the Northwest again, after three road losses in a row. The game wasn’t perfect, but it was two points.
– Skrastins gets the first goal of the night. From the doghouse to the scoresheet. I’m sure he won’t get too far out of it, but for better or worse, the team needs him. That’s just the way it is, and if he isn’t going anywhere else, he might as well go to the net.
– The Oilers have the worst power play in the league, but who went 0-for-8 with eleven shots tonight? Not good enough in the long run. I’m sure that will be drilled home at the next practice.
– John-Michael Liles gets the second goal for the Avs. Another doghouse dweller. From a healthy scratch last game, he came in with some jump and stepped into the play all night. While he may not be happy with the offensive defenseman moniker, but that is exactly what he was tonight. Message received.
– Svatos gets the game winner from his foot to his stick. While some may think the goal was kicked in, it obviously changed direction off his stick. Nice goal.
– Can we talk about the broadcast for a moment? I saw the Pay Per View feed tonight and I have a few questions:
– Budaj had the save of the night. Slapping down a shot on the doorstep. Trust me, you had to see it.
– It looked like Whack-A-Ref out there. Mick MaGoo got knocked down over and over, and I wish I could say I was concerned. But there were stripes all over the ice tonight.
– The Avs seem to be thinking too much about what they are going to do with the puck. Not enough reaction is getting them in trouble, and taking the play out of their hands. They have to pick it up a little.
– I’m starting to worry about Joe Sakic. I could see the frustration on his face as the puck didn’t do what he wanted it to. I wonder if he has an injury he is playing though. His passes aren’t crisp, he is getting picked off too often, and he only has five goals in 20 games. Sure, he’s second in team points, but he doesn’t look like the Joe Sakic we are all used to. He rarely takes penalties, but his hooking penalty tonight was sloppy as hell. I’m just saying, I’m worried about him.
That about does it for tonight. Happy turkey day, everyone. Get home safe.
This was not what I was hoping for.
Following this game online during the show was too painful to keep up with. Actually, it was more like a scene from a really bad play, but you paid for the thing, so you might as well stick around and find out what happens.
So, if it weren’t for Halpern, Jokinen would have scored a natural hat trick. What the American Airlines Center must have been like after that.
Yeah, that second guy. Yeah, they must have read my comic about him.
Not that he was getting any real goal support, but 5 goals on 15 shots is a little demoralizing for a team.
I’ll post some real recaps from the Avosphere as they come online. I have other things I’m thinking about hockey wise right now. More later…
On tour, it’s easy to get homesick. As “fun” as it can be to spend your life on the road, traveling form city to city, you miss the things that make home.. home. In a few weeks, I get to be home for a little bit, and even take in a game. I will be going to the Avs game on the 28th of November against the Oilers, and then on Friday the 30th, I will be sucking down the beer and garlic dip at SoBo 151 for the away game versus the Sharks. Come on down and join me, but remember to bring your ID. You won’t want to go home without trying the Czechvar.
Next stop on the tour is Detroit for 6 weeks. It looks like I will be able to attend a few games at Joe Louis Arena, since we have Mondays off. I will be like a spy, an undercover Avs fan infiltrating the lair of the Wings. Hopefully, I can take in a few Plymouth Whalers games, who have the coolest jersey in the OHL. But it’s still Detroit, in one of the coldest parts of the year. Not exactly where you want to spend Christmas away from home. At least there will be feather bowling at the Cadieux Cafe.
Oh, and I’m going to be at a Rockford IceHogs game in a few weeks (Sunday, November 25th vs Grand Rapids). ’tis the season, eh?