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Archive for the ‘Lord Stanley’s Cup’ Category

I must say that I’m feeling the post-playoffs-hockey’s-over blues right now. I had hope (more than Barack Obama hope) that the Predators would pull off a win and force a game seven. Alas, no such luck.

As a fan of the game and of the Predators I must say, in my humble opinion, that they did not ‘bring it’ against the Red Wings. They can’t play a period or two of mediocre hockey and turn it on for the third period to play spectacular hockey against a team like Detroit. It’s gotta be all on all the time and the Preds didn’t have it. Which is kind of depressing because I know they are a team that is capable of great things. For now, I must fall back on one of my love-to-hate phrases, “There always next year.” It was a great season of overcoming many obstacles and Barry Trotz and his staff did a great job of keeping it together.

Now, I have the dilemma of deciding on season tickets or not. Not because they didn’t win the cup. Remember, I love the sport of hockey and I dig the Predators a lot. But with the Elder Extroverted Holy One graduating in a couple of weeks with her masters of divinity (I still don’t know how someone as divine as she is with a schmuck like me) and can possibly get a job at a church anywhere. Do I go ahead and get season tickets and then try to sell them if we move? Or should I wait to figure out where we’re going to be. There are some cities that are appealing to her (and me) but I’m not so sure I can obtain season tickets for the Sabres, in one possible scenario. I don’t even think I’m ready  to add a new favorite team to my list. I only have room for a certain number. This is so hard.

On a final note, Dan Ellis has become my new hockey gawd (vague TV reference. any guesses?)! Hats off to him. He worked magic out there but he couldn’t defeat the wings by himself.

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The Young Extroverted One is doing very well at her G.O.A.L. hockey clinic. She is in her third week and starting to skate like a pro. Well, as professionally as a five year old can. If it were me and I had a week inbetween sessions I would be starting from scratch every week. Meaning I would be picking myself up off of the ice a lot. I would need to practice every day to get to the point where she is right now.

Week one: she was falling non-stop even with the walker-thingy. Week two: less falling and better with the walker (or should it be called a skater?). The instructors also showed the kids how to get up from the ice. Which seems very difficult and was for the YEO. Week three: “skating” without the skater, a puck handling skill session with Terry Crisp and a little better at getting up from a fallen position.

Being on the other side of the glass I have found it very difficult to watch my child fall or be knocked accidentally over by others. I have found that I need to peel my face off of the glass after such incidents. I just want to be there to hold her hand and push other kids away that might even look like they’re going to knock her over. It wouldn’t be that helpful considering I would probably knock her down because I can’t skate. Plus, she is handling this all much better than I am and keeps trying her hardest to get back up. We constantly reference the  Superchick song, “Get Up.”

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Talking with Terry Crisp after the session he told me that she corrected him because he was saying her name wrong. Um, YEO? Yeah . . . hey. Um, that’s Terry Crisp. He played center for the Bruins, Blues, Islanders and Flyers. He was an assistant coach for the Flyers and the head coach for the Flames and Lightning. He won TWO Stanley Cups with the Flyers and won a cup as the Flames’ coach. As far as I’m concerned he can call you, me, anyone whatever he wants. Mkay?

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Let me start by saying I am a hockey fan.  While I have some favorite teams (Predators, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs) I really do love the sport.  At the same time I understand a little bit about the business world.

I went to the Predators vs. Flames game on Saturday night with my buddy, Stuart.  There were many empty seats in the building.  Heck, there were empty sections!   We could have moved down to sit on the glass if we wanted to.  If Nashville (and by Nashville I mean regular fans and most of all local business owners) can’t fill an arena on a Saturday night against a team that has regularly gone to the Stanley Cup playoffs then we don’t deserve to have a hockey team.  And if they move I might have to uproot the Extrovert/Introvert family and head north!

Okay, I feel a little better now. I needed to get that off of my chest.

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My brother, who lives somewhere out in a desert in Arizona, has a hockey blog. It’s rather Phoenix Coyotes heavy but what do you expect? He lives out there and supports the home team. If he lived here in Nashville he’d be writing wonderful Predators related pieces.

This particular post seemed to resonate with me because I think there are certain parts of it that relate to our home team. Especially with the unloading of some players and not being able to hang on to others that are free agents.

So, here are a couple of excerpts from my bro (go read the rest here):

One Fan’s Perspective…

. . . this hockey club will look vastly different come September
when training camp approaches. As I have written before, balanced
hockey clubs are important. Learning to win is difficult and struggling
to win can be even worse.

The positive side to the lack of a veteran presence, or to the lack
of a good veteran presence (those that will lead the right way and not
look to the plethora of golf courses we have here and not look to
retire), is that the coaching staff can teach good habits as the young
players will not have any preconceived notion of how to play NHL hockey.

                

I just want the organization to put a team on the ice that will be competitive. My expectations are not the playoffs.

Yet.

I may disagree with the last sentence. As far as I’m concerned, always expect the playoffs. But, that may be the reason I cry a lot during the post-season.

Blogged with Flock

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First off, I am not a fan of the Anaheim Ducks whatsoever.  I am more of a fan of the sport of hockey than anything (and a big fan of the home team as well).  But I must say some things about the NHL playoffs that no other sport playoff series has.

Whenever I watch the playoffs and the finals no matter who wins the whole process brings a tear(s) to my eyes. Hockey is the only sport that has the hand-shaking thing.  Reminiscent of little league games it’s great to see opponents shake hands and hug (as manly as possible)after a rough series.  Especially after contentious moments.

It’s hard work and whoever ends up winning gets my respect.  One of my favorite teams to have won the cup was the Carolina Hurricanes.  I had the pleasure of working in the RBC Center and for the ‘canes before it was the RBC Center.  Always a fan even though I have since moved from Raleigh and am in Nashville and am a fan of my home team.

Congratulations to the Ducks.  And to the Predators, there’s always next year.

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Okay, it seems that every blogger in Nashville is talking about this potential purchase of the Nashville Predators by a Canadien (gasp) businessman. As a hockey fan I might as well jump on this bandwagon and say my piece (or is it peace? MTA a little help?) about the impending transaction.

To start off this post I must share an anecdote. The day I drove the Uhaul filled with our possessions I tuned in to one of the sports radio networks (I can’t remember which one) when they announced that Paul Kariya had just signed on to be a Predator. Hearing that announcement made the move from my beloved Black Mountain, North Carolina to Nashville worth it. The Elder Extroverted Holy One’s acceptance into Vanderbilt Divinity School aside I was all about living in a town with a NHL team again.

Okay, back to the topic at hand.

First of all the deal is not done.

The sale must be closed by June 30. Approval before that date from the NHL’s board of governors would be required.

Balsillie, the co-CEO of BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd., who saw his recent bid to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins fall apart, said he is respectful of all the “due diligence” required before the Predators deal can close.

“This is still Craig Leipold’s franchise until the deal is completed, so for me to comment at this time on any number of topics relative to the franchise would not be appropriate,” Balsillie said in a statement.

Hoops need to be jumped through and so forth and so on. However, I am as pessimistic about the outcome as most others are.

I must say that the current predicament the Preds are in I’m going to have to blame the corporate entities here in Nashville. As the Wall Street Journal says, “In a league where teams shoot for a 65-35 split between corporate and consumer ticketholders, the Predators’ fan base is about 30% corporate and 70% consumer.”

One can’t expect the fan base in this southern town to carry the whole burden of supporting the team. It has to be the whole community, which includes the local businesses. It seems that we, as fans, have done quite a lot to support our team. Heck, the Young Extroverted One loved our experience so much that she cried when I took someone else to a game! If I could afford it I would definitely get a couple of season tickets so I can take her to every game and to support our team.

When I worked for the Carolina Hurricanes it was extremely tough to make fans out of NASCAR and ACC basketball fans. It basically took a Stanley Cup win to build a following but there was definitely a core fan base that stuck it through the whole time. Plus, it took the local Raleigh businesses to get behind them. That’s what we need here.

But I must also keep in mind that this is all about business. If the deal goes through and the lease agreements aren’t made then Balsillie can do whatever he chooses with the team. If he decides to move it to a more hockey friendly community, like anywhere in Canada, then that’s his prerogative. I love hockey, I love the Predators but this relationship can’t work if the entire community doesn’t jump in to support them as well.

If any out-of-towners would like to support the Introvert/Extrovert family’s wishes to help support the Nashville Predators with season tickets then leave a comment below with your pledges. A hockey fan representative will contact you shortly.

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Predators’ favorite vegetable?  The artiCHOKE.

aaaarrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh!

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As some of you already know, I love hockey. I love it on TV and more so in person. As long as I can see the whole sheet of ice to watch plays develop and other shenanigans that occur out of the camera’s watchful eye. But being at a game surrounded by these Nashvillian fans makes watching the game in person very interesting.

I went to Game 2 in the Stanley Cup Western Quarterfinals. Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks. It was a great game to watch. The Preds won 5-2, by the way. Rivalries almost always develop during a series and this is no different. After events of Game 1 I expected this game to be a chippy and penalty riddled one. And it was.

The fans really went after the referees. Which seems to be common among sports. So, I was wondering if the fans (at least hockey fans) hate the ref’s calls because of the heat of the moment (which I tend to fall under when I don’t like a call)? Or are they just ignorant of the rules and how a referee makes calls?

It kind of irks me when I see a play develop and one player is really making a play for the puck and in the process trips his opponent and then the fans jump all over the ref. Sure, it sucks that it happened but it was a play on the puck not on the opponent’s feet. The refs have a hard enough job as it is and if he makes a mistake more than likely there will be a ‘make-up’ call. It happens. We move on. Unless a call shifts the momentum and outcome of the game. But I don’t think that happens very much in hockey in my very humble opinion.

The fights were a big deal, too. The paper here wrote a bunch about the number of penalty minutes and blah, blah, blah. The game ended with 3 pairs of players duking it out (which, as a Predators fan I’m sad to say, we lost those fights). What a better way to keep the momentum way up for the road trip! The Sharks wanted to make a statement by saying, “We may have lost but we can still kick your ass!” And the Preds may have been saying, “We won this game and we will take it to your house and kick your ass!” Hey, it’s the playoffs! And it’s hockey! That the way they roll (as the kids are want to say nowadays).

Another thing about the fans here (and probably anywhere there is a gimmick like this) chanted, “WE WANT TACOS! WE WANT TACOS!” WTF?!?! I was informed by my arena neighbor that everytime the Preds score 5 goals in a game you can take your ticket to Taco Bell to get a free taco. They may want tacos but I wanted the Preds to win more than I want a free Taco Bell taco. When I said this out loud my kind neighbor said “It’s 4-1 we got this.” Need I remind you that it was only the 2nd period and in Game 1 the Preds came from behind to tie it up ultimately losing in double OT. This is hockey! Anything can happen and when it does it happens quickly! Plus, Taco Bell tacos are pretty crappy.

**If my buddy Jeff reads this I kindly ask him to make comments on the game of hockey in my comments section. I always look to him for a different perspective on the game. Not only is he Canadien but he also used to referee in the Junior League (I believe). So, Jeff write something insightful or referee-like in the comments! Anybody else for that matter, too. What do you think?**

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So, the Nashville Predators added Peter Forsberg to their roster. At first I was excited and then it kind of spiralled down from there. Not quite despair. It seems that David Poile is building a team for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Nothing wrong with that but what about the future?

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been following hockey as avidly as I used to when I had DirecTV‘s Center Ice package (insert longing ‘sigh’ here) so my observations aren’t as educated as they used to be. But, Forsberg is getting old. He’s on the tail end of his wonderful career. Is he still as spectacular as he was 7 or 8 years ago? Probably not. So, I’m not so sure this was a wise choice.

Selfishly though, it’s pretty awesome. As long as I can get some tickets and see some games! Which is probably why Poile made this call. Butts in the seats. Which kind of pisses me off. Nashville has this kick ass team and no one is going to see them. Plus, if you were a hockey fan you’d recognize the talent (both old and new) on this team. If I had the opportunity I would be there every night.

I miss hockey so much.

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