April 11, 2008

All Things Hockey

I am in heaven...as of right now, this time of year is my absolute favorite.

Now, lest you think I've gone nuts, let me explain...this is the season in which the Stanley Cup Playoffs have begun. For those of you who don't follow hockey, let me just say that the pursuit for Lord Stanley's Cup is season-long...it is the ultimate goal of an NHL team...and it makes for some totally kick-butt hockey games. I love hockey. I love watching the game, I love learning about the rules, cheering for my team, booing for the 'bad guys' (read Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars), waiting in agony as a team tries to keep the puck in, and takes shot after shot...its a combination of the fast pace of basketball, with the strategy of baseball, the physicality of football, the excitement of a rugby match, played by grown men who happen to be on ice. The players' endurance and agility never ceases to amaze me, and while I often joke that I watch a fight, hoping a hockey game will break out, it astounds me to watch players able to box on ice skates. I can't even make it one lap around a rink...so I admire the physical skill it takes...plus they're hot...and you know they're strong...

But I digress. The reason I am in more than usual heaven this season than for several seasons prior to today...is that my Colorado Avalanche are in the playoffs. Beyond that, we have Peter Forsberg back...and that infusion of having him back on our team has helped to pull us together and create a team that can do it...

Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarter-Finals was a nail-biter...scoreless going into the 2nd period, the Avs quickly took a 2 - 0 lead. That was blown in the 3rd, with 2 reviews, 1 called-back goal...the Minnesota Wild somehow managed to outplay us, and ended up scoring 2 unanswered goals. We went into a sudden-death overtime, and holy cow was it intense! The puck was rocketing up and down the ice, players were taking shots every chance they could get, and then, on an amazing play that started as a shot on goal, Joe Sakic managed to snag the puck as it zipped along a path at least 5 feet in front of the goal, and redirected it right into the net to score the game-winning goal.

I know, it was only the first game in a best-of-seven series. We play again tonight, again in Minnesota, where our regular season record was lousy...we lost most of the games we played there...in fact, I don't think we won a game in the Xcel Energy Arena...needless to say, tonight, at 7pm, I will be glued to my television, watching on Altitude as my Avalanche, again take on the Wild.

After that, we come home to Colorado to play at the Pepsi Center Monday and Tuesday. If needed, we return to Minnesota for game 5...ugh...the very thought of having to play to 7 games makes me get butterflies in my stomach...

At the same time that I'm glued to the TV, I'll be following closer than ever ESPN's Sportscenter to keep up with the results of the other games that will be going on for the next 10 days, as the other 14 teams in the NHL play their own series. I'll be keeping my eye on the Dallas Stars specifically, along with the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings are the best in the league this season, and a force to be reckoned with. If I'm correct, we'll play the winner of the Red Wings' series against the Nashville Predators. I can never remember if the bracketing of the playoffs is always the top seed plays the lower seeds the whole way through to Conference Finals...hmmmmm...I suppose I'll have to double check that...

For now, I am going to scramble around my house to insure that all the domestic chores are completed during the daytime, so that I can focus on the more important things like hockey and NASCAR over the weekend...no better way I can think of than to start my weekend out with a Stanley Cup Playoff game in which my team WILL win.

Of course, I know I'll be eating humble pie on here tomorrow if they don't...but I'm a proud fan of my team, NOT a bandwagon team like other people I know who shall remain nameless.

Let's just say that I stayed up until very late at night/early in the morning to watch the triple OT game in which the Avalanche won their first Stanley Cup, and I did sneak downstairs when I was little to watch USA win the Gold at Lake Placid...I think I came straight out of the womb a hockey fan...football never really did it for me...

As Farmie would say I HEART HOCKEY!

1 comment:

FarmWife said...

Never did get the hang of hockey...but I love to hear you wax about it. I love football, and wish I knew half as much about as you do about Hockey. But then I wasn't raised with 4 older brothers.