Tuesday, February 27, 2007


It's been a tough couple of days, almost to the point where this trade doesn't faze me. It does. I just don't think it really hit me until a second ago. Ryan Smyth was one of the reasons that the Oilers drew me in. He's my favorite player, not just on the Oilers but out of all my teams. For me, one of the worst parts about this trade is that he was partly to blame. With the situation between him and the Oilers the way it was, there wasn't much else to do. I don't know. I hate it. Actually I'm pretty upset now. I just feel bad for people on the team, like a Shawn Horcoff or something, who are going to miss him. I guess this stuff happens a lot but I still feel bad. I'm trying to stay rational. The last trade I blindly hated was Nomar.

The Bruins traded Brad Boyes for Dennis Wideman, and Paul Mara for Aaron Ward. I like the second trade and don't know enough about Wideman to tell on the first one. With two losses in a row they needed something. I was at the game last night with Liz and Paula. We moved down to seats directly next to the Bruins' bench, three rows from the glass. When they fell apart in the third period, Andrew Ference had a look on his face that I'm all too familiar with. He looked like he wanted to single-handedly carry his team to a win and that, if he had anything to say about it, there was no way they were going to lose. He's just one player, though, and no matter what he did they still lost. I appreciated the effort and he's on his way to making me like that trade. At least he's trying.

The Avs traded Brad May for a goaltending prospect. I'm pretty sure May is useless so this is fine. The Real Marek Svatos has been around for a few games now and, in the one redeemable event in the past few days, is developing some chemistry with Tyler Arnason. I'm still legitimately terrified that because I've talked about him he's going to get hurt. You can call it paranoia, but I see the Bruins sucking, Smid getting hurt, and Smytty being sent away as evidence that I really am a death curse.

That English teacher, Skinder, has spent the first couple days of this week trying to make me miserable for no reason. He's an ass to everyone, but he's been targeting me so much lately that even other teachers are wondering what the hell he's doing. At first I didn't know what to do, because I've never had someone treat me like this before, but now I know that I just have to deal. I only have to deal with him for a few more months, then I'm free to get the hell out of that school. He's stuck here. Like it tends to do, hockey reflects life. The Bruins have a shot at making the playoffs, but it's not anywhere near guaranteed. The Avs only have a very dim chance, if any, and the Oilers are officially rebuilding. This isn't a great time, but it's not going to be like this forever. Things are going to pick up for all of my teams- maybe not this year, but at some point. To enjoy those times I have to suck it up and get through these. We're all going to miss Smytty, but just remember that someday things will be better.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Tooth Fairy

My god do I have awful luck. You'd think I'd be smart about it now, but of course I'm not. Over the past 10 days or so, my outlook on the Bruins has morphed from resigned and depressed to hopeful and optimistic. They've gone from winning to losing. Let's look at the evidence.
February 16: "Things with the Bruins have gotten so bad that I don't even know what they're attempting to do anymore." Next game: 4-3 win over Buffalo
February 19: "Of course the reason that they looked like a legitimate team is because they were playing the Forsberg-less Flyers." Next game: 3-0 win over Toronto
February 20: "I have no idea what they're trying to do to me but I don't like it." Next game: 6-2 win over Tampa Bay
February 24: "Things are looking up for the B's right now. Montreal should drop, the Bruins should get some wins in the next few games, and by the time the two meet on March 3, there could be some shaking up happening in the standings." Next game: 7-2 loss to Florida
It's like fate waited patiently for me to have faith in the Bruins again just so it could crush my heart. Yes, I'm overreacting to one loss. But if you think this isn't the start of a free-fall right out of the playoff race, you clearly don't know the Bruins.

This despondent mood might have something to do with my movie night. There is definitely such a thing as watching too many Ed Norton movies in a row. The guy is intense. Last night Eliza and I watched The Illusionist, 25th Hour, and Red Dragon. We slept for a bit and when we woke up we watched Primal Fear. Sometime soon we're going to finish this and watch Death to Smoochy, Rounders, Keeping the Faith, and American History X. I'm completely burnt out from the experience and probably scarred for life. Also I'm pretty sure I had dreams about Ralph Fiennes after seeing Red Dragon, and what's worse is that I don't think they were nightmares.

Eliza somehow brought up the topic of accents, and that somehow got me thinking about the adorable interview Ladislav Smid gave after he scored his first goal. I showed it to her and she fell in love with him, so I told her about Paula's interaction with him and that I'm becoming a fan of the boy. Less than 24 hours later, he's out of the game with a leg injury. After the fit I had when I found out Marek Svatos scored again last night, I'm surprised a frickin' piano hasn't dropped on his head. I swear to god the next horror movie to come out will be Final Destination 4: Katie Likes You.

Atlanta went on a shopping spree and picked up Alexei Zhitnik and Keith Tkachuk. It seems like Glen Metropolit, a first rounder, second rounder, third rounder, and possibly another first rounder is a serious overpay for Tkachuk. Unfortunately whether they overpaid or not, the Bruins have to face the Thrashers on Monday. Maybe I'll make Rick DiPietro my new favorite player and hope the B's can catch the Islanders while he's hurt.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Afternoon Thoughts

NHL fines Sabres coach Lindy Ruff for sending out tough guys in brawl
I'm always looking for ways to bring down the Sabres, but I never expected this from the NHL. It's legitimate, but is it even something you can penalize? I guess after the investigations and Ruff admitting that he told them to "Go out and run 'em" it seems pretty obvious, but I still can't imagine explaining this to someone who knows nothing about hockey. You could show them something like the Ovechkin hit on Briere (blown out of proportion, in my opinion) and they'd immediately understand why it's bad, but this is too strategically specific for them to get without an explanation. That being said, I'm impressed that the NHL took action on something that's more of an unwritten law. I also have a newfound respect for Ray Emery, as he seems like a complete psychopath and I appreciate that in a player, and especially in a goalie.

In other news, the Bruins re-signed Marco Sturm to a "multi-year contract extension". As Marco's been hot lately (7 goals in the last 7 games), this should please Bruins fans. I like Marco, and when he's put with good players he can really score. I just hope they didn't overspend on him.

In the five games that Patrice Bergeron has been out...
The Bruins lost one game and won the next four.
They've scored 20 goals.
Marc Savard has 10 points.
Tim Thomas has let in 11 goals on 165 shots for a .933 SV%.

The playoff picture in the Eastern Conference is making me extremely nervous. There's 7 teams within 8 points of each other. Including this afternoon's game in which the Islanders beat the Canadiens, this is how it looks:
6) Atlanta- 63 GP, 72 PTS
7) Islanders- 62 GP, 70 PTS
8) Montreal- 64 GP, 70 PTS
9) Carolina- 63 GP, 69 PTS
10) Toronto- 61 GP, 67 PTS
11) Boston- 60 GP, 64 PTS
12) Rangers- 61 GP, 64 PTS
The problem with the Bruins' situation right now is that, as well as they're playing, they have to overcome a lot of teams to get that last playoff spot. Carolina has a pretty tough schedule over the next few games, playing Atlanta and Ottawa twice and Pittsburgh once, so the Bruins can probably pass them. But the Islanders get to play Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Washington before they play the Rangers. The Bruins have a slightly easier schedule than Montreal and Toronto, but maybe not easy enough to move into a playoff spot in the next few games. Even still, things are looking up for the B's right now. Montreal should drop, the Bruins should get some wins in the next few games, and by the time the two meet on March 6, there could be some shaking up happening in the standings. If Toronto and the Rangers have trouble, then with the games in hand that they have, the Bruins just might be able to sneak into a playoff spot. I'm going to the game against the Thrashers on Monday with Liz, Paula, and Liz's friend, who is on the Berklee hockey team (coached by Pie McKenzie) and being interviewed by Versus. He's from Atlanta and is, according to Liz, the only other person she's met who's as obsessed with hockey as I am. I warned her that right now that's not a good combination, as this playoff push is very nerve-racking, and when I get nervous about things like this I look up statistics. At the moment I know way too much about the Bruins situation for anyone's good. But whatever. Since I also have front-row tickets to the game against the Avs (right next to the benches, too), I'll be at both remaining Bruins games that were going to be on Versus, successfully avoiding having to watch them. I got the Avs tickets for Christmas, despite asking only for a Ryan Smyth jersey. But who am I to complain about a gift like that?
Now that I've said good things about the Bruins, they're going to fall off a cliff again. So for good measure:
Bruins, you suck. Go to hell.
It was for their own good.

The Ed Norton Movie Marathon got pushed back to tonight, so off I go.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Doyle's Law

I was going to devote this entire post to bitching about the Columbus announcers, but luckily slept on the idea and decided against it. In my defense, they made it nearly impossible to enjoy a good Oilers' win. They spent the entire game repeating that the Vyborny goal should have counted (even on their replays you could see his stick was high), that people have been taking liberties with Rick Nash all season and he's had enough (even though Thoreson barely touched him), that they couldn't believe Hainsey got an extra minor for defending Nash (though they didn't have a problem with Roy's misconduct defending Gilbert), that these teams were battling for not only points but for pride (?), that Stortini had been headhunting all night long and Shelley was just fed up with him (Zach had one clean hit, while Shelley got a misconduct for his unnecessary stupidity), that players could get hurt by some of the hits the Oilers were dishing (again no mention of Gilbert), and that in addition to Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani, Jarret Staal is also out for the Oilers. I was pretty much ready to kill them. They were overdramatic, insanely biased, and the only time they mentioned anything about Gilbert was to tell us he had a concussion. They called him "Matthew".

They couldn't entirely kill my happiness, despite their best efforts. I'll always be happy watching a game where Horc and Smytty get three points each, Raffi shows some dangling skills, Joffrey actually tries, and my lover Laddy Smid scores. Most impressive was the way that Raffi and Lupul owned the ice together. I mistook both of them for Ales at different times because they were destroying the Jackets de so handily (Lupul especially at one point, where he ruined the defenders, drove to the net, and passed it away). Even if Pouliot didn't have his best game, I like him on that line. In some weird way, it seems like he helped those two get going. A few games ago Pouliot was busting his ass, playing very physically and energetically, and Raffi was gliding. Since then Raffi's picked up the pace, and now Lupul was really working last night. Energy is contagious. I get the feeling that this is a major reason why Tyler Arnason started flying. Playing with Brett McLean and especially Lappy will put a jump in your step. Also, he's the most skilled player on the line, so they know enough to get the puck to him when they can. I noticed this last night when they switched the lines up. Arnason was on a line with McLean and Ben Guite. They were all in pretty close quarters around the net, but McLean made a desperate effort to push the puck to Arnason, even though Guite may have been closer. I don't hate this.

I did hate that the Avs switched things up so much with the forwards, though they came close enough to winning to justify it. They had 7 de and 11 forwards, apparently because they would mostly be running 3 lines at this point in the season (according to my Altitude buddies). What ended up happening was that they sent out a completely random assortment of 11 forwards in a pretty steady stream. While this was maybe even more confusing for the players than it was for me, what it did do was keep the forwards fresh, enabling them to attempt a 3rd period comeback despite going in down 3-0. With the Avs 3rd period play this year being so questionable, I never expected them to come as close as they did, even after Ken Klee got the first goal. They didn't draw me back in until Brad Richardson scored and they completely took over the game. Even when Finger broke his stick and the Wild came down and scored I wasn't out of it, and rightly so. The next goal* confirmed that they weren't done, and made the end of the game all the more heartbreaking, with the Avs losing 4-3. The game was heartbreaking in every way that the 2004 ALCS vs the Yankees wasn't. When the Sox went down 3-0 in the series, much like when the Avs went down 3-0 in the game, I convinced myself not to get my hopes up. After Game 4 (the Klee goal) I was still cautious. Game 5 (the Richardson goal) made me a complete emotional wreck. I broke down and cried at least 3 different times during Game 5, once because Curtis Leskanic was warming up in the bullpen and, as he had been used a lot lately, the announcers said his arm was "hanging on by a thread". I don't know who he is anymore, but at the time he was clearly very tragic. That's where the comparison ends. After Game 5, I knew the Sox were going to win and wasn't worried or crazy anymore. The Avs spent the rest of the game in Game 5 limbo, not near enough to a win to be certain but not near enough to a loss to be hopeless. Luckily, I didn't have an emotional breakdown during this one, but the loss was still painful.
*MAREK SVATOS MIGHT ACTUALLY BE BACK. I'm not getting my hopes up too much (lie), but that goal last night was not only his second in two games but a Marek Svatos goal. He got it and buried it, despite not having much to shoot at. That was him last year, and the reason why I'm so enthusiastic right now. I really do miss having the Real Marek Svatos around. Despite having an awful year, he's still one of my favorite players and I still have faith that he can come back. I've got Paula hooked on him now. She kept insisting that everyone from Slovakia, including the women, looks like Zdeno Chara and Milan Jurcina ("very tall and dark haired with large noses and awkward facial expressions"). I used Marek as proof against her, and upon looking up pictures of him she agreed that he's very sexy but "definitely has a Slovakian adam's apple...they all stick out their necks and have adam's apples". I don't really know what to do with her.

If I want to remember something when I'm watching a game, I'll jot it down somewhere. This morning I realized that I wrote down some weird things. I'm blaming this on the fact that we were getting some carpets put down and the fumes started to get to me. Some from the Oilers game:
-put Ales through electroshock therapy to make him shoot
-announcers just went 5 minutes without a verb
-even stupid Columbus announcers figured out powerplay
-oil finally getting physical, killing bitches
-Ales just "bitch pleased" someone
From the Avs game:
-23-26 on pk together, wedding next week
-Marek on powerplay MAREK ON POWERPLAY
-Marek w/a hit, love it when he plays rough
-40 w/19-15 HE DID HIS FOOT THING I'm happy
-Marek doing something I'm in pain from the excitement, actually
Almost everything I wrote was either about Marek Svatos or hurting the Blue Jackets and their announcers. Anger at Columbus+obsession with Marek Svatos+carpet fumes=some really strange and discomforting notes.

Quick notes
  • I'm extremely upset to see Gilbert go down. Is there any timetable on his return? He was playing well and this time is pretty valuable to his development. Also, now we have to dress Matt Green again. This isn't awful, I guess, but I'd really, really, really rather have Gilbert there, if not just to get a better idea of what he can do.
  • Does Zach Stortini have a catchy nickname yet? It doesn't feel right to just call him "Zach", but his last name is hard to get anything good from ("Storts", for instance, sounds like an STD).
  • There are't any people on the Avs as random as Paul Mara, and I credit Altitude with this. They're starting to freak me out with how much they're in tune with what I'm thinking. For example, this past game they specifically explained what Brad May brought to the Stastny-Hejduk line (toughness, giving them room) and noted the success those two have had since he joined the line. In addition to toughness, I noticed that he's usually the one to go deep in the defensive zone and feed them the puck. So yes, he's the third wheel, but an effective one.
  • J-M Liles is up to 17 minutes of ice time, which is still low but definitely comforting.
  • There was a hilarious moment when Smytty lost his stick and the ice-level Columbus announcer tried to jokingly give him one they had there. Smytty was thoroughly not amused by this, making me love him even more.
  • Carolina just acquired Anson Carter for a 5th round draft pick. If he plays well, this could really hurt the Bruins, who are trying to catch the Hurricanes for that last playoff spot. They're now 7 points out with 4 games in hand. If Carolina should pick things up, hopefully Montreal (8 points up of the Bruins, who have 4 in hand) will drop off again.
  • Tonight I'm having an Ed Norton marathon with my friend Eliza. We're watching The Illusionist, 25th Hour, Primal Fear, and American History X. The only one I haven't seen is The Illusionist- any reviews? I trust anything with Ed Norton in it but I want to make sure it's worthy. We're taking this very seriously and only allowing two other people (at most) to join us. We might even interview them for a spot. I'm not kidding.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


The other colors were a bit too much and kind of hurting my eyes, so I changed things around. It's nothing too fancy, mostly because I haven't figured out how to do anything fancy yet. Oh well. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Still Hate the Bruins

Quick one here. I missed most of tonight's action because I was out. When I got home, I realized that I was locked out of the house and called my parents, who were about 15 minutes away. While I waited I went on my phone to check the scores and saw that the Oilers were in OT. Panicking, I did the only thing I could do- climb through a window in my backyard. I was just in time to see them lose in a shootout. Thank god.

The Bruins beat the Leafs 3-0. I don't know how, but now they're 5 points back of 8th place Carolina, still with 3 games in hand. Tim Thomas forced the Bruins to win, kicking and screaming, with a 44-save shutout. Though apparently the defense is on vacation, they've gotten a good amount of scoring recently despite injuries. Even though Patrice and now Muzz are out, the B's have gotten 13 goals in their last 3 games, winning all three. I have no idea what they're trying to do to me but I don't like it.

The only game I caught in regulation was the Avs game against Calgary, which they won thanks to a breakaway goal from Marek Svatos. Even though he scored, he still isn't himself. Earlier in the game, he was going in on a defender and tried to slip the puck through him, but was stopped. My buddies at Altitude noted that the same move worked for him a million times last year, and it basically did. The difference is that last year, his feet were moving. He came down on the defender at full speed, flicked his heels and toes in completely unnatural ways, then slipped the puck through him and went by. Tonight he was gliding, almost as if he were uncertain of what to do. I don't know if beating Kiprusoff to the glove side will improve his confidence any, but for his sake I sure hope it does. He's Marek fucking Svatos- when he plays to his potential like last year, he's breathtakingly good.
Edit: Last night I had a dream that I accidentally went to bed too early and missed the end of the Avs game, in which Marek scored more goals and basically proved everything in this last paragraph wrong. Can this happen in real life?

Working again for the Avs tonight were Hejduk (goal) and Stastny (two goals and an assist). They're basically in love on the ice, which makes me wonder where that leaves Brad May. He's been on their line for a few games now, and their line has done well. In the last five games, Hejduk has 8 points and Stastny has 7. May has 1. I haven't watched closely enough to tell whether he plays an important role on the line that has little to do with scoring or if he's just the third wheel, but either way he's not hurting their production and they might as well not mess up a good thing. Unless "messing up" involves putting Marek there, of course. Nothing will boost his confidence (and point production) like being put on a line with those two lovers.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I Hate the Bruins

This year doesn't make any sense for the Bruins. They had everything. The forwards are young and talented. The most sought-after de at the trade deadline was our #2 guy on a good defensive corps. Tim Thomas is criticized sometimes, but he's kept us afloat and stands on his head when we need it. There was a time earlier in the year when everyone was labelling them as the surprise in the playoffs, should they make it, which it looked like they were going to do.

Now? The Bruins are 6 points out of a playoff spot with a game in hand on Toronto (and a game against them tonight). They're also only 7 points behind Carolina with 3 games in hand. Overall they've got 7 head-to-head matchups against teams they can catch or have to pass to make the playoffs, including 4 against the floundering Canadiens. It's possible that, if the stars align and the Bruins stop sucking, they can sneak in. But I still don't see the Bruins making the playoffs over the Avs or the Oilers. The Oilers are 8 points out of a spot with a game in hand, and Colorado is a point behind them. Their opponents are about equal- Boston and Edmonton's remaining opponents should get an average of 92 points this season, while Colorado's should get about 93. The Oilers also have seven head-to-head games against teams they can catch or have to pass. The Avs have nine, but that's including games against the Oilers that I counted for them but not Edmonton, as they're the ones that have to do the passing. Basically, all three teams are in similar situations, with the Bruins having a slight mathematical advantage in the standings but more teams to get by. There's no reason why I should be dismissing the B's more than the other two, but I'm still doing it. It's just that they've always managed to disappoint me and I don't trust them anymore. For example, the year before the lockout, they were up in the first round 3-1 against Montreal. The Canadiens came back to force a Game 7, which fell on my birthday. We had people over for a small family party to eat cake and watch the Bruins. They lost.

Of course the only reason I'm even putting the words "Bruins" and "playoffs" in the same sentence is because they looked like a legitimate team last night, and of course the reason that they looked like a legitimate team is because they were playing the Forsberg-less Flyers. Ignoring that little fact, I was impressed by the Bruins' effort. Pretty much every player was hustling, led again by Marc Savard, whom I'm starting to have a serious friend crush on. I was talking about this with Paula at the Carolina game a while ago. She was raving about how adorable he is and I agreed, saying that he's the type to cuddle with and tell your problems to. She looked at me like I was diseased and said, "I definitely don't just want to be friends with him, Tizzle." Whatever you want from him, he was working his ass off last night, and for the first time this season looked very frustrated. It was almost a relief to see him shove someone and swear to himself after the whistle- he has so many reasons to be fed up with this team that it was starting to freak me out that he wasn't. Instead of letting his frustration get to him, he channeled it and got himself a 3-point night. PJ Axelsson's goal was entirely Savard's doing. He skated hard into the offensive zone, forced a turnover out of the de, then spun and made a seemingly blind, tape-to-tape pass to PJ in the slot. That goal, coupled with the fact that Marco Sturm called him "Savvy" when interviewed after the first period, made me a happy, happy girl. By the way, is there a person who looks angrier than Marco Sturm? During his interview he seemed like a complete sweetheart but he's got the second meanest-looking face I've ever seen (no one beats Raffi- NO ONE).

The Bruins forwards also benefitted tonight from having more concrete lines (Savard-Muzz-Axelsson, Boyes-Tenkrat-Chistov, Kessel-Sturm-Bochenski, Mowers-Donovan-Reich). In the beginning, there was a lot of miscommunication, but as the game went on there was some chemistry working up. Savard's line has been good together all year, but the other two lines were also working it. I liked the chemistry between Boyes and his wingers and Kessel was good with whoever he was out with. I feel like Phil is one of those people who's meant to be a center. On my team, the girls that we always put at center were the girls who were a liability in any other spot. Since it wasn't very common to find people on the team who actually watched hockey, it was very common to find people who didn't really understand the game. Some girls ("wicked ADHD" as my dad would say) couldn't seem to grasp the positional aspect of the game. They were drawn to the puck and were unable to stand still. So we put them at center, where it was basically their job to fly around the ice, following the puck. I'm not saying that Phil is "wicked ADHD", but if you watch him, he flies around the ice, following the puck, and also seems to love it. Something tells me he'd be a very restless winger. That's not to say he's dumb on the ice, of course. He made a really nice pass to Savvy on the powerplay, which turned into a goal for Sturm. The Bruins have a strangely successful powerplay, sitting at 7th in the league. It hinges on Savvy, who was born to quarterback a powerplay. If there is an open player, he will find a way to get the puck to them. The Bruins coaching staff is smart enough to know this, and have probably told all of their players to get him the puck and get open. Kessel's pass, for instance, was a beautiful pass because it had to go through a lot of traffic. If they're not necessarily forcing it to him, they're definitely intent on getting it there. Why not? Savvy then made a wonderful pass that Sturm just had to tip in. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This doesn't apply to the Oilers powerplay because their bread-and-butter play is much more fixed than the Bruins'. Savvy is hard to defend because he creates options. If you give him a passing lane, he'll get the pass there, and if you give him enough space he'll shoot it himself. The only way to defend against him is to keep him from getting the puck and double-teaming him if he does. The Oilers' play has no options- if the other team takes away the shooting lane from the point, they've got the entire powerplay covered.

So how will the Oilers' 27th-ranked powerplay will do against Ottawa tonight? Let's just hope they don't draw too many penalties.

Quick notes
  • Paul Mara is possibly the randomest person on the Bruins. I have no idea whether he's good or not. Last night was the first time I noticed him all year, and only because he got in a fight with Mike Richards. Also because Versus told me his hometown is somewhere in New Jersey, while the Bruins keep telling us he's from Belmont, Massachusetts. He is from New Jersey. He's even more random than before.
  • I kind of like Mike Richards. He reminds me of Jarret Stoll. The fight confused my feelings about him, though. I love a 5-11 guy that'll get in a fight, but since Mara is so random I don't know whether or not I like him yet. If he fought Andrew Alberts or something, I definitely would.
  • Speaking of Alberts, he loves playing with Andrew Ference. Ference is working insanely hard all over the ice, and Alberts looks pretty content letting him do that. There were a couple of plays where Alberts backed down because he knew Ference would take over. I would break this pairing up if I were Dave Lewis. It would benefit both of them.
  • Joni Pitkanen is a very good defenseman, but I couldn't tell if he was putting effort into the game or not. He could just be like Joe Thornton, who got criticized because he never looked like he was working hard, or he could be mailing it in because he's playing for the Forsberg-less Flyers. Even if it is the latter, on a legitimate team he'd be a treat.
  • Tim Thomas owned the third period, recovering well from letting in a shaky goal earlier.
  • On the goal-cam view of that shaky goal, we got a hilarious view of Chara flailing his arms wildly, trying to keep the puck out of the net. Every cloud has a silver lining.

Lappy the Graceful

I played my last hockey game Saturday night. We lost by a good amount to Woburn and now our season's over. This means I'm done playing hockey, at least on a team of any sort. I'm not as hysterically upset about it as I assumed I'd be. Life goes on, eh?

I missed all the games last night because of my game, but I didn't miss much. The Bruins won in a shooutout but both the Avs and Oilers lost. The one bright spot is that the Oilers finally made a move and traded MAB to the Islanders for Russian defenseman Denis Grebeshkov. A lot has already been said on the topic, so I'll just say that I'm pretty excited about it. It's not only because MAB has been struggling lately. It mostly is, but not entirely. I'm just happy to see any sort of movement from Lowe- for it to be a good trade is just a bonus. From what I've heard, Grebeshkov is a good prospect who, with the right upbringing, will turn into a nice defenseman. For MAB, that sounds like a fair trade.
[Edit: This article has a few interesting MAB quotes.]

I have nothing insightful to say about the Avs loss tonight. I missed part of it because I was at the beach (no explanation for that) and the other part because my friend is staying over and distracted me. I tried to watch the game with her, but it ended up being too painful for both of us. After Lappy scored his goal and I scared her with my cheers of joy, I started chattering away about him and his gorgeously broken nose. She replied, "I think my dad broke his nose once playing baseball...or maybe it was softball." It was around then that I knew our situation wasn't going to work out, and I let the game fade into background noise for the sake of being a good host. After that the only discussions we had related to hockey was when she cut me off midsentence to say, "This probably isn't going to sound funny to you, but they look so graceful. The hockey players, I mean." No, no...it's pretty funny to me.

Anyway, that's my excuse. I'll put effort into this tomorrow.

(I think he's pretty.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Middle Child

Out of my three teams, lately the Avs have become the forgotten middle child, with the Bruins being the delinquent oldest and the Oilers being the youngest in need of constant supervision. The Avs have played neither well enough nor poorly enough to get my attention, and their games have been at times when I'm more likely to miss them. That being said, there's no way I'm going to forget about them. I sympathize with them, being in the middle of two completely psychotic sisters myself. Tonight, I made sure that I gave them my undivided attention. It helped that their game started later than the Oilers (7:00) and Bruins (7:30), who had to fight for time, but with a 7-5 win over Calgary, it wasn't a game to be missed anyway.
For the convenience of browsers, I've sectioned off the games a bit.

The Avs
The Avs proved me wrong throughout the entire game, in good and annoying ways. For instance, before the game I noted that the Avs were the most consistent in the set of forwards they used every night. Just then the Altitude announcers informed me that Marek Svatos was a healthy scratch for the second night in a row, not only proving me wrong but also breaking my heart. I miss the real Marek Svatos. Later, I tried again and remarked that the Avs had the most stable line combinations (Sakic-Brunette-Wolski, Stastny-Hejduk-who cares, Arnason-McLean-Laperierre, the fourth). Brunette then scored a goal while Brad Richardson took Wojtek Wolski's place on their line. After that I realized that I had no idea what was going on in the game and should stop trying before I hurt myself. Peter Budaj was pulled for Jose Theodore after he let in four Calgary goals that weren't really his fault, but weren't completely impossible to save. The Avs had my luck working against them. As was pointed out during the game, Calgary scored most of their goals when the momentum was on Colorado's side, making them even more back-breaking. It was one of those extremely tiring games that's devastating to lose and exhilirating to win, and therefore really hard to talk about afterwards. I will say that the Avs forwards are an impressive bunch when they play to their potential. The Sakic-Brunette-Wolski tandem is consistently good, though Sakic would be consistently good if his linemates were PJ Stock and our pet rabbit Snickers. Though they're not nearly as prolific, I'm also a big fan of the third line, mostly because it hinges on Tyler Arnason. Lappy and McLean always do the best they can, meaning the line is only as good as Arnason is that night. Recently, it's been pretty good, because when he's working hard Arnason is really fun to watch.

The best foward of the night, however, was Milan Hejduk, who has played better than his numbers this year show. Milan owned this game, and not just because he had a hat trick. If you watch any one of his goals, you can see that he was a step ahead of the game all night long. It was clearest on his second goal, where he banked the shot in off of Kiprusoff from behind the goal line. It appeared to be a lucky bounce, but when they replayed the goal in slow motion, I saw Milan pick up his head, see where Kiprusoff was, and shoot it at exactly the angle to bounce in. They played it again at regular speed and, like before, it just seemed lucky. Milan was seeing the game in slow motion, which is why he was able to score on 3 of his team-high 9 shots. He's frequented the Avs' penalty killing squad, too, which in the beginning of the year weirded me out, but makes perfect sense after last night. Milan may be known for his fine-tuned offensive skills, but he's a very smart player who understands hockey well. How can it possibly be harder to notice the opposing de cheating for a one-timer than it is to notice Kiprusoff cheating off the post? That being said, the Avs have the 22nd best penalty kill in the league, making it hard to praise too much.
Strange dream from a few weeks ago that's vaguely relevant: I was at a party at my friend's house, and hooked up with this kid I know. Then Milan Hejduk showed up. I've never found him very attractive before, but all of a sudden I did. So I hooked up with him, too. I woke up and thought, "Wow, this is great! I finally find Milan Hejduk attractive! Wait...no. No, I still don't. Dang."

The Bruins
My three teams each had a different outcome, and of course the Bruins were the losers. Not having Patrice Bergeron in the lineup due to a typical late-season "lower-body injury" hurt the B's more than most people realized. Confident and surprisingly strong, Patrice is one of the better puck posession forwards that the Bruins have, and without him the rest of the team was throwing the puck around with no real plan. Savard did his best to step up his already stellar game, assisting on Murray's lone Bruins goal, but he doesn't play the same sort of game that Patrice does. With a little bit of space and a target (whether it be pass or shot), Savard is deadly, but he doesn't create space for himself as well as Patrice. He also could have been thrown off by the "line combinations", which ended up just being Boyes and him at center, with Bochenski, Murray, Axelsson, Kessel, Sturm, Tenkrat, and Chistov cycling on the wings. There were minor variations (occasionally Kessel at center, sometimes Donovan and Mowers would appear) but for the most part it was a steady stream of chaos. Things with the Bruins have gotten so bad that I don't even know what they're attempting to do anymore. Take the Sillinger goal, for instance, when he walked right in without a Bruin near him. He was actually so open that I couldn't tell which Bruin should have been responsible for him. Murray was in no man's land and appeared to be closest, but Mara was standing in front of Tim Thomas like the motionless pillar of ineptitude that he is and Chara was somewhere by the other faceoff dot, contemplating his escape route back to Slovakia. I give up.

The Oilers
For the Oilers to get only one point out of the Buffalo game sucked, but I can't argue too strongly that they definitely deserved another. They outplayed Buffalo for the most part, and especially early on, but the amount of legitimately good scoring chances had to be about equal. The Oilers would control play for a decent amount of time, then Buffalo would come down and get a point-blank chance, mostly denied by a very sharp Roli. After a few runs through this cycle I realized that Buffalo (mainly the Afinogenov-Vanek-Roy line) was having its way with both the fourth line and the scary de pairing of MAB and Greene. All night long the Sabres were busting through those two, eventually leading to the goal scored by Afinogenov (who, despite his awesome name, I'm starting to hate). The rest of the de, minus a few Hejda blunders, played surprisingly well, mostly because they were very agressive. They held the line, closed the gap in the neutral zone, and skated the puck deep on the few occasions when they could. One could argue that while the Sabres were flat to start out with, they were also held at bay early on by pretty good defense. Jason Smith in particular showed his worth in a game like this. He's not the best player by many measures, but to me there are no sweeter words than, "OUCH. Daniel Briere just got hammered by Smith! His pale, sickly-looking ass isn't getting up off the ice any time soon!" Maybe no announcer has said that exactly, but after that OT goal I have to keep hope. With most of the de doing their job, the Sabres were forced to score their only goals first on MAB/Greene, then on Toby Petersen. That's one potent Buffalo offense!

Then again, I'm just speaking out of bitter hatred. Like the Sabres, the Oilers only had one line really going for them- though they were REALLY going. Horc, Smytty, and Hemsky were so powerful that, save for the occasional "this line can be dangerous" muttering, they silenced the Buffalo announcers when they were on the ice. Considering the announcers, though, this might not be that great of a feat. These are the same guys who suggested that Edmonton really misses the veteran leadership of Sergei Samsonov. They kept making mistakes without any attempts at correcting themselves, almost as if they knew that no one in their audience would notice. A surefire giveaway that announcers are useless is if they pronounce names wrong. Very good announcers know how to pronounce most players' names out of familiarity, and I suspect that if they don't know then they make an effort to find out. Pronouncing Smid's name as it's spelled rather than "Schmeed" is understandable, as is (to a lesser extent) calling Pouliot "Poulio", but both could have been avoided with any sort of effort. In addition to a minor mispronounciation of the vowell-happy Staios, somehow Horc's name turned into "Horcrot". To give them credit, they moved closer to his actual name as the game went on (Horcrot, then Horcroft, then Horcroff), and if the game had only gone into a shootout, they just might've gotten there. This is a pointless rant, but an extreme pet peeve. For some reason, the most annoying thing an announcer can do is mispronounce names and call Jarret Stoll "Jarret Staal" for the whole game.

I guess one good thing about watching the opposition's station is that it's easier to analyze the game without bias. Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley, the Bruins' guys, are constantly worrying about placating the insane Boston fans. For the past two games they've done nothing but rabidly praise Ference out of fear that B's fans will tear his newly-added hide to pieces. If they were objective, they'd tell us that he hasn't played badly, but is a little nervous in his new city, which you can't fault him on. For the first few games he's rushed passes and looked a tiny bit twitchy. Wouldn't it be better to just acknowledge this and move on, rather than repeatedly pointing out what a beautiful skating stride he has? Better than either of the other options, the Avs' Altitude manages to capture how I'm feeling perfectly, mostly because the announcers seem to be what I am- in love with the team. They're ecstatic when the Avs score, despondent when they're scored on, and in awe of Joe Sakic. They understand the significance of certain players scoring or playing well. In some strange way, it's like watching the game with friends. This is the something like the newfound familiarity I feel with Ladislav Smid, but not nearly as creepy.

Quick notes
  • Zach Stortini looks like a dirty hobo that you'd be afraid to walk by on the street for fear of contracting diseases, but somehow his proud, toothless grin after the fight was adorably endearing. Somehow.
  • Raffi played a terrible game. He wasn't skating at all. Even the Buffalo announcers picked up on it when he made a beautiful breakout pass to Daniel Briere. You could see MacT complimenting it on the bench. I think the Oilers need to hire someone to follow Raffi around and piss him off so he plays with a little more anger. His linemates, Pouliot and Thoreson, would agree, though it would end up being costly for Edmonton as these "Raffi Provokers" would need pretty frequent replacement (and medical benefits).
  • Despite this fact not being mentioned by my buddies at Altitude, J-M Liles had one shift in the third period and just over eight minutes of ice time overall. Why do I keep looking these things up?
  • After way too much thought, I've figured out that the NHL equivalent of me is Brett Clark. This is pretty objective and fair, seeing as I've pegged other teammates of mine as J-M Liles, Rob Blake, and Peter Forsberg. And yes, my entire team has played for the Avs at one point in their career. It's great. We even have a Dan Hinote.
  • Looking back, I'm not sure I really would have murdered my English teacher. Then again, I'm not sure that I wouldn't have. But I took the last post down anyway. Summary (factually altered for length): I skipped a class. Instead of giving me a cut card, my English teacher tried to keep me from playing in the last game of the season, but failed. Before he failed I swore I would kill him, and was serious. For the record, even though I skipped half a day of school and got myself in a ton of trouble, my parents are completely on my side and my dad also swore to kill Skinder.
  • "Kill Skinder" would make a great movie title, especially if that movie were a documentary.
  • I'm pretty sure I don't come off this bitter in person.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day

I finally saw the Bruins play well in person...against the Oilers. I could see this coming from a mile away, seeing as I've got the worst luck in the world for hockey teams. One playoffs a few years ago, out of every team I wanted to win, in every series from the first to the last, my teams won twice. I had picked a team in just about every series, too. It was bad, so this isn't very surprising. My dad remarked after the game that the Oilers looked flat. I'm not sure if a team can be completely flat if the opposing goalie got 32 shots and a first star selection, but they weren't really on top of their game. After Raffi got a good scoring chance from Horc in the second period, I remember thinking that it was the first chance they got that made the Bruins fans really cheer for Tim Thomas. There were shots and chances, but the Bruins simply got more. Patrice and his line played well and took advantage of the Oilers' de throughout the whole game, getting themselves two goals, an empty netter, and a goal that was called back because of an interference call on Bochenski. Bochenski has been awesome since he came to the Bruins, though I've really only noticed him when he's scoring. I've heard that the reason he was never successful was because he's horrible defensively. That issue hasn't come up yet, but give it enough time and I'm sure it will.

Looking back, the Oilers' game was far from perfect. Horc alone had a few puzzling defensive zone turnovers that turned into scoring chances, and though I don't remember if he caused any of the goals, he was out there for all of them. In his defense, one was a 5-on-3 and the other was a powerplay (and the other was an empty net), but still, he needed to move the puck faster. Both teams had clearly studied the other's power play, because the Oilers had someone shadowing Marc Savard and the Bruins took away the points. While the Bruins adjusted to this, the Oilers kept forcing the puck to the points and ended up giving it away way too many times. This would have been a little more understandable if it were Jarret Stoll they were forcing it to, but it wasn't. It was Toby Petersen. I know the guy works hard and has earned the minutes he's gotten (with help from injury), but he's not the type to be forcing the puck to. They made the B's mediocre penalty kill look amazing. Some of the best chances the Oilers have gotten recently have come from Horc and Smytty battling low for the puck- why not cycle it to them instead of forcing it back? The Oilers were winning the puck in the corners all night long, inciting Bruins fans around me to scream at our de, "Use your body! Come on! Get the puck! Jesus!" Working it down low would also pull the opposing forwards down lower, making the point shot a better option. All night Petersen and Sykora were way too high to get off an effective shot, and they were only getting forced out higher as the Bruins figured out that they were the entire basis of the power play. And if Simpson still isn't convinced, then he can at least concede that it's harder for the other team to clear the puck from the corner than it is from 10 feet inside the blue line, where they were intercepting passes all night long.

Was there any reason why the line of Pouliot- Torres- Throreson got broken up? They were the only physical presence on the ice in the first period. On one shift, all three of them took down a Bruin to get the puck deep in the offensive zone. They also got themselves some chances. With all the talk about his most recent call-up, I decided to watch Pouliot, and he was playing well, I thought. If they wanted to do something with the lines, they shouldn't have demoted him to the fourth line. Couldn't they have had him center Torres and Lupul instead of Nedved? This would have made vastly more sense. Even when Pouliot was on the fourth line, playing minutes late in the third, he was creating chances and working hard.
[One thing about Nedved- when warming up for the second period, he was skating up and down the boards next to the bench, in what was the Bruins zone that period. Savard skated by him and gave him a look, causing him to retreat closer to the Oilers' bench. Once Savard left, he skated down again and pretended he was taking a shot on Thomas from the half-boards. It reminded me of a little kid pretending he's an airplane or something. Did Nedved even have any shots?]

Before the third period started, Liz was texting her friend Kyle, who asked her if I was there to see my hero, Ryan Smyth. He was sitting right near the Oilers' bench and said that there were seats nearby, so Paula and I moved over. The seats were maybe ten rows back from the glass, but right next to the runway, so we were only a couple of feet away from the Oilers as they walked onto the ice. Paula, Kyle, and his girlfriend McKenzie all laughed at me after Smytty passed, as instead of breathing I let out little squeaks. It was a pretty depressing period for the Oilers, but absolutely hilarious for me. Paula was freaking out more than I was and kept asking me about all of the players. When she saw MAB, she squealed, "Oh my god! They have a Bergeron, too?" Kyle told us that they were cousins (true?) and Paula yelled to him, "Hey, Bergeron! OUR BERGERON IS BETTER!" He turned slightly and she said, "They definitely are related! Look at the nose! That's a Bergeron Nose! He's got a schnozz and a half!" Even funnier than that was her interaction with Ladislav Smid. She thought his name was funny and started yelling, "Smid! Smid!" (pronounced like it's spelled). I corrected her and told her that it was pronounced "Schmeed", but he went on the ice before she could yell again. Just as he came off, however, there was a quiet moment and she shouted, "SCHMEEEEED!" as loud as she could. He looked right up a her with the most priceless face I've ever seen. It was a perplexed death-stare, as if he were saying "Why are you talking to me and what drugs are you on?" She quieted down, and even Kyle and McKenzie, who had been nervous with all the yelling, were amused. I now have no doubts that he'll be an amazing defenseman one day, and I might be in love.

Quick notes
  • I have the same stick as Marty Reasoner- good or bad?
  • On the topic of sticks, I saw Smytty's sticks up close. For a second I thought they were righty shots. Weirdly enough, the most curved stick I saw was Zach Stortini's. I assume that I missed something.
  • When the Bruins put Chara in front of the net on the power play, I saw Jason Smith bounce off of him. Staios and him had no idea how to deal with big Z. If he didn't have such a good point shot, I'd say that they should put him there all the time.
  • The Avs had a good win over Anaheim, though I didn't get to see much. From looking at the shift chart, it looks like they had a line of Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk, and Brad May. I like Hejduk and Stastny together (so do they, with a goal apiece) but Brad May? I guess whatever works.
  • The announcers mentioned that J-M Liles barely played in the third, and not at all in the second. I'm pretending they never said anything and that he's perfectly fine.
  • Marek Svatos has gone missing again. He needs good linemates to play well. I'd love to see him on the other side of Stastny and Hejduk's line. How could that not work? (Besides, you know, Marek not playing very well.)
  • During the Colorado game they brought up the Rycroft-Smid fight again. After seeing him in person, that fight makes both more and less sense to me. Again, I'll just pretend the announcers never said a word.
  • As the Oilers went into the dressing room, I felt stupid putting my hand out, so I just said, "Good game, Smytty" as he passed. After that, Raffi passed by, and I was too frightened to say another word. He looks as mean in person as he does on TV (in the best way possible). He probably scares the crap out of his opponents.
  • Sturm's first goal was pretty indicative of how the game went. It was a great goal, but Hejda never should have left his feet on the play and Horc got outmuscled in front of the net. All in all, the Bruins played well, but got help from some Oiler mistakes.
We have a snow day, and my friends are currently drunk, high, and watching "The Backyardigans", meaning I'm done posting.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Future Son

Whoever saw the Oilers game last night also saw what I can safely say is the cutest little boy I have ever seen. This is vastly more important than the actual game, which I'll get to in a moment. They interviewed the boy during the feature where they have little kids play in Rexall Place. Here's a rough script of his cuteness.
Interviewer: So how do you think your team played?
Boy: (with wide-eyed terror) Good.
Interviewer: So, how did the other team play?
Boy: ...yeah.
Interviewer. Who is your favorite Edmonton Oiler?
Boy: Wyan Smyth.
You have no idea what kind of reaction this got out of me. I absolutely melted, frightening my little sister Mary a bit. If I ever have a son, he will be exactly like this little boy. (A warning to this kid's parents- I might actually try to steal him. Watch out for that.)

Beyond the kid, it was a good game for the Oil with a 5-1 win over the somehow 4th seeded Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers went ahead 1-0 then proceeded to get dominated. Despite having a 4-goal lead and a pretty assured win, I was still nervous at the end of the game. I don't know if it's been just the Oilers or if the Bruins have contributed to this as well, but I have absolutely no trust in leads anymore. It's not that I expected the Oilers to lose, but I didn't have any confidence that they could hold the Thrashers to one goal. Thinking about it now, it probably does have a lot to do with the Bruins. Seeing the 2-minute meltdown of the Carolina game in person was a scarring event, though it was really just the cherry on top of the last two seasons. The Bruins didn't start out badly, if anyone remembers. At the beginning of this season I was confident in them. I was talking to my friend back then about the difference between this year and last. What I said was that last year, if we for some reason lost a lead, we were emotionally broken and unable to take it back. But at the beginning of this year, you got the feeling that they could recover and get themselves back into any game. After that they completely fell off a cliff. They might be worse than last year.

I always end up going to the worst Bruins games possible. Whitney's hat trick was painful (even more so after a Carolina fan near me threw his hat on the ice mockingly). Last year I went to two games: a 6-0 loss to the LA Kings and a 5-2 loss against Ottawa that made me realize, for the first time, that we didn't have a very good team. This year I've seen one win (against Washington) and losses to Buffalo and Carolina. I really haven't ever seen them play well. The opposite is true of the Red Sox. Not only did I have great seats for Orlando Cabrera's return and seats 8 rows back of the Sox dugout for a Big Papi walkoff, but I went to the July 24, 2004 game against the Yankees that Bill Mueller won with a walkoff against Mariano Rivera. People say that it changed their season, and that that game was the point where they made their run for the World Series. I've never seen the Bruins go near that. I hope one of these days the B's can play a great game in front of me, though not tomorrow. Tomorrow goes to the Oilers.

I missed the Avs game because I had practice, but I don't think I'd enjoy a 5-7 loss to Dallas anyway. I hate those guys. It seems like the more teams I like, the more teams I hate. I legitimately hate Dallas, Montreal, Calgary, Detroit, Vancouver, and Buffalo. Actually, when I evaluate the whole league, I find that I like 7 teams and dislike 15, to varying degrees (the other 8 I just don't care about). When we first got the CenterIce package last year I could watch any game that was on- I would just pick a side and enjoy. Now I flip through the games and find myself saying stuff like, "Oh, Ottawa vs. Atlanta, that should be a good game...except that I really don't like either team." The longer I follow teams, the more animosity springs up, and I have a hard time letting stuff go (i.e. my undying, ferocious, almost irrational hatred for Daniel Briere because of one game).

When my teams are playing well I hate for them to face each other, because one of them has to lose. Right now, though, I'm excited for the B's facing the Oilers. At least someone will win! Ugh, I hate to be pessimistic and everything but no one is showing any consistency. I miss Jarret Stoll.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stuart and Primeau Are Flames

Dang. I didn't see this one coming.

I was hoping for an Oilers/Bruins trade for selfish reasons- I like all the players involved and wanted to keep rooting for them. Now that's over and done with. I can no longer love Brad Stuart, and my sister Liz has lost her favorite player, Wayne "Vince Vaughn" Primeau (and yes, that is why she loves him). In addition to that, this was another pretty bad trade for the Bruins. It wasn't horrible, but they could have done a lot better. People are saying that Andrew Ference will replace Brad Stuart, and at the same time saying that Calgary has improved its defense. Stuart is better than Ference. While Ference is signed for a while (the most redeemable part of this trade), he is not equal to Stuart, and this fact causes the trade to make less sense. To equalize things, Chuck Kobasew would have to be a large upgrade over Vince Primeau. There are a few reasons why I don't think that's the case. The first is that Vince is more valuable than people realize. He kills penalties and is excellent defensively, but the Bruins have also occasionally had him out on the power play, standing in front of the net. And you know what? He was good there. He had success on the power play. Vince has shown flashes of being able to do more offensively than he has, which leads me to believe that, to help his defensive game, he curtails his offense. I'm not saying he could lead the league in scoring "if only", but he isn't just a spare part.

Another reason is that Kobasew is an underachiever. He has the ability to be much better than Primeau and to make the Bruins look a little smarter about this trade, but I don't know if I see that happening. The Bruins are not the New England Patriots. They do not spin gold from straw (or leading receivers from non-starters). If anything, the Bruins are the opposite of the Patriots. Even more than sudden All-Star Brian Rolston, you can look at Joe Thornton, who has been brought up a lot with this trade. While that was a unanimously terrible trade, what people are forgetting is that the Joe Thornton we're seeing now is not the Joe Thornton we saw for years here in Boston. He was always good for us (three times an All-Star) but he was never Hart good. And if you ask anyone in Boston, they'll tell you that he never would have been. Whether the environment was too stifling or if he just needed a kick in the ass, no Bostonian believes that he would have ever gotten to this point on the Bruins. The Bruins breed mediocrity, and Kobasew will not be exempt from that. (By the way, this makes Marc Savard even more surprising. A career underacheiver who had one good season with great linemates? We were all waiting for him to suck. Touche, Marc.)

People will disagree that Vince is more valuable than Kobasew, but have you heard any Flames fans upset about losing him? I haven't heard one fan say, "Oh man, we lost Kobasew! Damn, I really liked that guy." What I've heard them say is, basically, "Fine, take him. Let's see if he scores with you." But people in Boston are upset to lose Vince. He came out every night with hits and energy. He was constantly trying to give some life to his anemic team and chronically disappointed fans. While we acknowledged his limitations, we appreciated the spark he tried to bring. I know I'm going to miss his presence on the ice. So really, who's more valuable?

Of course I haven't mentioned that Primeau is a UFA and Kobasew is signed through next year, but that fact can be cancelled out by the conditional draft pick that the Bruins threw in. I don't know what the conditions are for it, and I don't care. That was stupid. There's also the difference in salaries (the Bruins save $1.6 million), but to the fans here who had to endure Harry Sinden this is only a sign that the Bruins haven't changed. I overheard my mother talking to my uncle on the phone about the trade. She said, "So they're below the cap, and they're still cheating? *sigh* Oh god."

One last thing about the trade- I actually like Andrew Ference coming to the B's. He's a good defenseman and I don't get the feeling that he's going to suck. I just wish that Chiarelli could have done a better job with this.

To stop bashing the B's for a bit, they actually won last night. I missed the game because I was out, but my parents were there and said it was awesome. The shootout went into nine rounds, with Chara eventually winning it. My parents called me and told me while I was trying on this shirt. I freaked out, because just the other night I had wondered wistfully if the Bruins would ever go far enough into a shootout to have to use Andrew Alberts. Unfortunately, this wasn't the night, but it must have come damn close. Anyway, glad to see them win, though they haven't won in regulation since January 6th against the Flyers, and haven't won in regulation against a decent team since they beat Montreal on December 23rd. This is too depressing.

I have tickets to the B's/Oilers game on Tuesday. I have openly admitted this- I'm rooting for the Oil. I'm not going to be upset if the B's win, but I'm very quickly losing all hope in the Bruins' season, while the Oilers, with a little bit of shaking up, can still salvage something. This is too depressing.

Yesterday we lost to Wakefield. We need a tie to make the tournament and only have one game left, against Woburn (better than Wakefield). We were tied 1-1 going into the 3rd period, but due to horrible officiating and shaky goaltending we ended up losing 3-1. Our freshman Lauren, whose nickname should really be "Target" at this point, got hit hard. Upset, she got up and hit the girl back, not as hard and after going for the puck as well. She got called and they got a power play goal to go ahead. I have an intense, bitter hatred for all refs, stemming back to a bad experience I had at age 10. At one point I got cross-checked in the neck and they didn't call it. The girl wouldn't have gotten a penalty at all if she didn't also decide to slap me across the face with her stick. I got my ass kicked a lot. A girl helped me into our net, ribs first. Later, I was down during a scramble in our crease and someone landed on my leg, and now my ankle really hurts. If we don't win our next game, I at least hope I break something or get knocked unconscious, just to add injury to insult. This is too depressing.

Today's games: 3:30 PM-- Avs vs. Stars
8:30 PM-- Oilers vs. Thrashers

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Call the Police- Game11 Is Trying to Kill Me

Andrew Alberts: The Face of Boston
I just got home from a very depressing Bruins game with Liz and Paula, who were drunk. I was thirsty at one point and asked for a sip of their soda, which of course ended up being an extremely unpleasant mistake. We again moved down to closer seats, and again were surrounded by sketchy people. There was a large group of what appeared to be coworkers in front of us, who are probably going to have a very awkward morning tomorrow. There was a younger kid two rows back from me who wanted to heckle Cam Ward, but didn't know whether or not he was Canadian and was discussing it with some guys across the aisle. I turned around and told them that he was, and that he was from Calgary. After looking him up, I see that he's not. Apparently he was born in Saskatchewan and grew up in Sherwood Park (which is closer to Edmonton). Am I crazy, or did he used to be from Calgary? Is someone lying to me about either his hometown or the location of this "Sherwood Park" he speaks of? Anyway, they heckled him and all, but I got the unwanted attention of the drunk guy behind us. Eventually Liz yelled at him, "Leave her alone! She's only 17! She's 17! She's not even legal to hit on!" He told her that he was only 23 and Paula asked him what year he was born. He stuttered and couldn't tell her. Then the Hurricanes scored 3 goals. All in all, the game left me with a weird feeling.

Now the Avs are losing 5-1 to Atlanta, and I'm not watching it because it's on fucking Game11 again. According to the official CenterIce website, the Colorado game isn't scheduled to broadcast. According to the Comcast website, Game11 doesn't exist. But according to the on-TV schedule, the Colorado game is on Game11. I don't know what's going on but I'm starting to think violent thoughts and I've developed a bad twitch. If for whatever reason I encounter this "channel" again, instead of one of my games, I'm going to drive to the CenterIce headquarters and burn it to the ground.

We won our game against Belmont despite poor officiating. All the refs in our league are awful because no one really cares. Saturday we play Wakefield. A week from that we play our last regular season game against Woburn. We need to get one point in the last two games, which is pretty possible, but will be easier against Wakefield. Let's hope we can pull it off and delay the end of my hockey for a little longer.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

There Is No "Game11"

Tonight the Oilers game was supposed to be on CenterIce channel "Game11". At least on my network, the channels range from 621 (Game1) to 630 (Game10). There is no "Game11", and sure enough, there was also no Oilers game. I would be fine with no Oilers broadcast if all the other channels were occupied or if no broadcast was available (as has happened during PPV games before), but this was clearly the CenterIce people taking too much acid. The game is apparently still going on, and the Oilers are apparently losing. I hate TV.

Luckily, though, both the Bruins and Avs games were amazing. I missed most of the Bruins game because the quick nap I took at around 5:30 ended up being four hours long. I caught the end of the game, the overtime, and the shootout, though I was a little distracted by the Game11 dilemma. I keep expecting Phil Kessel's shootout luck to run out, but after that last goal I've realized that it's not luck. He just owns.

I caught most of the Avs game. When I came in they were losing 2-1, then went down 3-1. Tyler Arnason then took over. He went through a stretch earlier in the year where he was playing wonderfully, but has tapered off lately. He had a really incredible game, besides his beautiful goal. After he scored it, I said to my parents, "Oh! He can do that. He did it before but he hasn't lately, and it'll be so good if he starts to again!" Since they don't know what I'm talking about anyway, I've stopped even trying to make sense. Despite the wording, I meant what I said- if he can keep playing like this, it's going to seriously help the Avs down the stretch. To quote Joe Sakic, "Arny was flying out there tonight." We need him to keep flying.
A few late-night thoughts:
  • John-Michael Liles, one of my favorite players, is back from a broken foot. Even though he wasn't as spectacular tonight as he can be, he's always valuable because of the way he moves the puck. I bet it turns the Oiler forwards on just to think about his passes.
  • Patrice Bergeron has played really well lately. I don't know if it's because he's stuck on a bad team, or because he's being overshahowed by Marc Savard, but Patrice has sort of faded into the background this season. Of course he's played well, but he hasn't been wowing us. On the other hand, Patrice is something of a quietly great player. He was picked 45th overall in 2003, the year that Eric Staal was #1. Since then, Patrice has played 203 games, amassing 160 points (.79 PPG), while Staal has played 218 games, getting 178 points (.82 PPG). Yet Eric Staal was an All-Star, while Patrice barely got considered? Even this year Patrice has more points. I know he hasn't had a 100-point season like Staal, but he's one of the most gifted young players around. He's smart, works hard, and not only plays the PP but also the PK. I can't believe that Patrice still isn't fully appreciated.
  • The one good side effect of the Oilers game not being broadcast is that I was forced to watch the Avs game without switching back and forth. It was a game that shouldn't have been switched from, and while I'd of course have loved to watch the Oil, it was nice to focus on one game.
  • We play Belmont tomorrow, and we should beat them. Nothing's guaranteed, though.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Reliving the Crazy

I have an essay due tomorrow. I've been putting it off forever, but I finally have to write it. To inspire me to work, I was looking through journal entries from the spring, when the Oilers' playoff run helped me get through my final exams. There were only one or two from that week, as I was too busy attempting work, but the craziest one was from Thursday night, June 15. It's a little necessary to post parts up here. Keep in mind that this was written while I was still in a compromised state.

"It's two in the morning now. In the past 68 hours or so, I've gotten about eight hours of sleep. The cause is my English final. We were assigned an essay on Monday. It's due in 7 1/2 hours. In 7 1/2 hours I have to write another essay. We were given eight possible topics for our in-class part of the exam, meaning we have to plan eight possible essays, meaning eight outlines- eight thesis statements and 24 topic sentences. In 7 1/2 hours. I haven't prepared any yet. I also haven't studied for my math final outside of class. I have that in 5 hours and 45 minutes. I have to start getting ready for school in 4 1/2 hours."

"I'm saying this as objectively as I possibly can. There is scientific basis to it. I think I'm losing my mind. Sleep deprivation does that."

"I went down to the kitchen to make and retrieve more coffee. While making it, a mosquito landed on the cabinet above the coffee pot. I was deliberate and cautious in my planning of its death, but too much so. I moved the coffee pot out of the way and the mosquito suddenly took off and disappeared somewhere over the sink. It scared the crap out of me. I started seeing bugs everywhere in the kitchen. I think four things caused this. One, I always see bugs out of the corner of my eyes because I'm paranoid. Two, I'm losing my mind. Three, the fan above the light was casting crazy ass moving shadows that reflected off of everything. Four, there actually were a fair amount of bugs in the kitchen. I affirmed this. While waiting for the coffee to be done brewing I pulled a chair up to the counter and slumped over. I listened to the coffee being made and felt somewhat intrigued self-despair to keep awake. While I was objectively despairing, I said in my head, 'Thank god for the Edmonton Oilers'. After a few times I snapped back to reality. What would the Edmonton Oilers do? I had to do the work, no matter how crazy I was going. I was sane enough to know that."

"When I had finished my cereal I stood basically in the middle of the kitchen to drink the coffee. The lights were being shadowed. It was then that I probably saw the most bugs. I saw a lot of things, little wisps of steam coming out of the sink after I looked at my coffee and such. I smiled and joked to myself that I might as well be useful and hallucinate that Ryan Smyth was there. I actually tried but it didn't work. I saw the fuzzy outline of my reflection on some surface and wondered if I could hallucinate him at least there next to me. There was some shape next to me, maybe the door, but it looked a little like it was moving closer and it was creepy so I stopped doing that." [By the way, it wasn't just the reflection that was creepy there. What the hell was I doing? If I were Smytty I'd get a restraining order or something against me.]

"I think it was sometime around then that I started to hear the hockey game. My dad, asleep, had the TV on to some show possibly on Comedy Central. I swear, all the voices sounded like the OLN announcer. I heard him say "Pronger carries the puck by his man, shoots, scores" almost calmly. I scampered out to the hallway to see if they were replaying the game or something. Nope, just the random show. I smiled. It had sounded very real. Then the game sounds got more persistent. I heard the name Peca a few times, Hemsky maybe twice, as well as Andrew Ladd. In the beginning I was humoring it and stared at the stove absent-mindedly, trying to picture the game the announcer was describing. There was no real flow. It said the name Ryan Smyth and I perked up instinctively. That started to worry me. The sounds then got too bad. The announcer kept talking, but it was all gibberish. He said, "Game one, game two, game four". I heard a puck ring off the post. It was entertaining at first, but it didn't stop once I knew it wasn't real like the peripheral vision bugs."

I don't want to be too self-indulgent with all of that. At the time I was just trying to write down what was going on so I'd remember, but once I re-read it I just wanted to share it.
Now, after this MASSIVE distraction, I have to write my essay. Damnit.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Thank God for the...Bruins?

Yesterday afternoon's game didn't go too well. We lost 7-0 and played one of our worst games of the season. It was an extremely frustrating game. While some of our forwards have played really well, in general they've been weak. Yesterday the wings couldn't handle a breakout pass to save their lives. It's not like these were horrible, Oilers-de "passes" where we rim it around the boards and hope for the best. Of course occasionally we were forced to do that, because Lexington is a good forechecking team, but for the most part the passes were tape to tape (then off the tape and onto the tape of the Lexington de that was pinching down).

As far as my wrecking of that girl goes- yes, I hit her, and yes, I got a penalty for it. She actually got a cross-checking penalty for whatever small retaliation she mustered up. I didn't hit her hard enough, though. I wanted this girl to have to be carried off the ice, half-conscious. Instead what did I do? I got in one weak little hit, no more. With 32 seconds left in the game, their second dirtiest player (#32, actually) went hard into the boards with the same freshman that had been hurt the last time we played them, Lauren. She was worse off this time, I think. I was on the ice and I would have started something with the girl except that she was on her knees and getting up slowly. Instead of hitting her (a cheapshot from where she was), I just screamed at her, "What the fuck is wrong with you?!" to which she replied, "I fell." Sure kid, whatever you say. She was just lucky that she got to sit in the penalty box for the last 32 seconds, because Lauren's older sister Meg was hitting everything that moved. Meg, along with everyone else on the team, kept asking around to see what the girl's number was. I promptly informed them. I've been scuffling with this girl, too, since the end of last year.

When the game ended, #11 came charging off their bench, bumped shoulders with me, and yelled, "Game's over!" or something along those lines. I screamed back, at the top of my lungs, "What the fuck did you just say to me?!" I think I scared people on my team, as one person had to hold me back and our coach actually made a comment about it in the locker room, amusedly saying that he'd never seen me like that before. I was too frustrated. A freshman on our team used to live in Lexington and told me that the girl was a bitch and she knew where she lived. I appreciated the offer of egging her house, but didn't want to get arrested.

I got home and saw that the Oilers beat the Avs. I would have liked an overtime win so both teams could benefit. Since my game and this game overlapped, I didn't see any of their game and have nothing to write. Oh, one thing- did Mark Rycroft and Ladislav Smid actually get into a fight, or did they just write that on the scoresheet to see if anyone would notice?

I went out with my friends for a couple of hours once I was showered. After listening to them rant for 45 minutes about the hot boy they liked and the amazing weed they smoked, I said, "I kind of flipped out in my game today." My cousin Molly asked why. I started, "Well we lost like 6-0." That was all I got out before she turned to my other friend to rave about their weed again. Honestly- I listen to them for that long, and they can't listen to me for 30 seconds? I spent the rest of the night looking up pictures of hockey players on my new phone.

When I got home, the Bruins were down 2-1 to Carolina in the 2nd period. It seemed to be a pretty good game, with the B's coming out stronger in the 2nd to pull within a goal. Then Marc Savard, who has to be fed up with being the only consistently good thing on an underachieving team, made a beautiful, heads-up pass to Brad Boyes, coming out of the penalty box, who then himself had an amazing shot to tie it up. And while the Bruins did blow the lead they got in the 3rd, they ended up getting the two points. That game wasn't anything like the Bruins. Hopefully they'll keep up this strange new thing called "mental toughness". Honestly, though, did anyone think they were going to suck this much? Boston is diseased. I think we caught it from New York.
Today's games: none
Tomorrow's games: none (ouch)
Tuesday's games: 7:00 PM--Bruins vs. Capitals
9:00 PM--Avs vs. Panthers
9:00 PM--Oilers vs. Canucks

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Pregaming the Pregame: If I Were an NHL-er

I'm leaving for my game in about 20 minutes, but I saw a "chain post" and decided to quickly jump on it.

: start my career with the Oilers, end with the B’s
Uniform Number: 9, and I don’t care if it’s retired
Position: de
Nickname: O’D, Tizzle, Slut, Pinchers, Kateski, The Littlest Defenseman (to the media)
Dream Linemates: J-M Liles or Brad Stuart
Rounding out the PP: Joe Sakic, Ales Hemsky, and Ryan Smyth
Job: taking up ice time, supporting my partner when he decides to create offense, being there and not fucking up
Signature Move: pinching at the blue line, ramming my guy into the boards until I bounce off of him, falling when no one’s near me, checking my own teammates out of reflex
Strengths: passing, skating, not making MAB-esque errors
Weaknessess: shooting, scoring, fighting, doing anything worth taking notice of
Injury Problems? I’ll eventually lose so many brain cells from getting my head thrown into the boards that I’ll be a babbling idiot, but other than that I’ll be fine
Equipment: as little as humanly possible (most made out of tape 15 minutes before game time)
Nemesis: Mike Ribeiro (I’d give him a REAL reason to act hurt…or try), Alex Ovechkin (for no real reason)
Who I'd face in the Stanley Cup Finals: the heavily favored Buffalo Sabres, and I would succeed (for once) in wrecking Briere
What I'd do with the Stanley Cup after our victory: take naked pictures with it, Brad Stuart, and J-M Liles
Scandal Involvement: pictures leaked onto internet by insanely jealous Ales Hemsky
Would the media love me or hate me? They would have no idea who I was until the pictures got leaked, then claim on air that it's shocking and inappropriate. But that's not how they'd really feel.

There you have it- my future. My immediate future involves our game against Lexington and the girl I have to wreck. Wish me luck!
[And yes, that is a real picture of me. I'm number nine, of course- the one not fucking anything up but not doing anything particularly exciting.]

Friday, February 2, 2007

Ignorance is Bliss

Last night was a depressing night for my hockey life. All three teams lost. I was at the Bruins game with my older sister Liz and her friend Paula (who is unhealthily and hilariously obsessed with Patrice Bergeron). Despite the B's playing a game against a good divisional team (Buffalo), the place was far from packed. We moved down to seats in the corner, three rows back from the glass. The older, drunk couple behind us warned us that they were sniffing out seat-grubbers, but we managed to blend in well enough to stay there for the whole game. The woman asked us if we moved down to see the hot players more closely, and of course Paula confirmed that and started ranting about Patrice. Liz and I tried to convince them that we actually liked hockey and played ourselves, but just then Andrew Alberts skated by with an enormous black eye. They had to get a mop to clean up my drool, and my dignity. Am I the only one that finds hockey players that much more attractive when they look like they were hit with a crowbar? Pretty boys with twinkly eyes and pouty lips do nothing for me, but when I see a guy with missing teeth, black eyes, and blood trickling down his face, my heart skips a beat. Is this normal, or am I secretly sadistic? Whatever, it's amazing, whether it's weird or not.

With like a minute left in the second period, four people showed up with front-row tickets in front of us and kicked out this guy and his two sons, who were celebrating a birthday. These people clearly weren't hockey fans (the women were there to be watched, not to watch). The drunk woman behind us started a mini-fight with them while her drunker husband tried to get her to sit down. While the people disgusted me, they did have tickets. She was just drunk and belligerent. On that note, I have yet to go to a Boston sporting event without being surrounded by drunken, belligerent people. We really are the Athens of America, aren't we?

The Avs' game started at nine, so I caught the last two periods of it once I got home. It was one of those games where I kept thinking we were winning. They dominated so completely in the third period that I still find it strange that they lost. God damn Minnesota strangled them with defense. There was one good thing about the game (other than the fact that I keep thinking they won)- Marek Svatos scored! I love him, so this would be good news any time, but it's especially good news now. Anyone who watches the Avs has to be puzzled with Marek this year. Last year he awed me pretty much every game. He was the most dynamic player I've seen in a while. When he was on the ice, I couldn't help but watch him. That crazy thing he does with his feet was so adorable that I started doing it on the ice in practice when I got bored. But this year, he's not the same Marek Svatos. If he got the puck in the slot last year, he was money, no matter how many people were covering him. This year he's failed to bury point-blank chances. He just hasn't been himself. Part of me wonders if it has anything to do with his shoulder problems, but it seems unlikely that it's anything physical. Anyway, last weekend, I had a dream that he had an awesome game and was the Marek we know and love. He blew by people (mostly on his heels) and drilled home a puck in the slot. When I woke up I thought, "I'm so glad that Marek finally had a good game. He did everything he needed to do." Then reality set in. Last night was my dream- I swear. His goal was the goal from my dream and his game was the game from my dream. I could have cried. But damnit, they still lost.

The Oilers game confused me a little. There were times when they seemed dominant, and the one-goal deficit was miniscule, but there were even more times when I was shocked that we were only down by one and had little hope for a win. The end of the game was too emotionally exhausting to write about. It probably didn't help that CenterIce chose to broadcast the Vancouver station. It can really ruin a hockey game when you have to listen to the opposing announcers whine the whole time. I've had to mute the San Jose announcers more than once. Luckily, CenterIce favors Canadian stations and shows almost all of the Avs games on Altitude, which is my favorite broadcast after HNIC. Altitude does everything right. They show interviews in between every period, the announcers are likeable, and they don't try to get too fancy. In general, they make it easy to love the Avs, like a network should.

It depresses me when all three of my teams lose. A few weeks ago, my real-life team suffered a tough afternoon loss on a Saturday. I told my friends that I needed to stay in and watch hockey to unwind, or else I wouldn't sleep well (this is why they hate hockey). That night, not only did all three teams lose, but all three teams embarrassed themselves with awful losses. At least last night none of them openly sucked.

Tomorrow we're playing Lexington, who has been the dirtiest team around since youth hockey. They have one girl, #11, who's been wrecking people for that whole time, and last game she took down one of our freshmen. After the game I promised that I would devote our next meeting to hurting her. Being the Littlest Defenseman, this isn't as easy as it sounds. I'm normally a very calm person who avoids confrontations, but during games I get completely psychotic. I've tried to hit people before out of raging fury, and it doesn't work. This girl, though, deserves it more than anyone else. We'll see if I can pull it off.

Tonight's Games: none
Tomorrow's Games: 3:00 PM--Winchester vs. Lexington
3:00 PM--Avs vs. Oilers
8:30 PM--B's vs. Hurricanes

First is the Worst

I have no idea what I'm up to. This is the first post of my first blog, so I guess I should explain myself...in Q&A format.

Why is your blog called "The Littlest Defenseman"?
I'm 5' 2", and in addition to watching more hockey than I really should, I also play hockey. I've played for eight years and been a de the whole time. My dad, who thinks he's really funny and has coached me forever, was teasing me in front of my sister and said, "Yep, we call her 'The Littlest Defenseman'. She's just like the other defensemen...but littler." If you know him (which you don't...) then you'll know that it was actually pretty funny, that my sister thought it was way funnier than it was, and that he hasn't stopped calling me that since.

Why do you love hockey?
I haven't the slightest idea.
I come from a hockey family. My dad has played since he was a little kid, and my mom always watched hockey. She skipped school waaay back in the 70's when the Bruins won the Cup to go see the parade in town. I'm captain of my high school team now, but won't be playing after this. In fact, I have at most a month of playing hockey left. This isn't the best time to start a blog, then, because in a month I'll be writing emo posts about how I cut my wrists with my skates to make the pain go away. I give everyone permission to A) call me out on it, and B) find it really funny. I'd do the same to you.
To rant on for too long, I also love to watch hockey, and follow three teams rabidly- the Bruins, the Avs, and the Oilers.

How can you possibly root for three hockey teams and live with yourself?
This is the only time I'm going to apologize for my three-timing. It's awful. It's terrible. I'm a really bad person for it and I'm not being completely sarcastic when I say that. I hate myself for it more than anyone else can. But I can't do anything about it. It's too late.
I've always been a Bruins fan (born and raised). The year before the lockout, I started following hockey a little more closely. That was the year that Paul Kariya (then my favorite player) decided to go to the Avs for a year. Even though there was no CenterIce package or anything, I decided to follow the Avs. That was the most openly terrible part of this, because it was so conscious, but in my defense I was hardly out of middle school and it was my first year on my own as a fan.

The Oilers were much more accidental, but also terrible in their own way. During last year's playoffs (I could barely write that for the blatant bandwagon-ry that it implied), I was rooting for San Jose over the Oilers in their series. Since the Avs played the Oilers a lot, I had never liked them much, and I had liked San Jose even before Joe got sent there. The thing is, I didn't like them enough to see a sweep. I wanted a good series. So when the Sharks went up two games to none, I told myself that, for the sake of the series, I wanted the Oilers to win game three. My spirits were still with San Jose, though, until I let the Oilers in a little. Slowly they began to win me over. I'd catch myself and remind me that I wasn't really rooting for them, but I was slipping. When Ryan Smyth got hit in the face with a puck, I fell. I remember thinking to myself, "Oh shit...now I'm rooting for the Oilers, aren't I? Fuck." The triple overtime win sealed the deal.

I've rooted for teams to win the Cup before, then dropped them once the playoffs ended. Everyone does. I wanted Anaheim to win against New Jersey, I wanted Calgary to beat Tampa Bay, and of course I wanted the Avs to win with Bourque before I was a fan of them. The reason that I still follow the Oilers (I figure I can't call myself an "Oilers' fan" for a while) is because of the Finals against Carolina. That week, I had my final exams for school, and only slept 10 hours combined. By Thursday night I was hallucinating and actually heard a hockey game (Edmonton vs. Carolina, of course) going on in my kitchen. It was rough, and the only reason I got through it and got everything done was because of the Oilers and how they battled back to get to Game 7 of that series. I mean, I was so emotionally connected to them because of that week that I cried when they lost.

I guess what I should have said, in MANY less words, is that through some events colliding over the past few years, I'm hooked on three teams. And once I'm hooked, I'm hooked. To dump any of these teams now wouldn't make me more of a fan of the others. I'll write about all three.

Do you have a life outside of hockey?
No, not really. During the winter I go into "hockey hibernation", where all I want to do is play or watch hockey. It drives my friends nuts. For three seasons of the year I see them every day, then all of a sudden I disappear. Because of this, they all hate hockey.

I do see them sometimes, though, so I might occasionally mention them. I'm a movie whore, so I might mention movies sometimes as well. During the summer I'm an intense Red Sox fan, so during the summer I'll write about them.

I'm in the college application process. My top school is the University of Alberta, because I want to study paleontology and be in a place where my friends won't hate hockey. If I get in, I'll be sure to write an annoyingly overjoyed post about it, so get ready!

Thanks for reading, if you did. As you can see, it's physically impossible for me to write a short post. I'm sure I'll chill out sooner or later, right?
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