Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pre Season Action with the Jets and the Predators

So the season is here. I’m coming to grips with going from seeing over 41 games per season to maybe 15 at the most. The first game of the season for me was Saturday, the Winnipeg Jets came to Music City to meet Nashville in some preseason action. Sandy, her 2 daughters, Robin, Jennifer and I made the 4 hour drive to Nashville. Surprisingly, there were a lot of Thrashers fans there, probably about 75. The Nashville Predators even had a little “buy a ticket” party for us. There were drinks, chips and ticket reps. Gnash, ice girls and a player were supposed to come by, but we left for warm ups before that. So, here we go, first post of the season!

On to warm ups. It was very surreal. That’s my team…wearing a different jersey and not playing for me any more. I was wearing my Johnny Oduya shirt, but had my conversion kit (Preds jersey) ready for the game. I also had a sign that said “Oh Do I…miss Johnny.”

I think these kids are on to something.

Coach Noel is on the phone, wonder who he's talking to.
Noel: Dude there are like 75 of them here. I thought you said the Thrashers had no fans.
Bettman: They don't. Those people are probably just wearing that to piss you off.
Noel: No, they are totally Thrashers fans, some say they drove 4 hours. Can't we at least impose fines on them for wearing Thrashers logos? I thought you were supposed to work on getting all Thrashers merchandise burned and forgotten.
Bettman: I guess I could look into the fine thing.
Noel: Gary, what's that noise, I can barely hear you.
Bettman: Sorry, that's me counting my money.

And here come the Thra..Jets. Threts!

This young Pres fan looks confused by Carl's winning smile.

It's so funny, no matter the team, the city or what they wear, they still keep the same pre game rituals and quirks. Thorburn does his stretch in the circle to the left of the net.

Cody Sol and Bryan Little avoiding eye contact.

Evander Kane waiting to shoot some pucks.

Postma getting his stretch on.

Mason doing some laps on the blue line.

Mason seeing some shots.

Yay! My favorite, Johnny Oduya! How can you not love a man who smiles while he plays. It wasn't too hard for me to see Johnny in a different jersey as he was in New Jersey when I started following him.

Kane and Thorburn clear the net.

Thorburn and Klingberg get in the zone.

Pasquale turns aside a shot.

More Oduya because I say so. He is doing his traditional back and forth at the blue line while the guys shoot on net. Maybe it's a Swede thing, Toby does it, too.

Speaking of the pocket Swede...

Swarm the goalie.

Kane taking a look around. I bet he's impressed with that giant Pred head hanging high above the arena.

So on to the game. The Preds are wearing their new screaming neon yellow jerseys. Not a fan. Even though yellow is my favorite color. I like the white ones okay. In the neck of the jersey is a piano key printed collar which is really cool. I'm watching my old team who is not my team any more play in a different jersey against a team in a completely different jersey. It took me a second to follow it.

Seats were pretty high up, but good. I did have a good shot of at least one of the goals so let's look at some crappy pictures of ants playing hockey!

Picard keeps an eye on the puck.

Scheifele and Smithson in the face off.

Nashville had about 5000 (6) penalties called on them, so there was a lot of penalty killing in the game.

Postma shoots...

And scores. Booo!

I was pretty upset at the end of the first period, the Preds were down 2-0. I was flipping out. This team (the Threts) bring me nothing but misery. When they were mine, they lose and then they leave. Now I'm cheering against them...they win. AGH!

Hornqvist hanging out in front of Mason trying to get something going. Come on, it's MASON. Johnny is there protecting the crease.

Chiarot keeping an eye on Wilson to make sure he doesn't put one in the net.

TooToo prepares for impact.

Mason turns the shot aside.

The Preds finally get some power play time.

Mason has a net full of problems, including 4 pucks in the 2nd period.

They had a cute skit on the jumbo tron. They showed two Thrashers fans (jerseys and all) crying and being sad. They were playing "Georgia On My Mind." Then Gnash came out and gave them Preds jerseys. They started partying. It was cute and not insulting. We Thrashers fans are used to being the butts of jokes.

The Preds keep working on Mason.

And it pays off! Goal!

After 4 quick goals, the Threts call a time out.

I was much happier when the 2nd period ended. Though I hate country music, I was thrilled to hear lots of "I like it" by Tim McGraw.

Picard is back in net. I wasn't too happy about that. Pekka made a brief appearance in Period 2 but left after what looked to be some kind of mask issue. Chet held it down though.

Mason hauls ass off of the ice for the extra attacker.

The Threts turn up the heat on Nashville.

Close call, but Chet turns it aside.

Preds win! They give the fans a salute.

After the game we putzed around at the team gear store and then headed out. We are walking down the stairs and I saw a guy in a suit and I said “Isn’t that Slater?” (my old lady eyes weren’t sure) It was! Jimmy stopped and talked to us and posed for a picture, he was very nice. Then we saw Stapleton and a few others. We had stumbled on the guys as they were heading over to the hotel to change in to their going out clothes (they were hitting the bars). We saw a gaggle of players. The girls got their pictures with Evander Kane, Chris Mason (who was very nice to them), and Stapleton. A few of the guys looked annoyed at best, a few looked like they wanted to run. That made me kind of chuckle. You are annoyed by 30 seconds of taking a picture with 2 little girls? Wait till you try bar hopping in the Peg!

Cute little girls and Evander Kane.

Gah, what an awful picture of me. You'd think I'd driven in a fan for 4 hours. Tim looks nice though.

So then Chris Thorburn comes out and actually walks TOWARDS us. We were leaving as we had that long drive home. We walked back towards him and spoke with him. He stood there talking to us for probably close to 5 minutes. He said he was glad to see us and thanked us for making the drive. My friend said “well, this is the only home game we can see.” He looked sad and said that he hated that for us. He said it was already getting cool in Winnipeg. He asked if we were staying in town. When we said we were driving back, he told us to be careful. My friend is a big Eric Boulton fan and she joked about them both wearing the same number this year. He laughed and said Boultsie was copying him. We wished him good luck in Winnipeg. He thanked us. He took a picture with the girls and headed off for the clubs.

New favorite player!

So that's it! First post of the season. I'm not sure how often I'll be updating, but I guess I'll keep it up.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It Be's That Way Sometimes

In the words of Nina Simone, “It Be's That Way Sometimes.” Summer is over. I have no team. I made no meaningful updates this summer. I tried. I really thought about it. I just couldn’t. I wanted to do “Update on a Thrasher” features on all of the guys that were new last season; Byfuglien, Sopel, Ladd, Burmistrov, etc. Every time I thought about going through the pictures from last season, I just got depressed. "People of Blueland" just isn't funny when there is no more Blueland. This summer has been the worst hockey summer ever.

I’m struggling as to weather to even keep the blog going. I have a new idea about the format of the blog. I’m thinking about tweaking it to “Getting Pucks Deep…A deep south hockey blog.” The format would be same, pictures, lolz and headlines, but it wouldn’t be team specific. Whatever hockey I manage to go to, I’d take pictures and post them. Nashville Predators, Gwinnett Gladiators, college hockey, even SPHL (I plan on taking my nephews to a Mississippi Surge game). So what do you think about this? Do you like the idea? I’m going to a preseason Preds game tomorrow against the Jets. I’ll take pictures then and see how it feels. I might just let they blog die along with the Thrashers. I would really appreciate any input.


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