Thursday, 5 February 2009

You Gotta Fight For ...

Seventeen minutes of penalties ?

Seriously Kane?

Was that REALLY necessary? Yes, maybe to you it was. Yes, your team was up by four goals so it didn't matter that you left for the dressing room at 4:some-odd in the 3rd. But SEVENTEEN MINUTES of penalties? There weren't even that many minutes left in the game!

Friday, January 23rd, 2008
Kamloops Blazers @ Vancouver Giants (Pacific Coliseum)
Attendance: 13,127 (NOT!) --> people who buy tickets but don't attend aren't attendees! My best guess, more like 9 or 10 thousand.

I went to this game because I've been starved for junior hockey since the WJC ended. My brain is so fried from editing that I mixed up Kamloops and Kelowna. Again. Kamloops can't have a problem with this (it's kind of the armpit of British Columbia - and don't get all uppity with me if you're FROM Kamloops, you KNOW I'm right). Kelowna, on the other hand, as both a town and hockey team, has every right to be insulted. The result was that instead of seeing the Giants and Tyler Myers and Jamie Benn like I thought I would, I only saw Evander Kane and Jonathon Blum (well, and a surprise guest who I'll get to later). I'd forgotten why Blum looked so freaking familiar when he was kicking butt at the WJC. Sad eh? He's Captain of the Giants, but out of context, didn't connect.

This was probably the most pugilistic Giants game I've been to yet, and that's saying something because the last one wasn't exactly a tea party. It was almost impressive. If the Giants hadn't been winning, I'd have been PISSED. As it was, it was just... well, check out the game sheet.
One hundred and ten minutes of penalties --> seriously, 110 PIM? At one point there were so many Giants in the sin bin that Blum argued with the ref to let Kane just go to the dressing room since he wasn't going to play again in the game anyways.

I didn't mean to document this spiral into insanity, and yet I ended up doing so almost by accident.

Fight #1: I took this photo because I thought "Ooh! Fiiiight!"

Fight #3: Um, self explanatory? It reminds me of that Labbatt commercial.
RESULT: 32 PIM awarded to Kane (17) , Stebner (10) and Saip (5)
Game total @ 4:11 in the 3rd = 70 PIM

Fight #5: Because it was fight number FIVE. It was the third serious fight in the third period.
I'm not talking "brew-ha-ha", I'm talking third fight that resulted in at least coincidental majors.
RESULT: 12 PIM awarded to Piluso (5), Cunningham (2) and Hanes (5)
Game total @ 8:29 in the 3rd = 108 PIM

and then...
cause, ya know, there was TIME for one last fight...

It was a messed up game. There were too many scuffles to count so I really only counted helmet-on-the-ice-dropping-the-gloves fights. It was also a really slow game. I think I heard Vancouver's head coach (HC), Don Hay, say "Hurry UP!" about sixty times in forty minutes.

hurry up... seriously!

We had nosebleed tickets...

...but a ton of season ticket-holders didn't show up so my friend and I went and chilled down behind the home bench for the second and third periods. Where I got the following photos...

Team Canada spark-plug (and reigning 'WWF on Ice' Champion), Evander Kane.

Vancouver Giants Captain (and Captain America @ the recent 2009 WJC), Jonathon Blum.

The adorable little boys who idolize the Giants. Kids > pucks

In other, slightly more SQUEEE!!! news... (squee? I think I need to go wash my brain with DDT)

you can't tell, but that's Milan Lucic and Jonathon Blum

...former Giants Captain, Memorial Cup All-Star and all around Boston Bruins bad-ass, Milan Lucic, graced Pacific Coliseum with his presence for the first time since winning said Memorial Cup in 2007.

I'm having an internal debate with myself, trying to figure out how much I regret not slipping up to the 'restricted access' box and getting a photo with him - given that in the past year, I've flirted my way into the VIP section at a 40,000 person music festival, into the Oshawa Generals' players lounge to meet John Tavares and into the security section in front of the stage so I could watch Tom Petty from ten feet away... I'm pretty sure I could have gotten away with it. Then again Lucic's from Vancouver so, chances are, I'll have the opportunity again at some point.

I tend to have scary-good-luck about stupid stuff like that: I am scared of what I'll do in 2010. Dany? I'm sorry. In advance. Honest. You too, Sid.

Also, apparently Michel Bublé now owns half of the Vancouver Giants franchise or something. Woohoo. I think. Turns out he's a huge hockey fan (and the Canucks were a little out of his price-range). I may have a reason to like him a little now.

Michel Bublé and Evander Kane

Anywho, as the scoreboard read in the last fight-photo, the Giants won 5-1. This was win #39 for them this season. They have the sickest record ever. As of that night they were 39-4-0-3 (W-L-OT-SO). This win clinched them a playoff spot. (Yeah, you read that correctly - with 26 games left in the season, they clinched the playoff spot.) As of writing [Feb 5th], the Giants are 44-4-0-3. The Giants are second in the Dub, 1 point behind the Calgary Hitmen -- but with four games in hand...

I believe that, since breaking the WHL shutout record last fall, Tyson Sexsmith is trying to eclipse the previously held record - the Saturday and Sunday night following this game, he shut Everett and Chilliwack out (again).

I'm getting tickets for a few more games now, so that I don't have to sit up in a section where neophytes who don't know hockey etiquette stand in the aisle for the WHOLE first period.

I want to see how the Giants fare against Dustin Tokarski who currently holds a 1.75 GAA and a disgustingly impressive 0.944 Sv%. Tokarski's #1 in the league.

sick sick sick sick sick!!!

Sexsmith is #2 (2.11 GAA & 0.902 Sv%). My money's on Vancouver: Spokane may have a clutch goalie and they might be defending Memorial Cup champions, but Van has a kick ass goalie and two of the top 5 scorers in the league and they won they the Memorial Cup in 2007. Casey Pierro-Zabotel is the top scorer in the WHL. Evander Kane is #5. Spokane's highest scorer is 55th in the WHL.

So, because the Sens are tanking, GO GIANTS!!! (Acutally, I'd be cheering for the Giants even if the Sens were smoking the eastern conference...)

Oh, and random bus-dude: you were cool. You should have asked for my number. We could have grabbed a beer sometime and I could have argued my case for why JT may be a big whiner but, by being so, he is only following in Wayne Gretzky's footsteps...


ali said...

My random thoughts regarding this...

Ahh -- Casey-Pierro Zabotel = Penguins prospect :D

Ahh -- Jonathan Blum. Loved watching him in WJC...

I want to go to a Junior hockey game...

Regarding what you wrote about March 8th -- Oh, you don't know how badly I want to go -- I broke down and actually looked at plane tickets online. I can't believe I would consider coming back to the East Coast for 3 days, coming back to school, and then going right back to the East Coast that Friday. Ah well... considerations, considerations...

JK said...

So...when you visit DC, can I please tag along as you manage to maneuver your way behind the scenes at the Verizon Center? You can have all of the Penguins to yourself, promise.

@ali - Are you near Cincinnati by any chance? The Cyclones are the defending ECHL champs and their games might be pretty fun. Before I moved to DC I was living in Charleston, SC and their ECHL team's (Stingrays) games were great.

mer said...

JK - i am DYING to go to the game on March 8th. would you want to go?

I've never been to an NHL game ($$$) and I always vowed I'd go see my Sens, but Pens-Caps? Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Karl Alzner(!!!) and possibly Colby (pleeeease) may be too good to pass up.

there are tickets (for re-sale) for about 100$. nosebleed. but my friend had nosebleed tickets right next to Linden's box the night his jersey got retired, so she got to hang with Trevor-freaking-Linden, which would never have happened if she'd had better seats. silver lining much?

;) i'll have a dress rehearsal and full run through for the getting down to dressing rooms, and/or anywhere we could meet the boys when I go see Stefan Legein in Syracuse... muwhahahaha!

oh and you can have all the Caps and the Pens - except Alzner.

@ ali - *eeeeeee!!!* sorry, i have a tendency of pulling people into my little whirlwind of insanity. but i am not kidding an iota when I say i'd be just as excited about going to a game with you as i would be about the game itself. (!!!) no pressure. honest. but it would be cool. plus there are some SUPER cheap plane tickets: mine from Van (direct, return, to JFK - i'm still in shock) was 353$ with taxes and everything. it's the only reason I can afford to make this trip (and even consider going to an NHL game)

also, i've decided that you must visit Vancouver at some point. i have no clue when or how, but we MUST go to a Giants game and eat copious amounts of ridiculously cheap, amazing sushi and run around Stanley Park sometime.

Jessclub7 said...

I can't believe you have never seen an NHL game - and I have!

I saw the NY Rangers v Caps. Lundqvist ruined Ovechkin's life that night tho.

Then later that night a lot of the Rangers came into the bar/resaturant where my friend worked (and where we were knocking back the free drinks like it was going out of style). We chatted to quite a few of them as my friend was the hostess there, so she was introducing left, right and centre.

I am definitely sure we chatted to Gomez, Lundqvist, Staal and Hollweg. I can't remember who else was there - we were beyond drunk and started telling them how we had been to see the musical Wicked and that 'it was the best thing EVER. And have you seen it? No? You should go. It's SOOOOO good. It's, like, a prequel to the Wizard of Oz. But there's this goat man in it and he's, like, really annoying'. Cringe city.

They seemed fairly amused by it - I think they put up with us cause we had English accents!

I am actually laughing out loud now remembering this and some of the conversations we forced upon them.

mer said...

i am beyond amused.

the only comparable meeting-of-celebrities i can think of is when i met the Matthew Good Band when I was 15. i discovered a service elevator after security wouldn't let us just waltz downstairs to backstage... and then suddenly 12 screeching girls were crammed into the elevator and i had to push them out because they all freaked out when the doors opened.

then, by chance, as said dozen girls squeeed up the hallway towards the band which appeared about the same second i got out of the elevator, i saw the guys' expression, raised my hands in surrender and said "We come in peace."

the band burst out laughing and the bass guitarist (who I adored because I played bass too) told me that it was the single funniest thing he'd ever heard a fan say when meeting them. then they signed some autographs and took some photos and he and I spent fifteen minutes discussing how solid bass riffs can make or break a song and how it's best to think about it in terms of orchestral arrangement...

it pretty much set the tone for every such encounter since.

except John Tavares. I think he just thought I was trying to make an ass of him. he seemed weirded out that I didn't want his autograph or a photo of me *with* him... i just wanted a photo of him with a little stuffed animal... in all fairness, I probably sounded nuts.

Jessclub7 said...

I saw Justin Timberlake walking out of an art store in Montreal - and I don't even particularly like him but he is famous.

I was walking along the street and just stopped dead in my tracks about 2 feet away from him and I pointed right at him and shouted 'JUSTIN!' - as if I knew him or something. He looked over at me and burst out laughing and shouted 'HI!' back at me.

I then said, 'We all knew you were the talent in 'Nsync!' and just walked off and didn't look back. Ha!

JK said...

@mer - I am always up for Caps hockey. My boyfriend has season tickets (it was one of his goals in life to be an NHL season ticket holder) and so I'm often his +1. I'll see if he can contact his ticket rep to maybe get an inside track on tickets. We'll figure something out.

Also, Alzner is now back in Hershey for the moment, but he just managed to scare the pants off me. He's in a delayed video on the Caps main page and I had walked away from my computer only to hear it saying, "Hi Caps fans, this is Karl Alzner."

Susan said...

"Sigh" I'd love to go to a NHL game, but even going down to Dallas for a Stars game is out of reach as far as my budget goes. Once-upon-a-time, the Tulsa Oilers were farm teams for different NHL teams and my husband remembers lots of players before they hit the big time. I remember seeing John Vanbiesbrouck play and George McPhee (who is now GM of the Caps). But now, the Oilers are just guys who won't be making the big show and just want to play. They aren't very good :(

mer said...

@ JK - i am going to be bounding off the boards when i go skating later! i'm not actually sure I can articulate how excited I am...

And, Dany Heatley keeps doing that to me on the Sens website! It wigged me out completely the first time it happened!

@ jess - i fully glared at Nicklas Lidstrom last autumn while standing at a bus stop, because I was so confused. In my head I was thinking, "You're Nick Lidstrom, but what the hell are you doing in Vacouver?" only to realize about 3 seconds later that DUH! Detroit is in the western conference... I am a colossal idiot. *Bows*

He did glare back, even though I didn't mean to glare: i just have an angry thinking-face.

Val/stovgirl said...

Can I just type the word "sexsmith?" - why yes, I can...wait, let me type it one more time - SEXSMITH...okay, I am now finished for the evening...Thank you!

mer said...

@ val - next Giants game I got to, I'm going down to where I (completely illegitimately) had seats last game. There was this girl who had a Giants jersey on that had "SEXY" and 29 (Ty's#) on the back. She was maybe 3 or 4 and her jersey was too small to fit Sexsmith on it.

She had the brightest orange hair (naturally) and she was SO CUUUUTE! I wanted to take her home with me. Then I remembered that child abduction is an indictable offence.