Monday, March 05, 2007


Game Recap - Thrashers vs Hurricanes

by Greg

A rare Sunday afternoon tilt yesterday -- giving me the opportunity to go, and since (as previously noted) I generally work when the Thrashers are playing, I have to take such opportunities. Live hockey always has to take precedence. If I were getting married, and I found out there was a game that day, the wedding would have to be called off. Seriously, the Thrashers don't put their schedule together in a very Greg-friendly way (granted, since a Greg-friendly way would mean tons of Sunday-Monday games and 11 a.m. start times the rest of the week, I can't really blame them).

It was "Mullet Wig Day," as pictured right, leading to secret hopes of a hat trick, and thousands of mullets drifting down to the ice. Mullet humor isn't exactly Candide, I know, but some of the stuff was pretty funny. Lots of beer helped.

More ominously, it was the Hurricanes, a team that always makes me nervous -- there's the secret fear, deep inside, that every team that has won a Stanley Cup is automatically better and thus will always win. That fear eased some when I saw John Grahame in goal and David Tanabe getting major minutes, but still -- I spent most of the game just waiting for the inevitable turning point, when the 'Canes would remember their rights as Cup winners, and storm (HA!) back to slap the Thrashers around. It doesn't help that they have all-time favorite Frankie Kaberle back there -- watching him, for me, is like seeing your ex-girlfriend doing really well, living high, flashing her Stanley Cup ring around, while you're in line at the methadone clinic. To counter Kaberle's presence, I had to go all-out and wear the Kloucek Thrashers jersey (only worn in extreme situations), again, pictured right (below mullet).

The most encouraging thing about the game was seeing how much better the Thrashers were, when they were on, when they were focused. Unfortunately, they weren't always on. I don't know if it's a concentration issue, if it's cute Atlanta girls in the stands, if they'd been dipping into the same Heineken stocks as me, but there were times when all skaters on ice seemed distracted, counting the bolts in the floor at the Boston Garden, that sort of thing. A collective fog. Add to that an Atlanta tradition -- at least one bozo turnover in front of the net per game, preferably one per period, usually jump-cutting to Kari Lehtonen looking sadly at the puck behind him -- and you understand why I spend entire games looking nervous.

Lehtonen was great, but he often seems jittery -- leading in turn to me being jittery. He started out last night looking shocked after every shot, sort of a "GAH! Some lunatic is shooting PUCKS at me! What the hell is this??" reaction. The one goal wasn't really his fault, from my end of the ice -- the result of one of those aforementioned turnovers -- but I'd just like to see a bit more ice in those veins (figuratively, of course -- I have no desire to actually see the contents of anyone's veins).

In any case, the game really rested on the shoulders of hero to all, best hockey player ever Marian Hossa. Two goals, nearly a third (and my vision of raining mullets), heady defensive play. And one silent arena when he went hard into the boards and lay there for a minute. Without him, we're nothing. Having Garnet Exelby protecting him from the uncharitable thoughts of opponents isn't enough -- it may be time to hire two large men named Vito to "visit" opposing players before the game and "suggest" they stay away from Hossa. Just a thought.

To sum up: Thrashers won (one of those "four-point games" everyone likes to talk about), the Lightning got stomped the night before (by the Panthers, a team that seems to exist solely to frustrate better division rivals late in the season), and far away, the Avalanche beat Team Twizzler. A really fine Sunday, and I (and my Kloucek jersey) celebrated by going off and getting drunk. Hurrah! I humbly request more Sundays like this.

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if it's cute Atlanta girls in the stands, if they'd been dipping into the same Heineken stocks as me

1. Don't lie! There are no cute girls in Atlanta.
2. Heineken??!! ewww...even Dutch people don't drink that swill. Why do you think they export it to the USA?
3. You wore a mullet wig and only gave us a postage-stamp picture? C'mon...we demand more!
1. There are! I can provide photographic evidence. Plus, the weather's pretty nice here right now, so they're popping up.

2. It was that or Coors Light at the hot dog stand. There is a "decent beer" stand at Philips Arena, but it was a ways away.

3. Cell phone photos -- woefully inadequate, I fear.
I second that request for more Sundays like this. The Avs beat the Red Wings in a wonderful game. The Bruins beat the Devils and, thanks to your Thrashers, moved a little closer to the playoffs. Solid day all-around.
I used to love Hossa until I realized that he looks EXACTLY like this creepy person I know. Haven't been able to look at him the same since, though he's still sick. At the Bruins game I saw him plow through three B's while being rammed against the boards harshly. Even more impressive in person.
Are you tellin me you'd rather drink substandard 'beer' than walk another two minutes to get some decent beer? Damn, you really are Amerikan.
Katie, try to look at Hossa's inner beauty when you see him. He's not creepy at all. He's one of the gods of Olympus made flesh.

Jes, I think you know me well enough to know that I'm a beer snob. But, I wanted a hot dog and the good beer stand didn't have hot dogs. Simple needs triumph.
*proudly wears Hossa jersey*

I second the "Hero of all, greatest player ever" motion.

They have the Panthers tonight, no? Hopefully they continue the domination of the Panthers.
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