Monday, December 05, 2011


I've told you about how my husband, Mike, became a St. Louis Cardinals Fan when he was just a child.  Shortly after he chose to follow the Cardinals, he decided to follow all things St. Louis, including their hockey team, The St. Louis Blues.  We still haven't seen them play in St. Louis but we've seen them play a couple of times elsewhere.

Last week the St. Louis Blues were playing the Denver Avalanche.  That is a half day's drive for us but we both had a chance for a few days off.  I attended a hospice class on pain Friday morning and then we headed out.  The weather was crisp and pretty...

I had a poncho in my lap to crochet......

And we had plenty of time for Mike to try to help me better understand hockey.  When I'd been to hockey games before I knew which goal belonged to which team, but that was about it.   I'd sometimes ask Mike, "What just happened?" He'd try to answer but then the action would start and he'd get distracted.  I still had fun, though, as there was lots of "people-watching" to be done.

This time, though, I wanted to have a better understanding.  So, while the miles slipped under our tires, Mike held a hockey class for me.  I learned about power plays, shoot outs and hip checks.  He explained icing and first, second, third and fourth lines.  He taught me the difference between minor and major penalties.  He helped me understand why players just flowed on and off the ice even when no whistle was blown to allow the substitution (I understand basketball and expected more correlations). 

We arrived at the game early and walked around just enjoying watching all the people. Well, I am not so sure Mike enjoyed that but I did.  Mike went with me into the Avalanche Shop so I could purchase a pair of earrings for a friend of mine who is an Avalanche fan.  That was true love for him to be in that shop with me.  They sold no St. Louis Blues paraphernalia there.

The game was really quite entertaining.  They turned down the lights and used spotlights to build up the drama before their team came on the floor, I mean on the ice.  There was a lot of excitement around us.  As the game was played, I was happy to realize that I really did understand it a lot more.  There were a few problems for me.  This is the view I had when the teams were playing on the left end of the rink...

She leaned forward nearly the entire game!  I did not want to lean forward the entire game.  But, I heard enough conversation between her and her young husband to learn that she, too, was struggling to understand the game that her husband loved.  She was working very hard at it, even wore Avalanche clothing.  It was really kind of cute.

The people-watching time was excellent.  At one point Mike leaned over and said, "Do you know what just happened there?"  First of all, the "happening had been to the left so I really could not have seen it all that well.  So, yes, I did know what just happened... the two brunette parents in front of us, sitting with their 3 redheaded kids, had just been joined by a pretty redheaded woman who seemed to be the grandma.  She was very happy to see them all.  The children were well-behaved and the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law were having a lively conversation with lots of smiles and laughs involved.  Ok, back to hockey...
There were almost some fights.  When a couple of players would get in each other's faces, the crowd instantly chanted, "Fight! Fight!"  It was really rather silly, in my opinion.

During the breaks sometimes they had little kid hockey teams play.  They were so cute!  As Mike said, it must've been the thrill of a lifetime for those children to play there.  One little guy who scored got to be interviewed by the news crew!

Another fun thing was the blimps.  Two blimps occasionally flew overhead during breaks.  They dropped coupons or something.  We didn't get any so I'm not sure what they were dropping but people seemed excited about it.

The St. Louis Blues played well.  It was an exciting game and went into overtime.  In case you don't know, overtime is a sudden death type of deal.  If one team scores it is instantly over.  No one scored.  At that point, they go into a shoot out.  Each team gets 3 players that get a chance, one at a time, to shoot at their goal.  Only the shooter and the goalie are on the ice at that time.  Well, one team made one goal and the other team made no goals during the shoot out.  I don't really want to talk about how it ended all that much.  It's my blog so I can do as I wish and I wish to not mention who won.  So there.

The weather for the trip home was a little more challenging.  I have lots more photos and a story to tell about that but since this post is already too long and Bode wants to help me, I guess I'll pick up tomorrow where I am leaving off today.

Have a great day!

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