11:00 AM- hit the grand opening of the NHL store in Manhattan. Went through the Stanley Cup line . Talked to legendary referee Paul Stewart. He loved my Mighty Squirrels track jacket. I decide not to tell him about the Candle in the Wind thing. Paul Stewart is polite, affable and a splendid ambassador of the game. I overhear him telling someone else that his grandfather was also an NHL referee, and I wish that I could have been a fly on the wall for discussions between Stewart and his grandfather. I mean, imagine that. Awesome.
11:30 AM- Hit the Starbucks inside the NHL store. Wasn't wild about the fact that my color scheme exactly matched the pumpkin spice lattes. Mere seconds after this picture was taken, I overhear Paul Stewart approaching the Starbucks counter. He asks "So, how are those pumpkin spice lattes?!" While I have previously stated that pumpkin spice lattes have very little to do with hockey, I am forced to reconsider this idea as Paul Stewart is clearly fired up for one. Paul Stewart orders a pumpkin spice latte, and the Starbucks employees, none of whom probably know who he is, fall over themselves to serve him. Charisma and a sharp looking uniform go a long way in this town. Sadly, I do not get picture of this.
12:00 PM- Headed outside to see what's up. We see Bruin great Rick Middleton signing autographs. I remind Ben of what my pal Andrew Donnelly once said about Rick Middleton- that he was so lethal a scorer partly because when goalies would see him, they would momentarily be confused by the fact that he looks exactly like a butcher. They'd look up, se his face, and instead of hearing "What can I getcha, pork roast?" BOOM, the puck is in the net. Seriously, if that guy never led the league in scoring, I can tell you he definitely led it in resembling a butcher. That dude looks just like a butcher. Great Bruin.
7:00 PM- Lucked into a pair of Ranger tickets tonight against the Caps. 60 bucks for the pair. Went to the game with my future wife and love of my life, and had a great time. Saw Gomez's first goal as a Ranger, Jagr eclipse Paul Coffey to become #11 on the all time point scorers list and saw Alexander Ovechkin put on a clinic. More than any other player in the NHL, Ovechkin is a player that you need to see in person. The way he moves off the puck is an art form. And then when he gets the puck, look out. I didn't see the slew foot from the opening, but I can tell you this: an undefeated team defeated itself with penalty after penalty after penalty. Additionally, their defensemen seem chronically unable to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Also, Olaf Kolzig deserves a medal. Really, really, really fun game. If there was one downside, it was that Brashear didn't fight. Good times.
10:00 PM- Arrive home, pour a scotch, watch Roberto Luongo make a few sick saves for the Canucks. Jesus, that dude is good at playing goalie.
10:30 PM- Settle in to watch my beloved Bruins face off against the Los Angeles Kings. As though this night could not get any sweeter, some freaky Cirque du Soliel trapeze artist is slowly lowered from the rafters to drop a ceremonial first puck between Chara and Blake. She gracefully twists down to the face-off dot, places her feet on the carpet, slips, and she falls on her ass. I cannot stress enough how enjoyable this is to watch. Thanks to the magic of DVR, I watch it at least 6 more times. The moment I find this on YouTube, I will bring it to you. Anyone?
10:35 PM- The game starts, and it's a rollercoaster. Phil Kessel gets the first hat trick of his career, Marc Savard comes back from a groin injury to QB a devastating looking power play, and Aaron Ward puts in a game like the number 2 defenseman he should be, scoring a clutch goal and landing a great hit behind the opposing net. It's nice to see that when a game becomes a shooting spree, the Bruins can continue to put the puck in the net. Great effort by PJ Axelsson at the end there to sacrifice the body and get the puck out of the zone at the end there. Also, Claude Julien looks like Alfred Hitchcock. As my brother noted, it's a step up from Dave Lewis, who resembled Hitler.
2:10- wrapping up a hockey blog post from a great hockey day. Jesus this feels good. Watching the game wrapups on the NHL network and happy to be alive.
Sorry if there are typos, I'm hitting the hay.