Saturday, 16 February 2013

The First NHL Game of my Adult Life!

Hey Everyone,

I recently attended my first NHL hockey game in my adult life. I have only been to one other NHL game and that was when I was way back in 1990 when I went to a flames game with my hockey team.

The game I went to was the Blackhawks at the Wild in Minneapolis Minnesota a few weeks ago. A friend and I decided to make the drive down there pretty much on a whim.
The drive was long and boring but we had lots of good conversations so it wasn’t that bad. We stayed at a hotel across from the Mall of America. In the morning we went shopping. I bought myself a nice pair of shoes, Lucky jeans and a bunch of shirts.

If you ever get a chance to go to the Mall of America it is a neat place to see. There are 3 levels and the whole place circles around an indoor amusement park. It is easy to navigate; unlike the West Edmonton Mall which is just a sprawling maze of confusion.

The top floor is where all the food stores are. We had some hot wings at hooters. Some notable stores are Lego land, Apple and Windows stores adjacent to each other and about 4 lingerie stores! One store notably not present is LuLu Lemon. Is LuLu a Canadian thing? So I got new jeans and Krystal got nothing. He he he.

Across from the Mall of America is the Water Park of America. Which you would think would be this huge grandiose place with 100+ slides. Nope. It was closed or we would have gone for a few hours. They close it during school hours. So we just looked through the window. It is still pretty cool but the water park in Edmonton is way better.

After a few hours of shopping we headed over to St. Paul where the stadium is. We parked and walked over to a pub that was nearby (Patrick McGoverns). The food was nothing noteworthy. I don’t drink so there was really no other reason for me to be there except to drive my friend home afterwards.  

It was around -10C and all the Americans were dressed for a blizzard. I got some strange looks in my light jacket. But I was stylish and that is quite important when you are going to a hockey game.

Originally I was going to cheer for the Blackhawks. My rationale was that they had the cooler name and logo. I still think the Wild is a bland name for a hockey team. I could have done better. ‘Wild’ isn’t even a noun and that is probably my biggest beef with name. I think it’s dumb. For the record I think ‘Oilers’ is also a dumb name. So take that Edmonton!

When we walked into the stadium and I saw everyone wearing Wild jerseys I decided, in a hurry, that I better cheer for the home team! So I went to the gift shop and bought this brown hat. I actually like the hat. It isn’t the proper colors for the team and unless you are a hockey fan I doubt you would even realize it was a hockey hat. It fits me nicely and looks all right.

Turns out that I cheered for the right team. They won the game 3-2 in a shootout. I came away actually liking hockey more. I had lots of fun and now have a budding interest in following the sport. It was fun cheering for Wild goals and booing Blackhawks.

I don’t like the experience of going to the bathroom between periods. I am not much for being in crowds and waiting in long lineups. It is especially bad when I have to hold it in and be patient because there are several hundred other guys doing the same.

I also though about how many bottles and cans get thrown in the garbage at the game! It was upsetting. I should have taken a picture of it. Often there is a recycle bin right beside the garbage and people still throw garbage in the recycle and cans in the garbage! I want to punch those dummies! But that is a future rant/blog!

I wish I could have taken my family. I doubt Krystal would have liked it. In fact she went to a Rebel game a few weeks earlier and said she never wanted to go to a game again. But I know the kids would have enjoyed it.

So now that I follow hockey more and am more informed I have to ask. What do you think of Carlson and Cook and the skate on the ankle incident? The next game between Ottawa and Pittsburg should be interesting if you like fights. My opinion on hockey fights is also another future rant/blog!