Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's The Most Wonderfuuuuul Time Of The Year

It was wonderful tonight, being able to root against the Islanders and watch them lose 2-1. Ah, the cool smell of fall, the warm feeling of hatred.

The Isles helped open the NHL preseason with a game against the Vancouver Canucks in a small Canadian town named Terrace, British Columbia. Terrace won a contest put on by the Kraft cheese people and was named Hockeyville as the top small town that is dedicated to pucks as a way of life. You have to imagine the conversation that was had when they found out:
"Terrace, congratulations! You are Hockeyville!"
"Thanks! So ... what do we get for this honour?"
"Well, some money to help revitalize your arena?"
"That's swell!"
"Oh, and that's not all! You will get to host a NHL hockey game!"
"Ok, ok, calm down, it's only a preseason game."
"Well, still! That's fantastic, eh? Who's coming?"
"We are going to send you the Vancouver Canucks!"
"That's ah-may-zing! Roberto Luongo is my hero!"
"No, no Roberto Luongo. Andrew Raycroft. It is a preseason game."
"That sucks, eh? But how about Cody Hodgson? Heard he's tryin' to make the team and he's mighty skilled!"
"No, no Hodgson. Got some other prospects though that I'm sure you'll love."
"I'm sure I will. So who are they going to play?"
"The Islanders."
"But you said it was NHL! Gee ... at least we get to see that Jon Tavares. I watched the World Juniors and that goal he scored - heck, that was stellar."
"No, no Tavares. But there will be another Jon there! Jon Sim!"
"God dammit."
Despite the possible disappointment, it truly was a great event for the NHL and the town. As they said constantly through the broadcast, many of the 1,400 1,200 1,100 fans were kids and they got to see (semi) professional hockey played in person. That really has to be a dream come true for those kids and when you combine the game with the time they got to spend with the players off the ice, you have memories that last a lifetime. As for the pros, the Canucks were able to spread goodwill within their home province and the Islanders were able to have their prospects get used to playing to a small audience, and to losing.


Man, I'm so happy hockey season is here!