Wow. I don't even know where to start.
B-E-A-R-S BEARS BEARS BEARS WOOOOOO!
I think that will do for now.
As well as having the Penguins stomp the Caps tonight, the Bears turned out a 3-1 home opener victory over the Rochester Americans. My hockey night tonight was pretty goddamn stellar, yes siree.
Final Score. (The couple on the screen are scarily indicative of many of the Central Pennsylvanians I've run into out and about here. And while we're on scoreboards, right at the beginning of the second we also got Screaming Braveheart Moment on the big screen. Why, I'm still not sure, but all I could think of was the Brind'amour Knob Hockey and started giggling uncontrollably.)
Anyway. Watched this game from sect. 121, seat 12, row L. I tend to get around a little inside Le Giant Center, but this stuck me firmly in Season Ticket Holder Zone. The game started off sort of low key (or at least as low key as you can get with 9,300 some Bears fans packed in.) My guess is that while fans may like all the hoo-ha about introducing the players and the staff and the support staff's staff and the support staff's staff's caterers and such forth (and they SHOULD be acknowledged at some point, granted) the players just look at it as more chance to stiffen up and lose their edge.
Bears, losing their edge
I distinctly remember hollering "FIND YOUR HUSTLE!" at the boys in the beginning of the first period. But they did seem to listen to me and get it back.
The guy next to me was highly amused, and kept looking over at me like "What is this girl doing, knowing what's going on in a hockey game?" I think he actually guffawed out loud when I yelled "CLYMER, DON'T BE A HERO!" as Ben Clymer tried to shovel it past 4 dudes by himself.
Ben Clymer, listening to me.
I had been reserving opinion on Louis Robitaille until I saw him play live as well, as I was afraid he was going to be the AHL Briere, and we all know how much I love HIM. Instead. Robitaille managed to prove himself to me as a good player who just has the shortest fuse known to man. He got thrown out for actually fighting once, and got in peoples' faces a couple of more times, only to get peeled away by the refs.
(Louis missing a few pieces after his altercation)
I also have to get in here some completely unapologetic adoration for Gameplay Jay Beagle. The kid is a monster. When he connected with people, they didn't just smish against the glass and then keep skating, they smished, they fell down, and they usually got his knee as he turned around to keep going. He was also BRILLIANT in the double penalty kill in the second period. Sloane and Boumedienne both got themselves kicked out, and about a minute into the ensuing 5 on 3 Beagle followed the puck down and just planted himself over it in the corner as the Amerks tried to pry him off. I kept glancing at the clock and looking back at them, and Beagle seriously held them off of the puck for a good 30 to 40 seconds BY HIMSELF.
That's right, I'm awesome
It's no joke when they say that this kid is gonna be ridiculously good. He's already well on his way, if you ask me. Or Elly. Or anyone else who watched him at Caps camp. I hate to say it, but Colby Armstrong, you better start pasting guys with some regularity, or you may be sliding slowly from "favorite player who throws his body around" spot. I'm just warning you. (I suppose I could separate NHLers from AHLers... but the AHLers do grow up at some point....)
The evening at Giant Center closed with the 70th Anniversary Jersey Auction. I didn't realize that they were going to make the players come out and pimp THEMSELVES to sell the jerseys, but holy cow, it was hilarious. Poor Deano got no end of crap from the auctioneer, as he ribbed him for being out so long, and how all the money was going to go to the "Dean Arsene Foundation." Supposedly even Deano's mom was bidding on his jersey until it got too spendy.
Poor Deano ultimately went for something in the order of $1700, and it just got more ludicrous from there.
Jason Morgan came out sporting his spandex short-shorts, and the auctioneer kept trying to get him to "turn around to raise the price"
Clymer went for somewhere around $1500, and looked shocked the entire time people were bidding on him. He also stood the whole time like he really wished that he could just keep the jersey for himself.
Machesney seemed rather nonplussed about doing this. He's also significantly taller than he looks in goalie gear-I think the pads take a good five inches off of someone, visually.
Beagle was just completley FLOORED by how much he wnet for. After Arsene did $1700 and I believe Robitaille broke $3000, he was probably hoping for what, $1000? Beagle broke $2,000. Seriously. People see him going places. Either that or all the puckbunnies brought their rich daddies, which, I hate to say it, might have been a definite possibility tonight as well. I'm going to continue to believe that he was $2,000 on virtue of playing style, however, as that makes my soul hurt slightly less.
I'll see you there on the 28th, right?
(Also, the 28th may be my first chance to get in and actually ask questions of the players, so if anyone has any pressing needs, let me know. I'm still trying to figure out how to phrase "what's with the shorts slitting?" (still quite prevalent tonight) so it sounds a little more, uh, intelligent.)