Drive from DC to Philly: 6 hours, round trip.
New SD card for camera: $14
Tank of gas: $22.87
Photographing the first ‘09 Calder Cup matchup between the Bears and the Phantoms? Totally worth the burning quad muscles. I now understand why all the arena photographers tote around a stool to sit on, as the Spectrum’s stair arrangement is less handy to sit on than Giant Center’s, so I was in a sort of modified squat position the entire time.
What I saw of the game from not behind a camera was inspiring, to say the least. Much like the Caps, until the moments of meltdown that allowed in goals, (and yes, one was pretty much entirely Neuvrith’s fault from what I could see,) the team was playing, as a whole, some of the best hockey I’d seen them play.
Granted, I missed bits trying to fit a lens through their camera hole, (finally gave up and just shot through the glass a’la Giant Center), and a few faceoffs trying to switch lenses quickly, but overall from what I saw, I was impressed.
Not only were the passes crisp and generally within the vicinity of someone else on the Bears, there was a lot of appropriate body usage. I’ve ragged on them before for forgetting that you have to play the puck first and hit second, but it seemed to click in Philly. Either the guys were recognizing that they couldn’t paste a Phantom unless someone else would retrieve the puck or they were working harder on being aware of others going in for big hits and moving accordingly, but it seemed to have been working.
An obligatory shoutout to the Dog Pound guys as well, Jay Beagle showed up in even more extreme fashion than he has been lately-his play actually hearkened back to the day a group of us named him “Fluffy” as a no-name rookie with too much hair at Caps camp. He was busting his ass to get from one place to another, much the same way he was busting his ass through suicides back then. Tim Leone agrees.
And without further ado, have a Photo Friday:
Jay Beagle shooting his game winner
Karl Alzner interepreting “defenseman” in the football sense
Bryan Helmer blocking shots like a pro
Mathieu Perrault, Art