Thursday, January 14, 2010

NHL road trip today


I miss hockey, especially NHL hockey. Growing up in Buffalo places hockey in the fabric of your life no matter who you are. I loved watching and playing hockey my whole life until I moved to the KC area and could no longer find a convenient place to play or a decent team to root for (at any level).

Despite living in a hockey wasteland, I stay connected to my beloved Buffalo Sabres and listen to many of their games and highlights online. One of my best friends growing up, Mike Schopp, is the most popular sports talk radio figure in Buffalo (Schopp and the Bulldog). I text Mike regularly to tell him what I think of his show on days I can catch some of it. All this to say, I really miss the hockey culture and the luxury of having an NHL team to see regularly.

Enter Brian Hough, my friend and esteemed youth pastor at Redeemer. The poor guy is from Texas. Yes, Dallas bought a franchise a few years back (and a Stanley Cup), but no one seriously considers them a hockey town. Indeed, most Texans don't know a puck from a cow pie. Brian saw a minor league game or two while growing up in Houston (of all places) and witnessed a bit of hockey's awesomeness. Now, as he tends to do, he's picking up a new "hobby"- NHL hockey. He has randomly chosen the Minnesota Wild to be "his" team. I won't mock his random selection and new found devotion, at least he recognizes a great sport when he sees it (but maybe not a great team).

The closest NHL city to us is St. Louis. Being a tremendous (and humble) friend, I thought I'd take Brian to his first NHL game. So, in an hour we leave for St. Louis to watch the NHL's #18 (Minnesota) team take on the #25 (St. Louis) team at the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis. No, it's not the Buffalo Sabres (#4) taking on New Jersey (#1), but it's the best we can do with our schedules and geography. Brian's happy. I can't wait to hear and feel the crunch of a solid check in to the boards again. It will be cool.

P.S. Ironically, the Sabres top rookie (and candidate for NHL rookie of the year) is Tyler Myers...from Houston,Texas! I cannot believe the stats/trivia hound addict Brian hasn't figured this out and taunted me yet!

8 comments:

Rick Calohan said...

Go Blues! and on my birthday too, how thoughtful!

jeff said...

Did a NY Yankee fan REALLY say THIS?!?! "Yes, Dallas bought a franchise a few years back (and a Stanley Cup". Hmmmmm...

Andrew Barnes said...

Interesting thoughts...

But I can't help but think that you might be putting too much emphasis on the Eastern Conference, which this year is a lot worse than the Western. At least I watched something on ESPN that clearly showed that. You might dispute them, that's fine. I assume you favor the Eastern Conference because of your beloved Buffalo Sabres.

But my analysis shows San Jose is first with 67 points, Chicago (my team) is second with 66, then New Jersey (65), and your Buffalo team in fifth.

Rick Calohan said...

BTW: The New Jersey Devils were the Colorado Rockies frin 1976–82and prior to all of that were the Kansas City Scouts 1974–76.

Reepicheep said...

Andrew,it's impossible to say one conference is better than another based on points. As you probably know, Eastern Conference teams only play Western Conference teams 3 times each, some not at all. Makes it interesting. The Fox Sports power rankings put NJ at #1 and Buffalo at #4. That's not point total, it's power ranking, which is pretty accurate. Who knows what will happen in playoffs.

Yes, a Yankee fan said it...apples and oranges.

Woody Woodward said...

I am not a sports fan, but in my past life, back in OKC we had a pretty good hockey team, the OKC Blazers. I remember going to several of their rough and tumble games and no doubt, exciting every second. Sure like to see big time hockey at the Sprit Center, but Pastor Tony says, they won’t come? Maybe he could be wrong for the first time? Have a great time with Mr. B in St Loui Town.

Malcolm said...

I agree...apples and oranges. The Yankees spent waaay more. I would guess the Yankees payroll is more that the entire NHL.

Hough said...

Loved it! Thanks for taking me. I met many hockey people, very weird group. Felt like a 9 year old asking so many questions.