I'm going to leave you with one last post before I dive into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm not going near the internet until I'm done because if someone spoils the end for me I'm taking them out with a vicisous - but totally legal! - shoulder to the head. I'm hoping to have it knocked out by Monday so work doesn't start getting in the way but we'll see. (Heather's official predictions: Ron dies. Neville is really important in the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. Snape dies saving Harry's life and he's pretty darn unhappy doing it.)
A really troubling thing has happened, guys. I'm beginning to warm to the idea of Michael Peca in Buffalo. I read the article that was in the paper today about Peca wanting to come back and he talked about being a third line center and doing the little things that Drury did like kill penalties and win face-offs and he emphasized that he didn't feel like he needed a letter and the article mentioned that because of his age and his season ending injury his contract can be structured with a low base salary and easily reachable bonuses that wouldn't count against the cap and there's speculation that he put the Rangers off because he felt like Buffalo was a better team with a better chance of success and that made me so happy and I started thinking about how I did really love him when he was in Buffalo and how he was one of the first hockey players I really knew and I think I'm totally losing my mind. I'm not completely gone. I still don't think this is something that MUST happen. I don't think Darcy Regier needs to do it to prove something - who knows what? - to Sabres fans. I still have some concerns about who exactly we lose in order for him to get any considerable amount of playing time. If Peca goes down and we've lost a forward, are we going to be okay with what we still have? But I don't find myself HATING the idea. Can we lose Peters? I'd be okay with that.
Why I Love Hockey #15 - The Hat Trick
If a baseball player hits a grand slam or a quarterback and wide reciever connect for a hail mary, fans stand up and cheer. Bor-ing! Hockey fans don't mess around. We throw things, baby!
I love everything about the hat trick. I love the little buzz that goes through the building when a guy scores goal number two, especially if he does it early in the game. I love when a team that has a fairly comfortable lead with time running down starts forcing passes - some really, really stupid - in a desperate attempt to see a player get that elusive third goal. I love the crowd going crazy when the third goal is finally tallied. I love fans in the 300s throwing hats down to the 200s, fans in the 200s throwing them to the 100s, and fans in the 100s throwing them over the glass. I love fans stuck behind the netting tossing hats to the fans in the corners and the fans there tossing them to the ice. I love the game coming to a complete halt so the crew can come out to clear the ice with their brooms. I love players skating casually around the ice, collecting little piles of hats with their sticks. I love the player who scored the hat trick grinning from ear to ear. It doesn't matter if it's a young kid doing it for the first time or a veteran who had never quite pulled it off before. I love his teammates patting him on the helmet or shoving him playfully. Most of all, I love that the hat trick celebration is specific to hockey and unlike anything in any other professional sport. When else are fans actually allowed - maybe even encouraged - to get involved in the field of play? We're so excited and happy for the player that we freely throw something we paid perfectly good money for onto the ice. It's a moment of a genuine connection between us and our team, a physical manifestation of our appreciation. It was one of the first things I really noted and loved about hockey.