i missed a lot of good stuff while i was out of town on the eastern swing (though i caught a lot of good stuff too ---i saw the peewee herman show !!), like darryl sutter dropping a couple of "quite honestly"s, yet-again bashing the media, and further proclaiming his delusions in the local rag. i also missed shovelling my walk multiple times while my fingers froze, walking around nyc instead, sweating in my autumn coat. so i guess i win... ;)
it's a good thing i occupy my fan-hood with other things than those pesky, hard-to-come-by wins. i vowed to hit every rink in the league before i die, and i'm trying to knock 'em off one or two a year. st.louis in '09, deadmonton '08, and minny '06, i went to a subway series (rangers v. islanders) at madison square gardens in 2005, so i didn't bother hitting the flames game there last week ---for fifty bucks plus all ticketmaster and MSG service charges, you can get a single seat with "limited view." no thanks. when i attended five years ago, you could buy a seat in the bleeders for andrew jackson, and then sit yourself right beside rookie goalie, henrik lundqvist.
so this year, i chose the 4-year old prudential center, and (other than the fact they overlooked putting in an additional 2000+ seats) it's a beauty. honestly, a brand-new arena really makes the saddledome look like a dump.... i don't know why i thought they'd be jerks, but the staff were insanely polite and courteous and interested in the numerous flames fans. one usher saw my gio jersey pre-game and asked if that was the opposition for the evening's matchup. not only did she not know where calgary, canada was, but she didn't know why (if they were in the same league) she'd never seen them before.... ;)
not only is the building all pretty n'stuff with it's glass windows, but they've got a hockey-playing T1000 out front in an open "square"-like space fit for a really good rally. they call it "championship plaza" and i guess they have a right ---what with all the stanley cups--- though i think it might be a wee while before they bring the silver chalice back to stand with this 30-foot, right shooting dude:
(click to enlarge)
because i'm a total hockey nerd, and a frugal one at that, i elected to buy us cheapie bleeders with the knowledge that the prudential holds 17,000 but attendance rates hover around 12,000. since the red-line section 'club' area was ticket-policed, we decided our actual seats were preferrable to lower level corners and actually pretty effin' decent ---akin to high 200's in the 'dome:
and what would a htp rink report be without discussing the food ??! i was über-impressed that there was a gluten-free stand (hotdogs w/gluten-free buns etc), and a sushi bar that had sushi chefs creating your rolls as you wait, in addition to the pre-packaged stuff.... YUM !! upon arrival and some schmoozing with the prudential ushers & medics (happenstance, not necessity), i was told that without a doubt, the best arena snack was the chicken fingers & fries. it was a hefty $9.50 but could easily be considered a meal for two. the fingers were pretty standard (though tasty !) but the fries were outrageous: imagine deep-fried mashed potato sticks.... eff yeah !!! PLUS their condiment stations were awesome: in addition to your standard K, M, R, they had frank's red hot and a brand name bbq sauce (which i can't currently recall):
anyhow, the flames played listlessly and boringly, as per usual, and i blame brent for the loss (i mean.... who puts TANGUAY in the shootout after he missed the net CLEARLY a half dozen times during gameplay ??!?). le sigh. anyhow, i expect nothing different tonight.
ps: someone should invent deep-fried mashed potato sticks.
pps: god bless gio.