the canadiens practicing at mcmahon. apparently the ice is decent but the cold is making the puck bounce.
reminder that tonight 7:30pm at the cat n fiddle for the nerdy blogger meet up. i'll drag my sorry hungover ass down and get drunk yet again, and hope to hell that i feel better tomorrow than i do today. ;)
(pictured: my new coffee table after a 9-1 flames victory over colorado ---beers, nachos and a little flames' history with azevedo, pbr & mikeH.)
consider this your first reminder of the pre-HC blogger meet-up scheduled for saturday, feb 19 at 7:30pm at the cat & fiddle pub. this will probably be an ideal time for warm-up pints after the alumni game, and an early enough start for everyone right the hangover before puckdrop on sunday. ;) in attendance, from my latest understanding, will be three of hitthepost's finest (duncan can't make it, but mikeH and i will be there and kingjafi's flyin' in from florida), hayley from m&g [ottawa], justin azevedo from the4thline, kent and steinberg from flamesnation, sarah from cwgap [vancouver], leanne from openicehits, newsboy from 92.9, d_p_h from comments infamy, and i believe htp pals pbr and sjc will also make an appearance.
a representative from domebeers is unlikely cause the dude lives in the south. but with any luck his brother will give him so much shit for not going that he'll realize that fulltime anonymity is for the weak, and being in a room full of his brethren is a whole lot of fun. ;)
inarguably the second best #12 to ever suit up in a flaming C, håkan loob has been quietly working his way up the front office ranks in sweden to land himself the job of president of elite league team, färjestads bk. while i'm guessing it'd be a near-impossible feat to yank him from the high ranking and no doubt comfortable position with his home club, based in his home town of karlstad in the värmland country in the south central part of sweden, i think loob would be well-suited for the top job in calgary.... and maybe he'd be up for a new challenge.
many of loob's successes as a player are unparalleled internationally, in the nhl, and over in the eliteserien; he is one of the first of only 24 members of the triple gold club, remains the only swede to ever have scored 50 goals in north america's top league, took home the stanley cup with the flames in 1989, won an elite league title with färjestads in 1981, and still holds goal and points records in the SEL (no surprise that the rocket richard equivalent in the eliteserien is called the "håkan loob trophy"). undeniably, the dude's a legend.
in 1996, loob hung up his skates and took the general manager position with the only european pro team he'd ever played with. in his first two years at the helm, the team won the SEL championships and they've made the post season every year since (winning again in 01/02 and 05/06, and losing in the playoff finals four other times during his tenure). the team took the crown again in 08/09, the year loob took the job of club president.
i'll be honest and suggest i don't know a helluva lot about loob's drafting record or trading history, and i'll be the first to admit skepticism that he'd have any interest in helming an nhl club... but his winning pedigree and irrefutable hockey smarts, coupled with his fabled past in flamesville, make me curious if the current ownership group (and ken king, i suppose) would consider him as a viable fulltime replacement for darryl sutter.
i know it would make me and duncan a couple of really happy folks. ;)
ps: devastating decision upcoming: which jersey to wear to the game tonight ??! the brand new undefeated in regulation one ? or the freshly signed one coming off a resounding win ?! comments appreciated. we've got til about 5pm MST.
i'm terribly proud that my gio/mr. bean combo is still in the top image hits on google under "mark giordano," and perhaps this will come up when you search for images of brent sutter. cause it's bang on.
mixing travel, visiting friends & watching hockey is pretty much my favorite thing to do in my spare time, and the latest installment of this continuing series (jersey'10, st.louis'09, deadmonton'08, MSP'06, MSG'05, sweden'04), took me to tennessee to catch the flames and the preds last night, with one of the coolest hockey-loving chicks i've ever had the good fortune to meet.
it was way back on a shoot in toronto during the spring of 2006 (when the flames were playing the ducks in the playoffs) that i met her, and we bonded over our love of the sport ---also the fact that she's adorable and funky and straight up inspiring, and somehow understood my forsberg fascination (lol). she returned to nashville at the end of the job and i never thought we'd speak again... until the following season just before the flames were ejected from the playoffs, when she called out-of-the-blue to congratulate my team on a game 3 victory (documented here in a saccharinely sweet tale). *grin*
anyhow. over the course of the past three years, we've discussed this potential visit ---and it got to the point recently where i couldn't overlook how genuinely captivating her sons are, and how much i truly wanted to spend a little bit of time with her family.... oh, and as if it wouldn't be perfect to check me out some nashville and catch a game to boot...
but i know you really want to read about the arena.
the best thing about the bridgestone arena is simply that it is in the heart of the city's downtown. it's literally across the street from the honky tonks on broadway, around the corner from the grand ole opry, and it backs onto the country music hall of fame. it's a cool looking rink from the outside, and pays homage to the city's musical history with the enormous radio tower-looking spier out front. and like i mentionned about the xcel and prudential: you don't ever realize what a dump the saddledome is until you hit a venue like this: open concept concourse and beautifully finished (ie: a looong way from concrete, ducts, and dust). on the other hand: it was effin' cold in there, and the skaters took the ice through a kinda awkward 'pred-head' (pictured here above the "megatron.")
as for arena snacks (aka: mikeH's favorite part), i once again hit the jackpot. my friends didn't have any specific treat in mind as "the penultimate," though i'm told that in the club section there's some better items than there are on the public concourses. as we headed out in search of refreshments, i asked a dude in a preds jersey what he suggested. he suggested we don't eat at the bridgestone... ;) when cornered for an actual answer, however, he immediately came to "bbq nachos." for real ?! oh yeah... SO good. nachos with nacho cheese, pulled pork and bbq sauce and pickled jalapeños on the side. eff. i would eat these anytime. omg, i'm hungry just thinking about 'em.... ;)
....and while i don't generally post pix of myself over here, i see i've done it in the past so i'll just make this really tiny and mostly unrecognizable. while i had mentioned that i really wanted a photo with gnash (the second best nhl mascot after harvey, IMO), i didn't imagine myself chasing him down. enroute to foraging, however, the elevator door opened and there he was !! ha ! he didn't want to be seen with a flames fan, but eventually relented thanks in no small part to the pleading by my gorgeous friend.... ;) what a kickass night. AND the flames won !!!!
to sum up: a good time was had by all, and the flames went to OT/shootout for the fourth time in my five away game experiences, and the prophecy/blasphemy gio jersey remains undefeated.... SO fun.
[many, many thanks to A&T for housing me and showing me a wonderful time, and their little dudes for making me laugh my butt off. xox]