Monday, January 23, 2012

Hockey, Bruins, White House

If you were listening to the announcers of the two Bruins games this weekend, you would think these were two of the best games all season. So close! So evenly matched! So satisfying in every way!

So not what I love in a hockey game. I about had an ulcer by the time yesterday's game finished.

Maybe I'm not a good hockey fan, not enough of a fan of the sport itself. Maybe I'm too much a Bruins fan instead. But I have to admit, I have loved the games this season when the Bruins totally overran the opposition. When they did everything right, made virtually no mistakes, ran up the big scores. 7-0, 9-0, I was in heaven. Laughing with delight. 6-0, even 6-2, 6-3. It's fun, dammit!

Saturday's game against the Rangers was close, and the Bruins lost at the very end, almost the last second, of overtime. Argh! Sunday they managed to win in the shootout, but my stomach didn't unclench for a good hour after. Those blown leads! Unforced turnovers! A hat trick for Hartnell of all players! Are they trying to make me crazy, and if so, why?

Today, they were at the White House, to get the President's congrats on last season. Tomorrow they play Washington. Then it's the All-Star weekend, so most of them* get a rest. I hope they regain their steam-roller ways after the break!

*Tim Thomas, Chara, and Seguin are playing. My nose is out of joint at Bergeron's snub, but I bet the rest will do him more good than the honor would have, so there's that.

The combination of the wonders of technology and a quiet day at work meant that I watched the live feed of the Bruins at the White House this afternoon (thank you, Washington Post). It was less than ten minutes, and pretty cool! Thoughts that crossed my mind:
  • As the players started lining up: that is a whole bunch of white guys in dark suits.
  • Though one of them was in a striped suit! Very mod. He was right behind the President, so it was pretty clear to see. (I believe it was Tomas Kaberle, no longer a Bruin but he was last June, so it's nice he got to go; you can see him on the left in this picture.)
  • Shawn Thornton was also fairly near the President. He looked really uncomfortable--is it wearing a suit?
  • I couldn't figure out why Chara didn't stand out, height-wise, since he certainly does on the ice. I finally saw him at the end of the second row. I think they had the players in the back row on a step, and his head was fairly even with theirs. Brad Marchand, standing in front of him, didn't reach his shoulder!
  • When the players and brass were all out and lined up, every phone in the crowd went up to take a picture.
  • I recognized the coach, the GM, ownership, and Cam Neely in the front row. Cam brought the President a Bruins jersey with Obama and the number 11. I wonder how Greg Campbell felt about that? Not to mention former Bruins Steve Kasper, PJ Axelsson, and Bob Carpenter, to name a few who have worn it for the team. (I was a big Steve Kasper fan as a kid. He was so cute!)(And a good player.)(But mostly cute.)
  • At one point when the President was speaking (I didn't have sound), there was laughter and a general looking toward Brad Marchand. What did he say? Was it the Little Ball of Hate nickname? The recent suspension? What?
  • Was that John Kerry schmoozing the bigwigs afterward? I know he's a hockey guy.
I didn't notice it at the time, but Tim Thomas wasn't there, by choice for his political beliefs. I don't entirely "get" his point, but it's a free country, it's his business. People are funny, though, aren't they? Of course, it's not hard to be more political than I am, so who am I to judge.

I found video of it when I got home, which answered some of my questions, and more.
  • Yes, they were on risers, so Chara's feet were in the second rung and his head was level with the first.
  • Yes, it was the Little Ball of Hate thing that brought the laughs.
  • Yes, Mr. President, they were "wicked happy" to be there.
  • Mayor Menino was there.
  • Yes, the players look much better without the playoff beards.
  • No, he didn't sound comfortable speaking the hockey terms (no hockey fan is going to put an "uh" between Stanley and Cup), but I knew he wasn't a hockey fan already (Washington hockey bloggers have bemoaned his lack of appearances at Caps games).

Overall fun. Now back to work Tuesday!



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