Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dwindling Hockey

I watched such a lot of hockey over the weekend; like a squirrel, hoarding nuts for the winter, I wanted to see all I could before it goes away for the summer. I was aided in this by the World Championships, which finished this weekend, and which were available to watch on the NBC Sports app. Two games Saturday, and two more Sunday, watching and knitting and petting Carlos. It was quite peaceful, actually, both in knitting and hockey terms.

I enjoyed the WCs for a few reasons, including:

  • It was a chance to see players recently drafted that I haven't seen play much, as well as a few who are expected to be at the top of the NHL draft this summer, and see what they could do (answer: some amazing moves). 
  • There were a couple of Bruins involved, Frank Vatrano had two goals in the last game for the US, and Marchand got a medal. 
  • The games were in Russia, with a lot of flashy entertainment features, like cheerleaders in the stands when play was stopped--and they also stood on the ice before the start of each game, when the players were first coming out, which made me wonder what the players thought of these beautiful women in their gold knee-high boots, waving pom-poms for them.
  • It was a nice break from the announcers who have been covering the Stanley Cup; more on that later.

There were also a lot of presentations: players of the game, players of the tournament, and of course all the medals, which by the way were presented by Russian hockey legend Vladislav Tretiak, very impressive. And then, at the very end, as the Canadians were jigging happily around, and the Finns were slumping sadly in place*, who came out to speak but Vladimir Putin. My goodness. I had heard he was big into hockey, but still. Not expecting that. He spoke pretty briefly, in Russian, and according to the translator it was all the expected stuff, congratulating the teams and thanking the IIHF for choosing Russia to host, etc.
*During the bronze medal game, one of the announcers noted that in this case, the winners of silver would feel worse than the bronze winners, which is probably true; they just lost gold, after all.

Lots of good fun, basically, probably more so than the NHL games. I watched Saturday night's game all the way through, something I haven't done much of this playoff season because I don't care enough about any of the teams to lose sleep over them, and I watched about half of Sunday's game. I've been watching parts of the games every night: there's one tonight, and one tomorrow, and then depending who wins tonight, there might be one Friday. Then the finals will start next week, and in seven games or fewer, it will be done, and I will be left to watch the draft, and free agency day, and look for scraps of news until camp starts.

One thing I won't miss is the announcers; I am so sick of them. If the Bruins had made the playoffs, I would have had my local guys for a round or two, but failing that, I have been listening to the NBC announcers for what seems like months, and man, I didn't like most of them that much to begin with. Now? Ugh. Maybe the ones who were at the Worlds will get a game or two before it's over? Probably not, but I can wish.

Meanwhile, I made quite a lot of Puncia progress this weekend (what a surprise, with 5.5 hockey games), and I will show you that soon. Several nights recently, I have had to make myself put it down and go to bed: it's hard to be the grown-up sometimes.

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