After the slightly dismal showing that Baseball afforded me, Hockey seemed to be a good trip up an alley that I might enjoy. The reasons were obvious:
- Close relative of Football (Soccer) in terms of design.
- My girlfriend loves it more than me, what with her being Canadian
- I am a proficient ice skater.
- I loved playing NHL '94 on the MegaDrive back in the day. So, this weekend, a bunch of us (Connie included) tripped up Interstate 45 to Dallas to see the Dallas Stars.
A good thing to point out here is that Houston doesn't have a Pro hockey team. The NHL doesn't come that easily to the Texans being primarily a winter sport and one doesn't easily experience winter as Hockey knows it here in Texas often, if at all. Dallas are my closest team. HOWEVER, as part of the American tradition, I am also supporting a team from each sport and my team is not the Dallas Stars - nope, I am a Boston Bruins fan by default, inherited from my Canadian girlfriend, whom I have already mentioned.
Sport: Ice Hockey NHL
Team: Dallas Stars
Stadium: American Airlines Center
Cost: $6 (note: normal tickets are around $30, we got a special deal where they were $free apart from the fees and taxes therein).
Opponents: Buffalo Sabres
Ice Hockey is simply fantastic. The speed, skill, and drama that is allowed to take place on the ice is simply breathtaking and, to be honest, is more fun to actually watch in the arena than on TV. The reason for this, and probably the reason why many wouldn't like Hockey at all, is that on the TV you get no appreciation for the nonstop nature of the game. The rolling subs and the offside rules are easiuly missed and not understood - but more importantly, you can actually SEE the puck flying around the arena.
Once the rules have been settled into by myself and the rest of the watching friends (four of the five there were NHL virgins) we all rapidly realised that the game is as much about scoring the goals and getting the plays as it is delivering the hits on the players. Yes, there were fights, and some absoultey spectacular hits on players caused gloves and sticks to go flying all over the rink. It really was a fun night and, I think, it will the first of many NHL games I go to. I am looking forward to my first ever Bruins game already.
I give Ice Hockey a A rating.
NFL - San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans
NCAAf - Nebraska at Texas A&M