Friday, March 30, 2007

The Story of the Lucky Puck

I apologize for not having updated the blog in a while… I’ve been quite busy and just haven’t had the time. But after last night, I gotta post.

It’s all about the lucky puck. Yep. Not Sutton saving the day. Not our awesome PK last night. No, it was all about the puck. I’ve been down to a million warmups and, well, never was lucky enough to get a puck. I did manage to get one when we went to Florida only because one of the players noticed me wearing my Mullet Wig. But this time I wasn’t handed a puck. I was down behind the glass to the right of the benches. A puck came flying over, and I saw a ton of people leap and jump for it, but somehow it bounced over and to the left of me. To my left there was no one. Somehow it bounced up and over and landed in the isle to my left. No one else was able to reach over, so I ran over and picked it up. This was the first time I’ve ever gotten a puck that randomly flew over the glass. Last time, like I said, I was given the puck, so as cool as it was to get one from a player, it’s not quite the same feeling as when you get one out of the blue. So now I have two. But the moment I got it I had a feeling. A good feeling… a feel that this puck was different. It was a lucky puck. After all, it was the first one I’ve ever gotten by chance.

I called it The Lucky Puck.

And that, my friends, is exactly what it was.

I was holding on to the thing for dear life last night. I kissed it every time we scored, holding it up to the roof of Blueland. I held it in my hands the entire game. Of course it was another tight, close nail bighting game… but I knew something good was going to happen when Ben, the Web Guy, wrote that he felt a win coming. I felt it too. Call me crazy, but I just knew. I was rubbing it like genie in a lamp for good luck. If Toronto ever came close to scoring, and many times they did, I gripped it tighter. But the point is it worked. We won in OT as you know. So now I’m thinking I need to bring it with me the rest of the season and into the playoffs. After all, it is a lucky puck. Ok, so in reality the outcome of the game had nothing to do with me getting a puck or it being lucky. But to me it made a difference. I was lucky enough to get one and we were lucky enough to win.

I mean it HAD to have been a lucky puck. Sutton was GOOD last night. He saved the game, perhaps maybe even our season. It HAD to have been lucky because we pulled off the victory. It HAD to have been lucky because we needed the W and the 2 points last night more than a zombie needs blood. We were in the drivers seat, but last night put us a few car lengths ahead. The finish line is almost there. We just gotta cross it.

We gotta take care of business in Boston. Thankfully it’s not a do or die situation, but I think now that Boston is out, they have nothing to do but play the role of spoiler. But I’m thinking after last night we have some momentum. I hope last night was the start of something special. A very long hot streak. From now and deeeeeeeeep into the playoffs.

There’s a million things going on in Atlanta this weekend – the Braves are in town for the last two spring training games vs. the White Sox… of course there’s the NCAA Final Four and downtown is insane… there’s the GT Car Show going on… but I don’t want to be anywhere near downtown. As exciting as the Final Four may be, in all honesty, I don’t care that much about it. As much as it pains me, and as much as I hate Florida, I did pick them to win the entire thing… so I will be very softly and quietly “rooting” for Florida. I’d like an SEC team to win, that would be cool. Anyway, after the game last night, I noticed that there were several temporary shops setup to sell NCCA gear. Not just the giant tents outside Philips… but inside buildings… they had flashing lights. Everyone is trying to make a buck off the event. I went in to luck around for a few minutes last night before going to my car just to see what they had. Everything was so incredibly overpriced it’s not even funny. I told the guy working the store that I haven’t even been paying too much attention to the tournament… not with the race for the Division and the tight race going on in the SE Division. In fact, I almost forgot the NCAA was even in town!! Wait, no, the fact there were no parking spots that morning and the fact that parking prices were jacked so high that you’d have to take out a loan just to park downtown this weekend!

Last night was awesome. It felt good. Damn good. A win usually does, but this has a lot more meaning now. And with that meaning comes a much better feeling with a victory.

I loved the “Unleash The Fury” artwork on the steps around the arena. I can’t WAIT until next Wednesday to get my picture with the Cup. And I can’t wait for the last regular season game. I hope by then, somehow, someway we already have the Division won by that game. I don’t want that game to have any consequences for the Thrashers. I’d like to have it where the Thrashers are locked into the playoffs, won the Division, and if the Thrashers beat Tampa, that kicks them out of the playoffs. We can have it all AND play spoiler too. Now THAT would be incredible. But mostly I just don’t want that game to matter. I want to go, enjoy the last regular season game, have fun, and for once not have to worry about having to win. Of course I want them to win no matter what, but I want that last game to not matter. Hell, they should be able to rest most of our guys and play some guys who don’t get a lot of ice time.

So tonight it’s Tampa vs. Carolina. I wish there was someway they could both lose. I won’t be watching the game tonight, but I do hope I get the good news when I get home. If Tampa loses tonight, I have the feeling we are money. And Carolina just got whopped by the lowly Flyers during their last game (we aren’t the only ones to fall victim to the bottom feeders!) so hopefully they are looking to rebound against Tampon Bay.

This thing is ours now. It’s ours to lose. We are in the driver’s seat, and as Ricky Bobby once said, it’s time to shake and bake! SHAKE! AND! BAKE!!!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oh The Humor!

Ok, it just hit me... the Thrashers are having "Aqaurium Night" on Thursday when we play the Sharks....

Aquarium... Sharks... how creative! (You can just sense the sarcasm here...)

Thanks, New York!

Thrashers fans need to thank the state of New York and two of their hockey teams for having a great past weekend of hockey. The wins against the Rangers and Sabres have all but locked in our chances for being in the playoffs.

Now, as you know, Sabres fans come out in drove. They are notorious for being some of the worst, most obnoxious group of fans anywhere. We've played the Sabres obviously in years past and they've NEVER come out in droves like this or never been as obnoxious as they are this season. Do you think they'd come out in these kinds of numbers if they weren't in first place? No way. Would they come out and support their team if, say, they were like the Flyers this season and sucked and were in last place? Hell no! They are are so bandwagon it's not even funny. There were a bunch of 'em sitting a few rows in front of us today in 310 and they kept standing up and wouldn't sit down. Apparently their mama's just don't raise those Sabres fans right. I dunno what it is. But I do know that as soon as we won, they left QUIETLY... as quietly as a church mouse... they made no noise, no cheers, and they just left. They can dish it out, but oh they couldn't take the heat or the loss and just left as fast as possible. They can dish it out but they can't take some of their own medicine. If they were REALLY hardcore was they say they are, even though they lost, they'd still be yelling and cheering for their team, but no, they were as quiet as could be leaving Blueland. They were so quiet you barely knew they were there... and that was a GOOD thing!

Now, of course Tampa JUST had to go and win in OT last night against the Islanders. They are on home ice for the next three games I believe. I hope now is not the time they start to get hot. I hope it was just a fluke, especially with all of their goaltender issues.

I'm excited about Thursday... I'm not quite sure why we are playing a Western conference team this late in the season... we all know the problems we had with Western confernece teams when we went out there, but that was before the Thrashers got the new guys, that was before the Oilers crashed and burned... so I'm anxious for Thursday, one because, well, it's the only game this week at home, and two, the Sharks are good and it's a team that we never get a chance to see, so it'll be interested. Plus, my girlfriend is just slightly crazy about Kari, and she can't wait to get her hands on the Kari and Moose 3D cup on Thursday!

While we still have a 4 point lead, the last thing that I want, or any Thrashers fan wants, is for for the Division title to come down to that last game on April 7th. While it would prove to be an exciting and dramatic game if that is the case, I'd MUCH rather that game not matter at all and have that Division Banner hanging in their for the Lightning and their fans to see when the come into Blueland that night.

Thursday I'll be able to get there quiet early so we can snag some seats at Headlines Grill.

For some reason the links to all of the Blogs on Blueland Blog have disapeared... not sure what's up with that!

I'll get a post in on Friday about the game. 'Till Then...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Town Halls, Practice, Moose Signings, and some Green Ice!

What an exciting game and what a setup and blast by Zhitnik. Ok, so it wasn't technically a sellout but man people love to argue over the stupidest things.

It felt DAMN good to win that game too. I was jumping up and down and yelling as if I had just won the lottery... I'm not sure if that's what it feels like to win it, but it must be close. Yeah, it felt that good.

Last night really could not have gotten any better. There were lines by the time I had got there, but for some reason, there was still one entrance with nobody standing in line... even though the other lines were already pretty deep.... weird. Anyway, we stood there until my brother arrived, I got him a ticket and he took our place in line. Soon as the doors opened, he ran to Headlines Grill, grabbed a seat and saved us two seats while Sam and I went to the Town Hall Meeting. If I had known my brother was going to be there when I signed up for the meeting, I would have invited him, but oh well. I've never seen a Town Hall THAT packed full of fans. It looks like people have signed up here at the end of the season and for next season... now that we are doing so well, people are jumping on the Thrashers bandwagon fast and furious. With success surely this was to come. It's all good.

Most of the questions asked were great, legit hockey-related questions. But then you always have the people complaining about game start times, radio stations, gate opening times... while I understand their concerns, the POINT of a Town Hall Meeting is to disuss the Thrashers and the game of hockey, NOT things outside of the game. There simply is not enough time and too many people wanting to ask questions to waste time on questions like these. People complain they can't get into the city by 7... too much traffic... yes but there are also those of us who already work downtown and are around the corner from the arena... so I could care less if the game starts at 7, 7:30, 8... hell the game could start at 6 pm or 10pm... I'd still find a way to be there... I look at it like this... first of all, it's not the Thrashers problem you can't be there on time. Second, the schedule is out BEFORE THE SEASON STARTS, so if you want to go to a game, PLAN AHEAD to make sure you get there on time! It's just that simple. People complain - I wish the arena was in the suburbs... I wish you started the game later... I wish you did this , I wish you did that... The Thrashers themselves have little control over it. Nothing is perfect. A hockey fan doesn't care when the game starts, they are going to be there regardless. A hockey fan doesn't care when the arena doors open as long as the team wins. I hockey fan doesn't care what the radio station is because you are going to be at the game anyways, and for away games you can't go to, you probably already have XM... this sounds like someone I know... wait...that's me ... and plenty of other Thrashers fans... but man, people still haven't learned... don't waste DW's and the rest of the fans time by asking questions about things aren't imporant... I mean.. if you can't make it to the game by 7, what difference does 30 minutes make? Not really that much. Please, if you attend these Town Hall Meetings, ask anything you want... as long as it is related to the GAME of hockey! Ask your ticket rep or customer service about the other issues... not DW!

Anyway, I brought my brother some food from the meeting and he deserved it because he managed to save Sam and I two barstools, so props to my brother for saving us seats, especially with a packed house.

Moose was the man last night. That's the best performance by him I've seen by him as a Thrasher. Amazing saves I'm sure you've all seen and watched the highlights over and over (I can't stop watching the OT winner sequence.)

So we got to go to the Town Hall, get some free food, my brother saved us two seats right behind the goal at Headlines Grill, my brother got food, the Thrashers won in OT, and to top it off, the Sabres beat Tampa in regulation 3-2. The night could not have gone any better!

So last night the Sabres were our best friend... but Sunday they are going to be our worst enemy. Win or lose this game, we are in good shape. It's always a good game between these two teams. It seems like just yesterday the Thrashers played them for the first time at the beginning of the season and stopped their 10 game start winning streak . Remember all the media coverage we got for that one? Last night on TSN, the headline wasn't about the Thrashers, the headline was "Rangers pick up a needed point in OT Loss..." what a bad headline... instead of the Thrashers win in OT, it was about the Rangers?!? WTF was up with that?

The thing I am NOT looking forward to on Sunday is the Sabres fans. They are, by far, the worst, most obnoxious fans in the NHL. I hate them. I wish we could put every single Sabres fan up somewhere in the nosebleed upper corner of the 400 section. Keep them away!!!

This morning I decided to go the the Thrashers practice. It didn't look like they were doing anything too demanding at all... it looked like they were having fun if anything. I brought my Moose bobblehead from his rookie year with the Pens and also his rookie card. A nice older lady in front of me offered to let me use her silver photo pen to have him sign it and she was in front of me and got him to sign it for me. A few moments later, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to reach Moose with as many people that were at practice this morning, but he noticed the bobblehead and looked surprised to see it. He signed it very neatly and somehow he fit it on the body of the bobblehead; at first I thought there'd be no good spot for him to sign it, but Moose is the man, and he found the sweet spot to sign it. I told Moose thanks and he smiled back... I figured what better day and time to get my Moose stuff signed then after his incredible performance last night.

I also got KT and Simmer to sign my hat. It was tough to get any good pics from the practice there, but KT was out there with his kids skating around and that was nice to see... and good ole Odgers was also messin' around on the ice and looked like he was having a the time of his life out on the ice. After the practice, I drove over to the Gwinnett Arena to pick up some Glads tickets... normally when we go, there are pleny of great seats left, and I figured that this early in the day there'd still be some good seats left... but I was wrong. We got lower level but in the corner.. tonight they have green ice for St. Patrick's Day, so it should be something to see.

Tomorrow I'm going to the Sabres game and then I have to go directly from the game to my girlfriend's Rollerderby game; I'm helping out their team keeping up with people in the penalty box... if you have never seen Rollerderby you have got to come out. If you are a hockey fan (and you are since you are reading this) then this is RIGHT up your alley.

Visit The game is tomorrow night starts at 7. My girlfriend plays for the Apocalypstix and will play vs. the Sake Tuyas (otherwise known as the "Sucky Tunas"). This game is a re-match of the Championship Bout from last season, and the Stix are looking for some down and derby (dirty) revenge. Think of it like this: It's a bunch of chicks on rollerskates beating the living crap out of each other. That's all you need to know. And there's PLENTY of time to go to both the Thrashers vs. Sabres game and then head out to Stone Mountain for some derby action. The Thrashers game should be over by 4:30, 5 at the very latest, leaving you plenty of time to get a quick dinner and head out to Stone Mountain for the game.

If the Thrashers can beat the Sabres and the Stix win, I know I and my girlfriend will be happy as hell. I just hope it can go that way. Win or lose, the Thrashers are still in great shape. I do know that my girlfriend wants to win her game more than anything, so I just want to see her happy at the end of the night... if the Thrashers find a way to win, that will simply be the cherry on top. But don't expect a post tomorrow; I'll have to get to it Monday... I'm going straight from the Thrashers game out to the derby game, and won't be home till late, so I just won't have the time.

Till next time...

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Moose Is Loose In Our Hoose!

I hope that BH's decision to start Kari in Philly and Moose tonight against the Rangers will be the correct one. I was hoping and thought it should be the revse. But I'm no NHL coach, so what I say is meaningless. I just think that we shoud have won last night and we should've played Moose to stir things up against them.

Logically you'd think a first place team would easily manhandle a last place team. For whatever the reason, we have been unable to do so. We are lucky it didn't hurt us that much, but it sure could've been a big help.

I guess tonight we are all Sabres fans. Tonight I said. Not Sunday. Just tonight. So we have to love them tonight and hope they beat the Bolts... and then go back to hating them. What a weird love-hate relationship we'll have with them this weekend.

I hope we come out firing on all 8 cylinders tonight. I know they are going to be tired as this is a back-t0-backer. But that is not a valid excuse tonight, not this time of year.

I can't wait to get outta here. I'm going to the Town Hall tonight and I should have some pics for ya this weekend.

Let's just hope Moose is ready to go tonight and stays sharp.

Back to work!

- Jason

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Philly's Bitch

I had a bad feeling things wouldn't go our way when the Flyers went up 1-0. I didn't get to see most of the game... I heard most of the 1st period on the radio on the way home from the AJC Car Show (got to test drive a Chrysler 300 and a Vette! The best time to go to the show is during the week; the crowds were incredibly light and almost no lines to test drive the cars)

Steve Craig, 99X DJ and Thrashers PA Announcer was also out on location where they were doing the test drives. I showed him my 0ld school 99X card and they wanted to give me a set of wrenches... I was like man I don't need that, I have an entire tool box full of tools, so they gave me a Live X 11 CD. I should've asked him if he had any Thrashers stuff! Oh well. It was nice to meet him though.

Ok back to the game. I didn't get to see or hear any of the 2nd period except for the last few moments, but we were only down 2-1.

I made it home to see all of the 3rd period. That 3rd goal should havenever happened. We brought it late in the 3rd and made it a one goal game, but Biron was having one fucking hell of a night... the frustrating thing was that we had sooooooooooooooooooooooo many chances to tie the game. I would've been happy even with a point tonight. The problem is we didn't score when we needed it the most. You HAVE to. You HAVE to make those goals. We were on the doorstep bashing the door down but it wouldn't fall. They were also giving us chance after chance at the end, they nearly missed an EN goal they could've easily had but did not. We still could not manage to tie it.

I'm frustrated, we should have beat the shit out of these guys. I really think Moose should've played in this game and Kari start tomorrow. I hope this doesn't come back to haunt us. We simply can not afford to lose tomorrow against NY, especially with the Sabres coming here Sunday. We could be in trouble if we fall these next two games. Right now we're screaming playoffs playoffs and if we had won tonight I would have said no way we would miss the playoffs, but right now, we have two tough games against two hungry NY teams and they both having nothing to lose and we have everything to lose. We must take at least one of the next two against the Rangers and Sabres.

There really is no excuse for tonight's game with all of our new guys. The Flyers are the worst team yet they've owned us all season. Tonight was no different. At least we do not have to play these guys again. How does a first place team get owned by a last place team? I guess that's just how the coin flips. I don't get it. They've owned us all season, so there's no reason tonight should be any different...but unlike the last games, we had a chance this game... many, many chances and simply could not capitalize... yet I have to give credit to Biron for having an amazing night in goal... and Kari made some great saves himself... but Biron was damn good tonight...

But man, Bobby had shitty luck tonight... and it's sad that nothing was called on that 2nd high stick... even if the refs didn't see it, they must've seen him bleeding profusely... so I dunno WTF nothing was called....

We were a hair away from having at least a point in this game... instead of shooting at the goalie, we should have shot top shelf... but no.. it looked like we just kept shooting it right at him.

We better redeem ourselves tomorrow night. I could care less about the NASCAR Night stuff and tomorrow night is also the Town Hall Metting with DW, and DW is gonna hear it with this loss to the Flyers and rightfully so.

Now the NASCAR thing. I really just don't see most NASCAR fans being hockey fans. Maybe they are trying to get them to come out and experience hockey. I'm not sure what the attempt is, but I generally don't see the two mixing. I've watched NASCAR, I've been to a race, but in all honesty, it wasn't all that great. To me, a TRUE race a is the 1/4 drag race. NASCAR is just as boring to me as watching golf or poker on TV... I'd fall asleep. If I had the money to bid on one of those green St. Patty's jerseys I would, but I gotta save for next season.

At this point all I know is that we had better not fall apart. The next two games will determine that. The Rangers are well rested waiting for us in ATL and the Thrashers are going to be playing in the 2nd of back to back games. So the Rangers already have a slight advantage. And we all know what the Thrashers record is at sell outs, which Friday night looks to be. So we have TWO things going against us. We didn't stop the streak with the Flyers, but the sellout losing streak has GOT to stop and stop tomorrow night.

But the good news even though we didn't gain any ground tonight, we are still in first place and we can still make the playoffs. But if we play the same way we did tonight against the Flyers, our chances are not so great. Granted, even with the new players we weren't going to win every single game, but against the FLYERS??!?! No excuse.

We better redeem ourselves tomorrow night.

- Rangers are rested and ready to go.
- Thrashers playing two nights in a row with our backup goalie.
- Thrashers have not won a single game in which we are sold out.
- Gotta put up with Rangers fans and NASCAR rednecks. Great.
- Won't be able to get a seat at Headlines Grill because we'll be at the Town Hall Meeting and we'll have crappy seats.

So all in all tomorrow is already starting off to look bad. I just hope we end up on the win column. We have to.

Flying High in Philly?

All I know is that the Thrashers have been the Flyers bitch... and I'm hoping that we can turn that fact around tonight. With the 4-2 victory over the Craps, there's no reason we shouldn't be able to.

Now here's the deal. Kari is playing against the Flyer and Moose against the Rangers. Now, granted, we have to beat the Flyers at least once and Kari does give us the better chance of doing so. However, I think that if Moose were to start against the Flyers, it would send them a message to say "hey, we can beat you guys, we WILL beat you guys this time... with our backup goalie." I hope BH's decision is correct. It really doesn't matter as long as we win, but I just think Moose would be a lot better to go against the Flyers. Then again, if I were Kari, I'd rather have off on a Friday than a Thursday, anybody would. But at this point I don't care if they put in Goldberg from the Mighty Ducks movie as long as we keep winning!

Friday night is going to be insane. We have the Town Hall Meeting, but it's supposed to be sold out, so we won't be able to sit at Headlines Grill more than likely. So, we'll just have to make due. I'm glad it's sold out, yet we all know how the Thrashers have performed at sold out games... but that was before the new guys.

So we have two streaks to stop this week: Our record against the last-place Flyers and our record at sold out games. If these two things change I'll be happy as hell.

Gotta run!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thrashers MIA in Miami

So our trip started off well. We got a rental car from Enterprise. A brand new Mazda 5. It had all of 89 miles on it. We were the first customers to drive it. We got the 50% off weekend rate. The Mazda 5 is a crossover between an car, an SUV, and minivan. Now, with car rentals, when you get an SUV or van, you pay a lot more for it. This thing had the room of an SUV for the price of a car. It was $5-6 more dollars total to rent the middle of the road car instead of the cheapest 4 cylinder they had. And we paid the price of a car and basically got an SUV for the same price. It had more than enough room for everything.

So we drove down 12+ hours down 75 to the Florida Turnpike. About 20 dollars worth of tolls, but it does save a good amount of time versus going down 95. Anyway, we stayed at a really nice Quality Inn in South Miami. A bit far from Sunrise, but the trip from the hotel to the game wasn’t all that bad and didn’t take nearly as long we thought. So we got in to the hotel and attached to it was a nice looking seafood place… Gotta get seafood when you are on the coast, right? Well, we walked in an stood there for 10 minutes waiting for someone to greet and sit us. They didn’t give us any service. It was very casual dress place, so I don’t understand WTF happened. We walked around the corner to a Chinese joint and were served right away. It was goooooooooooood Chinese too. After that we went back to the room and watched Borat then crashed.

Saturday slept in a little and then went over to the Miami Metrozoo. There just happened to be a brochure for the zoo in our room. When I booked the room, I had NO idea that it was near the zoo. It was about a 10 minute drive from the hotel, if that. And only $11.50 per person to get in. It makes Zoo Atlanta look like a horrible zoo. The animals are not in cages. You are separated by a deep ditch. It makes for GREAT pictures. It was a lot of fun. After the zoo we went back to eat our leftover Chinese for lunch and then drove up to Sunrise. It was a rather short drive compared to what I was expecting.

We went to the Sawgrass Mills mall. Let me tell you this mall takes every single mall in Georgia, even the Mall of Georgia, takes it by the tail, and kicks it around. It was awesome. Even though every other store seemed to be a shore store, there were New York City-style electronics stores, video game stores, and even a diecast car cart. The guy had about $1,000 worth of cars that I wanted. I’ve been collecting them for years, and as much as I wanted to buy every single one he had, I just couldn’t. He had many of which are VERY hard to find. I always to go the AJC Auto Show every year and this guy had a better selection of cars I wanted. We also stopped in one of the video game stores – they had ONE Wii Classic Controller left. ONE. Best Buy has been out of stock for months on it. So he sold me the last one. It was only $20. Best Buy wants $25. Most on eBay will charge around $30 plus shipping. So I got one for a steal almost. The only bad part about that mall is that the food court is sad. But we had planned to eat at the game anyway, so that’s what we did.

We walked across the street from the mall to the arena. We were a bit early, so we were the first in line…go figure that! Now, being that it’s the PANTHERS we are talking about here, I didn’t expect a big crowd at all, much less 18,000+ people. It wasn’t a complete sell out, but it was damn near packed for the game. Pretty impressive for a Panthers game. Then again, it was a Saturday night… and they are a hot team right now, and playing a huge division rival. The arena itself is very dimly lit until the players come out on the ice; I guess they do that to conserve energy. But, at first, it does feel very cavernous and empty. I do like the fact that, unlike Philips, a whole ¼ of the arena is not corporate only. They have their boxes like any other arena or stadium, but the seating bowl is for everyone. I really like that. The seats on the lower level are a gross looking green. The middle seats were brown. I didn’t get the color scheme of the seats. Anyway, we went down for warmups where the Thrashers come up. I was the only Thrashers fan who had the balls to bring my mullet wig with me. Slater noticed and threw me a practice puck. As many times as we’ve been down to see warmups and as many practices as we’ve gone to, I’ve never got a puck. In fact the last puck I ever got a game was at a Knights game. Yes, a Knights game. So I got one. Finally.

Now to the game. Even though the Thrashers scored first and went up 1-0 to start the game, they came out looking flat. They simply did not play well. It looked as if we had made no trades. But the Panthers were playing really well too. This did NOT look like the same Panthers team that we had just played in Blueland a few days before. The Thrashers didn’t look at all like the same team either. We were on defense for what seemed a majority of the night.

Now, right after the 1st ended, two guys from the Panthers came up to me. We were sitting in a row of Thrashers fans. He was asking if someone had wanted to be in their dance-off contest. Now, at first I didn’t realize they were talking to me, but they were. So I agreed to do it. I instantly became a nervous wreck. My girlfriend was there for me to calm me down and make sure I was looking ok. I asked who I was going against and I was told it was a “Dodgers fan”. Bullshit. Why the hell would there be a Dodgers fan at this game? I warned them I can’t dance. I am worse than the guy in Hitch. I am so bad. The worst. But I have never been prouder to be booed by 18,000+ people because we got to scream and yell into the camera for all of the arena to hear. I have never been prouder to be a Thrashers fan when I heard all of those boos. Our row of fans were cheer for me, but there were just WAY too many Panthers fans. Even if I could dance well, I would have automatically lost because the other guy was really a Panthers fan with a Panthers jersey on. I could’ve been Elvis with a Thrashers jersey on and still have been booed.

Now the parts that pissed me off: At a Thrashers game, if a fan is in a contest, they NEVER go home empty handed. I just assumed I was going to get SOMETHING… a t-shirt, a gift… something to take home. I got NOTHING. And I missed 85% of the 2nd period waiting for this to start. By the time I got back to my seat, there was only about 4 or 5 minutes left in the period. Worst of all, the entire time I was standing there waiting for this dance contest thing to start, the Panthers scored 2 goals and went up 2-1. I was not in ANY mood to dance after seeing THAT happen.

Kari made some great saves, but let two easy ones slip by. I did happen to see that 2nd goal go in and Kari should have EASILY had that. Was he distracted because his parents went home and couldn’t stop thinking about it? Did they party a bit too much in Miami? They didn’t look at all like the Thrashers 2.0. Even though we did make it a game by making it 3-2 towards the end of the 3rd, and I was so sure one was going to tie it up right at the end, it never did. Ed Belfour did have a great night and the Panthers did play very well. But they also had at least 10 more shots on goal than we did. We were outplayed most of the night. Let’s just say the Thrashers were MIA in Miami.

Of course this being our first ever road game, we wanted to have it go our way. However, we did have fun afterwards. We hung out with Sally and her crew… the Panthers have a promo going that if they beat a divisional rival, you get a free pizza from Papa Johns. Sally did have a few extra tickets, so after about an hour of trying to figure out where the hell the closest Papa Johns was, we went back to their hotel with them to hang out and eat pizza. Oh, and of course the Flames had to lose to the Bolts while we were sitting there eating. D’OH! But it was a lot of fun hanging out with them.

We are already talking about going to the game against Carolina on the 6th. Thankfully it’s a LOT shorter of a drive than Miami. The hard part is that it’s the same night as the Braves Home Opener. Now, I have NEVER, EVER EVER EVER missed a Braves Home Opener. However, it is not the season opener. The Braves haven’t opened the season at home in a while. But I’ve been WAY too loyal to the Thrashers to not go. It very well may just come down to one of those two last games.

If the division comes down to the last game against Tampa, that will be almost too weird. Did the schedule makers know something? WTF? I hope it doesn’t, but it’s so close that it just may be that last game for the division. That would be the biggest regular season game so far in the history of the Atlanta Thrashers. I hope we can all watch that game with a bit more ease and comfort and hopefully by then it won’t matter, but it may. It will be hard to watch that game. I’ll have to take SOME sort of drugs to calm me down!

Anyway, I’m hoping the game against Carolina works out in a few weeks.

I’m hoping we can get back to our winning ways tonight against the Craps. There’s nom reason we shouldn’t get an easy win tonight. The Craps are down and out and we should be able to take advantage. But I do know our crowd is going to be WEAK tonight, seeing as how it is a Monday night. Funny part is that last week before I left for our vacation, I totally forgot to turn in my timesheet! So I had to return the rental car this morning and get my ass to work before the 10:30 deadline to turn in my timesheet. I normally work 12-6, and after driving for nearly 14 hours (we made a lot of stops on the way back) I was tired and I could easily still be sleeping right now. But since I had to be at work early to get my timesheet in, that means I also get to leave early, so I’ll be more than on time tonight for the game.

I’m about to go to lunch, so I’ll end this now. Yeah, I’ve already applied for the 7th Man contest. I think I wrote a pretty good poem, so I’ll be crossing my fingers. I do know that my girlfriend would die to get a game worn jersey from Kari. I think she’d pass out. And the winner of the 7th Man contest gets first choice. Oh, there might be a more dedicated fan who has lot more money than I do to follow the team wherever they go and sit on the glass; but you will not find anyone cares about this team more than I do. You surely won’t find anyone who is always first in line and never misses a game unless it’s a Georgia vs. Georgia Tech game. And I guarantee you will not find anyone who has never missed a Braves Home Opener to miss it and go see the Thrashers on the road. And there’s no doubt that I should be saving my money and not be spending it. But if there is one thing that I spend my money on (not counting DVDs and diecast model cars), it’s the Thrashers. I’ve already sent in my deposit for the 07-08 season. It will be my 3rd year as a season ticket holder. Now, if I had a better job when I was younger and could have afforded season tickets from day one, I would have. But now that I can afford season tickets, I’m getting them and I don’t plan on ever stopping. My girlfriend who had never experience a hockey game before she met me is now just as obsessed, if not more, than I am.

Even when we seemed down and out a few weeks ago when we went out West, I never stopped believing. I believe from the moment the guys arrive to training camp until the last day of the season. And this year for the first time we’ll get to keep believe into post season. Now I’ve been a Braves fan since I was a little kid. I always will be. And I never, EVER thought anything else could ever overtake the Braves as my favorite team. Well, that has all changed. Of course the Braves are my favorite baseball team, but the team closest to my heart is the Thrashers. That, my friends, takes one HELL of a change to take the Braves away from being my #1 team. I’d call 12 hours there and 12 hours back driving to Miami loyalty. Add up the cost of hotel, car rental, gas, food, and other BS and that’s a good chunk of change I could’ve saved. But it was all worth it… even though we lost and I was booed by 18,000+ people. But it’s too the bad the Thrashers were MIA in Miami.

I have a feeling we’ll get it back together tonight against the Craps. It might be near empty tonight, but I don’t care as long as we win.

Oh and yes, last but surely not least, I have to thank my season ticket rep Dustin. He allowed me to write him a post-dated check. I had two options – put down a deposit for season tickets and cancel the trip or go on the trip. He let me post date a check for my next paycheck this coming Friday. So many thanks to him and his boss for letting me do that. It is much appreciated. He didn’t mention, however, that he was also going to be in Sunrise. Oh but he was there… and had just a little bit to drink. What a surprise that was!

That’s it for now. Let’s beat the crap… outta the Craps tonight!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What Happens in Blueland, STAYS in Blueland!

You’ve lost that losing feeling, cause it’s gone, gone, gone. But we haven’t lost that hockey lovein’ feeling cause it’s far from gone. 4 in a row. We stopped a hot Kity Cats team… err Panthers that is. Yes, the Thrashers are known to be a streaky team. But that was before we got our new guys. I don’t think that streakiness will continue. At least, I hope not. Why? It simply can’t. Not at the point in the season. Not with our new guys. Not when we are trying to raise the Division banner and get into the playoffs. And thanks in part to the Canucks, the Thrashers are now looking like that just may be a big possibility. I was watching the Canucks vs. Bolts game last night on Yahoo! Sports… I wish they did more games… and lets just put it this way… the Bolts had minimal shots on goal, they were trying to be way too fancy with their passing, and their goaltending also let them down. The Canucks killed them. Slaughtered them. Embarrassed them. And the Thrashers and their fans are very thankful. Thankful because, one, that puts us back where we belong – in sole possession of first place. Two, well, the lightning our are hated rival; many Thrashers fans hate Tampa more than anything, and there’s no denying we love to see them get whopped like that. Even better, Tampa is playing in back to back games with no rest. They are in a different time zone than they are used to. They have no time to prepare or rest for the Oilers tonight. The Oilers have had three days off to rest and prepare for Tampa. They have home ice advantage. And with Tampa playing back to back games, I’d assume they’d pretty much have no other choice BUT to play their backup goalie, especially after the performance Holmqvist didn’t have last night. So, yet again, Thrashers fans are temporarily being transformed into fans of another team.. so GO OILERS! I have a gut feeling that Tampa just won’t be able to cut the mustard against the Oilers. The only bad thing is that the Oilers have lost their last two games pretty badly (5-0, 4-2) but hopefully they’ll be rested and ready to get back on track and take care of the Bolts for us. It would be most appreciated!

Now, back home to the Thrashers. Montreal will prove to be a tough contender, as usual, but with Huet out of the picture, things might be a bit easier for us. We’ll see. I told myself as long as we take 2 of 3 games this week (FL, MON, and FL again) then we are in business. Seeing as how 1 of those 3 have already gone our way, I don’t see why the next two can’t. Montreal will be tough, but we can beat them. And playing the Kitty Cats again… hopefully it’ll be the same as it was last night. But that is a game I simply can’t wait for. Our first ever away Thrashers game. Win or lose the game, I can’t wait for the experience. Of course it will suck if we go to our first ever away game and we lose, but I can’t be TOO upset if we do… but at the same time, the Kitty Cats are our bitch, so I don’t see why we can’t beat ‘em again. It’ll be weird seeing the Thrashers in the white jerseys – it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen them live in that jersey. It will be weird not hearing the goal siren when we score (of which I hope will be often and plenty.) It will be weird not hearing and seeing 99% of the crowd cheering when we score. But I bet we’ll be louder than the Florida fans. I bet there might be more Thrashers fans in the building then Panthers fans… then again, it IS a Saturday night game, so it might be packed… who knows. But our plans, since we are staying in Miami, is to get up to that outlet mall across from the arena, hang out there, and then get over to the game of course early so we can get in there and see what they have to offer.

Last night the attendance was poor. But at the same time, I can understand – it’s a weekday, the kids are in school, traffic sucks, blah blah blah… wait, no I don’t understand. Your hockey team is making a huge playoff push and you don’t show up? C’mon. What is with you people who don’t come? Kids? Traffic? Can’t afford it? You can get $10 tickets and go sit in Headlines Grill. There’s just no excuse. Get your asses in the seats! Do you ever see empty seats at a hockey game in Canada? No. This might not be Canada, but we should show the same love and loyalty to our team… there should be an ass in every seat in that arena. I’m glad the seats did seem to fill up a little bit once the game started, but there were still ENTIRE sections without a single person. What a waste. I know it’s a weekday, I know there was no game giveaway, heck they didn’t even give out the hockey bam sticks. But that doesn’t matter. It’s not about the fact that it’s a weekday or weekend. It’s not about the fact that there’s a game giveaway or not. It is, however, about the fact that there’s a hockey game going on and hockey is, by far, the greatest game and sport on this planet, and you need to come experience it and come to games.

This season, I’ve missed only ONE game – and that is for the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech football game, and I will always miss a Thrashers game if one happens to fall on the same date. It’s tradition and I just can’t and will never miss that. I hate Tech too much and love Georgia too much to miss it. But that being said, other than that one game, I haven’t missed any other games this season. Normally you can find me at the very front of the line too. Call it a little obsessive, call it crazy, call it what you will, but I love the Thrashers that much. Yes, I have a job and a life. But I find a way to be there, unlike some people who didn’t last night. You’ve got to find a way. If we make the playoffs and the place looks like that, even if the game is on a week night, it will be a bigger embarrassment than when people don’t show up for Braves playoff games. So get your asses in the seats…. TV is one thing for AWAY games, but if we are at home, COME OUT!!! It’s really not THAT expensive if you take MARTA and not pay for parking. It’s worth every penny. Hockey is never boring, expect apparently last night some folks thought it was and started doing the wave. Now, I’ve been to many, many hockey games and have NEVER, EVER seen that. It was wrong in SO many ways. Those who participated in the wave should be ashamed. Doing it a Turner Field is one thing during a ballgame, but not at a hockey game! I’m glad that it did happen against the Panthers, who maybe had all of two or three fans in the building… and I hope it doesn’t end up on highlights or SportsCenter for the entire world to see. That was bad. I wanted to hide the fact I was a hockey fan, much less a Thrashers fan, after seeing the wave. I don’t know what the hell people were thinking, but people need to THINK BEFORE THE ACT and NEVER, EVER do the wave at a Thrashers game, or ANY hockey game for that matter, EVER again! You could’ve waited a few weeks for the Braves home opener to do that!

But the important thing is that we won again… and hopefully continue to do so. It’s funny… KT was on the cover of the game program, and he scored his first two goals as a Thrashers. I’m hoping Kovy will be on the next one and score 2 or 3 against Montreal!

Till next time…

Monday, March 05, 2007

Here Kitty Kitty!

We were up at Headlines Grill for the Carolina game. Kari stood on his head the entire game. He said that it has something to do with is parents here in Atlanta visiting him. And I have a feeling that as silly as it might sound, it could be helping him. Remember when you were a little kid on the diving board or playing sports and your parents were watching you? You wanted to shout"Dad! Mom! Look at ME!!" You always wanted to perform better or do something special while your parents were watching. Well, Kari may not be able to scream out to his parents in the stands at the NHL level, but in the back of his mind, I bet he had that same feeling... he wanted to show his parents his best. And that he did. It was one of his best performances in goal this season so far. It was Brodeur-like. The one goal Crapolina had was a defensive mess up, otherwise it could've been a shutout. But what a game! Although they had quite a few pucks that hit the pipes, with them going 0-4 on the PP, it helped make our D look really good. It had also been a while since good 'e Kovy lit the lamp.

But when Hossa went down, I had a flash back to Blog Night. That was the night he went down hard as well... but the night he also came back out and scored in the very next period seconds in.

When Hossa went down again, it was a flash back. But the crowd roared to life with the "Hossa! Hossa!" chant as loud as you've ever heard it. Thankfully it wasn't as bad as it looked. It's too bad this time he didn't come out and score right away again, but he nearly missed that open net hat trick goal... but it wasn't necessary. So far the new guys have made this team look like and play like an entirely new team. I'm not a big fan of the rental player thing, I think that should be changed, but there's time to discuss that during the off season. Right now they've helped us move back where we belong - in first - and help us make that push to the first ever Thrashers playoffs!

But man it wasn't even about the new guys or our all the sudden new found glory and confidence... it was all about the mullet wig.

That's right, the mullet wig.

I think the players got a kick out of it. It's too bad BH didn't throw one on for the post game press conference! Maybe it was like a rally cap. Maybe it had that magic. But man, I took MARTA back home from the game, stopping at Best Buy afterwards. I decided WTF, I have nothing to lose, so I kept my jersey on and the mullet wig. Man people had some FUNNY looking stares at me. Nothing something you expect when walking around Best Buy! Anyway, I also freaked my mom out when I met up with her later that night for dinner.

But I also knew it was going to be a good game because, well, when the Thrashers came out for warmups, the first song that was played was "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Metallica. Fuck yeah! Metalllica! They need to play more Metallica at games. But man, you literally have to be first in line to get a spot a headlines grill. You have to haul ass up there to get a stool. But it's well worth the wait. The food there is really good. The view is great.

But there is one thing that gets to me. You know that the 400 level isn't sold out. I just don't see that happening. Even on occasions where you KNOW it's not sold out, the ticket office refuses to sell you the $10 ticket at the box office. They always say it's sold out. That is BS. They want you to have to buy the more expensive ticket. If the seats are available, SELL the damn tickets! I don't get it. Thankfully you can buy a ticket at the student rate of $15, but man, I know there are still $10 tickets left but they won't sell them.

Anyway, I'm anxious as can be four our trip to Florida this coming weekend. Thrashers vs. Panthers, the beach, Miami, South Beach, seafood... warm, (hopefully) sunny weather... can't get much better than that! Since this is our first ever away game with the Thrashers... of course I already can't wait to get back and Blog about it! I know, I know, what a dork I am! This is also my last-ever spring break, so there's no doubt we have to get away for at least a few days if nothing else... but here's my problem. The Thrashers want their 07/08 deposit already. I can either cancel our trip, and have one really disappointed Thrashers fan and a PISSED OFF girlfriend and put a deposit down, or I can go on the trip. I've e-mailed my rep and asked him if I could post-date a check for my next paydate. So I'm waiting to hear back from him. I just hope they'll let me do that, if not, I might get fucked out of playoff tickets... but I sure can't cancel our trip! Grrrrrrrr!!!!

Three in a row... can we keep it up? By default, you'd think that playing the Panthers twice in a week would be easy wins for us... but they are on a little win streak of their own and just killed Tampa, of which of course we are all very thankful for, but man, they beat TAMPA 6-2. That's not easy to do. I'm hoping we can cool them off. But this week, we should be able to gain some ground with playing the kitty cats twice and of course the Habs, who are always tough, but Huet is out for the season, so it might prove to be a bit easier of a game. If we take even 2 of 3 this week, I think we'll be in good shape.

I should get back to work. Man, I am evil. My boss left for lunch so I figured I'd better get in the blog while I can.

Oh yeah. My friends from Israel are here! They normally come for 4 - 6 weeks, but for the first time, they are only here for a week! Anyway, I've invited them to come to the game on Tuesday, so it should be a great time. Can't wait! They don't have hockey in Israel, so... it'll be an awesome experience for them. I can show them my home away from home!!

That's it for now... back to work!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Finally! We Can All Go Home HAPPY!!!

It's been way too long. I don't remember the last time I went home from Philips Arena happy and in a good mood. Well that all changed, finally, last night. Thanks mostly to Belanger. We played well in the 1st and in the 3rd...but WTF was up with the 2nd period? They looked like the same team before the trades were made... sloppy passing, in the wrong place at the wrong time, sloppy everything... we seemed slow. But I think the crowd sent a message with a lot of heavy booing. I think it went to their heads during the 2nd intermission. Whatever it was, it worked, because we came out flying in the 3rd period. But that 2nd period still worries me. It looked like the same shit, different day. But we changed it.

And Sutton, with that assist... that was a thing of beauty! Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the few people that actually LIKE Andy Sutton, even though he always seems to be fucking up... the last two games, he's actually had some positive things happen, which is nice to see for a change.

After the game, we were able to catch the elevator down and I mentioned that it had been way to long since we've left this place happy and the entire elevator of fans had a good laugh... Me? Making people laugh? No way... but it was funny because it was true... so I was able to get away with it. But damn, it felt good. And so did that win. I was SO damn tired of going home feeling like shit after a game.

My brother was in town and he ended up at the game as well.. the lucky bastard got a LOW number on his Hossa statute...he got # 23 of 6,000. I attempted to try to trade him for mine, but he wouldn't.

The positives - we stopped a HOT team that had won 8 out of their last 9... at HOME. We haven't won at home since JANUARY. That's sad. But we stopped their streak and we stopped our own home losing streak... Two Ws in a row! That in itself is a good sign.

The Negatives - The entire 2nd period was horrible. We are lucky we stayed in the game. Our PP still is a joke, even with the new guys. Cmon. Way, WAY too much firepower...shit, the Thrashers are an All-Star team by themselves with Hossa, Kovy, KT, Belanger, Kozlov... we should be winning 5-0 every time... but we aren't. We can't even get the PP set up.. and when we do, it always ends up getting chucked down the ice. With a team of this caliber with this much firepower...our PP being a disaster is sad. I hope this gets fixed SOON. We should, in theory, on paper anyway, have one of the most dominating PPs in the NHL, yet we are among the very worst. WTF?

Our PK was OK, but could be better.

I'm glad they changed the game time from 12:30 to 2 on Sunday. At least you can sleep in a bit longer! Can't wait to fuckin' rock out 80's style with the mullet wigs on Sunday!!! YEAH DUDE!! RAD!!!! Speaking of Rad, Rad Racer is still the shizzle! And the best, by far, hockey video game is still none other than ICE HOCKEY for the NES. It's the first game I downloaded on my Wii, even though I have an NES and the cartridge. Even with all the fancy graphics and features, ICE HOCKEY for NES is still one of the most entertaining hockey video games, if not the all time best.

Let's hope we can get some sweet, sweet much needed ice cold revenge against Crapolina on Sunday!!!

Also, yes don't forget if you are on MySpace that I have a page created in honor of the one and only Chief, so if you are on MySpace and know, or know of, Chief.. join up!

Till Sunday...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Anxiety Building

I'm sitting here at work... we are supposed to have a 2:30 meeting, but our meeting room is currently being used... BGCA and MLB are doing a new program for kids called the STAR program (you probably aren't supposed to hear about this yet).. anyway, they are still in our meeting room, so I have a few minutes to kill.

I'm anxious as hell right now. I can't wait for the game tonight. I can't wait to see the new players. I hope we can stop the Sens, they are a hot team right now... plus with our recent record at home, I'm nervous. But this is a new team, and a new "season" and tonight I want to leave Philips going home feeling GOOD with a win.

I don't have Center Ice, but people were keeping us up to date on the msg boards.. I can't believe the Caps / Bolts game went 10 ROUNDS in SO. WTF?!? That's insane... but of course the Bolts finally pulled it out. D'OH! So tonight is a big game for the Thrash...every game is now huge.

Ben "The Web Guy" just e-mailed me back and added me to the new Blueland Blog... which I love; it's beautiful... but might be a BIT confusing as it's on an external site...

I signed up for my own account on portspaces...and even though the account is a different account, somehow the post i made to MY blog on there also ended up making a link to the Thrashers Blueland Blog... on Casino Night... and I'm sure Ben and the Thrashers didn't want THAT... but I had NO idea it would do THAT... Anyway, I'm going to stick with Blogger it looks like for now, but I do have my blog up there in case I chose to move there eventually. I'm just to used to Blogger.

Gotta go, we have a meeting!