Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Been a long time...

I haven't blogged in quite a while apparently and had a lot of reading to catch up on from the blogs that I follow. I've been a little disenchanted with hockey lately. The Flyers are stinking it up big time (until recently), there's been a bit of a break in Sean's hockey schedule due to the holidays and I've been super busy with my own life outside of know, work...the thing that I actually get paid for doing!

But now, with the Winter Classic coming on me fast and furious, I'm forced to take stock in my dedication as a hockey fan. I'm getting ready to go to one of the most highly sought after sporting ticket in all of professional sports! It's amazing! My suitcase is bulging at the seams from all the winter gear I'll need for this event. Got hand warmers, foot warmers, yes, I've even got body warmers to stuff in my bra! Warm boots, warm gloves and my arsenal of Winter Classic gear! Hat, gloves, scarf and my ever present Flyers jersey. I can't believe I'm actually looking FORWARD to standing out in the bitter Boston winter for at least three hours for A HOCKEY GAME!

Most of my regular friends keeps saying that I'm crazy, but ALL of my hockey friends keep telling me how lucky I am. I have to say that I agree with them. All of them. I am both lucky and crazy! I'll definitely post about my experiences and might even send up to the minute pics for anyone who's interested!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Slump, A Shock & A ShakeUp!

Wow! A trip to DisneyWorld and the whole world falls apart!

The Flyers had begun their losing streak before we left. It's been a disappointing season thus far, even though it looked to have such promise back in October. It's been hard to watch these games lately. I've never seen Jack so vocal at a game as I have recently.

The Shock came when we got word in Florida (in the Happiest Place on Earth) that Stevens had been fired! Well, someone's head had to roll for the FlyGuys performance. There's been lots of talk about where the ax should have fallen. I say, a body is only as good as it's head. The ax fell justly in my opinion.

The ShakeUp is yet to come, I think. I have a feeling there's going to be some restructuring after the holidays and I'm thinking some of it will definitely involve key players. We haven't seen the chemistry this season that we saw last season with the Carter, Hartnell, Lupul line. I WISH we had a line like that. The only line I can see some real movement, spirit and life from is the LaPerriere, Laliberte line. They've seen a good amount of starting time too!

In local news, Sean's glad to be back to the ice. He was having major hockey withdrawal symptoms being in Disney for 5 whole days with NO hockey whatsoever! I'm sure it was driving him nuts and he was relieved to be back at home with his roller blades and ice skates and sticks and pucks and hockey cards and helmets and pads and....well, you get the point. Sean also got to have an incredible birthday! Back on December 1st was the annual Season Ticket Holder Meet the Team event. He got autographs from nine of his favorite players and some "Happy Birthdays" from Jeff Carter and Danny Briere! The best birthday EVER! Oh, and at the game before we left for Florida, he was selected as the Birthday of the Game and recieved a fun pack from the Flyers! Cool!

We'll have to see what the week brings for the Orange and Black. Tonight they had a win against Boston in a Winter classic preview. They have some tough games ahead though including a Home and Home against Pittsburgh. I'm hoping to see some real effort and improvement as I'm sure the rest of the fans are.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sean!

Sean got to spend his 6th birthday with the Team!

Each year, the Flyers host a "Meet the Team" event. This year we opted for the Early Bird entry which got us, and about 900 other STH's into the event at 5:00 pm. This was a full 30 minutes before anyone else! After making three laps around the Wachovia Center, Sean and a buddy of his from hockey were able to spend a few quality moments with his favorite players.

Well, really was only a few seconds at a table where three players sat armed with permanent markers to sign whatever was shoved in front of them. He DID get birthday wishes from Jeff Carter, Oskars Bartulis (who just signed a three year deal with the team) and his idol, Danny Briere! That was only at the first table. WE moved on from there to meet Ray Emery (his new idol), Andreas Nodl and Ian LaPerriere (who we already know from hockey. He was a wreck after taking that puck to the mouth last week. Mouth all swollen he looked at me and said, "Hey! How are you? You don't have to come here for something like this. Just ask me at the rink!" Oh and he's funny too!). Our final stop, as the lines began to grow when the general public was allowed entry, was at the table were Scott Hartnell (who was great with the kids, fist bumping and everything!), our young sensation, James vanReimsdyk (JVR) and Mika Pyorala. All in all, the boys had fun and we even got free popcorn and soda!

He enjoyed his birthday a lot! So did I. Jeff signed my jersey too!

Birthday wishes from Jeff Carter

...and Danny Briere!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Ok, so the Flyers were on a 10 game road trip and performed very poorly. I haven't blogged about it because it was such a disappointment. These guys almost always perform poorly against Western Conference teams. I have no idea why but it happens. The Islanders win the other night was sloppy and the loss to Buffalo was a real downer after the holiday yesterday and my home-game hockey drought. Well, the jersey goes in the wash tonight and hopefully we'll start winning again.

The reason I decided to check in here today is youth hockey. We always watch professional hockey and are usually amazed at the skill these guys possess. Their ability to handle a piece of hard rubber sliding across the ice always impresses me! But we rarely stop to think about how these guys got their start. I'm not talking about AHL, Juniors, Olympics, OHL, whatever...not even college...I'm talking about where they REALLY got their start. This part of hockey is featured in this season's annual Flyers Yearbook.

I started reading some of the articles and the first line of one almost brought a tear to my eye. I STILL haven't read the whole thing yet. It started off conjuring images of driving to the rink before dawn and packing the hockey bags and whatnot and it really hit home for me. I am part of a very elite group. It's a group of parents who make HUGE sacrifices for their children. For their children's love of hockey. The sacrifices we make aren't just monitary. We sacrifice our time AND our sleep to make sure that our kids are able to participate in the sport they love! We brave the cold inside the rink and out, sipping gallons of coffee (since it IS only 6:30 am). We brave the ungodly STENCH that eminates from the hockey bag (and our kid). We are an elite fraternity. We are a team unto ourselves. The sense of community that hockey parents are a part of is something that no other parent can understand.

I don't even fully understand it yet but I'm willing to find out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bring It On

After a hard loss to Buffalo on Saturday night and a recharging win against the division rival Devils, I think the boys are ready for some time away from home.

Sure, road trips are hard. You don't have the familiar surroundings. You spend night after night in hotels away from your family. You don't have your home ice or your home fans, which in my opinion Philly fans are THE greatest fans in the world! But I'm sure the FlyGuys are ready to rise to the challenge.

Six out of the next seven games are on the road. Carcillo will face off against his former teammates. He's shown great improvement, restraint and promise for the rest of the season. Three other games will be against Western conference teams.

I'm looking forward to their homecoming the day after Thanksgiving for an afternoon game. Those are always fun! Hopefully, the team won't be too worn down from their trip to win against Buffalo then. Buffalo, hmm...they seem to be becoming frequent flyers to and from Philly! Let's Go Flyers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Interesting Observations

As I sit here in my living room, watching the Flyers play the Devils on 50 inches of high def LCD glory, I realize just how important hockey is to my son.

Some parents choose their child's sports and outside activities. Not here. Sean chose hockey. He loves the sport. Yes, we drive him to his games and practices. We tolerate the constant flinging of pucks, actual and makeshift, in the livingroom. We supply him with jerseys and other junk emblazoned with the Flyers logo. But HE chooses to make up his own line up card for every game. HE chooses to call his own play by play in his imaginary game using various players from various teams. He loves the game, pure and simple.

His hockey coach said that they just like the kids to have fun and enjoy playing the game at this age. I'm pretty sure Sean will have fun playing this game long beyond this age. He has a love for the game and a respect for great hockey even if it's not our team.

Tonight I'm wishing we were at the game for my son to see another great hockey player inducted to the Flyers Hall of Fame. I'm also hoping that the Flyers show Marty the door tonight! Let's Go Flyers!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What a Difference A Day Makes

Friday night, from what I understand, the Flyers dismantled the Buffalo Sabres! I can't really say for certain since the game was in Buffalo and aired locally on the Comcast Network, which is one of only a handful of channels we don't get! Ugh! Doesn't matter anyway since we were out for dinner. Dinner was lovely and I was happy to know that our team won! Carcillo scored twice and it's apparent why he's becoming one of my favorite players! The score was 5-2.

Saturday the Flyers faced off against the St. Louis Blues. This should have been a blow out match up since the blues are last in their division and the Sabres are first! Unfortunately, the game was not the severe butt-whooping I thought it would be. The most exciting part of the game was the five minute overtime and the shootout. But we ended up walking away with two points beating the Blues 2-1. Scott Hartnell scored the Flyers lone regulation goal and Mika Pyorala got the game winner in the fourth round of the shootout!

In Mini Mites news (drum roll, please) it was Sean's week to play goalie. The aniticipation was killing me all week as he asked me to trow balls at him for practice. I kept flashing back to his first goal-tending experience which ended in tears. See this thread. I was pleasantly surprised!

He practiced Friday night in full pads and did pretty well. In fact, his coach said that of all the kids that have tried the position, Sean's the best so far! Not sure if I should be happy about that or not. Sunday morning came and we got to the rink early to make sure Mom had enough time to get the pads on right. He got out there and did great! I started off by warming up, "just like the big guys do." The he proceeded to scrape up the ice in front of his net, "just like the big guys do." This kid learns so much just by watching, it's funny! He didn't get discouraged when he couldn't block the rebound. He didn't get frustrated when he fell and needed help getting back up. And when he came off the ice he told me he couldn't wait to try it again! What a difference! I'm still not sure if I'd like to be a goalie mom, but I'm glad to see that his love of the sport doesn't hinge on the position he plays!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Flyers Trample Tampa Bay

It was an early game because of the World Series (better luck next season Phillies). Jack had to work midnights and we only had two of our four seats. I took the little guy with me. Sean loves to sit right by the ice for warm ups. He always pins his hopes on getting a puck. He did once last season. He didn't get one today.

Anyway, the game was pretty good. We shot them, out skated them and most importantly, outscored them! Everyone had a little role in the win. Great restraint was shown by our goons with only one fight this game. BUT Captain Richards got a little fiesty in the third period with the Lightning's Hedman. Way to keep the team revved up, Cap! Penalty minutes were WAAAYYYY down from the Carolina game. David Laliberte, called up from Adirondack, scored his second NHL goal in his second NHL game! Way to go David! Carter broke his scoreless streak and JVR had a pair of assists. It was all in all an impressive performance ending with a a score of 6-2.

The biggest surprise of the game was on the opposing team's lineup. Captain Vincent Lacavalier was really lacking energy. He wasn't skating after the puck, he barely shot the puck, it just seemed like he didn't feel like being there. Not sure what the story is on that but we'll see if it plays out soon.

There are flu-woes for the Flyers this week with several guys not skating this week with flulike symptoms. Briere is day to day with a groin strain and Gagne is out indefinitely with surgery scheduled this week. We'll see if the young guys step up tonight against Buffalo (currently first in their division).

The Difference Between a Hockey Fan and a ***HOCKEY FAN***

This struck me last night as we were flipping through the TV channels. Well, not all the TV channels. Really the only ones worth watching this time of year between 7 PM and midnight...Center Ice. Yes, we PAY to watch as many hockey games as we can in a single season.

Anyway, we were watching the Montreal/Boston game when my stepdaughter said, "this is so weird. I never watch any games other than the Flyers." She's a sweet girl but she's a Flyers fan. I am too but there's a bit of a difference. Thanks to my son, the ever handsome Sean, I've become more of a hockey fan than just a flyers fan and yes, folks there is a difference.

Sean has opened my eyes to the possibility of watching other teams play this entrancing sport. If you ask him who his favorite Flyers are, he'll rattle off names like Briere and Hartnell. But if you ask him who his favorite hockey players are, his number one is Alex Ovechkin. The kid obviously recognizes talent even if it opposes our home team fairly regularly during the season. This is the kid who sets up his hockey cards in position as if they are playing on ice, depending on what game we're watching at home. He'll put on the NHL channel before Saturday morning cartoons to check out the lineup for Hockey Night in Canada. Heck, he'll even watch college hockey...WOMEN'S college hockey even!!!!!

When we go to the rink he wants to watch whoever is playing and will root for whichever team is wearing orange (that'a the team he's on). He isn't starstruck when we see Flyers at the rink practicing, not like his mom. (C'mon, those guys are very nice looking, so I look!)

He loves the Flyers first. His second favorite team is whoever is playing Pittsburgh (LOL!!!!). But he just purely loves the game. Everything about it. He asked me if he could get an Ovie jersey but he would only wear it when they don't play the Flyers. I told him maybe, but don't tell Dad.

Last year, when he was still four, I noticed something pretty funny. He had carved the name of his favorite player into the top of his dresser. I don't want to know what a four year old used to do that but he did.

Monday, November 2, 2009

God, Save Me From the Peanut Butter Cups....

...and the chocolate bars and evertyhing else in my hockey boy's candy bag...

Haven't blogged in a bit but we've been super busy. On a side note, I've been out of work for several weeks with a back injury so the last several games I've been to have been viewed though a drug induced fog or while in severe pain so the details are hazy. I will just say this...I hope we can start to get it together soon.

A full month into the regular season now and the Flyers have seemed like they were practicing for a role in Jeckyll and Hyde. We never know which team is going to show up. Is it going to be the Coburn who apparently has a hole in his stick because he can't catch a puck with it, or the two goal scoring Coburn from Saturday's game? Is it going to be Shut Out Razor or Ray what-the-hell-is-up-with-giving-up-4-goals-to-Anaheim? I'm hoping with a tighter schedule they'll be able to get some kind of momentum going.

We had another busy sports weekend this past weekend. Besides the World Series coming to town (Let's Go Phils!) and the Eagles playing the NY Giants on Sunday, the Flyers played host to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was a penalty-ridden game with total minutes in the Sin Bin being 68 minutes! Luckily most of those were in the third period and I was glad to see Carcillo showing a lot of restraint this game considering some of the Carolina trash talking was observed before the game even started! I saw one of the Hurricanes players talking trash to Carcillo during the pregame warm up! Wow! What a contest! Speaking of contests, they held a Halloween costume contest during the intermissions. There were several blind refs out there...not just the ones on the ice! Sean wore his hockey jersey and pants and blacked out a couple of teeth and got himself a black eye. Yeah, he fit right in with our Fly Guys! He had had a game earlier that, yeah, earlier than the one last weekend! 7:00AM start time! Ugh!

All I can say about my son's hockey performance thus far, is that I'm glad we're not on any kind of goal reward system. I don't believe in it firstly and secondly we'd go broke rewarding him! FOUR goals Saturday! He's on track for and 80 goal season! Watch your back, Great One! This kid's on a roll! This leads me into my next discussion. We don't push Sean to play hockey but I was a little surprised when I asked him if he wanted to play baseball next spring. My usually loving and level-headed husband said, "he's already going to be playing hockey." When I explained to him that baseball didn't start until hockey was done and that he should take a break from hockey for a season, Jack replied, "oh, yeah, then he'll be behind all the other kids." I was a little perplexed by that comment. I felt like it was a little pushy. Especially since I was reading the USA Hockey material that came in on the weekend. It discussed a little about the American Development Model. Hmm...interesting thoughts. But I digress yet again...

Moving on, tonight it's just me and the little guy going to see the Flyers play Tampa Bay. Hoping for a "W"!!!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wow! What a Weekend!

Everytime I think I can handle this job something comes up that makes me rethink the decision to allow (and encourage) him to play this sport. This weekend was a prime example.

It started Friday. Pick Sean up from the bus, check the backpack, wait for the husband to get home from work and it's off to practice we go! The boy got some new equipment this week (skates which needed to bake and gloves) so we had to get to the rink a bit early. Traffic was light and we got there in plenty of time to bake the skates and get them sharpened. Sean was a bit disappointed that he couldn't wear them for 24 hours. "24 hours is long," he complained. Anyway, practice on Friday evening followed by dinner. Ok, one down, four more hockey events to go!

Saturday morning. 7:15 AM game time...ugh... A hat trick for my boy and again, I'm amazed at how much these little guys improve each week! Saturday night, the three of us plus a friend go to the Flyers game. Wow!!!!! What a game! The Flyers trampled all over the Panthers. Briere scored two goals, JVR scored his first NHL goal, and aside from some pretty nasty hits (hope David Booth is getting better quickly) it was an awesome game! Razor was on fire! There were a couple foiled breakaway chances but we still won, 5-1!

Sunday morning. Do it all again. 9:45 AM game time. Sean has another great game. FOUR goals today! Being a parent in the stands it's pretty funny to watch him score. He hangs out in front of the net waiting for something to come his way. Then drops it in the net. Simple enough. But then comes the fun part...he slides across the ice on one knee a la Danny Briere after EVERY goal!!! All the other parents think it's cute. I just have to laugh. He's been working on that move since he saw his first hockey game!

Sunday night. Babysitter obtained. Jack and I head out for the game. I'm pretty pumped to see what they're going to do after last night's insane contest! It can only get better! Unfortunately, I had more confidence than my team could stand up to and they presented me with a lackluster performance. I was very disappointed to see the weak passes, weak shots, and very poor officiating on the ice. We lost to the San Jose Sharks, 1-4. Boucher gave up some goals and he just seemed to roll over, literally and figuratively. The Flyers lone goal was scored by Darroll Powe. He and Arron Asham have really stepped it up this season and are looking pretty promising! On the upside Captain Mike richards will not be suspended for the Booth hit.

The Fly Guys are taking the train a little way south to the Verizon Center to face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. I wonder which team will show up for this game.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My, Oh My...

Friday's practice was pretty well uneventful. Jack was available to make sure all the equipment made it out of and into my van. (Thanks, sweetie!) Saturday was a day off, and well deserved. It's been rough being laid up with a back injury. That's a story for another blog!

Game time Sunday: Ahhh, firstly let me say a 9:50 game time is soooooo much better than the 7:15 time we had the previous weekend (and the upcoming weekend...ugh). Sean was pretty excited this weekend. This was something I haven't seen in several weeks from him. Orange team took the ice and I was amazed. It was incredible to see how these little guys have improved over the last several weeks. Sean's skating in somewhat bigger strides, his stickhandling is far better than when he started cross-ice, and his chatter on the bench makes me see some "C" potential in his future.

We weren't keeping score but if you ask any boy that was out there (black sweater or orange) they'd tell you their team won the game! Sean claims to have scored "seven goals this week, Mom," but Jack, who was bench coach for both teams kept track of just two for him. Two! that's still pretty good when you're five! Good thing there was an adult on the benches with those boys. They've taken to playing "hockey fight" and "stick swords". Oh yeah, that's fun to watch!

Busy hockey weekend coming. After a long NHL break and some team building in Florida, not to mention a humiliating loss to the Panthers, the Flyers will take the ice at home in a preview of the 2010 Winter classic. Yes, the Bruins are coming to our house. It should be a fun game to watch but we won't be in attendance. We'll have our chance for some great hockey though Saturday and Sunday when Jack and I go to both games....oh and two games for Sean as well!

Hmmm...I'm guessing we didn't win the 32" flat screen TV that the Flyers youth Bantams were raffling off this weekend. They were raising money to play in Boston next weekend. Oh well, better luck next time...

Monday, October 12, 2009

It Never Ceases to Amaze Me

Going to a Flyers game is pretty close to a study in sociology. The many types of fans and the different lifestyles represented are numerous.

There's the self-proclaimed "Super Fan" with his black and orange mohawk and Flyers logo tattooed on both sides of his head. Present at every fame he has been observed delivering pizza on off nights. Tips must be good. There's the bevy of beauties sporting the same hairstyle they wore when Poison released their first album. The battle between tiny women carrying HUGE handbags and large women wearing the tiniest backpacks occurs nightly. There's the older couple with season tickets who climb to the top of the Wach for every home game. The guy who's wearing the same Hextall jersey he got back in 1988 and it shows. The drunken college students who stand in the top row of the bowl with their chest painted. The folks who wear every item of orange clothing they own to the game. Seeing all these sometimes freakish people makes me wonder if I fit in with this crowd.

Somehow I think the answer is yes. Of course, I live in South Jersey, not South Philly. I wasn't a fan back in the Broad Street Bullies days, or even the Legion of Doom days. I drive a minivan and not a 1988 Chevy Caprice. I can't parallel park to save my life. I don't need to save my parking spot that I shoveled the snow out of with a folding chair. But deep down I'm one of them. Those lovely, interesting freaks bleed black and orange. They're Flyers fans.

And so am I.

Too Early in the Season

As I was leaving the arena Saturday after the Teemu Selanne Show (aka the Flyers loss against the Ducks) I heard a couple of older guys slamming the FlyGuys. "It's been 35 years since they won a Stanley Cup. Why should this year be any different?" Uh, I'm sorry, sir, isn't it only game 5 of an 82 game season? Don't you think it's a bit too soon to write them off from a Cup Series?

The details are still a little sketchy to me since I was in a fog that was induced by lower back pain but what I recall is Selanne scoring with 16 seconds left in the third to tie it up and then knocking in the game winner in the shoot out. Disappointing loss.

Two nights previous to that we were playing the (gag) Stanley Cup Champions, Pittsburgh Penguins. The pre-game antics of the fans were amusing as usual. Sean ended up on the Big Screen during the pre-game warm up. He was holding his sign that says "Hey Scott, I wear #19 too!" A cute read headed boy is always good on the JumboTron! That was another loss but the good news is it was definitely noticable that Cindy didn't have much ice time nor did he get his stick on the puck very much! THAT'S always a good thing!

In mini-mite news, Sean scored 2 goals in his game last Saturday! Awesome! This past weekend I was baptized into official Hockey-Mom-dom by having a 7:15 game time...that's 7:15 AM. I had to leave my house the same time I leave to go to work! Ugh! Sean claims he scored 5 goals in that game but I only saw 2. I'd almost have to believe him since he does usually pick up a lot of the trash in front of the net!

Sean in attendance at the Flyers/Pens game

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Flyers Send Capitals Packing

What a game! What a game! I can't believe how entertaining this game was to watch! I was on the edge of my seat literally, for most of the game and so was the rest of the Wachovia Center audience.

This was our long-awaited home opener. It felt like a playoff game. The live music outside, the free orange T-shirts (featuring our tagline for this season "Relentless") and the somewhat warm weather lead you to believe it was playoff time! The fans were rowdy and I loved it! In fact, I was so pumped for the game I neglected to charge my camera battery or even bring the camera! So, alas, no pictures for this entry but believe it that there WILL be pics for Thursday night's contest versus the Pittsburgh Penguins (I know, I know...the Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins; it still burns coming off my tongue!).

To the action.

A scoreless first period was very entertaining to watch and was only a prelude to the storm that was coming. The second period exploded with Varlamov giving up 4 goals and earning himself a seat on the bench. The Caps answered by racking up three. The third period was racked with a flurry of shots on goal on both ends of the ice. The game went into overtime with a score of 5-5. With little more than a minute left in the sudden death overtime birthday boy, Danny Briere, knocked in the game winner! The place went wild! In the end, Emery halted 36 shots, Richards scored a hat trick and the Washington Capitals went home without a win. They still got a point, but the Flyers have the best record in the NHL!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

If You Could See Me Shaking My Fist at the Cable Company

Why oh, Why? FiOS doesn't carry the Comcast Network. Boooooo!!!!!! Especially booing since the Flyers opener against the Hurricanes was ONLY broadcast on the Comcast Network. We ended up going to Julie's for the first period. Sean was tired (another story to be told below) so we went home and I watched the remainder of the game online.

Great way to open the season! A win, a shut out even, making Ray Emery only the fourth goalie in team history to earn a shut out at the opener. Two goals scored by two of our high scorers from last season, Carter and team captain Richards. Eight penalties careful guys. The team's performance last night is fueling my anticipation for tonight's game against New Jersey! Not to mention the upcoming week, with games against the Caps, the Pens and the Ducks! Very exciting!

On to local news...

Sean had practice last night and scored two goals in the post drill scrimmage. This morning, bright but fortunately not so early, Sean had a game. He scored two goals in the game! He got lots of ice time too and the coaches couldn't stop talking about his line. He's number 19. Just like Scott Hartnell, he said. Now he wants to wear his Hartnell wig (giveaway from last season) to every practice and game! LOL! He wouldn't allow me to take pictures for this game. I managed to snap one while he was getting dressed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ahh...Bring on the Real Stuff

Final pre-season game was last night and I'm ready for some Regular-Season Hockey!!!!!! It was a loss but an entertaining game nonetheless. It ended in a shootout 5-4. I would have loved to see what Emery will do in a shootout situation but the put Backlund in midway through the second period. He did all right but gave up three goals.

Opening night will be an away game at the Hurricanes. Unfortunately it's going to be on Friday night and Jack is working and I'll be at the rink! We have an offer to watch the rest of the game after hockey practice and I'm thinking of taking them up on it.

And speaking of hockey practice, I hope this week goes better than Saturday did. Sean has been cooperating thus far with Operation 8:30 Bedtime. We'll see how the rest of the week goes. First game is going to be Saturday morning. After a Friday night practice? This should be good.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why Do I Love Our Home Ice?

When we first discussed Sean playing hockey I figured ice is ice. There's a rink right in our backyard. Sure, he can play hockey! The rink is five minutes away!

We drove over there and took a look. There was a HUGE lake of melted ice at the far end of the rink. It smelled like a sweaty gym sock in there and there was a patch of the rink that the ice was a bit too thin! The only thing I liked about it was the heat that warmed the fan seating area.

We decided on traveling to the Virtua Flyers SkateZone. It's only 12 miles from home.. easier said than done... I wonder how a 12 mile trip can easily turn into an hour when I KNOW I'm driving at least 40 miles an hour. Theoretically, I should be there in about 20 minutes! Riiigght...consider rush hour traffic, school buses, a stop at the gas station and fifteen thousand traffic lights and we're up to at least 45 minutes!

But, the facility is brightly lit. The snack stand has great coffee. The place doesn't stink of mold or sweat (except the roller hockey rink...phew!). AND it's the practice rink for the Philadelphia Flyers! It's funny to know that these multi-million dollar hockey players practice on the same ice that my son plays on. We could be there for a practice or some stick time and see the Fly Guys skating.

A nice surprise for my son today was that Danny Briere and Ian LaPerriere were there watching the little guys practice. I think I even saw Danny applaud a little when my boy scored the first goal in the scrimmage!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ahh...It's Good to Be Home

Flyers Preseason action LIVE last night versus Detroit! What a feeling! And in our new seats for the season! The game was awesome! A much better effort from the last two preseason games I saw (one online and one on TV). Looks like the lines are beginning to come together. Defense was awesome! Goaltending WAAAAYYY improved! I hope it carries through the whole season.

Briere scored at 36 seconds in and that was a good omen. JVR put up TWO goals! He's definitely vying for a spot on the roster! It was awesome to see Carcillo score in the second period. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite players. He's a scrappy guy who can play hockey! Mika Pyorala, the lefty Fin is a bit of an unknown to me but he scored and assisted for us. Pronger remained a bit low key on D but he's making his way on the squad. Emery halted 28 attempts by the Red Wings. All in all it was a well played win against a Stanley Cup Final team. This current roster has the potential to be Cup contenders this season. Final score: 5-2

Flyers play the Devils at home tomorrow night. See you there!

In other news, Sean has hockey practice on Friday. Apparently there wasn't enough interest at the various rinks for travel teams for mini-mites so we'll only be playing at our home rink and may end up playing the same team every week. A bit of a bummer and definitely NOT worth the expense but Sean will get some good coaching and have a good time!

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Official

I'm a real Hockey Mom. My little rookie had his first hockey evaluation tonight. It was very tense (for me) and the nerves (mine) were really on edge. He took the ice and followed instructions (mostly) and it looked like he was actually having a bit of fun.

Well, when it's mini-mite cross ice hockey, everybody makes the team. He'll have practices every Friday beginning next week and his first game is in three weeks. At least that's what the goalie's mom told me. Now I'll be able to get a more organized schedule in place. My only problem is that I *might* have to miss some games since they're on weekends and I have to work...gotta pay the bills somehow...oh, and pay for hockey too!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back on the Horse

You may remember my son's first stint as goaltender for his summer 3 on 3 league and how it was short-lived and ended in tears. He hasn't skated since then. Until today...

Limited Travel house league evaluations are Friday, and even though it's only cross-ice, Jack and I felt that he needed a little warm up time. So we hop in the car, after a long day at work, and off to the rink we go! Traffic is terrible and it took us nearly an hour to get there. Great!

He gears up and he's pretty excited about skating again (a very good sign). He said he was going to practice without a puck first. Gliding across the ice, forwards and backwards, he skated all over the rink. Now it was time to use the puck...he was so happy.

He shot on the net about 10 or so times when he started practicing his "Ovie Slide" (yes, I know. We're flyers fans, but the kid admires talent! What can I say?). After about 25 minutes or so of just skating and puck handling the 10 and 11 year olds that were being evaluated hit the ice to warm up. Sean began to beam! He LOVES playing hockey with the "big boys". And eventually, almost like a magnetic force drew him, before I could discourage him, he was on top of the blue paint. Can't keep that boy outta the net! He was in his glory! Making attempts (some of them quite good) at stopping pucks shot his way. He has quick movements when he's not weighed down by too-large goalie equipment! And let's not forget the net is twice his size!
When he finally came off the ice, after Coach blew the whistle to call together the kids being evaluated, he told me, "Mom, that was so fun! I can't wait to be on my real team!"

Preseason play started today for the FlyGuys. Unfortunately it wasn't televised. I wasn't terribly happy about that but I was able to keep up with the action on the Flyers website. Emery minded the net for two periods and made 23 saves. Boosh stopped 8 shots in the third period. Even though the Flyers lost 3-1 not a horrible showing. It was nice to see how some of the off season aquisitions meshed with the vets. JVR scored the only goal for the Orange and Black.

Next game is tomorrow, televised, versus the Maple Leafs. This is going to be an exciting season. We'll be headed to our first home preseason game next week, Tuesday. I am so thrilled! I couldn't be more thrilled if I were going to the Winter Classic....OH, BUT I AM going to the Winter Classic! Got word today that we're going! We're on a bus trip with the Flyers Fan Club with Julie and Vern! That's the best news I've had all day! Two nights in Boston for New Year's AND the Winter Classic! Can't wait!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Feels Like Winter Here...

Well, the big news around these parts is how cold it got here in the last few days. The weekend was gorgeous but today we were wearing long sleeves and sweaters! And just in time... the Flyers will take on the Bruins in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day at Fenway Park! We're so excited we even booked a room just in case we get tickets...on a slim chance...You see, since we're the away team The Flyers organization was given a limited number of tickets to sell. Bruins season ticket holders are guaranteed seats since it's a home game for them. Sooooo, we'll be entered into a lottery for the opportunity to purchase TWO tickets! ????We have four seats on our account... Chances are pretty good won't be needing that room in Boston! Booooo!!!!

On the training camp front, the Flyers Rookies played against the Capitals Rookies at the SkateZone in Voorhees, NJ (my son's home ice). Our 2007 first round draft pick James Van Riemsdyk, JVR as he's known in these parts, recorded a hat trick and an assist in the 7-3 win over the Caps.

Other news from the SkateZone today brings it back to the Winter Classic. In 'smashing' style the Philadelphia Flyers Winter Classic jersey was unveiled. Flyers, Simon Gagne, Danny Briere and Braydon Coburn shot pucks at a block of ice and shattered it to reveal the new jersey. It's mostly white but does feature that prominent orange that is so associated with the Flyers, the bad boys of hockey. It's nice looking and I'm sure it will sell like hotcakes! Heeheehee...hawt cakes is more like it! Let's face it, they are some nice-looking guys!

Anyway, I digress. Sean's try-out/evaluation is in one week. I'm hoping to get him on the ice at least once between now and then. Just a little stick time to loosen him up and keep him conditioned...we are talking about a five year old, right? LOL!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Tension is Building

First pre-season game is coming up. Can't wait! Unfortunately only one will be televised but we're going to all three home games! Yay! We just Can't wait!

I think we're going to see some Old Time Flyers Hockey. We have some amazing lines and now we've got some decent defense and hopefully some good net-minding. I'd like to see what LaPerriere and Tollefson will bring to the table. Their size and hard hitting is just what we need! We'll show those Pens who's boss!

Well, we're just counting down the days now. September 14, first pre-season game. October 6, REGULAR season play begins!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I love the smell of hockey tickets in the morning....

They're here!!!!!

The UPS driver came and brought our most anticipated package of the year! Our Flyers Season Tickets! It's always exciting I think. The smell of the paper (I wasn't kidding), the look of them, the featured pictures on each ticket, the coupons (I LOVE coupons) and the schedule. exciting!

Now the fun begins! Splitting the tickets into three piles (ours, Julie & Vern's and Jim's). Our pile is the biggest. I'm so thrilled! We have four seats on our plan. Julie and Vern get half a season for two seats, we get half a season for two seats, Jim gets a quarter of a season for two seats and we get the remainder! So half of our games we get two seats and the other half we get all four seats. Sounds complicated but Jack works out the schedule and the math (for payment).

We're going to three preseason games too! So exciting! I've marked the games on the calendar, on the blackberry and on our sons calendar so he can know what games he's going to. AND the Flyers' Wives Carnival flyer was in the package. THAT will be so fun! I can't wait. Tickets go on sale next week. I'm getting them this year. I've wanted to before but never did. For sure this year!

I guess that's enough rambling for now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Just throw them in the trash..."

They put out the call. They were in need of a goaltender for the last game of the 3 on 3 Cross-Ice league. We kept it quiet knowing that Sean would LOVE to be a goalie. He's been dying to try it since he could skate. We know it's a very expensive position to play and the goalie gets a large part of the blame when the team loses.

Today, the day of the game, another email went out. We decided to ask Sean if he wanted to try it. It was the last game, why not? He emphatically agreed and was thrilled that he was getting the chance to mind the net.

We got to the rink. Just me and him. Husband was working. He was very disappointed he wasn't getting to see this.

I get the loaner pads from the front desk and it's obvious that they are a bit too big for him. I, having no knowledge of how to apply the apparatus, asked another Hockey Mom for some help. She was very helpful. There we were, my son laying face down on the floor while myself and another mom strap these enormous pads to my son's skinny little legs.

He was so excited! He looked great! He stacked his pads and got into position right there by the locker room. He couldn't wait to get out on the ice.

He got out there. He skated around and didn't fall down right away. He skated around the rink a couple of times. He fell down but was able to get up on his own. No Problemo!

I looked out across the ice and noticed he was crying. I didn't see what happened but he was really bawling! He came to me and said he fell and hurt his belly. He also said he doesn't want to play hockey anymore. WHAT???!!!?!?!?!?!?

I calmed him down and he was able to get back out there. Then the game started. He was crying even harder. Coach gave him some encouraging words but he just couldn't recover. He couldn't even hold the gigantic stick! He couldn't get it together and I brought him off the ice.

My boy stood there crying and I couldn't comfort him. He said, "I never want to play hockey again. I want to throw these skates in the trash!" He was an absolute wreck. We left. There was no recovering from this tonight. I think it was partly that he's tired, partly because he's been sick, and partly because he might have been a little scared about it. That's a lot of pressure for a 5 year old.

I'm secretly (well, not so secretly) glad he didn't like the position but I wish I could have held my baby and make him feel better.

Anyway, he did look pretty scary in the equipment.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dusting off the jersey

With the start of hockey season in view, I thought it was time to dust off the ol' jersey.

My usual jersey (the one I wear to all the games) hasn't been washed since our loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs. I have a bit of a superstition regarding my jersey. I'm sure many other hockey fans can relate.

The jersey is worn to all games. If my team wins, the jersey gets hung in the closet until the next game. If my team loses (ugh!) the jersey is immediately stripped off the second we get home and washed.

The last game was a loss but I was so disheartened by it that I didn't wash the loss out of it. However.... a brand spankin' new Carter (2008-09 46G, 38A) jersey was recieved in the mail yesterday! WooHoo! I can't wait to see what kind of luck it will bring the team this season!

On the non-NHL front, I've now checked out the Rowan University Ice Hockey schedule. They have a pretty long season and their home ice is literally 5 minutes from my house. It's great for nights when there's no NHL games to watch and Sean doesn't have practice or a game and Sean's hockey addiction needs to be fed. The games are cheap ($5 a game) and my son loves that he can get really close to the players. He loves to high-5 the players as they come off the ice. We'll also be checking out some of the local high school games. They are great for killing time. AND they sell candy really cheap! LOL!

Well, back to getting ready for hockey season...pre-season game on September 22. Can't wait! Go Flyers!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

He's Baaaaccckkk.....

He skated for the first time in about 3 weeks today. He wasn't even wobbly. It was nice to be sitting on the cold metal bench at the rink, drinking my coffee, snuggled up to my honey, watching our boy skate across the ice.

He still won't stay out of the crease and he's still a terrible goaltender. I hope to get some pics of his last game next week. Then we'll have to get him really skating in earnest for a few weeks after that before the "evaluation" day. If he's not ready for limited travel he'll just stay in instructional for another eight weeks.

We'll see....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pneumonia? But can he skate?

I wasn't asking for me...

A couple weeks ago, Sean had been having some intermittent fevers. We'd decided if he wasn't better by Monday he was going to the doctor. One trip to the doctor, a trip to the radiology place and THREE pharmacies later, we got confirmation of what I think we already knew...bilateral pneumonia.

Well, now he's finished his antibiotics and a week of nebulizer treatments and we got the OK for him to skate again. Just in time for his last game of the summer 3 on 3 cross ice league and just in time for "evaluation" for the house limited travel team. He's got another week or so of breathing treatments and we'll see what happens after that.

The doctor wants him to see a pulmonologist which we've schedule for the next available two and a half months!!!!! Gotta love specialists!

He's going out for stick time on Wednesday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Beginning...

My little baby boy. What a precious gift. He was HUGE as a newborn. Almost 10 pounds. We named him Sean.

By the time he could walk he was kicking a ball. When he could talk, one of his first words was "football". At about 2 years old he was throwing a football and hitting tiny pucks in the livingroom.

At age 3, his first skating experience. He didn't want to touch the ice. His skates were so tiny. He spent 5 weeks of lessons being pushed on a chair by his dad. It was so sweet but a waste of money.

Ever since he could walk he's been shooting pucks. He's been collecting hockey equipment. He has hockey sticks in varying lengths numbering in the double digits. He's LOST more pucks than I've seen on the ice at NHL warm ups. He watches hockey of all kinds...doesn't matter who's playing.

Christmas, age 4: Hockey skates and 6 weeks of lessons. He got out on that ice and it was almost as if he'd been born wearing skates. He was gliding while the others were marching. He took off for the other end of the ice on the second week. He heads right for the crease everytime. Six weeks of Learn to Skate 1, Hockey 2, and an instructional hockey program and now he's finishing a summer 3 on 3 cross ice league.

I didn't start out wanting to be a hockey mom. In fact, I was pretty much against it. It's so expensive and time consuming. How about soccer, I said. We tried that but it didn't last. He LOVES hockey. And I spend two nights a week at the rink for a couple hours. We drive 45 minutes to a state of the art training facility. I put up with pucks and sticks pretty much EVERYWHERE in the house. There's even a few dings in my car.

I'm a hockey mom...I'm HIS hockey mom....

and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Getting Ready

Shorts, cup, shin pads, hockey socks, elbow pads, chest protector, jersey, helmet, mouthguard, skates, gloves...I know we're missing something...OMG! I forgot his stick! Sean says, "that's ok, Mom. We'll just go home and get it." Uh, no son, I won't be driving another 40 minutes through rush hour traffic all the way home just to get your stick! We'd never make it back in time for practice...

Thank God for the pro shop and my ability to find a bargain...$14.99 for a wood stick, yup! They'll cut it down while he gets dressed...Awesome! My taping job...not so much!

This is why God made DADS!!!! I shouldn't be handling my son's CUP!!!

Anyway, thanksfully we're just starting this (very expensive and time consuming) trip. My son is just 5 and has only been skating for 8 months. He LOVES hockey though. He's been shooting pucks since he could walk. He turns on the NHL network on a Saturday morning before Spongebob. He talks trades with the neighbors, goes to games and doesn't even care who's playing. He's a "hockey fan, Mom".

We've done Learn to Skate 1, Hockey 2, Flyers Future Stars program at the rink, and most recently we're about to finish his first summer 3 on 3 CrossIce program. The countdown will then begin...September 18th at 5 pm..."try outs" for the house limited travel team. I'm not nervous at all....

Not nervous at all.....