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"!!!!!!