I recently transplanted myself from Maryland to Washington State. There are two hockey-related drawbacks: there’s no NHL team here and East Coast hockey games start at 4 p.m. This posed a conundrum. With deadlines and schedules and work to be done, I now needed a strategy to avoid all those things so I could watch the playoffs. There was one factor in my favor, however – no NHL team meant no local NHL coverage and a huge lack of familiarity with the teams.
Monday held the Washington Capitals (my favorite team) against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game two at 4 pm. I couldn’t possibly miss that game – Alexander the Great battling Sid the Kid? No way, no how. I called in – over the weekend I developed a swollen Ovechkin and the doctor wanted to check it – you know – with all the Swine Flu around one can’t be too careful.
Tuesday pitted the Vancouver Canucks versus the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3. Vancouver is really the closest ‘home’ team for me here. My friends wanted me to go to some dinner party celebrating something for someone. I don’t think so. The series was tied 1-1. I gracefully declined because I was flat on my back due to a hyper-extended posterior Khabibulin. I told them to have a great time.
Wednesday it was the Boston Bruins at the Carolina Hurricanes – my luncheon meeting was running way later than I anticipated. With an hour drive home – and no XM Radio in my car – this was going to be a problem. Shortly after 2:30 I began to hold my stomach…I must have eaten something bad. I asked if anyone else was feeling queasy. (Even though he wasn’t playing today, but he did score a goal the night before) I could feel the TeemuSelanne sandwich coming back up, so I excused myself.
Thursday brought me the Detroit Red Wings playing in Anaheim against the Ducks – finally, a West Coast game with a manageable time for me. All those East Coast people would be going into work Friday exhausted. I finally got a break!
Friday – Washington at Pittsburgh – I needed an excuse to get out of the office. I’d already had a sore throat and food poisoning this week. I need to think ahead to next week, too. “Hey, boss, the Fedotenko injector on my car blew earlier this week – mind if I leave a little early and run over to the dealer? The part’s in.”
Saturday – Game 5 – Pittsburgh at Washington – 4 p.m. “You want me to what? Go to your kid’s softball game? I wish. My BrooksLaich is infected – I need to keep ice on it and stay out of the sun.”
Sunday – Mother’s Day – Anaheim and Detroit at 2 pm. “What, Mom? I can’t hear you – they’ve been having problems with the cell connections out here lately – something about the mid-afternoon solar Zetterberg factor. Can I call you back after dark?”
As the comedian Eddie Izzard said – “it’s 70 percent how you look, 20 percent how you sound, and 10 percent what you say.” Be confident and you’ll be convincing. Saying the names really fast doesn’t hurt either. Go Caps!
K.S. Brooks is a published author, photographer and hockey fan.