Monday, September 21, 2009

MN Wild vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – St. Paul, MN

My roommate EyeHeartPizza gave me a call on Wednesday saying she had scored four tickets to the hockey game on Friday night (15th row). It was the season opener – pregame, but still the season opener. I haven’t been to an NHL game since I was 8, so I was itching to go. I was put in charge of finding two other suckers to come along to the game so the tickets didn’t go to waste. I got on the phone and e-mail machines and started asking. Turns out SB and EJens were free and willing to go. They’re always fun. We accidentally told them the tickets were free, otherwise, we might have been able to get $90 each out of them. Dang.

We trekked over to the Xcel Energy Center (cutting it close on time), but got SB picked up and met EJens at the door. We sat down and 3 minutes later, the skaters came out and this old guy made a strong attempt at the National Anthem.

EJens was distracted by various lights and shiny things, continuing his long streak of never seeing an opening faceoff (oddly enough, NOT called the Puck-Off, like I assumed). Usually, it’s because he’s late for the opening of the game, but this time it was because he was distracted.

The game was pretty slow to start with, until EyeHeartPizza complained about it being slow. Then the fighting started and the pace really picked up. The passing for the Wild was much better than the Blue Jackets, but I won’t claim to be an expert at hockey, so I won’t get into any analysis of the skills or strategy. However, I did spend a good portion of the game on my phone/internet trying to figure out why Columbus were called the Blue Jackets. Turns out it's all Civil War-y and I filed it under "still don't care" in my head.

I went up and grabbed some deep fried cheese curds and a lemonade for the game. When I got back, SB borrowed some of my curds. She’s from Sconsin, so she can’t help herself. But then she got some mini-donuts and I borrowed some of those, so we were all even.

EJens decided he needed some refreshments, so he got up and punted my lemonade. It was pretty funny, honestly. It was pretty messy and we were sticking to the floor by the end of the game.

We saw more blood than I’ve ever seen at a hockey game before. One guy took a shot to the face and just gushed blood all over. When he skated off the ice, there was a line of blood – NOT a dotted line of blood, a LINE of blood. It was flowing pretty badly. Then we saw one of the Blue Jackets, Jason Chimera, get knocked out in a really bad situation. We waited 5 or 6 minutes for the EMTs to get him on a stretcher and off to the hospital.

All in all, super game. The Wild won 2-0, so that makes it one of the first winning games I’ve seen in almost 3 years. The Xcel Energy Center is a great venue, and the huge crowd is nice to see – MN is known for having slim crowds at its sporting events (except for hockey).

Top 5 things about the Wild vs. the Blue Jackets
1. EyeHeartPizza screaming “freedom” during the national anthem
2. EyeHeartPizza scored us free tickets
3. EJens and SB are hilarious to go to screaming events with
4. Deep Fried Cheese Curds – duh
5. Hockey Whores

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd bought us tickets to the Wild last year just before all the bad stuff happened. I didn’t end up going to the game last year and I thought about it a lot at this game.
2. There’s no Chuck-A-Puck contest (does anyone know what I’m talking about?)
3. Sure would have been nice to finish my lemonade… sigh… (kidding, EJens)
4. I’m deaf now because of the airhorn when the Wild scores goals
5. We paid for parking at the Dairy Queen, but they were closed by the time we got out. Bummer

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