Earlier this week, Mona and I paused amidst a conversation to remark how we’d never imagine ourselves talking about hockey! Then we continued, talking about our “home” teams, the Sens and the Canucks.
My closest brush with hockey was when figure skating when we would share changing facilities with hockey player (girls). Stinky. My closest encounter with the NHL was seeing TTC buses scroll, “Go Leafs Go!” Which is why I keep saying that to the chagrin of Vancouverites because like a baby’s first word, that was my first exposure.
When I impart what I’ve learned this season, it may impress on you how little I knew going into this season.
* It made such a difference as a spectator to finally know what icing and offsides are. I had to ask twice, most recently under a week ago.
* Boards are used extensively to bank passes or ring the puck around the end.
* Smashing opponents into boards is strategic and part of play to turnover the puck – it arouses cheers not just from redneck thugs who like to see a brawl but mild-mannered hockey fans, too.
* Empty nets are the saddest looking things – I have to resist turning away from them, so sad they look.
* A goal is a goal, even if it required crowding the poor sprawled goalie and jamming/poking/whacking the puck past the goal line
* I marveled at the witticism, “parade to the penalty box” as one occurred much to the advantage of the Canucks. Apparently that term was coined long ago and there are other gems to be found!
In the first part of the season, I was sometimes that novelty act much like the two-year-old Ultimate Fan who names players and demonstrates penalties. Actually, she knows more than I do!