It never ceases to amaze me, really, when the Hockey Gods cast their gaze upon us. Sometimes, it's a sequence of events that lead to an unexpected outcome -- good or bad. Mostly, though, it's how our hockey fortunes provide lessons in life.
Take these two instances from last week, when we found ourselves watching morning skates for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning:
~ Colin, on a week of Thanksgiving vacation, would join me in hounding the Loafs. But a nearly flat tire (resulting in a trip to a tire dealership and a bill) and a steady morning rain threatened to wash us out. Thankfully, though, the day turned out much better. Not only were we able to get in and watch the Loafs skate, but Colin scored an autographed goalie stick from Joey MacDonald.
The lesson: Don't let adversity -- real, meteorological or imagined -- keep you from trying. Only through effort comes reward.
~ Two days later, while most of the world is snapping up holiday shopping bargains, we find ourselves back inside the St. Pete Times Forum, watching the Lightning during an open morning skate. Moody's there with his two daughters, one of whom is Lightning rookie James Wright's biggest fan. At the close of practice, Wright, ever the charmer, skates over and tosses pucks to each girl. Colin, on the other hand, doesn't get one and starts to pout.
The lesson: Let others revel in their wonderful hockey moments and, more importantly, remember other's generosity toward you.
Here's a story from Chris, Hound Central 5.0's Big Apple correspondent, who was in Hockey Bay on Friday hounding his favorite team, the New York Rangers:
"A dealer walks up to New York's Sean Avery and asks for an autograph. Avery tells him, "I'm not going to help you make money." The dealer says "I'm a huge fan and collector." Avery responds "OK, I will sign for $30 Mr. Big Fan."
"So, the dealer asks, "You got change for a $50?" as he jokingly pulls out a $50 bill. Avery pulls out a $20 bill, rips the $50 bill out of the dealer's hand, signs, gives him the change and walks off."
"Later, before the game, Avery comes out of the hotel to put his bags on the team bus. He does the head shake for no autographs, of course. The crowd then erupts into a "30 bucks" chant."
"Avery looks around, smiles and goes into the bus."
Pretty funny stuff, if you ask me. I wish I could've been there to see it.
5 Big Sigs
It'll be an interesting week in the days ahead. The Goofy Dudes sandwich a couple hounding adventures between a train ride north for a few days. Here's what we're hoping to add from the Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders:
~ Colorado's Adam Foote on Quebec Nordiques puck;
~ Colorado's Milan Hejduk and Marek Svatos on Czech Republic and Slovakia souvenir pucks, respectively;
~ Colorado's Matt Duchene on an Avalanche puck;
~ New York's John Tavares, a reputed tough sig, on Colin's team sheet; and
~ New York goalie coach Mike Dunham on a Threads project card.