Astute visitors to Hound Central 5.0 have recognized by now that we aren't attending as many Lightning games this season as we have in the past. Last season, we went to nearly 20 games. This season, we'll be lucky if we get to more than a half-dozen.
Pure and simple, it's an economic decision.
The journalism industry has been hard-hit in this recession. As a result, my salary, just like the rest of my colleagues, has been cut. Sure, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's better than being without a job. And though I bust my butt at work, sometimes pulling five different shifts and associated tasks within my workweek, there's no guarantee that the coming year won't bring a layoff.
That alone is reason enough to scale back, right?
Still, that doesn't mean we're walking away from the sport. Colin's midway through his first rec league season. Conditions exist, as long as my bleary eyes hold up and the Hockey Gods smile upon us, for him to continue playing. I'd hate to have him stop after as much ground, or shall I say ice, as he's covered in the past year.
In a way, his season has become our season ticket. The games -- win or lose -- are much more enjoyable. Plus, as a hockey parent, the access is unrivaled. There's nothing like tying up Colin's skates, snugging up his shoulder pads and getting him ready for a game.
What's the reward? There's watching him get better with every practice and game. There are the shared smiles of both knowing that he made a good play. There are the shooting drills out back on the patio, even if I do take the occasional errant wrister off a bare leg.
Bottom line, it's the strengthening bond between child and parent. That alone is reason enough to keep at it, isn't it?
Give or take a few inches
Did you happen to catch San Jose's Dan Boyle during an interview played Friday night on the NHL Network's On the Fly program? It's a good thing he plays hockey.
In one question, he was asked about a new 100-inch TV in his new home theater room. Boyle quickly corrected the size of the TV:
"Actually, it's 120 inches," He said. "That's bigger than 10 feet."
Actually, Dan, at 12 inches per foot, it's exactly 10 feet.
5 Big Sigs
It's always a good week whenever a couple of Western Conference teams come to Hockey Bay. Here's what we're hoping to add this week:
~ A Finland souvenir puck from Minnesota Wild goalie Nicklas Backstrom;
~ A Wild puck from Cal Clutterbuck (the best name in hockey);
~ Los Angeles' Drew Doughty on Kings puck and the 2008 NHL Draft program;
~ Los Angeles' Dustin Brown on a U.S.A. souvenir puck; and
~ Los Angeles' Ryan Smyth on the Team Canada jersey.