There are times over the course of a hockey-hounding campaign when it's best to measure your success under different terms. On days when you add a bunch of pucks to a stack of cards, it's easy to tout quantity over quality. There are the times, too, when low numbers are the intentional result of pure, unadulterated cherry-picking.
And then you have days like Wednesday, when the Montreal Canadiens were in town to play the Tampa Bay Lightning. Though I added only 20 items from 12 players and an assistant coach, I didn't walk away disappointed. Even better, I finally got Habs goalie Carey Price to sign a McFarlane base for Al, Hound Central 5.0's man in Toronto.
Had I carried items for every player, the numbers would have been higher. But, I had no more items for such players as Tomas Plekanic, Maxim Lapierre, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Benoit Pouliot, Glen Metropolit, Ryan O'Byrne and Mathieu Darche.
In fact, the only two players I missed were Paul Mara, who I never saw before or after the morning skate, and Scott Gomez, who apparently has a good memory (I'll have more about that Sunday).
The numbers may not be that impressive, but to snag 13 players (present and past) out of the 15 who I had items for certainly made the trip well worth the time.
Signing pucks, shown above, were Brian Gionta (Montreal Canadiens and U.S.A. souvenir) and Andrei Markov (Quebec Citadelles and Russia souvenir).
Among those signing cards, shown above, were:
Top row: Josh Gorges, Jaroslav Halak, Roman Hamrlik and Sergei Kostitsyn; and
Bottom row: Ben Maxwell, Travis Moen, Kirk Muller and Jaroslav Spacek.
For the record, and to have the numbers add up, Hal Gill also signed a couple of cards.
Though I'm grateful that Montreal's Mike Cammalleri added to the autographed puck collection, I believe the young man could use a lesson in manners.