Hockey Broads

HNIC: Hockey (Date) Night In (New York) City

What a difference a week and change makes.

A little over a week ago, I remember people were calling for Glen Sather’s head, to void the “big trade” with Columbus Blue Jackets.  That Torts has lost control over the team.  That Henrik has lost an edge.  I had fans from other teams trolling me (and other Ranger fans).  And even tried to discount the win against the Leafs last week.  Which, I mean, a win is a win is a win, right?

Then there was the game against the Flyers in Philadelphia last week, which was a close, hard-fought and super-intense game in the last two minutes especially.  Like many teams down in the count in a very close game, the Rangers had an empty net to get an extra man on the ice.  The intensity was in ten cities, but they fell short of tying the game.

Not to worry, they made up for that last night in the Garden, winning 2-1 against Philly with another super-intense ending with crowding this time at the Rangers’ net and suspense to the last second.

And boy, was it fun.

About a year ago, I became twitter buddies with Miss J To The K.  She was a Jets and Rangers fans like me, but we differ on baseball teams.  That’s cool.  We got involved, inadvertently, in an Islanders argument, about the origins of “Potvin sucks.”  Then we realized we were on the same team.  It was all good.

Not Glen Sather sold me three tickets during this shortened season.  I asked J to come with.  She accepted.

So it was Date Night in the City.  A Hockey Date Night.  I was psyched.

It’s different going to an event like this with my husband.  He’s not as into hockey as I am (though he did admit to not being able to pay attention to much else while the game was transpiring).

It was my first game of the 2013 shortened season, also my first time at the Garden since the playoffs.  When I attended the playoffs in 2011, construction started, and it was unbearable walking around.  Like death heat due to the construction.  Then in 2012, I sat in the 400s and loved the Skybar.  I knew more renovations were upcoming.   Now the 200 level stretches up to basically where the 400s used to be.  The old “Blue Seats” are no more.  Though they haven’t been the “Blue Seats” truly in some time.  The Dancin’ Larry does his dances now in the aisle at Section 224ish, right by where Not Glen’s seats are.

The sections are steeper.  But I had a great experience with the seats.  Center ice, great view.  No complaints from this hockey chick.


The food at MSG has changed, too, and not for the better I’m afraid.  Everything is now overpriced shee-shee food, and how can a Carnegie Deli stand NOT have their blintzes? (Maybe not the hockey friendliest food…but still…make Coopie happy).  And how do you upgrade food and not bring back easily the best thing sold at MSG…the delicious waffle fries???? Dang.  They were really really good.

I will miss them.  But I do love the new set up.

We sat in the middle of the 20th row.  J struck up a conversation with the women next to us…actually, a mother and daughter team.  Turns out, they knew their shit about hockey, the teenager even had a fantasy hockey team.  I’ve done fantasy baseball before, but I generally lose interest by the end of the season.  Fantasy hockey, though, is a whole ‘nother level.

Not much to tell.  We were still waiting to get to our seats when the first goal was scored by Michael Del Zotto.  We were in our seats for the second goal, and it was fabulous.  The Garden still can rock.

I also saw that the team seemed to play more together, if that makes sense.  Any rust they may have had prior to Tuesday’s game seems to be all but gone.  Henrik was back to being Henrik, but Ryan Callahan looks to be out 10-14 days due to a stupid and unfortunate shoulder injury.

What was fun though, was the bonding.  I have many friends who happen to be guys, and I can go to a game with them.  But I dunno, I think girls have more fun, and the fun is brought to an entirely new level when we go to games together, like when I go with KB or any of the others I have met via Facebook.

“I’m glad we did this,” said J.  “I know we’ve been buddies for awhile, but I really feel like we’re friends now.”

I often say that I hold my “real and in person” friends behavior to a higher standard on social media.  What I mean by that is I expect more from the people I had established relationships with prior to the whole social networking component.

Yet when J said she felt like we were “really” friends after we parted at the trains, I felt truly fortunate to have my life enriched by so many people via social networks.  I hold them in a different standard, perhaps for better or worse, but those who I have had the opportunity to meet in person I connect with on a different level.   And I understood what she meant.

It’s tough enough to be a hockey fan in this town, let alone a female hockey fan.  To find a kinship with not just one, but many is a real gift.  One that you cannot quantify.

It’s easy to get carried away with a win this early in the season, but the game had a playoff vibe to it for sure.  It’s easy to get verklempt too when you make a friend for life.

How great sports can be!

Shadows of the Seasons

Spending a bunch of time at baseball games during the year would have maybe tired out one person, but not this chick.  Baseball is the very heart of my being, but during the cold winter months, I need something else to spice up my life.  Football is for the short-of-attention spans…hockey is for those who like hulking men beating the crap out of each other.  There’s not as much commitment in these sports as 162 games a year hold…but there’s a commitment of its own respect and a deep passion attached to each of them.

Of course, some of my worlds interconnect or go off the beaten path during the non-baseball months.  I know that Mets, Jets and Rangers fans exist, but most of the time, they coexist. I find that I get along with most Mets fans but if they are not Jets nor Rangers fans, I’m okay with that.  I know a few Mets fans who are also Giants and Devils fans.  Or Mets fans and Islanders fans.  Hey, nobody’s perfect.  Lately, though, I’ve been intermingling with Jets or Rangers fans who are not necessarily Mets fans.

Take Saturday night…I went to my first Rangers game of the season.  I got to see my friend Conor at the Blarney Rock (one of the bartenders who never forgets a face or a…face), and I got to meet up with @Stefmara from Twitter, a die-hard Yankees and Rangers fan.


I used to have a problem with Yankees fans, but not fans like she is. She is knowledgeable, passionate and not a Johnny-Come-Lately (or Lifelong Fan*… *Since 1996).  I had a good friend of mine, Paulee Vee, who was also a big Yankees fan.  We’d argue a lot, but he said that we had similar passions.  So the passion is there, we can agree upon that…to a Mets fan though, it’s always tough to identify with 27 championships, but we’re our own little quirky universe.  I’m comfortable with that, and there’s never a reason to be ashamed.

Anyway, it turns out that besides the Rangers, we had much in common, such as people.  We were officially introduced in @AmandaRykoff‘s espnW piece on intense female fans in the New York area.  Turns out she knew a bunch of people I knew in person, and it would have only been a matter of time before we were introduced anyway.

It was easy to see how hard core Stef is.  She was raised in a hockey family, understands the nuances of it like any professional player…and even is such a Wisconsin fan, she has a Derek Stepan jersey from his days at Wisco.  I always say that baseball is my first love, but I always appreciate a dyed-in-the-wool hockey fan.

I’ll comment on the Rangers/Canadiens game I actually went to in a later post, but I will say that I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.

The first Sunday in November is always a big day in New York City: Marathon Sunday.  It’s a day that drivers curse, and especially those who live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan can’t get around because the race route goes right up 1st Ave and down 5th Ave for several blocks.  I considered myself lucky because I’m on the West Side…except that the high-profile finish line is right by where I live.  My Mets friend Dee (the artist formerly known as Mets Writer) came in because we hadn’t seen each other in awhile, but also wanted to catch a Jets game on TV together.  When she arrived, around 11 am, the crowds from the Marathon hadn’t quite reached their apex, but once we got out of brunch it seemed like every single finisher was showing up right in my neighborhood.

The Marathon is a great part of New York City culture…just get the Hell out of the neighborhood.  Ah, I simply joke.  Because next year I will be one of those finishers…I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about it, being that I will be running for charity next year.


The Marathon is something I probably would have thought “I’d love to do it someday but…” and find a million excuses as to why I shouldn’t/couldn’t do it.  Yet, one of my dear Mets friends ran it last year, and it inspired me to figure out why I was holding myself back. So 2012…here I come!

Getting back to my day with Dee, she and I are both Jets fans too. We have December birthdays, and decided that we are going to treat ourselves to a Jets game in December (her first ever…it will be my third game of the season at this point).  So we took in the Jets/Bills game at Dallas BBQ.

All I know is that: the Jets won, they beat the highly-considered Bills, and that no one in the mainstream media is discounting the win. Funny, I was ready to queue up my cheeks so the naysayers could kiss my ass.  It didn’t happen though.

Yet the weekend was framed by two birthday parties…one for @laurmkor (a friend of mine who happens to be a Yankees fan) and Amanda’s, which is always going to be surrounded by sports- and beer-loving folks.

All my seasons came together this weekend, and it made me realize how fortunate I am to know these people.  Love may make the world go ’round, but sports is what keeps your relationships interesting for sure.