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!

To Hilda: With Love, CC

I liked Chris Capuano.  The Mets offered him a one-year contract last year worth $1.5 million.  Keep in mind that he had not pitched for a year prior due to injury.  Now that he’s proven himself to stay healthy and can be an innings-eater, the Mets no longer want anything to do with him.

I can see that side to the argument.  But clearly, Sandy Alderson did not consult with ME or any of the Lady Mets who like to “look” at their team.  And by “look” I mean “ass.”

Brian Schneider — now of the hated Philadelphia Phillies — had an ass like two scoops of butter pecan ice cream.  Capuano wasn’t that nice…but he had nice calves and a nice smile and was easily the cutest Met on the team this year.  Sigh.

What’s more: I became Twitter buddies with someone I consider my “West Coast Baseball Twin,” Hilda Chester. We have the same type of baseball personality: we live for the sport in the summer time, but can certainly enjoy the fringe benefits that come along with it…meaning: good looking menz in uniform.  She pinged me earlier in the season and said something to the effect of Chris Capuano being a cutie and that he had nice calves.

Needless to say, whenever he pitched, she’d watch the pitches with me, although she herself bleeds Dodger blue.

Some of the pics I am posting here today of Capuano were taken with Hilda in mind.  He was doing some practice pitches at one of the last home games of the season, and my husband was able to get some good shots of him in the bullpen.  (What can I say, he’s an enabler) There’s even a pic of him smiling!


Yesterday, Hilda’s team got the best looking pitcher in baseball signed to a two-year deal.  Capuano is going to be gracing his presence in a Dodger uniform next year.  So Hilda, I give you my pitcher and the last great pictures we took of him as a Met at CitiField.  Enjoy looking at him, as many of the female fans did this year.

But I actually will miss his consistency on the mound.

On Your Toes

I’m not a breaking news kind of gal.  Only if it’s something important, like someone gets traded or there’s an important free agent signing or there’s a response to some idiotic thing your team’s owner is saying (as a Mets fan, you can imagine…I have lots to write about).

But football is something I have an increasingly difficult time trying to find fresh content about which to write.  See, games are only once a week.  I don’t know about you guys, but I have a very immediate, knee-jerk reaction during the games especially.  It’s also easier for me to find things to say and write during a game, that when I have baseball and/or hockey overlapping (that have considerably more games to bitch and moan about…ESPECIALLY if you are a Mets and Rangers fan), I find my football fandom and my feelings get pushed aside for more immediate gratification.

Being me, though, I want to keep my thoughts and posts very personal, funny and engaging.  Like I said, it’s easier to do when you have new stuff to address each day, but also have some out-of-the-box thinking.  Like my post on comparing Rob Ryan to El Duderino…I have to say, I was proud of that post!  Especially for my foray into football writing, something which I would say is my definitive weakness.

Anyway, in my searches, I was able to link up with the Rant Sports’ Jets blogger, Jon Presser, who is a very creative out-of-the-box writer and thinker.  He agrees that the most difficult thing is to keep your readers on  your toes about football, and try to be engaging about new content in between the games.  However, Presser had a great piece today on his page, namely how right tackle Wayne Harris needs to step up his game, and is essentially an X-factor that no one really thinks about.  Now, this is the type of stuff I want to write about!  But since my reactions tend to be more in-the-moment and instinctive in any sport I follow, this is the type of stuff that grounds me as a fan, that I want to not only read, but I want to write as well.  So kudos to Presser (and be sure to click on the link as it is a good read).

Presser also brings up something else that the so-called smartest guys in the room weren’t talking about, but rather talking about the crown jewel that everyone pays attention to, and that’s the quarterback Mark Sanchez.  Hey, I have to admit, I like him too, but it’s more of a hero worship thing for me, since I truly believe he has a certain quality to him that is going to make him legendary in this town.  But ESPN brought up the effect of the cause Presser addresses, and that was how Sanchez was getting beat up during the game.  And how!  I kept cringing, and of course I was screaming about in on Twitter during the game.

My friend Blondie’s “That Ignorant Slut” Jake (just jokes – we go waaaay back) has his “There It Is Jake!” site, that he also writes about recaps and does his own version of Monday morning quarterbacking.  You know what I find?  That if my team does well on Sunday, I find I have nothing to bitch about on Mondays!  Perhaps like people like Jake, I need to do some Fantasy Football, so I have more of a reason to care about other games.  After all, the Jets provide me with a three-hour window to whine on Twitter about idiotic stuff they do.

So I guess my point is, I need to be able to channel that visceral response I have during games in order to give you some great Coop content.  So it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…in the meantime, though, I suggest you follow me on Jets game days @Coopz22 on Twitter.  I’m Randy Quaid-like, I get yelled at for being crazy, it’s fun.