Thursday, May 04, 2006


Unfortunately, the hockey season came to a close here in Montreal a couple nights ago. Although I probably saw all of 40 minutes during the whole season, I did notice quite a difference in my understanding of the sport. As a side note, don't think I was giving hockey the short stick with only 40 minutes. My time alotted to watching any sports has been cut down severely.

During the previous season when the NHL was on strike, I played ice hockey for the first time. I had played floor hockey as a kid and know how to ice skate better than your average person south of the border. But I was (and still am) just starting out when it comes to stick handling. And I can't skate backwards. Regardless, I came to understand the rules and strategy of the game.

So when I watched the overtime of the second playoff game, I was really amazed by the skill of the players. I could really understand the difficulty to do what they do. Plus understanding what is going on goes a long long way. Blue line, icing, back checking, line changes. They were all vague concepts before, but now I follow what they are and have experienced those things first hand. Not to mention that the overtime was a really exciting.

That said, there is one thing that still surprises me about the sport. The randomness of the movement of the puck and really how even though these guys are experienced professionals, it still seems like much of the time they are just slapping at it. They have infinitely more control over the puck than I have, but in most other sports I follow there seems to be much more control of the object in play.

So I'm making progress on the hockey front. At this rate, I should have a good handle on it when our daughters get older if they find it interesting and are possibly even interested in playing.

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