Avs top the Wild, blogger loses his voice

Well, it’s a good thing this isn’t a podcast, because I can’t hardly speak. I’ll make this a quick write up, because it’s already over 60 degrees and this bald head needs a few rays of sun. Our seats were in Section 136, 16 rows from the ice directly behind the goal. During the second period when our side was the Minnesota attack zone, it gave me a chance to get a good shot of Theodore, perhaps reflecting on his ridiculously insane goaltending.

Jose Theodore

The game felt like it got off to a bit of a slow start, but it didn’t take long for the crowd to get into it. When people say there is nothing like playoff hockey, they aren’t kidding. On top of that, when you’re packed in a building that’s truly full of Avs fans – people who know and appreciate quality hockey – it makes for a very enjoyable experience. Even the guy next to us who felt it was his God-given duty to heckle Backstrom (who clearly couldn’t hear him) was entertaining, without being overly vulgar or offensive (most of the time).

I’ll leave the hockey experts to analyze the game, I’ll just say that having been an Avs fan since the first Cup run, but only making it to one regular season game early this season and this game, it was a singular pleasure to see Peter Forsberg on the ice. I know, he’s not the Foppa he used to be… but to watch him skate – he’s still very fast – and to watch him handle the puck was downright enjoyable, and any true hockey fan would say the same.

Peter Forsberg

The best part of the whole thing was the last 20 seconds. Actually, before that– as the last minute began to wind down, the fans were getting restless. Backstrom skated off leaving the net empty, and it seemed as if the Avs smelled the blood and clamped down. The easily could have given up a goal, but didn’t. The defense, like the whole night, was solid. Yes, it was “bend don’t break” kind of stuff, and Theodore saved them with another great performance, but some of the defensive plays to stop shots from ever taking place were quite good. So with 20 seconds left, they go to a media timeout. The fans kicked up the noise, and when I say noise I mean it was a deafening roar in that building. Through the whole timeout… media breaks are usually two minutes, and it was at full throttle the whole two minutes. Even when the referee extended the timeout to adjust the clock, the noise stayed full tilt, it just turned into a chance to boo the officials. The puck dropped, and it got louder. The Wild lost control of the puck and it slipped back into the zone for a delayed offside, which all but killed their chances. The horn sounded, and it got yet louder.

Shaking Hands

For my first playoff game, it was a great experience. Even watching the hockey tradition of shaking hands at the end of the series was cool– it’s a display of sportsmanship that other pro sports could learn from.

Up next – bring on the Dead Things— er, I mean, Red Wings?

More photos from the game here: Avalanche vs. Wild Game 6 Gallery.

2 Comments so far

  1. valerie on April 20th, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

    Great pictures! The first ever hockey game I saw was the first Avs season playoff on TV. My son wanted to stay up late to watch the finish and sold me with the news that they were in their 3rd overtime. 3rd overtime!?Never heard of that before. Incredible sport.

  2. Aaron DeLay (den_aaron) on April 20th, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

    Many moons ago I was at a game against the New York Rangers. Pepsi Center rocked the house and there is no sport like Hockey and that moment when that klaxon rings out signaling a goal and the whole building seems to lift off the ground with the fans and scream, "GOOOALLLLLL!"

    I love me some ‘Lanche hockey. Oh yesss.

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