When the arena sound system started blaring out Aerosmith, J. Geils Band and The Cars, all hometown bands, I knew I was back in Boston, where I attended college many years ago. After 14 days of non-stop travel, I'm beginning to forget where I am sometimes. Last night I was at the Garden in Boston, but it wasn't the real Boston Garden, it was the TD Banknorth Garden, which is a much more comfortable place to watch a game, even if it lacks the intimate feel of the old building.
The Boston Bruins faced the Montreal Canadiens and lost 2-1. I've seen a few blowout games lately, but this one came down to the wire. Boston had a great chance to tie with a 1:58 minute power play in the third period, but wasted the opportunity.
Carey Price is a 20 year-old rookie goalie for Montreal who plays like he's 30. I saw this kid play up in Montreal ten days ago, and after watching him again last night, he's the real deal. He looks calm and confident on the ice and stopped almost everything the Bruins threw at him. As I peer into my crystal ball, I see a long career ahead for this boy!
My seats were about halfway up the arena, but we were early, so my friend Mike Lee and I decided to go down near the glass to watch the warmups (think of warmups as batting practice for hockey players). We were chatting hockey with some guys next to us and decided to stay in our seats until their rightful owners came along. We're still waiting. They never showed up, so we had a great view from the 4th row. I call this process, "self-upgrading". Does this happen much in your team's rink?
There was a scary moment in the third when we looked up ice and saw a Bruin lying motionless for a long time. It turned out to be Aaron Ward. After the game we found out he'd taken a Canadien elbow to the face, but didn't have to go to the hospital. Ward has given more than a few elbows in his day, and I guess someone figured it was payback time.
My visit to Montreal a few days ago was the best stop on my trip so far, and a bunch of Canadiens fans made the trek south for the Boston game. The building was fairly loud, as the chants of "Go Habs Go" and "Let's Go Bruins" alternated from the upper deck. After the game, some Canadien fans were outside celebrating their victory and singing the "Ole Ole" soccer song, when a few rowdy Bruins fans took exception to their singing. The Boston Police swung into action by grabbing the Habs fans and tossing them onto the ground while leaving the Bruins fans alone. I guess that's what you call home field advantage. No one was hurt or arrested, but it seemed like an overreaction to us.
No pictures today, as I'm typing this from my friend Mikey T's home computer, where I stayed last night. There was a big convention in Boston and it was impossible to get a hotel room, so Mikey T. met us after the game and I got to sleep on the proverbial couch one more time!
Off to the Windy City, where it looks like I'll be on the ice between periods for one of those "Shoot And Win" contests. I could really use the prize.... Two round-trip tickets anywhere United Airlines flies! Man, will I be embarrassed if I miss the net!