The NHL All Star Weekend is upon us and already there have been events surrounding the games and skills competition trending mercilessly in the circles that build the picture of professional hockey. Surely, this news of an Ovechkin-less weekend and this news of “Couture Comes Last” have already been pile-driven into the fleeting zeitgeist of we who bow to the whims of the Hockey Gods more quickly than one NHLer can skate or send a puck to the net via stick. The All Star activities are, for the likes of me anyway, a chance to take a miniscule break from the season. As a Tampa Bay Lightning fan, the hiatus is mostly a rather fortuitous period of rest and recovery for the team and staff, despite how Marty St. Louis may have hinted he felt directly following the Bolts fourth straight win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last Tuesday. Odds are, the “rejuvination” part is now truly being appreciated by #26. On a related note: Size DOES matter. There is an awful lot of thrust in those with those low centers of gravity.
Knowing that some of us in the Hockeyverse simply must have our hockey, here is a list of ten things one can do to fill the regular game void:
1) You can watch Bolts forward Steven “Stammer” Stamkos (Mr. Stam Coat) have some fun in Ottawa at the All Star skills competition tomorrow and All Star Game on Sunday.
2) You can read Stammer’s or ”Spicoli’s ” Blog containing his report of the weekend. (yes, most of us out in Bolts Nation probably agree he DOES resemble a character from a movie, but it’s definitely because we are “old” or know what people may look like when they are friendly with a 4 ft. water “pipe” named “The Fridge” because that’s where one might park oneself upon “meeting” it.) If #91 should ever say “Mr. Hand” in public at any time and I hear it, I will immediately cover my eyeballs. It’s a lock I will then be laughing so vigorously my peepers may pop out of their bio-homes. Better safe than sorry and relying on my ears more heavily I say.
3) You can learn how to “sell it” from Brian Trottier while he showcases some youngsters on ice in explanation of the “Toe Drag” is and see a member of “clan goalie” (active or not, most minders of the net can never escape the “goaliness” that lies within, so most of us feel we are members for life). Sometimes, I think some of us can “sense” when a net is empty and unprotected in our “seepy” time. I wonder if Weekes ever had nightmares about being deked while taking a math test, dreading the next impending tick of a speeding clock on the eall and then bolting upright in a cold-sweat when “discovering” he was also completely in the “buff”? Might be just me though, I guess. (I’m looking at you Ilya Bryzgalov and feel justified in thinking there are many “faces” to “goalie weird” aren’t there?)
4) You can watch the Play of the Week for the week of January 16 – January 22, 2012 as voted by Lightning fans. If one thing was a stand-out for Dwayne Roloson this season so far, it has to be this display of lightning fast agility against the Phoenix Coyotes last Saturday. That MANeuvering probably stunned most of you considering it’s not likely you had any idea how much focused concentration it takes for an elderly goalie to keep his dentures in place when perpetrating such a skilled robbery of rubber on a desert hockey dog, long in the tooth though he may be.
5) You can watch Captain Vinny Lecalvier and Might Marty St. Louis show of their hard to put into words magic connection. It’s real perty!
6) You can find out why VL4 got called a “slacker”. Or maybe you can’t. I was either imagining post-game Vinny audio or it is not where I can easily find it on TampaBayLightning.com. No Matter, just keep in mind that it took him a full EIGHT NHL games to score his first goal. He “claims” he’s was very “excited” about it, but I have my doubts. He was probably more “ecstatic” like Mike Angeldis was Tuesday night after scoring his first NHL goal WHILE playing in his first ever NHL game.
7) You can enjoy a spin cycle with Marty.
8) You can jump on board a very small bandwagon of fans who are all for “Bonk for the Vezina” thanks to Gongshow Gear and for kindly sharing of this young goalie who has got a major muse with him in the blue paint. Any guardian of twine who can do this gets my vote for almost anything! Dance in the crease. Play air guitar in the crease. Sing in the crease. I’m all in.
9) You can spent some time determining whether or not you can ascertain a bit O’ Canadian in Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman.
10) You can be assured that Thunderbug is still mascotting.
Best of luck to Steven Stamkos and be the hockey fan you are out there Bolts Nation, just don’t be a pain. Go Bolts!
Follow and contact me on Twitter @creasesinger and be sure to follow @BoltsByTheBay to keep up with all the Tampa Bay Lightning fan thoughts. Visit my personal blog Singing From the Crease too!