I Brett Favre’d over the decision for weeks, finally got the NHL Center Ice package. This allows me to watch any NHL game I want; sometimes I’ll even be able to choose which announcing crew and feed I get.
This week showed me I chose wisely. New Jersey beat the Pens 4-1 on Saturday night (bummer), but we then switched over and caught the last minute of the Buffalo-Tampa Bay game in time to see Buffalo pull the goalie and tie the game, then win in a shootout. I doubt I’ll watch a lot of games other than the Pens, but it will be nice for those evenings I’m too tired/lazy/spaced to do anything but stare at the TV and can’t find anything worth watching on my 500 channel system. There won’t be too many evenings without some hockey.
More to the point of the purchase, the Pens beat Montreal 6-1 last night. I’ve seen nine of the Pens’ twelve games so far, and it’s nice to get a feel for how the team is playing. I’m learning to spot when there’s a good effort, and what kinds of plays that don’t show up in the box score can lead to goals. Sidney Crosby got his third career hat trick by the middle of the second period, and Chris Kunitz finally got a goal after eleven-plus games of doing all the dirty work. Kunitz also garnered three assists, mostly through doing little things I might not have noticed if I wasn’t becoming more hockey literate: not giving up on a play, being the “third man high,” and taking a beating to throw the puck from the corner to the slot. The Pen’s did nothing spectacular. It was a workmanlike effort, and suddenly I looked at the score and realized this was turning into a pretty good ass kicking.
This is going to make winter—aka The Season of Doom™--a lot easier to take.