Friday, February 16, 2024

Hockey -- Outdoors!

Big game tomorrow night -- the Devils are playing outdoors. OUTDOORS!

It's a special game against hated rival Philly Flyers. The game is in a NJ football stadium with an ice rink temporarily installed on the playing field. The NHL does this once a year to build interest. I tried to get tickets but "ya gotta know a guy." Hey, it's Jersey. The Sopranos was not just a TV show. 🙂 

The game is on ABC at 8pm (EST). The Devils and Flyers are locked in mortal battle for the last playoff spot: they'll be lots of action. The Devils are fast and have finesse; the Flyers (known forever as the "Broad Street Bullies") play a "physical" game: i.e., they check hard and start fights. The Devils don't normally fight but, when called for, summon a monster named Brendan Smith who last month put two Chicago players on the Injured Reserve list in one game. (He broke the jaw of Chicago's star-rookie with a clean check and then, in a fist-fight over that, broke another player's finger. Hockey is tough.)

Playing outdoors is a return to hockey's roots and, like the Superbowl, an event. Players bring their families and celebrate the sport. One year the temperature was too warm and the outdoor ice started melting; they stopped the game and resumed after dark. Devils star Tyler Toffoli is the only  player in the NHL to score a hat-trick in an outdoor game. (A hat-trick is shooting three goals in one game. A "Gordie Howe hat-trick" is getting one goal, one assist and one fist-fight in a game. Gordie Howe was a character. He came out of retirement to play with his sons; he was an old man then but still had brio.) 

Turn your TV onto Channel 7 tomorrow night and watch the action!

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