Sunday morning homily II

Between buying a frame, coaxing my voice back from hockey-induced hoarseness, developing a hunger to indulge later today at St. Petersburg's Ribfest and preparing for the first of two talks with journalism students at the University of South Florida, I'm quite proud of my wife, Lisa.

Not only does she have to tolerate me (quite a feat in and of itself), but she's developing a hockey awareness:

Deep into the 2001-02 season, on a bitter cold morning, she accompanied me into Boston to get some autographs from the Atlanta Thrashers. Nelson Emerson, one of her favorite players, was still in the league and she wanted to get another autograph.

What caught her eye that morning, though, was a very young Ilya Kovalchuk.

"There he was, a young kid, all pimply-faced and wide-eyed, taking in everything," she told me this morning. "He looked like a little boy."

Fast forward, nearly five years later, to a picture-perfect Florida afternoon. Lisa's become part of the regular Saturday game-time hounding crowd and Atlanta's in town.

"Now, when I look at Kovalchuk, he's looks so different. He knows what he's doing. He's acting so cool. It's like he knows he's The Man," she said. "It's fun watching him grow up."

~ Speaking of the Thrashers, Kari Lehtonen might be a pretty good goalie, but he's got some growing up to do. After the Lightning took a 4-0 lead during the second period last night, Lehtonen, in a show of frustration, shot one of his water bottles down the ice toward a referee.

Unfortunately, the on-ice officials (a truly bumbling group, consisting of referees Dan Marouelli and Chris Rooney and linesmen Pierre Racicot and Vaughan Rody) missed the childish indiscretion. The crowd didn't, though, screaming for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and, possibly, a game misconduct.

The officials, however, must have received a call from Toronto during the intermission. The start of the third period was delayed as Marouelli gave Lehtonen a good, old-fashioned finger-wagging tongue-lashing.

~ Daniel Briere is not just a co-captain of the Buffalo Sabres, he's becoming the team's savior. Trailing 4-3 to the hapless Philadelphia Flyers, Briere scored with less than three minutes remaining in the game to force overtime. His goal 21 seconds into overtime sent the Flyers to their fifth straight loss. It was the Sabres' third-straight win in overtime, too.

Patrice Bergeron, a favorite here at Hound Central 2.0, helped his Bruins escape another embarrassing loss last night. After blowing a two-goal lead -- yet again -- and allowing the disappointing Ottawa Senators back into the game, Bergeron's tip-in late in the third period proved to be the game-winner.

With all of the trade talk swirling around 100 Legends Way these days, especially since goalie
Hannu Toivonen sustained a mild sprain of his left ankle last night in Worcester, Mass., let's hope that Colin's best buddy remains untouchable.

~ Finally, fans of Patrick Roy (myself included) shall allow themselves a St. Patrick-like smirk as the game's greatest goalie -- ever -- will be inducted in hockey's hallowed hall tomorrow. Joining Roy will be Dick Duff, the late Herb Brooks, Harley Hotchkiss and media wingers Peter Maher and Scott Morrison.

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Anonymous thehockeychick said...

You're a lucky man. Your wife sounds like a real trooper. Unfortunately there aren't enough women in this country willing to open their minds to what men like. Then again, maybe that has something to do with the divorce rate.

Love the conversation your son had with 'The Moose'. Too cute.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Puckhound said...

To be honest, she probably never had much of a choice. Our first date was to a University of New Hampshire hockey game at the old Snively Arena.

Sh ewas pretty funny, too, giving the referees some hell the other night against Atlanta.

She can get pretty wound up.

As for the Moose, our son, Colin, has been talking a lot lately about wanting to play goalie. Knowing how personable Hedberg is, I made a point of introducing him to Colin.

2:39 PM  

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