I live about 4.5 hours from the Joe, so I had plenty of time in the car to continue to get pumped up for the game, I don’t know if that much excitement and internal pressure is safe or not, but I somehow managed to not burst on the Freeway. I made sure to get there early to ensure I would get my Bertuzzi Bobblehead and I did. I made a few laps around the concourse to see what had changed since last time and of course to take a few pictures. My seat was in the back of section 107, (behind our penalty box) and was a great place to watch the game from. There was a Canuck fan two seats to my left who asked if all the bobbleheads were of Bertuzzi (I thought the "Todd Bertuzzi Bobblehead night" would have cleared that up for him) I simply said "yes" to which he replied "Bertuzzi is such a slut". I thought right then and there I was going to have issues with him, but ignored him and the rest of the game he was pretty quiet, looking like he wanted to hide in a hole after we scored the first goal.
I went to the game last night as a birthday present to myself ( man do I give the best gifts) and want to share some of my experiences; partly because I still feel like I might burst from the excitement, and also because maybe it can help soften the sting a little for someone. If you care to read more deke past the jump and let's go!
The fun fans were on my right side though; a mother and he son, probably 5 years old. It was his first live hockey game and he was having a blast! I had to be careful what I said, because whatever it was, he would take up my cause as well; and he wasn’t afraid to yell and cheer on the team either. I love to see young kids getting into hockey early and loving it. He would turn to me and ask a question such as, "why do the ref’s only call penalties on the Wings, maybe they don’t like us". I couldn’t help but laugh. Honestly his love and enjoyment and enthusiasm for the game would have been enough to make my night all by itself. The atmosphere in the Joe was of course electric and and at times I swear I could feel it coursing through my veins, there’s nothing quite like it. I noticed a few things that I’m not sure translated onto tv or not, as I recorded the game but haven’t watched it yet.
Red Wings fans LOVE this team. And we REALLY love Jimmy. Every time he skated onto the ice for the start of the period, the Joe erupted into even louder cheers and praise for him. I’m proud to say I got to participate in a couple "Jimmy" chants with others in my section. I feel like we all jumped up and applauded him for every save he made it was crazy and intense and awesome. Also, watching Jimmah's swagger in person is one hundred bagillion times better than on TV. When the timeout was called and Jimmy was skating around the net waiting, the Joe erupted into cheers and applause. Amazing.
- I think Wings fans as a whole have accepted and maybe even love Todd Bertuzzi. I know it was his bobblehead night, so people who like him were more likely to show up to this particular game, but he was receiving a lot of encouragement and praise and it wasn’t only coming from me. :) Also, I think someone mentioned in a thread about his extension something about him not using his body or being effective… I was trying to keep up with the posts a little while I was on the road in case any breaking news came that I needed to be aware of. One of the advantages to watching the game in person is that I can watch what’s going on all over the ice, not just surrounding the puck. There were numerous times that Bert was using his size to not only make space, but to keep the opposition in line. I laughed at one point because Z had the puck behind the net in the corner and Bert went to the net and he and Luongo were face to face and Luongo looked like he was trying to look tough and stand up to Bert, ( I pictured Lou saying something like " Go away and leave me alone" but in a really whiney scared voice) and Bert just focused on being ready for the puck. I sat there in my seat and laughed at him.. actually, we all laughed at him a couple times when he mishandled the puck and the name "Reboundo" was earned.
- Holy 3’d line Batman! I don’t even know what else to say. They came to play last night, and play they did.
- When Booth got Kronwalled, everyone of course jumped to their feel and I just about exploded with excitement.
- It of course sucks that we lost, and with a long drive back home late at night, I would have thought maybe my mood would have been dampened, but just being able to be there and watch them and be immersed in the atmosphere at the Joe (and of course getting my bobblehead) still makes it all worth it.
I’ll wrap up this post with one last happy thought. I think Bertuzzi will fit right in, don’t you?