Glad the 'Canes bounced back last night vs. the Ducks. Saturday night tested my faith. It's hard to blog about this team because the minute you think you get a read on their strengths and weaknesses they come back the next night and do a 180. It would be easy to blog for the Sens or Blues. You pretty much know what's going to happen each night. Not this team.
Saturday started with some Christmas shopping in Scottsdale. Rodeo Drive east it was. Went to Scottsdale's version of Streets at South Park err Point called Kierland. Botox enhanced, leather-skinned and plastic surgery scarred women in their 60's cruising the intersections in their BMW and Lexus convertible coupes or walking their recently shampooed poodles in and out of stores. Isn't it cute when some rich hag in leopard skin pants let's her little Shih Tzu urinate their way up and down a sidewalk? Scottsdalian Male counterparts could be seen strutting around in their Tommy Bahama or resort-branded golf wear and still wearing their golf shoes.
Went into a store called "The Counter." In this place you can dine on a gourmet sandwich (prepared in the most un-hygenic conditions imaginable and prepared by a very hip but un-hygenic sandwich chef) while you shop along one the wall for latest fashions in velour. You can also cross to the other side of the lunch counter and browse cute hand painted ceramic teapots, aromatic candles, and various knick-knacks. Step outside and you can check out one of their custom designed beach cruiser bicycles. These were just adorable. Big fat seats and tires with frames hand painted with pretty sunflowers and cute little monkeys. Take every element of shopping despised by straight men the world over, and wrap them into one intensly foo-foo establishment and you get The Counter. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
On to the game...
Andrew Hutchinson looked like he was out there for a Saturday morning pond hockey game with a nasty hangover. No sense of urgency. No edge in his game. Spicoli on skates.
Glen Wesley would have left his spleen on the ice if he thought it might bring the 'Canes a chance to win. He scrapped and clawed like a man possessed. I love Wes.
Eric Staal showed how he can take over a game. He scooped up the puck after a crappy Hutchinson pass and took it end to end and scored. The finish looked like an Eric Cole rush, but he finished. You could tell he was just pissed and said to himself, screw it, I'll do it myself.
Andrew Ladd hit everything in red. He's going to be a star if he doesn't destroy himself.
Mike Comrie pulled the sweetest toe-drag and wrister I've seen since Kevyn Adams' gem last season. He also agitated and took a very graceful dive that went un-called.
Denny Gautier should be forced to play without a visor and shin guards. Cheap shots and instigating were the highlights of his shifts. Sean Avery is a jerk, but he's right about Gautier.
Fat guy and his skateboard punk son next to me were a pain. Dad and teenage son traded F-bombs all night and seemed to hate everything about the game. They hated the refs when they made calls either way, they hated Torgy, the in-game host (well, actually so did I), railed against each player's obvious stupidity every time they took a penalty. You get the picture. It just makes you feel good to see fathers and sons bonding in such a manner.
Grampa Euro in front of me kept turning around to provide color commentary throughout the game. Nice enough guy. I just don't speak Serbo-Croation.
'Caniacs were in extremely short supply. Saw two in a beer line and two across the ice. I also saw a few of those ubiquitous Whaler jerseys. I had on my black Hurricanes windshirt with the big lidless eye and nobody seemed to notice. You can usually get heckled for wearing the opponents colors in their house, but I guess we're all safe in Phoenix. They must have had a nice lunch at The Counter.