As the song says...'I've been everywhere, man...'
That's right. I've done all 30 NHL arenas currently in use by member clubs. And all of them to see the Minnesota Wild play.
There have been great games (the first two, a 3-0 shutout of Ottawa, followed by a 6-3 win at Montreal), fantastic finishes (a 5-3 win at Colorado, a 7-6 come from behind shootout win, after bring down 6-3 starting the 3rd period), memorable weeks (2 wins at Chicago five days apart, in 2006-07; the Western Canadian swing in 2008; the New York turn in 2009; NHL Premiere 2010 in Helsinki, Finland; the Florida turn from this past November.)
And then, there was this past week. Yeah. It was absolutely yucky. And I'm not talking weather.
Two back-to-back games where the Wild failed to complete 60 minutes of hockey. Two back-to-back thumpings, at the hands of two of the NHL's best teams (Chicago and Pittsburgh). Two more losses on my record (3-4-3 in my last 10; 24-27-6-1 all-time overall).
But, it wasn't all bad. Lou Molnati's pizza in Chicago, and the massive Veal Parmesan from Big Jim's in the Run in Pittsburgh (it filled a platter!) really made sure we were well-fortified for our evenings ahead. And, the local fans around us were nothing short of fantastic (as they usually are. Hockey fans are cool that way.)
It's been fun, and very educational as well. Every hockey fan should see their team on the road at least once. Get out there and represent your team.
Enough of my soap box, though. The Wild game is on soon from Buffalo. Gotta get going...