Saturday, October 9, 2010

Last Night's Game: Season Opener

I am happy to be typing, rather than talking, because my voice is not happy with me today. But before I begin talking about last night's game I should mention the guided tour of the city and the queens' palace, Drottningholm. Our tour guide was the same who gives tours to the Nobel Laureates and she began by telling us that she had requested to do the Sharks tour group because her daughter is best friends with Douglas Murray's sister. She even called his mom to see if we could drop by. Awesome. Also before the game my family and I hit up a thrift store two blocks from the hotel. My aunt found a Tre Kroner jersey for under ten bucks and I got a Djurgardens IF beanie for five. Tre Kroner is the Swedish national team and Djurgardens is the local team that plays in the Globe. Dan Boyle played for Djurgardens and I hear that Douglas Murray's legendary grandfather, Lasse Bjorn, was the long-time captain of the team. Lasse Bjorn has won 9 Swedish ice hockey championships, more than any other man. Marcus Ragnarsson is the current captain of Djurgardens.
And Now The Game:

The NHL doesn't seem to be concerned much with filing the seats at the Globe for these games. The cheapest tickets available are over a hundred dollars, so they couldn't even sell out the 13,500 seats there.
The atmosphere couldn't have been more different from the game in Mannheim. That exhibition game in Mannheim was riotously loud and the packed house and the beating drum sent my heart racing. As I said before, I had been expecting to be the loudest fans in attendance and to make an impression on the German fan base. Instead I found we had to speak into each other's ears just to have a conversation. The Swedish fans were cool enough, as much as you can expect for a game with no local team playing, but the fans here make me sick for home. Here in Stockholm we've got almost a whole section of traveling fans sitting together and I still don't know what to do to get more than ten of them chanting and jeering. I screamed myself hoarse that whole game at the refs, Mason, and Mike Commodore in the third period after he almost killed Jamie McGinn, but alas, it was almost all calls and no response. The fans seemed content to listen and laugh. At least our seats were above the glass and the arena was quiet; I could hear the refs calling "two minutes for charging," so I'm pretty sure those Blue Jackets heard every word and when it came time for the Sharks to give their fan salute, Joe Thornton knew exactly where we were.

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