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I was excited to step into the Hot Shots game last night since I didn’t have games for either the Boxers or Polar Bears. I was happy to get a game in for the week (since I skipped the stupidly scheduled Boxers game at 11:30 on Thursday) and to play with some people I enjoy playing with. It was the final Hot Shots game of the winter season and, unfortunately, it ended in a 7-1 loss (I don’t think it got to 8, but I could be wrong).

The Great Whites, our opposition, always put up a good game and last night was no exception. I enjoy playing defense against them and I did have some strong moments, including some offensive rushes as well. I did have a fatal mistake where I did deflect the puck into our own net when, instead of stopping the puck from getting to the Great Whites player I was covering, the puck flipped over the blade of my stick and slipped into the net. Oops. At that point it was already 5-0, so it wasn’t a game breaker but it was still annoying.

Like I said though, this was also about playing with people who I enjoy skating with and I did have a blast with Laurie, Josh, Ari, Bill, Scott, Ray, Deb, Christine and Tony. Next week the Boxers play, sadly at the same time as the Polar Bears…so only one game for me next week.

Last week I was psyched to see the Detroit Red Wings as they made their once-every-two-year trip to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers. While I was psyched I was also trepidatious going into the game. Before I got to MSG I knew that the Wings were down some serious talent with Lidstrom, Ericsson, Kindl, Franzen and Helm all injured. As warm-ups started it became quickly clear that there were issues in goal too. No Howard, no MacDonald… there was Ty Conklin (who was sent down a couple months back after some disastrous fill-ins for Howard) back on the team along with a guy I’d never seen before. This did nothing to ease my fears about where this was going to go, especially since the team was already in the midst of a losing streak.

However, I was pleasantly surprised.

Zetterberg got the Wings on the board first, which was followed by an octopus flying onto the MSG ice. I’ve been to a few Wings games at MSG over the years and I’ve never seen that happen so that was cool. Sadly the Rangers slid a power play goal past Conklin a few minutes later. After that though, there were two periods of no scoring and a lot of really excellent play on both sides. It was one of the best Red Wings/Rangers games I’ve been to (perhaps the best one). Rolling into overtime, however, my hopes were dashed half way thought that period when Conklin let in another one giving the Rangers the win.

Even with the loss, it was a fun night. Solid hockey, an octopus, hanging out with Mark (a coworker who was at his first live hockey game) and some tasty arena food. It was a good way to spend a mid-week evening.