This was a much better game than the last couple, and I didn’t regret attending. After three games in a row sitting down in front, I was relegated back to sitting with the common people again. The very common people, as I was in the Sky Terrace. Which I still believe is the most underrated section of the Arena — you get an unobstructed view of the whole ice surface, lots of legroom, room to get up and wander around, no waiting for the bathroom, and we even had our own beer and hotdog vendor last night. It’s like Club Level for po’ folks.
It was a QFM96 promotion — seat in the working man’s club level, free beer, and a free mini-helmet (which is almost perfectly cat-sized, but Leo won’t let me put it on him. No doubt because it has a visor and he says he’s no Euro pussy). It was also Huntington Hat Night, and this year’s variety is somewhat less cheap-looking than last year’s. So even if the Jackets had stunk up the joint again, it would have been at least a semi-successful outing for me.
In the first, it looked like it could be only semi-successful, as the Jackets didn’t exactly come out on fire. They were outshot, couldn’t score on the PP, looking like Chicago all over again. Strong goaltending from Freddy No kept it 0-0 until the second, when a strong individual effort by Freddy Mo made it 1-0. From that point, it was a much better effort by the CBJ. Even the mercurial Z was blocking shots. And Rick Nash dropped the gloves. And Gilbert Brule scored a pretty goal to remind everyone why he was so highly touted in the off-season. And in the end, the worryingly-but-understandably small crowd for a Friday night got to stand up and cheer the shutout for Norrena. All this and a free hat!