As some of you already know, I love hockey. I love it on TV and more so in person. As long as I can see the whole sheet of ice to watch plays develop and other shenanigans that occur out of the camera’s watchful eye. But being at a game surrounded by these Nashvillian fans makes watching the game in person very interesting.
I went to Game 2 in the Stanley Cup Western Quarterfinals. Nashville Predators vs. San Jose Sharks. It was a great game to watch. The Preds won 5-2, by the way. Rivalries almost always develop during a series and this is no different. After events of Game 1 I expected this game to be a chippy and penalty riddled one. And it was.
The fans really went after the referees. Which seems to be common among sports. So, I was wondering if the fans (at least hockey fans) hate the ref’s calls because of the heat of the moment (which I tend to fall under when I don’t like a call)? Or are they just ignorant of the rules and how a referee makes calls?
It kind of irks me when I see a play develop and one player is really making a play for the puck and in the process trips his opponent and then the fans jump all over the ref. Sure, it sucks that it happened but it was a play on the puck not on the opponent’s feet. The refs have a hard enough job as it is and if he makes a mistake more than likely there will be a ‘make-up’ call. It happens. We move on. Unless a call shifts the momentum and outcome of the game. But I don’t think that happens very much in hockey in my very humble opinion.
The fights were a big deal, too. The paper here wrote a bunch about the number of penalty minutes and blah, blah, blah. The game ended with 3 pairs of players duking it out (which, as a Predators fan I’m sad to say, we lost those fights). What a better way to keep the momentum way up for the road trip! The Sharks wanted to make a statement by saying, “We may have lost but we can still kick your ass!” And the Preds may have been saying, “We won this game and we will take it to your house and kick your ass!” Hey, it’s the playoffs! And it’s hockey! That the way they roll (as the kids are want to say nowadays).
Another thing about the fans here (and probably anywhere there is a gimmick like this) chanted, “WE WANT TACOS! WE WANT TACOS!” WTF?!?! I was informed by my arena neighbor that everytime the Preds score 5 goals in a game you can take your ticket to Taco Bell to get a free taco. They may want tacos but I wanted the Preds to win more than I want a free Taco Bell taco. When I said this out loud my kind neighbor said “It’s 4-1 we got this.” Need I remind you that it was only the 2nd period and in Game 1 the Preds came from behind to tie it up ultimately losing in double OT. This is hockey! Anything can happen and when it does it happens quickly! Plus, Taco Bell tacos are pretty crappy.
**If my buddy Jeff reads this I kindly ask him to make comments on the game of hockey in my comments section. I always look to him for a different perspective on the game. Not only is he Canadien but he also used to referee in the Junior League (I believe). So, Jeff write something insightful or referee-like in the comments! Anybody else for that matter, too. What do you think?**