Saturday, January 26, 2008


Yup, a couple of weeks have gone by since I managed to write any crazy shit here. Sure hope that none of ya minded my vacant brain space that I’ve had for a while.

Actually, that hasn’t been the case, you guys. I’ve really been awfully damn busy and I’ve been writing my ass off for a U – NI – VER – SI – TY class that I’m gonna be teachin in a couple of months. It’s just flippin amazing how much work ya have to do to prepare to teach 48 hours worth of lessons to a bunch of nincompoops. That’s what they are now but by the time I get done with em they’re going to be some real ass smart heads, ehh.

But I did get some nice tournament viewing last weekend. Wasn’t the big kids playing, just the youngins – Mites, Squirts and Peewees. Good stuff though. I’ve seen a lot a hockey over the years and I’ve probably played as much as I’ve watched. There’s nothing like the enthusiasm of parents at a tournament though. You know it’s road games all the way around except for the home teams, and if a kid shows up to play then you damn well know that there is an enthusiastic parent or two that brought him or her there. That’s dedication!

It was a double rink facility that had a public session going on over at the other sheet of ice so there was a whole slew of folks running around in the snack bar and lobby areas. Kids lining up at the snack bar getting their dose of gourmet rink grub and walking around in ill-fitting plastic skates that probably smelled worse then my gear ever has. Oh well, you got get an interest in the ice and sport some how, ehh. The local club was running a raffle for a mess of gift packs and shit. Mostly stuff for the ladies – I think – wines, cheese and cookies – that kind a stuff. I might a bought some tickets if I’d a seen some prizes that were like a couple of cases of brew, pro tickets or a nice Sherwood or something – but nah – didn’t see anything of the likes.

Looked like all the kids were just having a blast while each individual game was being played but just a little down after the game if they were on the losing side. Its good to lose once in a while – builds character and protects ya from others maybe thinkin that you’re all aliens (kinda tough to check the urinals after these little guys cuz most of ain’t tall enough yet to reach the rim – uh huh, maybe you ought to read a previous tale if that went over your head).

During one game there were so damn many red heads in the stands that I started looking for Anne of Green Gables out on the ice. Must have been a team from PEI I figured. Chatted up a local dad, Chris Gregg, that was counting shots for the stats. He had two boys that play and the younger of the two would be the goalie for the Jets in the next game. I stuck around to watch the start of it.

Before the first period was over the Jets were down four to nothin. Didn’t say anything bad about young Gregg in the nets, he was getting a good workout for a beginner. Showed signs of having some future good skills. Maybe he’ll want to skate for Norris’ Nightmares in a few years or maybe when he reaches legal drinking age he’ll come on board with the Outlaws. Who knows. Just damn glad to see passion in all of these kids and the support that there parents give. Yep, walking with wood all around. In recognition of the Jets, I thought I’d just list the roster here: Cunningham, Gauldin, Graves, Gregg, Larson, Merrick, Morton, Nadasdy, Schamoni, Sprague, Whitney and no-name #97 – HOOYAHHH!!!!!

Stinky showed up around the start of the Jets game. He had brought his nephew along, Tyler – but everybody calls him Grits. Good kid, his folks are poor as dirt like Stinky but he wants to play some hockey some day on a real team. Plays some street puck now but hasn’t ever had a new pair a skates even, Paul confided.

Grits was in awe of the game and since we were talking with the goalie’s dad he got to hear an earful of netminding bragging. All good for shit for sure.

I had to get back to the cabin to work on my teaching stuff but stood in the snack line with Stinky and Grits before I left. Picked up a couple of coffees and a hot chocolate for Grits. We chatted a bit more as we all headed out. Paul said that he was gonna spend most of the rest of the day with the kid. That’s a good deal.

The next day Stinky comes over to my place and tells me that Grits thinks he wants to be a goalie now and not to dampen his interest he took him over to Dick’s Sporting Goods to look at and try on some gear.

Paul tells me, “I’ll be damned Jasper, if that goalie gear isn’t really, really expensive. Even for a little guy like Grits. Shit and those sales guys over at Dick’s are just all a bunch of dicks tahoot. I’m bending over to try to see the price on some pads, you know they got them damn bar code tags and ya can’t tell how much things are until they scan them. Right? Well I have a little gas leak about then; the same time I say out loud to myself “I wonder how much these are?” Grits starts giggling a bit and says to me, “Uh, Uncle Paulie…” Shit Jasper, there was this smart ass dipshit sales kid standing behind me that heard me pass gas, you know I’m always doing that unintentionally. Right? Well he says to me “I’m afraid of what might happen if I tell you how much they are if you did that just looking at em.” Errrrr! I was pissed and I grabbed Grits by the shoulder and walked on out of there”

“We got out to the truck and I could tell that I had maybe saddened the little guy a bit. So I turned up the radio real loud once we got on the road and damned if Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap didn’t come on about four or five minutes into our drive back to the yard. We just screamed along to that tune at the top of our lungs and when it was over some Barry Manilow shit came on so I turned if off and we kept on screaming like we were earlier. It was nuts but he loved it. Crazy kid!”

I agreed with him on that and told him that he was little wacko too - “Must run in the family, ehh?”

“Yeah, right Wheats. Like you and yours ever got your shit together all the time. Damn, you gotta come see what I brought over. It was bitch of a find.”

We walk on over to his truck and I’m beginning to smell something pretty ripe. “Paul, you cutting the cheese or what? Damn that’s foul!”

“Nah, nah, it ain’t me and it ain’t that bad,” he says. “I scrubbed this stuff with some soda water and shampoo. You’ll dig it.”

He opens the tailgate and there’s a couple of big old black plastic tray shaped things in the bed. I examine them a little closer and realize that they’re the two halves of shit tank from a motor-home or something.

“Paul, what the fuck is this???”

Damn if he isn’t getting all excited. “Jasper, when me and Grits were heading down the road I saw this in a snow bank off the road there at Willow Creek. You know how the road dips and then bumps when you come off the bridge? Somebody must have bottom out and lost it. I pulled it out and slid it in the truck. Took it back to the yard and me and Grits cleaned it out and cut it in half. They don’t smell half as bad as they did yesterday.”

“Well, if you say so,” I tell him. “But I still want to know whacha got here.”

“I turned each half into a steerable, well somewhat steerable, sled or toboggan thingy. See how I added the rudders that I made from some broken sticks. Drilled a hole through the shaft about eight inches up from the blade and screwed them on to each side of both of the halves. They just kinda float until you pull back on one and it digs into the snow on that side, slowing ya down over there and that causes ya to turn in that damn direction. It’s a blast! Ya gotta try it. Me and Grits road em over at Turner’s hill all afternoon until I had to take him home. Maybe you and me could make some more and sell them. We could call them sloboggans.”

“Somebody probably already uses that name. Cuz a how they smell I think a more appropriate name might be shit-house-slammers, ehh.”

“Come on, we’ll go back to Turner’s hill and you give it a shot. Go tell your wife that you’ll be gone for about an hour.”

Done and gone were over towards Turner’s property and Paul says, “You know this is pretty mild over here. Kind of a kiddy slope if you know what I mean. No trees or nothing. Let’s try the deer woods over where the tracks cross Willow Creek. Will have to hike a bit but we can follow the tracks in. It won’t be so bad. The hill is steeper and we’ll have some trees to dodge. What do ya say?”

“Sounds like the spot. But ain’t so sure that this old stocking cap is gonna give my noggin enough protection in case I hit tree. Probably got to be a bit careful.”

“Nuts to that Jasper. I planned to get us over here and packed a couple of old Cooper helmets to wear. And I think that you’ll want to pay a little demolition derby against me out there. Dodging the trees will be like tip-toe’n thru the tulips, you’ll see. We’re gonna need to liven this up a bit – give it the old hockey pazzazzz. Ya know. You’ll be walking with wood after the first run!”

So off we went and I gotta tell you it was a blast. I felt like a dadgum kid again. Except for the next few days when I was sorer then shit. On one run, Paul had angled off to the left and I figured that he’d sweep back to the right and cut me off so I swerved hard to the left too, almost going back up hill and I clipped a damn tree knocking off one of my hockey stick rudders. It spun me all around and I ended up heading pretty much straight down hill with just a little directional control from the opposite side. I caught air and had no control at all and was heading right-on into some old big ass tree. Right when I hit the tree Stinky came right over the top of me too. Fuckin double ass wammy. Better air-lift me out of this one boys. I survived, sure enough. But tip-toe’n thru the tulips – my ass. Felt like Dave Schultz had just clocked me.

I think Stinky, just might have something here. He just needs to refine the design a little bit and beef up the attachment of those rudders. Its some good shit.

The worst of this whole fun fuckin time was getting back home and have the honey cuss me out over the stink and making me strip down out in the barn and bathing up out there before she’d let me back in the cabin. She wouldn’t even give me any fresh clothes cuz she was afraid the stink would get on them too. Damn that was a cold walk back to the cabin bare-ass naked. Sure got to get that tunnel built before next winter.

Later, puck-heads. Until next time, Jasper Wheats here; telling ya to skate hard.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Good morning all. Heck maybe its evening as you’re reading this but you understand the gist of my greeting, ehh.

Been damn near snowed in for a while here. Damn storm came up from the southwest all full of moisture and it hit a cold front coming down from Siberia, or somewhere, right over the cabin for shits sake. Never seen anything like it around here before – snowing like crazy with wind – blizzard conditions I’m telling you, you guys. And the strangest ass thing about it was the thunder and lightning. You usually don’t see that kind of bizarre meteorological behavior around here in the dead of winter. Must a dumped a couple of feet of a heavy wet mess. Great for snowballs but really sucked otherwise.

It definitely just destroyed the ice down at the pond. Once we get some sub zero weather again, and after we shovel it off, that top surface layer is going to look like that porous lava rock that I’ve seen in museums. Ain’t worth a horse turd for skating on.

But its Sunday and I’ve been looking at the local paper. Sort of a ritual, sipping coffee and waiting for the honey to get up and laugh at me about making some breakfast. But it’s what I do, in the winter, sit around the fire with my rag to read and a cup of joe to clear out the cobwebs. How about you guys? What’s your weekend morning routine like? I always put up a thankful blessing request to the Good Lord for the cabin we have. Makes for some sweet coziness.

The fire’s popping cuz I put in some nasty old knots – makes it kinda exciting you know and the honey has now joined me. She asks me why I’m all dressed up. It’s a joke. Cuz I’m still lounging around in my light grey union suit. Winter time that’s my sleeping gear. Don’t usually use em for hockey. There it’s a t-shirt and long johns under my gear. But sleeping and hangin around the cabin on weekend mornings I gotta have my union suit on. Buttons up in front and’s got a flap in back. Now days it seems everbody’s in sweats and hoodies but mercy if Sears & Roebucks, Woolworths, Monkey Wards, and JC Pennys weren’t selling these look before the sweat sets ever got invented.

The honey says, “Jasper, you weren’t wearing those when you went out to the road to pick up the paper again were you. You don’t know what might been flapping out.”

I said, “Well, yes, I sure for shit was and you know as well as I do that there ain’t much left to flap about anyway. I just slipped on my boots and that old red stocking cap and high stepped it out there to get it. Plus as I usually do, I faced back towards the cabin when I bent over to pick it up giving old Agnes McGhee a nice peek of my hiney if she’s so inclined to look.”

“She can’t see you from there, you old fool of a fart.”

“Oh yes she can, and she does. I’ve seen that pair of binoculars sitting on the window sill over her kitchen sink when we’ve been to visit. That old bitty spies on me all the time from her little perch of a stool in the kitchen. Stinky even said that she’s hired him to clean brush that was blocking her view of the end of our drive.”

“She’s a nice old lady, now shut your trap!”

“Yup, she’s a nice old frustrated lady, uh yup.”

The conversation dies on that note and I’m back to my paper.

But I’m thinking what do you guys think? Should a grown man run around in his underwear? I mean, the alternative is to run around naked, right? I sure for shit am not a bathrobe type guy. What a waste of fabric, ehh.

I hear some noise outside, sounds like Stinky’s truck and then some. He said that he was going to come over later to move some snow from between the cabin and the barn for me. Damn, it’ll be nice when I can finish my basement and dig that tunnel between it and the barn.

I get up to see about Stinky Duvall and pour him a fresh cup of joe. He seems to be a happy camper today. He made some good money clearing snow cuz of the storm and he tells me that he made himself one haulin-ass snow blower. So figurin that I’ll be outside for a while I throw on my parka for this excursion.

We get out to his truck and back on the trailer is some hacked up piece a machinery like ya might a seen in one of Mel Gibson’s early Aussy movies.

“What the fuck is that, Paul?” I query and spit.

He gets a bit excited explaining it to me. “Well, it’s the front end of Craftsman forty inch snow blower that some one brought out to the yard last spring that I married to the back end of that old Honda Blackhawk that Alan Oveson used to have. I had to re-gear that pup so that it runs in reverse direction, and only first gear.”

“Well that’s one hell of a contraption.” I respond as I walk around the trailer looking it over kind a careful like. “What’s all this other shit?”

“I had to cut the turning stops off of the front end so that I could turn the handle bars backwards, pulled the front wheel off and attached a broken snow board that I fixed with epoxy to the forks that I extended. I can stand right on it while I’m blowing snow, self-propelled.”

I said, “Yup, all ya need now is a fairing from a Gold-Wing and you’re all set!”

“Jasp, ya musta been reading my mind!” He gets even more worked up over this touch of genius. “See how I extended the rear axle so that I’ve got the sprocket there to drive the blower in between the two wheels. Yup. Added a second wheel back there, I mean on the front of it. I mean, you know what I mean. And I shot over a hundred Hilti pins through the rims to provide good traction. No tires, you can see.”

“Yup, Paul, I think you’ve got the ultimate death machine here if anybody gets in front of you. You ought to apply for a job with Toro or maybe them folks at Zamboni. Get a job in their design department, ehh.”

“Shit Jasper, I just pieced it together. Oh, and look up here at the front of the blower. I added a couple of busted up goalie sticks on each side to help funnel more snow into it. Ain’t it something?”

“Yup, but does it blow snow?” The snorkel was laying down but it looked like it was about six or seven feet long and about a foot in diameter.

“Or shit yes, Wheats. I added a Dayton DC motor-blower combo into the pipe that your brother Bronzy gave me. Had to add a truck battery to run it, but I had a ton of them at the yard. Let me fire it up and clean that section back to the barn for you.”

So he fires this thing-a-ma-jig up. And ohhh, did I mention he was running it with open pipes I think. Louder then a friggin jet engine. Guess he had hydraulics for the snorkel cuz that pup went up smooth as can be with out even a bit of a snag. And off he went. He cleared what must a been close to an acre of open space in a little less then a half hour. At first it looked like a blizzard again but he started in the middle and worked the north side first blowing to the north then did the other half blowing to the south. Slick-titty-boom. But I think I lost my hearing.

“What ya think, Jasper?”

“Huh? I can hardly hear you. Pretty sweet! But awfully damn noisy. You wearing ear plugs?”

He pulls some stuff outta his coat pocket and shows me his shooting muffs and foam plugs both. “Double protection.” He’s walking with wood. Purty damn proud of this snow beast.

“How about your customer’s ears?”

He just shrugs his shoulders.

I invite him in for something more to drink.

We go inside and I microwave a couple of half mugs of eggnog and top em off half and half with some no-name peach brandy and Cap’n Morgan’s. Good shit for this time of year if ya ain’t playin hockey but just fartin around.

Each of us taking sips I grab the paper again. Damn if there ain’t some fool ad for 20% off for exchanging fluids. Sounds like a pick up line if ya ask me. I show it to Paul and he about does a reverse-through-the-nose chuckle.

He asks, “What the heck, is that an ad for a hooker or something?”

I yell to the honey, she’s in the bedroom I guess, “Sugar, me and Stinky are going down to Meg’s. Seems as that skank whore Annie-Poo that hangs out there is running a 20% off special on exchanging body fluids. We can’t pass this up.”

Wise-ass that she is she yells back, “Paul I can’t speak for you but that old fart Jasper better not have a spare drop of fluid left in him after that romp I gave him last night. You keep your tail-end right here, you hear me, Jasper Wheats.”

“Shit honey, it was just an ad that we were looking at for Ole’s Garage over in Patterson. He’s sure going to catch some crap for the way he had it worded.”

“Well you’re going to catch some crap if ya don’t bring in some more firewood. Give Paul something for clearing the snow and send him on his way. Ok?”

I walk Paul back out to his truck and suggest that he head down to the pond if he gets a chance and clear it off. If we have to then will bore a hole like we did a couple of years ago and use that gasoline powered pump to flood it over again on the next sub zero night.

Good stuff here in the North Woods. Wish ya could be here to enjoy it!

Until next time, Jasper here - walking with wood.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Everybody get off to a good start so far this year? Shit, you can count on it here that I’ve done damned good-ok so far. Yupper and the year is only six days old, uh huh.

I pretty much figure that there were a few holiday tournaments that some of ya played in. You guys know how I feel about them. They’re right up there with pond hockey and road trips in my book (crap, over half of ‘em are road trips, ehh). Love every minute of them. Ya meet some cool folks and if ya get in a winning bracket you definitely get your share of games played. Hooie, maybe ya even play more then one game a day. Your gear doesn’t get a chance to dry and ends up smelling pretty ripe and all. You juggle your eating and sleeping habits a bit – all for some great days of playing.

I guess it doesn’t really matter throughout the year if it’s a holiday tournament, summer tournament or an invitational – they’re all good times. Ehh?

You win some but mainly you end up losing. It’s a select few that manage to hang together for the final victory and get to take home the trophy.

Hell, I’ve played in tournaments where we played in that final game only to lose. The teams that I’ve played on of course haven’t take losing lightly. On occasion, we’ve taken offense to that final handshake with just a smattering of fisticuffs instead.

Don’t shake your head at that. You know as well as I do that a good donnybrook is as memorable as a win. I’m thinkin that if ya disagree still, it just means that ya ain’t been there and ya ain’t done that.

Over the past few years I’ve done some researchin about why we have had so damn many losses along the way. More often then not there has been one team that just plain ass kicks tail on everyone else. Why? I mean, really, why? You know the usual responses that ya hear are “They’re a stacked team” or “They’re all former pros.” I’m sure you guys have heard the same questionable comments.

Yah, occasionally that may be the case.

But I’ve determined through some highly scientific analysis that that just ain’t true most a the time. If ya got just one particular team that just whoops on everybody, then ya got yourself a team of aliens playing in that tournament! No shit! No shineola! Aliens, dab-nab-it! And I ain’t talking about them illegal aliens that have jumped the fence to enter our borders. Nope. These dude’s are outer-space type aliens.

You’re thinking: that dude Jasper, has got a gear loose.

But I don’t. I’m tellin ya. I got the inside scoop on some classified government files that a friend of my brother’s friend’s friend, etc. managed to illegally extract off the internet. Its some valid honest to goodness shit.

These winning teams always show up and are registered from some far distant land that ya can’t even pronounce and have even less of a chance verifying. Like Skukumchuck, or Khatanga, or Olekminsk or maybe Thibaudeau. Where the hell are these places? How’d these guys get here to this hockey tournament, ehh?

I’m tellin ya that they aren’t from those places. They’re from someplace beyond our solar system. Guaranteed, that if you played in a tournament where one team overwhelmingly kicked everybody else’s ass then you’re also going to have some local reports of UFOs. Check it out. Do your own research, ehh. You’ll see.

According to the classified files, these weenies have been showing up for some years to compete in our sporting events. They like the competition I guess and as of late with all the identity theft issues and the modern security controls in place the tournaments are the only places that they can play. They’ve had a few guys that have played in the NHL over the years but they don’t really excel individually. This wasn’t discovered until Gretzky was in the league. The NSA thought that he might have been an alien that had been implanted in his family as an infant. Their reasoning for the study was that he was such a superstar yet was really a physical weakling (everybody knows that his upper body strength was always the weakest of any player on the teams that he played on). They couldn’t figure it out, but used him for some of the initial testing experiments.

The government has spent many years now developing an accurate test to determine whether someone is an alien or not. It used to be a blood test but most of the time you couldn’t get a decent blood sample unless there was a high stick injury or the results of an errant puck and a player’s face. I mean ya just can’t arbitrarily ask some one for a blood sample, can you? So they developed something else. Something that could be a little more indiscernible in its administration. They came up with a urine analysis.

All government employees and contractors that have security clearances now have to daily take this test to ensure that aliens haven’t infiltrated our secure ranks. The modern device is fairly similar to an EPT (early pregnancy test) and all ya have to do is piss on it. The chemical activation system on test strips, kind a like litmus paper, unfortunately, also indicates if you’re on steroids. If your piss turns the strip a shade of blue then, honey, you’ve been doing the juice. But if a red hue appears then you’re an f’n alien.

Like I said though, this handy little testing device is used within government ranks. When they want to check on the common public then they use a version that looks like a toilet bowl deorderizer. It comes in a couple of different forms: one with a wire hanger that can be hung over the edge of the bowl and one that looks like a hockey puck that is generally just dropped in urinals. Both version, prior to testing, are just a milky white color. But once they’ve been activated they either turn pinkish if an alien pissed on it or bluish if someone doing steroids whizzed on it. If I drizzled all over one of these detectors not a damn thing would happen.

So the next tournament that ya play in you might just be able to tell if you’ve got aliens or guys on steroids playing against ya by just checking in the can. If the NSA guys are on to some alien leads, and one team in the tourney is just creaming everybody else, then chances are you’ll notice the detection devices in use.

Word is, from that friend of a friend dude, that the government guys refer to the filthy rich pro athletes on steroids as “Bluebloods” because of the revealing color on the indicators.

“Redzonians”, apparently is the nickname that they’ve given to the aliens. The only time that I actually heard the term “Redzonian”, I thought he guy talking was referring to a guy on the ice that was playing just balls out with no fear. Guess I was wrong, ehh.

I pretty much believe all this shit and I don’t give a rat’s ass whether you do or not. But I’ve got one thing that I can’t figure out about these “Redzonians”. I mean they’re sure walking with wood, ehh? Kicking our asses from one end of the rink to the other. So here it is: How’d they learn how to play so damn good?

Jasper here walking with wood, but just bloody bewildered.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Oh, my gosh! I’m in puck heaven this morning!

For those of you that might be reading this at a later date let me fill you in from my antiquated time machine. Jasper Wheats here, lopsided little puckster from the backwoods of some place in the great white north, and its January 1st of the year 2008.

Happy New Year!

NBC and the NHL have just made my day. They pulled it off and my complements to the great folks of Buffalo, NY. A televised game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium. An outdoor game being played inside a football arena in front of over 73,000 live fans.

By jiminy, this is just great, ehh. I haven’t been this amped up as a spectator of ice hockey since I watched my LA Kings play the Habs back in the Stanley Cup Finals in the early ‘90’s.

What a pleasure this is. I’m definitely walking with wood today!

The morning begins with a viewing of the Rose Parade on the tube. Here it is about five degrees heading for about fifteen below outside my cabin and the honey and I are watching these marching bands, floats, cowboys and even Indians parade down some street in Southern California where its going to be in the low seventies today. Them folks are spoiled, ehh. So, much to my surprise as the Anaheim float goes by I see the Stanley Cup curtsey of the Ducks. Cool! Seems as though they got special permission to display it without it being stuffed with flowers. Yup, that would-a been a mistake. Ain’t nothin supposed to be in that cup ‘cept beer or champagne. Right?

The Rose Parade broadcast ends and I change over to NBC for the “Winter Classic”. It’s snowing pretty good. The program shows a scene of a youngster doing a little puck-handling and shooting on a frozen pond. You know how I love pond hockey, ehh? I get a lump in my throat from this shit. It’s the best. Mike Milbury gives a bit of nostalgia about the roots of hockey for these guys - skating on ponds and in backyards when they were all just kids starting out in this - the best sport in the world.

Uhhh, I’m just getting too emotional over this. I call Jingles to see if he’s got the game on. He thought it was later this afternoon. Then I call Bronzy. Yup he’s TiVo’ing it for later review. Last I call Pops. He didn’t know about it. I can tell by the sound of his voice that he’s getting pretty damn emotional too as he gets his TV revved up.

Within a minute of the start of the game, with snow coming down hard, the Penguins get the first goal. Crosby pulls something unbelievable crossing the blue line. After that it is just great hit after great hit. Sure the snow causes some problems, They’ve got to run the Zams mid-period, shit we would have got the shovels out, ehh. Expected - no complaints here. I just hope that NBC doesn’t shorten the coverage because of the extra time needed.

The second period gets under way with it now sleeting. This is bringing back so many memories.

I head down to the pond or up to the high school on Saturday mornings. Maybe pack a thermos of something warm. Not so much to drink but to pour into a cup to warm up my hands later. Eventually enough of us show up and a couple of the guys chose up sides. Just a little bit of pick-up. That’s the best hockey in the world.

Maybe that’s what the NHL should do for the All Star game once in a while. I think it would be great if they had an outdoor All Star game like this today where seventy to ninety thousand fans showed up. Sure we still vote for the All Stars but when the guys get out on the ice for warm ups a couple of designated guys pick teams. No east against west, no North America against the rest, no nothing - just a little bit of pick-up. They switch jersey colors as needed and then get the game underway. It would be a blast. No chance to practice together - ya gotta jell out on the ice.

Hey National Hockey League - are you reading this? Are ya listening? NBC? (Versus? Fox Sports? Do you hear me?) Sell it boys. You heard it here first.

Buffalo scores within two minutes of the start of the second period. The sleet continues for most of the period. Again a lot of good hits. The game is fast. These guys are lit.

Like those pale blue Penguin sweaters. Reminds me of the Maine Black Bears, sort-a. They’ll sell a bunch of those replica babies, I’m sure.

Third period starts and there’s no snow, no sleet. Weird - a weatherman is part of the broadcast team. In Buffalo, you need him - the weather can change so fast coming off the lake. Mid period it’s starting to snow again. Predicting wind. The teams will change ends mid-period to be weather fair.

Hey, here’s to all those fans. A hearty bunch of folks they are! They’ve been prepped for this by watching the Bills play regularly.

And then I gotta tell ya that the commercials have been good too. I always appreciate the ones for the USMC - a special place in my heart for those guys (O.B.O. and M.A.J. - that’s for you guys). The Heiny one is good too - just too bad that beer tastes like a skunk’s ass. Give me a good Irish amber, ehh. Oh hell give me two or three cold ones.

So it’s snowing more again as they switch ends in the third. The announcers are getting cold. Wimps!

I wonder if Buffalo’s Miller has that stocking cap glued to his mask? Kinda surprised that the officials have let him wear it. What if it falls off during a skrum in the crease and it obstructs the puck? Probably won’t get a chance to see - but what if, ehh?

This has been some old time hockey. We just need a bench clearing brawl to really make my day. Oh hell that would be icing on the cake. I’m happy enough as it is.

I gotta tell ya, you guys, these two teams, the officials, the live fans of Buffalo, NBC, the NHL and sponsors are all f’n walking with wood today! This is the best yet.

Damn! Pittsburgh penalty with seconds left. That’ll roll over into OT and make for an interesting start four on three.

Intense, this overtime. Finally its sent out of the Pittsburgh end and then back in again. A little jostling right in the crease and the puck is loose - scary. Penalty’s over now and we’ve got a face-off at center ice again. Weird ass buzzer and they change ends in OT. Fair? I guess so. End to end but seems like Buffalo’s got more control, more shots. Snowing steady again. Lovin it!

Fifty seconds left and the Penns get called for icing.

All that and nothing. No score in OT. It goes to a shoot out, my least favored part of modern hockey. No team aspect in this. Get rid of it. (Ding dang if I’m not getting opinionated, ehh.)

Because of the wind the shoot out will be only done in one end. Each goalie switching out between shots.

Buffalo - first shot - goal!
Pittsburgh - first shot - stumped
Buffalo - second shot - save
Pittsburgh - second shot - score!
Buffalo - third shooter - no goal
Pittsburgh - third shooter - goal - five hole - it’s the game winner for Crosby!!

And the fireworks go off!

I hope that they do this again next year. Its some good shit. I sure wish I could say “I was there!”

How ‘bout you? Were you there? Walking with wood?