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No-Ad Hockey

The picture I forgot to take yesterday.

Gotta get this up, tired as I am.  Great day, warm day, marathon walking day.  Tomorrow I am off to St. Petersburg where I will have no computer in house so I have no idea when I will be able to write again.  Prob don’ t have time to revise properly.  Sry:(

On my way to the rink, I ran into one of the security people I had spoken with the day before.  This one I had accosted on the overpass.  He recognized me today and said “hockey?”  I nodded, smiled (always a good idea) and said “hockey!”  He smiled back.

Probably the jerseys I have been looking for could be found easily at store.khl.ru.  That is painted all over the boards.  Will have to check it out. But had I not been hunting jerseys I would not have found the Flyers doll thingy, so no great loss, unless I measure it in water weight.

Now to my notes scribbled on postcards and a piece of paper I found wadded up in the bottom of my purse.  Someone is going to get a really weird postcard from me.

Who is this? SKA 31 aka Jakub Stepanek. Oh well, at least he’s Czech.

Nabby is not here.  There are these other guys warming up. Who the hell are they?  Where is Nabby?  That poem that begins “they flee from me” comes to mind.  Or maybe that’s just the refrain.  Whatev.  Everyone I want to see is just not there.

CSKA goalie is #40, Steve Valiquette.  Hm.  That is not a Russian name.  Wonder where he’s from.  During warm up the SKA goalies seem pretty… um… bad.   They look pretty quick but a lot of those pucks go flying under them.  Hm.

Game gets off to a quick start.  SKA seems very good about puck possession and winning face offs.  So far their goalie, #31, is not getting much work. Also, CSKA seems to sag during their offensive rushes, like crossing that second blue line sucks the energy out of them.  Valiquette looks pretty good, and he’s busy.

CSKA #15 seems to have very good hands.

No tv breaks?

Oh… now the clock has stopped for no reason and everyone is loitering around the benches.  Looks like a tv break.

CSKA comes out of that break very aggressive.

The army is here.  They have the same three seats in all the rows in a section.  They are stacked up from the glass to the roof in rows of three soldiers each.  They are not reactive.  They just sit there.  If they are like the soldiers I have seen on the street they are skinny and hungry-looking, but they are too far away for me to know.  There is a CSKA dancer next to them on a platform.  They do not react to her either.

CSKA 13, good skater, excellent blocker.

The CSKA dancers are in sync with each other, odd since they are so far apart, scattered around the stands on platforms also used by media cameras.

Wow, the SKA goalies sucked in warm up but 31 seems to be getting it done despite a lot of traffic.  CSKA good at crowding the crease… SKA scores. (14:25)  Some people clap, there are SKA fans here!  SKA D seems very diligent.

Random shot from the stands.

I have trouble finding my seat again after the first break, I miss the first 2 minutes.  Score still 1-0 SKA. That “they flee from me” feeling is gone now.  To hell with Nabby.  Oh God, I hope he isn’t hurt….

SKA 33 not so good on his skates tonight, or maybe ever, I dunno.  Fanned trying to clear the puck, lost his balance, got to the puck again but then had it pretty well taken from him by a CSKA player.

Valiquette makes a nice glove save.  Back down to the other end and 31 swats it away with his stick, right out in front of him, CSKA 15 slaps it back and scores.  SKA gets a power play.  Something happened while I was writing notes. (No big screen with video replay here.)

CSKA clears the puck out of their zone and chases it.  SKA 31 comes out of the net to the face off circle and sends it back.  Brave fellow, with 2 CSKA players bearing down on him.

CSKA is fierce about the penalty kill.  Good thing too, with the penalty count at CSKA 2, SKA 0.

Valiquette makes a nice pad save but loses the puck, is down and needs to be rescued by his D men.  They are on it.  SKA #15 gets away with a cross check to someone’s face. Dear oh dear.

SKA 61 (or was it 91?) is a nice skater too.  Another nice stick save from 31.

Another tv break 12 min 57 sec into the 2nd.  Not bad if there’s only one 2 minute break per period.

31 makes another save but seems to have trouble with rebound control.  They sort of all pop right out in front of the net.  Finally he stops one.  SKA gains control of the puck and gets around Valiquette again. Tony Mortenson slipped it around behind the goalie’s left skate.

CSKA 16 runs over SKA 31.  He came in fast for a shot and sort of tripped over the goalie’s skate and fell over him.  No whistle, no goal, no one blinked.  Hm.

Both teams make very sluggish changes… hm.  Might be my imagination.

CSKA 22 makes nice pass from the neutral zone through lots of traffic.  Whoever got that pass shoots, 31 bounces it out in front again and the game is tied… again.

Seems like there are not so many hits in this game but maybe I just don’t notice them because I am following the puck, and also scribbling.

All tied up at the beginning of the third.  The crowd is mild mannered.  They react, to a goal, a hit, that great pass I mentioned.  But overall they are pretty quiet, except for the fanatics in the corner.  They bang on drums and chant loudly during play.  If noise is good, then I guess the drums are good.  There is no eating or drinking in the stands, so unless you are scribbling you are probably paying attention.  There is loud music between play, dance, some slavik sounds, some rock.

CSKA dominates the play at the beginning of the third. Valiquette gets some rest.  31 seems to be holding it together at the other end.  SKA’s D in a scramble, befuddled.

Valiquette busy. Seems like those four should be able to deal with that one lil’ SKA player.

SKA 33 very slippery, now the puck sticks with him. SKA is pushing back… wait… that was quick, CSKA back on the offensive. SKA 80 also pretty clever.  Slid around 3 CSKA players to carry the puck all the way down the ice, made it behind the net but Valiquette was waiting on the other side and took the puck away from him.

No broken sticks.  I wonder if they use wood here?

A SKA player passes it over the wall, it just misses the EMT’s gear.  While I am contemplating this, play resumes and CSKA takes control.  SKA #6 blocks a shot with his face.  Looked like a wrist shot.  He goes down, play stops.  Not sure if SKA 31 had to make that happen or if they stop play here because someone is lying on the ice bleeding from the face.

The crowd applauds when the player gets up.  It doesn’t look like he was hit in the eye.  He gets to the bench then they send him back out to see the EMT.  He leaves on his own steam.  Audience applauds again.  Out come the scraper and shovel to clear off the blood.  A SKA player does some scraping with his stick.

Most or all of the players are wearing visors.  I think all.  I like that.

CSKA called for hooking.  New penalty count 3-0 CSKA.  SKA scores after three rapid shots on goal.  More applause.  SKA still heaping it on, it takes me a few seconds to realize the power play is over, CSKA seems a little dull.

Some CSKA player does something impressive but I am distracted by a whistle.  SKA 73 called for hooking.  CSKA finally gets a power play.

—And I get a long nap.  Internet went down and I pick this up again the next morning—

CSKA begins their power play with a dog pile on top of SKA 31.  No penalty results.  Puck drops, pass pass miss pass shot stopped by SKA 31.  CSKA’s go-to guy, 22 (everyone is trying to get the puck to him it seems) scores on his second try.  A shot over SKA 31’s right pad I think.  Ouch.  Game tied again.

2:36 to go in the third period.  I hope the metro runs late.  Michael Jackson’s Black or White plays.  It seems like SKA has too many men on the ice but no one cares, they sort it.  With 23 seconds to go they are still tied.  Now Eye of the Tiger Playing.  CSKA makes a run up the ice and it is on to OT.

I realize I do not know what comes next.  I am pretty sure they don’t just play on and on, or even for very much longer.  The clock counts down 3 minutes and this is a break.

4 on 4 now.  But for how long?  The clock counts down during breaks but during play it counts forwards so I can’t tell.

SKA shoots one into Valiquette’s emblem.  SKA gets the puck again.  SKA 33 slides around everyone and behind the net but when he comes around the other side V stops the backhand.  Looked cool anyway.

14 CSKA takes a shot at the other end now, it deflects into the crowd off of SKA 31.

Well SKA 27 can certainly hit.

CSKA 71 shoots, 31 stops it.  SKA 2 & 33 do well moving the puck down ice together.  A pass through CSKA skates and sticks.  A CSKA player goes down with  bit of flailing about and the crowd applauds.  Glaring trip apparently.  CSKA is back on the power play, now 4 on 3.

SKA D in overdrive.  Seem wide awake and very quick, very earnest.

This 4 on 4 only lasts 5 minutes, the bell sounds, something else now.  Shoot out?

I really want to ask someone what happens now but I feel odd prefacing all my questions with “do you speak English?”  It sort of looks like a shoot-out anyway.  The zamboni is in, the goalies are stretching and keeping warm.  The zamboni is only doing the middle length of the ice.

Okay, I gave in and asked someone.  He did speak a little English but did not understand the term shoot-out.   When I asked “1 and 1”, pointing at the net and the center of the ice, he said yes.  That seemed to makes sense to him.

The visiting team goes first.  SKA #10.  He scores.

CSKA #4 fakes to the right, 31 bites, goes down to his knees and too far to the right.  #4 goes back to the left and scores.

SKA #33 scores too.

Someone behind me is yelling angrily.  He is some ways away but very angry.

CSKA 12 misses the net. More angry yelling from that guy back there.

SKA 61 shoots, Valiquette stops it with a pad.  He was down and some ways out of the net, 61 could have lifted the puck and beaten him pretty easily.

There were several of these around, men and women cops on horseback. They were not needed but they looked cool.

CSKA 27- complete fail, never gets shot off and really should have.  SKA 31 was on his back for no obvious reason but 27 still didn’t shoot.

Maybe CSKA needs to practice lifting the puck.  But I’m not sure what I’m looking at, aside from a home team loss and Nabby’s team winning without him.

Argh, at this rate will I ever see him play?

I left this for the very last because I didn’t want to jinx it.  No fights.  Not a one.  Happiness.

SKA St. Petersburg roster Sept 2010

CSKA Moscow roster Sept 2010

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