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Summer-y Break 2011

So that’s that.  The 2010-11 NHL season, for all intents and purposes, is over for me.  I know they have yet to give out the Cup, but I don’t care who wins it now.  I don’t hate the Canucks but I like Tim Thomas a lot so I don’t care.

Apparently these are the tags I’ve used most this year, though last year probably influenced that list too.  I’m not very good at knowing what I’m writing about so I don’t think those tags cover my subjects very accurately.

For example, there’s not a thing about mice in there.  I distinctly remember counting the number of mice I would catch each game day, during the rodent infestation.  I haven’t seen a mouse in ages but I know I used to catch them frequently and how many I caught seemed to foreshadow something or other in the game that day.

Potted pet to ward off Predators

Other superstitions came and went.  There was the potted pets ritual, where I would put a pet in a flower pot to encourage success or ward off the opposition.

There was the suspicion that merely watching the game could affect the outcome.  That isn’t so very far-fetched. I think there’s a quantum physics theory behind it, and also the teams apparently do put some stock in being watched live by a friendly audience (aka home team advantage).

I’m not so worried about those things any more and I ran out of pets to pot. Maybe I will recycle them next year.

I see that the term “muddle” made it in.  That certainly was a running issue throughout the season, though the Sharks did not have a monopoly on it as they did last year.  It encompasses subjects like optimism, mental focus, trust, success and failure.  That’s relevant to everything everywhere, but perhaps not so easily recognized as in professional sports.

I remember wondering if I would have trouble maintaining focus on my team if players were traded away to other teams.  I didn’t.  I did notice that Joslin got a lot more playing time with Carolina than he’d gotten with the Sharks, and I thought this was good.  I also noticed that Gagne had a visible impact on Tampa Bay.  If you must be traded by surprise away from the only team you have known, it is good to go to one of the suddenly best and most promising teams in the League.  So that worked out well for him.

Nabby’s move?  Not so much good.  Sort of a calamity really.  We’ll see how that is resolved this summer.  Similarly exiled, though not by choice, was my other goalie from last year, Leighton.  Will Bob, Boosh, Nemo or Nitty vanish too?  I can’t fathom it, but I can’t dismiss the possibility either.

Information.  My method for gathering information took a fairly big turn last summer.  Twitter now dominates my hockey news gathering.  I don’t read the paper anymore.  The smart phone dispensed with that. I feel a twinge of guilt about this.  I did sort of enjoy reading the paper.  Also, since there was so little hockey news in it, I wound up reading other stories too.  But those would usually get me all aggravated about people being stupid so really it’s just as well that I let the hockey Twitter feed sift the relevant world news.  And I do follow the White House, so if it’s really really important I think the government will let me know.

I didn’t watch so many games online this year. NHL Center Ice did away with that necessity.  But the audio web feeds of AHL games kept me in touch with my roots as a sports fan, limited as they are.  Mostly I can’t get a radio cast of an AHL game on the radio but the web feeds suffice to give me that sense of the old days when most sports were followed this way.  It’s even better than reading the paper.

I discovered even more Flyers news sources, but also a few about the Sharks too.  I’m not sure what the business model of Philadelphia Sports Daily is but they do a good job.  CSN, east and west, provide good quotes and mostly try not to be too biased in their opinions.  Maybe they are biased.  Maybe they are biased in favor of my teams but that works for me.  Nothing is perfect, so keep it cheerful and you won’t go wrong.  ESPN tends to be a little Eastern-centric but at least Pierre LeBrun cares about the Sharks.  Fear the Fin is a mixed bag of opinion but their Twitter feeds are useful, as are Down Goes Spezza, The Goalie Guild and Broad Street Hockey.  Ever helpful and reliable is David Pollak’s blog, with some input from Mark Emmons.

I’m not despondent about this season but I am very eager for training camp to begin.  I know there’s the trade season in between but that is a little unsettling so I would not mind jumping over it.  I know I can’t, and all I can do is wait patiently to begin again.

Go Sharks!  Go Flyers!

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