(Originally posted on Kukla’s Korner)
I took a little tour of South Bay ice rinks this morning… afternoon. Despite being on the wrong side of the Bay for convenience, both destinations provided what I was looking for. A tour was not what I had planned, it just worked out that way and it’s how I trick myself into driving all over hell and gone.
The skate was a little late getting started at Sharks Ice, which gave me time to wonder if, after many trips to this rink, I was actually wrong about where the unofficial not mandatory and coachless practice-like activity would be taking place. I had the trusty tweet from David Pollak telling me south rink but the rinks are not labelled.
I asked a few folks if they had ever seen a label and even some young figure skaters admitted they didn’t know which rink was really called what. It seems like the carefully displayed schedules would be more useful if the rinks were labelled.
If they can bother to post “No Outside Food or Pets” signs, they can label the rinks. I have no idea why you would want to bring your inside cat to the rink, but I can understand why my outside dogs aren’t allowed. They would probably go nuts stealing sticks, which would be funny but a real time-waster.
David Pollak was there, he got some quotes. Go read them.
Nope, there was no Captain at the first Captain’s practice of 2011, but we did have a big bouncy new defenseman out there. I mean Brent Burns of course. Call me crazy but he makes me think “bouncy.” And “bubbly.” He made quite an impression. He is very jolly. You don’t need to know he has a Harry Potter tattoo or that he wears superhero pajamas to recognize this, but it’s all of a piece.
Maybe I was just thinking bouncy because of the new glass in the south rink at Sharks Ice. That stuff has some spring to it. It’s also nice because the sheets are so much wider and there is less in the way of a clear view.
The boards are all shiny new too. They are so clean that for a second I thought I saw a marble threshold in the doorway, which would make no sense at all. It was just blade-scratched plastic but that’s how clean it all looked.
I didn’t do a head count or a roll call. I used to forget to do that a lot when I taught too. Besides, there isn’t a list for these things. Aside from Burns, Owen Nolan was there, Thomas Greiss, Viktor Tikhonov, Cam MacIntyre and several others unfamiliar to me. Apparently Nemo was in the building but not skating. Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Mike Potenza was present as well, and he was skating.
I left a little early to go see if I could find Nabby and, you know, see what he was up to. I found him right where a friend said I would find him, playing in a pickup game. He looked very well, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and I left as soon as that creepy stalker feeling set in. No, I did not ambush him in the parking lot and ask a bunch of impertinent questions, mostly because I didn’t have any pertinent ones.
It seems like there’s a lot of hockey going on in the middle of the day on a Wednesday in early August, for a part of the country not known for hockey.