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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Canadian Idyll

Game Report

Strawberries 6 Thrashers 5

January 31, 2008

Serendipity is full of fine surprises. The world could use a lot more of it; that and single malt Scotch...neat… in a crystal tumbler...with your favourite girl at your side running her fingers through your hair while she ignores all of your faults and lauds you cooingly for that one redeeming thing you take home to her after every game: your stinking, testosterone soaked equipment.

Well, ideal worlds are a lot like the impossible fantasy above. After all, that’s part of what makes them ideal. But sometimes, nature, in its inscrutable wisdom, grants to us mere mortals those evanescent glimpses of perfection which make life worthwhile. Now, dear reader, you may be wondering just how much single malt is fuelling this ramble. The answer is: none. This ramble is entirely fuelled by the idyllic memories of last night’s game.

In all previous encounters, the Strawbs had dominated the Thrashers. Despite their tenacity, they could not slow the red-socked Strawb juggernaut facing them. But this encounter was different. The Thrashers were a born-again team: lively, creative, feisty and fast. Every time the Strawbs would take the lead, they refused to fold, repeatedly clawing their way back into the game. No lead was safe until, at the 20 minute of the last period, the buzzer declared the Strawbs winners by a micron.

Ask any aficionado of the game what makes for memorable hockey. Invariably she will tell you it involves a tight-knit match seasoned with artistry from unexpected quarters and with more than just a little grit in the Vaseline. The Vice Marshall, with a move he hasn’t used since hid dad used to tie his skates, grabbed the puck in his own zone, dusted off a pesky Thrasher with his bad arm and launched a glorious stretch pass to a streaking Ice Marshall who had been hiding under the opponents’ blue line, waiting for just such a pass. The team’s Spiritual Leader and Shining Example of Misspent Youth caressed the offering with his stiff shafted Koho, spun around twice to indicate his approval, rocketed into the opponents’ zone and dipsydoodled a delicious Dopplerdogger into the microscopic opening between the left post and the Leviathan who guarded it. Tears flowed from all fans present as cries of “Pump Up The Jam, Strawberries” rang from the rafters.

Once all the discarded lingerie was lifted from the littered surface, the game resumed with both sides exhibiting the kind of play they remember in Montreal when the forum eclipsed the Vatican in importance and revenues. Sir Gawdawful Grumpy continually outmaneuvered his determined attackers with guile and legerdepied ( the foot equivalent of the legerdemain). Shiny Sean was magnificent as he jumped into the play on several occasions to create and finish off glorious scoring chances. Dr. Boneheaded Butcher Brophey briefly released himself from the debilitating memories of domestic woes which plague his very essence to play a game characterized by nasty compassion and applied cunning.

Archilles Perron continued his torrid scoring pace which he attributes to Feng Shui, his diet of Brussels Sprout Smoothies and to the notes his inamorata, the beautiful Glasglow Glamour, packs into his athletic protector before each game. Freight Train Laronde, fresh from adding 2 new lines to his PhD thesis earlier in the day, legally or illegally toppled at least one unsuspecting Thrasher at every face off, using the only hockey stick in the league measuring over 8 feet in length. Warrin’ Peace, spurred on by the 3 fans he imported from the Island just for the occasion (including the constant Samara Desert), did not disappoint his adoring throng. He dashed, feinted, spun and twisted just like he did when he was first spotted by the Executive dancing the Fandango on a moonlit beach in Oahu, in perfect time to the waves lapping the shore at his feet.

All of which brings us to Jesse The Leak, whom many had predicted would end up unceremoniously tossed onto the dust heap of hockey history once he began to study under the aforementioned Dr. Butcher Brophey. Fortunately for the Strawbs, The Leak has not heard or heeded a word of what passes for wisdom in the Butcher’s classes. Instead, he has focused on what truly counts in this unpredictable universe: stopping the puck so that his team mates can brag about their on ice victories and get fingers run through their hair practically at will.

The last word must be left for our opponents on the evening who made the game the pleasure it was. They played like gentleman and gentleladies, showed class and tenacity and virtuosity but more important than any of that, contributed meaningfully to the creation on an on ice joie de hockey which is rarely paralleled in any universe.

After the match, the team reassembled at the terminal Tavren where the beer was cold, the wings were hot, faults ignored and hair was mussed.

4 Stella, 5 Guinness, 3 Blue Light, 2 Keiths, 2 Kilkenny, 1 Shirley Temple smelling suspiciously like Aqua Velva, 2 lbs of chicken wings and the visions of future on ice idylls were consumed.


Anonymous said...

I resent the fact that you failed, yes, failed, to capitalize the word 'Forum', as in, the Forum in Montreal...absolutely pathetic...along with showing absolutely know regard or respect to the history which has been made at this time-honoured shrine to the world of hockey.
Are you a Leafs fan by any chance?...typical. I hear Maple Leaf Gardens is store now...typical...and pathetic.

Rob Greenfield said...

... and the room was spartan

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous Gawdawful.

Forum was not capitalized because it did not need to be capitalized. When someone or something reaches the status of icon, no further embellishment is required. it is understood.

What does the phrase "know regard" in your rant mean anyway?