Archive | AHL RSS feed for this section

Baby Hawks vs Baby Canucks

15 Oct

So there is no NHL due to the Lockout.  What’s a hockey junkie to do?  Find some other hockey to watch.  In Chicago we have an AHL team called the Chicago Wolves.  They opened up their season on Saturday night against the Rockford Ice Hogs, which is the affiliate team for the Chicago Blackhawks.

I got to the game about 20 minutes before puck drop.  I bought a ticket, in row F for only $ 20.50.  That’s it.  No extra fees of any kind.  Try doing that at your local NHL game.  Oh yeah you can’t.

14,505 people had the same idea as I did.  That’s a healthy crowd for an AHL game.  That’s a healthy crowd for an NHL game in some markets.  I don’t know what the attendance is for AHL games in Canada but I bet 14,505 wouldn’t look bad at all.  We love our hockey here in Chicago.

Some notable attendees of the game were Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, Coach Joel Quenneville, GM Stan Bowman and his dad the legendary Scotty Bowman.  As I was walking through the hallway to get to my seat I almost bumped into Alain Vigneault.  It was after all the baby Canucks.  I was like should I say hi or punch him in the face?

Speaking of that, the Canucks affiliation, that transition happened last year.  The Wolves used to be the farm team for the Atlanta Thrashers.  When the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg the new owners already owned an AHL team.  The Mannitoba Moose.  They wanted that team to be their affiliate.  Can’t blame them.  The Moose were the farm team for the Canucks.  So that left the Canucks without an AHL team and the Wolves without an NHL team.  So it pretty much had to happen.

Now we all now about the rivalry between the Blackhawks and the Canucks so this just adds spice to the mix.  The Canucks farm team is now in Chicago.  How’s that for good times?  So the Wolves and Ice Hogs have that going for them.  However there was already quite a rivalry building here.  They play in the same division.  The AHL keeps travel costs down with an in division heavy schedule.  These teams see each other often.  That builds bad blood in hockey.  They are also in the same state.  How many times have we seen that?  Ever see a Flyers – Penguins game?  Rangers – Islanders?  Oilers – Flames?  You get the idea.  So two teams that had a brewing rivalry now gets to add a sprinkle of the two big clubs rivalry.  Good times!

So what kind of amazing game for the ages was it?  Not too exciting.  0-0 that went into a shoot out which the wolves won.

There was plenty of  players who put on the indianhead.  Leddy, Olsen, Pirri, Morin, Smith, Kruger and TTS favorite Andrew Shaw to name a few.

One fun moment was when they had the kiss cam on.  It went through the crowd and it was good fun.  Better fun when they put the kiss cam on 2 Ice Hogs.  It was Bollig and someone else.  Bollig sees himself on the big screen kiss cam, grabs the player next to him and plants a big old kiss on his face.  The crowd went nuts for that.

Both goaltenders were the real stars of this game.  Both were great.  Andrew Luck starred for the Wolves and won the game.  He is from a Chicago suburb and reports are that he will back up Schneider if and when the Canucks can ever trade Louuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

The Ice Hogs goalie was Hutton who looked pretty good himself.  He got called up late last year when Emery was hurt.  He didn’t get in a game but looked good in this one.  Maybe that’s why Stan Bowman never went out and got a goalie?  Maybe they think they got this guy waiting in the wings for whenever NHL gets back on the ice.  In the mean time I’ll keep watching AHL.

Reminds me of that one Simpsons episode, the one where Maude Flanders dies.  Right before that they are giving out shirts.  Who wants a T Shirt?  I do I do I do.  Wait a minute…..no I don’t.

TTS

Advertisements