Remember when the boys were all electric…
Raleigh, NC Breakfast was more delicious than usual on game day, and no, it wasn’t because of the sweet tea. Many of the more “go-getter” type Blue Jackets had joined us for the surprisingly good hotel buffet. One particular Columbus boy caught my eye, or rather, his back side did. A certain Marc Methot has a butt that won’t quit (FIVE DOLLARS)! I had to restrain myself from pulling the old pass-n-squeeze as he lingered next to our table each and every time he reloaded his plate – thank God that boy has a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge…appetite! I don’t know what it is, but defensemen always do EVERYTHING better!
Which brings me to my next point: Columbus is a HOT team! I’m not sure if it was the fact that it was 26oC in Raleigh, but Bambi had definitely come out of hibernation, and was on the prowl. Luckily for her, man-candy such as (but not limited to), Antoine Vermette, Sami Lepisto, and Thericknash were slow moving targets roaming the hotel grounds.
Speaking of Thericknash… I always have a good time when I’m at a Blue Jackets game. I have a lot of memories from back in my younger Catholic school girl days that involve TRN. Oh, by the way, there are only two The’s in my repertoire of hockey players: Thericknash and Thebradboyes. Both were boys I had a she-boner for when they played junior. I actually was at TRN’s final game in the OHL when London was eliminated (4-2) in the second round of the 2002 OHL playoffs to none other than TBB’s Erie Otters. It was also the final game played in the old London Ice House before the Knights moved into the John Labatt Centre. I remember TRN got a goal in that game and he celebrated right in front of the glass where we were sitting – fond memories. I also remember how he got down on one knee in defeat after Erie had successfully managed to advance to the third round (and later the Mem Cup) – sad memories.
Thericknash was also featured in a lot of the “spicy stories” I think I told you about. My friends used to write notes and draw pictures for me during class in grade 11 that would always feature junior hockey players in some way. I remember one about TRN that was QUITE graphic –there was a diagram and everything! TRN was, after all, a member of the Sexy Seven that year, too. A list that also included current NHLers: Tim Brent, Dan Paille, Stephen Weiss, Steve Eminger, and a certain Nashville player that shall not be named! TRN was also the reason I met my first jock sniffer, which came in very handy when I was writing Down the Rabbit Hole. These two no-name league hockey players were sitting next to me at a Jackets game in Toronto, and one of them was bragging that he had messed around with a girl that had “dated” Rick Nash. The other guy was impressed, but still felt it would have made a better story if his teammate had actually nailed her.
Anyway, back to the game. RBC Center was my 25th NHL arena visited, and now that I’ve been there, I really regret putting it off as long as I did. The weather was great, the boys were jumpable, and most importantly the locals were hockey fans. Heading down to a “southern market” I kind of figured that the support for our game would be minimal. Sure, you will always find fans at the games no matter where you go, but what got me about being in Raleigh was that I could walk down the street and civilians would actually prompt intelligent conversations about the NHL. It was very impressive, and part of me was really pulling for them in the game that night, but the other part of me, the same part that was wearing the Leafs t-shirt, needed the Canes to fall to the Jackets to keep Toronto’s playoff dream alive. Luckily the Blue Jackets snapped their losing streak that night. Unfortunately, the Rangers also won.
After the game, we hit the town for a post-game celebration. The “mexidog “ that Michelle had ordered at the rink, and that one of the Blue Jackets’ trainers was eye-fucking, was unsatisfying and we were both starving. A couple sweet teas later, and it was time for bed. We finally both got a full night’s sleep for the first time in days. The following afternoon it was more than an effort to pull ourselves away from the beautiful North Carolina weather. I will definitely be back to Canes Country next season to see one of my teams play!