17 September 2007

I-95 HLOG Convention AKA Okay, the East isn't SO bad.

NPI has been pretty quiet these past few days - but rest assured, it isn't because we don't love you, it's because we ventured out into the southeast. But before I get into that, some other important news!

First, fellow blogger and generally awesome guy Teebz offered a couple weeks ago to send me a copy of the Heritage Classic dvd. I got it on Thursday and didn't have a chance to drop a thank you before then (especially because it's not just a copy, but a beautiful one with the labeling copied and in a real dvd case and everything!) but it's awesome. I had time to watch just the highlights before I left, but seeing all the old Oilers still together made me unbelievably happy - and I can't wait to see what sort of trouble Conks gets himself into. Thanks again, Teebz!

Second, last Thursday I was also featured in over at Interchangeable Parts as a part of their summer "Why You Love Hockey" feature. If you've never checked these ladies out, they're hilarious, and have been putting together a charming 118 part series of exactly why they love hockey all summer long - so if you want to see me make a grammatical fool of myself while professing my love for playoff parody songs, here's the link.

And now, down to business!

I-95 HLoG MegaConvention!
(Photo taken by some random equipment boy.)

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday Elly and I had the pleasure of flying/training our way down to Washington DC for a HLOG gathering including the two of us, CapsChick, Shmee, Pookie, Schnookie, and Teka. While the weekend consisted of much drinking and viewing movies such as The Cutting Edge (yet again), the highlight, by far, was the hockey.

I confess I know almost nothing about the Capitals, but the weekend turned into a sort of baptism by fire - I now know at least six or seven players (by their real names - another ten or so clock in with names given to them by the lot of us) and even have a favorite in Milan Jurcina (who CC got a great video of goofing around):

He's not Czech, but he's close.

I'm also the first to say I don't know nearly as much as I should about the East Conference as a whole, but some important happenings are clearly just meant to be documented, whether I get them quite right or not:
  • Even though it wasn't like we had any cause or reason to take advantage of it, seeing and hearing in person just what Caps bloggers get access to was really awesome. As great as it would be the Wings would do something like that for those of us here, and as jealous as I am that we don't, it was just really cool to see the way the Caps are really trying to bring people in and work with them. Good job Capitals!
  • Ovechkin is as hilarious as you're told. I missed his little dancing with Olie episode that everyone else seems to be reporting about, but watching him walk around the rink in a neon purple shirt satisfied me well enough. I was a little disappointed at how much we didn't actually see of him - he took one afternoon practice while some other players scrimmaged, and hung around for maybe an hour on Sunday, most of which I missed.
  • I don't think the players appreciated us as much as we appreciated them, least of all Alexander Semin. After seeing him first fall over (could it be the result of hanging out with Malkin in the offseason?), then spend an entire drill sitting like this, and finally prance around shirtless for us (just so we get a few more hits for that one, I'd like to say the phrase "alex semin shirtless" here again...oh wait, no one's actually googling that?).
  • The addition of Micheal Nylander to the team looks like a really great one - all practice long he was really intense, and at the very end he was showing a rookie some puck control drills that were absolutely brilliant. He could, however, benefit from getting someone to fix his shorts so he wasn't flashing thigh at us every time he passed.
  • The Caps have had one of the by far better results when it comes to new uniforms, but the white ones, which I presume will be an issue for all teams, have this unfortunate tendency to become see-through when they get wet (henceforth known as Rod Brind'Amour Shorts Syndrome). This is not only ridiculous looking but also really unfortunate.
All in all the lot of us had an amazing weekend the likes of which all the HLOG meetups so far have been. Shmee did try to poison us with some sort of Rachel Ray concoction, but in the end it just succeeded in making us more obnoxious and her apartment more sticky, so we forgive her. Besides that, I know I didn't have a lot to say when forced to write that Caps love post earlier on in the season, but the boys looked really good out there - they've definitely built themselves up from last season and I might never hear the end of this, but I think I'll actually be keeping tabs on them when I can. I mean come on, I voluntarily went to two days worth of Caps training camp!

Last but not least, the Wings open up the preseason with a game against Kirsten's Wild - I'm interested to see what the line combinations will be as well as who will be getting a closer look in the upcoming preseason games. I have tickets to the Wings/Leafs game on the 29th and I'll be sure to keep everyone updated on what I see!


CapsChick said...

I would just like to say that I would totally search for "alex semin shirtless" any day and to prove it I did just that a minute ago...but amazingly your blog doesn't even come up!! We'll have to fix that.

I loved meeting both you and Elly, and I feel very proud that you will now be "keeping tabs on them"! I'm holding you to that. Next up? Elly. It'll happen, don't you worry.

(Meanwhile I'm listening to the Habs-Pens preseason game online and there was a commercial for Timmy's, and I thought of you.)


Steph said...

Okay clearly I need to get on the ball. I've fallen in the google rankings of sites that come up when you plug in "Ty Conklin" (yes, uh, I may or may not have checked this more than once), and now I can't even get hits when I blatantly talk about shirtless hockey players? I am useless!

I loved meeting you too! And, well, it might be nice to attach myself to an eastern team that doesn't get me ostracized from most communities :P You keep working on Elly, I don't think she's budging, though.

(And Timmy's! Yay! Ooooh I want some coffee...)

And MIIIILAAAAAAAN! I need to upload the 2825925 pictures I took of him.

Shmee said...

It was so much fun to have you guys out here....I am coming to Detroit soon! And PFoD is coming with me...

Steph said...

Shmee, it was awesome going out there to see you, I'm so glad I ponied up and spent the money :P

I can get home to Detroit almost any weekend, so definitely look at the schedule and see who you'd want to go see! (I confess, it's the promise of PFoD that's keeping me going here...I mean what? No, I'd LOVE your company!)

Teebz said...

Steph, you're welcome. I told you I'd go all out for you guys with the DVDs. It ain't worth doing unless it's right. :o)

Hope you guys enjoy your copies of the Heritage Classic, and if anyone else wants a copy, let me know. There may be a small fee to cover shipping, but that's about it.

Kirsten said...

BITCH AND A HALF! That game sucked.

Anonymous said...

I;m surprised I don't show up anywhere for "completley unhealthy following of colby armstrong"

I'm contemplating whether I should just team up with the Sidney Crosby Show and go all-Army all the time.

Steph said...

Oh Teka, even if google won't give you the satisfaction of naming you such, we ALL believe, deep down, that you do fit the "completely unhealthy following of Colby Armstrong" bill. No worries.