This is a journal series about dealing with the absence of hockey after the NHL “paused” the season on March 12th. Maybe you’ll find some solace in this. Maybe some laughs. Maybe something to help you through a missing piece of your life while we all do what we can to flatten the curve.
It’s been one day since hockey left us.
Last night, I was supposed to drive up to Tampa to watch the Lightning take on the Philadelphia Flyers. It would have been a pretty good game too. The Flyers have been playing well. They’ve gotten good goaltending from Carter Hart. For the last couple years, I’ve thought the Flyers had pretty decent skater talent. Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier. Travis Konecny. Ivan Provorov. These are all players I’d be more than happy to have on my team. And they added to them with Kevin Hayes, James van Riemsdyk, and Matt Niskanen. Plus young defenseman Travis Sanheim has started to look really good.
But Carter Hart. He seemed to be the missing piece. Sure, they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals a while back. But that didn’t last. Carter Hart is easily the most talented goalie the Flyers have had since Ron Hextall, right? And he’s only 21 years old.
So yeah. It was going to be a good game.
Instead, I found myself wandering around my house. I flipped the TV on and didn’t find any sports to watch. Turns out everything has been canceled. No hockey. No basketball. No baseball. No soccer. No cricket. No rugby. No badminton. Not even bowling! [ed. note - Not everything. You can still stream live Jai Alai].
But y’know what? It’s just the first day without hockey. It’s not much different from when the season is over? Well... kind of... Unless you won the Stanley Cup, the first day after the season has ended is probably a sad one anyway. But at least you’re more prepared for it. You know it’s coming, right? Either the team is already out of it and it’s just a relief to get to the offseason and start thinking ahead... or your team went into a game where you knew you could be eliminated.
This seemed a lot more sudden. I mean, sure, we were starting to get an inkling this was coming. It didn’t reduce the shock though. It feels more like being suddenly cut off from a part of your life. For a lot of us fans, for seven to nine months of the year, our lives revolve around a hockey schedule and that schedule is now very suddenly gone.
So, I poured out a Newcastle, sat back, and enjoyed it. As far as Brown Ales go, it’s not bad. I also decided to watch Demolition Man. Unfortunately, it made me really want some Taco Bell, since they won the Franchise Wars, but it was already after dinner. I also figured out the answer to the toilet paper hoarding...
THREE! SHELLS! Reusable. Easily found in the State of Florida. Just go to a beach for 10 minutes and you’ll have your three shells. Problem solved, right?
And that was pretty much my evening. It really can’t compare to having been at Amalie Arena, but I’ll just have to deal as best I can, knowing that the absence of hockey is helping stem the tide of a huge global disease. I hope you’ll check back for future journal entries and follow along as I, like all of you out there, deal with the absence of hockey.