Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/22/13 at 09:11 AM ET
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
The early Christmas present from my wife came Thursday afternoon: two tickets to the Avalanche's home game that night against the Edmonton Oilers, for me and my son. But not just any tickets: rinkside glass, just to the right behind one of the nets....
Here's what I came away with from my up-close experience:
• When you can really get a look at the eyes of players, you learn so much more. I noticed that Avalanche defensemen Jan Hejda and Erik Johnson gave a lot of quick looks at each other before faceoffs, and they seemed to know exactly what each other was thinking and needing.
You get a real sense of which players are relaxed and confident and which players are playing tight. You notice how players steel themselves before big hits into the glass, their faces contorting in ways you'd never catch otherwise. It feels like you're at an aquarium, seeing what those big fish really look like swimming around.
• Everything happens so much faster than you realize. The game seems easier and more orderly the farther away from the ice you are. At the rinkside glass level, it's #quickcutszigzagnotimesplitsecond chaos. Another thing: Up high, the rink seems gigantic. Up close, it seems small and confined. That may sound elementary, Watson, but it makes a sizable difference in how the game is perceived. Up high, you can see the forest. Down low, all you can see are the trees.
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