At long last, October — and the hockey season — have arrived. Have you saved your hockey season calendar? Have you purchased your tickets already? And, if so, have you been admiring your season ticket booklets with a goofy grin on your face? No matter who you support this year, whether it is AHL, NHL, NCAA, or any other level of hockey, take time this season to just sit back and admire the sheer beauty of the game. The sounds and smells, along with the stunningly beautiful fluid movements of the players. Hockey is such an overwhelmingly fast sport that we forget just how elegant it can be. A goaltender reaching out with almost impossible extension to grab a puck out of midair. The quick and graceful pivots.
The artistry of some players puck and stick handling can astonish even the oldest and jaded hockey fan. Even if you are not a Detroit Red Wings fan you have to admire Pavel Datsyuk’s skills. Dekes and dangles and goals. Henrik and Daniel Sedin can often take your breath away with their blind passes and pivots around defenders with such compelling ease. What an absolute pleasure to watch! Alexander Ovechkin is on my list as well for his amazing skills, but most of all simply because he is such fun to watch. With his jersey tucked in behind his tailbone pad and his skate tongues pulled down, Ovechkin leans forward and skates with a staggering amount of fervor and exhilaration — a kid in a candy store mentality. While many others can also be added to this list, the one I am most looking forward to seeing again on the ice at some point in the very near future is Sidney Crosby. Buona fortuna, Kid!
This season, take the opportunity to look beyond the fast pace of the game and team loyalties, and just admire the beauty. Spend some time watching these players and their spectacular moves — even if they do not play for the team you follow. Skill and beauty is not confined to one team.