Hi, Snakes fans. Unwinding from Opening Night, an unusual night, to say the least.
It started off great. I thought the ceremony honoring Craig was terrific. In the office pool of "who will cry first...and when?", I had Jerome in 2.5 seconds...haha. Was so proud that he made it nearly all the way through his speech. Go, Jerome!
Craig also did well, but I'm sure you noticed, he didn't look up too often and certainly didn't look at the bench... :( It was great to see so many of his former teammates at his side. Of course, the sight of Jagger skating out there with his daddy was awesome.
I went to see Craig in between the second and third periods but he was off visiting with friends and fans. I really wanted to say hello one last time, since I don't know when our paths will cross again. I hope soon, but you never know.
After the game, I use Erin's office to write (thanks, Erin!) since I can shut the door and it's quiet. While I was working, there was a knock at the door and it was Craig, wanting to thank me for the story I did on him for Thursday's paper. He was so proud to introduce me to his dad and said I nailed his feelings about the honor bestowed on him tonight.
As I've said before, he is one of a kind and I'll really miss number 32.
At the beginning of the the game, I felt really good about a young Snakes team. Half of them are new and 7 of the 9 new guys are rookies. I really, really like Sammy and Daryl together and I thought Brett Hammond did a great job. Don't forget, Brett H (have I mentioned there are too many Bretts?) practiced exactly once with his new teammates. Both Daryl and Jerome mentioned what a great asset he will be.
When the score got to be 3-1, I thought the Snakes were on their way to a W. I was looking for maybe a 5-2 Snakes win. Not exactly...
This game was divided almost exactly down the middle. The first 28 minutes, the Snakes had two PPG and outshot and outscored Pensacola. The next 32 minutes, it was all IceFlyers. Just about everything that could go wrong did...
One turnover after the other and some were very, very costly. Some of those goals were Ian's fault, but the vast majority were due to defensive breakdowns. He didn't have a lot of help out there.
The one that made me cringe was when Kyle tried to clear the puck out of the crease and tipped it into the goal instead. Ouch. I felt terrible for him because, at that point, it was just piling on one awful thing after the other...yikes.
As I expected, the new captain was brutally honest in his assessment of the game and especially tough on the D, saying that they didn't give Ian nearly enough help.
When I interviewed Will for the centerpiece story in this morning's paper, I told him that one of the "perks" of wearing the C is getting the "losing captain questions." Craig was joking about it tonight. He told his dad that if the Snakes won, he knew I wouldn't need him. But if they lost, "I just waited for Kathy to send for me." haha
Of course, this was only one game. Wouldn't it be nice if the Snakes came out and grabbed their first W on the road after last year's troubles winning away from home?
Regardless, I think there's a lot of talent on this team. When they learn to play together, they'll give us a lot of exciting moments this season.