Texas Stars Hockey

Hockey is one of those games I’ve always wanted to get into but never could. Mainly because any time I’d watch well… I wasn’t sure what was going on. Oh sure, you can watch and keep your eyes on the puck, but it’s those greater subtleties of the rules and the game play. Often it’s best to learn games by watching them with other people who know the game, but that’s been hard to come by for me — I don’t know a lot of hockey fans. At my last job I worked with a bunch of Canadians, all Leafs fans (natch), and they tried to explain the game to me but it just wasn’t enough to take.

My buddy W is in town and he’s a hocky fan (Dallas Stars). He asked me if I wanted to go see a Texas Stars game (they’re the farm team for the Dallas Stars). Sure, why not.

We watched the Texas Stars win 5 to 2 over the Milwaukee Admirals. We had pretty good seats (row F, behind the Stars bench), and gosh if it wasn’t more interesting to watch the game in person than it was on TV. W also fielded all of my questions, not to just explain the “what” of the rules, but the “why”… like why icing is an issue, the method to the madness behind all the constant line changes, and so on. I came out of last night’s game not only having really enjoyed it, but with a better understanding of how the game actually works. I feel that if I watch a game on TV I won’t feel so totally clueless now.

Most enjoyable stuff.

Oh, the Stars’ goalie was pretty damn good. Stars needed to play a bit better defense (W said they needed to be more aggressive); a lot of time was spent in Stars territory. Still, offense was good enough to score 5 points and defense good enough to only allow 2 points, but again I attribute that low score to the Stars’ goalie.

BTW, the Cedar Park, Texas event center? Nice place. It’s like a mini arena. Seats maybe 5000 people (I don’t know, we did a rough estimate), looks and feels just like a large arena, but shrunk down… and that includes the seats. The seats were cramped. I had a hard time getting out of the seats, and W is a bigger guy than me and the seats were no fun for him. Still, it felt like even the cheap seats in the “nosebleed” section aren’t even that horrible given the size of the arena.

2 thoughts on “Texas Stars Hockey

  1. I love hockey but don’t get to watch or play enough of it these days. The summer hockey league that I’m mildly interested in conflicts with my summer sailing league that I’m mildly interested in. Sailing doesn’t cost me money since it isn’t my boat, so it is currently coming out ahead.

    Anyhow, here are some of the features that I like about hockey.

    – The penalty system. Minor penalty? Sit your butt on the bench for 2 minutes while your team plays 4v5 hockey. Contrast this with basketball. Kick him in the nuts, punch him in the face, and the bleeding guy gets to take 1 or 2 free shots. Yippie. Penalties in soccer outside of the box are even lamer.

    – The substitution system. I love the on the fly line changes. I think it adds a lot to the sport. Play doesn’t have to stop for you to get fresh players into the game. It also makes the 2nd (and 4th in the case of OT) period more interesting as it is more difficult to substitute when you’ve swapped sides on the ice.

    Hockey is a very dynamic game. It doesn’t really translate well to TV. You need a wide shot to see how plays are actually developing, but the puck is so small that it is difficult to follow on wide shots.

    Peter

    • That was my problem. I try watching it on TV and I just can’t “get it”. But watching just the one game live made a HUGE difference in my ability to parse what was going on. Sure I still can’t understand all the subtle strategy… it was still mostly a bunch of guys skating around after a puck, but I could grok everything a lot better than on TV.

      The action is why I am drawn to hockey. Sure I love football, but it’s 5 seconds of action and 30 seconds of setting up for that action. It’s slow paced. Basketball is better but it never did much for me. Baseball is just boring to me. But ice hockey always perked my interest… I just couldn’t get into it because I didn’t have someone to help me bridge the gap.

      But for sure, I’ll keep watching.

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