Posts Tagged ‘Joe Louis Arena’
Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a 2-part series following the Northern Michigan University hockey team to the Great Lakes Invitational.
After three days’ worth of practices, game day for Northern Michigan University arrived on a Tuesday. The Wildcats fit in another short practice late that morning to try and tweak any remaining issues. When it was time to go back to Joe Louis Arena just before 5 p.m., I could feel things change. The team was still a little loose during the morning skate; now the Wildcats were all business. When they arrived at JLA, most of the guys stretched, while others fixed their equipment, rode the exercise bike and got taped by the trainers. Starting goalie Atte Tolvanen went through a much different routine.
Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a 2-part series following the Northern Michigan University hockey team to the Great Lakes Invitational.
The bus I’m sitting on is warm, but it’s getting colder outside. I can see the players’ breath as they load their gear into the compartments of the bus. It makes me glad that I didn’t linger boarding this thing. As I sit on the bus, I start to get nervous. I rarely get nervous at my job anymore, but this would be a new experience as I was attempting to do something that no sports writer in the Upper Peninsula, and possibly college hockey, had done before. I just hoped that people would enjoy it.
Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s start with a story.
It was April of 2002. Western Conference quarterfinals Game 2. Detroit vs. Vancouver. Yet again, the Red Wings lost inside Joe Louis Arena, and now a roster chock-full of Hall of Famers was down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series.
It was the ninth consecutive game the Wings failed to win. They finished the regular season 0-5-2, lost back-to-back home playoff contests, then had to board a plane, travel six hours and try to break the spell inside a hostile, Vancouver environment.
Done, over and finished, right?
One fan certainly thought so. He walked down the Joe Louis Arena steps, approached the short glass, took off his No. 39 Dominik Hasek sweater, and threw it onto the ice.
Four wins later, he wanted it back.
Sixteen wins later, he was the biggest fool in Detroit.
Welcome to Panictown, where the goalie crease is always a bull’s-eye for abuse, and overreaction comes at a premium. A recent six-game losing streak took bizarreness to a whole ‘nother level, even causing Jimmy Howard to tell nhl.com there’s no need for sacrificing “a live chicken.”