Saturday, March 22, 2008

Voyage to Voorhees

So today, Soph, Pops and I made the pilgrimage to the Flyers Skate Zone to take in a Flyers practice. Flyers practice is a very different experience than Sharks practice... For one, there were more people in the stands than on the ice today! Even though it was an optional practice, the rink was packed! And also, it's easier to meet the players in San Ho... they can't blow fans off that easily because they have to walk by them to get to their cars, whereas in Philly, they can drive right past you, or sneak out the back.

We got there late, and the only guys practicing were Steve Downie (blah) and Denis Tolpeko (aww!). (By the way, there were tweeny-looking girls very obviously squealing over Downie... If you're going to squeal, at least pick someone we like! Or be more subtle, sheesh! We're classier than that... usually because we're just gaping like idiots, but whatever!) OMG One little boy in front of us started banging on the glass after a drill, and Tolpeko skated over and gave him a puck. It was like Christmas morning for this kid, as he tore out of the rink to show his dad. So cute! Aww, Tolpeko! Pseudo Westley from The Princess Bride!

We hung around inside for a bit, and then we ditched Pops to wait with the mob of people outside. There, we heard that Randy Jones had already been and gone. No, not Randy Jones! Not our fine boy! I don't know how many guys were on the ice before we got there, but only a few stopped. Riley Cote was the first one we saw, and the crowd of people practically cheered when he stopped. Cote gets props from us for sticking around forever... he seriously signed for like everyone there. He kept checking to make sure he got everyone, it was endearing. Soph and I didn't actually bring anything to get signed (we wanted pictures!), so we just hung out and watched other people. Cote may not be the face I want on a huge Flyers billboard, but his stock went up considerably today!

After Cote came... Lasse Kukkonen! Aww Lasse! We jumped in line for him immediately. Soph almost got impaled with the stick some guy was trying to get signed, but we made it out unscathed. Lasse seemed really sweet... I'm glad that he finally gets to play now! It's the bright side of most of the Flyers d-men being injured!

Lasse is Finnish for vixen... or wixen

After Lasse, things got pretty dull again... We were getting ready to leave when we saw a car come from behind the rink and park in the front parking lot. I was pretty oblivious until Soph pointed out that the guy now heading into the rink looked like Tolpeko. A bunch of the people around us had pieced this together too, so they went inside to find him. Not surprisingly, I felt super AWK. I have a hard enough time when the players are right in front of me, let alone when I have to go seek them out! But Soph got me to go back inside with her on the Tolpeko hunt... and we found him, signing for people in a rink where some young kids were playing. When we got up to him, he was talking to some guy in Russian... prettty cool. Soph took a picture with him and he seemed super nice, just like at the Carnival! Afterward, Pops told us that he had been informed by another fan that "Denis is in there, signing" and Pops responded that his daughters were already in there. I often hear that Soph is like the daughter he never had... Hmm...

Denis does NOT have tentative dad hands! Not that that's a bad thing...

To continue with Flyers weekend (the break formerly known as Easter), Soph and I are going to the Flyers-Islanders game tomorrow!!! But we have more guys to add to the IR... Pretty Ricky is now out for the year following hip surgery, and Randy Jones apparently won't be back until Tuesday... booo! Rusty hasn't played in almost two weeks now, so I guess we'll be cheering solely for the Flyers after all. OMG If something happens to Lupul, Lasse, Gator, or Marty, we will not be happy campers! Boys, you have been warned.

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