This is a special time of year around the W household… one where Kris and I are basically glued to the television watching the NHL playoffs. With games on virtually every night, it is fair to say that it offers a lot of knitting time. Last year, I started the Stanley Cup Stashbusting knitalong (Ravelry link), and we are back again for a second year of cheering on the hockey teams and busting through the stash!
…Funny how it works out. I was not an athlete growing up, and generally not a fan of sports at all. It was not until I moved to Maryland and started dating Kris that I even knew the first thing about hockey. We started dating in May 1998 – and that was during the Stanley Cup playoffs. I remember that we first held hands while watching a hockey game… but I can’t really remember which one it was …Kris played hockey too, and I started going to some of his games and learning more and more about the sport and genuinely enjoying it. I adopted his favorite team – the Pittsburgh Penguins – and also follow the local team, the Washington Capitals.
Over the next few years, while we were in college, we would listen to the games broadcast on the internet radio, watch any games we could on TV, and buy tickets to any games we could afford. Now, eleven years later, I am a bonafide fan of the game. I have been to many arenas, watch hockey several times a week and even read hockey blogs and news feeds. Sometimes I even get the scoop on a big trade or a controversial play before Kris does!
Sometimes I wonder why hockey has not taken off in the United States the way some other sports have. It is such a fast-paced sport with lots of skill involved. Canadians definitely love their hockey: Kris and I were just amazed by the great fans in Nova Scotia during our trip last spring. But for every time I think about how I wish more people were fans, I also think that it is a “best-kept secret” of sorts – people just don’t know what they are missing!
Oh, the art of being a female hockey fan… sure, there are some hotties to gush over, but female fans are a booming industry in this League as well as several others. I guess we know a good thing when we see it. Luckily, I have an amazing group of fellow fans to cheer along with over on the Ravelry group Puck This!. Nearly every team has a fan represented on the boards, so it is a fun way to get together and talk hockey, set up playoff pools, and plan for knitalongs
I got these photos (and many others) last month when Kris and I went to DC to see the Penguins play the Capitals. We were so lucky to get there early enough to go down to the ice level and get photos of the players during the pre-game skate practice. I can’t tell you how excited I was. I actually had this notion in my head that I could just leave it all behind and become a photographer for the NHL. Maybe in my next life…
…stay tuned for some of new knits from the old stash! and feel free to join the stashbusting over on Ravelry!