Nicko. Now hockey-free since … last week.

Between the nasty virus (which I was wildly optimistic to have thought I’d beat inside of three days), to an intense scuba course, the small matter of work, the real world and other such inconveniences, I haven’t been on the ice since last Wednesday’s class.

It’s a shocking confession and actually feels strange; as in, for something like 12 weeks now, I’ve forced myself onto skates at least twice a week – often lately to genuinely skate – so the absence of quality Icehouse time has been noticed. Last night, when I normally would have been suited up and controlling pucks (well, trying to), I was in a sunny backyard 800 km north, holding a 10 month-old Half-French baby and listening to him laugh so hard he got hiccups as I poked my fingers at moths on a tree and they flew away. There goes “tough guy hockey player of the year”.

I drank straight single-malt whisky afterwards, to reclaim some tough guy ground. Then again, I do that most days, whether trying to be tough or not.

Mostly, since last week’s dream class, I’ve been crook, and busy. Stress & Rescue diving turned out to be pleasingly full-on. Try duck-diving three metres down, in a seven-mill wetsuit (think having large helium-filled balloons attached to you)  and no mask, searching increasingly desperately for an air-source regulator that you know has been tossed into the deep end of the pool. It’s challenging, trust me. The good news is that nobody “drowned” on my watch, but I did end the weekend with a shocking sunburn and skinned knuckles.

And this endless virus. And a mountain of Giants work. Hey ho.

Happily, while I’ve been temporarily dormant in my hockey adventure, the Detroit Red Wings haven’t.

With less than 10 games left until the play-offs, my team is in good shape, points-wise, but battling injuries and facing a bunch of top teams down the home stretch. The Wings had an entertaining win over the Washington Capitals, ending the Caps’ nine-game winning streak and seeing my boy, Hank Zetterberg, rediscover his goal-scoring with two. Then they fell 4-0 behind fierce rivals, Pittsburgh, as goalkeeper Jimmy Howard had a howler. Somehow the Wings got it back to 4-4 to force a shoot-out, which they lost, but snagged a point.

By far, the funniest moment of recent Wings’ play was painful for Patrick Eaves. Against the Predators a week or so ago, he stopped a hard shot with the unprotected inside thigh of his left leg. Nasty. So nasty he couldn’t use the leg. Which teammate Nik Kronwall pragmatically viewed as leaving the Wings’ defene one man down. So Kronwall used his stick to shove Eaves off the ice. See it here.

Next week, the big questions: Can I still skate after a week off? And should I grow a “play-off beard”?


  1. Of course you should grow a beard. It’s the playoffs. I just hope you have to shave it off after the first round. Go Sharks! 😛

  2. Oh, just for that, it’s happening! No way my Wings are first round losers … prepare for significant stubble.


  3. Thhank you for writing this

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