I can feel my heart beating

Chris Osgood: will be missed

The blood pumps. I still have a wrecked shoulder but do I care? No, and you know why? Because I’m a hockey player. And tonight, I play hockey. Class One, Intermediate. Bring it.

I even got a couple of general skates in, to get ready, after the inline attempts at Byron. I’ve discovered that early morning sessions are the ones to aim for at The Icehouse. The other day, I kid you not, I was lacing up my skates and looking at a completely empty Bradbury Rink. Ohhhhhh yeah. Will and I had been chatting about my need to skate faster, my feeling that the good skaters are impossibly faster than I could hope to become. His idea was to just hit a general skate, forget about practicing pivots, hockey stops, other moves … just go for it. Skate as fast as I could for lap after lap after lap. So that’s what I did on Tuesday and it was great. Who knows if it helped – I’ll find out tonight, the hard way – but it was so awesome to be out there with only a couple of other learner skaters to act as traffic cones.

Meanwhile, my heart is also beating because Will, Mack and I are seriously planning an American trip. And that includes up to four Red Wings games, three at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, and one against the Caps in Washington if we can get tickets.

Osgood with the Cup, 2008

Too good to even contemplate. I’m costing it now (which isn’t pretty) but I think it will happen. We’ll be singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” for real.

And finally, the NHL off-season continues with silly season shenanigans but also the retirement of Wings goalkeeper Chris Osgood, who will hopefully be recognised in the Hall of Fame. It was time for Osgood to hang ’em up but I’m sad. He seems to be an amazingly good person (including having a charity where he hosts kids on his own ice rink in his backyard) and once managed to score a goal against the Whalers. More to the point, Ossie was the brilliant goalie in net when the Wings won the Stanley Cup a few years ago and I first really tuned into the team.

The other star that series was No. 40, Henrik “Hank” Zetterberg, who has that Swedish sense of humour that can’t be beaten. Such as in this NHL advert I found …

and Pavel Datsyuk, who doesn’t even need a script to be funny. Watch what happens when his phone goes off mid-interview.

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