You knew this was coming: it’s the inevitable Hockey ‘N Heels recap! I asked Mrs. OrderedChaos about last week’s sold-out event, since her hockey-loving husband bought her a ticket. (I wanted to go, but I knew I’d be staring longingly at the specialty drinks at Clyde’s afterwards and didn’t want to torture myself.) Not only did Mrs. OC answer my questions, but she took some photos. Here we go:
- Can you describe how the evening was structured?
We all arrived between 5:30 and 6:15. Slap Shot greeted us as we came in the door; he was passing out snacks and water. As I checked in we were broken into 4 groups. They provided color-coded group bracelets, and told me my first stop would be Wives Q&A. I went to wait in the bleachers and watch the “Caps Cribs” and other video goodies. They had one about who is the biggest ladies’ man. Brooks Laich!
Each group spent 25 minutes at each stop. My stops were 1. Wives, 2. Hockey stick session on the ice, 3. Locker/Equipment room 4. Chalk Talk with Coach Boudreau.
At the end of our last session we were escorted to Clyde’s. Chili Amar [Mix 107.3] was announcing the players in attendance as I came up the stairs. But there were a lot of people, so I couldn’t see anything.
- Which session was your favorite?
I’m surprised to say this, but it’s hard to decide which event I liked best. I truly enjoyed all the sessions because I learned something in each. But I think I enjoyed the on-ice demo and using the hockey stick — Sami Lepisto would pass each of us the puck, then we’d pass it back, then he’d pass it again, and then we’d shoot at the net. I also really enjoyed the time with Coach Boudreau. I was impressed by his demeanor and how articulate he is. He was also pretty funny.
- How would you characterize the other women- hockey novices or dedicated fans, or a mix of both?
There were lots of hockey moms and lots of fans. I’d say about three-quarters of attendees were serious fans. In my group, approximately half of the participants had season tickets, and everyone had been to a game. It seemed like most were conversant with the rules and asked “Why don’t they (the players) just go up the center and shoot?” They showed some frustration with the team in the questions they asked Coach Boudreau, but the coach handled it all well and with good humor.
- Was the event geared more towards novices or experts?
I think it was geared toward novices, but was good for experts too because they could ask specific questions. The “experts” seemed to be there more to see the facilities, see the locker room and equipment room, and ogle the players. During the bar event I was surprised that almost every time when I asked the person in front of me, “Who is that player?”, they always knew their name and position they played.
- Did you learn anything new? If so, what?
I learned a lot about the equipment, they travel with 6 sticks! And there is only 1 set of goalie gear. I still cannot understand icing, so I asked the coach “I don’t understand icing, how do I look for it?” He explained that a lot of the times he doesn’t know whether it’s going to be called or not. So I STILL don’t get it?¢‚Ç¨¬¶
- How was Clyde’s afterwards? Were you able to meet any of the players? Which players were there?
Clyde’s was crowded, but it was fun. The food was delicious–I had a lamb chop, shrimp, crab dip. They had an open bar, including specialty drinks like the “Ovechkin” (a blue concoction I didn’t try) and “Slapshot” (which was sweet but tasty).¬†I met and took photos with Matt Pettinger, Milan Jurcina, Brooks Laich, Jeff Schultz, and Nicklas Backstrom. Eric Fehr was also there. I was really shocked to see the players in regular clothes. I know it sounds stupid, but they are so much thinner than they look on the ice (since the padding makes them look bigger). They were all very nice and approachable. I felt like I should have had something more to say other than, “Thanks for coming” and “How do you like Washington?” If I were to go again I’d want to be able to ask them real questions. I was impressed that the players are so accessible and give their time.
- Would you go again next year?
I think I would do it again, but it would be more fun with a friend.
- What were your overall impressions?
Women really like hockey. I married into hockey and I enjoy it, but a lot of these women love it and it was nice to see a public outlet for their passion. Oh, and this event is really cool, I know my husband would have liked to stand on the Verizon Center ice and pass the puck with an NHLer. And I got to do it! I think the Caps should consider something like this for men. Sticks, Pucks, and Cocks (just kidding)! This event also really made me appreciate the players a lot more. They work really hard and have a lot of ups and downs (as do their wives and families).
I think she’s onto something with her suggestion for a men’s event. Anyway, by all accounts it was a successful event; the Caps sold 250 tickets in eight days. Not bad. Take note, NHL- women love hockey too!
A special thanks to Mrs. OrderedChaos for providing her perspective.