Friday, 13 May 2016

NHL Hockey Experience – @ Madison Square Garden and the American Airlines Center

Hockey time!!! As most of you know, I’m a big hockey fan and I just love the NHL, so I had to go see a game or two.

The first one took me to Madison Square Garden, where the New York Rangers played against Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, that’s a pretty special game to me. I saw the Rangers play against my time in Switzerland a few years ago, when we opened our new stadium. And the Bolts?! Well, I love Florida, they are a great team and I saw an NHL game oft hem last year against Detroit.

I walked to the stadium pretty early to have enough time. I went inside the stadium and first explore the big fan shop, so many great things!!! I bought a cap for my brother. Then it was time to properly go into the stadium and find my seats. I got some food and a beer and sat down. My seat was great, it was on the second level and just behind the goal. After a while the teams came out for warm up and then it was time for the game. Tampa had an awesome start and scored twice pretty fast. It took the Rangers some time to get into the game, but then they were on fire, especially Derek Stepan. They scored 3 goals and won in the end. Yes, I wanted Tampa to win, but I’m fine with it, I like the Rangers. The game was very exciting and never boring, so that’s a huge plus.
I had some nice guys sitting next to me, we started talking and I showed them my Tampa shirt. Of course they wanted to know why I’m in New York, why I support Tampa etc. They also told some things about them, we had fun. One oft hem was actually really cute ;). I always seem to meet guys like that in another country and far away from Switzerland! Why, oh why?! ;)

Madison Square Garden is a fabulous arena, I loved every minute in there!

My Dallas hockey adventure started a day after I arrived. My second momma Wendy took me to the Stars practice at the Dr Pepper Center in Frisco. OMG, this was absolutely awesome! We were able to stand right next to the ice rink and watch the players train. This was so awesome on several levels. First of all, I was able to see al the players up front and really close, that was just insane. I took lots of pictures and filmed for my vlog, I felt weird first, because the players were so close. I also really enjoyed seeing what they actually do during a practice session. We never get to see them in Switzerland, so it was pretty special to me. Of course the one player I constantly watched was Jamie Benn, the captain, he’s just great. I have to say, I was sad that Tyler Seguin was not there, but I know that before. All the other fab players were there though: Jonny Oduya, Jason Spezza, Jason Demeres, Patrick Sharp (hottie), John Klingberg, Antoine Roussel and many more. I was also able to see coach Ruff and I discovered a new cute player: Stephen Johns ;). I can’t say it enough times, this was just awesome. During practice I got to meet Julie, who is a reporter and does interviews with players and other stuff for the Stars TV. It was great talking to her and hearing a bit of behind the scenes facts.
After the practice we went to the RallyHouse store, which is located right next to the rink, I bought a few Stars goodies: 2 shirts, key rings and gold balls (for my dad).

The second game led me to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, where the Dallas Stars played against the Nashville Predators. Two of my faves!!! Well, Dallas is my favourite team and I’m a big fan of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, they also have some other great players. And Nashville?! Roman Josi plays for Nashville, he is Swiss and he is awesome! I think now you can understand my excitement for this game!!!
Unfortunately, Tyler Seguin didn’t play, because he got injured a few weeks ago and sadly Roman and some other big players were not there as well. It was the last game of the regular season, so they didn’t play full force.
So, let me start at the beginning: We got to the stadium and were able to park right by stadium. I saw the stadium from the outside already during lunch time, when we explored the city a bit. We git in really fast, received a program and then went down to the “club”, I got a VIP bracelet and then we had dinner at the club. That was great, food galore, free beer and more. Just for the puck drop we went to our seats, right by the glass!!!!! The best seats ever, I would say awesome seats with a great view of the game. I loved being so close by the game, right by the actions. Again I got the players really close, which was awesome! The game started slow with Nashville scoring twice. I still had enough time to get some good footage ;). After the first period we went down to the club again and had dessert, all for free. I might have to add her that only glass seat people get in the club and the WAGS (wives and girlfriends) lounge is just next to it. The second period was so much better, the Stars scored twice, or should I rather say Jason Spezza scored twice!? ;) in the second intermission we went to the Hangar to get more Dallas Stars goodies, they had 25% on all items, which is fab. I got another shirt and a Dallas Stars bag, perfect for carrying my school books. The third period was pretty intense, with both teams trying to score the winning goal. And only a few minutes before the 60 minutes were over Jason Spezza scored again. The whole arena exploded, I even got it on film. So amazing!!! A huge party. We won and the are Central Division Champions, which is AMAZING!!!! After the game Jamie Benn gave a little speech, which was very cute and the players handed out shirts. And now OMG, Jamie Benn handed one to Wendy’s daughter!!!! We couldn’t believe it, best night ever! I got a glimpse of Tyler, who was on the Stars bench in a suit! I’m still a bit sad that I didn’t get to see him play, but you can’t have everything I guess ;).
The AAC arena is a beautiful arena, inside and out, nothing compared to what I have seen before! The atmosphere during the game was electric and I loved every second of that evening. Of course I was wearing my Stars shirt! So the Dallas Stars made it to the playoffs now and I can’t wait to see how they will do, Stanley Cup here we come!!!

I actually thought that after Dallas I will not talk about hockey, but here we go! Chicago is of course home of the Chicago Blackhawks. I didn’t look for the Blackhawks store, but there it suddenly was on Michigan Avenue, so of course I went in, I can’t resist anything hockey related. So the first thing I did was browse through the store, then there was a section, where you could take a picture with your favourite player. There was a big camera, like one on a computer and a white wall. All I had to do, was standing in front of it and smiling. I pocked Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as the players and their locker room as a background. They then sent me the pic via email and also posted it on their Twitter account. I then looked for a nice shirt and was ton between two, one was a bit sparkly, had their logo on it and in black their name, the other one had a big logo on the front and a players name with his number on the back. I then picked Toews and decided the leave the other one behind. Toews’ shirt is a bit special, because it also has a C in front, because he is the captain. Well, I also picked up two Stanley Cup Playoffs pucks, one for me and one for my brother. Only then I realised that there was a table with a guy sitting there and signing pictures. It was Denis Savard, former Blackhawks player, so awesome!!! I of course got two pictures and also got the pucks signed. I hoped my brother will be happy with me ;). In the evening I of course watched their first playoff game against the St. Louis Blues. Unfortunately, they lost in overtime. I can’t wait for Dallas to start the playoffs. Their first game is exactly when I fly back to Switzerland. Guess what I’ll be doing when I land ;).

So, here is the end of my rambling about hockey, sorry if you’re not into the sport, but I guess the ones who don’t like it, haven’t even started reading this post in the first place ;).

I will put up a separate hockey vlog on YouTube (tomorrow or Sunday probably), so make sure you check that one out as well :).

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