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10.12.05

That's the Anzoomie

ZamboniMini-Critic and I had another outing together last night, but rather different from the sort of high-cultural event we usually report on together: I took him to his first hockey game at MCI Center. This was our only chance this season to see my beloved Detroit Red Wings play here in Washington, and we were treated to a close and exciting game that the boys from Motown ultimately won, 4-3. The play seemed evenly matched, perhaps leaning towards the Capitals, for the first two periods. In spite of a last-second Washington goal -- literally at the 19:59 mark -- Detroit managed to eke out a well-earned win. It was a pleasure to watch the Caps' new star, 20-year-old Alexander Ovechkin, in action. A big presence on the left wing, he is as good as his reputation, leading all the rookies in the league in the point standings going into this game. He scored a fast, pretty goal in the first and had an assist.

However, Detroit's young players were better, with two power-play goals from fast and accurate Henrik Zetterberg (the first was a beautiful shot after he walked in toward the goal with a great move) and one from the slippery Pavel Datsyuk. The winning goal belonged to Nicklas Lidstrom, who also had two assists. The difference came down to performance on the power play, where the Caps scored only once out of seven tries. Who was Mini-Critic's hero for the evening? The driver of the zamboni (or, as he says it most charmingly, the "anzoomie"), the possible reappearance of which kept him engaged the whole evening. They have two of them at MCI Center, and we had to sit through both intermissions to watch them glide around the ice. I think it's time to introduce Mini-Critic to Matt Napier's children's book Z Is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet.

8 comments:

Mark said...

The artful "SLAM" into the boards!

jfl said...
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jfl said...

congratulations to being the first writer *ever* to have used the word "pretty goal" in a piece about toothless, bloodspitting hockey! it adds that sense of 'ballerina' and 'fragile little magnolia' to snot, sweat and gore. on ice. with helmets. :)

Todd said...

Was hoping you were at the game. We had our outing here when they faced LA as our 'farewell to Stevie' game. Same results...lots of Motown sweaters and a win. I heard the crowd roar for number 19 every time he played the puck. Nice, D.C.

Charles T. Downey said...

Yes, "pretty" has a slightly different meaning in hockey. By this, I meant only that Zetterberg's goal was accomplished more by finesse than by slashing at the goalie's pads with the ferocity of a junkyard dog to scoop the puck into the goal. This sort of "ugly" goal is the provenance of Tomas Holmstrom.

Charles T. Downey said...

Todd, I was howling my head off along with the rest of the Detroit faithful for my hero, Stevie Y. I am continually horrified with just how devastating the injuries to his knee were, since there is obviously still discomfort and probably will be for the rest of his life. The man is the definition of fucking grit.

jfl said...

so... this book is by MATT, not mark napier? and i was almost going to brag about my ice-hockey knowledge. (perhaps i should start with not calling it "ice-hockey"?!

Charles T. Downey said...

The ice- prefix is useful for those who consider field hockey a real sport. My favorite variation of the sport's name is the French one, hockey sur glace, which sounds like a dessert with some strange animal innard on it.