Friday, September 24, 2010

Pre-Season Do's And Don'ts

When you've waited all summer for hockey season to arrive, attending your first pre-season game is an emotional moment.  The feel of the hockey jersey fabric on your skin, the shine of freshly made ice at your arena, the hugs from friends you haven't seen in months -- it's a heady thing.  So it's natural that your emotions may be running a little higher than normal, which can sometimes cause you to react too quickly when things don't get off to the start you've been anticipating all summer.

For instance, let's just say your team loses not only their first home pre-season game, but the game being played in your opponent's city by the other half of the squad as well.  That's right -- two losses in one night.  Admittedly, it's enough to put a die-hard fan a little on edge. 

So to help you survive the pre-season roller coaster of emotion, here is a short list of do's and don'ts I find helpful.

  • Continue to breathe.  
  • Remind yourself it's only the pre-season, and these games do not count towards the official season standings and your play-off hopes.
  • Remember that your rookies and prospects need your support.  They're going to start getting cut from the big squad tomorrow, and you don't want them to feel like losers because they're the future of your team.
  • Be grateful for what you DO have (that AMAZING BRAND NEW HIGH-DEFINITION SCOREBOARD, for instance).

  • Forget to breathe.  Hyperventilating in the middle of a game isn't pretty, and it won't win you friends in your section.  Remember, this is just the pre-season.  If you're getting this upset already, your chances of seeing your team through to a Stanley Cup final are ZERO.
  • Scream insults like "Earn your money, you bum!" within earshot of your star player.
  • Freak out when a stick gets stuck somewhere it shouldn't be.  These zebras are professionals, and they'll take care of the problem before one of your players impales himself flying around too close to the boards.
  • Call for the replacement of your Number 1 goalie because he lets in a couple of soft goals.  The guy hasn't played in a REAL GAME in months.  Let's give him a chance, OK? 

Most importantly, remember the only pre-season game that really matters is Frozen Fury, so relax and get ready to head to the sports book.  Because once the Kings shake off the rust (what the pre-season is for anyway) and get the REAL season started, things will return to normal, and we'll be going back to the play-offs where we belong.  You can bet on it!


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