For those who didn't know (everyone), the NHL (National Hockey League) does this thing where fans can vote for their favorite hockey players to come down to Atlanta and have a stompin' good time playing a hockey game with other fan favorites in a "just for fun" game. During this weekend, there would be all kinds of fun hockey stuff to do, like play on the same team as other hockey favorites, and participate in skills competitions, and purchase incredibly overpriced hockey memorabilia. And Tony, being an A number 1 hockey fan, and me, a supportive wife who doesn't mind hockey, decided to go and witness the festivities.
Tony and I hang out by the zamboni in Atlanta. He is sporting his Tampa Bay Lightening jersey, and I'm supporting the San Jose Sharks.
enchiladas, we headed over to the arena to watch the famed skills competition. The skills competition consists of a 4 part obstacle course relay, fastest skater races, an elimination shootout, the youngstars game (which is an abbreviated game for all the NHL rookies), accuracy shooting, fastest shot, and finally the breakaway challenge (which is like Olympic freestyle skate only with an attempt to score a goal at the end). It was awesome. The pictures do not relay the awesome awesomeness.
The fastest skater race, where you will note in the picture above that one Duncan Keith, who happens to be a cutie-patootie member of the Chicago Blackhawks, is totally smoking his competition. (Keith is the one in the white jersey with the "picture of the face on the front" - in case Mom was curious).
Here's everybody getting ready for the Rookie game, which basically translates to a lot of stretching and willy-nilly skating all over the place.
All that happened on Saturday. The next day, Tony and I took a break from hockey player mania and spent the morning in the Georgia Aquarium. It's supposed to be the largest aquarium in the world, and it is a sight to behold. I highly recommend it. A funny thing happened while we were in the Amazon River part though. I was looking at piranha when Tony suddenly realizes that that really tall guy over there? The one that's all built? Yeah, he was the guy who won the fastest puck shot last night! He's a real live NHL hockey player! In the flesh! (Tony was very excited. I was surprised to learn that piranha don't eat people. If they bite you, it's by accident). We thought that both things (the player sighting and the piranha bites) were just flukes, but right around the electric eel tank, Tony spotted another player...and then another! It turns out that the aquarium was having some sort of player lunch (which sadly, we were not invited to) and after their vittles, the players were just wandering around, watching the beluga whales just like us commoners. It's always nice to be able to get right up close to minor celebrities...and stingrays.
Anyway, after the aquarium, we headed back for the main event, which was the All Star game. The East was playing the west, and because the Blackhawks are in the west, we were rooting for them. (Atlanta, however, is in the East, so everyone else in the arena was cheering for the East). It was a close game, but the East managed to pull one more goal out to win 7-6.Before the game starts.More willy-nilly pregame skating. They do that a lot.