A Night at “The Dunk”: Minor League Game – Major League Hassle

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As my friend Linda put it: “Minor league travel arrangements for your minor league game?”

We Go to Providence More Often Than We Go to Cambridge

We could be forgiven for taking Amtrak there again. It’s $12, practically door-to-door, less than it would cost us to get in a cab to the PRC (People’s Republic of Cambridge). We love Providence. But if I tell you that an hour and a half after our train home was to depart Providence for Boston we were still standing on the platform waiting…you might call us crazy.

I asked the Amtrak employee behind the (bullet-proof, I hope) glass what was going on with our train.

His response: “It’s delayed.”

“Yeah, I figured that out an hour ago. Any idea why? Any information that you could maybe share with those of us waiting?”

“It’s late because something’s wrong.”

Okay, so enough about the travel…wait, did I mention it was rainy and cold and there was no place to sit?

I won’t even tell you about the dude trying to sell an MBTA Charlie card for $4.00 to everyone who needed to get to Boston. All I can say is if you buy a train ticket from a guy wearing soaking wet socks and no shoes who’s offering a $4.00 ticket for a $12.00 fare, you’re probably smart enough to be working behind that glass….

Back to P-Bruins’ Home Opener at the Dunk

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P-Bruins = Providence Bruins – the AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins.

The Dunk = The Dunkin Donuts Center – newly renovated. The P-Bruins have played the first 10 games of their season on the road due to the state of the renovations. Last night’s game was their home opener.

Hockey a Dunk? Not yet.

It was our first hockey game (because we don’t count the Maple Leafs game I saw in Toronto a hundred years ago with the boyfriend of that life I didn’t really have…)

as I was saying, it was our first hockey game and it was fun. It’s still premature to say I’m a fan, but we did do our part for the local economy (two tickets, two t-shirts, one puck, one program, one beer, crackerjacks and a water.)

I tried to connect with the P-Bruins staff before the trip. Two emails went unanswered. I also tried to find a “Hockey 101” article on the NHL or AHL sites. Big Donut.

About the only thing I found was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek article on one of those knowledge sharing websites written by a knowledgeable fan, I hope. But when he describes the referees as ‘the blind guys in stripes who generally get in the way of your guys playing and make bad calls against them’ it kind of makes you worry the “rules” he gives you might be somewhat less than official.

Here’s the Beef

I’m not talking about the boxing match in the first period of the game. I’m talking about my beef with the NHL – and it’s not the fights. The NHL’s had their share of loyal fans as well as their share of really poor profits. To my knowledge, it’s the only major sports league that can sell-out so many games and still be bleeding red ink. They may rival Amtrak in that department.

Here’s a crazy thought: Wouldn’t it be smart to make it easy for new fans to become new fans?

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me…maybe when there’s a penalty or infraction, someone could announce what it was for or at least flash it on the jumbo-tron. Even the guys around me couldn’t follow. And we all wanted to.

The good news: The Providence Bruins won (P-Bruins 3 – Portland Pirates 2). The goal tender Tuuka Rask played really well. The Boston Bruins also won tonight (Boston Bruins 5 – Toronto Maple Leafs 2.)

Did the night at the Dunk win me over to hockey? I watched the Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup last season in some of the most exciting games I’ve seen in any sport. That will help me stay interested. One observation about the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, P-Bruins…I am noticing guys from the P-Bruins go back and forth the Boston Bruins frequently, called up, sent back. I assume this is to do with injuries and such.

There were quite a few times when I saw some sloppy puck handling and missed opportunities that made me think: “These guys would not cut it on the Ducks. What does that say about the Bruins?” But I know it’s early in the season, the Bruins are not the Ducks and I’m no expert.

Anyone with any recommendations for a little hockey basics for your sportsgirl here, fire away. Stay tuned for my next hockey post: a Girl’s Guide to Hockey…or something like that…

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~ by jacqueline1230 on November 17, 2007.

One Response to “A Night at “The Dunk”: Minor League Game – Major League Hassle”

  1. […] sports league that can sell-out so many games and still be bleeding red ink…. source: A Night at “The Dunk”: Minor League Game – Major League Hassle, The Sixteenth […]

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