Playoff hockey is exhausting!

I hate my keyboard. Hate, hate, hate! Totally off-topic, but it had to be said! As I am in no condition to work until the caffeine kicks in (I should consider an I.V. *g*) and I have to wait for my colleague (again!) to talk about some stuff and to assign the different tasks, I can spend the time trying to sum up last night. I got almost run over by a car, had a yummy dinner, saw a rather mediocre hockey game, celebrated the victory, managed to get some of the last tickets for game 4. Summed up ok :-)?

I wasn’t really in danger to be run over by a car, as it would have hit the guy walking in front of me :-). The trafficlight for pedestrians was green so we started crossing the street when suddenly a car came hightailing and honking! We had green light and that jerk honked us away! Well, better than to be run over, but still…
Dinner at Vapiano was nice, as usual, it’s just sad, that they don’t have that many vegetarian pasta dishes, or at least none that I like that much. It’s kind of boring to get the arrabiata every time, but as it’s tasty, it’s not really a huge problem. It’s always fun to be there before a hockey game, because the “cooks” always ask about the game or hockey in general. They don’t usually know a lot about it, but it’s still nice.

I got to the arena very early and so could squeeze in some reading before the warm-up and everything started. Yes, sometimes I’m a nerd :-) Thank God the Sharks management passed on hiring some singer to sing the national anthem, which is always sung/played before the game in the final series. The crowd just sang it and although I’m not the most patriotic or anything, singing it with 17.000 people every time really touches me and gives me goosebumps.

There isn’t much to say about the game itself. I can only agree with what sar-sunshine said about San Jose vs Calgary: “neither of these teams look like they want it too badly, actually.” It’s the finals of the German hockey playoffs, so it’s the presumably two best teams of the league playing against each other. It didn’t look like it last night though. They weren’t really that bad, but they weren’t good either. Thinking about it: Cologne WAS really bad for parts of it! I mean how can you not score a goal with almost constant powerplay in the first period. Including a major for Berlin? So please, just get the puck in, damn it!

All in all in Berlin seemed slightly superior to me, and thus the lead after 30 minutes was not unearned. The Sharks tied with 16 minutes left in the final period and even had to survive a five-on-three (or is it called three-on-five for the team being two men short? English hockey terminology is difficult *g*), which they did really good. They finally came back into the game and were a bit more aggressive and our captain McLlwain scored the winning goal with 10 minutes left. Ten nervwrecking minutes! But they made it through. Yay!

We hurried out to the ticket shop right after the game, we didn’t even stay to watch the shakehands or anything. But the line was already… well, long! It probably would have been the same at the ticket shops outside the arena, because probably bootleggers already waited in front of these shops even earlier to make sure they get enough tickets to re-sell at a horrendous charge at ebay later. So we queued for about an hour. A very very long hour, because there is always something or someone totally getting on your nerves. Like the youngsters outside the line who had to instruct their guy in the line. Why do you send the stupidest and most drunk of your friends to buy the tickets?!?!? Or the couples who only just start thinking about which tickets to get, when it’s their turn. Hello… you already had an hour to think about that. And there weren’t too many tickets left, so just make up your mind and clear the way!

When it was finally our turn there were no tickets left for the standing room, behind the goals, where we usually stand. And there were not many left in first upper tier, so we took the ones left without a lot of discussing it. You almost need binoculars from the second upper tier, so it’s not that much fun. Of course we would have taken them as well, if you’ve had to, but… considering the circumstances we were lucky to get tickets at all, after just one hour of waiting.
I guess the management learned from the last time the Sharks got into the finals in 2003. Back then the ticket weren’t available right after the game, but only the next morning, so people spend the whole night waiting in front of the ticket booths! And this time you can’t order tickets on the phone or on the internet or any other ticket booth in town either, not until this afternoon I think and it should be sold out already before that. It’s the playoff-final and definitely the last home game this season! It’s a shame that it wasn’t sold out last night, there were about 1000 (of 18.500) tickets left.

But I really shouldn’t complain so much, but rather appreciate that 
a) Cologne made it to the finals this year,
b) there is a game 4, because they tied the series and kept the chance to win the championship and
c) there are single tickets available for the normal fan in the first place. Unlike in other countries *winks to North America*

I have to admit I was briefly alarmed last night thinking about all the hockey stress continuing. Watching game 3 on TV on Friday. Watching game 4 at the arena on Sunday. At the best case scenario they win these two games and the championship and there’s a HUGE celebration (and the season farewell party) directly on Sunday after the game. Or they could have the party on Monday to do it on a bigger scale, which needs more preperation. It definitely would be on Monday if they loose both games. If they win one, lose one, there’ll be game five on Tuesday in Berlin. We would be watching on TV and the party (of whatever kind) would take place on Wednesday. What I’m trying to say is, that it’s very very likely that hockey will rule my schedule for the next week.
Did I mention that I have millions of things to do (like some shopping) before I get on the plane to Canada in 11 days? I’ll do some shopping with my mom on Friday and maybe I can take a day off work next week to get thing done at home as well, so it’s not that stressful. Even with the vacation I’ve got enough leave days, I should use them!

And right now I so need another cup of coffee… *yawn*

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