Hockey 'n Heels Redux: 2/12/08

Dee KarlSenior Analyst IFebruary 15, 2008

Mother Nature doesn’t like the NY Islanders. More times then not, when they try to do something different for their fan base, they get rained on, snowed on, and generally just washed out. Such was the case again on Tuesday the 12th. Not only was it Hockey ‘n Heels night, but there was also a “Women in Business” reception at the Marriott sponsored by LIJ and hosted by Mike Bossy. 

A very lovely event really warranted a better turn out. However, it started at 5 pm, the same time that the rush hour traffic came to a stand still as cars played slip’n’slide on every major thoroughfare in Nassau and Suffolk County. It took me an hour to make a normally 20 minute ride. I figured, it was even further to go home from work, I wanted to go to the game anyway, might as well check out the meeting. I’m glad I did.

I really have to learn to carry business cards. However, since I change purses with every pair of shoes, I have a difficult time making sure I have everything I need. Had I remembered, I would have had a chance at winning some great raffles. That will not be a mistake I make again. Mike Bossy played master of ceremony to the intimate group. He introduced the president of LIJ who gave a brief speech about their cancer care program that treats more patients than Sloan Kettering, sometimes providing health care to those in need at little or no cost. There are 40,000 people in their system, and their mission is to take care of people. They will be investing over a billion (yes, that’s right. That’s a “B”) dollars in the next five years to build a research center and expand their services. We, as Islanders, are very lucky to have such an organization in our own backyard with such a valiant mission.

Bossy had the best job of the evening—handing out the prizes. And although this was a “Women” in business event, there were just as many men in the group. When he was handed the fishbowl of business cards to pick from, he fully admitted he was going to rig it so that only women won the prizes. What a gentleman! I was so elegant in his grey stripped suit, standing so tall and thin at the podium, kissing each woman who won a prize. “I’m from Montreal. You HAVE to kiss twice!” he told the ladies. From the crowd, one of the jealous men shouted, “Now I know why you were the leading scorer!”

The beautiful young woman who was running the event left her cell phone and PDA on the table with me as she assisted Bossy at the podium. I could not believe my eyes as the cell phone buzzed across the table and the PDA beeped incessantly. Didn’t these people know this woman is WORKING! She’s busy! When she returned to the table, she literally had to juggle the two devices getting back to everyone and making sure all was taken care of, and meanwhile…. She was still smiling. Amazing!

Then my phone began to buzz. Everyone was worried because it was already almost 7 pm and I wasn’t inside the Coliseum. “Where are you?? Are you alright?” I love my friends. They care about me. I quickly changed out of my bright red spikes and back into my snow boots and fur coat.

“Catie, there isn’t some sort of underground tunnel we can use to get from here to the Coliseum, is there?”

She smiled at me. “Wouldn’t that be great? I think they had one a long time ago into the convention hall. But they don’t use it any more.” DRAT! Out into the elements I go. And I had to walk all the way to the BACK of the Coliseum to go through the media entrance. By the time I got there, I looked like a snowman. The girls at the desk with the passes felt bad for me, the security guards felt badly for me, and IQ had a rush of motherhood come over her when she saw me.

“Oh my god! You poor thing! Where’s your hat? Why aren’t your gloves on? There’s snow in your hair! Let me help you. You need to dry off.” It was so sweet, and I was so late and so appreciative of her concern. It felt good. Inside, the puck was dropping. She walked with me and helped me carry some things as I made my way to gate nine and over to the blog box table. What do I find there? A packed house! How does this happen???? There’s my usual BB Buddy, Tiger Track Tom Liodice, along with my favorite adversary, Frank Trovato; a rare Mike Gasparino visit, and who is that down at the other end of the table??? Is that B.D. I see? Why, YES IT IS! I know that Mike is up in his own seats and there was a rumor that even Islanders 360, Mike Carey was in attendance too.

So tell me gentlemen… How come on the nights when the weather is crisp and beautiful, the drive is a breeze and the barn is rocking, you’re busy elsewhere and Tom and I are alone. But when there’s a freak blizzard and only about 6000 people make there way to Uniondale, YOU ALL SHOW UP!!! Oddly, we were missing our “KEN” quota. I don’t know why.

As I struggled to get my boots off and my spike heels back on, I tried not to be too big of a disturbance since everyone but Frank and I were live blogging. I handed out Hersheys’ kisses to make up for the commotion I caused.

I was heart broken at the size of the crowd on what should have been a great day for women in hockey. There were women here, but not what it could have been. Even Loudville was sparse, and I didn’t see anything that was marked as “Ladyville” so I couldn’t judge the $10 ticket sales. There were so many prizes to be given out, I started to think that I should have just bought a $10 ticket so that I could have been in the running. I surely would have won something. Moreover, the prizes were GOOD prizes! Every time another gift was announced, I groaned.

An unfortunate penalty on Martinek has the Blog Box in an uproar, especially Frank. I may be the “cheerleader” of the group, but Frank is the one who can become visibly upset.

Witt endures a knee on knee hit and gets a penalty as well. Another call that caused a stir. Trent Hunter scores and I head off to gate 1 for the Meet & Greet… slowly. I hardly ever wear the red shoes because they are almost impossible to walk in. They are the type you put on, and STAY put in. Drive for Five decided to come out and play, but after IQ and I were through with him, I don’t think he’ll join us again. We had him beet red and giggling. He did manage to ask me if I could find out WHY there are no Bergenheim Tee Shirts for sale on the concourse. I contacted the Director of retail sales who told me the demand wasn’t enough (YET!) and the order needs to be large in order to have them made. So perhaps next season they may be there. My suggestion is that anyone who would LIKE to get a Bergenheim Tee Shirt should actually go to the concession and ASK for one. Or even call the team store in Hicksville and ask if they have them. They’ll keep track and maybe we can get them by September.

Back up to the Blog Box for period 2. Frank is missing, but he left me a note. “Down with #55!” We argue about Jason Blake all the time. He seems to enjoy it. He won’t one day when I smack him upside the head.

Everyone who was sitting in the 300s are now moving all the way down to the lower bowl so that it looks much better on the VS telecast. Tambellini nets his first goal to make it 2-1 and we all go nuts. Everyone has waited for him to be able to produce, so we are all excited. Frank has not returned to the table. He must be lost on the concourse.

There is a family with a little baby two rows in front of us. The baby is being incredibly good and is adorable in the littlest Islander jersey I have ever seen. He’s too adorable, and I’m wishing I could hold him for a few minutes…. The feeling passes… I’m good.

I stand on the chair and scream as I watch Sean get one into the net as he crashes into the boards. I scream “THAT’S SIX!!” but I’m also worried as I watch to make sure he gets up and isn’t hurt.

Of course, in true Islanders fashion, they let the Flyers get one back with 2:30 left in the second. I cannot make it up and down the stairs again, so I stay put and watch the Macy’s fashion show from the box. Now, it has been a long time since I’ve done a fashion show myself, but I did at least a dozen of them. (You can stop laughing now. I’m not lying.) I will say I was disappointed in the way it was handled. The commentary was too fast and there was no time to look at the women before the next one came out. But the women tried. You could see they were nervous and out of their element, but they gave a valiant effort and I applaud them for that. Actually, according to Frank, I was about the ONLY one applauding for them. He said he could hear me all the way down at the glass. I think he lies. We immediately went about our usual angry banter as soon as he returned to the table. Tom found it so amusing; he tried to get his web cam up quick enough to catch it. He failed. Maybe next time Tom.

The third period was far more exciting than I would have expected. It was a rollercoaster of feelings. We had it in the bag, and then it got dicey. I think Rick likes to keep things interesting.

The mood in the pressroom was pleasant for a change. How nice it was to see Ted smile. I have not seen that in so long, I had forgotten what it looked like. Teddy smiles from his heart, and it comes through in his eyes. For the first time in weeks, it was pleasant in the pressroom. But a win will do that. I think we were all starting to forget.

I sipped my tea and sat on the bench while everyone else did the interviews. I changed back into my snow boots while Shakey was moving the gear bags around. I didn’t need to hear what was being said. You could hear the tone. The monkey was finally off everyone’s back. It was a win. A desperately needed WIN. On a night that Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating, the Hockey Gods made up for it. For a change