Monday, September 28, 2009

Well, It's Monday. Back On Your Heads.

So… Hockey season begins this week!! YES! And my Beloved Wings are in Sweden as we speak, trying to get over jet lag before they play an exhibition game with a Swedish team on Wednesday and before opening the NHL season on Friday against the Blues. About that Sweden trip: here's Helene St. James, writing in The Freep:
One is as popular as a rock star back home in Sweden, while the other will go down in history as one of the country's best athletes.

Led by Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom, the Detroit Red Wings -- an iconic hockey franchise built today around Swedes in a sport dominated for nearly a century by Canadians -- are to leave for Stockholm tonight in preparation for the 2009-10 NHL season opener Friday. For nearly half the team, it's nothing short of a giant homecoming party.

"A lot of people back in Sweden have stayed up late over the years to watch the Red Wings play," Zetterberg said, "and now they get a chance to watch us play live. It's very special to do this."

The Wings boast a Swede in every position: Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Andreas Lilja and Jonathan Ericsson on defense; Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen up front; and newcomer Daniel Larsson may soon be part of Detroit's goaltending.

Tickets for the games at Globe Arena sold out within an hour.


Zetterberg's popularity in Sweden began with his dazzling play in the Swedish Elite League and for the Swedish national team -- with which he won a medal in four of the five years he played in the World Championships -- and grew to astronomical proportions when he began dating Swedish TV personality Emma Andersson. Since the two got engaged in summer 2008, they've become the "it" couple of their summertime home on the island of Alnon outside Sundsvall.

"Hank is the king there," Jonasson said, "and Emma the queen."

Lidstrom, on the other hand, is more of a national treasure, and an underappreciated one at that. It's partly because he's been gone since 1991, and partly because he hasn't played nearly as much on the national teams as same-generation stars such as forwards Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin due to the Wings' regular playoff runs.

Even with six Norris trophies as the NHL's top defenseman, along with four Stanley Cups, Lidstrom's stature isn't fully recognized in Sweden.
Well, even though we're on about hockey here I just can't resist posting a photo of Z's hunny:

Dang. Innit GOOD to be a hockey star? We digress, of course, and there's more such digression here. Worth the trip if you admire the female form. There's more on the Wings in Sweden at The Freep link, above. Good stuff, too.


Your tip o' the week: Ken Burns is more fun than a National Park, too*. Or at least his films are. Just in case you missed it… PBS is running a five-part film by Burns on our National Park system.  The series kicked off last evening with a two-hour premiere focused on Yosemite and Yellowstone… arguably the two most beautiful parks in the system. The cinematography/photography in the film is simply stunning, and the narrative script ain't bad… for PBS. I'm of the mind it would be difficult NOT to take stunning footage in either of the foregoing places, as they are breathtakingly beautiful.

Episode Two of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" airs tomorrow evening. Highly recommended.


Today's Pics: Apropos of the Burns entry about the parks and more specifically, Yellowstone… a couple of shots of YrHmblScrb in that vicinity. Both you long-time readers know I've posted quite a few pics of my week-long stay in Yellowstone back in May of 2000. I'm here to tell ya that a week in the park wasn't nearly long enough to see it all as Yellowstone is simply HUGE. I'm also here to tell ya that going to Yellowstone in May ain't exactly the smartest thing when your only mode of transport is a mo'sickle. It got COLD, Gentle Reader… oh yes, it MOST certainly did. But… the upside is there aren't hordes of other tourists at that time of year. As a matter of fact... some places I went were quite lonely, if you can believe that.

* in reference to the tag line I used on yesterday's pic.


  1. Buck,
    Ken Burns does nothing second class, I love his stuff. I spent a week in the Yellowstone growing up, it was wonderful sleeping in a tent with Bears ransacking the camp looking for the food locked up in the car. It was simply amazing. I wish I had been able to take my kids there.

    BT: Jimmy T sends.

  2. The river valley pic -- breathtaking. Wow.

  3. Jimmy: I was wrong in yesterday's post... Episode 2 was on last night. Didja see it? And Yellowstone is just WAY-cool. It was the best thing I saw in my (nearly) year on the road.

    Moogie: I spent at least an hour there... just drinking it all in, even though it was colder than the proverbial well-digger's ass.

  4. I watched Slap Shot last night and thought of you the whole time, Buck. My husband chortled through the whole thing like a big kid and every ten minutes would say, "Hockey used to be just like this, why'd they pussy it up?!"

  5. Flyers/Blue Jackets in the Cup Finals :D

    Great photos of the Biker and "Scenery"

  6. Daphne: I'm thinking the game is just as good these days as it ever was, maybe better. Hell, I KNOW it's better. But "Slap Shot" is a HOOT!

    Pat: Heh. The Flyers in the Final, maybe. The BJs have to go through Deetroit to get out of the West, and that's easier said than done. :D


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