Hi Hockey Friends,
The third season of professional hockey in the Lehigh Valley is upon us. For those who’ve been around here for a while, you know that I’ve done a “Hockey Night in Allentown” post for just about every hockey game played at the PPL Center in Allentown since it opened. Why? Well, there are a couple reasons:
First, I get excited about the games. Really, like a little kid, I get up in the morning on a game day and it’s easier to get up, the weather isn’t as bad, work isn’t as bad–everything is good because I’m going to the game! It’s similar with baseball, but the every night nature makes it a bit more mundane.
The second reason is because lots of times, I see the same questions asked–either people I meet during the day or folks on social media or wherever. The Hockey Night post is designed to answer those questions. We’ll review below.
Lastly, I do it before the game because this is something nobody else does (mostly). There are plenty of places to go to read a “gamer” after the game, to find out what happened, who scored, what the players and coaches had to say following the game. But, for those GOING to the game–or who wish they were going to the game–there are hockey things and arena things to know going in, which will hopefully enhance your enjoyment of the evening. I try to provide that.
So there’s a rhyme and a reason for the posts. And, it’s fun writing them. Some days they’ll be very long and very detailed–usually early in the season and at the beginning of home stands. Some will be shorter, if we’ve had several games in a row or if we’ve been eliminated from the playoffs already. But I’ll always follow the same basic format. I’m writing this today to review that format–what I’m doing and why I do it:
Quote of the Day
It could be a song lyric or some kind of hockey quote. This is meant to set the tone for the post and let you know how I’m feeling about the team and the night’s game. It will often foreshadow things to come in the post itself.
I’ll try to include a photo if I have a decent one. The Phantoms–and the arena–aren’t as easy to deal with as the IronPigs or SteelFC or SteelHawks. And, I think hockey photography is hard–to do it well. I’m working on it though, and have a few friends who can help out.
“About Last Night”
In some form or another, this first section is designed to answer the common question, “How’s the team doing?” which is asked in many forms and many times. I’ll review the recent road trip, or just my thoughts on the game the night before. It’s an idea about where the team is at that very moment. It’s not meant to be a complete gamer or comprehensive review, just a “Cliff’s Notes” version to set the scene. In rare instances, there may be a rant here if I’m really fired up about something.
Here, we’ll take a quick peek at the standings. Maybe look at league leaders if Phantoms are among them as a team. A look at attendance and where we stand–although as you know, this is somewhat variable with the different size arenas.
We’ll review roster changes, injuries, and individual league leaders here. This is to help answer the question, “Who’s on the team this season?” As you know, players come and go in the minors, in baseball and hockey alike. It’s more fun when you know who you’re cheering for. Folks on the baseball side still want to know what happened to Andy Tracy. I imagine we’ll have some folks still looking for Zack Stortini and Jay Rosehill around these parts this season. For the more hard-core fan, this section should let you know whom to expect in the lineup that night. I’ll sometimes post some lines from the night before or from practice reports I see online to try to let you know what to expect on the ice that night.
Many posts will include this section, to help you know what’s going on with the Reading Royals. Check them out some time–it’s a great time and something to do when the Phantoms are out of town!
Everything you need to know about the game. A look at the opponent might be included here–or a link–if it’s relevant. Tickets, parking, promotions, game time and gates–all the common questions I see asked online are answered here. Perhaps a link to the press packet, and broadcast information if it’s relevant. Last season I even included a mini-restaurant review, which I may continue this season–anything to avoid eating arena food! 🙂
What to Watch
I admit, I’m still learning hockey. I still see something new each game, it seems, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. I never played, other than messing around on the pond in front of my house growing up. I only saw hockey live a couple of times before the arena was built. Anyway, in this section, I’ll try to break down some of the play and give you something to look out for on the ice that night. Could be I’ll be way off, but we’ll all be paying attention to the game on the ice. I’ll also mention any other things to look out for at the arena if I feel like there might be an issue or happening. As always, use the comment section if you’d like to contribute to this section. I know a lot of hockey fans like the FaceBook, but the fact is, not everyone is on there or on there every day. If there’s something to add to a post–something I got wrong or something you want our fellow fans to pay attention to, please use the comment section. If your comment goes to moderation, worry not, I’ll get it up ASAP–that’s only in effect to limit the spam and keep us on topic.
We’ll conclude each hockey night looking forward to when the next game(s) are, and where, so that you can plan ahead.
Happy Hockey Season folks, your first “Hockey Night In Allentown” post will appear this Wednesday for the Flyers/Devils preseason game,
See you at the arena,
Featured image courtesy Hockey Night in Canada