Sunday, August 7, 2016

WORLD WIDE HOCKEY TOUR – CHICAGO

The previous match versus Los Angeles was much different than Mekkar anticipated beforehand. The Selects also didn’t expect to encounter a rough and tumble style strategy game by the Kings and their fans especially in regard to exhibition matchups. Mekkar was caught unaware also because his pre-tour research indicated a different performance and alternative match. One that would be focused on skill and scoring prowess similar to the earlier game on this jaunt against the Houston Aeros. The attitude that was put out there was contrary however with an aire of welcome to the National Hockey League brand of hockey. Not only that, it seemed to Mekkar that the Kings wanted to send a message to the Selects squad and teach them a lesson at the same time. The vibe given off by the established franchised was we have the very best hockey players in the world here and we will display it to you. The smugness and arrogance continued throughout that match.

Mekkar was perceptive enough to see through the smokescreen. He knew that other locations and hockey circuits around the globe also had top notch athletes. This was evidenced by the results of the well known 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the USSR. Not to forget the matchups between the Canadian representatives and other European national squads during that period. Added to the fact the increase and incorporation of non-Canadian draft selections in the past few years. One who could see the effects and dotting of team rosters with players from many nations currently in professional leagues of North America.

Since Mekkar and the Selects were wrong about the first game in this leg of the journey they were not sure what to expect now. Yet, Mekkar was now prepared and ready for almost anything to occur. His demeanor was if you to mix it up then let’s tango knucklehead or a more slick match if it were to manifest itself. He didn’t avoid the rough stuff but actually embraced the violence as just part of the game.

He even stated to a couple of his teammates on the bus to the arena for this portion of the journey, “If they want to goon it up, I will be rearing to go.” Mekkar was not concerned about further damage to his already injured body parts.

The Arctic Native saw it as a tale of the biggest bear in the forest. You should let that bear hibernate and not provoke or disturb him. But, if you want to intentionally make the mistake and wake the bear to tick him off, then you get to experience the consequences of your actions. Mekkar thought of himself as the big bear. Of course, it would be a joke if he was referring to only to his physically statue. However, Mekkar also includes other factors of his being in the equation such as his drive, determination, and heart. In some aspects he was nuts on ice, but he believed this state of mind helped to protect him. Mekkar is of the presumption that he is like no one else and one of a kind. Plus, he is always willing to hammer home that point to somebody’s dome if necessary, if only to get their attention.

As per his custom when Mekkar’s team entered the arena he went straight away to survey it. He had read previous stories about this place. Remember, Mekkar was still a curious youngster like many kids. He searched around for the location of where the famous arena organ was. Mekkar eventually found it and met the organist there in this area. They conversed about subjects about the history of the building and how the Chicago Stadium organ was built into the facility. {Wikipedia]

Mekkar asked the guy there if he could teach the teenager any easy songs to play on the organ. The maestro did oblige and let Mekkar try to play them back on his own. Was startled when he held one of the bass keys down longer than normal. It seemed that the whole building shook. “Wow, what a feeling!” Mekkar exclaimed later. He learned two short ditties during that brief time, even though he was unfamiliar with piano or organ keys. Now Mekkar can play a version of Charge and another short hockey tune to get the crowd going and finishes with a deep bass sound at the end.

Sirga’s oldest offspring stated back to the organist there, “What a home advantage you have. Especially when the opposing team has to carry and control the puck during the game.” The virtuoso only responded with a sly grin, but no words. With that Mekkar had to rejoin his team in the visitor’s lockerroom.

Later on, he pondered about having to stickhandle and corral the rubber disc when skating up ice with it. He asked himself if the monster organ would be going full tilt or not. Potential issues were raised by Mekkar in his consciousness. He recognized that he might have to look down to make sure the frozen biscuit stayed on his stick due to the vibrational effects. Mekkar found out in the pre-game warm-ups for real that he was indeed correct in his analysis.

All hockey players are taught ever since they are young and just starting out in the sport to always keep your head up. This is especially the case while skating through the neutral zone. Otherwise, you could risk getting walloped hard and also knocked out. Even pro players make this grave error occasionally and pay dearly for it. Being on the receiving end of open ice hits have resulted in quite a few career ending injuries.

This match against the Chicago Blackhawks was a pretty clean affair unlike the last one. It was surprising because the home side didn’t feel they needed to take advantage of the smaller than the normal ice size standard for the North American continent. {Wikipedia] Unfortunately for Mekkar and the Selects the result was the same, a defeat by a 5-2 margin.

The one thing that stood out for Mekkar was being the ice and playing at the same time as the great Bobby Orr. Although, it wasn’t the same Orr as Mekkar remembered from watching the films and tapes back home. Due to the many knee injuries and other maladies Orr was almost at the completion of his hockey career. Mekkar noticed that Bobby’s skating ability was clearly not the same as before and that Orr’s playing days would soon be coming to an end. This, in fact, transpired. However, a fifty percent Bobby Orr is still better than eighty percent of the players that have ever suited up, even if not up to his own lofty standards. [Wikipedia; The Hockey News; and various other media sources]