The Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing on home ice for the first time this season tonight. After enduring a lockout that delayed and shortened the current NHL season, Leafs fans finally have something to cheer about, and after all that waiting tonight should be pretty celebratory, especially since the Leafs triumphed at the weekend in Montreal.
Thanks to a lucky break, K and I won Platinum tickets to the game. The puck drops at 7pm and our hot seats mean we’ll be close to the ice cheering on the action. This will be our first hockey game – a chance to experience Canada’s addiction first hand and we’re doing it in style!. We’re both pretty excited.
Ice hockey is Canada’s national passion. Thanks to the climate and sense of community, it’s played everywhere from ponds to streets to giant arenas. People build rinks in their backyards in the winter. Kids head out onto the ice as soon as they can stand.
Luckily, J has prepared us by tutoring us in The Hockey Song, (she’s got a soft spot for the Oshawa Generals). A Canadian anthem, written and sung originally by Stompin’ Tom Connors, it’s now routinely played at hockey arenas where the crowds sing along.
Despite first appearing in 1973 the song didn’t reach its tremendous popularity until 1992. It was at this time, that it was played at Ottawa Senators games. Pat Burns, then coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs wanted to have it played in Toronto. Fans immediately took to it, and it spread throughout both Canadian and American NHL arenas. It’s a celebration of Canada’s love for its national game, hockey.
Aside from a nod to Health & Safety, not much has changed over the years…
It should be a great night!
If you have any tips and advice for a couple of hockey virgins, please, please, please leave a comment and help make this a truly memorable experience…