Stanley Cup Playoffs Party: Everything but the Game…

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 league logoI’ll be candid, I’m not the most avid of National Hockey League fans, and until a few months ago, I’d never even been to a hockey game (read about our Avalanche game adventure) but I really enjoyed the in-person game and recognize the many similarities between hockey and soccer. And, well, the many differences, not the least of which are the never-ending substitutions and the ceaseless breaks in the game for commercials, but that’s what I call the “Americanization” or, to be more fair, the “broadcastification” of sports. One reason I believe soccer isn’t more popular in the USA is because it doesn’t have frequent breaks for adverts, the game proceeds without pause for each 45min half.

Anyway, hockey. And socializing. Good together. Kinda like chocolate and peanut bu– well, you know the cliché, I don’t need to actually type it all in, do I?

With the support of Enterprise Rent-A-Car – who are a proud sponsor of the NHL – I invited some of the guys over for the fourth game of the Eastern Conference Stanley Cup Playoffs. Since the playoffs are best of seven, game four would either be the deciding game or would at the least be high tension and a good match. Turns out that the Boston Bruins kicked butt in this playoff series and they went into the game 3:0, with the Pittsburgh Penguins leaving commentators and fans alike wondering how they got to the playoffs in the first place.

The game last night was no better. While the Penguins came out strong and dominated the game in the first period, they couldn’t make a goal to save their lives. They kept the Bruins from even having many chances to shoot in the first period, but as happens with many sports teams, they ran out of steam as the game proceeded and by the third period, the Bruins were making complicated three and four player setups and dominating the game. Even with that, though, it was a comedy of errors, with shots going high, wide and more than once bouncing off the metal edge of the goal.

In fact, the Bruins won, and clinched the Eastern Conference Stanley Cup Playoffs spot (nicely done!) with the lowest scoring game possible: 1:0. For die-hard hockey fans, it was a decent game, but for the rest of us more casual fans, it was rather slow and even with a combined 49 shots on goal, to only have one actual shot make it into the goal? ((yawn))

A slow game and a really long “intermission report” on NBC Sports meant that we spent a lot of time standing around the kitchen and talking, while eating what was retrospectively ridiculously healthy foods:

debating a finer point of hockey

Can you see the spread? Salad, various dressings, some chips, grapes, rice, more salad, and, just off camera, tilapia and brats that I’d pulled off the BBQ. Why did I pull them off the BBQ, you ask? Because I ran out of propane and my ‘q died mid-grilling. D’oh. Luckily it was an easy task to toss everything into the oven for the last little bit of cooking. Result was quite a tasty meal and some good conversation about quite a few subjects, including the rigors of parenting and the often inverse relationship between marriage and sex. But that’s a subject for another blog post, no doubt!

What we should have been doing at the same time was tapping into the fun Enterprise Hat Trick Challenge to see who get the highest score. But who am I kidding? All of my friends and I already spend too darn much time online, so when we’re hanging out, it’s nice to talk with everyone, not stare at our devices. Well, except for Chris in the pic above, who was checking a hockey stat. 🙂

A good evening with good friends and while the hockey game itself might have left something to be desired (maybe just one measly goal from the Penguins?) I can’t complain, and with the help of Enterprise, we had good munchies, slick BBQ tools to try out, and even a big stack of stadium beer cups to use, even if everyone preferred drinking straight out of the bottle!

I’m hosting a giveaway too: You can win an Enterprise Playoff Party Host package, including lots of cool stuff, including a Coby TV soundbar, a Brookstone executive BBQ tool set, and much more. To enter simply tell me how many Stanley Cup matches there’ve been since the very first Cup was awarded and, for a bonus entry, what the most common score is across regional playoff games. In other words, was 1:0 typical, or are Playoff games usually higher scoring? You have until June 17th, 2013 at noon PST!
Disclosure: Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the National Hockey League provided me with a gift package to host the party and as a thank you for writing this post. They’re welcome!  The views and commentary here, of course, are my own. D’oh.

40 comments on “Stanley Cup Playoffs Party: Everything but the Game…

  1. 119 Stanley Cup Finals Series have been played.
    Average score 3 to 2.

    Most Dominating Playoff Team Ever. My 2012 Los Angeles Kings! Go Kings Go!!!

  2. As of RIGHT NOW… 120 years! BRUINS vs BLACKHAWKS… and thanks for the reminder, it’s the one time of year I like to make sure I watch hockey, but I always lose track of when it is.

    🙂

  3. Winner chosen by having my delightful 16yo daughter pick a random number between 1-39 and it’s… Monty Python’s Flying Circus!

    No, wait. That’s wrong.

    It’s Ed Shapiro of SensoryEdge.com.

    Congrats, Ed. Lots of fun stuff heading your way from Enterprise Car Rental!

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