It was June 2004, in Raleigh for the entry draft. I had just gotten off the highway coming from Atlanta, driving directly to the hotel where I was to pick up my pass. I got out of the car and follow a group of three from the parking lot into the hotel.
The rest is probably better as stream of consciousness:
"Who is this kid...he's way too small to be a draftee...he's carrying equipment though, so he must be I guess...long shot I'm sure...who are these guys with him...agent and dad probably... the dad looks familiar... (dad turns to hold the door open) OH MY GOD it's Ray Bourque! So, that must be Chris."
A lot of Chris's life must be like this, as a famous guy's son. And yeah, he's ridiculously small. He might be 5'5 in reality. Might.
Bourque took a hooking penalty in the second. Jim Slater bumped him down onto the ice rather easily on his next shift after that.
Ondrej Pavelec made his Philips Arena debut tonight (his second start and fourth game). He played well, although when he goes down, he doesn't get up terribly quickly and is rather scrambly. If there's one thing he needs to work on, it's recovery (especially on a team with defense like the Thrashers). The goal he gave up was on a wraparound. He dove back to his right, but they put it in over top of him.
Dave Steckel played a lot for the Caps (22:26), even saw a lot of PK time (7:30). His skating is seriously painful to watch, but he gets there I suppose.
Kovalchuk scoring an amazing goal on the way to what could have been a record-breaking hat trick presented a problem for the crowd, in that they weren't sure what to chant. "Ko-vy" or "Ko-val-chuk"? Quite a dilemma. He left the game with what they're calling back spasms -- basically he overdid it on a slapshot and crumpled. At the time it looked like his knee.
One thing I noticed was the Thrashers trying for the long bomb on the power play breakout. Interesting.