Friday, November 23, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to the locker room

Last night's Gladiators game against the Texas Wildcatters got boring late in the game, so I started scanning the crowd with my binoculars. Next to the injured (concussed from a puck to the face) Chad Denny, was none other than Ondrej Pavelec. I assumed he was there to see his friend Tomas Pospisil, who had been sent down for this weekend's games. I went downstairs and grabbed a seat next to him for the final few minutes to chat about how he ended up there, when clearly when I talked to him that afternoon, he had no plans. He said another Czech friend saw the transaction and told him about it. Ondrej called Tomas, and then headed over to the game.

Denny thought they should head down to the locker room with about 2:00 left in the game, so they said see you later and walked to the elevator. But the elevator attendant wouldn't let them downstairs because neither of them had a pass. They came back over and asked me if there was another way downstairs. I couldn't think of a staircase on that end of the arena, so I got up and talked us onto the elevator. I of course had my pass, and the lady was reticent, but said they could go down if I escorted them. I'll be laughing about that one for weeks.

Only two people recognized Pavelec at the game he said, wearing a black baseball cap. That doesn't surprise me. Pasi Nurminen could walk around the concourse at Thrasher games without being recognized. And Marc Savard to go to Gladiator games relatively anonymously.

Pavelec waited outside the locker room for Pospisil. I told him it would be fine if he went in, but since it was a loss, he didn't want to. I talked to Tomas as planned, and then afterwards gave Pavelec a status update -- he's stretching in the back. "I told him not to do this," he said. Not only does Pavelec not believe in stretching, he was hungry and wanted to get going. In fact, beforehand he kidded me "don't talk too long to Tomas" and keep him waiting.

Pavelec had nice things to say about Gladiators coach Jeff Pyle, having played for him in Traverse City, that he was a good coach and a good guy.

I warned both him and Pospisil that it being Thanksgiving night (and 10pm), they were going to have a tough time finding any restaurants open. I said they might have to go buy food at Kroger (not Publix, Publix was closed) and cook it themselves. Pavelec asked if the "firemans" were working that day. I assured him they were.

Here are a few shots from the game. Below is the miniature emergency backup goalie that Texas brought. He suffered the insult of no name on the back of his jersey. That's rough.

Pospisil had a skate issue in the first period and had to send his skates off. Below he's putting them back on. He's here because the Gladiators were short a player and asked Chicago to send someone willing to help out. Pyle liked Pospisil in Traverse City this year as I recall.

After the game, Pospisil admitted that he was tired from having moved into his apartment this week (shared with Scott Lehman), buying and putting together furniture. He didn't see much ice time late in the game.

Turps had an equipment issue that requires both Hoops and a linesman to fix.

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