I'll summarize the trip in photos for time purposes.
This is San Antonio's heckler extraordinaire. He happens to sit near the photo hole, and on Thursday night, he struck up a conversation with me. As soon as I mentioned Hockey's Future, he asked me about the Organizational Rankings and when 1-10 was coming out. I promised it would be up that night. It reinforced to me how many people were reading it.
This guy is very good at heckling. He even heckles his own players (Matt Jones in particular). He said that he's gotten under the skin of Ondrej Pavelec to the point that when he came out as one of the stars of the game, Pavelec threw down his glove and blocker and motioned like "let's go." Funny. The Heckler is surprisingly a nice guy though and he knows his hockey. We talked about all kinds of guys in the AHL. I corrected him on a few factual points about the Wolves and he was a good sport about that. Like that his heckling of Stuart for not being in the NHL was perhaps misplaced since he did just come back from there and next year during his one-way contract year he'll probably be playing and in any case enjoying his compensation.
I wish I had gotten a photo of the guy heckling while holding a baby. That was really funny but I didn't want to be too obvious.
AT&T Center is first-rate in everything but seating for the backup goaltender. Seriously, can they not find the guy a stool instead of a chair? Gherson looks like he's 5 years old and can barely see over the glass.
Yesterday I posted the men's and women's bathroom signs. It got better when I walked past the family restroom. Awesome.
Derek Nesbitt, former Gladiator. He warmed up but was a healthy scratch. He and Alex Bourret actually sat with the Wolves scratches, who they know from playing with them. Chad Denny and Bourret yakked it up all game.
Brett Sterling with a beard. I'm anti-facial hair for him.
Spencer Machacek. Granato had some really nice things to say about him.
Brett MacLean defended by Grant Lewis.
Lewis in action. He's got some fierce eyes going.
I got a better shot of Artie Kulda, Mustache Boy. I may leave this up as my side photo for a long time just because he hates the mustache. He played exceptionally well tonight for being his first game back from injury.
The Wolves lost 5-3. Something I've noticed before in Chicago before struck me again after the game -- just how not used to losing the Wolves are. The mood plummets hard and fast in a loss. Worse than any team I've ever seen. No team should be happy when they lose, certainly, but the lows shouldn't get so low either.
All in all, it was a great trip and I'd definitely do it again if they play another two-game stand here. Everyone was super nice, from the media relations folks to the elevator operators, to the cab driver and yes even the heckler. San Antonio very southern in that way, but it did fail one test of southernhood today -- at a well-known steakhouse, The Barn Door, they did not have sweet tea. I wonder how long it's been since I've had to sweeten my own tea. The food was great, by the way.