Saturday night was the season finale for the Atlanta Thrashers, and what a finale it was! After dinner at Blinky (our house), six of us piled into Rusty’s truck and headed to Philips Arena for our final game of the 2009-10 season. We headed down to warm-ups so Rusty could show off his new sign for Moose. He was hoping to convince Moose to give up a stick for Rebecca, who couldn’t be at the game that night, but no such luck. Still, it was a great sign!
And, of course, I always enjoy warm-ups. It’s fun to see the players up close, and I got a ton of pictures of Jim Slater.
After warm-ups, we trooped up to our seats in 319. Before the game, they presented the Dan Snyder Award to the team member who is selected as an unsung hero. This year’s winner was Jimmy! I don’t have any pictures of him receiving the award, though: I was too busy jumping up and down with my Slater banner.
We were playing the Pittsburgh Penguins, and frankly I didn’t expect to win. They are, after all, the defending Stanley Cup champions. Halfway through the second, Bryan Little scored for us, and his was the only goal of the night. We didn’t just win, but we shut out the Pens! What makes that even sweeter is that we kept Crosby from scoring his 50th goal of the season.
I missed the fight of the season, but it was already posted online by the time we got home. Our 18-year-old rookie Evander Kane accepted a challenge from Matt Cooke, a notorious thug. One solid punch from Kane sent Cooke to the ice. A KO from Kane! Cooke eventually got up and left the ice under his own power.
The only downside of the night happened in the first period. Slater took a puck to the foot and left the ice obviously in pain. He returned shortly after but only lasted a few seconds before he went straight back to the locker room. Heal fast, Jimmy!
After the win, the Fan Appreciation Video started playing. Last year I was thrilled that they included a clip of me and my friend Brandy waving the Slater banner. This year was even better. Rusty’s daughter Rebecca showed up holding my “May the Bergfors be with You” sign, there was a clip of us all holding Rusty’s “Moooose” sign, and, for the second year in a row, the Slater banner made an appearance!
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Now we have the long wait until next season. Luckily, there will be lots to occupy my time, beginning with the Georgia Renaissance Festival and going right up to Halloween season. Thrashers, I just have one request: re-sign Jimmy, please. Oh, and Let’s Go, Thrashers!