June 4th, 2008.
Growing up, I was always watching hockey with my dad. It didn’t matter that I was a daughter and not a son, my dad instilled a love of hockey into me when I was just a little girl. Even though people disagreed with the decision to let this ‘innocent, sweet girl’ love such a dangerous sport, that didn’t stop my father and I from watching this game and loving every minute of it. Hockey is something that keeps my father and I’s relationship glued together-we’re both quiet people so when we’re together we don’t talk much.
However, that quietness changes when we’re watching games, and my most vivid memory of our quiet natures switching over to what we call our ‘hockey personalities’ was the last game of the 2008 playoffs. I remember that my mom had gone to bed a while before the game even started, because she knows watching games together is just something my dad and I do. We had both gathered our energy drinks and snacks to make sure we would stay awake, and we both had our jerseys on- my Osgood, and his McCarty.
This was tradition at this point, and that even translated over to where we sat in our living room. My dad sitting in the recliner in the corner and me sitting on the couch with my back against the left arm so I could see the TV were the lucky spots, we had determined. We talk steadily through the games as well, always. We talked about good plays and bad plays, players we loved and players we hated, and even how much we disliked the shades of the jerseys, because games where we were quiet seemed to be unlucky. So to keep the luck going, we talked.
The game was a mess, I can remember that much. We held a two-nothing lead and then suddenly, we didn’t. That lead was cut in half, and I can remember my dad and I both screaming in outrage when the goal happens. My mom comes in to glare at us, but she remembers a few beats later that we’re watching a game, and when she glances at the screen, she just shakes her head and walks back out. We eventually calm down, and we go back to just talking at a normal tone.
That tone changes, however, when the third goal is scored. We see Fleury try to stop it and end up pushing it into the goal instead, and when the goal is ruled fair, my dad and I scream as loud as possible as we both throw our hands up. The game continues after that, with both of us on the literal edge of our seats.
The Penguins score again, to cut our lead to 3-2, and I can vividly remember throwing one of our decorative couch pillows at the TV with another outraged scream and my dad laughing and saying “Honey, it’s not over until the last horn sounds.”
And when the last horn does sound, my dad and I are sitting there in disbelief before we scream again, because our Wings are Stanley Cup Champions. My dad is cheering and clapping in his recliner, and I’m shaking and fighting back tears when I see Osgood lift the Cup.
My dad and I stay up for hours after the coverage clicks off the TV just talking about the game, because our quiet personalities are gone due to something we’ve both been wanting for years. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked to my father for as long as I have that night, but we are more talkative now with each other than we used to be.
June 4th, 2008 is the day that the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it’s also the day that brought me closer to my father, and both of those things had a pretty big impact on my life at the time.