Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sweden Takes the Win, Canada Routs Slovakia

The Swedish Women’s Hockey team handily beat Switzerland yesterday with a final score of 3 – 0. The Hat Trick didn’t get to see the last half of the game due to having to take care of the “Little Hat Tricks”…Mrs. Hat Trick is spending the weekend in Miami visiting her best friend and creating havoc in that crazy city.

The Hat Trick missed Team Canada's (women's hockey) first game against Slovakia but apparently I didn't miss much: Canada routed Slovakia 18 - 0. Ouch.

Now the U.S. Women’s team is up today at 3:00 P.M. EST. Hopefully the Hat Trick can get some score updates as he travels to West Palm Beach for his boy’s weekend with an old college buddy. Should be good…a lot of fans are predicting that Team USA will eventually face off against Team Canada for the Gold medal. Should be some good hockey and hopefully not the rout that Canada put on the Slovaks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympics Begin

The opening ceremonies took place last night (Friday, February 12) for the 2010 Vancouver Games. The Hat Trick is a big fan of the winter Olympics...obviously getting to see some great men's hockey is part of that...but for other reasons as well.

In addition the Men's Hockey, the Hat Trick is a big fan of Women's Hockey and especially the U.S. women's team. This post is actually being written while watching the opening women's game between Sweden and Switzerland (0-0 in the first period). Women's ice hockey was added as a medal sport at the 1998 Nagano, Japan Winter Games and the U.S. team won the gold medal, with Canada winning the silver medal and Finland winning bronze. The biggest difference between the men's game and the women's game is that checking is not allowed in the women's game so you see a lot more finesse in how the women play the game (Finland now up 1-0 after a nice goal). The U.S. women's team plays China tomorrow (February 14) at 3:00 EST...unfortunately the Hat Trick will be in a car driving to West Palm Beach, Florida and will miss most of it. I doubt there will be a radio option, even with XM/Sirius in the car!

The Hat Trick is also a big fan of the downhill skiing, especially the downhill and slalom. Skiing is one of the few sports the Hat Trick can do well so it's always fun to watch...especially the speeds of the skiers! The speed skating is also fun to watch along with some of the ski jumping. Should be a good two weeks for the Hat Trick...especially since it gives my Red Wings a much needed rest to stop the bleeding all these recent losses have caused to the team's postseason opportunities.

Happy Olympic Watching!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy I'm Not In DC!

It looks like the Hat Tricks made the right call in getting out of Washington last Friday. Another blizzard is hitting the DC area today with wind and snow all day today. For the first time in history the federal government has closed for three days in a row because the area's transportation systems (most notably Metro that operates Metrorail and Metrobus) can not operated. This also means that most companies in the area have also closed due to policies that follow the federal government with regard to closure due to inclement weather.

While it will only be 53 degrees here in Sarasota today we'll take least we can see the sun!

Now if only the Red Wings could figure out how to put a win together...they lost again last night to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout 4-3.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Shuttle Launch Was Not To Be

Unfortunately the Hat Tricks missed the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, originally scheduled for Sunday morning, February 5, 2010. The launch was pushed back 24 hours about 30 minutes before the 4:39 A.M. launch time. Given the uncertainty that the new launch time would actually happen, plus the cold weather made our decision to leave the campsite Sunday morning and travel to Sarasota. The Hat Tricks found out that our two young children did not do well in this environment so, unfortunately, we missed the opportunity to see Endeavour launch. According to the Hat Trick's brother-in-law it was fantastic when it launched around 4:00 A.M. Monday morning.

We did get some photos and will post them as soon as possible...only a few more opportunities left in the Space Shuttle program (no more night launches) so we'll see if there is a chance to see a launch before it ends.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Hat Tricks Take a Roadtrip!

The Hat Trick Family decided to get out of Washington and head out for a little adventure. The strain of almost one year of unemployment (and over a year of knowledge that unemployment was on the way) spurred us to take advantage of the free time we have and take a little adventure. Three rejections for jobs that the Hat Trick had gone deep into the selection process also contributed to this decision to take a break and spend time with my family.

But, where should we go?

The factors went into our decision:

1. We were tired of the cold and snow that has gripped Washington, DC this year.
2. The Hat Trick, while very interested in aviation, has also been interested in rockets, astronomy and space travel over the years.

The answer became very easy: Let's travel to Florida and watch the Space Shuttle Endeavour launch!

That's right...the Hat Trick's are heading for the next launch of the Space Shuttle, scheduled for Sunday morning, February 7 at 4:39 A.M., the last night launch of the Space Shuttle program. I'm currently writing this post from a hotel in Savannah, Georgia (got to love free Wi-Fi!) where we stayed after the drive down from DC yesterday. The drive went fairly well and we managed to get out of Washington just before the blizzard hit ("Snowmaggedon" as it is being coined at home) and drove into a lot of rain but not much snow. The plan for today is to drive to the Cape Canaveral area and camp tonight in anticipation for the launch early tomorrow morning. If the launch goes off as expected the Hat Tricks will head done to Sarasota to visit the grandparents and get a little R & R in the sun.

Needless to say the Hat Trick is pretty excited at the possibility of seeing the Endeavour launch. As a kid I had a lot of interest in the program and always thought I would have a chance to see it launch. However, much like the Concorde SST, all good things come to an end and the Shuttle Program will be shutdown in 2010. Since the Hat Trick never got his chance to fly on the Concorde, I decided to seize the moment and do my best to see a launch.

Hopefully I will have a detailed report if all goes well...according to the NASA website the countdown is less than 20 hours...and counting!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wings Lose a Rough One

The Hat Trick got to watch the Red Wings yesterday due to a national broadcast on NBC. Needless to say the Hat Trick has missed quite a few games this year...unemployment forcing the decision to cancel the NHL Center Ice package and then the pissing contest between Versus and Direct TV has not helped matters...but I digress...

The game was a match-up of the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup teams...namely the Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Wings played solid throughout the game and kept is close forcing an overtime and getting an important point that is desperately needed for making the playoffs. Unfortunately the shoot out didn't go as well with the Penguins taking the victory on a Evgeni Malkin backhander that Wings Goalie Jimmy Howard couldn't grab.

Needless to say there is a reason why the Penguins are unbeaten in shootouts this season. The Hat Trick knew this was a problem going into the shootout but I had hope since Jimmy Howard had played very well throughout the game. At least the Wings got a point and are sitting at the number eight spot in the conference right now with the Calgary Flames.

It's been a difficult year for Wings fans...the salary cap really hurt the team by forcing them to part with several key players. Add in a really tremendous amount of injuries and it just adds up to some bad losses and bad hockey. Luckily the Wings are starting to get some players back so hopefully we'll start seeing that with the standings although even the Hat Trick could not have predicted that the Wings, if the playoffs started today, would be counted out for the first time since the 1980s. Luckily they have time to recover and hopefully we'll see that in the coming weeks, especially with the Olympic break in play that is coming up later in February.

Let's hope things improve otherwise it's going to be a boring playoff season for the Hat Trick.