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July 27, 2014

Sunday: Elaborate on Tuesday

The winner of the COTW vote for July 14-20 was HJC's Monday writer, Phil B.
Full Results
Phil B. - 4
Tristan M. (COL) - 2
Tristan M. (FLA) - 2
S2dio - 1
Christian L. - 0

The new COTW nominees for the July 21-27 vote have been listed on the side of the page. To see the concepts click on that banner or go to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab. Voting ends on Friday, so beat the lines and vote now!

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The HJC Open is rolling right along as we are now into the Semi-Finals. Defending champion, Justin C, will go up against J3. In the other bracket, Matt M. will face Dylan W. These are 4 extremely talented artists going against each other. I expect the voting to be very close from this point on.
Right now it's the entry phase, but on Thursday you'll be able to see those entries and begin leaving your votes. The winners will go on to the Final and battle for the grand prize. A mini 2014 HJC Open championship banner and their name "engraved" on to the Concept Cup!

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On Wednesday's post Alex made a Top 5 list of his most memorable hockey moments. A lot of people left some really cool and unique hockey moments. I wanted to comment, but then I saved them for today's post.

I was very fortunate as my Grandpa had Maple Leafs season tickets and I often went with him. From 1989 to 1999 I estimate that I was able to attend at least 50 games at Maple Leaf Gardens, which is in my Top 3 favourite places in the world! I have so many great memories of that place. I can still remember the seats my Grandpa had.

Section: Grey94 -- Row: E -- Seats: 19 & 20


January 8, 1993 (San Jose @ Toronto)
I was 9 years old and my uncle took me to see the Sharks play the Leafs. This was a bit different for me as usually I would go to Saturday games (because of school). However, this was a rare Friday night home game for the Leafs. My uncle took me down to just outside the Leafs' dressing room where we waited for at least an hour for players to emerge. That night I got Grant Fuhr's, Dave Ellett's, & Wendel Clark's autographs in my program. They even let me go into the bus garage to search for Felix Potvin and ask for an autograph, but I was a shy kid and I didn't take more than 5 steps inside.

January 30, 1999 (Washington @ Toronto)
This was the last game I ever attended at Maple Leaf Gardens and I knew it. I remember the Leafs won and I spent a lot of the game making fun of Curtis Joseph with the guy who was sitting beside me. I was still bitter about Cujo taking Felix Potvin's job. We went down as early as possible and soaked it all in. After the game was over we stayed in our seats for at least 40 minutes until an usher told us we had to leave. I remember being very satisfied with how I took in everything that night.

May 15, 1993 (Game 7 - Round 2 - St. Louis @ Toronto)
My first ever playoff game. I remember actually cheering for the Blues in Game 6 so that I could go to this Game 7. It was the first chance I got to see Felix Potvin live. As you can tell by now he was my favourite player. The Leafs owned the Blues that night and won 6-0! The guy sitting beside me made the trip from St. Louis, overpaid for a ticket on the street, and spent most of the game with his face in his palms. I've yet to hear a crowd as loud as when the final horn sounded and the Leafs won.

December 27, 1989 (Detroit @ Toronto)
This was the first ever game I went to and I was 6 years old at the time. Before doing the research for this post I had always thought that my first game was a pre-season game. Turns out I was wrong. I correctly remembered it was against the Red Wings and I always remembered that the game ended in a 7-7 tie (ah the 80's). I also remember that Leafs' captain, Rob Ramage, got cut and wanted to fight the Red Wings bench. I was absolutely floored when bumbling around YouTube last year I came across a clip of that game! Funny note, I was actually supposed to go to a Leafs-Wings game the season prior as my first ever game, but I got so excited about it that I made myself sick and I threw up. So my first ever game was postponed to the next season.

I have lots of great memories of games at the Air Canada Centre as well, but only one of them comes close to the memories I have of the games at Maple Leaf Gardens (2004, Game 7 vs Ottawa). I went to the Winter Classic this past January in Ann Arbor, which was ridiculously cool. I've taken many road trips to see the Leafs in other buildings (Montreal, Buffalo, Boston, Ottawa). So many great memories! There's still at least one more memory to be had though. That will be the day I take my kids to their first Leafs game.

Continue to share your game memories in the comments!

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If you're a Leafs fan and/or in the Toronto area in September, the Leafs are holding a really cool Fan Fest. This is the first time they are doing it and it's about time! Anyways, I'm not here to promote the event, but I will be attending on the Saturday, September 6. If you're there as well send me an email and perhaps we can arrange a quick meet-up.

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Some of you may be tired of my Leafs talk now. You can cleanse yourself by emailing in your COTW vote. There are no Leafs concepts nominated, which is great for all you Leafs-haters.

COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

6 comments:

winnipegjets96 said...

Congrats Phil B!

@Ryan:Awesome Leafs stories. Seeing Potvin in action must have been a treat.

I have a couple memories may as well share.

March 24th 2009: I was excited to Martin Gerber after he had been in Ottawa and Carolina all those years, and what do you know, first time I ever saw an ejection. Cujo comes in for the rest of the game and gets the win. I'd only heard stories about Cujo and he didn't disappoint. Also first and only time I've seen OVIE

October 19th 2011: 5th game in Jets history, I've been waiting years for the Jets to return to the NHL and I'm seeing the live in Toronto. Tons of Jets fans show up for this game, it felt like a neutral game. Andy Frost welcomes Winnipeg back to the NHL and all the fans give a standing ovation, as to the Leafs players. The Jets players start waving to the Jets fans, and Ondrej Pavelec points his glove to me and gives a huge wave.

Brad said...

Went to George Brown downtown, lived 2 blocks north of the Gardens. Used to run my hand along her outer wall as i walked by. I used to work for a large company in Stoney Creek and I got to skate there! They also took me to a Raptors game at ACC. Awesome box behind road basket!

Phil B. said...

Thanks Jets!

Caz said...

My first game, a Preds game vs. Detroit in Nov. of 2009, was also my first time actually watching an entire hockey. I just tried not to say anything stupid, like yell "FLYING VEE!" when they came down the ice. The organization was incredibly nice to me. They gave me a game puck, a poster, a glossary of hockey rules and vocabulary (really helped me learn the game) and a script of all the team chants. The Preds won that night, and I was hooked on hockey from that moment forward.

The best memory, though, was the Preds game 5 defeat of the Red Wings in the 2012 playoffs. The atmosphere was totally electric that night. Everyone stood up and cheered loudly the entire game, and on their way out of the stadium. I even broke up a fight! The Preds felt like a team that was preparing for a deep playoff run and had enormous potential. It was a very significant playoff win. Of course, we'd all be disappointed by the Preds team that showed up against the Coyotes, but it was an awesome night while it lasted.

Christian Legault said...

Congrats Phil, not sure if it's your first or not hut still! I'm still looking for my first cotw

Phil B. said...

Thank you Christian. If fact it is my first