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Tuesday, 10.13.2009 / 9:40 AM / Columns

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

 
This is why I stay up late almost every night during the hockey season. This is why I will never turn off a game that looks like a blowout. This is why I am a hockey fan.

Did I really watch the Chicago Blackhawks come back from a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames last night? I sure did, and if you missed it, well, you can always watch the highlights. But sometimes the highlights don't allow us, the fans of the game, to actually "feel" the game. Of course, being at a game like this is the ultimate thrill, but watching the game also puts us as close as possible without being there.

The ups and downs of the crowd. Moans and groans from the Chicago fans as the Calgary Flames score five goals in a row. Then the Blackhawks start their comeback. Fans start to think, "Can it happen? Can Chicago actually win this game?"

When the final horn sounded and the Chicago Blackhawks skated off with an unlikely victory after scoring six unanswered goals, many of us I am sure were stunned. Did you stop watching? Did you turn the channel to catch another game? Or even worse, were you at the game and decide to leave early, thinking this game was over?

I am sure some people did, but I did not. For some reason -- maybe it is from past experiences -- I felt the Blackhawks were going to make a game of it, and I was right.

Let this type of game be an example for all us who at times think a game is over. It does seem we witness these types of comebacks from the home team, who feed off the energy from the crowd, but no matter what remember this game the next time you think about giving up on a game that appears to be over early. You don't want to be that person who feels left out when the water cooler talk the following morning is about the great comeback you team made, the one you happened to miss.

On a side note about the games last night -- I did stay up very late for me on a Monday night when I have to get up at 5:30 am ET on Tuesday morning to write this blog. I survived the Phoenix Coyotes-San Jose Sharks last night, too -- 0-0 after 65 minutes, with Phoenix finally winning in the shootout. 

This game was not filled with goals, although both teams had numerous scoring chances, and the two goalies combined for 56 saves. After watching the 6-5 thriller between Chicago and Calgary, the Phoenix-San Jose game was just the type of game I needed to end the night. 

No matter what type of game, I must watch and continue to watch. You don't know what the outcome will be of any game and that is what attracts me to keep watching.

I hope you feel the same way.

A bit of an update on an article I wrote about six weeks ago, Taking A New Tenant To Hockey School. First, I want to thank everyone for their suggestions and recommendations on how to introduce a non-hockey fan to our game.

I now have two tenants, both female, both without a clue about hockey. One thing I have learned, and even though I don't like the course I am about to take, they are attracted to the game by how attracted they are to the hockey players.

When I say attraction, I mean how the player looks. Now, I am having a difficult time picking out these types of players. First off, I am a guy and I don't look at any other male as being attractive, or his hunk-factor. But these women do and that is and will be the factor that turns them on to our game. I have shown both girls head shots of some of the players, hoping that is what they want. I just get an "Oh, that's nice," but deep down I think they want more.

Pictures of the players showing off their physical attributes, both girls seem to want that.  I am almost embarrassed by even writing about that aspect of the game, but I can understand it.

My hope is they get over looking at the "physical" side of the players and actually start following their play on the ice.

Can it happen in that fashion? Or will I be stuck with finding cheesecake photos of hockey players? Time will tell, and I will keep you posted.

Feel free to e-mail me anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com, and of course you can follow me on Twitter, too.


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