|Me, the Leaders of Cheer, and Jimmy Fallon
Less than 24 hours until the pinnacle of Olympic hockey: the gold medal game, a dream matchup pitting the host country and their south side neighbors against each other. It should be epic.
There's been a rash of celebrity and hockey personality sightings the last couple days inside Canada Hockey Place, and there will surely be more tomorrow:
1. I have crossed paths with Scottie Bowman at least four times in the past two weeks. Not once have I said anything to him. The man scares the bejesus out of me, and I don't know why. Other volunteers have met him, and they all mention how cordial he is.
2. Michael J. Fox and Vince Vaughn have been spotted around Canada Hockey Place. Fox still looks so young, and has received some loud ovations when shown on the big screen.
3. Jimmy Fallon has also been in attendance for a few games. He's sitting among the masses in the regular seats, and is a fan of the "Leaders of Cheer," the four man (and woman) dance crew dispatched throughout the arena to rile the crowd. Put them on your show, Jimmy!
4. I shook Guy Carbonneau's hand at the USA vs Finland game. That was a real treat. When I was a kid, the Canadiens were my default back-up team, and #21 was the man (which is what I told him when we met), a great defensive forward with three Selke Trophies and a trio of Stanley Cups (1986 and '93 with the Habs; '99 in Dallas).
I was surprised no one seemed to notice him hanging out in the concourse, leaning against a Powerade machine.
5. There have been at least a dozen Canadian Olympians from other sports popping up throughout the games at Canada Hockey Place. NHL Hall of Famers like Brendan Shanahan, Paul Coffey and Mark Messier have also been in attendance.
6. The in-game host at Canada Hockey Place is Marc Denis, former Avalanche, Blue Jacket, Lightning and Canadien netminder. I didn't even know he was retired. Coincidentally, Denis' last game played was at Prudential Center, when the Devils beat Montreal 4-1 (January 2, 2009).Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org