I managed to get into the Molson Canadian Hockey House, thanks to Cameron Hughes (more on him later), and some well-placed connections. From what I've heard, it is the place to be during the Olympics if you're not actually at a hockey game. NHL alumni drop by, as do celebrities like Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and Michael Buble, among others.
An ocean of red and white under a big top tent, with a few bars, buffet lines, live music, interactive kiosks and of course, a VIP lounge; that's what you'll find inside. And all of it is worth it if you have the opportuinity to visit. As has been the norm on this trip, I met some cool people, including these guys pictured to the right, as well as a genuine Jersey girl. No question I could've spotted her in a crowd of 2,500 Canadians with ease.
The layout of the Hockey House was perfect. It's easy to grab a beer, or stock up on plates of complimentary food.
Someone asked if I was with Roberto Luongo, which is one of the weirdest questions I ever fielded. Apparently, this guy thought I looked like the Canucks netminder and wondered if I was his brother. I'll be the first to admit when I think I look like someone, for better or worse – when I was 13, I could have played a live-action Butthead – but there's no way I resemble Luongo.
I had a long chat with a Toronto native, who explained he got into hockey and became a goalie thanks to Sean Burke and the 1988 New Jersey Devils.
People looked at me like I was a mental patient escaping Shutter Island when I said Latvia would give the Czechs a headache. If there was even the slightest chance that those naysayers weren't so drunk and could remember their own names, I'd take solace in seeing the looks on their collective faces when the Czechs and Latvians went to overtime.OTHER STUFF:
• Canada vs. Russia tomorrow? I already know who the winner for that one is: All of us fans. A close second goes to whichever other teams escape the Quarterfinals tomorrow. To be rid of either Canada or Russia, that's huge for the remaining survivors.
• I like the Swiss team's heart, and it will give Team USA fits.
• The highlight of tonight's surprisingly entertaining Slovakia/Norway game was after the Norwegians tied it all up at three with one-tenth of a second left in the second period, and fans in the concourse began chanting "Norway" to the tune of "Ole."
• Has anyone ever heard of "mini-eggs?" Apparently, they are candy coated chocolates. I had never heard of them and the rest of the event staff and performers in the Canada Place green room all looked at me like I just said Latvia was going to give the Czech Republic problems. I need to clear up if they are a Canadian confection or if I should actually know what they are. You can tell me the answer at firstname.lastname@example.org