For a third consecutive season, the Lightning’s top affiliate in the American Hockey League is headed to the postseason.
But after a long, not to mention another successful season, the Syracuse Crunch players are finding any and all ways to decompress heading into the final weekend of the regular season as the team gears up for what they hope to be another lengthy playoff run following last year’s postseason, which culminated in an AHL Calder Cup championship.
Just how are they doing it exactly?
In true American fashion, with baseball and country music, specifically that of acclaimed artist Dierks Bentley.
Earlier this week, the players put together a team dinner for themselves, wives, girlfriends and children. And the players also went go-kart racing at the indoor facility at Destiny USA.
On Wednesday, a few players including captain Mike Angelidis and defenseman Jared Nightingale among others attended a minor league baseball game of the hometown Syracuse Chiefs, at which Angelidis threw out the first pitch.
Several of them also went to the Dierks Bentley concert on Thursday at the Crunch’s home rink at the War Memorial Arena, which was preceded by forward Brett Connolly extending a personal invitation to Bentley over Twitter, offering him the chance to skate at a Crunch practice.
Connolly Tweeted from his official account, @bconnolly8: “@DierksBentley I hear you’re a big hockey fan. We would love for you to come lace them up with us tomorrow at practice.”
According to reports in the local Syracuse newspaper though, Bentley had prior obligations and couldn’t make it.
Nonetheless, the players attended the concert, and even had the opportunity to present Bentley with his very own Crunch jersey.
“I’ve heard he's skated with a few hockey teams,” Connolly told Lindsay Kramer of the Syracuse Post Standard. “We knew he likes hockey.”
And now Bentley knows that the Crunch players are fond of him as well.
A CERTAIN ROMANCE
Attention all male readers between the ages of 16 and 18:
The next time you want to get an attractive girl’s attention, publicly declaring her as the object of your heartfelt affection, don’t bother talking to her.
Don’t write to her, and don’t call her either.
Instead, get creative and leave a massive message for her spelled out of hockey cards and a Lightning logo on her parents’ 18-foot garage door.
That’s what one Lightning fan did, who very well might have the best Twitter name ever.
He’s go by Tyrellosaurus, which by my guess, expresses his affinity for both Lightning forward Dana Tyrell, and naturally, dinosaurs.
Recently, he asked his crush to prom using the unconventional method mentioned above, and then put it on Twitter, so that more people than just the girls’ neighbors could see.
From @Tyrellosaurus: “Best idea I have come up with by far. Asked @lovelecavalier to prom with the @TBLightning logo and hockey cards”
The Tweet was accompanied by this photo.
After we inquired about the outcome, Tyrellosaurus happily reported that the girl said yes, and then took to social media again to thank us for the free publicity.
Obviously he was feeling inspired, and so was I, when thinking of titles for this segment.
GREEN, CAUGHT RED HANDED
Funny, really, the timing of this one.
It’s no secret that Steven Stamkos is idolized by many young hockey players, so of course, those aspiring to be just like him would want to use the same hockey equipment as the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner himself.
But could that also extend to other NHL stars?
It was last month when Stamkos Tweeted this from his official account:
From @RealStamkos91: “I’ve had a lot of questions about my red Bauer NXG stick. If you want to customize yours check out MyBauer”
The very next day, a Bolts fan Tweeted at Stamkos in response to that above, that said:
“Hey @RealStamkos91, are you missing any sticks?? I think @GreenLife52 might have stolen one. #Thief #CanIHaveOne?”
It was accompanied by this picture, which would explain some things.
It appears that Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green heeded Stamkos’ advice, and either customized his own stick to be an exact duplicate of Stamkos’ twig, or of course, picked the Bolts’ forward’s stick up off the ice and took it with him either by mistake, or rather, as a cherished keepsake.
Either way, can you really blame him?