We may or may not have borrowed this idea from our friends at Pension Plan Puppets. They said we owe them Pietrangelo in return. They will probably get Steve Ott instead.
Today, you get to know HullandOates85, a new writer for the site whose love for the game knows no bounds. One day he hopes to parlay this into an actual paying career.
1. Why/how did you become a Blues fan?
My earliest memory of Blues hockey came when I was just a wee boy. I was just 4 years old but my parents took me to the Old Barn to see Wayne Gretzky and the Kings come to town. I don't remember too much from that game except the rocking of the stands and the final score, a 6-4 loss. But that didn't deter me from rooting for this team. I latched on to Brett Hull and followed his every shot until he left town. I loved the speed and power of the game and Hull was the best of both. Players came and went but Hull was a constant in my life and I grew up wanting to be like him even though I was unable to play hockey due to health issues at the time.
2. How many years have you suffered?
Every day since I can remember. I remember the exuberance of beating the Hawks and the Leafs and the disappointment of losing to a Colorado team that we should have beaten. But the one thing that holds sway over my heart is the continued heart wrenching that Gretzky gave to me from my first game to the giveaway against the Wings.
3. Favorite player/moment?
Obviously my two favorite players are Brett Hull and Adam Oates. I grew up idolizing Hull yet my skill set has always been more of an Oates. Between my brother and my self we played many a days in the driveway shooting pucks at my dad who donned some old Franklin "pads" to satisfy our dreams of playing hockey.
When I think about who I enjoy watching today, it has to be Schwartz the most. He is the quiet, unassuming star in the making that somehow connects with the common guy.
As far as a moment, for me it has to be the comeback in Toronto back in 2000. It really showed to me the great coaching of Joel Quenneville and how a team can come together when it really counted. I mean hell, Alexander Khavanov had two goals in that game, how many times could you say that.
4. How did you begin writing for Game Time?
Hildy was looking for a recap person for this past season and I volunteered. I have been a member of the site for a few years and had actually written for another website when it was just starting but I lost my free time and couldn't do that anymore. I wanted to get back in the game and it was the perfect storm for me. Hope you all have been enjoying my stuff, but if you don't screw you. Hahahaha.
5. Are you an out of towner? How does this impact your fandom?
I have been a St. Louis boy all my life. Almost moved to Boston a few years back but God conspired to keep me here and it was the best thing in the world. I do plan on moving one day but for now I am content to soak in the great atmosphere that is provided at not only Blues games but Cardinals games as well.
6. Do you have other hobbies other than hockey?
I am a HUGE (not a large enough font) Star Wars fan. I have read almost every book and seen every movie. At my previous job I would engage in conversations with my overnight baker on how Star Wars philosophy could adapt to our current world. So I am that rare Geek Athlete. I also have a passion for broadcasting and would like to one day break into the sports broadcasting field.
7. Favorite Beer/Beverage?
Since I have Crohns Disease its a bit harder for me to partake in the beer drinking of a good fan. I do occasionally indulge in a Sam Adams Boston Lager but my drink of choice currently is Red's Strawberry Ale. Just enough alcohol to make me feel like I am not drinking juice but keeps my stomach in check.
8. How many more years do you think it'll be before the Blues win the Stanley Cup?
As a pure fan of the game I am going to say this up coming season is the year. Our goalie situation, while complicated, is very very good and we finally have scoring on multiple lines with multiple players. Our defense is a little shaky after Petro and Shatty but teams have won with a lot less then what we have. We will see if moving Oshie was the real problem but I am not entirely sure he was the biggest reason the team struggled with Coach Hitch's program.
I will say this, if this team doesn't compete and make it to a Stanley Cup Final within the next two years, it could be another rebuild away from a title.
9. Most important lesson learned as a Blues fan?
Never assume that you can beat a lesser team in the playoffs without working your ass of every game. There is a reason the Kings beat us a few years back and the Wild beat us this year. We had the superior team but we knew we had the superior team and instead of finishing checks and chances we thought that we would just get the next one and we would be ok.
If this team wants to win they have show that they want to win by beating lesser teams senseless and playing everyone with the same intensity as they would play a team that was in the Finals. I mean this is the last team Crosby has left to score on and he is the best player in the game, if we can get up to stop him why can't we stop lesser players?