I’ve heard varying reports of the weather out in the Philadelphia area. Most sounding as though it’s been pleasant and mild. I checked it again today. HA! Eighties, often upper 80′s for you now. The glee I feel is that it’s been hot here in Northern Illinois and where I work lacks air conditioning. Misery loves company, right?

Finals are over and I have a stack of grading that refuses to lessen despite all my efforts to grade consistently. I’m to clear out my stuff for the summer and go through my many unorganized papers. School’s out for all intents and purposes.

And hockey is almost done. I finally got to watch some of Game Four this week and was filled again with a sense of bitterness and excitement as I watch the sport I’ve grown to love without the team I watch so avidly. I was shocked the other day when a fell English teacher told me I should root for the Devils because they were the underdog. Shocked because this teacher knows nothing about hockey, but had an opinion despite that.

I told her bluntly, “Can’t. Won’t. Kings all the way.”

For me, this is my third post season experience. My first was 2010 and that was quite a ride. In a lot of ways, how I view the sport has changed. When I began, it was all I could do to follow the puck. Now, I can explain a fair amount of the rules to a lay person, but recently my father asked me about forechecking and backchecking. I opened my mouth because I was sure I knew what they were, but nothing came out. Back to studying.

Today, I can follow the puck pretty easily and keep track of the players at the same time. Every once in a while I can see a penalty before it’s called (still working on this). I know enough to join my fellow bloggers here and make predictions about the Draft, the Awards and the SCF champs. Not bad for the rookie.

A game or two (or three) is all we have left for 2011-2012. It’s been a pretty awesome season, with the disappointments and successes that keep our sports’ lives interesting. A lot of you will continue (or start) watching baseball and the Olympics to get through the hockey-less months. I have a few plans up my sleeves (short sleeves) as well. I’ll let you know about those soon.

Here’s to savoring these last games and moments of the best sport ever.

P.S. I’ll have my review for Ice Hockey Made Simple: A Spectator’s Guide by P.J. Harari and Dave Ominisky next Friday.

(photo from google images)