The Parent Trap

In the first of what will hopefully be a regular column, Paul Balm singles out an unsung hero for some well deserved praise.

You know you’ve done something right when the opposition fans are singing complimentary songs about you. That’s what was happening in the Bunkers Hill after Sunday night’s game. I can’t remember the actual words and I could have been getting the wrong end of the stick but the Coventry fans seemed to be quite taken with Max Parent.

To be honest I think they’ve got a point.

Like a few people I spoke to on Sunday I would have given Max the man of the match award. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Modig didn’t deserve it as well but I’d have given it to Parent for his overall performance. OK, there were a couple of high points which I’ll get to later that could have affected my decision, but his work rate and activity throughout the 120 minutes over the weekend deserve the plaudits. He may not have scored the goals but it’s the intangibles which are so important to the team even if they don’t necessarily get noted on the scoresheet that means he is vital to the team.

Take that check on Ashley Tait in the third period. He doesn’t get a goal or an assist for that but just think about the boost it can give his team mates. He’s clearly a player who feels that the word team is important – something Jakub Sindel found out to his cost. I was lucky enough to be almost dead in line with Parent’s cross ice charge to get at Sindel following his “check” on Evan Mosey. His eyes, his body language, everything about him screamed “He’s not doing that to my team mate!” as he charged across the ice. As a fan that’s brilliant to see, you want your team to be a team, to play for each other, to stand up for each other and that’s exactly what Parent did. It was the best value for a two minute penalty I’ve seen in a very long time.

Talking about the Blaze and their captain, do they moan at the referee about every goal they concede? It certainly seemed to be the case Sunday night. OK, they might have had cause to question our first (although it didn’t look like they did from where I was sitting) but why were they complaining about the rest? Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and get on with something instead of trying to ship the blame onto everyone else.

Sunday night’s lighting problems at the NIC made me think back to some of the places I’ve watched ice hockey in the past. It might not have been as light as normal at the start of the second period but compared to places like Whitley Bay or Durham it was like noon on Midsummer’s Day in Death Valley, California. Hockey players of today? They don’t know they’re born! (that was a joke!)

Saturday games in Hull don’t seem right, I’m sorry they just don’t. On the plus side though we’ve had so many games up there on a Sunday that when playing the night before makes it feel all the sweeter when you wake up and remember that (if you’re lucky enough not to work weekends) you don’t have to go to work. Having said all that I can’t help but wonder if the Saturday face-off meant that more of our fans were able to travel up for the game. We certainly had a good following up there and created plenty of noise, not least from the raised block (I’m sorry they just don’t look safe to me) across the rink from us. I couldn’t see every block from where I was sat and I know F block gets pretty full but I couldn’t help thinking that there’d be more Hull fans at the game. Christmas is coming and all that I guess, I don’t know.

One thing I have noticed in Hull is why do they seem to have so many presentations after the game? Every time I’ve been there there’s hardly anyone left so see the final ones which seems a bit of a shame. OK, you can’t do the MOM awards or shirt of his back before the game but I think there was a presentation with something to do with some sponsorship being raised which I would have thought deserved to have been done in front of a bigger audience. I would have thought it would make more sense to have at least some of them before the game.

Finally from me I’d like to thank the person who took their time to tell me how much they were going to miss me being on Cats Whiskers TV after the game in Hull. Sorry I didn’t get their name I’m not much good at this talking to people lark so I forget important stuff like that but it really was appreciated.

I think Jono wants this to be a fairly regular thing (some sort of penance from not being on the podcast anymore I think) and I can almost guarantee I’ll run out of things to talk about so if there’s anything you want me to ramble on about (probably hockey related is best but hey let’s not limit ourselves too much) just let me know.

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