One of the perks of winning on the road in the Western Hockey League is movies on the bus on the way to your next destination. For the Portland Winterhawks it is no different and there seems to be a trend developing on the genre of the movies.
First off, it should be noted that the coaching staff (mainly Assistant Coach Travis Green) controls the remote for the movies and has first and last right of refusal for any movie that is shown on the iron lung. Greener likes the suspense/horror movies…and we’ve seen a number of them on the bus the last two plus years.
We’ve seen pretty much the whole Saw franchise, Paranormal Activity (I’m sure the second one will be on the trip to Prince George in a couple weeks, and it started after the first road win for Mike Johnston and Green with a showing of The Strangers after a 4-1 in Kennewick on Halloween night of 2008.
For this trip to Spokane, after a homework session right after leaving the MC on Tuesday afternoon, the movie selection was Case 39 starring Renee Zellweger as a Child Services Agent that is handed a case that involves a young girl that has some issues…a decent flick with a bit of shock value, but movies are never as scary when it is still light outside.
After arriving in Spokane and the evening meal, the team made it’s way to the local theater. After some debate on what would be seen it was chose that The Rite fit the bill. This is the Anthony Hopkins movie about Exorcism and demonic possession.
Some players (who will not be named) expressed concerns about seeing two movies in the same day that dealt with demons and possession and just how well they would sleep and rest on the night before the big game with Spokane the next evening. But, there are strengths in numbers, and all 27 of us (21 players, three coaches, the athletic trainer, equipment manager and radio guy…Kevin, the bus driver had seen it, so he passed) made our way into the theater to watch the flick.
All in all, not great reviews for this one…fairly predictable with just a bit of shock value, but I like Anthony Hopkins and he had a decent performance in a character that closely resembled Hannibal Lecter in speech mannerisms.
Game day is all about preparation with team meetings, video sessions, pre-game meals and resting and the Hawks have the road routine down pretty good. Some trips there are pre-game skates but with with three games in four nights this week, the skate was bypassed in Spokane and the players mentally readied themselves for a tough divisional game.
We saw the results…five goals in 1:59 and a 10-5 win over the Chiefs. Mission accomplished…
It wasn’t long after we left the arena with the traditional two-horn blast from the bus’ air horn and with the post-game meal consumed that the traditional call from the back of the bus…”put in a mooooovieeee”. Greener perused the choices and went with another horror flick, The Crazies.
This is evidently a remake of a 1973 film of the same name that deals with a chemical weapons leak after a plane crash in a remote Iowa town. The chemicals make the locals go crazy and a killing spree ensues with the government getting involved to cover up for their mistake.
This was the most suspenseful of the three movies with the traditional horror shock scenes and enough blood and gore to make some of the boys behind me either gasp or cheer, hard to tell which was louder on occasion. It helps that it was a dark bus as well…
The whole point of this is to point out that in the past two seasons, the Hawks are 38-22-0-1 on the road in 61 road games, a .631 win percentage away from home.
If the Hawks continue at this pace on the road…bring on the horror flicks. We can still watch the odd Anchorman or Step Brothers to lighten the load, but why mess with success. Let’s have blood, gore and shocks…and more road wins before the end of the year.
On a different note, congrats to Craig Cunningham who picked up his 150th career WHL assist last night. He needs three goals to reach 100 in his career and three points to reach 250.