really enjoying Kelly Hrudey’s trip down memory lane, especially his return to the Easter Epic, a Playoff hockey game that went seven Periods...that’s a fourth Overtime. I watched that game cheering for Washington, but revisiting it now, it was fun reading about it with a new appreciation for how many saves Kelly Hrudey had to make to outlast my beloved Caps (my favorite team besides my hometown Leafs has a Cup now, so all Washington disappointments of the past have less sting).
Mr. Hrudey is one of my favorite hockey broadcast personalities, when I settle in to watch a game on Saturday night, and I guess it’s because he seems real. I mean, Nick Kypreos doesn’t seem fake, exactly, but he’s got a bit of TV slickness and alpha-male vibe that makes me feel that if I knew both Kypreos an Hrudey in grade school, Kypreos would be bullying and laughing at the unathletic bookworm nerd that is/was me, and Hrudey seems more like the sports-guy that would have a kind word for me in gym class when I sucked, or at the very least wouldn’t make it part of his agenda as an athlete to pick on me in addition to being an athlete. for all I know, it’s the other way round - Kypreos would respect and befriend a slight bookworm, and Hrudey was the one who picked on nerd types - but I’m just going by the on-air “vibe” I get. and Hrudey seems likeable, unpretentious even to the point of not becoming a slick, slightly arrogant TV talking-head polishing shtick the tweeters tell him is so cool, and even a little nervous in front of the camera after all these years. like all of them, when they throw him his couple minutes to speechify and ram home some point, he doesn’t sound like what he’s saying is naturally Law, or the Perfect Point cuz hey, I’m so smart...and he sure as shit doesn’t sound like he’s reading off a teleprompter, or talking down to me. it’s like listening to...a human being. sure, it’s hockey chat, and it’s TV, so “suave and slick” is standard procedure to look cool, but Hrudey just seems to come off as totally genuine, AND totally professional, while at the same time throwing all that TV swagger right out the window.
anyway, I’ve hinted a bit at my strange motive for reading this book - liking Hrudey as a TV sports broadcaster and opinion-giver - but the real magic here has been reliving some pretty amazing hockey games, and moments, with him. I’ve forgotten him as regular-guy broadcaster of great skill, and remembered to remember him as badass goalie. now that the Capitals have a Cup...I’m glad you won the Easter Epic, Kelly. that was...an effing impressive amount of stops in one night. I admit I was royally upset at the time, though.