My mode changed from sports-mode to journalist-mode the second or third time the "Zamboni" lawn-tractor pushed snow towards us on the sideline. If the weather people were right, this would be a spectacle.
Early on I knew I needed to get weather photos to the editors, and I made my way to the center of a crowd of die-hard American fans in the south end who were cheering like mad even though the game was an hour from starting (first photo). I made a couple of pictures and sent them.
During the game I was hoping for some snow-affected collision or something, but didn't have great luck. I transmitted another 11 images at halftime, including some interesting "jube" after the goal - I say "jube" parenthetically because it was more a scene photo with the crowd in the background celebrating what would be the lone goal and game-winner, occuring fairly early in the first half.
I hustled all over the stadium, alternating between wide and tele since three bodies would have been too much to handle in those conditions, and the wide providing better overall images than a mid-zoom would have. Later I would regret not taking a few more pictures with the 70-200 but it ended up OK.
The snow was as heavy as I've ever been in; it was snowing a half-inch every 10 minutes. The last picture above was my long lens covered in snow for the 10th time; every time I would blow all the snow off it would just accumulate again. My gear was soaking wet after but besides the batteries, all functioned well during the game. I was actually really impressed with the accuracy of the focus of my newer body in those conditions; my excuse definitely wasn't gear performance, even though the gear was a challenge. Plenty of times my view of the action or scene was completely fogged up in the viewfinder, but generally I was pleased to see that the picture was made, even though I could barely see what I was framing.
I am sure that is one of the craziest sporting events I will ever cover, and I am glad for some during-the-game advice from a buddy and post-game props from some other people. I wish I would have done better yet but overall I'm happy I made the pictures I did. Thanks for looking.
The Avalanche came out flat this time against the Oilers, and the only puck that ended up behind the Oilers goalie was called off due to Landeskog's presence in the crease. I always enjoy shooting the Oilers thanks to all their young stars and the energy they bring with them from the great white north.
The Sharks have always played the Avalanche tough in Denver, and Sunday evening was no different, but our goalie was great and some last-second (literally) magic from Duchene in the overtime period would hand 2 of the 3 available points to the home team. The Duchene goal sets a franchise record for the latest overtime goal recorded with .3 or .2 seconds left on the clock... The celebration was sweet after but I wasn't in the best spot for it, but I enjoyed myself and was glad to see this team continue this streak.
The Blackhawks had a 30-game point streak (no regulation losses) coming into last night's game against the "thoroughly mediocre" Avalanche, which was the second longest in NHL history. The new-look avalanche (Ryan O'Reilly returning to his home ice and a nifty power play utilizing the top 5 forwards on the ice at the same time) showed them a dominant second period with four goals scored, in addition to goals in the first and third periods. The crowd was probably 50% Blackhawks fans, but the home fans got loud as the game progressed. The images above aren't my "best" of the game but I wanted to show the celebration of each of the four second period goals in one post.
Down 3-0 in the first period, the Avalanche were booed off the ice. They started the second period with 2 quick goals before the Flames went up 4-2. In the third period, as news materialized that Ryan O'Reilly would be rejoining the team, the Avalanche scored 3 unanswered goals and held off late power plays and 6-man attacks from the Flames to win this one 5-4. Everyone in the building got their money's worth as Duchene, Stastny, and Landeskog all had points on impressive plays. Very nice one for the guys in burgundy and blue. I did not have as good of a game as the Avalanche, but made some clean, though not particularly interesting, pictures, and enjoyed the atmosphere.