I was reading a report in this morning's Boston Herald about the Bruins' 2-1 over the Rangers last night when this caught my eye: "The plans have not been finalized, but it looks like the first of the two stops on the Bruins’ European excursion in September will be Belfast, Northern Ireland."
The Bruins are going to play in Belfast's Odyssey Arena. The Bruins will be playing a pre-season game against a German club, not the Belfast Giants. Did you know that hockey had found a home in Belfast?
The Giants compete in the UK's Elite Ice Hockey League. They played their first game in 2000 (part of the 2000/2001 season) and were an instant success. They've been at or near the top for most of their existence. The 2009/2010 regular season has just ended and the Giants finished in second, one point behind the team from Coventry. Hopefully they can fix that in the playoffs.
I've never been to a Giants game, but from what I hear the locals have really taken to it. Not just going and enjoying the games, but learning the game. The Bruins should enjoy a fairly knowledgeable crowd in Belfast. It would be great to be there, but I'd probably be the only one rooting against Boston (I'm a Rangers fan and old hatreds die hard).
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?