Tampa hosts the Habs
Terrible Internet service at the house has made it difficult to keep up the timeliness of the blog entries. The men on the trip took a side trip to Tampa earlier this week. We travelled to Tampa for some hockey and dinner at the Tampa Times Forum. It took just over an hour to get to downtown Tampa from the house in Kissimmee. That was almost a full hour shorter than Mom thought it would take. We now know that the next time we are visiting the folks in St. Pete Beach that a road trip to Orlando is certainly something that we can do. We would like to come back to visit Sea World, Universal Orlando and there is a part of the Magic Kingdom that is under construction.
We arrived at our prepaid parking lot near the arena and found ourselves parked next to some tailgaters from Gatineau. As we walked around the downtown core looking for a place for the boys to get rid of their thirst, we were surrounded by people wearing Canadiens' gear. There was plenty of French being spoken as well.
We enjoyed a fine buffet dinner at the Fireside Grill inside the Forum. The was plenty of variety, although a lack of vegetables and potato options, to compliment the various meats. Of course, we were lucky to even find the restaurant. The first usher we asked, a retiree, asked two other Forum employees where it was before forgetting who asked him the question in the first place. I thought that I was at least easy enough to remember for 2 minutes. Unfortunately, we could not return to the restaurant between periods.
We had great seats in the corner that Tampa defended for two periods. Three of us were in the fifth row and the other two were in the third row. When the anthem singer belted out O Canada, she sang most of it in French and was joined in by half of the fans. Montreal played well for the first two periods, building up a 3-1 lead. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis led a comeback and went up 4-3. Matthieu Garon stood on his head in the last 5 minutes to preserve the win.