About 2 weeks ago,  I got an e-mail from a friend of mine named Kevin. The subject was “November 5th Wings”, and it went as follows:

“Lads, have 4 tickets from Randy. 7pm game so head up Saturday morning and stay overnight in Windsor. Let me know by Wednesday either way. Cheers”

The ‘Randy’ in the email was Duck head coach Randy Carlyle, and he just happened to be Kevin’s Uncle. In this wonderful two sentence email Kevin made me excited about two of my favourite things in life 1) Joe Louis Arena 2) Road trips

So me, Kevin, Craig and Aaron piled into a car with four and half hours of road between us and the Joe. If you have ever been on a sports road trip, you know why they are so fun.

4.5 hours driving to say a distant cousin’s wedding= torture

4.5 hours driving to watch your favourite team, play in your favourite rink, with 3 other hockey fans= paradise

We spent the drive talking about the usual: Current events, politics, family and work (none of these things were actually discussed. In random order it went bodily functions, hockey, past conquests, and how much fun we were going to have that night).

The rest of the trip can’t be discussed in detail because, well, what happens on a road trip…stays on a road trip. What I wanted to talk about was Joe Louis Arena.

Yes, I am a Red Wings fan so I am a little bias here, but I love the old “barn” feel to the arena. I have been lucky enough to watch games in many different rinks and I still say this is my favorite. Here are 4 reasons why.

Everyone is a Wings fan

I mean everyone! 3 years old kids wearing Wings Jerseys, 95 year old ladies screaming at the top of their lungs, this is what a home rink is supposed to be like. Put it this way, I was a little late getting back from the bathroom in the 2nd period (3 beers in the first period will do that to you) , and the usher gave me the “please wait till a whistle to return to your seat”. While I was waiting the Wings scored and he turned and gave me an awkward, but amazing high five.

The Trough

I know this sounds like a ‘con’ and not a ‘pro’, but nothing will make you feel like you are in an old barn more than peeing in a trough (remember guys, eyes forward) . Also saw three kids about 5 years old, pants around their ankles at the trough arguing who was better, Datsyuk or Zetterberg, amazing.

History

I’m not talking about the obviosly Howe, Yzerman, Lindsay history (although that is there), walk around the halls and you will see pics of Bob Probert, Gerard Gallant, Danny Gare, and John Ogrodnick. They celebrate all former Wings. You don’t usually see that in other places.

The bus

If you decide to stay in Windsor, you literally jump on a city bus, cross the border and one of the stops is the Joe, all for $4. If you are going  to have a few drinks (lets face it, you will) , there is no easier way to get there.

Although the 4.5 hour ride home was a little rough, it was a great weekend with boys. Like we said on the way back, the worse you feel on the ride back, the better weekend you had.

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To the links we go

We had our first head coach firing last night, and no it wasn’t Scott Arniel. Now that Ken Hitchcock has a job, who can the Bluejackets hire if they do give Arniel the pink slip? (Pro Hockey Talk)

Speaking of the Bluejackets, Dirty Dangle talks about the play of Sieve Mason

I have not watched one episode of Battle of the Blades, but i know whats going on thanks to Puck Daddy

What do Tyler Seguin and Marty McFly have in common? Click here to find out (Days of Y’Orr)

This James Reimer Tim Hortons commercial story is really weird (Barry Melrose Rocks)

Trust me, I’m sick of this too, but here is an update on Kyle Turris (Fourth Period)

Was getting their buts kicked on Saturday a wake up call for the Leafs? James Mirtle broke it down in the Globe and Mail

The Florida Panthers are making some goalie changes (Miami Herald)

Usually a rumour about an assistant GM is not huge news, but this is Ron Hextall, so its cool. (LA Times)

And finally another case for mandatory visors