Sunday, October 25, 2009

Staal [A Jordan Staal Story] Seventy

Monday the twenty-first came, there was no game that night, but as always Miriya had an optional skate. The entire team was there just as every other time that season. “Alright boys hit the showers, remembers there’s practice tomorrow morning and going to be a long one.”

“Aw coach,” Colby said. “How long is a long practice?”

“Colby do you ever write things down?” Hallsy asked.

“No, why?”

“Tomorrow’s the day that chick’s coming,” Max chimed in.

“That chick’s name is Isabella Hardy and you will be nice to her, okay?” Miriya asked looking over the entire team. “I know you’re a great group of guys who like to joke around, just don’t scare the girl. She’s a year older than I was when I first met you guys so she’s probably going to freak out, I mean you guys are the greatest people on the face of the earth.” She looked around the room to see the guys giggle. “See you guys in the morning.”

Everyone went to the locker room and then to the showers. Miriya headed to her office where she was going to be meeting with Ray to work out the final details for the next day. After spending about an hour in her office Miriya went to the locker room where she got a surprise. The white board which normally displayed the message ‘Let’s Go Pens!’ now displayed a new one, ‘Welcome Isabella,’ and all of the guys had signed their names.

“Oh I love being coach,” Miriya said to herself while lacing up her skates. The ice hadn’t been cleaned after practice ended so it was choppy but it still felt good under her skates. She rounded the corner quickly and quickly switched to skating backwards from the hash to the bench. With a spray of snow she stopped and grabbed her water bottle. The banners that hung in the rafters drew her attention and she gazed admiringly at the three that read, ‘Stanley Cup Champions’.

“Impressive.” Miriya turned to see Jordan skating to the bench from the runway. “You’re such a good skater.”

“Thank you,” she said as his arms wrapped around her. “I thought you were going home.”

“I was going to but then I decided that I needed to work out.”

“You, need to work out?” She ran her hand down his arm. “Babe I think you’re good. Where’s Scotty?”

“Nik and Erin took him home.”

“We owe them,” she reached over the boards to open the door and sat down on the bench.

“Baby we let him live in our house rent free, I think we’re okay. Besides its good practice for if they ever have a baby.” Miriya smiled picturing Nik and Erin with a baby while taking another sip of water. She stepped out onto the ice and took Jordan’s hand. They skated that way for a while until Miriya let go and skated full speed, one time around the ice. When she got back to Jordan she stopped, spraying his legs with snow. They had ended up by the bench again and Jordan picked Miriya up, placing her on the boards. Planting his skates firmly in the ice he pressed his lips to hers. Even after all the years they had been together Miriya’s heart still began to race every time Jordan so much as touched her. His tongue slid into her mouth and battled with hers, he pushed more of his weight against the boards. The time quickly past and soon their romantic ‘get-away’ was interrupted by the sound of a Zamboni engine.


The next morning Miriya arrived at the arena before everyone else, just like every other day. “Good morning Jacob,” she said pulling into the parking lot. Jacob was a fan who stood at the parking lot before games and sometimes a practice if he didn’t have school. He wasn’t there for autographs, just to support the team and the guys appreciated it. She pulled up to the guard’s station where she signed in. “Hey Dave, remember we have a guest coming today. She has a pass but could you bring her to my office?”

“Sure thing.”

Miriya made her way to her office and soon there was a knock on the door. “Come in.”

“Your guest coach Staal.”

“Thanks Dave. Hi you must be Isabella, I’m coach Staal but you can call me Miriya or Staalsy, all of the guys do.”

“Nice to meet you, you can call me Bella.”

“Well Bella it’s nice to meet you too, the guys should be getting here soon and I’ll introduce you to them when we’re all out on the ice.”

“Okay,” she said nervously.”

“Don’t worry the guys are just a bunch of goof balls, they’re all very nice but like to joke around. You’ll be fine.” Bella smiled, she had a very pretty smile, she was a pretty girl. She was taller than Miriya but just about everyone was. Her brown hair was pulled into a messy bun and her bright blue eyes, which were much like Brooksy’s, were outline in light eye-liner. She also wore jeans, converse and a Penguins’ hoodie. “That reminds me, you’re gonna need skates. What size do you wear?”


“Sweet you can use a pair of mine. Alright, we’re gonna be cutting it close but Ray wanted to meet you before practice.” She got up from her chair and led Bella to Ray’s office where they spent no more than five minutes.

The guys still had ten minutes before practice was set to start but they had all abandoned the locker room by the time Miriya and Bella got there. “Let’s lace up and we’ll hit the ice.” Bella stood there awkwardly holding a pair of Miriya’s skates. “Just sit down at any of the guys’ stalls.” She sat down at Ben’s stall while Miriya sat down at her own. Once their skates were laced Miriya grabbed two sticks and the two girls made their way up to the runway. There stood the guys, to Miriya they all looked like little boys, very tall little boys, but to Bella they were her heroes.

Miriya blew the whistle once causing the boys to quickly shut up and line up along the boards.

“Wow,” Bella said quietly.

“Guys this is Bella Hardy, Bella I’m sure you know all of the guys. Kay boys don’t think that because she’s here I’m gonna go easy on you.”

“Staalsy I don’t think you’ll every go easy on us,” Max said.

“In that case, suicides.”

As practice went on Bella became more comfortable with being around the guys. Miriya handed her a stick and het her participate in some of the drills. On one of the passing drills she had been standing along the boards and counted backwards in the line across the ice to find that she was matched up with Sid. “Yes I got Sid,” she said realizing who she was matched with causing all of the guys to laugh.

After a good hour and a half Miriya blew the whistle to end practice. “Hit the showers guys. Be in the lounge in twenty minutes so Sid that means actually go to the locker room,” she said with a laugh. The guys went to the locker room while Miriya and Bella went to the lounge. “You’ve gotta be hot with that hoodie on after an entire practice.”

“I am kind of warm,” she said taking her hoodie off. “Can I have a bottle of water?”

“Of course.” Bella turned to go to the fridge and for the first time showing the back of her Pens’ t-shirt. The number sixty-five and the name ‘Clarke’ were written in white with a gold outline. “Ben is going to love your shirt.”

“Really? He’s my favorite and I kind of have a thing for him if you know what I mean.”

“Oh believe me I know. I think I saw him checking you out on the ice.” Bella’s checks now turned a deep shade of red. “When the guys come in here you should talk to him. I’m gonna go check on them, you should probably stay in here; you never know what goes on in that locker room. Bella giggled at the thought of what could go on in the locker room as Miriya made her way there.

Ben had apparently just gotten out of the shower since he stood at his stall in just his boxers talking to Jordan. “Maybe I should have let her come in here.”

“Huh?” Ben said pulling on a pair of light wash jeans.

“Bella likes you,” she whispered so that none of the other guys could hear it. “Hurry up guys, pizza’s gonna be here soon.”

“Pizza, did I hear pizza?” Michelle asked running in from the training room.

“Yeah, go wait in the lounge.” She pulled Michelle closer. “You should go talk to Bella, she’s a lot like me and she might be part of the team soon.”

Ben quickly threw on a t-shirt and pair of converse before walking into the longue. “Hi,” he said sitting down next to Bella on the couch.

“Hey, good practice,” she said shyly.

“Thanks, you were pretty good out there too.” Bella smiled. “So I couldn’t help but notice that you were wearing a Clarke shirt, not many people wear the rookie’s shirt,” he paused. “Especially not the rookie who’s scratched half the time.”

“Aw, well you were amazing when Jordan was out,” she moved over to make to room on the couch as the rest of the guys had started coming in. She talked to everyone on the team, but mostly Ben as the day went on.

“So I know that all you wanted for Christmas was to spend the day with the team, but we got you something,” Miriya said standing up from the arm of the couch.

“You guys shouldn’t have, this has already been so much better than I thought it would be. I seriously though t I would sit on the bench while you practiced and maybe sit here while you all talked.”

“Staalsy wouldn’t let that happen,” Nik said causing the team to laugh.

“Cass bring it out.”

Cassie went to the locker room and quickly returned with a box. Bella opened the box and a wide grin spread across her face. She pulled out a white authentic jersey that had been autographed by the entire team. “Look at the back,” all of the guys said. She turned it around to show the number one and the name Hardy. If it was possible her smile grew upon seeing this. “Thank you all so much.”

“Okay guys I’ve kept you here long enough. Bella if you want a tour of the arena I would be happy to show you.”

“That would be great,” she said still looking admiringly at the jersey.

“Any of you guys who can to stay can.”

“Love you Staalsy but I’m gonna go home,” Eats said giving her a hug. “It was nice meeting you Bella; I hope to see you again at a game sometime.”

“It was nice meeting you too,” she gave him a hug.

All of the guys who left said good-bye to both Miriya and Bella and gave them both a hug. Most of the team left but Nik, Jordan, Kris and Ben had stayed. Miriya led the tour around the arena showing the boys and Bella some of her favorite places. When the tour had ended everyone went out the parking lot but Miriya, Bella and Ben.

“Erin thank you so much for watching Scott, I owe you and so many people so much. I’m always having people watch him for me.”

“It’s okay you’re busy and we all understand that. I’m glad today went well.”
“Me too.”

“Hey Staalsy!”

“Yeah Ben?”

“Do you have an extra ticket for tomorrow’s game?”

“I might, who needs it?”

“Bella, I want to get to know her better, I like her.”

“A Pittsburgh goal scored by number sixty-five Ben Clarke assisted by Miriya Staal and Ray Shero. You’re welcome kid; I’ll find you a ticket.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Staal [A Jordan Staal Story] Sixty-Nine

When they arrived home they decided to prolong their freedom just a little more. Though it was cold outside it was nothing they couldn’t handle and sat down on the swing on the front porch. Jordan wrapped his arms around Miriya and pulled her closer. He placed a gentle kiss on her cheek before saying, “I love you.”

“Well Jordan I love you too. Can you believe that we’ve been together for eight year, and married for two?”

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been that long, it seems like just yesterday I was asking you to marry me.” He and Miriya both smiled remembering that day in Buffalo. “Those people who say that love dies after you’ve been with someone for so long are wrong. I still love you more every day. You my love are my world, my life, my everything. Without you I would be lost, I truly love you more than anything.”

Miriya smiled, “It sounds like you’re proposing.”

“Already been there and done that,” he smiled as he put emphasis on ‘done that’ and looked at Miriya.

“Yes baby you have,” she tried to suppress a giggle. Slowly their lip connected as if they were pulled together by gravity and sparks ignited. However the sweet, innocent kiss didn’t last long as the sparks turned into fire and the kiss became rough, yet passionate and their tongues battled. After five minutes they pulled away, smiles on their faces. “We should probably go in so we can see Scotty before he goes to bed.”

They walked into the living room to find Nik and Erin tickling Scott on the floor. “How was dinner?”

“Good, what are you guys up to tonight?”

“Well I was wondering if I could go to Erin’s for the night?”

“Nik, do I look like your mother?” Miriya asked with a laugh.

“No, you’re a lot prettier than her.”

“Okay then, when do you ever have to ask me about going somewhere?”

“I don’t know, well we’re gonna get going then. I guess I’ll see you at practice tomorrow, have fun tonight.”

“We will,” Miriya said. “Thanks again for watching Scotty.”

Nik and Erin both Kissed Scott’s cheek before leaving. Not much more than five minutes after they had left the doorbell rang and Miriya went to answer it while Jordan put Scott in his pajamas. He was just placing Scott in his crib when Geno entered the room with Nathan. The two boy were asleep before their fathers had left the room. Cassie and Miriya had already made their way down to the game room and opened up a couple of beers.

“It’s been a long time since I saw you outside of an arena or airport Staalsy.”

“Well Geno I am your coach,” she said with a laugh. “I do spend a lot of time at the aren’t though. But I’m just trying to do well and coach you boys to a couple of wins.”

“A lot,” Jordan said with a smile.

“A couple of wins?” Geno said jokingly.

“You spend almost all of your time there and if you’re home taking care of Scott or occasionally spending time with Jordan. As for wins, I think you’re doing pretty well in that department.”

Geno and Jordan both laughed and nodded in agreement. “Okay, enough about hockey,” Jordan said. “What are we going to play, pool or ping pong?”


“Cass I love you but you suck at pool,” Miriya said with a laugh.

“I’ve gotten better since ninth grade.”

“I’ll play with ya,” Jordan grabbed two queues from the rack on the wall. Once the balls were racked up and queues chalked Jordan went to break. The balls scattered around the table and two went into the pocket. “Alright, looks like I’m solids.” He went again but this time the ball stopped along the rail. Cassie banked her first shot off three of the rails and somehow the ball stopped in the dead center of the table.

“It’s gonna be a long night,” Miriya said. “I’m gonna need another drink, Geno you want one?”

“Yeah, I’ll come with you.” They went to the bar that stood on the other side of the room and grabbed a few shot glasses from the shelf. After both downing a shot of vodka they grabbed another beer and went back to watch the game.

Cassie finally got a ball in but it was a solid, “Thanks Cass.”

“Anytime Jay.”

Half an hour after the game had started Jordan finally sunk the eight ball in the corner pocket. “You’re right Cass you have gotten better since ninth grade, you shaved fifteen minutes off your time.”

“Funny, let’s see you do better.”

“Alright.” She took the queue from Jordan’s hand and gave it to Geno before taking the one from Cassie for herself. Jordan racked up the balls while Miriya chalked up her queue and took one last sip of beer. She broke sinking two balls into the corner pockets. “Solids,” she called out looking for her next shot. She sunk her next two before barely missing the side pocket. This game went quickly compared to the previous one and ended just over minutes after it had started.

Miriya sunk the eight ball before Jordan said, “Damn didn’t think we were playing speed pool.”

“Funny baby, you just have to admit that I’m better than you at pool.”

“Okay, you’re better than me at pool, but I know a few things that I’m pretty damn good at,” he said with a toothy grin.

“I’m sure there are Gronk but we really don’t want to know,” Geno said. “Anyone up for ping pong?”

“Yeah we should do that before we all get too drunk,” Miriya said taking another sip of beer.

It was decided that they would play boys vs. girls and the boys served first. The girls returned the serve causing it to hit the guys side before bouncing off, a girls point. The game continued to go in the girls favor and they won fifteen-two. After that game they decided to just sit around the bar and talk.

They talked until about two when Miriya got down from her barstool. “Well guy it’s been fun but considering the fact that I’m your coach, I of all people shouldn’t be hung over when it comes to practice later today, so I’m gonna go to bed. Night Cass, night Geno.”

“Night Mir,” they said in unison.”

Goodnight Jordan, I love you.”

“I love you too,” he said as she kissed his cheek and went up to her room.

Eight o’clock quickly came a but Miriya was rested when she came down the steps from her room and into the living room. Geno was asleep with Cassie on one couch and Jordan was draped over the other. She let them sleep and went to Scott’s bedroom where he lay awake, not crying but lying contently and kicking his feet. She changed him and picked out an outfit that she had specially made for him. The pants were black and the shirt white with black lettering that read, ‘Mommy and I love the Penguins.’

“You’re all ready for practice, huh little guy? Just a few more years, okay one for two until I can start teaching you to play and seventeen until you can get drafted.

Cassie, Geno, and Jordan all woke up at around noon and went to the kitchen where Miriya had lunch waiting for them. “Hey guys,” she said from behind the refrigerator door. “How’d you guys sleep, anyone hung over?”

Geno looked around the island before speaking up, “I think we’re all good actually.”
“That’s surprising,” she sat down next to Jordan and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. “How are you my love?”

“Good, you’re rather perky today.”

“Maybe it’s because it’s noon and I’ve been up for four hours now,” she said pouring herself a glass of Pepsi. “But eat up guys we’ve gotta be at the arena soon.”

When they got to the arena Miriya went to her office while everyone else went to the locker room to suit up. She sat down at her desk and started at her laptop before putting on her practice hat. The desktop was the team’s schedule and showed the next game against the Aves in two days. She quickly checked her e-mail and saw that she had one from Ray. ‘The twenty-second is fine with me, can’t wait to meet her.’

Practice went well and later tha night everyone boarded the plane for Colorado. As always Miriya said with Jordan, Nik and Kris but about an hour after taking off she went to talk to her coaching staff. When they arrived in Denver they went straight to the hotel where everyone went straight to bed.

“Alright boys, we only play these guys once a year so this is a big game. Everyone get back early tonight so that you’re rested for tomorrow. I’ll see you all at morning skate.” The guys went to the locker room and then their separate ways for the day.

Later that day at around seven Miriya replaced her shorts and t-shirt with jeans and a new t-shirt with a semi-tight hoodie. “Bye Jordan, thanks for watching Scotty tonight.”

“Yep, have a good time.” He kissed her cheek but couldn’t just leave it at that. He kept his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. She didn’t even have to think about it anymore, her arms made their way around his neck as his as his lip gently pressed against hers. She ran her hands down his chest, keeping them there and shortly after pulling away. She tried to walk towards the door but Jordan caught her hand and pulled her back. He left a quick peck on her lips before saying, “Bye baby.”

She got to the lobby where she found Michelle and Cassie, both girls were dressed similarly to the way she was. They left the hotel and found their way to a bar down the street. Getting seats at the bar they ordered their drinks and gazed up at the TV. FSN was on and the bearded man was talking about the Aves. “The Pittsburgh Penguins are in town to take on the Aves tomorrow night, right here on FSN.”

“Hello ladies,” a tall man said walking up to them from across the bar. “Can I get you some drinks?”

“Already got one,” Miriya said shaking her Shirley Temple.

The girls tried to go back to their conversation but the guy was very persistent, he just wouldn’t give up. Finally the girls gave in and let him buy them a drink. He kept asking them to go home with him and they tried their best to ignore him. Eventually Michelle got tipsy and started to go along with it.

Miriya who wasn’t the slightest bit drunk got down off of her stool and punched him in the face. She landed the punch square on his left cheek causing him to let go of Michelle’s hand and just look at her. Thankfully she had been wearing her thistle ring leaving an imprint on his face. “How can you punch that hard?” He asked just as the TV switched back to hockey.

“The Penguins and their coach Miriya Staal are in town for what should be an intense match-up tomorrow night.”

“That’s how,” she pointed to the TV which was now showing her coaching the boys in a game earlier in the season. The man finally got the hint and walked away. “So glad I can hold my liquor,” Miriya said finishing off her drink. “We should head back to the hotel so Michelle isn’t hung over for morning skate.”

The three girls left the bar, Miriya and Cassie helped Michelle walk down the street and to the hotel. The elevator opened at the fifth floor and Michelle was helped to her room. The door creaked open after a few seconds and there stood Sid in just his boxers. “You girls are back earlier than I thought you would be.”

“That’s all because of your wife, I want her to be sober enough to function at morning skate. Goodnight Sid.”

“Night coach, see you in the morning.”

Miriya made her way to her room where she found Jordan, as always, watching TV. “Hey baby, I didn’t expect you back for at least another hour.”

“Neither did Sid,” she said removing her hoodie. “We had to leave though, Michelle,” she said to his questioning look. “She got tipsy and started going along with this guy who was hitting on her. So I punched him in the face, finished my drink and we left.”

“Sounds like a fun night, anyone know who you were?”

“Not until they started talking about tomorrow’s game on FSN.”

“Well we’re gonna be extra rested for the game aren’t we?”

“I guess so,” she said walking to Scott’s crib. “Goodnight sweetheart, I love you.” She placed a kiss on his forehead. “I’ll be back in a little bit, I smell like alcohol and smoke so I’m gonna shower.” She went to the bathroom where she quickly showered and got into her pajamas. When she returned to the bedroom the TV was still on but Jordan was fast asleep. Miriya got into bed next to Jordan , turned the TV off and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. “Goodnight Jordan, I love you.”

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stanley Cup Champions 2009

Just a little video that I made...

Yet another one shot....

Hey guys I don't know how many of you would want to read it but I just posted a new one shot about Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit. It's called The Man Behind Home Plate.