It's a beautiful autumn afternoon, bright and sunny, but cool enough that you need a long sleeved t-shirt or sweatshirt over your shorts. A perfect day to be heading toward the rink with your equipment bag pulling on your shoulder, and your stick banging against your shins as you kick it across the parking lot. Early season ice, pristine and clear and hard, just waiting for the bite of your blade, the feather of a C-cut spraying toward the boards. The blue line gives way to the red line and then you're back out of the zone again, circling around the center and back over the blue again, forward then backward, that mohawk turn isn't quite right. Adjust your laces, check your outside edge. Quick start, sudden stop, take a breath, do it again.
It's a great day for hockey.