I haven't been to Spokane Arena since the playoffs last year, but nothing has changed.
The same aging hamster still makes the elevator go up and down. The press box isn't that high up, but it takes a week and three days to get to the the top or bottom.
This is one of the only places in the league that does not offer a pregame meal. The Bretts have deep pockets, but I guess they they want to foot the bill. Not even in the playoffs. Not that the food at Toyota Center is top-notch every night, but at least it's there. You want an awesome pregame meal in the media room? Vancouver and Everett are at the top o the list. And Kelowna offers Tim Hortons timbits (doughnut holes to you and me).
There are some Ams fans in the stands, and I saw Mr. Lee-Knight and Mr. Dow on the concourse. They have an express way from Calgary to the Tri-Cities. Dedicated parents. I think they just want to get out of the snow.
I hope this year they show the replays of the Americans goals on the big screen. Last year, we got Spokane replays, but none of the Americans. Don't be petty, just put them on the screen.
Mitch Topping, Tyson Dallman and Ryan Chynoweth still are on the injured list. Also scratched are Lukas Walter, Clint Filbrandt and Matthew Gelinas. So are Eric Comrie and Phil Tot, but I don't see either of them seeing ice time in the postseason.
Affiliate players Fraser Bulbuc, Parker Wotherspoon and Brandon Carlo are in the lineup.
Spokane coach Don Nachbaur used to hate the reverse benches here at Spokane Arena. I wonder what he thinks of them now. I still find them confusing. Maybe I should look into that.
I hear, from Dave the Elevator Man, that they expect about 5,000 here tonight. I wonder about tomorrow. The Gonzaga women are playing an NCAA tourney game a mile away on their home court. That game starts at 1 p.m. Maybe I should have stayed over. And, the Gonzaga men play tomorrow night about 5:30 p.m. or so. That game is free on TV. So many choices to little money and time.
You can follow me throughout the game on Twitter: @tchicequeen