Amongst the sea of Minnesota fans at the Xcel Energy Center for Game 1 against the Blues and Wild, Bob and Lois Edmundson proudly donned the Blue Note across their chest in enemy territory, especially when their son Joel netted the game-winner in overtime.
"Well the funny thing is, it was a delayed reaction," said Bob. "He didn’t really celebrate. The goal light didn’t go on right away, and no one cheered because there was only a handful of us in the crowd," as he started laughing. "We were at the other end of the ice, so we couldn’t really see what happened."
And surprisingly, he went on to add this.
"The Wild fans around us were very hospitable. They were happy for us. Maybe not so happy that the Wild lost, but it was pretty cool for us to watch that. It doesn’t happen very often for Joel so we soaked it all in."
Scoring is rare for the 23-year-old defenseman, but there was something about playing at "The X" that brought out his offense. In Game 2 — with his parents in the stands yet again — he started the scoring for the Blues. Of course, they stood up to cheer and Wild fans had to ask.
"They asked us if we were from St. Louis and we said, 'No, that we were from Manitoba,'" Lois said. "They were curious to know why we were there and said, 'If the Wild don’t go on, then we’re really happy for you guys and really happy for your son.'"
Edmundson’s journey to the National Hockey League has been a long road and his parents have been there every step of the way.
"Joel started skating when he was 2 to keep up to his brother that was two years older than him and he was frustrated that he couldn’t keep up at the start," said Bob. "So he’s always had that draw to be better."
Bob coached both of his sons Joel and Jesse starting at the ages of 5 and 6 and all the way up until pee-wee hockey at the age of 12. They followed Joel to Chicago when he played in the AHL for the Wolves, and now for the Blues in St. Louis. But here's the kicker. Every time they travel to see Joel play, they drive.
"People laugh, 'Oh why didn’t you fly?' Well it's the process right?" said Bob. "The drive, the opportunities that we have to learn as we go, you know? Flying through the air you don't learn a whole lot compared to driving. You get to see a lot of things that people don't get to see. So, that's part of our journey."
"He's earned his way right through and he's great," added Lois. "It's been a great journey for us to be able to follow along with him."
The drive from Brandon, Manitoba takes 17-to-18 hours and Bob said they usually drive straight through. They have been to all of the Blues-Wild playoff games this series. The first two in Minnesota, followed by Sunday night's Game 3 and will also be in the crowd for Game 4 on Wednesday night.