While some might say last night’s 3-0 loss to the Blue Jackets was, “slow” and “painful”, I’m going to disagree, and declare the game, “leisurely” and “dreamlike”. I don’t feel so much like I attended a game as I feel I attended a zoo filled with hockey players. On Monday I was only vaguely aware of the men playing hockey because I was so engrossed in the action, but last night the incredibly disorganized hockey playing was akin to listening to your good-looking neighbors having a heated argument; mildly interesting, but largely unpleasant. At no point in the game did it seem as if the Sabres were going to score, and at no point was I thinking “Wow, these Blue Jackets are really good.” The game just slogged on and on; but the good news was that, even when the Sabres are listless and uninspired, they are still pretty compelling when viewed up close. Just saying.
It turns out that good seats go a long way while watching your team get shut out. On Monday night we were sitting in fabulous seats that provided a view of the ice almost identical to the one you see on most television broadcasts, but on Friday we saw a full game of powerplay cam. The delightful thing about powerplay cam is that for much of the game, the puck and the players are skating straight at you, close enough to startle you as they slam into the glass. The glacial pace of the game provided for plenty of opportunity to observe various details.
Non-hockey highlights included:
-We went to dinner at Chef’s mostly because it has a long history of attracting hockey players. All I can really say about Chef’s is, “whoa”. While the food was pretty lame, the atmosphere was fairly amusing, and even though we complained loudly about Chef’s for the remainder of the night, I’m glad I finally got a taste of this Buffalo institution. (Dear Buffalo, you need a better institution. Love, Katebits)
-Heather arriving with a variety of signs, one of which explained “Pommerdoodle” was so, so, so, SO funny. (Dear Heather, I’m sorry I was too embarrassed to stand behind the “Tally-ho” sign. I think that the fact that I had just eaten at Chef’s was negatively effecting my moxie. Love, Katebits)
-I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ryan Miller fussing over a little hole in the ice near one of his goal posts. He fretted, and poked at it, and squirted water on it, and circled around it during all the breaks in the action. Finally, he had one of the dudes with a snow shovel poke at it for him. Even that didn’t seem to satisfy old Crunchy. I think I could see a little thought bubble over his head that said, “There is a little hole in the ice right there. I can still see the hole. OMG, look at the hole. I wonder if I poke at the hole if it will go away. Goddamn it, that hole is annoying. Ryan, just ignore the hole. It’s fine. Life can’t be all about smooth ice; sometimes there are holes. I can’t wait for this period to be over so I can go down to the other net. What if there’s a hole down there too? I can still see the hole. Hole, hole, hole, hole, hole. I hate that hole. Why does there have to be hole right there? Fuck, here comes Rick Nash.”
-The little boys in front of us desperately trying to get on the jumbotron. Their strategy was two-fold: One of them took his shirt off and twirled it over his head for the entirety of the third period, while his friend held a large bucket of popcorn poised over his head, I assume to be dumped out in the event they made it onto the big screen. I think the loudest I cheered during the entire game was when they finally did end up on the jumbotron, only to forget their popcorn dumping scheme in the heat of the moment.
- Max is not my favorite Sabre. Toni Lydman and Goose are my favorite Sabres. Goose holds his puffy hockey shorts up with a belt made out of clear tape. I found this beguiling, to say the least.
- Teasing Schnookie about Ryan Miller’s Game Day playlist was infinitely amusing. The Sabres are doing this thing where they play songs chosen by the players during the game. At the beginning of the evening, the jumbotron told us that tonight was Crunchy’s night to play DJ, but it didn’t inform us of his particular choices, leaving us no option but to insist (to Schnookie’s great displeasure), that each and every musical selection was lovingly selected by Crunchy himself. If the music heard last night is any indication, Crunchy has really bad (and suspiciously gay) taste in music. Heh. Q: Would a GAY MAN put the Pointer Sisters on a playlist? A: Yes.
- After the game, we got into a traffic jam the likes of which I have ever witnessed in Buffalo. I’m not being bitchy or sarcastic when I say that this was one of the funniest parts of the evening. We howled with laughter as we inched along, comparing the pace of the traffic to the pace of the game, and analyzing every detail we could recall. You know you are with awesome people when a traffic jam is incredibly fun.
This has been such an great week. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to live hockey than the Sabres, the Ookies, and Heather provided for me. The internet, Dear Readers, is a wonderful place, but the real reward of blogging is meeting the incredible human beings on the other side of the computer. Hooray!