Well, that game seriously blew. BAD, Sabres! Heather B summed the situation up pretty well.
Games like last night take me beyond the basic unhappiness of a loss, to a state of dull anxiety. The thing I seem to enjoy dwelling on lately is Crunchy’s upcoming free agency (By upcoming I mean a year and a half from now. See how rational I am?). When I watch a game in which Crunchy is left HANGING OUT TO DRY by his entire team, I start fretting about whether he is going to want to stay in Buffalo. I neurotically worry that he’ll pack up his wonky brow and his death glare, and he’ll move to wherever-the-fuck he thinks he can win a Stanley Cup Championship. This tendency to assume that all the players are desperate to get away from us is not indicative of my general approach to life. I can’t decide if this is just me using sports to air out some previously latent insecurities, a sad scar from my Chris Drury love, or a sign that I really am a Buffalonian now, but it’s kind of pissing me off. Hopefully this phase will pass soon.
I keep meaning to write a whole post about hockey violence, but I can’t seem to pull it together. I would like to say a few things about the fighting in last night’s game.
I really hate fighting between enforcers. It’s very stupid, and to me, totally devoid of entertainment. I hate the pageantry involved with watching Andrew Peters and some other dude start yelling at each other during the faceoff. They’re not actually pissed at each other, instead they are playing a role, like an actor in a play. I dunno, I just find it sort of embarrassing to watch. In order for me to enjoy a fight, I have to believe that the participants are both motivated by some degree of legitimate rage created by the flow of the game. When Goose gets pissed enough at Todd Bertuzzi that he wants to fight, well, I trust Goose’s professional judgment on that one. (I trust Goose because he was thoroughly trained at NHL University to recognize when and how to fight. I’m pretty sure he minored in fisticuffs at NHLU. Andrew Peters does not have a degree from NHLU. He’s self taught, and frankly, I think it shows.) It seems that in certain circumstances, I’m perfectly willing to enjoy the hot mess that is grown men fighting in full body armor. (Although, Goose, perhaps you aren’t aware, but Bertuzzi has a bit of a history. He’s scary, and not in an amusing Parros kind-of-way.)
I was raised by hippies, in a household where hitting was wrong, in every situation. I have a fair amount of discomfort with the fighting in hockey, and I am relieved I don’t have to try to justify the situation to my hypothetical kids; but because I am an adult, without the burden of shaping young minds, I can enjoy the non-goon fights for what they are: awesome. So, this is all a round-about way of saying that fighting in hockey is both upsetting and exhilarating. It’s all very fucked up. I suspect that people who have grown up around hockey feel differently about the fighting, but to me it’s genuinely troubling. I wasn’t just raised by hippies who believe hitting is wrong in every circumstance, I kind of am a hippie who believes hitting is wrong in every circumstance…..except in hockey apparently.
This whole issue really confuses me.
I am a night owl, so I love these late starting west coast games. Last night I watched the first two periods in a bar, and then I watched the last period in my pajamas on the couch. Nice! I am pretty much always awake well past midnight anyway, but it seems sort of extra fun that I get to watch the Sabres late into the evening. If I had my way, all the games would start at ten o’clock.