Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thanks, Marty

I'm not gonna lie, I've been very down on hockey the past few weeks. I have flashes where I enjoy watching the Sabres but they're brief. I really don't have that much affection for the roster as is and that's been killing hockey for me. I've thought more than once that if the playoffs started tomorrow, I wouldn't watch a single second. I don't have it in me. I am seriously burned out this season.

So thank god for Marty Brodeur. I tuned out of the Sabres game tonight (big sacrifice) so I could watch the end of the Devils game and boy, I am really, really glad I did. I don't know if Martin Broduer is better than Patrick Roy. I don't know if Martin Brodeur is partly a product of the defensive system the Devils played for much of his career. I don't care. I do know that he is an amazingly gifted goalie and a lot of fun to watch. I do know that he's played every single game of his NHL career in one sweater even though he could have gotten more money and more attention elsewhere. I love that. I loved how his teammates seemed really fired up to get the win from the second the puck dropped. I loved that the game ended with him making a save, the puck in his glove right where it belonged. I loved his teammates circling around him and tapping their sticks, one of my very favorite things in hockey. I loved Marty deciding he was cutting off the whole dang net and I loved him trying to do it with a pair of scissors like I have in my desk at school, the kind that barely cuts through a few pieces of paper without getting all messed up. I loved a fanbase that's rightfully been criticized for not being visible coming out in force and sounding like they were having a joyous time all night. I loved New Jersey, of all teams, reminding me that I don't hate hockey, I just hate the Sabres version of it. I'm a little relieved to realize that.

There will be time - plenty of time, I think - to discuss the Sabres, what went wrong last night and this season, who's to blame and how things should be fixed. For tonight I just want to bask in loving hockey again.


Pookie said...

Awwwwwww! I love this post! :D

Seriously, I'm so glad there was a hockey moment to remind you that you love hockey. This -- whatever's going on with the Sabres -- too shall pass, and you'll be able to love them again, but in the meantime? It's always nice to revert to "fan of hockey not just one team" to relax and recharge the hockey-loving batteries. One frustrating team shouldn't be worth ruining that, you know?

ToonTon said...

I'm done for this year. I could understand losing a close game in OT or a shootout if they'd played with heart. But to be outshot 36-13? See you in September.

Jennifer said...

I have honestly enjoyed watching all the other teams play this season, more than watching the Sabres. Buffalo is still MY TEAM, but, for me, one good thing has come out of their inconsistent, half-hearted season, I've gotten to know some of the other teams a little better. It's great, just to be a fan of hockey, in general!

Vanek's Hair said...

Marty Brodeur is a remarkable player, and one of a few that I will brag about seeing play in person when I am old (older, I mean). What I find most impressive, having sat up close (that's because I am a seat snob) is that in the era of goalies wearing what amount to full size mattresses on their legs for pads, he doesn't. Seriously, his goalie pads are not much more than big shin pads.

That said, I hate the Devils. They ruined hockey. Their boring trap style of not hockey has crept back. I even watch other games to make sure it isn't just the Sabres. Sadly, it isn't. I don't leave Gary Bettman off the hook. Have you noticed that other sports get out in front of that? When the NBA or NFL gets into crappy, boring ugly styles, they modify the rules to prevent it. Why not give it a shot.

Heather said...

Wow, some of you really didn't get into the whole "I LOVE HOCKEY!" tone of this post :P

Schnookie said...

*Gets all choked up again*

Thanks for such a wonderful post, Heather! And I don't say that just because it's about the Devils. It's always so nice to find a reason -- ANY reason -- to remember that hockey is fun and wonderful, no matter how crappy your own team is playing. I'm so pleased that the team I love best was able to do that for you last night! :D