I promise, this is how it happened. I signed into my email account and found an email from friends and Devils fans, Pookie and Schnookie, saying that Henrik Tallinder had scored a short-handed goal. I looked up at the TV, trying to make sense of the words "Henrik," "Tallinder," "short-handed," and "goal," and at that exact moment, Tyler Myers fell over, for no discernible reason, handing over the puck for a Rangers goal. A message from the Hockey Gods? You be the judge.
I told someone in an email last week that I just wasn't sure what to make of this season's Sabres, that I couldn't get a handle on them. The first two games of the season really didn't do much to clear things up. Perhaps I should be willing to chalk game two up as a clunker - every team has them over the course of 82 games - and if I were really generous, I might acknowledge that it was game two of a back-to-back. But come on, it was the SECOND GAME OF THE SEASON and the FIRST GAME AT HOME. That's really all the Sabres could find within themselves? That is freakin' brutal. We have twenty-two back-to-backs this season. I will crawl over the glass, leap onto the ice, and shiv someone if I have to watch twenty-one more Saturday games like that one.
The bottom line is this: It's really hard to reconcile the team that swore they had something to prove this season with the team that was - deservedly - booed off the ice on Saturday. Really hard. This was not a case of a team playing well and losing to a team that played better. It was not a case of a team playing well and not having any luck or getting any breaks. It was not an exhausted, injured team that's already battled through most of a season. It was a team that didn't show up. Period. In the second game of the season. In front of their own crowd. Ugh.
Okay, on a totally different note, I noticed a lot of complaining that the Sabres didn't do anything special for the 40th anniversary on Saturday. I thought that was pretty weird too, especially in light of the huge pregame celebration Vancouver had. When I was perusing Twitter this afternoon (avoiding many, many school assignments), I noticed a reply that Mike Harrington had sent someone about the Sabres having a big celebration on Friday before the Montreal game. It's the 40th anniversary to the day of the Sabres first game which was, funnily enough, also against Montreal.
I bring this up to say this: The Sabres are idiots. I can't believe the first I've heard of this was in some random Twitter reply one of the local beat writers sent out. I would assume I'd missed something except that no one seemed to know anything about it. I have no problem with them waiting until Friday - I think their reasons for doing so are pretty awesome actually - but why aren't they publicizing the heck out of it? Now they have a bunch of grouchy fans complaining that they didn't do anything and that it's embarrassing compared to Vancouver. If I'd had any money, I would have bought a ticket for the opener, expecting all the fanfare to be then. I'd be pretty annoyed if I got home and then realized the fanfare was actually a couple of games later. I don't get how a franchise that's so good at marketing and merchandising can be so dumb when it comes to pretty much everything else PR-wise. And while I'm ranting at the Sabres, why don't you guys get over yourselves regarding bloggers and online writers? You're crazy if you think there's any competition between blogs and other sites and your site. You know why? Because your website sucks and the only reason I ever go there is to see what time the game starts.
Ah, hockey season. It's so good to have you back. When I said I wanted to have fun this year, I was not issuing a challenge.