That’s the theme for the 2007-08 edition of the Buffalo Sabres. It works, kind of. I wonder if someone in the promotions office happened to be watching “We Are Marshall” when they came up with that slogan.
But I digress. I was at the Sabres/Pens pre-season game tonight. It was an absolutely amazing game. The hockey was fantastic; though Sid did not play. The Sidbot must’ve been in for a lube, oil and filter before the season starts next week.
I almost thought that I would need repairs after going to the Sabres store before the game. There were people everywhere. I wanted to get a CCM jersey (or have my mother buy it for me as my “surprise” birthday gift since the Ice Bowl ain’t happening), but there were too many people to get near those racks. I did end up buying a Pominville t-shirt and a Sabres 06-07 dvd (which will be reviewed by me later this week. Stay tuned for that).
I’m absolutely gobsmacked at the amount of slug merchandise that is out there. For a town that bitched and moaned about how the slug was blasphemy and the worst thing out there since new Coke, there sure was a lot of slug gear in the crowd.
During pre-game, I played the “who is wearing a letter tonight” game. The winners were Hank (C) and Goose and Timmy (A). I noticed that Goose was the leader of the “lets all stand in a horseshoe and fire pucks at Crunchy” drill, where his main role was to keep the puck moving and clear the net. He was also the last person off the ice after warmups. Goose must’ve changed sweaters after the first period, as the sweater he had on for the rest of the game was letterless. Either that, or AC Moore needs to make glue-on letters that are slightly more durable.
The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes because there was such a demand for walk-up/will-call tickets, there were too many people in the lobby. The crowd was a little unhappy with the delay, but they sure perked up when it was announced that Timmy was going to play. The crowd also booed Briere during the highlight package showed on the jumbotron. I can only imagine how ridiculous its going to be when the slag-faced whore himself shows up in the building, not just a video.
Doug Allen sang the anthems as usual, and nothing says national pride like singing along to the national anthem with 17,000 of your closest friends.
The new jumbotron is up, and it is eleventy-seven thousand times better than the one they had up. Its just so crystal clear and snazzy. The best part, is that hanging down below the board itself, are the Sabres slug logos, supported by crossed swords. The way the swords handles are designed and positioned under the slug makes it look like the slugs are wearing Chuck Taylors.
Derek Roy is on fire. I don’t know if Lindy had a come to jeebus meeting with him, or he got the memo about a contract equalling performance, but he has been amazing these past few games. He’s got good supporting players in Staffy and Vanek as linemates. Staffy’s also a beast. He forced a turnover late in the game in the Pittsburgh end that almost resulted in another goal. Timmy’s game-winning goal was brilliant. The man shot the puck into the net when he was falling to the ice. Amazing. Beautiful. Superb. Pick an adjective. I can’t.
Speaking of Timmy, there was one moment where Timmy was jostling along the boards, and I muttered that he needs to keep his head up, and next thing, Timmy’s on the ice. All you saw were his little skates flailing above the boards. My mother muttered that maybe Timmy needs to concentrate on keeping his body up, not just his head. But Timmy got up. No headache, no foul.
I do have to say that my enjoyment of the game tonight was doubled because of all of the fun that I’ve been having reading the hockey blogs this summer. Whether its pommerdoodling when Pommerdoodle scores, or wanting to yell “Buy Sod” at Jordan Staal, seeing a Jumbotron feature called Crunchtime and being disappointed that its not all about Crunchy, actually noticing changing on the fly and the little bench shuffle, etc; all these things make the game that much more enjoyable.
After the game, the team had a fan-appreciation autograph session. They had the players spread out around the arena, and didn’t announce who was where until after the game ended, so people could not camp out for one player. Our seats were right near where Soupy was stationed, so we went to his line first. He was pretty amused that the first people in line were having him sign Briere jerseys. I had him sign my copy of the Sabres 06-07 dvd, and he said he needed to get a copy of that, since he hadn’t seen it yet. Note to Sabres Management: get them a copy! (Heather, I think he took your advice on the beard thing, since he was rocking one rather well). He did however, lose fashion points for wearing light-cocoa colored pants, camel colored shoes and black socks.
Then we went to the Paestch/Mair line. Pictures of Patches do not do him justice at all. The man is fine [/end puckbunny]. He steals away the fashion points Soupy lost, as Patches had on a pink shirt, which matched the light pinstripes in his brown pants. I don’t have much to say about Adam Mair, as his watchdog was giving me the evil eye for wanting to take a picture. Hank was the only other person on our level, and his line was cut off already.
Those were the only autographs we could get, since both the 100 and 300 levels had been shut down to additional autograph seekers at that point, as the lines were so long. Miller, Afinogenov and Vanek total had somewhere around 4500 people in their lines. Yikes.
I will have my pictures uploaded tomorrow, once I get some of them cleaned up and either uploaded here to to flickr. Some of them definitely require captions, so they may end up here after all.