Archive for September 23rd, 2009


There’s Real Hockey on My TV

September 23, 2009

Or, a semi-live rambling blog of the of Sabres/Leafs game tonight.

First Period

– I don’t care if it’s the Leafs feed on NHL Network, I will watch it. Somehow, this feed is coming through for me I wonder how many pissed off emails the league/Sabres/MSM received (I know the News and WGRZ were aware of the situation) from Sabres fans. I don’t understand league blackout rules. I mean, yes MSG has the rights to Sabres games, but if MSG isn’t going to be showing the game, why should they give a flying fig that the NHL Network is going to be showing the game? Also, it’s incredibly misleading that the Sabres site advertised the game as being offered on NHLN tonight, when it in fact was not. League website template or not, a team should be able to update its own site with the proper TV coverage information and not have to post the corrected information in a release three clicks into the site.

–  I realize I work with ads all day and should be relieved when I see an unsullied space, but I really miss the dasher board ads. I know it’s time consuming to install them, and all the deals probably have yet to be completed, but the boards look really naked. And there’s too much white on the screen, what with the white boards, white ice and white Leafs uniforms. We could have the abominable snowman frolicking on the ice and no one would notice.

– McCormick and Rosehill interrupt my diatrible about ads by having a nice little fight. I miss fighting. And it was a good, solid fight. Not a let’s tango around each other with our fists raised in the air kind of fight that we’ve often got used to seeing. (Sorry, Petey. Them’s the breaks. But I do hope you make the Devils. You’re a good egg.)

–  When I’m not busy typing, I’m trying to rank the players for my fantasy hockey team.  The Two Eyed Pea Brains draft tomorrow and I realized that there’s like jack defensemen in the Western Conference outside of Lidstrom. At least the moral and ethical battle of drafting Pronger and his Elbows of Doom moves to those peeps drafting from the Eastern Conference.

– Is Miller wearing a camera on his head or is he just making like the Great Gazoo with his headgear?

– Do we really think Luke Schenn can outmuscle Goose and Grier in the Toronto zone? (Does Grier have a nickname? Griersy? Mikey? Fred? Bob?) And Goose is wearing the C tonight. While I have a feeling Rivet will remain the Captain for this season, I really want to see Gaustad wearing a letter this year.

– As the Leafs TV announcers are waxing poetic about the Sabres penalty kill this preseason, Miller makes one hell of a diving, pivot-y save. Score one for the Gazoo.

– And at this point, those bastards at Time Warner realize the feed should be blocked and I lose coverage. I pick up the internet feed on the commercial so I don’t think I’ll miss much. I’ll stick with the Leafs TV announcers, since they’re really not that bad…yet.

– The mom unit is wondering why there isn’t an alternate game offered on the NHL Network while the Sabres game is blacked out. Right now, it’s the black screen of death on the regular channel and “no service available” on the high def one. That’s not good customer service on the part of NHLN/TWC. According to, there’s three other games that the league could slot in so their flagship channel isn’t dead air for three hours.

– The ice sounds on this internet feed are incredibly crisp. You can hear every puck receipt and every zhush of the skate blades.

– The final shot count at the end of the first period is 18-5, Sabres. While there’s no score yet, I think the Sabres have done an incredibly good job at pressuring the net, making chances and playing a solid game. Of course, there’s still two more periods for the wheels to come off the wagon.

Second Period

– On a delayed penalty against Exelby for knocking the snot out of Pommers, Paetsch rips a one-timer past MacDonald. 1-0 Sabres. WHOOO!

– The Sabres Twitter feed is reporting that Stafford is now wearing a cage after taking a stick to the face in the first period. Poor Staffy, but the show must go on. He takes a stick to the face and comes back to the game. I drop a full bottle of hair conditioner on my foot and I’m whining for twenty minutes and thinking I broke my foot.

– WHOOO! Gaustad Hecht (status changed in the 3rd) is credited with the Sabres second goal.

– Is Rob Ray doing the radio broadcast? I spy him ensconced between the benches in his Sabres track suit.

– My inner 12-year-old is coming out, but can we please not use the word “streaking” in reference to Jiri Tlusty, especially after those photos came out.

– Miller’s flopped embarrassed reaction to his whiff on the Tlusty penalty shot was pretty funny. Miller had his legs together, but not all the way. You could tell he wanted that one back. Now I laugh. If that happened in March, I’d probably cry.

– The mom unit is watching DWTS on the TV. Why, oh why, is the Miley Cyrus music video for “Party in the USA” debuting during this show? It has nothing to do with either “dancing” or “stars.”

– I come back from a feed crapout to find that Cody McCormick has scored to make it 3-1, Sabres. WHOOO! McCormick (shall we call him Pepper, Saffron? Seasoning Packet?) is just an assist away from the Gordie Howe hat trick.

– More from DWTS. I can’t decide whether to be freaked out by or in awe of the costumes from the stage version of The Lion King. They’re alternately cool and detailed, and yet terrifying.

As Sabres fans, we all need a little hakuna matata in our lives.

Third Period

– Mitchell scores while I’m reading my neighborhood newspaper’s crime blotter (unlike the Amherst Bee, this blotter contains actual crime). The score is now 3-2, Sabres.

– Sensory overload night continues as Glee is now on the TV. And within the first two minutes, they manage to top last week’s Crohn’s shoutout. This Beyonce thing is even more timely and relevant in light of the Kanye debacle, even though it’s probably a very large coincidence.

– Miller shuts down Lori Peckarovsky who somehow got in on a little shorthanded breakaway. (Toronto is a man down due to the puck over the glass delay of game rule.) On this penalty kill, the Leafs allowed no shots. It feels good to once again want to scream “shoooooot” during a power play.

– A scrum breaks out in the Toronto end, as Gaustad gets a roughing penalty, leading to all sorts of chaos. I liked seeing Grier jump in to help Gaustad, even though Gaustad was taking on not only the Maple Leaf player, but also the referee. That takes talent (and a mighty big bit of pissed-off-ness).

–  The Leafs broadcast shows a picture of Stafford with the cage and his grotesquely swollen lip with the caption that he won’t be kissing anyone tonight. That’s snarkily brilliant for a broadcaster. I would also caution the broadcasters to never underestimate a hockey player when it comes to extracurricular activities.

– This is Lindy’s 12th season as Sabres coach. Crikey, I’m old.

– The broadcasters enlighten us with what a typical Sabres third period is like when they have the lead: they clog up the neutral zone, forcing the opposition to work harder to get the pucks in. I’d like to add that they forgot to mention that Sabres third periods generally include the lead being given up at some point in combination with the offense taking a holiday.

– A Leafs player makes one hell of an effort to keep Pommers from scoring into the empty Toronto net. I guess the population of Pominville will have to wait to grow until another day.

– Oh, come on. Two icing calls with less than twenty seconds left in the game? That’s a joke. Can’t the game just end in peace?

– While the Sabres pulled out a win, they played two good periods and one decent period. It’s not bad for preseason, but it’s not good for the regular season, either.