Thoughts from Section 20… eerr… 300, Devils AT Sabres, Dec 7, 2009!

Welcome to 2 Man History!!!! No no no, not the shutout record :p… Hells no not that… we’ll get to that!! Welcome to the first ROAD version of the keeping-this-site-alive sorta commentary on the Devils games I go to live…..it’s been a while since i saw NHL hockey live outside the friendly halls of Newark (no Andrew that Islanders game last year don’t count!)….hell in fact it was that first weekend in January of 2007, thet lead to a “you went out WITH THAT” girl getting a football tossed at her head :p… anyway, that was then and this is certainly NOW…. BUFFALO STINKS!!! And now we got proof!!

the Arena:
— Let me say this… the HSBC ARENA is flat out BEAUTIFUL!!! It has great sidelines… the arena is well-designed… it pays great tribute to the team as you walk in you see EVERYTHING… it’s perfectly designed, the concourse is way unique and takes pride in their team, their players and their history (as jaded as it is)… this is definitely one of the top 5 arenas I’ve been too in my 19 traveled too! I will DEFINITELY be coming back here again!!! (My top 5 I believe is now: Columbus, New Jersey, Phoenix, Toronto and then Buffalo… I culd be wrong and need to think of this better when the asthma headache goes away)
— the sight-line was a little… vertical…. I admit… but it was an excellent place to see hockey from, the Blue color-scheme was awesome
— if you are thinking of seeing a game up here… bring some thermals but GO… it’s a 5-star stop!!!!
— (and of course for more details on my trip… facebook me!!!)

The Good:
— I do really need to thank Melissa and her family for putting up with me this weekend and beyond… and my asthma-induced temper tantrum during that Cowboys debacle on Sunday… this has been quite honestly maybe the best and most stress (and drama)-free vacation I’ve had in a long time and I need to thank them for this… even if they may never read this thank you……
— Well obviously when your goaltender ties the record for the most regular season shutouts of all time… yeah he’s GOTTA be the lead comment right?? Though typical Buffalo douchery….”Sawchuck didn’t wear a mask…” I heard that about 15 times… and i’m sorry… him being TOO STUPID to wear one doesn’t lessen it… he also had no video scouting, less players in the league, a lighter schedule and the average hockey player NOW is way better and capable then they were back then SO SUCK IT and accept the fact you live in the city of fails!!!
— Johnny Oduya looks to be back and in his last year’s form with his effort in the last two games back from injury… hell that time off was maybe the best thing for him it seems….
— Vladimir Zharkov…. I was kinda annoyed that Halischuk got sent down (I thought he was improving and showing he belonged here…)… but now Zharkov is adding points to his resume (and playing time with Elias)… and if he keeps scoring Lou and Jacques look like GOD DAMN GENIUSES again!
— Colin White again a very quiet night and you look up and it’s a +2 night… I’m just saying….
— I was really getting on people’s nerves with the KILL….. KILL…. KILL…KILL!! Chant during Buffalo power plays, hell they coulda scored and shut me up right??? (so I ran it up a little and did it during the last 90 seconds of the game!)
— Zach Parise was buzzing all game long… it’s like he went to score ten points tonight so he could goad Miller all Olympics long about it eh? Was kinda fitting since our room was “909” in the hotel… and it lead to a Lord Krang snarl:
** Lord Krang “Our”?? As in yours and Andy’s??
See, Andy is so good he gets his own hotel room even though he hasn’t yet met the requirements in the CBA to be roommate-less, opening the way for him to share his hotel room with you!
(now let this fuel speculation indeed that the person behind the “Andy Greene” facebook page is an obscure Buffalo sports fan in Youngsville, PA 😉 )

The Bad:
— IT’S FUCKING COLD AND SNOWING OUT HERE… ok that’s bad for me and all I care about :p
— We’re getting spoiled by andy and his genius if it’s almost a bad night that he only had three nifty plays and assist and was “only even” in 25 miniutes played…. i expected more when I come 400 miles to see ya!!!
— USA hockey takes collective gasp as Montador runs over his own goalie!!! that was a pretty big scare this close to Olympic time….
— the only thing bad about this game I can think of is that Buffalo laid down much like Brett Favre did for Michael Strahan long long ago for another record that was of minimal interest :p

the funny:
— and oh boy we got a LOT here… I made some friends really quick in this game…. hell we even traded Chris Benoit jokes!!
Our new friendship began when they yelled “BORING TRAP DEVILS!!” I reminded them that the Rangers trapped more and somehow Jacques made us into an offensive powerhouse :o… and they returned the favor by telling me that Tim Connolly has a habit and liking to pee on girls after dates…. WHAT??!??!
— and see I wasn’t the only one expecting the irony of mb30 waiting till I travel to the frozen tundra to see him tie that shutout record:
** Brian Paolercio: Since you’re there, Scott, make sure you let the Sabres know that scoring on Marty is easier than kicking
a field goal. Marty will have his precious shutout record in no time. 😛
— I had a bit of a loud cough, but i had to be careful with it… didn’t want Buffalo nation to think I was making some kinda “choke” reference…. damn I needed a Tennesse Titans jersey eh??? Though speaking of painful Buffalo moments in sports history… with 19 seconds left, they stop the play on a Parise goal, and replay it… I turn and yell (some angry fans were annoying me with the Sawchuck comment)… “HEY LOOK THAT REPLAY’S ABOUT TEN YEARS LATE AIN’T IT??”,,,, douche chills ensued :p
** Tammie Hamilton: You need to do more road trips 🙂
(obviously she’s right… anyone wanna start paying for it?? I bring wins like Andy does 😀 )
— Second Intermission…..Random fan yells at me DEVILS SUCK
“Not tonight we don’t
“Well who looked better the game before??… See More
“Well who won cups?? Hell one better who kept brett hull OUT of the crease in the finals??
….Don’t bring rocks to a gun fight boy!!

Well it’s been a GREAT TRIP… off to a random bar for a bit… and then back home and back to normal by Wednesday!!

Devils @ Atlanta LIVECAP

9:44 PM: Brent Sutter: “Ankle sprain. He’ll be fine.” Uhhhhhh…yeah. Kay. Thanks, Brent, you’ve been quite informative.

9:41 PM: Alright, so no word on Rolston yet. If they say anything that actually means anything, I’ll post it up here. I’m expecting “lower body injury” (or possibly “head cold”) with no actual idea as to how long he’ll be out. If it’s different, I’ll let you know. If not, goodnight all!

9:24 PM: And, like the game itself, the first LiveCap of the season is in the books, it wasn’t pretty, but it happened. I’ll stick around a bit longer to see if we get an update on Rolston’s condition, but I’m not holding my breath…

9:22 PM: GAME! 1-0 Devils. It wasn’t pretty, the offensive production still sucks, the power play still sucks, but it’s a win nonetheless. Marty’s now 10 wins from tying Patrick Roy for most all-time by a goalie (11 from breaking the record), and six shutouts away from tying Terry Sawchuk for most shutouts of all-time., seven from breaking the record.

9:22 PM: BEAUTIFUL defensive play by Martin to prevent a shot on goal on the rush. Twenty seconds to go.

9:21 PM: Empty Thrasher net.

9:17 PM: Ice is tilting Atlanta’s way with two minutes to go. Meep.

9:15 PM: ANOTHER two-on-one featuring Jay Pandolfo, another non-shot-on-goal. At least no one crashed in a heap into the boards this time, though, so, y’know, take what we can get, yes?

9:13 PM: No updates on Rolston (what, you expected the Devils would reveal anything ever at any time?), but the replay reminds me a little Sidney Crosby’s crash into the boards last year that resulted in his high ankle sprain. Let’s hope that’s not the case here…

9:12 PM: Still 1-0, seven minutes to go in the game. Zubrus is now centering Elias and Gionta, so I guess the great line shake-up of the second period has ended. The 32 fans in attendance are chanting! It sounds impressive for 32 people.

9:09 PM: Rolston hit the boards after losing an edge, Chico says he needed help getting into the locker room because he couldn’t put much weight on his foot. Me no likey.

9:07 PM:Elias and Rolston two-on-one gets broken up, and after the play, Rolston is down and looks to be hurting…crap. Just…crap.

9:05 PM: Shorthanded two-on-one for Madden and Pando, Madden passes, and Pando fires it directly into Lehtonen’s pads. Another two-on-one, Elias and Pando, again nothing doing. But it’s chances, at least! …right?

9:04 PM: Atlanta’s on a power play and I have no idea why. Either I wasn’t paying attention or MSG didn’t think it was important to tell me. Neither would be surprising. Atlanta hits the pipe on the power play.

9:01 PM:Penalty kill’t. Big save by Marty (and then again possibly by Salvador’s backside) at the end of the Thrasher power play. Our power play may be awful, but at least the penalty kill’s holding up it’s end of the bargain…

8:58 PM: Paul Martin going off for a holding-the-stick penalty, Thrashers to the PP again.

8:55 PM: Marty with a save on Bogosian. Come to think of it, has Bogo scored yet in his pro career? Marty seems to like giving up first career goals…

8:52 PM: Third period’s on, goal credited to Rolston after all. Zubrus and Gionta on the assists.

8:35 PM: And that’s the end of period #2, 1-0 Devils. 20 shots on goal (I still refuse to believe that). Third period coming up soonish.

8:33 PM: The official announcement at the arena is giving the goal to Langenbrunner from Rolston and Zubrus. Lehtonen with a huge glove save on Elias keeps it a one-goal game.

8:31 PM: FINALLY! Rolston, let off the point at the power play, forces his way in front of the net and jams home his own rebound. Devils lead 1-0, Rolston notches his first of his second Devils go-round, and the Devils power play finally picks up another goal. Alllll right.

8:30 PM: Exelby takes the roughing penalty for his tackle of Langenbrunner, the ever-dangerous Devil power play takes the ice.

8:27 PM: Now it’s Rolston, Langenbrunner, and Zubrus. And hey, even a little scrummy-ness involving the Cap’n and Garnet Excelby. The most life I’ve seen tonight. The 32 fans in attendance even seemed to wake up.

8:26 PM: Rupp/Zajac/Parise? Really?

8:24 PM: Cangelosi just said the shots for the second are 13-5 Devils. I refuse to believe this. There is no way I’ve seen thirteen Devil shots on the night, let alone this period.

8:19 PM: Clarkson wraparound try! Gasp and shock, it’s not even close.

8:15 PM: Zubrus charging in on a three-on-one, opts to shoot…and misses the net entirely. Blast.

8:13 PM: I wonder how we managed to win two games so far this year considering I can’t recall ever actually scoring any goals…

8:06 PM: Hey hey, something interesting! Brodeur with a stop on the big blast by White (not Colin, Todd), leaves a huge rebound and manages to get in front of the follow-up shot as well. Stellar stop by Marty. The 32 fans in the building agree.

8:04 PM: I think Sutter’s futzing with the lines again. Clarkson was just out there with Holik and Rupp. Zubrus is centering Rolston and Elias at the moment as well.

8:01 PM: God, Lehtonen is leaving some juicy rebounds. However, in shades of last year, the Devils can’t do a damn thing about it. Penalty’s over, though. Devils have killed three of three of ’em tonight now.

8:00 PM: Okay, second period on, Devils still on the PK. A little bit more…something, this period? Anything? Please?

7:42 PM: Aaaaand that be the end of a very boring first period, scoreless after one. See you in seventeen for what can only be a more interesting second. I hope.

7:39 PM: Welp, least they killed that one. Holik gets booed by the 32 Atlanta fans in attendance tonight. Yet another Devils penalty coming up, Zajac for hooking. Less than a minute to go in the period.

7:36 PM: See, this is why I miss Doc. Cangelosi lied to me, it’s actually Atlanta on the power play, not so much the Devils.

7:34 PM: And just as one penalty expires, and new one commences. The Devils get their turn on the power play, again. So in two minutes, the score will still be zero-zero, again.

7:31 PM: And so Colin White goes off for interference. This game is rather boring. Sorry. Last year’s early-season game in Atlanta was all kinds of crazy. I miss that game. A little.

7:26 PM: Even Chico’s mentioning how few fans are in the building. And is also touting the Thrashers “Buy a ticket, eat all you want for free” sections deal. Chico Eats: HOTlanta Edition!

7:23 PM: How they managed to not get it in, I don’t have the slightest. Good pressure again, but once again, nothing doing as far as scoring. Devils PP is now 0-for-2 on the evening, and 1-for-13 on the year. Ouch.

7:22 PM: I say it every time the Devils play Atlanta, but DAMN the Thrashers have ugly jerseys.

7:20 PM: ‘nother penalty on the Thrashers, this one interference on David Clarkson. Don’t the Thrashers know they don’t have to interfere with David Clarkson, that he’s perfectly capable of stopping his own progress? Regardless, Devils PP again.

7:17 PM: You know, as a Devils fan, I should be used to empty arenas…and yet, I keep finding myself strangely drawn to the swaths of empty seats whenever the camera catches the stands. It’s almost hypnotizing.

7:15 PM: A nice chance in front for Pandolfo, who sends a backhander at the Atlanta goal with the speed of a honey-soaked tortoise. Sigh.

7:13 PM: Surprisingly strong on the puck deep in the zone, but Atlanta manages to clear each time. We’re not looking stellar tonight boys.

7:11 PM: Schneider with a puck-over-the-glass deal and the vaunted (ha!) Devils power play hits the ice. Oh boy oh boy.

7:09 PM: Puck’s on the ice in Atlanta. You wouldn’t know it from the crowd though. My goodness, and they say we don’t draw in Jersey. Hot damn.

7:01 PM: Oh dammit. First LiveCap of the year, and Doc’s sick. Sigh. Get well Doc. Other Devils news for tonight: Salmela’s hanging out in the press box tonight, and Andy Greene gets into his first game of the year. He’ll be paired with Johnny Oduya.

6:45 PM: What’s that coming over the hill? It it a LiveCap? It it a LiveCap? Ahhh musical references no one will get…see you in 15!