Well, here we are- the day before the hockey season starts, and it's going to be a fun, fun week.
I just got word that I've been invited to opening night over at Madison Square Garden Thursday, so this week will progress very nicely for me.
Here's how the week is shaping up:
Wednesday: A great opening night double header on the couch, with the Hurricanes and Sabres game 7 rematch early and Colorado and Dallas late, divided nicely by the season premiere of South Park on Comedy Central. A better night of television is hard to imagine.
Thursday: A nice, up-close and personal look at both Alex Ovechkin and Brendan Shanahan in a Rangers sweater live at the garden with my pal and Street hockey compatriot Eric Breitman. Bless his heart for thinking of me.
Friday: Back to the couch for the debut of my new look, "Post-Joe" Boston Bruins. I'll be keeping a special eye on Zdeno "Brand New Captain" Chara, Phil "Great New hope?" Kessel, and Marc "Christ, I hope he can set up someone besides Kovalchuck" Savard.
I'm also very much looking forward to seeing how hockey friendly the new Tony Luke's is going to be.
If you're in New York City, Tony Luke's has, hands down, the best fucking cheesesteak in town, a sandwich easily good enough that it was well worth heading to their off-the-beaten-path location behind the Port Authority Bus Terminal and enduring a decor that made me long for the charm of a urine soaked Off Track Betting outlet.
Tony Luke's rules.
Reportedly, they ship all of their ingredients up I-95 from Philly every day, and here's how good they are: They're not paying me to write this, although it occurs to me that maybe I should ask them to, if for no other reason than some store credit. Jesus, they make a good sandwich.
Now, having the best cheesesteak in New York City is awesome enough, just on general principle, but now, just in time for hockey season, they have FULLY RENOVATED their space, cleaned it up, added 3 huge HDTV's, a bar, buffalo wings, and a motherfucking happy hour cheap enough to be in accordance with a bar behind a bus station. What I'm saying is, the best sports food you've ever had, in a great environment with booze and HDTV's, all out of the way enough that it might not be too crowded. Sure you might get stabbed stumbling out of a bar behind the bus station in New York City at 11:30 PM, but I'm here to tell you, you'll get stabbed happy.
I'm sure they'll be busy on Sundays and Mondays with football, and probably while the Yankees and Mets are in the playoffs there won't be much chance of getting a hockey game on, but I'll keep checking in.
If they don't mind putting a hockey game on, there is a chance this could be the best hockey bar in town, and if someone knows a better one, you better already be thinking about posting a comment or sending me an email.
The thing is, it's always been tough to watch hockey in New York. Deep down, despite how much New York likes a winner, and yes, they loved their '94 Rangers and their Islander dynasty, but New York City has always been a basketball town. I've seen it happen- this city gets more excited about the Knicks getting close to winning than the Yankees winning it all three years straight. This is good for hockey fans because from what little I understand about basketball, Isaiah Thomas has fucked up the Knicks so badly that it might actually be possible to get a hockey game on in a bar in this town.
You know, once the baseball playoffs are over.
And if there isn't a football game on.
Or, you know- a US Open tennis re-run.
Either way, today, Tuesday October 3rd, 2006, marks the last time I will be even remotely giving a fuck about baseball until a week or so after the Stanley cup is raised in mid-June.
So in that spirit, enjoy my pal Sully's great baseball blog today, as he breaks down the playoffs for you. If you're a fan of the Red Sox, or HBO sports, you may recognize him as the guy from those "Curse of the Bambino" and Reverse of the Curse of the Bambino" documentaries on HBO. Plus he's funny as hell, and his blog features one of the best fan photos I've ever seen, a picture he took himself, which I have pilfered from his blog and reproduce here. I hope you enjoy it:
Hockey starts tomorrow, kids.
Enjoy the season.