Monday, April 09, 2007
Birth of an American Hockey Fan Week Nine: The Last Regular Season Game
Figured I'd bring this thing all round again in some quaint circle of life fashion and wrap up this up with the Sabres final regular season game, a game of so little importance that they scheduled it for Easter, cornering the niche market of Jewish hockey fans (Ben, that's just you. Just you.).
In order to wrestle the remote away from my mother before tucking into our Easter spaghetti, I had to defend the sport of hockey and justify its viewing during the Master's (Mother: Are they still skating back and forth on the ice? Me: Are they still hitting the ball, running after it, then hitting it again?). When my choice triumphed, I found myself in the position of having to explain not just the rules of hockey, but the very concept of professional sports to my grandmother, much in the same way it was once explained to an ignorant little me a few months ago. Intrigued by the fighting- that's my old girl- she picked up the basics pretty quickly, and now calls Buffalo her team, as she is unaware of any other team's existence. In a nicely symbolic moment (and with some divine help from above/silverware diagrams), I was able to explain icing for the very first time, and when my grandmother called Conklin on handling the puck outside the trapezoid even before the refs did ( "Where did the goalie go? Shouldn't he be in front of the net?"- close enough), I felt like Arva Orr, watching my flesh and blood fly through the air. *
Gamewise, this was actually my first opportunity to see Ty Conklin in front of the net, at least in a non-handing the playoffs to the Hurricanes capacity. While I wasn't horrified at his performance, I was unimpressed. There's something about the way he moves and the way he lets in four goals to the worst team in the entire league that gives me the feeling that he talks to himself in the mirror and carries a good luck talisman in his pocket. I'm sure there was cake and ice cream and Mylar balloons stating "You didn't completely blow it!!" waiting for him when he got home, but I'm going to be sacrificing livestock in the name of Ryan Miller's health before every playoff game. The rest of them were looking pretty decent for a bunch of guys essentially trying not to waste any platelets before the playoffs, especially Pomminville, and as Useless Henineken Light Intermission announcer pointed out (Heineken Light? Really?), they really are doing much better on the power play, not that yesterday's stats provided much empirical evidence. A nice, easy little pickup game to whet my appetite for the carnage to follow in the next couple of months.
*Feeling pretty goddamn proud of myself for this one.
Birthing Status: Fully Dilated