The Commander, guest contributor (until further notice)
Greetings friends. I sincerely hope everyone is enjoying the fabulous offseasons from both of our favorite Buffalo sports teams. I’m sure one of us can do something with the Sabres around draft time, perhaps making up some bullshit about how the guy we picked at #8 is a bunch of cool buzzwords that actually translate to “Joel Savage”. Or we can talk about how Tarvaris Jackson has been the best QB at the Bills OTAs, but that sounds sort of depressing considering that we drafted a 4th round rated QB with pick #16 overall, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, there’s a bunch of good non-Buffalo sports things going on. I managed to not get my Buffalo Curse all over the Sacramento Kings and they’re staying here, there’s some basketball playoffs going on right now (I’m not good at basketball yet so I can’t really say much more than that), the baseball mans are hitting the baseballs all over the place, and of course the NHL Playoffs have reached the Conference Finals stage. Which is why I would like to present:
The 2013 DGWU NHL CONFERENCE FINALS PRIMER!
Let’s take a look at the 4 teams remaining and help you decide who you should root for.
You knew it was going to be like this. During all 113 days the players were locked out at the owner’s behest, through the passive-aggressive snipes in the media, through going from hating Bettman to hating Fehr to- well, we never really did stop hating Bettman, the only ones I heard talking about how many fans would be lost due to the callousness of those involved were national media types who can’t be bothered to waste their breath on the league when games are being played. Watching Wilbon and Kornheiser pretend to understand, let alone speak for the psyche of the North American hockey fan was akin to watching an elephant stung out on opiates attempt to ride a unicycle for the first time. Watching any ESPN personality lament the lockout with a barely-restrained smug giddiness in between five minute segments on Tebow and the Lakers was almost more infuriating than the lockout itself. You knew they were wrong, you knew that the sport, its teams and - in Buffalo’s case at least - even the ownership would be embraced before the ink was dry on the memorandum of understanding, “yes” vote on the lockout be damned. Sure, there were a couple of wavering souls out there, but they’ve been drowned out by the more than 10,000 attendees of this week’s scrimmage or the roving ticket buyers that have seemingly snapped up everything unless you prefer sitting by yourself. This is exactly what we knew was going to happen (perhaps not to this degree), and watching idiots pontificating otherwise on a network that is infected with plagiarizing journalists and trolling analysts was almost worst than the lockout itself.
Almost. As much as I could not tolerate the media during those 113 days it was ultimately the men at the head of this out of control train, the egos in suits that were the true villains. Thankfully the deal that could have been made in September if these people didn’t feel the need to mug for the press over the course of three months finally got made. And thankfully I don’t have to see what a barren wasteland filled with only basketball looks like beyond vivid nightmares of Vitale’s screaming and longform Bill Simmons columns. That- hockey returning- is more than enough for me. Nabbing some gear for myself and the rest of the deeg crew at half price is just a bonus. That said…
Back from a pretty long hiatus, the Deeg is back with another CrapTastiCast, and it's one some of you have been waiting for since Mr. White and I exchanged words over the NHL Lockout in October
. We spoke about having Jeremy chat record with us at the time, but daddy duties and Hurricane recovery put this on the backburner until now.
Perhaps that delay was for the best since, in the month and a half that has followed that initial twitter fight (God I feel so stupid typing that), Jeremy and I have had a chance to talk more about the lockout. While I wouldn't say we've reached any kind of consensus on those issues that got me so heated in October, it's become apparent that Jeremy is a civil dude (not always readily apparent on twitter... which could be said about many) and that civility plays itself out on what you'll listen to here.
My apologies if you came here expecting nothing but our unbridled asshole shtick. Frankly, we care too much about the issues of the lockout to cave into our sophomoric tendencies - at least this time - especially when we have a guest willing to look beyond the fact that I may or may not have called him a equivocating hack/dickhole back in October. /rushes to delete Deeg archives /trips over beer cans /farts /forgets original task
Which isn't to say that this CrapTastiCast is entirely devoid of those tendencies you've come to know and love. Along for the ride are The Scizz and The Continental. In addition to the lockout, we talk Bills, Jets, Mets, Knicks and stumble through a few completely inappropriate conversations about drugs in closets and Scizz's love for our 43rd President.
If you're only interested in our talk with Jeremy, cue it to 15:55 and enjoy. Also - give yourself the finger from us since we think you should listen to the whole fucking thing.
In addition to our usual intro, Deeg house band The Jambrones help us out with our first two musical interludes, while the rest is picked up by Audioslave and Brother Ali. Podcast page here
. Direct download here
. iTunes link below or Subscribe via our RSS feed here.
And, of course, stream audio in the player below if you wish.
Checking out Jeremy White's twitter feed. Considering just quitting.
What a busy week it has been at DGWU Sports! Between news of the NHL Lockout and our battles with the various personalities at WGR for refusing, as is their custom, to engage with viewpoints other than (a) their own, or (b) those of the mouthbreathers who call into WGR and make it their mission to express their vehement disdain for everything in the world, there was a LOT to discuss when we gathered Wednesday night. More shots were fired and kindling put onto the world of Buffalo sports media so that we can continue to watch it burn. Heh. Sports.
Oh, and there are those Buffalo Bills, too, which is actually where we started in segment one as we recapped the shit show that was Sunday with the Deeg. Bills @ Cardinals was by no means an enjoyable time, but recapping the fun times we had and the trainwreck of a game ended up being pretty fun/depressing/rage-inducing.
In segment two we welcomed Colin Bruckel, one of the founders of TheHosers.com
, a site we have linked to for a while and which provides stellar insight about the legal issues surrounding professional hockey and, in particular, the CBA. Colin's assessment of the current CBA negotiations was as interesting and well-presented as any I've heard, and it is an understatement to say that we were lucky to have him on. I would note, however, that since our discussion took place before the NHLPA presented its own offers to the league (and before Bettman rejected them immediately), you'll want to keep an eye on his site for more hot legal takes. Or you could continue being ignorant and just keep listening to the superficialities of sports talk radio.
Segment three brings it back to our wheelhouse of inappropriateness and ill-conceived sports takes as we talk the USMNT's win on Tuesday, the NBA's new policy restricting pre-game celebrations, Apologist's suicidal ideations following the Orioles' elimination from the playoffs, and our predictions for the Bills/Titans game this weekend. I must add that we had intended to talk more about (read: make fun of) Shawne Merriman's return to Buffalo, but had to toss that to the back burner so we'd have time to talk about the more pressing issues of gloating about our intellectual superiority over talk radio hosts. It's a burden, really. In any event, I'm hopeful that Merriman's second tenure in the 716 will give us plenty of opportunities to point and laugh.
Musical interludes this week are provided by Broken Bells, Gov't Mule & REO Speedwagon, as well as - of course - The Jambrones.
Download here and stream below, or check out our Libsyn
page or iTunes button below where you can get all of our archived podcasts and subscribe for future hot, aural takes.
First of all, if you haven't checked out Scizz's Bills/Pats preview - DO IT.
Ok, moving on...
Last night, the DGWU Sports Crew gathered at The Barrister's apartment to record another gem for your ear holes. After a slow week of written content at the site, it was nice to sit down and discuss all the many goings on in the sports world. Don't lie - we know you're excited.
Our first segment was almost exclusively devoted to debriefing the Bills game in Cleveland last weekend, as well as our thoughts about Buffalo's two delightful, injured running backs. Segment two gave us an opportunity to look ahead to the game this weekend against the Patriots as we were joined by the Deeg's Buffalo correspondent, The Outlander. That's right - steaming hot takes spit all the way from the 716. Outlander stayed for the third and final segment while we talked Dickey's 20th win, the Orioles' playoff hopes and the tire fire that is the the Boston Red Sox. We close out with a brief discussion of our plans to #OccupyBridgeport for an AHL game this fall. More on that to come in the next few weeks...
As always, the CrapTastiCast is brought in by the musical vomit of the Jambrones. Additional interludes include Kansas, Seal (I KNOW! AND YOU'RE WELCOME!), and Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.
Stream below, subscribe on iTunes, download here
, or check our podcast page at Libsyn
It's a celebration, bitches.
With Yachtsman covering the bases yesterday with his mouth diarrhea gem of a post,
you'd think I would consider the Deeg's coverage of Derek Roy's departure from the Sabres complete. Nay, good sirs and ladies, for I am hungover at work and can't possibly be trusted with actual responsibilities but want to feel like I accomplished something today. Count yourselves lucky, trust me.
Besides, this is really the only topic I can blab on about, since I can't possibly write about Dickey after Yachtsman threw down the gauntlet on that topic. I'm nothing if not spiteful, even if it does necessitate rehashing a topic that has certainly received enough attention this week. (Sidebar: Yachtsman's joke about me asphyxiating myself while watching Mets' games was both hilarious and accurate in its own way. I'll leave it to you to decide which way that is.
One of my favorite things to do lately is watch the fans of Sabreland trip over themselves in a fury of anger and resentment at Darcy Regier, fueling a prevailing wisdom that tells us that he's simply incapable of making this team better. So when free agency approached and people stomped their feet about the need for a big splash and their assumption that such would not come, it set the stage for another moment of shock as Darcy inevitably did something
. Maybe not the big splash we had hoped for - and that we still hope for - but a move that is terribly satisfying to all but the most homer of Buffalo sports fans. With Derek Roy shipped out, we learned - yet again - to chill the fuck out and let things take their course, and to never trust anything Paul Hamilton says, even if it affirms our belief that Derek Roy is an overvalued hack just like, well, Paul Hamilton.
Entrenched analysts with zero credibility! #becauseitsbuffalo
Roy being traded to Dallas, and the Sabres picking up two - TWO! - players in return is yet another reminder that Darcy Regier is, when he wants to be, a straight up wizard in the player market. Does he drug opposing GMs? Did he replace 2011-12 game tape with archived footage of the point-per-game Derek Roy from 2010-11? Is Darcy actually competent - gasp! - when backed by ownership with the desire and bank roll to make a legitimate bid for a Stanley Cup? Moments like Monday, when our shared desire for change suddenly came to light, prove that Darcy might not be the ineffectual villain we sometimes make him out to be. As a basement-dwelling, venomous blogger, this is a sad realization, as it's certainly more fun and satisfying to throw everyone under the bus as I commiserate over failed season after failed season. So sad that many of our brethren are, after receiving the Roy trade they've so long pined for, right back at the work bench, writing off Darcy's career in Buffalo and calling this move - as is any move post-July 1, 2007 - too little, too late. For me, though, things are not so black and white.
Neither, to be fair, was it black and white that Roy needed to go. As much as we like to rag on him for his white suits and Kangol hats and mandles and propensity for sexual assault (maybe?), the guy was also a key cog in the successful times of the past decade, such as they were. There was a time, probably about a year ago, when I thought we were seeing Derek Roy turn a new leaf. His production in 2010-11 was impressive, even accounting for his limited availability due to injuries, and - unlike the skewed stats of some others on the team who had brief stretches of absurd production in the midst of utter mediocrity (*cough* *stafford* *cough*) - Roy was showing us something night in and night out. History of diving and half-assing it down the ice aside, I was hopeful. Shocker, I know, for the Viceroy of Hyperbole, but it honestly seemed like anything was possible in this new town of Pegulaville, even an apparent prima donna finally earning his fucking paycheck.
Your guess is as good as mine as to where that brief glimpse of quality went. Last year we had what was arguably the worst version of Roy. He wasn't just bad. We was invisible. With an "A" on his chest, he seemed to wilt as the team's #1 center following an off-season where so much hype surrounded whether we even had a #1 center. Speculation - my favorite! - is that he grew tired of Lindy Ruff and maybe tanked his play to ensure that long-rumored trade. If that's true - and who the fuck knows if it is or if Roy had just had enough of the poon down at SoHo - he may be a great player after all, but he's also the worst kind of shit head. Good fucking riddance.
Not our problem no more.
The obvious downside, to the extent I'm forced to concede any downside at losing a guy who seemingly exists only to take idiotic penalties and show off his sweet dangles, bro, is that we just lost our best center. This, as we know, is sad on multiple levels, not the lest of which is that our "best" center licked donkey balls like it was going out style. (Sidebar: donkey ball licking NEVER goes out of style. Just ask Aps. BURN!). Left to fill Roy's underachieving skates, then, are a bunch of centers who are young and/or unproven and/or apparently talent-less and/or already scared of Lindy. Not the greatest back-up plan. Though, if you want to be positive about a roster of players who missed the Stanley Cup playoffs again or who played on an Amerks team that got straight-up owned in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, I can accept that. I do hope, though, that you think before you open your mouth, because there's a fair chance you're a moron.
Of course, Roy's departure wasn't just about getting rid of our favorite whipping boy. Steve Ott, the returning player in the Roy trade, adds a lot of good things to the roster. He's a decent point producer for a player who fills the role of "grinder" - certainly better than Paul Gaustad for the same price, basically - and if you credit his WGR interview from Tuesday morning, he's pumped to be coming to Buffalo. (Suck on THAT, Dallas, what with your championships and gorgeous cheerleaders and oil money and... FUCK). Of course, no one has any clue whether Ott will perform well in Buffalo or whether we'll have another severe drop-off in play like some of the other recent acquisitions post-Pegula. If nothing else, though, even if he's not the answer to the Sabres dysfunctional roster and even if he never contributes half as much as Roy did, I'd prefer to have someone who actually wants to play as a Sabre than one who consistently demonstrated that he could just as easily quit in favor a long-overdue career as a hand model.
As for the other new faces on the roster (for now) - Adam Pardy, John Scott and, just this afternoon, Kevin Porter - the untrustworthy prevailing wisdom is that none of them are really fit to be a consistent presence on an NHL team. Porter, from what I've read in the 15 minutes since the news of his signing broke, won the Hobey Baker back in 2008 and has had only marginal success since he entered the league. John Scott, to his credit, is rumored to eat children and make Boston Bruins pee their pants, so I can't really see any downside at $600,000. And Adam Pardy, well ... he's pretty big and pretty tall and probably plays defense better than Mike Weber, so I'm ok with that as well. Worst case, they all get to have their pictures taken in the Andrew Peters Memorial Pressbox, right? (Sidebar: "Memorial" in reference to Peters' upside, which perished sometime in 2006; happily, Andy Bear the man is still alive and well).
Fact is, the Sabres probably aren't done, especially since so many people probably suspect that they are, and no matter if they're done or not, the roster is still filled with so many head cases that are being ruined by Lindy Ruff that none of it will matter and the team will flame out to another 10th place finish come April, 2013.
Or, that's at least what we'll keep telling ourselves, right?
While certainly not the one we would have wanted, a big drought ended in the NHL last night as the Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup and celebrated a Championship. A few months back, friend of the Deeg, @CriminallyVu1gar
(sometimes NSFW, fyi), suggested that his playoff allegiances were somewhat shaped by a general feeling that any long-suffering fan base should not see their team succeed before we Sabres fans see ours do the same. I believe his words were "why would I want your shitdick franchise to win a Cup before our shitdick franchise?" Using that kind of philosophy as a guide, Sabres fans should have been pulling for the Devils last night. A Devils series win would have ensured that Sabreland wouldn't lose a companion in the "we have nothing to hang our hat on" category. Lacking an end to the sentence "Sure we lost, but at least we won back in ..." is a miserable place to be in, and misery loves company.
Of course, there are likely many fans who don't follow hockey with that kind of absurd neurosis. I am jealous of those people.
When I think about a Sabres Stanley Cup, the pure fantasy of it is always apparent, since it has never happened and, if we're being honest, seems to be as far away as ever after the season the team just had. Yet, even in the fantasy, it's a battle. It's heart-wrenching hockey night after night, with defeat always seemingly balanced on a precipice, ready to pull the team back to reality. Reality being that place where good things never happen and we are drowned in sorrow. The fantasy for our Sabres, guided by what we know to be true about their identity and our identity as fans, is necessarily grounded by the feeling that it simply isn't meant to be and that it will take a series of miracles to bring a championship to Buffalo. Our apprehensiveness guided by our history of observing failure year after year.The Cup run is thus a scary thought, in the end, since it would inevitably bring with it loads of frustration and worry.
But that kind of brutal journey I just described - that's not what happened with the Kings over these past couple months. And that's where I can find a little silver lining for my own personal purposes.
For the Kings, and their small but long-suffering fan base, last night was a monkey off their backs. Seemingly finished with the post-lockout rebuild, which gave them early draftees Kopitar, Quick and Doughty, not to mention the more recent blue chip FA signings, this is a team that surprisingly struggled through the 2011-12 season only to squeak into the playoffs as an 8 seed. But, rather than fight tooth and nail to get past their higher ranked opponents, the Kings coasted through the West and posted a 3-0 lead against the Devils that ultimately proved insurmountable. As it turned out, after all those years of suffering, Kings fans were allowed to breathe easy during the run. Never at risk of elimination, they simply played better than everyone else and didn't need those miracles to succeed. The only thing left to pray for, in the end, was that the whole thing wasn't some cruel dream, since - after 45 years - it must have seemed just that.
Ultimately, I know that last night's result - the 8th seed doing the unthinkable, and with ease - has little bearing on what to expect for the Sabres or any other hockey club moving forward. Playoff position and home-ice advantage is still a big benefit in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and 8th seeded teams rarely make it past the first round, much less to the 4th. But, looking at a franchise and its fans breathe one big sigh of relief, while also knowing the apparent ease with which they were able to put together the 16 wins necessary to win that Cup, I find something about which to take heart. Even when history seems to be set against you, that successful championship run might not require that miracle after all.
Let's Go Buffalo.
It sure has been a while since I dusted off my gloves and took the media to task for its latest absurdity in the sports world. Sometimes, these venomous hit jobs are directed at The Network - an easy enough target, what with the willingness to sit on apparent evidence of child molestation at Syracuse, only to run the story without even giving the authorities the opportunity to vet that evidence and find that, in sum, it was demonstrably false. And sometimes, these hit jobs are directed at Buffalo sports media - also an easy target, what with the spelling errors, the apparent desire to merely yuk it up with a failing, entrenched hockey coach and the pathetic derision of a blogger community which has arguably provided better and more insightful sports analysis over the past couple years. (Not here at the Deeg, of course. We are more than happy to be the slime scraped out of the bottom of the barrel, presented as food for your more carnal cravings. It's what we do.)
One of the things I've noticed about Buffalo sports fans is that they can tend to believe that their town is getting jobbed at every opportunity. It's certainly no surprise, given the history, but it can leave people with a lingering sense that, in essence, whatever we get in Buffalo is a class below what everyone else gets in other cities. Sports teams? Inferior from top to bottom. Local theater and music? Undeveloped and of poor quality. Government? Corrupt and ineffective in a way unseen throughout America. Schools? Underfunded and forgotten. Cheerleaders? Sixes instead of tens. (This one may be right).
Some of this is true. In many ways, other cities do have it better. In a lot of ways, though, Buffalo has the exact same problems as other cities, but has convinced itself that the grass is greener in New York City, in Boston, in D.C., in Philly. I've found this to be especially true when it comes to how we digest our local sports media in Western New York. There always seems to be a lingering sense that Bucky and Harrington and Hamilton and Sully are on a lower tier than the guys who cover sports in the big markets. With the internet, though, we can verify that this is simply not true, and never was this more apparent to me than during the post-game presser following last Friday's Rangers-Devils Game 6.
Dear God, it was brutal.
So, in keeping with the overlap between "media hit piece" and "mailing it in," here is the transcript of the questions asked to Rangers coach John Tortorella following Game 6. My thoughts are in italics.
Holy shit balls I am excited.
OH MAN! Hockey is coming back! We have the schedule
to prove it!
I know a lot of folks are wrapped up in hopes and dreams for what T-Pegs, Teddy Black and Darcy 2.0 are going to come up with in the NHL Draft this weekend, but the fan in me (i.e. the guy with little to no time or desire to learn about the Muppet Babies I probably won't see on the HSBC ice until 2014 or so) is always more excited about the schedule being released. Calendars are marked, the first seeds of gameday plans are planted, roadtrips contemplated and, for those expats in NYC, six dates become non-negotiable. Each year for the past 6, I've made an effort to make as many of the six local Sabres games (two each against the Devils, Isles and Rangers). A couple years ago I was a perfect six for six, and it was glorious. Last year, I scaled back to 4 out of 6, including one late arrival to the Prudential Center, clad in a pin-striped suit with Miller jersey underneath... never had I been more confident in my own douchebaggery. Many of those games involved great groups of transplanted Sabre fans - the eight of us who met in lower Manhattan to take the PATH out to Newark, only to find another three dozen fans in our section, ready to cheer our boys on to an early-season win against a pathetic Devils team; or the eleven of us who sat in the back row of the upper deck at MSG, right behind a row of 18-22 year old Ranger fans from Long Island who were good-humored when we made fun of their accents and scathingly asked them why they didn't follow the Islanders, and who didn't get bothered by our "We Got a Point" chants, echoed on our way out after the eventual overtime defeat; or the small City Honors crew that drove out to Hempstead armed with nothing more than Four Lokos (the original, dangerous kind! woohoo!) and a dream, and left with a hangover and memories of a disgusting loss to the Islanders in regulation.
As fun as it was, what bothered me a lot about the Sabres schedule last year was that the Tri-State area games were realy jammed into the first half of the season. The Rangers game on March 1st was the latest game in the season, and no other games came after late January. Indeed, both of the Devils games (by far my favorite to go to, given prices and cleanliness of the arena....*cough* *cough* *thecoliseumisashithole*) were within the first twenty games of the season. In hindsight, my annoyance with the situation was really due to the fact that the Sabres turned it on late, and I had no real opportunity to see them during that run. But, more to the point, games late in the season always
matter more, so it's nice to see that this year's schedule is a little kinder to us fans in NYC. Actually, taking a look at the schedule, the Hockey Gods are indeed smiling down upon me and the DGWU Crew.
What immediately jumps out at me, as implied above, is that the sequence of NYC area games does not begin until December 28th when the Sabres visit NJ. The five local games that follow come at a pretty steady clip thereafter, with the biggest gap between games coming between the February 25th and March 23rd tilts against the Rags at MSG. Down the stretch, my wishes have been answered, and I'll have plenty of opportunities to see our boys as they make a push for the playoffs.
Also bringing great joy to me is the fact that all four Rangers and Islanders games are on weekends. This will be particularly helpful for those trips out to the Island since (a) getting there is a HUGE hassle (honestly, how Charles Wang has not figured this out is beyond me...you've got 9 million people in the five boroughs, some of whom like hockey and most of whom have no car...you're an idiot for not arranging more streamlined access to games...though, fuck it, the list of idiot things you do is mind-bogglingly long); and (b) my dream remains to rock a party bus - complete with booze and bumpin 80s rock - to take a crew of Sabres fans out to a game in Uniondale. THIS IS THE YEAR. Now vested with the true force of DGWU, I am confident we make this happen.
You know how Canes fans complain about expats invading RBC? We're taking that as a challenge...the gauntlet has been laid, and The Scizz, Yachter, Aps and me are up to the task. And, as you all know, we can be huge, drunken assholes. This much is clear.
Yeah! Lick a taint Isles fans!
As for non-expat-related musings, there are certain things about the schedule that are both bothersome and intriguing. After the Sabres come back from Europe, they get one home game, then four away, and then five back home. While that road trip is not awful, I imagine that it will be a big test for the team in terms of keeping their fitness up after so much travel. Then again, after the road successes last year, including the sense that the team bonded during those trips, we could be looking at a very cohesive unit after those first few weeks.
Also of note are the west coast teams that the Sabres play twice - Detroit, CBJ and Ducks. We lucked out on these - while two of these teams were in the playoffs, I find that the Sabres generally play to a pretty high level against the Ducks and Wings, and those Ducks games always involve a weird and unexpected amount of bad blood. The Blue Jackets games, we can assume, will be the kind of "easy" games that the Sabres manage to blow, but I'll hold out hope for at least the split.
An absurd part of the schedule looks to be the road trip in January, following a home -and-home (though not back-to-back nights) with the Maple Leafs. Those seven games away from home - starting @ Islanders on 1/14, and then continuing through Detroit, Chicago, Winnipeg (!!!), St. Louis, New Jersey and Montreal - should be a doozy, even if geographically logical with respect to route. Five of those seven games are in the span of eight days, with the sixth coming a mere three nights later. The seventh, a week after that, wilI, I imagine, be broken up by a stop back in the 'Lo before the team heads to meet the Canadiens. We at DGWU look forward to attending two of the games on that roadtrip, so it should be a fun and anxiety-producing time.
Looking further ahead, chronologically as I must with my limited ability to multi-task as I coast through the end of my work day (which doesn't mean I'm leaving any time soon, mind you), February looks to be a great month for home games - 9 out of 12, in fact. With Presidents' Day weekend in the middle of the month, one or both of the games on the weekend of February 17th - either the Friday night vs. the Habs and/or the Sunday afternoon Hockey Day in America game against the Penguins - look to be the prime targets for a DGWU Road Trip to HSBC. I went to the Hockey Day game last year - hooked up with NBC broadcast passes, actually - against the Caps, and it was a fun time. While I doubt I'll have the Harbor Club access I did then, the holiday weekend will be a prime opportunity for us to act like drunken assholes without fear of having some dirtbag stick a shiv into our kidneys.
NYC is rough, yo.
The Yachtsman preparing for a trip to MSG. Make sure to remember to sharpen that blade, buddy.
Finally, it goes without saying that the end of the season scares the crap out of me. Good lord, the NHL really did it with that last stretch. I commend them for seeking out a series of great matchups, but it doesn't make me fear it any less. Consider these, the last 14 games of the season:
Starting with three divisional games in five nights, this stretch of games will end up being one of the keys to the team's success. Indeed, of the last fourteen, six are against divisional opponents. Throw in late-season games @ the Rangers and Lightning, both of whom look to be contenders in the East next year (or at least fighting for playoff position), and then a five game stretch to end the season against three favorites to win the East plus the second home and home of the season against the Leafs...well, you get the point. Frankly, I love that we get so many hated rivals to finish the year - the level of hate I have for the Penguins, Leaves, Flyers, Rangers, Canadies and Bruins is astonishing. Really, I ought to be more focused in my loathing, but I have enough to go around. Believe me.
So, there you have it. The Scizz may add an addendum to this post, since I sort of stole it from him, but I think it's pretty clear that this season is going to be EPIC for the DGWU Crew and all Buffalo Expats in NYC. There's a certain beauty in being the jackass road fan who invased another team's arena, and I am really looking forward to making our mark on the Concrete Jungle yet again.
Follow me on twitter @theycallmedubs, and the whole DGWU crew @DGWUSports