Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BoC Gameday—Re-establishing that gameday groove

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks, preseason
(My first opportunity to see Todd McLellan cry.)

That's right, kiddos. There's actual hockey being played tonight. Well, not actual hockey, but they are charging actual prices, and I'm hoping I drink enough where won't notice the difference. I normally don't write gameday posts for preseason games (this will be the only time this year), but today I'll make the exception. because tonight Sleek's in the house.

It'll be my usual spot, Section 223, Row B, adjacent to the Ducks' penalty box, wearing the lucky green shirt. Feel free to stop by, if you're daring enough... to attend a preseason game. I should warn you (gasp), I might not make it in time for the puck drop. I'm meeting up with three friends before the game, 67% of which have to sneak out of work. Still, we shouldn't be too late, and I'd imagine we'll be in good "doesn't matter / it's the preseason" spirits.

I guess I should give my annual Row B disclaimer: I am a guy who's been damn spoiled, but I'm not anyone who is particularly rich or particularly well-connected. These are certainly not my season seats, as I have neither the dollars nor the influence to arrange that. It is by sheer luck that I am able to "buy in" on a ticketholder's seats (1 preseason + 3 regular season + ? playoffs), thanks to a former boss of mine. These games represent most of my actual attendance, and pretty much all the dollars I spend on the Ducks.

Anyways, if you can't attend, you can listen for me on the internet radio broadcast (regular radio's too good for preseason openers); I'll be the one who sounds like he's wearing a green shirt yelling semi-coherently at the nearest ref about a Pahlsson contract extension. I don't know who's in either team's lineup tonight, but that hardly matters. Thanks to NHL 09's Be a Pro Mode starting me out on the Iowa Chops, I feel that I'm now a qualified judge of minor league talent (and by my digital eye the keepers on that team are Festerling and Ebbett).

Prediction: Ducks 4, Sharks 2. And it won't matter one bit. Goals by Getzlaf (if he plays), Festerling (if he plays like he did in NHL 09), Pahlsson (if he plays), and Boguniecki (whether he plays or not).

Slowly but surely, BoC is shifting into season mode. Go Ducks.


Niekon said...

I'll be over in 207 Row R wearing my Ducks Jersey... boss handed me his tickets yesterday afternoon and I wasn't about to turn them down.

Earl Sleek said...

Coolness, Niekon. Nice to get back to that old ice sheet, even if it's dumb ol' preseason.

As an aside, I participated in my first fantasy draft last night, part of the BMR Invitational. I was moderately prepared, and without too many details of who was available, here's how I did:

League: 12 teams H2H
Categories: G, A, P, +/-, PIM, PPP, GWG, SOG, W, GAA, SV%, SHO
Sleek (8th pick):

1. Marian Hossa, RW DET
2. J.S. Giguere, G ANA
3. Tomas Vanek, LW BUF
4. Chris Osgood, G DET
5. Marc Savard, C BOS
6. Alexander Frolov, LW LAK
7. Ales Hemsky, RW EDM
8. Teemu Selanne, RW ANA
9. Zach Parise, LW NJD
10. Henrik Sedin, C VAN
11. Mathieu Schneider, D ANA
12. Rob Blake, D SJS
13. Joe Sakic, C COL
14. Jason Labarbera, G LAK
15. Stephan Robidas, D DAL
16. Shane O'Brien, D TBL

In terms of strategy, I was way more interested in filling my G ans W positions than my Cs and Ds. I did probably overrate my three Ducks selections, but overall I'm pretty cool with the outcome.

I'll say this -- the Yahoo draft interface is pretty slick this year.

Brandon said...

Let's get it on!!!

Kirsten said...

I'm jealous! Seems like everyone is going to a preseason game but me!

I'm headed down to SoCal sometime this semester to catch a game, and even though it's the Ducks, I can't wait.

Earl Sleek said...

That's kind of the beauty of a long summer away from the rink, you definitely have soft expectations for the first game back.

Result, opponent, whatever. It's hockey.

Earl Sleek said...

Well, there is some lineup news:

In: Giguere, Getzlaf, Perry, Scotty, Ryan, Beauchemin, Huskins, Carter, Sutherby, May, and Moen.

Out: Nabokov, Thornton, Marleau, Cheechoo, Michalek, Boyle, and Blake.

As always, whatever. It's hockey.

Westcoast Ray said...

I rarely attend the preseaon, sans the last game. Let me know if you need tickets to another one.

Earl Sleek said...

Thanks for the offer, Ray, but probably this is going to do it for me this year. By the time I hit the Pond a second time, all the allure of "it's been too long" is gone, I think, and I'm ready for games that count.

Besides, I have to devote some time in the next few days to my remaining AOL previews. I haven't written a thing yet about the Stars, Ducks, or Stars, and those are scheduled to run on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday next week.

Bleh. I hate responsibility.

jamestobrien said...

I endorse judging talent based on video games - hell, NHL 94 was my first true hockey teacher.

Oh, and I still plan on doing some fantasy hockey stuff this week. I'm actually waiting for tonight's draft before I put some stuff up - don't want to help everyone else in my league :-)

Mike in OC said...

I'll be in the company suite tonight having a blast, because although it is preseason and the game does not mean crap, the liquor cabinet will be open. (So i’m told)

brokeyard said...

You brought up NHL 09 because you somehow know my 360 just broke and I am suffering from severe withdrawal, didn't you? Jerk.

Earl Sleek said...

Not only that, but I probably inflated the digital ego of Festerling to the point where he probably broke your 360 from the inside.

That is tragic, though. You should change your screen name to "Fixedyard"; maybe that would help?

Earl Sleek said...

Woo hoo! Ducks win!

Oh yeah, it doesn't count.

brokeyard said...

A) The name "fixedyard" does not help, it mocks my situation. I've used it before though.

B) I'm still disappointed about our preseason opponents. If it's not going to count, why don't we have some fun with it? Why do the Penguins get to play Jokerit? Hmph.

Earl Sleek said...

If it's not going to count, why don't we have some fun with it?

Oh, but tonight was very fun! Ten goals, at least four fights in the first period.

I'm probably going to have to write a post about it, but Huskins went from everyday player to legend tonight. Regardless of the goals or the final score, him vs. Clowe was the story of the night.

brokeyard said...

Yeah I just read that there were six fights. Does seem a bit more fun now.

Also, I found an amusing blurb in the Ducks Game Log.

5:22 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. interference. First penalty of the year for Anaheim. Let's hope it's the last.

Earl Sleek said...

Yeah, Brad May had a great showing on the fight card, too. I yelled in the box something about how proud I was of how he handled Boogaard last year, and he gave me a wink.

I'm a horrible blogger, though. At one point the penalty box was full -- Evans, Niedermayer, May, and Sutherby -- and I didn't even bother taking a single photo. I dunno, it's intimidating posting my photos next to PJ's.

Anyways, it was a silly game. Good performances by the veterans and Bobby Ryan. We have some kid whose name doesn't even fit on a jersey who played well too (starts with an 'S').

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Questionable Pick! Oh, wait, it's the preseason.