Tuesday, November 30, 2010

flames v. wild: postgame

in line for pocketdawgs pre-game, me & mikeH saw this utter disgrace : some chick drinking a domebeer through a straw. and in case you want to tell me that she was actually using the straw to avoid unwanted spillage ---she was definitely drinking the beer through the straw. and in case you want to tell me that she was actually using the straw to get a bigger drunk on, i would explain that is a dangerous game with the heroin beers.

(photo credit: mikeH)

(faces blurred to protect the innocent)

Monday, November 29, 2010

arena report: the prudential

after attending the tilt in jersey last week, i'll be hitting the dome tonight with htp bff, mikeH, for what promises to be another match in mediocrity when the flames meet the wild... didn't bettman and his posse of GMs create a whole bunch of ridiculous new rules so that i didn't have to sit through soul-destroyingly boring sixty minutes of hockey every game ? thank god for 4-on-4 OT and the shootout, cause otherwise the last two games would have been largely outclassed by championship darts and competitive knit-offs...

i missed a lot of good stuff while i was out of town on the eastern swing (though i caught a lot of good stuff too ---i saw the peewee herman show !!), like darryl sutter dropping a couple of "quite honestly"s, yet-again bashing the media, and further proclaiming his delusions in the local rag. i also missed shovelling my walk multiple times while my fingers froze, walking around nyc instead, sweating in my autumn coat. so i guess i win... ;)


it's a good thing i occupy my fan-hood with other things than those pesky, hard-to-come-by wins. i vowed to hit every rink in the league before i die, and i'm trying to knock 'em off one or two a year. st.louis in '09, deadmonton '08, and minny '06, i went to a subway series (rangers v. islanders) at madison square gardens in 2005, so i didn't bother hitting the flames game there last week ---for fifty bucks plus all ticketmaster and MSG service charges, you can get a single seat with "limited view." no thanks. when i attended five years ago, you could buy a seat in the bleeders for andrew jackson, and then sit yourself right beside rookie goalie, henrik lundqvist.

so this year, i chose the 4-year old prudential center, and (other than the fact they overlooked putting in an additional 2000+ seats) it's a beauty. honestly, a brand-new arena really makes the saddledome look like a dump.... i don't know why i thought they'd be jerks, but the staff were insanely polite and courteous and interested in the numerous flames fans. one usher saw my gio jersey pre-game and asked if that was the opposition for the evening's matchup. not only did she not know where calgary, canada was, but she didn't know why (if they were in the same league) she'd never seen them before.... ;)

not only is the building all pretty n'stuff with it's glass windows, but they've got a hockey-playing T1000 out front in an open "square"-like space fit for a really good rally. they call it "championship plaza" and i guess they have a right ---what with all the stanley cups--- though i think it might be a wee while before they bring the silver chalice back to stand with this 30-foot, right shooting dude:

(click to enlarge)

because i'm a total hockey nerd, and a frugal one at that, i elected to buy us cheapie bleeders with the knowledge that the prudential holds 17,000 but attendance rates hover around 12,000. since the red-line section 'club' area was ticket-policed, we decided our actual seats were preferrable to lower level corners and actually pretty effin' decent ---akin to high 200's in the 'dome:

and what would a htp rink report be without discussing the food ??! i was ├╝ber-impressed that there was a gluten-free stand (hotdogs w/gluten-free buns etc), and a sushi bar that had sushi chefs creating your rolls as you wait, in addition to the pre-packaged stuff.... YUM !! upon arrival and some schmoozing with the prudential ushers & medics (happenstance, not necessity), i was told that without a doubt, the best arena snack was the chicken fingers & fries. it was a hefty $9.50 but could easily be considered a meal for two. the fingers were pretty standard (though tasty !) but the fries were outrageous: imagine deep-fried mashed potato sticks.... eff yeah !!! PLUS their condiment stations were awesome: in addition to your standard K, M, R, they had frank's red hot and a brand name bbq sauce (which i can't currently recall):

anyhow, the flames played listlessly and boringly, as per usual, and i blame brent for the loss (i mean.... who puts TANGUAY in the shootout after he missed the net CLEARLY a half dozen times during gameplay ??!?). le sigh. anyhow, i expect nothing different tonight.

ps: someone should invent deep-fried mashed potato sticks.
pps: god bless gio.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i heart NY

i like to fancy myself a decent writer, but there is really no possible way to put into words how absolutely magnificent new york can be. i'm not sure if it's the indescribable way the city at once breathes new and old, or the awe inspiring immensity of the surroundings that really gets to me... how i can be the sole being on the latenight platform counting rats scurrying on the subway tracks, as easily as i can be the only soul in a crowd of hundreds who stops to notice a saccharinely sweet couple getting their engagement photos taken at the children's tables in bryant park....

i'm tired.

i can't believe i've only been here four days with all of the activities i've packed in. still, i feel like i've done nothing yet.... *sigh. it's so crazy cool, the perfect dichotomy of it all....

i really seriously considered going to the game last night but in the end, opted for dinner with my two cousins and their partners. good choice, looking at the gamesheet (as though there was any real doubt that last night's tilt would end in a L for my team). the decision was largely based on the high cost of shitty bleeders with "limited view," coupled with the fact that five years ago i purchased those same seats gameday for 50% of what they cost now, and then sat almost directly beside king henrik (before he WAS king henrik) cause there was pretty much nobody there.... i've been to MSG twice, once for rangers v. islanders, and the flames blow ---so the interest dropping a wad to attend last night's game was minimal.

i DID, however, sit at the bar in a high-end sports pub a block away from MSG called "NYC Stout" for about two hours pre-game, where i met a couple of interesting characters, saw a crapload of rangers fans, and managed to get a pretty good buzz on from the ol' brooklyn lagers. for the first while, i sat with a dude named mark who was from boston and had never heard of iginla.

"that surprises me, actually... he's a bit of an allstar," i express.

"an allstar in CALGARY," my new frenemy points out.

"uhh.... no, probably everywhere if you ever watch hockey."

turns out, it's okay for me and my nerdy blog buddies to jack up my team's captain, but it's not okay if that someone is from the US of A.

i guess that's about it for today, kids.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sutters of the world unite !!!

so darryl finally realized that young brett needed to go further away from calgary than abbotsford cause he did a dumb thing i like to call "drinking" at the team rookie dinner (which, btw, is my take on what an inebriated sutter once referred to as his "rookie game"), and i guess carolina is about as far away as you can go in the NHL.

oh, and brett's cousin brandon plays there. and brett's cousin brandon has had some success there. and i'm sure that's where brandon's dad, brent, will buy a house once he's let go from his current post. and maybe darryl will want to go there when he gets canned since the canes are one of the youngest teams in the league and they might be wanting to bring in more over-the-hill type players.

what a total reactionary move by a GM fighting to save face, his family name, and his job.


what's NOT funny is we just cleared a roster spot that forces steve staios to play every night. AND brendan mikkelson... and even though he started the season with the big club, i would highly doubt that tj brodie will be called up to skate with the team cause he's under the age of 28 and therefore not (according to what appears to be the sutter mantra) NHL ready. i can only presume this means pardy is close to a return. **sorry. babchuk's a defenseman. scratch this. (til he gets hurt).

ian white is having a rough season, but no more terrible than jaybouw (at half the price). yeah, maybe he wasn't "working" with regehr, but you know who won't work there even more ? steve fucking staios. mark my words, this team is now set for a repeat of last year's 9-game losing streak, and (if he isn't relieved of his duties by then) darryl is set to trade the proverbial farm with a bunch of shitty deals that will leave us with less value players and more ridiculous contracts than he did last year. dark days are a-comin'.

like i said before the ian white slap in the face (aka: contract signed for five bucks less than three mil), if darryl can't get the defenseman inked then we got nothing for phaneuf. i still believe that (unless hagman starts playing to ability). stajan's okay but i'd peg him as a natural 3rd line centre. just brutal work.

admittedly i know very little about babchuk or kostopoulous. but the fact that i don't know much about'em means they're probably not huge difference makers. which means we're gonna lose alot more games.

and finally: trading ian white during movember is a disgrace.
just sayin'.

Friday, November 12, 2010

brett sutter likes to party (and other things we already knew)

i kinda feel bad for brett sutter this morning. not because he got into a bar fight in arizona, and not because it was scottsdale (the "softest" area in the state). i don't feel for him cause he got arrested, shamed his family name (cause, granted, his pops has been walkin' that road for years now), or because he made peter hanlon speak more words in a sentence than "double fisting ?"

i feel bad for him cause the worst possible time for a pro athlete to get their mugshot taken is in the first weeks of movember:

...and let's not joke around ---this is a BEAUTY.

the attempt-to-grow-a-porn-star (or a ringo starr ??) 'stache aside, the kid is clearly:

a) unsoberized
b) fearing the wrath of what will come "tomorrow"
c) tired
d) sunburnt from a day of paintball/golf
e) all of the above

a proud, proud moment for the flaming C's and the entire sutter family. though, no more proud than this moment, i'd imagine.

or this one.

...or this one.

i'm thinking that maybe he did it on purpose to distract the team, its managers, coaches, and fans from all the losses.... and how painful the team is to watch on the ice (kippy, glenX, haggy, moss, gio, and mickis notwithstanding). if so, well done young brett !!


[ps: i get the feeling vicki hall reads htp]

Monday, November 8, 2010

hitthepost roadtrip !!!

the flames can't notch a W at the 'dome so i decided to drop a metric fuckton of money to go see if they can beat sather's blueshirts or lamoriello's devs in the comfort of their own rinks.

ps: i've paid for airline tickets already but if anyone wants to donate hockey tickets to a very cute flames blogger (and a friend or two) to MSG on nov 22 or the prudential center nov 24, i'll take'em !!!

[i'm lookin' at you, steinberg.]

no, seriously...
i'm sorta cute-ish.

bottom line: me and the gio jersey are hittin' the road mid-month. pix (and other road tales) to follow.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the flames are SO bad, i'm gonna talk about baseball

please take note:

i am not, nor have i ever been, a fan of baseball. sure, there's something really awesome about going to the park and having a hotdog and a cold beer on a warm summer evening, and hangin' with your buddies under the pretense of watching a live sporting event is pretty kickass.... but 30 teams playing 182 games apiece totally cuts into the REAL highlights on sportscentre, and it drives me mental....

the thing i DO like about baseball (aside from the live-action stuff mentioned above) is the same thing i like about most sports: the characters. i mean, do you REALLY think anyone watches the WWE for the make-believe piledrivers and bodyslams ? no. they watch because it's interesting to see mick foley lay the beats down with a sock puppet, and to see the elaborate ruse of tripleH marrying stephanie mcmahon. people watch because, for example, the rock was one of the most captivating personae ever to grapple in the squared circle. is it any wonder that one of the single highest rated segments in terms of viewership in "raw" history featured the rock n' sock connection ???

but i digress...

i had zero interest in the world series this year until i realized that SF's superstar pitcher, tim lincecum, looked exactly like the kid from dazed and confused... and apparently, i wasn't the first to think it.

click the link, it's an hilarious article.

anyways. if the flames continue stinkin' this way, i'm gonna probably look into other sports that bore the hell out of me, just for something to do.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

my new favorite pic:

thanks to the calgary herald for posting a gallery entitled "changes are a coming for the flames," and captionning this particular photo "Flames defenceman Cory Sarich bounces a puck off of the cross bar while shooting on Miikka Kiprusoff during practice on Monday November 01, 2010 at the Saddledome in Calgary Alberta."

i got a good laugh out of both.

the fact that cory sarich had (undeniably) the worst game of his career the other night vs. washington is probably why the gallery has twelve photos total, with seven of them being of #6... y'know, to prove to the fans that sutters didn't take him out behind the barn and put him out of his misery.

but apparently changes are coming.
le sigh.

i bet a sixer on the game wednesday so i'm gonna guarantee a loss. this puts me in win-win territory: either the flames win a game and i win a sixer, or i'm a visionary.