Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Hockey

Going to the hockey game at 3:00 in the afternoon on Easter Sunday was bizarre in a number of ways.

First, as we walked to the game, we passed Pilot Field  (currently known as Coca-Cola Field and formerly known as  Dunn Tire Park, North AmeriCare Park and the Downtown Ballpark.) There was a freaking baseball gamed going on. Baseball and hockey should not be played simultaneously, at least not in a town as small as Buffalo. That was poor planning.

Second, people were shouting obscenities, drinking beer and being obnoxious on Easter Sunday. People walking to the game, hunkered down outside the arena, and inside the arena all behaved as if it were a battleground...on one of the holiest days in the Christian Calendar.  For those who attended the game, Easter was put away and packed up by 3:00 p.m. I thought the little kids who were at the game were especially crazed. Hopped up on Easter candy, then plunked down in front of a playoff game with popcorn, pizza and Pepsi. I hope for the sake of their teachers that they're not going to school tomorrow.

Third, and perhaps most unreal, it was still light out as we left the game at around 7:00 p.m.  Hockey games are generally played at night and in the winter. It's supposed to be dark and cold. I had a light coat and didn't even need it. However, coming out into the light, after the heartbreaking overtime loss, lifted my spirits.  We parked about 6 blocks from the game and it felt so good to walk to the car. It almost felt like we are cheating or something.

From what I could tell from the crowd, the majority thought we could win this home game. You could feel the anticipation in the air as we waited for the puck to drop. I have to say that even though we lost, it was a great game to watch:  we got to see 9 goals, a bunch of broken sticks, tempers flaring, testosterone rushes, fights that weren't too stupid, and some sweet plays. And the arena was HUMMING. It was packed. And, there were 6,000 people OUTSIDE the arena - in the light and balmy air.

Buffalo lives on hope - and we still have hope in this series. Don't. Give. Up. Especially since we have Ryan Miller. My fellow blogger has Lindy Ruff's strategy completely figured out "You guys skate around and try to score. Ryan, you're going to have to be on fire and stop everything."

Not a particularly pious way to spend one of the holiest Christian days. But, in a city that wins games with a hope and a prayer, it didn't feel that strange after all.


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