On the Backhand Shelf Podcast, we play a little game where Bourne and I pick winners each night and at the end of the week see who picked the most correct. The loser has to watch a game of the other’s choosing. Bourne lost last week and had to watch this abortion of a hockey game and, unfortunately, this week it’s my turn to suffer the consequences. A game between a team I don’t like and a team I don’t care about. Should be a blast. So, let’s fire up the ol’ NHL Gamecenter and see what the night brings. I’m bored already.
But it turns out I was wrong, the game actually turned out to be pretty entertaining even though it took a while to get there. Hah, that’s what you get, Bourne. Even when I lose, I win. At this game, I mean. Not at, you know….life.
20:00 - My favorite thing about Gamecenter is the ability to choose which team’s feed you watch. No Rick Jeanneret for me!
20:00 - “Both of these teams are out of the top 8 in the Eastern Conference” – oh joy.
20:00 - I like that the Sabres ask fans to sing along with the anthems. I mean, anthems are kind of a chore, generally (at least I think so), so why not encourage some participation. Make it more fun, the kids probably like it. I support this. Good job, Sabres.
19:47 - Apparently there was some “big time line shuffling” for the Jets tonight. I wouldn’t know but sure?
19:01 - Jets score! Great, great, great play by Evander Kane to check Pominville behind the net, take the puck, and no-look pass it right to Bryan Little. Kane be good.
18:49 - Pavelec makes a great save on Cody Hodgson. Yes, I just gave props to Pavelec. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all?
18:00 - My brain reminds me that New Jersey scored less than a minute into their game against Ottawa yesterday and that turned into one of the worst hockey games I’ve ever seen, so, there’s still every chance this will be horrible.
17:00 - Off-topic: Is there any way the Habs and Rangers can both lose tonight? They’re playing each other. We should look into this. Oh, Winnipeg’s on a power play or something.
16:11 - Oh God, Kaleta is playing? I have to watch that non-contributing zero tonight? Ugh, this just got so much worse. I hope someone bites him.
14:55 - I don’t know if they have more microphones or the microphones are closer to the boards or what but the volume on things hitting the boards on this TSN feed is LOUD. I kind of like it. Someone just ripped a slap shot wide and I thought it was going to break my speakers. The volume of sticks hitting each other and the puck is also quite loud. Good sound mixing, TSN.
13:40 - We had a great debate on Twitter today about onions on pizza. The pro-onion camp won 16-11. I’m pleased to report that I am officially pro-onion on pizza now. This is great. Oh, hockey, right. Uh…stuff happened, it’s a commercial break now.
13:15 - Bourne chose well. I’d rather watch a horrible hockey game than just a boring hockey game and, so far, this is definitely in the latter category. I think he’s starting to learn what irritates me (hint: it’s most things).
12:21 - Every time Tomas Vanek touches the puck I get excited at a chance of something awesome. Something awesome hasn’t happened. Miller just made what looked like a nice save. Or it could have been shot wide. Neither myself nor the commentators are sure.
10:50 - Steve Ott is surprisingly fast for a Steve Ott. Who knew?
10:16 - Man, there have been a lot of missed, blocked, and tipped shots so far. I’m not surprised but yeesh.
9:46 - Kane is fighting Kaleta! And he went at him! Oh man, my like for Evander Kane just tripled. I’m a fan of you now, Evander. You done good in my book.
9:46 - We need to talk about fans that bang on the glass when two players are fighting each other near the boards. Why are you doing that? Are you a caveman hungry for meat? Do you think that your banging on the glass will distract the opposing fighter long enough for a punch to land? I know it’s kind of tradition and I don’t really have a problem with it, it just looks so silly.
9:33 - We’re 10 minutes in and I haven’t made fun of the city of Buffalo yet. That’s what they call growth, ladies and gentlemen.
8:56 - My clock says 7:27 but judging from this game, so far, it’s apparently amateur hour. Heyo! How’d that taste, Jets/Sabres? You guys need to go get some Polysporin because you just got burned.
7:50 - Buffalo’s power play is not good. I don’t think they had a single chance in those 2 minutes. I know, small sample size, but. Blech.
6:12 - Ruh roh, Leafs game is starting. Time to try and watch two games at once.
5:28 - I really like Tyler Ennis. I can’t figure out why he’s not better than he is. Maybe I just don’t know anything.
3:24 - Hey, my Gamecenter just quit on me for no reason and I missed 2 minutes of the game. That was nice.
2:54 - Bryan Little’s been really good so far tonight. He’s got a goal, he’s blocking shots, he’s clearing the zone, he’s pushing possession. I think I might like you, Bryan Little.
2:10 - Chris Thorburn just fed a great pass to Jim Slater who went in all alone before letting off a really weak shot. Even Miller looked confused on the save. I think he was expecting a big rebound. Also, Gamecenter just quit again. Come on, man. I also have no idea who Jim Slater is.
1:41 - Odd thing – Winnipeg’s feed on Gamecenter has no commercials, Buffalo does have commercials. I’m sure there’s a reason for this but, still, kinda weird.
0:00 - My Gamecenter randomly quit on me again and I missed the end of the period. But nobody scored and it’s this game so I’m just going to assume nothing happened. Switching browsers now, hopefully that helps. Over to the Leafs game I go.
This really hasn’t been a horrible game so far, I just so, so don’t care. Nothing’s going to make me care but hopefully these guys can find some excitement to at least make me entertained. So far, nay.
18:49 - I think my problem with these teams is that neither move the puck particularly well. Both teams get really tangled up in the neutral zone and trying to move the puck from their defense to their forwards. This is not a problem that is unique to these two teams but it doesn’t make for thrilling hockey.
18:10 - That being said, I really, really like Cody Hodgson’s game. I want him on my team. Make it happen, Nonis.
17:17 - Evander Kane has 30 missed shots this year. Dude takes a lot of shots. As I say that, Bogosian makes a great play to break up an odd-man rush. Batted that puck right out of the air. Nice play.
16:35 - Hahah, Kyle Wellwood.
15:57 - Good news: I seem to have fixed my Gamecenter quitting problem. Bad News: My Gamecenter is being used to watch this game.
14:52 - This game has slowwwwwed down. No pace to this thing at all right now.
14:14 - Oh man, who’s Miller going to yell at for this one? Andrew Ladd turns and shoots the puck through some traffic, Miller gets a piece of it but it squeaks through into the back of the net. Horrible by Miller. Absolutely should have had that one. His post-game presser could be fun.
14:00 - Safeway is a sponsor for Jets games? Is that a Winnipeg thing? Legitimately curious, didn’t know they sponsored hockey things.
13:26 - GRABO! GRABO! GRABO!!! Uh, sorry. Wrong game.
13:12 - Jesus, Kane just went 1 on 4 and almost scored. If nothing else, this game has made me a Kane fan. He’s actually a lot of fun to watch.
10:46 - This is no fault of the TSN guys calling the game tonight but, every time they talk, because they’re talking extensively about the Jets or Sabres, all I can think is this:
9:16 - The fans in Buffalo are starting to boo as Buffalo ices another puck. Can’t blame them, their team has been not good. Still, surprised that the booing is starting so early. Toronto fans make their way over the border for this one?
8:27 - Man, the Sabres defense is bad tonight. They can’t pick up a single loose puck, nor can they pick up their man. The Jets are just walking through them and passing around them. If it weren’t for the Jets missing the net all the time and Ryan Miller, this would be a much larger goal differential.
7:55 - Every time I hear Andrew Ladd’s name I get Oingo Boingo stuck in my head. Because I’m a loser.
7:30 - Man, Pavelec hasn’t had to do anything tonight. The Sabres can’t even hit the net. I’m starting to think this team might legitimately bad which, looking at their roster kind of makes sense, but is still surprising, for some reason.
6:50 - Olli Jokinen just LAUNCHED a slapshot that pinged off the crossbar. That thing looked like it was shot really, really hard. Great ping. Love the ping. Apparently there’s a new rule where if the puck goes off the crossbar the faceoff stays in the offensive end. I guess that makes sense? I don’t know.
5:31 - Hey, it’s Ondrej Pavelec’s 200th career NHL game. Good for him. I still think he’s the worst starting goalie in the league but good for him. (Yes, I’m aware he’s currently pitching a shutout).
3:42 - John Scott passing to Patrick Kaleta in the neutral zone JUST. HAPPENED. That was totally worth watching this game. That might have been the slowest pass ever (it somehow connected, too).
2:11 - I missed watching Nik Antropov try to outskate people. How’s it going, Nik?
0:33 - Do the Jets always block this many shots? I legitimately have no idea. They’re blocking a lot of them.
0:21 - Pominville scores! The Jets turn it over in the offensive zone and Pominville hangs onto it on a 3-on-1 and buries it past Pavelec. Horrible time to give up that goal. I mean, there’s never a good time, but…you know what I mean.
0:00 - How about that? A little bit of excitement to end the 2nd period. Will that continue into the 3rd? For my sake, I hope so.
20:00 - And we’re back. That was a nice break. I’m optimistic for a good third period. I am usually wrong.
18:51 - I can’t tell if I like Christian Erhoff. I have no reason to dislike him, nor do I have reason to particularly like him. But I feel like it’s one of those two. I have no idea why. I’m weird.
17:00 - Pavelec makes a nice save proving that he is, in fact, an NHL goalie. He needs to remind us every now and then.
16:30 - Tyler Myers had Pavelec down and ripped a slapshot but, unfortunately for him, he shot it into a pileup in front of the net. Specifically into Ron Hainsey who had to go to the bench. That was a hard shot with a lot of wind up from point blank. I think that hit him in the butt. That’ll leave a bruise. Heh…butt.
15:38 - Pominville jumps on a rebound and has another shot blocked. Sabres look great so far, Jets keep blocking so many shots.
13:30 - A couple of really good chances for the Jets but they can’t score. This has actually turned into a really watchable game. I’m legitimately shocked. Good job, good effort, Jets/Sabres.
13:20 - “Gotta play on your toes, can’t play on your heels” – You tell ‘em, TSN guy whose name I didn’t bother to look up. You tell ‘em.
11:23 - Blake Wheeler has been driving the net really well tonight. He just generated two really good chances on one shift. Didn’t score but still.
9:41 - The Sabres have turned the puck over a bunch in their own zone tonight. They haven’t led to any legitimate chances but, man, use some vision, guys.
7:54 - Watching two hockey games at once can be really confusing sometimes. I keep hearing whistles and looking at one of the games expecting an offside or something and play continues and then I realize it was from the other game. Oh, the pains of being me.
6:53 - Tyler Myers breaks up a sure goal as the Jets had an open cage and 3 guys in front and just kind of…stopped. That was a weird play. Shoot the puck. Do something. That was weird.
5:12 - Pavelec makes a nice kick save as the TSN guys talk about him stepping up his game. He’s been good tonight. Still not prepared to say this is a sign of anything.
3:59 - Oooooooh, Kane takes a penalty and the abres are going to the power play. This is actually pretty interesting. How about that? TSN calls this the Jets’ “biggest kill of the year.” It’s big in this game, sure, but…I dunno, seems hyperbolic.
2:31 - Sabres fans getting restless again. And Erhoff just misses deflecting it in. Another near miss! Scramble, scramble! Holy, that was disorganized. Jets kill it off. Craziness.
1:13 - Jets probably should have gotten called on a penalty there. No call. And Kane misses the empty net!
0:05 - Stafford makes one last rush and gets his shot deflected into the netting. The Sabres will get one faceoff in the Jets’ zone.
0:00 - Slater wins the draw, Jets win, and the Buffalo crowd boos. Lots and lots of boos.