Sunday, February 28, 2010


Well, that didn't quite turn out the way I'd hoped. And I'm actually not talking about losing the gold medal to Canada. Believe it or not, I didn't have any hopes regarding Team USA going into this tournament, aside from that they'd keep Miller in one piece and maybe let him get a little rest if they could manage it.

No, what I had originally hoped to gain from the Olympics was simpler and more selfish: I wanted a break. I know you wouldn't be able to tell this from how fanatically I've been posting in this blog for the last two months, but I got kind of burnt out on hockey. Maybe I was letting myself get too carried away by the fact that the Sabres weren't sitting out of a playoff spot come January, but I was totally ready to skip the push and get right to the good stuff. I know it's counter-intuitive, but it seems the better the Sabres are playing, the fewer games I want to watch them play.

So I was counting on the Olympic break to let me recharge. I actually have a two-week-old post entitled "Give Me a Break" floating around in my draft folder detailing my exact hopes and dreams, but it seems I was too busy, uh, taking a break to expand it past that oh-so-clever title. I was counting on the fact that I don't own a TV to mean that I wouldn't be watching any Olympic hockey--or, in fact, any Olympic coverage at all. I was counting on two weeks without regular season hockey to mean that I would forget all about it and then be ready to accept it back into my life when it returned, as is.

What I wasn't counting on was Team USA making everyone in the tournament poop in their pants. I wasn't counting on them being instrumental in sending both Sweden and Russia home medal-less. I wasn't counting on Ryan Miller being the center of this near-perfect storm, and I wasn't counting on everyone and their blogs talking about how awesome it was. I wasn't counting on needing to cancel plans and crash living rooms in order to be able to watch this afternoon's game. But there I was, eating up every last delicious second of it.

And here I am, more rabid for playoff hockey than ever. Joke's on me, I guess.

I'm ready for the grit and the energy and the near heart attacks. I'm ready for the volume at home and the abrupt silence away. I'm ready for the sudden death.

I'm ready to see the Ryan Miller who plays out of his mind. Who accepts second place like it's last place. His post-game interview was kind of heartbreaking to watch, and you know he would have rather been doing pretty much anything else, but I couldn't help but smile at the way he very typically refused to sugar coat anything. He had both the opportunity and the right to treat the silver medal as a victory. After all, it was certainly more than anyone had expected of them, and they put up a hell of a fight. The team had nothing to be ashamed of, and Miller least of all. But he's not going to bullshit us with those platitudes. He's going to tell it like it is: silver sucks. That's not exactly what one would call a healthy perspective, but when all is said and done, that's the perspective I want fighting on my side come May.

Most of all, I'm ready to see Miller's five hole not allow Crosby to play the role of hockey savior on the national stage, for a change. Shit's getting old.

For now I'm just going to have to make do with the same old same old regular season hockey. It starts up again on Tuesday as the Sabres face the Penguins, and I can't imagine what could possibly be a story worth talking about connected to that matchup.

All I can say? Thank goodness it's not going to be on Versus.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wait A Second

I know I've been out of the loop for a little while, but... the Blue Jackets are still terrible, right? Nothing has suddenly changed on that front? My only experience of tonight's game was a text of the final score, and I just want to make sure I'm grasping the full suckitude of this situation.