- All you really need to know is that before puck drop I met LeafspaceMonika. She put her arm around me, and it was a dream come true. I may have told her that I'm in love with her, I don't really remember. The rest of the night really doesn't matter, because I'd already won.
- I hate Ryan Miller.
- The Leafs actually came out strong to start the game. They were the better team in the first half of the first period. It might have been the drugs, but I'm pretty sure Toronto came out flying. If it wasn't for Ryan Miller, it's 2-0 Toronto 10 minutes into the game.
- Fuck Ryan Miller.
- I had to make an actual conscious effort not to cheer while in the press box. It was more difficult than I thought.
- Buffalo came alive to close out the first, but Jonas Gustavsson was there to match Miller. The Monster is great in tight, and moves graciously across the crease. (That's what she said.)
- The highlight of the first period was Wayne Primeau slamming Derek Roy into the boards in the Leafs' zone. I love watching Derek Roy get slammed into the boards.
- As I tweeted in the first period, watching Phil Kessel turned me on. I'm quite certain I was making Jonathan uncomfortable, but the situation was beyond my control.
- The pretzels flow freely up in press row. The pretzels were making me thirsty.
- No sign of Howard Berger. Remember, he's paid to write about the games, not watch them.
- According to my man Jonathan, it was Brian Burke who said the Leafs have to reach out to bloggers. Forget about the team's record, and forget about how they do the rest of the way while he's managing the team; the Brian Burke era has been an unmitigated success.
- The best part about being on press row might be the stats sheet you're handed at the end of each period. Your homework, it's done for you. You know exactly how many minutes too long Jason Blake has been on the ice, and just how poorly the Leafs are doing in the faceoff circle. I certainly appreciated it.
- The Leafs came out strong, again, to start the second period. And I'm quite certain the drugs had worn off by this point.
- Matt Stajan and Phil Kessel botched a 2-on-0 early in the period. Kessel would probably have been better off on his own.
- More Leafs fans need to own Niklas Hagman jerseys. Do you own one? Let me know, so I can give you the props you deserve.
- I hope last night is the last time Ian White and Luke Schenn play together. Awful.
- Seriously, fuck Ryan Miller. He is the truth. He made tremendous saves on the penalty kill against both Hagman and Mikhail Grabovski. Buffalo is lucky to have him.
- I thought Mike Komisarek played a strong game. He kept his shit simple, which is what he wasn't doing prior to his stint on the disabled list.
- Phil Kessel is an underrated passer. Marc Savard didn't make Phil Kessel. Phil Kessel made Marc Savard.
- I could hear Dennis Bayak calling the game on AM 640 from my seat. I found this rather exciting.
- Jason Blake: enter the zone, circle the net, put a useless shot on goal. Rinse. Repeat.
- I'm sorry to say, but the crowds at the Air Canada Centre are nothing short of brutal. I thought about starting a "Go Leafs Go!!!!1" chant, but that type of thing is frowned upon in the press box.
- Did I mention I hate Ryan Miller?
- The Leafs surrendered a goal 20 seconds into the third period. I blame Ron Wilson. Face it: it's convenient, and easy. Fire him. And hire Wayne Gretzky. Don't deny it, it'd be fun.
- Is there any possible way Jason Blake makes the U.S. Olympic team? I'm thinking not, as Wilson probably wants to get away from him for a couple of weeks.
- Carl Gunnarsson didn't return for third period action after suffering a shoulder injury. The irony of Komisarek returning and Gunnarsson getting injured is delicious. We gain one, and lose another. Almost as delicious as the sushi platinum seat holders like Daoust love to eat.
- Ryan Miller is always at the top of his crease. He cuts his angles like nobody's business. I fucking hate Ryan Miller.
- I'm quite certain I saw Luke Schenn on the point on the power play in the third period. I'd like to see more of this. It can only help his development. Also: mad respect for "Luke's Troops." Canadian serviceman and servicewoman deserve all the standing ovations they can get.
- It was a listless third period from the Maple Leafs. Outshooting your opponents with absolutely nothing to show for it, night in and night out, has to take its toll.
- There's no way Lee Stempniak is a Maple Leaf next season after his contract expires.
- The cat-calls on Jonas Gustavsson late in the third period were completely uncalled for. When did Toronto fans become the epitome of douchebaggery? What are we, Boston?
- Lindy Ruff calling a timeout in a 3-0 game with 2:54 left on the clock was straight rude. He purposely did it to prolong our misery for an extra 30 seconds, that bastard.
- Ryan Miller finished with a shutout. The silver lining: I didn't pay a penny to take in the game.
- I'll be honest, when Jonathan took off for a few minutes during the game, I hollered "67!!!!1" a couple of times, at the top of my lungs. Yet no sign of Damien Cox. Clearly, he wasn't on press row, or even in the building.
December 01, 2009
The Toronto Maple Leafs don't have first-round draft picks in 2010 and 2011. You know what else they don't have? Internet access on press row. Apologies about the #LiveBlogFail. It happens, yo.
Three years after writing my first blog post here at Sports And The City, I'd made "the show." For one night, I was out of the basement, and on the biggest stage. Without you, three readers, it wouldn't have been possible. Thank you.
While I hate to inundate you with another list of thoughts, Elliotte Friedman style, I'm left with no choice. Without access to the magical world wide web, I was forced to actually use a pen, and write. I know; the humanity. In all seriousness, thanks to Jonathan Sinden, interactive media guru at MLSE, and operator of the Leafs' twitter account, who invited me to The Foster Hewitt Media Gondola last night. It was a fantastic experience, and an honour to be up there.
Without further ado:
If last night was any indication, the Toronto Maple Leafs get it. No, not the hockey part, asshole, the social and new media part. They reached out to me, in the depths of my mother's basement, and treated me to a game, and all the pretzels my heart could desire. And I appreciated it. During the intermissions, I made tremendous progress on the Stanley Cup parade route the Leafs will be taking in 2010. Yes, 2010. It's those moments in The Foster Hewitt Media Gondola, when you're most inspired, and when you use your crayons to draw the heart of the parade through the streets of downtown Ottawa, and downtown Vancouver, that matter more than anything. Cross-country, baby. Like the Olympic torch relay.