(Picture taken from my seat that night)
I've been meaning to create a post like this since my school year ended last May...however it now happens to be the end of August and it turns out i'm an incredibly lazy person when I don't have school to motivate me. However my motivations aren't the focus here, I'm here to write about the first time I got to see the Montreal Canadiens play live in front of my eyes.
It actually turns out that going to this game was plan B for myself, Originally I was supposed to end the Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins preseason game in Rochester early in the year(Back when Florida was Rochester's NHL parent club). Plans fell through with a friend of mine but 30 minutes later he called me up and said "How about Sabres/Habs in November in Buffalo?" Which of course was way better than seeing Zdeno F'ing Chara and the br00nz play the lowly Panthers.
Now to say that I was nervous heading to this game was a bit of an understatement, favorite team playing one of my most hated teams with one of my favorite players serving as team captain...yeah it was a bit overwhelming for a younger version of myself. We arrived in Buffalo(Fuckalo* if you will) about 2 hours before game time and wander around HSBC(At the time) Arena for a bit while we waited for warm ups to begin....then we found a picture of famed jerk bag Patrick Kaleta and as it turns out my buddy isn't too fond of him
Kaleta would actually go on to sucker punch Andrei Markov that night and promptly get roughed up by Markov and Josh Gorges while cowering behind his windshield sized visor.
Warm ups were about to start and we made our way down to ice level to watch the Habs come out of the tunnel and begin their pre game warm ups...Now some people dismiss watching the pre game skate but I love it because its an up close look at your favorite players and if you're lucky enough maybe you can snag some free stuff from one of them(a few kids and my friend all got pucks tossed to them as warm ups ended)
(Pre game warm ups)
After belting both the Canadian(IN FRENCH!) and American anthems it was finally game time and as it would turn out I found a guy who couldn't take a chirp to save his life. The Sabres used to show a pre game video montage of their top teams throughout the previous decades, and every time a new decade popped up I would remark about how they never won a Stanley Cup in any of those years. Somewhere in the 80's the guy in front of me turns around and we had a conversation that went as such
Jerk-"Hey you little shit how many Stanley Cups have the Habs won since you've been born?"
Me-"Just one...so how many have the Sabres won?"
Drunk guys sitting next to us-"Yeah ya jerk leave the kid alone not his fault your team can't win anything meaningful!"
The drunks then launched into a debate about the best hockey player ever and somehow I ended up with a giant bag of Twizzlers as the game started
I'll leave the game highlights here because quite frankly I'd ramble on forever if I had to recap the game
Oh Benoit Pouliot...so much potential so little consistent use of it...Also this was Andrei Markov's last full game as he would sustain a severe knee injury in the following game and we all know how that saga went.
All in all the night was a ridiculously good time,the jerk in front of us left right after Pouliot scored his second goal because he couldn't take the drunk heckling anymore. I left with no voice from yelling at Patrick Lalime all night, a new Habs hat,and a ton of fun memories from the night
Yeah I know sunglasses indoors makes me look a lot like an asshole, but this is probably my favorite picture from the night because the section of Habs fans we were with kept asking us to take pictures holding the sign up.
Hope everyone enjoyed my small trip down memory lane...it's been 3 years since this game and it's now a yearly tradition for me and my buddy here to head to Buffalo for Sabres/Habs and a damn good time. Hope to see some EOTP'ers at games this year!
*Not sure if I can say Fuckalo?
**All pictures are from my personal Facebook