San Jose Sharks (0-1) at Anaheim Ducks (0-0)
Seventeen hours from now I'll be drinking with the guys from Fear The Fin -- so read it.
Yeah, so I'm posting a night early for this one -- what can I say? I'm damn excited, why not start with a cartoon?
Talk about effort. This beats my old best by a whopping three panels!
Yes, godsdammit, hockey is back, and to celebrate its glorious return, Sleek's taking his lucky green shirt back to Row B for the Ducks' opener. Now to reiterate for newer readers, I'm not a terribly wealthy or connected fellow, but I do buy in for a handful of games in the seats seen below, adjacent to the penalty box, and wear a lucky shirt that I won in an internet bet during the cup season. Now I suppose I could switch over to the more-recently won Hiller t-shirt, but the black wouldn't stand out as well, plus I'm sort of a traditionalist at this point (I'm referring to the tradition of not getting pummeled by those opposed to lazy Nazi-based humor). At any rate, you can look for the green shirt on TV or say hi if you're at the game -- it's like a much easier version of "Where's Waldo?", with essentially the same set of prizes -- deep inside, you can feel like a winner.
This is where the magic happens. The magicky magical magic of inebriation.
As a special season-opening special, I'll be joined tonight by a special Row B first-time guest -- SBN buddy Mr. Plank of Fear The Fin, most likely spottable in his Pavelski jersey. It should be interesting -- I've only met the guy once, in last year's playoffs, but assuming the game results stay the same I'm sure we'll get along just great. (If Pavelski scores a goal, though, I'm buying a Whitney jersey during the intermission so we can re-stage last year's awkward excuse for a fight.)
I don't really know what to expect from the game itself -- both teams will still be getting up to speed, and there will be sloppiness -- still, I'm not sure there's a ton to be worked up about any outcome in Game One (Positivity! So long as the Ducks pick up more than two points over their first six games, they'll be ahead of last year's pace). Normally I'd expect the Sharks to come in angry after losing their first game in Colorado, but in this case, it's tough to imagine what could further anger the Sharks -- they've already got plenty of reasons to be pissed coming back to Anaheim, and the Ducks know it. And that's truly what I'm excited to see -- we've finally gotten our postseason BoC-quake; now we get to enjoy the glorious aftershocks.
I made the pie chart to the left to show how the Ducks' home schedule typically breaks down. Since the lockout, the Ducks have played 192 home games -- 163 in the regular season plus 29 in the playoffs. Now I'll confess, my pie chart is incorrect -- it adds up to 193 games, which includes one Sunday game actually played in London, England. Stupid spreadsheet.
Still, out of the 192 home games over the past four seasons, only SIX have been played on a Saturday. I'm not really sure why this avoidance pattern persists -- it seems other NHL teams have plenty of Saturday dates, especially those in Canada. But for the Ducks, well we're apparently more Sunday folk.
Now it's very possible that Honda Center prefers hosting non-hockey events on Saturdays, or perhaps there's something contractual in Anaheim's expansion agreement which defers Saturday home dates to the Kings -- really, I have no clue why the Ducks haven't hosted on Saturdays. But it looks as if things are changing; this season's schedule has six Saturday home dates and seven on Sunday.
Shrug. Any theories?
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Prediction: Ducks 4, Sharks 2. Goals by Perry, Teemu, Brownie, and
Pronger Ebbett. Plank angrily pours half a beer on the lucky green shirt, and I wake up the next morning with only a vague recollection of it.
Oh yeah, and this happens:
Haven't tasted these heated tears in a while -- warm and tasty!