Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 17th game of the season on Nov. 13, 2009.
Let me tell you about how great these East Coast trips for the Flames are. I have five reasons that I love them.
1) I am on the East Coast and so there is now a slightly greater chance that if someone were to give me tickets, that I could attend the game without boarding a plane or leaving this time zone that I love so well.
2) Early start times. As it happens, I find 7 p.m. to be juuuuust a bit too late for games to begin. By the time many of the 7 o’clock games end, all your friends have been at the bar for about a half hour (granted, my friends may be more boderline-alcoholic than yours). You can imagine, then, how I feel about these 9 and 10 p.m. games. It’s lunacy that I should have to miss a Flames game because I should be out drinking (and vice versa). You should like these crazy-early start times for the same reasons. A game ending at like 7:45 or 8 local time would be outstanding.
3) Easy Ws. I see enough Eastern Conference games every year to say this with full confidence: The entire conference sucks. Sure, Eastern teams occasionally win the Stanley Cup, but it seems like every time the Flames play a team from out this way, they win. What are they 184-2-4 in their last 190 against Eastern teams? It’s crazy.
4) There is some amount of possibility that the NHL will actually pay attention to the Flames and give them some amount of recognition since they really only care about one Conference, and the West ain’t it.
5) My life is slightly more convenient this way. I need all the help I can get.
The Calgary Flames (11-4-1 for 23 points. Fourth in the West, second in the Northwest) and the Buffalo Sabres (10-4-1 for 21 points. Tied for fourth in the East, first in the Northeast).
5:30 p.m. Mountain time and 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should pop in and say hi.
HSBC Arena, Buffalo, New York.
Calgary is 5-1-1 away home this year, which is the second-best road record in the league (New Jersey is 9-0-0 somehow). The Sabres are 6-2-1 at home, which is pretty damn solid. Their only home losses have been to the Thrashers, Flyers and Canadiens.
What (to hate about the Sabres)
Tyler Myers — Get ready to hear about this kid a lot. And by "hear about" I mean "hear the same two facts over and over ad nauseum for the rest of the night." Two things to know about him, and of which you will be reminded at every available opportunity: He is 6-foot-8 and he is 19 years old. His size will be brought up every single time he makes the slightest bit of contact with someone or attempts to play the puck. Typically he will be referred to as "Big Tyler Myers" in these situations. Any time he messes up on a play, his age will be brought up to show that he’s not THAT bad. He’s 19! Haw haw haw. It gets revolting after about half a period.
Timmy Connolly — Oh yeah, Tim Connolly is off to a 15-points-in-15-games pace so far. Great news if you own him in fantasy hockey, because you’re like "Whoa this guy I drafted late is absolutely killing it this year, and I’ve barely heard his name before." But it’s only a matter of time before he sneezes too hard and launches his MCL into the stratosphere, missing the rest of the year and costing you literally hundreds of dollars. … Not that I know from experience or anything.
Tom Vanek — Speaking of fantasy hockey, this guy has plunged a knife into my back, and slowly twists it slightly to the left or right with every game he plays, because he never freaking does anything. Tom, you have as many goals and assists and Clarke freaking MacArthur, and if anyone had drafted him, they would have rightly been laughed out of the goddamn league. CLARKE MACARTHUR! Honestly?
Because it’s nice and early in the afternoon for you folks, so you can get yer drinkin’ in later on. Enjoy the game and don’t go out too early in the comments section.