Yet here I am, looking to post again, dusting off the blog and reviving my creative juices. A few updates to links and RSS feeds which have died over the past 3 years and tweaks to content so we're relevant again, but I'm back. No promises on how much I'll write, but let's give this a whirl.
I'll admit, it's been a challenge following my beloved team from the Pacific Timezone. No more simplistic access to WGR550 on the AM radio. No more attending games in person on a regular basis when one of my jobs had me in the best seats First Niagara Center had to offer. Section 218. (I'll never forget the time I got so excited after a goal that I jumped up on the camera man's stand shaking his camera and essentially ruining his shot. He immediately turned around and scolded me pretty hard). Nowadays, the only chances I have to attend games are during the yearly west-coast trip when the Sabres make their rounds to San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim, but it's never convenient and they've usually fallen mid-week. Nevertheless, I've been able to catch a game or two with my good friends when I'm home for the holidays, which has always been fun. Gosh I miss that arena, now KeyBank Center. Just the smell of the place inside. Cold, Blue Light on draft. Actually wearing a coat and braving the snow and wind. Walking to Cobblestone post-game for a Sam Winter Lager. Ah, it was all oh so good.
4:00 PM start times aren't convenient at all since I'm usually working until at least 5. Having the Bills at 10:00 AM on Sunday's is spectacular, but the Sabres at 4:00 PM on a Tuesday? That's another story.
Let's say I somehow manage to be free for a game, or if we're talking a weekend game. Good luck finding a way to watch, Dave. It's either drop $139.96 for the NHL.tv Package, or fight the ads and find a reliable stream on Reddit. So far this seasons I've opted with the latter, which has been quite the trip. Few are reliable and almost none carry the Sabres feed with R.J.
Although something has me tuning in to watch this year, no matter how many ads I have to click through or how invisible the puck is in the pixelated image.
In all honesty, some major contributors to my excitement level for the 2016-17 season were the signing of Kyle Okposo, the sophomore year ahead for Jack Eichel (which we now have to wait on), Ryan O'Reilly's second year with us and the progress we made to close last season finishing 10-5-4 in March and April. All of that coupled with the hype around Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine has the future of the NHL looking quite talented and the 2016-17 season set for some fanfare.
Speaking of fanfare, Montreal traded P.K. Subban to Nashville for Shea Weber and they're now 8-0-1, Auston Matthews scored four goals in his first NHL game and the Edmonton Oilers named 19-year-old Connor McDavid the youngest captain in NHL history before starting 7-1-0 to lead the Pacific Division.
Wow. This season has already been a fun one. Cheers to Eichel getting healthy, Kane behaving and everything else this season still has in store for us.