Monday, January 10, 2011

What a game. (Plus/Minus in disguise.)

It's a Plus/Minus, a "happy new year," and a "what I did on vacation" all rolled into one. That's just how I do.
I'd like to thank Czechtacular again for writing Plus/Minus last week. You all didn't even have a chance to miss me!

PLUS
+ The Outback Bowl was my first live football game ever. Ever. What a game. I've never seen so much team merchandise in my life. There were literally three people in all of Raymond James Stadium who were not dressed for the occasion. Everyone else was decked out in team colours, a sea of navy-and-white and blue-and-orange split right down the middle. I've never seen such intense fan loyalty to a coach. I've never seen marching bands like that. I want every sport to have marching bands.
+ I had to play catch-up and watch the Winter Classic on DVR. What a game. Playing in primetime, under the lights, was amazing. It looked so dramatic. It proved that sports aren't about individual players, but rather teams. I can see a Penguins-Capitals rivalry stemming from this, rather than the team's captains having fought it out for a Rookie of the Year title five years ago. And Dan Bylsma's old-school fedora and stadium jacket will probably stand as my favourite coach outfit of the year... or maybe the decade. Go ahead, Jacques Martin, try to outdress him.
+ C├ędrick Desjardins almost had a shutout in his second NHL game, and I got to witness it. He was great. What a game. My favourite part of it was booing the New York Rangers. (My second-favourite part was seeing how Guy Boucher coaches his team. Czechtacular can attest to what he did in the Q. We've all seen the results of his one season in the AHL. He's still got that fire as an NHL coach. The Bolts have incredible work ethic and discipline.)
+ I also went to my first-ever basketball game, and a great team effort buoyed the Orlando Magic to a win over the Golden State Warriors (yeah, I didn't know they existed either). What a game. I know Montreal will never be an NBA city, but I kind of wish it were. I like live sporting events in general, but I enjoyed live basketball so much more than I thought I would!
I made the same face at the exact same time
+ How about that eleventh-hour comeback against the Bruins on Saturday? I say it again: What a game. I can't remember the last time I screamed so loud. (Then the Jets won their playoff game, literally at the last second. It took so much out of me that I didn't even make it to the end of the LA Kings game or Saturday Night Live.)
+ Um, so it turns out that we really like James Wisniewski. I left for five days, and he was a superstar by the time my plane landed in Montreal. My confusion didn't last long: the guy's a great addition to the team, and he seems to love being a Canadien.
+ Jack Johnson is going to be a Los Angeles King forever! I don't usually play armchair GM but locking him down mid-season was a good idea.

MINUS
- Have I already mentioned that I'm too sad to talk about Josh Gorges?
- Steven Stamkos didn't score a goal for me on New Year's Day. And he hasn't scored since. He's goalless in 2011, which might actually be worse news than the fact that the entire city of Tampa is sold out of Stamkos T-shirts.
- Carrie Underwood says she'll never come back to Montreal after her car was broken into when she came here. So many things wrong with that: Cars get broken into everywhere. Her husband comes here sometimes for work, and it's the closest awesome metropolis that Ottawa has. Everyone was all whiny and said they didn't want her in Montreal anyway if she said something like that. Meanwhile, I can't help but wonder when was she in town and why didn't I know about this? Carrie Underwood kicks ass, you guys. I mean, uh, whatever, who cares, Taylor Swift is so much better.
- Mike Cammalleri might be sick. That's not cool, you guys. Here's hoping he comes back rarin' to go.

- Tom Kostopoulos, shouldn't you know better by now than to hit a dude out of nowhere? No? Okay, that's what I thought. We still love you, though. Don't ever change. (Except, like, try not to break a dude's jaw next time.)
- Thoughts and prayers to the family of NHL and AHL player Tom Cavanagh, whose death was tragic and unexpected.

Did I miss something? I probably did. The first ten days of 2011 have been pretty eventful.

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