We remember tonight’s game all too well — and frankly, it should be played on the Islanders’ “15 To Remember” series, if you ask us (and if you overlook the OT). Anyway, the intro involves Steve Cangialosi telling us how both teams have recently demonstrated come-from-behindability. Yeah. Great.
Steve is also giving us the play-by-play; having to endure that is just one more reason we hate the VS and NBC national feeds that use Doc. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Steve sucks. He also tells us that this game was played on the day Marty and Raffie were named All-Star reserves. The Raffie thing still puzzles us.
19:16 Gomez? There was a guy named Gomez on the Devils? Steve tries to tell us the EGG line has been playing well lately, but frankly, we don’t remember (or believe) that ever happened.
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The 23rd in our 118-part series.
When hockey leaves us in the early Summer, it’s at its most intense. One team’s fanbase is elated after having been through the wringer, while all the others are grappling with some combination of disappointment, bitterness, regret, disgust and anxiety for what the off-season will bring. And everyone’s exhausted. Then we have a long, hot, hockey-less desert to contend with, a landscape bereft of any interesting sports news save the emotional roller-coaster of free agent losses and gains. Finally, though, as the weather cools and the days get shorter (unless you live in the other hemisphere, of course…), we get our relief: October hockey.
There are two things that make October hockey really special. The first is the buzz and excitement of a new season. There’s Opening Night. Then, if you’re unlucky, the Home Opener. There’s that “Back to School” fun of seeing your returning players and meeting the new guys. You get to settle in to the joy of finding out what kind of personality your team has. The newness is refreshing and hopeful, and it’s still early enough in the season that a delusional fan of a really bad team can still grasp at some shreds of reality when they say, “This is our year!” The second thing that makes October hockey so wonderful is that there is no intensity. There’s no pressure. Nothing’s on the line yet. Sure, two points in October count for the same amount as two points in April, but in October it’s still safe to think your team can make up lost ground. When the media types start talking about the standings, you can just ignore it because, seriously, who cares who’s in first place after three games? October hockey is when it’s all still just fun.
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