Bumps and Bruises

by Ryan

After Streit scored I turned to Texas Tech getting killed. I was in no mood for anything hockey-related, and even a blowout college football game could at least get me prepared for the Bills. I was in no mood to post much of anything, but I figured I could force something short and get it out of the way. Then I got a text message:

“Want to play hockey at ten?”

Of course I didn’t. I haven’t touched a stick in three months, I’m out of shape, and I was in a bad mood in general. Besides all that, I had things to do. Reading or some posting or… I don’t know. Something. Maybe I should go to church, that might help the current situation, right?

And here I sit, 3:24 in the morning and sore as all hell. Of course I went and played hockey, was there ever really any doubt? Sometime between that final goal and me showing up at a bar with a hockey bag I decided that I needed it. After such an awful week, such a depressing sports scene, I needed to remember why I love sports in the first place. We love hockey because it is fun, and I needed to be reminded of that no matter what was going on.

So here I am, bruises all over and more then ready for some sleep. I have a bump on my arm that will make for a good story, and I may walk with a limp for a day or two, but I’m happy. It was nice to just forget about everything and play. The only thing I had to think about tonight was where the trailer was and who’s back on defense. No system or contracts to worry about, just your own defense and if you are shooting stick or glove side.

It’s easy to get frustrated with hockey and just turn the television off. Sometimes the pro game can get stale, and with a struggling team that can happen fast. What you have to do is get away from it, and maybe play yourself. If you’re not up for that, go see a juniors game or watch the Junior Sabres. There’s plenty of college hockey to watch too, just to get a chance of pace.

When it comes down to it, hockey isn’t played in a big arena with huge crowds. Hockey is meeting at a bar and playing floor hockey, or renting ice, or even playing in a parking lot. It’s running a friend hard into the boards or giving the goalie who owes you money an extra playful swipe. It’s a goaltender bailing you out after an awful play that leaves you sprawled on the ground. Hockey is that feeling you can’t possibly skate anymore, but you need to get back and pick up the extra man.

Most importantly, hockey is fun, and even if you don’t feel that right now you know it’s true. You have until Wednesday to watch Sabres hockey again, but until then try to remember why you watch hockey in the first place. Get your skates out and see if you can still do it, go watch some kids play and see the smiles on their faces. Heck, pull out that Sega Genesis and play some NHL 95 if you have to. Anything is better than feeling depressed about a hockey team.

Hockey is fun, and I think the sooner we remember that the better; because the Sabres sure aren’t helping.


  1. Anonymous

    You should consider going to watch the Niagara IceDogs in St Catharines… future NHLers for less than $20, in a 70-year-old bandbox of an arena, half an hour from downtown Buffalo.

  2. Ryan

    I’ve wanted to go see them for a while, actualy. A few Sabres prospects on the roster as well. I’m going to look into it over the holidays for sure.