So the first pre-season game has came and gone. Not a ton you can gather from it but it was enough to make me salivate a bit. Here's my impressions of the whole event.
I guess the idea was nice but a tail gate party organized by a billion dollar corporation? That just spells fail right there. Where are the lawn chairs? Where are the BBQs? Where are the RVs?
If you were hungry, the only could choose between Pizza Pizza and...well, Pizza Pizza. If you were thirsty, you can get a free can of Coke Zero or buy an overpriced tallboy. There were a few badly organized events as well. I noticed a Johnny Bower signing. At least I think it was a signing as I didn't see any signs or information about whether it was a signing or just a meet and greet. There was also a ball hockey tournament that was played in a fenced area about the size of a grave plot. It seemed like anybody could sign up as I saw a team of 20 something year olds demolish a team of 8 year olds. And like with any corporate event, there were sponsors trying to get you to sign up for shit. For the last time, Toronto Star, I don't want to sign up for your paper because 1) I can read it online 2) Damien Cox, Dave Feschuk and Rosie Dimanno...nuff said and 3) I don't really appreciate your telemarkets calling me every few months to beg me to subscribe to their special offers. The only saving grace was that they hired a decent band in Sloan. Imagine if went with Simple Plan or Nickelback instead.
I was lucky enough to sit in the golds. I'm sure this isn't available in every seat but they offer seat-service in the golds. Considering how rich, lazy and fat the people who usually sit in the golds are, I bet they find it mighty convenient to have their food delivered to them. I'm not hating, because I would hate to stand in line for 15 minutes just to get a beer but can the servers at least wait until play stoppages to walk up and down the aisles?
I was excited about getting Bozak before I even knew who he was. I mean, his name is just so fun to say and he's the motherfuckin' Seventh Samurai! This kid will be a good player for a long time. Looks like a natural leader out there. Great speed, a good set of hands and defensively responsible. Looks like Wilson trusts him enough to put him on the point on the PP and he also took an important faceoff with less than a minute left in Bruins' territory. As for the shortie he scored, my errection still hasn't subsided.
When was the last time you had faith in the Leafs' group of prospects? For as long as I've been a fan, I don't remember being so excited for the young kids. Stalberg has blazing speed for somebody who's 6'3. I imagine Kaberle firing cross ice passes to a streaking Stalberg will be a beautiful sight for years to come. The whole Animal House Line (is that what we're coining it?) looked good but I thought Bozak and Stalberg outshone Hanson.
I thought Kadri played a strong but not outstanding game though he seemed to get better when he got some quality linemates later in the game. Had some good chances and almost tied it late in the game. He's a highly skilled forward with a mean streak which could be seen on a few tenacious forechecks. I definitely see why Burke drafted him. I'll enjoy his short stay with the big club but I'd love to see him come back next year to contend for a spot once he adds some more muscle.
Two bad penalties, two lost fights...not quite the way to make the team. With the logjam we have at D, I don't see Oreskovic getting a shot with the Leafs this year. I would even guess that he would be a career minor leaguer.
This man is one bad motherfucker. He was on full display in the first, hitting everything that came in sight. He will definitely be a fan favourite if he isn't already. But apparently with all that brawn, he does have a soft side as he displayed when he was giving Kadri some advice. I have yet to see this as I was at the game. Hook up a link if there's one available!
Andre Deveaux/Jay Rosehill
They both know their roles and both wanted to impress as they both dropped their gloves. There's no way they will both make the team so they are in direct competition with each other. My guess is that they both won't make the team and will spend the rest of their careers in the AHL with the occasional NHL call up when Colton Orrs breaks his fist over Georges Laraques' face. Take that, vegan!
Jason Allison was slow three years ago...having not played since did not make him any quicker. He tried to make an impact out there early on but as the game progressed he just floated in the neutral zone. It also seemed like he lost a lot of face offs. Not much to say other than he won't be making the cut.
I'm not sure if it was the free game factor or not but there were plenty of jersey fouls to be seen. Most of which were personalized with their last name. I did notice a #64 with the name Mojo Radio (which is now defunct). Unfortunately, I didn't see anything clever or any #69 McLovin jerseys. Oddest jersey I saw was a #30 Tom Barrasso. Tom Barrasso played 4 games on the Leafs in the 01-02 season. If you tell me that that's really a lie and that you just went in to his wikipedia page and added that, I would totally believe you. I have no idea what his thought process was when getting that jersey. The only explanation is that his last name is Barrasso or he is related.
How does one start this idiotic event? I mean, it would have to make more than one person to get the wave going, right? Does the person starting this yell out "Let's do the wave!" before standing up and flailing their arms in the air? Do they arrange it with a group of people they're sitting with? Does the retard signal in their brain just go off simultaneously? The wave is something I never understood and will never participate in. I reckon that the guy who starts the wave is also the first guy who slows down to stare at an accident on the highway.
Burkie's Dog House
With all the articles surrounding Burkie's Dog House, there's no way I could have went to the game and not try this. I got the bacon wrapped dog and it was as good as it sounds. The hot dog was topped with cheddar, honey mustard and caramelized onions. It was good eatin but $8 for a dog is a bit much. I shall find that prime rib sandwich the next time I head to a game.