19:02: Night kicks off with a montage of kids, normal people and hockey players saying: “I want to win the Stanley Cup”, highlighted by an 86 year-old who says he’s been waiting his whole life to win the Stanley Cup – must be a Leafs fan.
19:06: Tough start to Tie Domi’s second career. He had 2 sentences, stumbling and bumbling his way through them. That’s what happens when you’ve never learned to read.
19:07: First mention of Hasek leaving the Sens in the offseason. Tears are shed by Sports Chickie. She loved him, calling him “My Playboy” for the way he flails about on the ice trying to stop the puck. I don’t know what that says about me.
19:08: First commercial of the new NHL season is a repeat from last year – Molson’s “What a Feeling.” Can’t expect an American company to go all out for hockey, I guess.
19:15: Live look-in on the Hurricanes Stanley Cup banner ceremony. Banner begins to go up.
19:17: I swear the banner is still rising to the rafters, with canned thunder sounds over top Queen’s “We are the Champions”. Can we just wipe out the 2005-06 season from the history books? Would anyone question this 20 years down the road? Can’t we tell our kids the lockout lasted 2 seasons? Please?
19:23: Pierre McGuire just downplayed how bad the Leafs will be this season. I think he’s scared of Domi.
19:27: Gord Miller, in a pre-taped studio appearance, tells us the game is available in HD and 5.1 surround “The way it was meant to be seen and heard”. Welcome to the 21st century, TSN.
19:30: THE SCOTTISH ARE INVADING!!!!! No, wait, my bad, it’s the 48th Highlanders, and their god-awful noise, ummm, I mean, bagpipes.
19:33: Must be embarassing for Tomas Kaberle to be carded every time the team goes out to strippers. Seriously, does he qualify to play, considering Canada’s strict child labour laws?
19:36: The ACC P.A. guy sounds like he should be narrating a Disney movie. “Little did Simba know, Nala was searching far and wide to find him. Much like your beloved Maple Leafs search for their Stanley Cup.”
19:44: Now moving on to part 2 of 2 in Leaf player commemorations (zzzzz). Estimated time of puck drop: 21:34. Is Fox Baseball producing this or something? Where’s Joe Buck? Seems like a waste of TSN’s 37 panelists.
19:54: Sports Chickie just called Marting Gerber “Baby Food”. Here we go.
19:54: Puck drops, it’s GAME TIME.
19:55: Kaberle a game time scratch, late for his curfew.
19:57: It just registered: Dean McAmmond is an Ottawa Senator. *shudder*
20:00: This looks fantastic in HD. Wow. Bob McKenzie? Not so wow in HD.
20:05: First penalty of the game, to the Leafs for interference. Ron MacLean whines to whoever has to suffer his presence tonight.
20:06: Third appearance of Molson’s “What a Feeling” commercial. Another example of a good commercial wasted through saturation.
20:16: Dave Randorf Career Arc:
2000: Anchor for Sydney Olympics
2001-2005: CFL play-by-play
2006: TSN Hockey sideline reporter
2007: TSN Poker Tour analyst
2008-2011: Guy who shines Pierre McGuire’s dome
20:22: TSN goes with a Bruce Mr. Turk favourite, bar-across-the-top ticker. Bruce Mr. Turk will be happy.
20:27: With 3:47 left in the 1st period, we get our first “Go Leafs Go” chant. Yeah, the Leafs fans are soooo stoked for this season.
20:31: 1-0 Ottawa. Exhale. Let it be known that one Patrick Eaves scored the first goal of the Senators’ Stanley Cup winning season (ahem, ahem…).
20:35: Make sure you check out James Duthie’s hilarious blog about his yoga vacation. Thanks to Bruce Mr. Turk for the heads up.
20:53: ACC customers haven’t changed one bit: we’re 2 minutes into the second period and all the seats behind the players’ benches are EMPTY. No wonder the building seems empty – it is. All its patrons are on the concourse swinging business deals or attending to more important matters.
21:02: It’s not the regular-season domination of old, but at the halfway point I give the Sens a slight edge. Patrick Eaves looking real good – the TSN crew seem flat-out giddy about him.
21:07: Chris Neil off to as good a start as last season. 2-0 Ottawa!
21:11: No sooner have I called the Sens out do they go up by 3. Same old, same old.
21:13: Charity penalty shot call for Sundin…and…
21:14: …controversy as the referee says no goal before the puck squeaks into the Sens net. Ref goes upstairs and reverses his call. Leafs will not be shut out this season.
21:27: In the “giveaway” sweepstakes this evening, McCabe leads Spezza 2-0. As bad as he is defensively, he’ll end up a Norris Trophy candidate because of his points tally. What a disgrace.
21:30: After two periods, I have to say I’m enjoying the “Baby Food” Gerber era in Ottawa. He seems technically sound and he’s made some key saves tonight. Maybe it won’t be so hard for Sports Chickie to forget about her “playboy”.
21:34: I don’t know how I feel about this new NHL promotion campaign, the ones who’s tagline is “…here to remind us the season has started”. Yikes, I can’t help but feel this if for fans in the U.S. who have no idea the season is getting underway because OLN has the games and the other networks have abandoned doing hockey highlights. You shouldn’t have to remind us the season is here. It’s started at the same time since the turn of the century – the 20th century! The Forsberg one was funnier than the Cheechoo one. Hopefully they’ll post them on Youtube soon.
21:57: Ok, I am so going to regret saying this, but here goes: Tie Domi is already a decent analyst. His willingness to rule against the Leafs on a couple of issues was impressive. I’ll reserve a final judgement, but so far it’s not as bad as I thought. Shoot me now.
22:00 For some odd reason, everytime Michael Peca touches the puck, the Sports Chickie says “Peca, the taco monkey!”.
22:10: When Bates Battaglia is out on your #1 powerplay unit, you’ve got a problem. The Toronto implosion is going to be so much fun to watch.
22:13: This definitely does not feel like the Battle of Ontario. There seems to be little animosity between the teams and the Sens, despite being ahead, seem almost lackadaisical.
22:25: Nail in the coffin: Alfredsson empty-net goal. Same old story in the Battle of Ontario (regular-season edition). Thank you and good night!