My First Live NHL Game - Canucks in Buffalo, Nov. 15, 2010

[Ed note - Obviously we love these first-hand accounts. If you're new to the site, never commented before or a regular like cyxj, we'd love to hear about your experience]

So my brother and I came across some cheap 100-Level tickets for this game a couple weeks ago and snatched them up immediately.  I'd been stoked for the weeks leading up to the game as it was going to be our first live NHL game and I get to see my team play albeit on the road.

Making the trek to Buffalo was quite hectic.  I left work early (3 hours before puck drop) and realized 10 minutes later that I forgot the tickets in my desk, ended up losing 25 minutes of commute time.  We were making good time until we hit highway construction traffic near the border (Fort Erie).  Getting through the border patrol was even worse as there was a gross amount of travelers lined up to get into the Empire State.  We did notice a few cars with passengers sporting Canucks jersey.

We missed the first 7 minutes by the time we got seated.  We had a couple groups of Canucks fans in our section so we weren't total outcasts when the Canucks came back to tie it in the 3rd period.  I gotta say, the Sabres fans were great; respectful and knowledgeable of their team and the game.

Some observations:

-Man, these guys play so fast with such fluidity.  Each player is in the right areas for their position so often that when they aren't you really notice because there's a break going the other way.  They're also huge in person and so strong in terms of how hard they hit, pass and shoot.

-The Sedins are so sick to watch when they have the puck in the offensive zone.  Hank did try a few too many fancy no-look passes that failed, but when they do work it looks incredible.

-Bieksa... sigh.  He looks worse live than on TV.  I grabbed a brew for the second period and played missy's suicide drinking game.  Thanks to most noticeably Bieksa's unnecessary icings and failed pinches, the goal against and the TSP, my beverage was consumed pretty quickly.

-The Canucks absolutely dominated the draws (46-23), so much that some Sabres fans were pretty pissed off.  The PK was great (5/5) but a Sabres puck bunny was telling to me how their PP is terrible at 11.4%.

-Son of Sam is a pretty chippy player, which I always noticed when he was a Red Wing, I like that he's doing it for us.  Playing him with Sedins might just get him going, as evident with his goal.

-The Raymond-Kes-Burr line in the 3rd period was great to watch.  They're so fast and always in the Sabres' face when they have the puck.  Love it.

-The 3rd and 4th lines were quite 'blah' for the night.  But that Torres hit on Myers was a thing of beauty!

-The D looked okay at times but not as solid as it could be.  Red was solid; made some big saves to give the team a chance although he'd like that second goal back.

-The Sabres are pretty quick upfront and dangerous when they get the puck down low.  Miller was good but didn't look like he had to be great on most of his saves.

-The OT was awesome, there was a sequence of chances going back and forth that got everyone standing up and going nuts.


Enough talk, picture time:


The view from our seats.


Green Men!


Nucks fans behind the benches. I talked to couple of them in the hallways later, they were absolutely hammered.



KesLord about to win this PK draw.


Sammy and the twins discussing strategy right before they score the tying goal.


All in all, it was a fun experience despite cheering for the visiting team.  Would've been better if they won in OT or we got to see a shootout (although I dislike them, they seem pretty exciting live).


I think we've become addicted to live hockey and are thinking of going to the Canucks in Detroit game on December 22nd, anyone interested?

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