Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Late Arrival That Became 'LaLame'
It is 5:00pm here in Southern California and I had purchased tickets to see the Buffalo Sabres play at the Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks. I have a 18 mile ride home and then a 20 minute ride to the arena...piece of cake?
Heavy rain and some floods soaked the Long Beach area causing the commute from hell home. And I got home at 640pm, quickly put on jeans and the Sabres jersey, and proceeded to the Honda Center.
I was monitoring the game on the Blackberry as I took the I-5 South to Anaheim.
1-0 Ducks as I exit onto Katella Ave heading to the Honda Center.
2-0 Ducks, entering parking area, great...
3-0 Ducks, parked and walking to the arena...I say 'are you serious?!'
4-0 Ducks, as my wife and I get something to eat, and then I say 'Nah, not hungry'
I look at the screen and who do I see laying on his pack after allowing another goal...well well, what a surprise, it was none other then Patrick Lalime! I then said 'ready to go home now?"
Well after I saw Ryan Miller come into the game with a look on his face as if 'Thanks Lalime for the off-night' I figured hey lets sit and watch the rest of the game. And Miller kept the Sabres in the game after 1, still down 4-0.
The Sabres cam out strong in the 2nd period, scoring 2 goals in 51 seconds to make the score 4-2. Then at the 6"13 mark, Steve Montador made a 'teary' eyed return to Anaheim by notching his 3rd goal of the season to make it 4-3, and the Ducks fans were stunned and I was suddenly feeling it. Then soon after that, Tomas Vanek had a breakaway and was stoned by Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who despite giving up 4 goals, played a solid game for the Ducks.
As the 3rd period started, the Sabres were buzzing, and even Ducks fans next to me had a feeling the Sabres would tie the game. Then with about 6 minutes to go, Jason Pominville inexplicably passed the puck in the middle of the ice in his own zone right to Troy Brodie (who? exactly!) and he beat Miller clean to give the Ducks a 5-3 lead. But give the Sabres credit, as they kept fighting to the end, and Jochen Hecht scored late for the Sabres to make it 5-4, but there was just not enough time to pull off a great comeback.
As the stars of the game were announced I could not stop wondering: Why not give Patrick Lalime the 1st star for the Ducks? It would have been a perfect fit!
The Buffalo Sabres still sit 2nd in the Eastern Conference with 66 points, and head up north a bit to play the Los Angeles Kings Thursday Night at the Staples Center, a game which I will also attend live.
Let's hope the traffic and Lalime, take a back seat.