It wasn't much of a hockey game. "Exhibition" game would be a poor description. This was a charity game. For a good cause, for sure, but it had the energy of an old-timers skill's competition. At one point in the third period, Cujo attempted to stick-handle the length of the ice and made it all the way to the opposing blue line before he was checked off the puck. He also made it back to his crease before anybody threatened the open goal. It was that kind of a game. It was all for a good cause.
I didn't recognize most of the "celebrities" or even some of the NHL low-stars like Wojtek Wolski. Mostly it looked like a bunch of half-baked, pudgy, goofballs floating around the ice. Imagine 40 Kyle Wellwoods and you've got it.
There were a few surprises: Alan Thicke was no-show. It was better that way.
Gilmour left early, sometime in the first period. He wore the "C" for the white team, but I didn't see him at all in the 2nd or 3rd or even after the game.
A wonderful surprise was Sir Gary Roberts wearing the red sweater alongside Sundin, also in red and wearing the "C" in place of Luc Robitaille. It was good to see Sir Gary. I thought of Norte.
Stajan was awful. Does that count as a surprise? I know it was a charity game, but he did nothing to be noticed except when he was dumb, lazy, or clumsy. I'm sorry brothers and sisters, but it doesn't look good. Even Spezza was better and Spezza really sucks. The best player was Draper, I thought, and Avery was allright, but here's what a monkey he is: He deliberately shoots the puck at the goalie after the whistle, then whirls around with a smile on his face, ready to punch someone, in a charity game. He was booed even more then Spezza and Spezza really sucks.
I did take pictures, and I'll post them as soon as I can. Too sleepy.
I didn't keep record of the times for any of these events. At one point, my wife asked me if they were even keeping score. I looked up and said "yes", but was genuinely surprised to see that they were actually stopping the clock between plays.
Kypreos and Joe Thornton assist on the opening goal. Didn't catch who scored it.
Roberts fires the puck at Cujo really hard. (He ends up doing this several times throughout the game, each time getting a loud ovation.)
Avery misses the net on a penalty shot. The booing begins.
Sundin assists on Luc Robitaille's goal, red team takes a 3-1 lead.
D.B. Sweeny, who sounds like a Boston Bruin, but isn't, makes it 4-1.
Popcorn and a soda costs $9.25!
Sir Gary Roberts scores from Sundin and Kypreos to make it 6-2.
Tim Robbins, wearing an Obama '08 jersey, scores on a penalty shot, when the referees pulled the net to the left of the unsuspecting goaltender, helping Robbins and team white on their comeback. It wasn't as bad as the Fraser call, but it was close.
Avery makes a nice pass and someone else scores (how often has that happened? Ladies?) and it's 6-4.
Wojtek Wolski scores his second to make it 6-5, Cujo with an assist. Will Wojtek Wolski stwike for a hat-twick. We'll have to wait and see.
Despite really sucking, Spezza ties it, 6-6.
A beautiful pass from Robitaille to smooth skating Jennifer Botterill makes it 7-6, red. A lot of nice features on that line, especially Robitaille, around the eyes.
Spezza ties it again. Stajan is nowhere. Here's what should have happened:
"As Spezza was about to score his second goal of the game late in the third, Stajan catches him with his head down and nails him to the ice. The full impact of his shoulder knocked Spezza's helmet flying, and his consciousness from his body, which lay motionless for some time. What began as a night of charity and goodwill has become Matt Stajan's greatest showcase of his will to succeed and deliver."
The white team goes ahead for the first time with 2:45 remaining, 8-7, on Craig Simpson's goal. The collapse is complete for team red, and its Captain, Sundin, and I start to think about what Ron Wilson said about leadership.
A Too Many Men On The Ice penalty gives red a chance to tie the game. With the extra attacker, Sundin and Draper assist on Derek Roy's goal to make it 8-8. Yawn.
Craig Simpson appears to score for team white with 5 seconds left, but the goal is waived off and disallowed. Total bullshit. (The whole game I'm practically in a panic about Dougie, 'cause he hasn't come out of the dressing room since the 1st.)
Oh no. A Shootout.
Washington's Mike Green scores for team white.
Joe Thornton scores for team red.
Spezza scores but he still really, really sucks.
For red, Derek Roy scores.
For white, funny Tim Robbins scores.
Red: Sweet Jennifer Botterill scores. It's 3-3.
The guy from Blue Rodeo misses.
Here comes D.B. Sweeney: He misses.
Sundin! Out of nowhere! In alone against Joseph...! Misses with the back hand. Anti-climax.
Then somebody for the white team misses.
Then Luc Robitaille misses.
Then someone else misses. Then who cares? Another miss. Shoot-outs suck. They're so boring and retarded. Ah, finally someone scored! Some guy for the white team, doesn't even matter.
And now Joseph makes an easy save and it's over. Joe Bowen, whose comedy stylings kept us entertained throughout the entire evening, announces Cujo as the player of the game. They give him a funny little trophy and everyone crowds around and has their picture taken with it.
And then it's over, and suddenly Sundin is gone. I didn't even see him go or say goodbye. He just vanished. Maybe he was mad about missing on the shootout. Maybe he was concerned about Dougie. Or maybe he just never stopped to consider that this might be the last time he skates off the ice at the ACC because, well, he doesn't need to. It won't be.
Welcome back to Toronto, Mats. One step at a time.
From the Branches: It's Friday!
49 minutes ago