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Pittsburgh and other miscellany

June 28, 2012

  • Love border guards who are hockey fans. On our way into the US the Sabres fan guard chatted with us about having to speak French if you want to coach the Montreal Canadiens and made sure there were no Leafs fans in my car.
  • Speaking of road trips, sugar-free Red Bull tastes like what I imagine toilet tastes like.
  • Pittsburgh is now at the top of my list of cities that are less awful than everybody tells you they are. It’s actually quite beautiful in an incredibly frumpy way.
  • Please tattoo the following sentence into your brain: Pittsburgh is the absolute worst city in the world for getting a cab.
  • Did not go to a game at PNC Park but did go to see it, and yes, it is absolutely gorgeous.
  • So right, the draft. I’d never been before. I went because I’d wanted to experience it at least once, and to be honest, I much preferred it to watching on TV. You’d think it’d be pretty boring, being in there with no commentary or interviews with prospects but the flipside to that is there is no commentary and there are no interviews with prospects. The absence of talking heads and cliché questions was a huge case of addition by subtraction. I looked a couple of things up on my phone and asked my friend about a couple of kids. No Pierre necessary.
  • Booing the Flyers was awful, yes, especially since in some cases it looked like the prospects couldn’t even hear their own names being called, but I was pretty amazed at how much vitriol was directed towards the Leafs. Not so much in the form of booing, but rather in the form of bad jokes and recycled opinions. All over the place. Since when do random fans of successful teams that aren’t in the division care that much about the Leafs?
  • No, really, Pittsburgh is awful for getting a cab. Plan accordingly.
  • The consensus seems to be that Montreal owned this draft. The stats geeks think so and the dinosaurs think so and that last season was really soul-crushing so let’s all let ourselves think so,  too, cool?
  • If the Habs don’t keep throwing money at Trevor Timmins forever they’re doing it wrong.
  • Those of you who suggested I go away on an adventure to get myself out of my whiny, self-indulgent, self-loathy funk were right.  I’m exhausted but I feel so much better about myself than I did a week ago.
  • Thank you Pittsburgh, road trip buddies, friends, and everyone I met over the weekend. I consider every single person I met a highlight and every blogger/media friend I didn’t get to see a regret. I would love to go to the draft again next year but there is a fairly decent chance I might be in Alaska then. We’ll see.
  • On to other stuff: WHAT THE HELL IS CALGARY DOING?
  • I get why he was a fan favourite, and I loved him too (he’s from my neighbourhood and went to the same university I went to) but the crying over Matt Darche has got to stop. We can all thank him for his hard work and move on to the next guy in the long line of “that guy”s who will replace him over the years. Although, as Mitch Melnick points out, let’s not forget he wasn’t the one who played himself over Erik Cole, so the ‘good riddance’ crowd can move on, too.
  • The trip had me thinking I really should write more posts on here. Not sure what yet, exactly¸ but I think maybe more disciplined posts could work. If there’s anything you’d like to see on here, you can always email me at
2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2012 7:47 am

    Jemp and I, as former Trib editors and fans of the Redmen hockey team before they evolved into national contenders, have fond memories of Darche’s final season in the Red and White. If memory serves me correctly (and if I wasn’t still scared of Earl the Pearl I would fact-check this), Darche played in the 2000 CIAU playoffs on an injured knee. I still remember his university playoff career coming to an end on UQTR ice. (P.S. it’s a long bus ride back from Trois-Rivières when your team doesn’t win).

    I am sure we thought Darche’s playing career was over, or at least the portion of his career where anyone actually cared beyond his family, Earl the Pearl and the local fans of whatever small-town European club team he signed with. However, he caught on with the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League. The same determination demonstrated in that final playoff game eventually earned him a spot in the NHL with several different teams and eventually Les Glorieux.

    I have always had a soft spot for Darche. Finally, someone who emerged from the Canadian university hockey system, the lesser cousin to the American college game and the last chance at competitive hockey for major junior players who couldn’t jump to the next level. Plus, whenever Darche flashed briefly on the TV screen (maybe not briefly enough for Habs fans last year–love you Jacques Martin!!!), I could say I saw him play at McConnell Arena.

    As a passing Habs fan, though, I could afford to be more sentimental about the French Canadian and former Redmen making good on the local team. I texted James yesterday when the news broke of the Canadiens cutting Darche’s loose.

    “I guess the Habs want to win this year,” was all he said.

  2. June 30, 2012 12:08 pm

    Pittsburghers don’t take cabs, we walk. Out of towners only take them to the airport. That’s why you can’t get one.

    Frumpily beautiful is a fabulous description of the ‘Burgh, thank you. It makes me nuts when people talk smack about my city when they clearly have never been here and have no idea what they’re talking about. I appreciate your kind words.

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