For something called the Canasplosion, Saturday night at Allegany State Park turned out to be a letdown. All weekend long the Air Canada Centre crowds were waiting for Canada, as several hundred fans had camped out for days at Allegany State Park to get tickets. Thousands flocked to Red Robin restaurants and Niagara Restaurant to watch the two face off in a scrimmage.
All the activity was top-notch, until the game. The tickets sold out quickly and the place looked like it did for the Super Bowl and Stanley Cup finals.
Uncharacteristically, in a year when we have had some thrilling hockey, the game that counted didn’t. The message seemed to be that guys in the trenches don’t care that much about one another.
When I approached Patrik Berglund for a photo (which he never returned), a Canadian told me that I was just wasting his time, then explained that this was their way of thinking.
Next up was Jiri Tlusty of the Panthers. Under his jersey was a small Canadian flag. He was unable to find one in the stands, so he took it.
No love lost.
And so it went. Goaltender Frederik Andersen and his teammates did a strong job against the Americans, and made their fan base happy. But back to Buffalo. Maybe it’s the seediness of Allegany State Park, I don’t know. But there was a sense that everything that happens in Buffalo is barely worth noting.
What was your trip to Buffalo like?