Archive for October, 2011

Caveat Edler

Posted in Canucks-related, Flyers-related on October 15, 2011 by wechslerh66

Words of warning: do NOT buy Flyers tickets from a sixtysomething, somewhat lame black scalper outside the Wells Fargo Center named Eddie. Especially (on the off chance you’re dumb enough to be tempted to– I was, and did) do not buy e-tickets.

Being a Canucks fan, a Flyers fan, a law student with a rare off night, and too cheap for StubHub (minimum $39 plus lots of extras), I went to Broad Street on Wednesday night for the Flyers’ home opener vs. Vancouver. I bought one of two $91 e-tickets from Eddie for $30, who originally quoted me $50, then $40 as I walked away– which was dumb to begin with, because:

a. he would have taken $25 (my original counteroffer), but I only had two twenties and two tens on me, and
b. it was a fucking e-ticket.

Of course, when the Wells Fargo ticket taker went to scan it, it had already been scanned and was therefore defective, meaning it was either a duplicate copy or had been cancelled by the owner (according to an apparently unrelated scalper I was talking to on the subway afterwards, when a season ticket holder is burned by a scalper he sells to, he can call the Flyers and cancel the tickets so they won’t work, meaning everyone loses).†

†My theory is that scalper #2 was just defending Eddie as a fellow scalper, and Eddie was just an old lame scalper with a bunch of defective tickets.

I tracked Eddie down at the opposite end of the Wells Fargo Center. What’s hilarious is, he didn’t recognize me and actually tried to sell me the other e-ticket.

Me: You really don’t want to do that.
Eddie: Hunh?
Me: Recognize this? (holds up defective e-ticket #1)
Eddie: Awwww, shit—

Scalpers never offer refunds, but after blaming his supplier and seeming disingenuously befuddled, Eddie tore up the other ticket and gave it to me when I asked.

Scalping is depressing work. Scalpers– or at least the lower-level ones who work the streets– are mostly older, unhealthy (COPD? diabetes?), unwealthy black men outdoors in crappy weather (we were all eventually drenched on Wednesday night) who rely on mostly young, conspicuously wealthy white males who may want something for nothing, but can always come up with something.

We’re all desperate, true, but some of us are more desperate than others. Now I’m out thirty bucks. Eddie’s out a defective e-ticket. Sometimes, no one wins. Unless, of course, you’re the Flyers, who beat the Canucks, 5-4; who are now 3-0 for the 11th time in 44 seasons; and who have someone’s, if not someone else’s, $91. Hell, Blair Betts is even back in town.


Unwitting NHL 2011-2012 season preview

Posted in Canucks-related, Flyers-related on October 9, 2011 by wechslerh66

I was trying to post this as a comment over at Driving Play, but for whatever reason the comments don’t seem to be working, so I’m taking full ownership of it, since it’s obviously hockey season around here now:

Below are my playoff picks for the upcoming season. As a Canucks & Flyers fan I’ll be bummed pretty quickly, but it actually beats being outscored 23-8 in a seven game series, shut out twice, and wrapping up with your city burning down.

Eastern Conference

Caps over Sabres in 7
Bruins over Flyers in 5
NYR over NJD in 6
Pittsburgh over Montreal in 4

Caps over NYR in 6
Pittsburgh over Bruins in 7

Pittsburgh over Caps in 6

Tempted to have either the Flyers or Sabres or both out of the playoffs and Carolina in, but couldn’t quite justify it, nor could I justify the Caps not beating/exhausting themselves in the playoffs or being out-Crosbied (or at least the Pens out-Crosbying some otherwise questionable goaltending). I also wanted to rank Florida higher (“totally mediocre” seems like it should be better than next-to-next-to-last in the East), but honestly don’t see them better than any of the other non-playoff teams without even looking beyond goaltending (Roloson, Ward, Reimer, Anderson all > Theodore/Clemmensen/handfuls of Markstrom). The Devils picked a good season to self-destruct to end up with Larsson in the draft (see also: San Antonio Spurs, 1996-97– I don’t think Larsson will quite be the Tim Duncan of the NHL, but he can at least be Tyler Myers).

Western Conference
St. Louis

Chicago over Anaheim in 4
Sharks over Calgary in 6
Vancouver over Nashville in 7
Detroit over LA in 6

Chicago over Detroit in 5
Sharks over Vancouver in 6

Sharks over Chicago in 7

Tempted to go with the Blackhawks but the Sharks have to reach the finals one of these years, right? (Even those disappointing Senator teams of the ‘oughts finally did in 2007, and Antti Niemi is nothing if not Finnish for “Ray Emery.”)

Stanley Cup
Pittsburgh over San Jose in 5

Sidney Crosby pulls a 2002 Forsberg in the playoffs, but his team actually wins.

Hart: Toews
Art Ross: Sedin (more specifically, Henrik), otherwise Toews, otherwise Ovechkin
Vezina: Carey Price– everyone else is due for regression or a total wild card/unknown (e.g. Corey Crawford) to me; Craig Anderson may be my #2 pick and the whole-world-is-watching Ilya Bryzgalov even has the opportunity to crack the top 3 with a few breaks
Norris: Weber
Calder: Larsson
Selke: Kesler not healthy + Datsyuk older & already won a few + everyone focused on the Kings offseason = Richards, otherwise Datsyuk
Adams: whoever exceeds expectations and isn’t a Sutter (i.e. either Pete DeBoer or Jacques Martin), otherwise Quenneville– I’ll go with DeBoer
Lady Byng: who cares– Datsyuk, I guess, when he doesn’t win the Selke
Conn Smythe: Crosby (you were expecting Boris Valabik?)