Watching the Buffalo Sabres play anywhere from two to four times per week this season has been...challenging, to say the least. Seeing the worst team in the league (in terms of points, goal differential, or possession numbers - take your pick) for somewhere between six and twelve hours per week is a questionable use of anyone's time, especially with your busy, go-getter lifestyle.
Luckily, there's a neat tool for suffering Sabres fans that will help to cut out some of the misery in your life without cutting out the hockey. NHL Gamecenter Live is the league's online version of the Center Ice package, and it allows users to watch games from around the league on their PCs, smartphones, or TVs with an app for both Xbox 360 and PS3.
You can watch Sabres games live (as long as you live out of the Buffalo market) along with other games from around the league at the same time thanks to the cool splitscreen feature, which looks great if you have a nice, big TV and you're watching through a videogame console on a solid internet connection.
But the best part for Sabres fans comes in the form of GCL's game replays. If you miss a Buffalo game, you can watch the replay 48 hours later, and the replay comes commercial and intermission free, thus taking the game down to a 90 minute experience - much more manageable for your sanity. If you really want to shave the suffering even more, the service also offers condensed replays, which basically only show the shots, saves, goals, and hits, slicing every game down to about a 12-minute experience. It doesn't get much more suffering-free than that.
If you'd rather reminisce about the good old days, Gamecenter offers the ability to go back and watch games from previous seasons - the Sabres offerings are mostly from the late 90's through today, but you can go all the way back to the 1970's to watch the Sabres lose in the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals, if for some reason you need more hockey related pain in your life.
In all seriousness, I've been using the service for two years now, and really enjoy watching out-of-market games, going back and re-watching my favorite Sabres games, or just catching up on highlights from around the league. The video quality has been excellent for me (though obviously it depends on your internet connection), live splitscreen hockey is fantastic, and honestly, there's nothing cooler than watching live hockey on your phone while you're waiting in line at Wegman's.
Has anybody else out there used the Gamecenter service? What's been your experience with it? Let us know in the comments.
The NHL sponsored this post. Wegman's did not.