Archive for October, 2007

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Live Every Shift

October 29, 2007

That’s the NHL’s new tagline for the year, being introduced in two commercials starting today: “Is This the Year” and “I Pledge.” Let’s take a look at both of them.

Is This The Year?

Ryan Miller, Sid, Ovechkin, Vinny LeCavalier, Eric Staal and Wayne Gretzky all make an appearance in this first ad. Its a very good commercial, and Miller does a very adept line reading (much better than his teammates in the Dave & Adam’s commercials). I like the line from Staal about finding this year who is Dad’s favorite. I even like that Ovie speaks in Russian. I’m not sure what Gretzky’s doing in the ad, other than to be there for the sake of being there.

The second commercial in this series promotes the Reebok jerseys, which is comical, considering the problems that the players have been having adjusting to them.

I Pledge

Thank you Crunchy, for pledging that a hole is only a hole if its open. Those are words of wisdom right up there with “books are the foundation of reading.” I’m not blaming you, I’m blaming the copywriter for that bit of triteness. I’m also a sucker for Sid’s line about playing for the logo on the front, not the name on the back. Sid looks good here, and I’m now feeling like a semi-dirty-old-lady for saying that.

The NHL.com article discusses more of the behind the scenes details, including the fact that all of the players were shot helmetless, except for Miller. Well, duh. If you’re going to be filming a goalie stopping a puck, it might not be wise to shoot him helmetless. Especially when he is on a team where the coach might just cut a bitch.

I like the look and feel of these commercials. Its crisp and clean, which is what hockey is all about. I’m interested to see what other ones the NHL is going to roll out, and if they will continue to star these same players.

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A Letter Or Two

October 27, 2007

Dear Goose -

You may be my s,pw. You may be absolutely brilliant in front of the net on the powerplay. You may even be rocking the shiner and scruff look. But alas, we have a problem. You see, you took a stick in the eye the other night, and most of Buffalo (oh, alright, just Sabres fans), was worried about your eyesight. There was quite the ruckus about you wearing a visor when you played, to prevent injuries like this from happening again.

Well sir, imagine my surprise when I turn on the game tonight and find that you are not wearing a visor. You removed it after one game. One game, Goose. I don’t get it. You admitted that your current injury could have been avoided had you been wearing one that night, but yet you remove it.

Goose, if this reckless disregard for your safety (and pretty) continues, we may have to have a talk.

K? Thanks! Bye.
—–

Dear Buffalo Fans -

We won. Stop fucking arguing over whether Patches was offside on the game-winning goal. It doesn’t matter, and it makes us look like ungrateful idiots.

——

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You Can’t Fix Stupid

October 27, 2007

The following is from The Palm Beach Post:

Dolphins LB Channing Crowder, who appears likely to start in the middle Sunday against the Giants with Zach Thomas ailing, says he didn’t know until Tuesday that people in London speak English.

“I couldn’t find London on a map if they didn’t have the names of the countries,” he said. “I swear to God. I don’t know what nothing is. I know Italy looks like a boot. I know London Fletcher. We did a football camp together. So I know him. That’s the closest thing I know to London. He’s black, so I’m sure he’s not from London. I’m sure that’s a coincidental name.”

Oh sweet merciful Jeebus, where do I start with this one? This NFL player is the product of one of our nation’s finest educational institutions (the University of Florida – thank you Google), and he can’t locate London – never mind the United Kingdom – on a map?! What kind of education did he receive? Did he graduate summa cum dumbass?

He doesn’t know that people in London speak English, either. The hell? What did he think they spoke, Flemish? English and England both start with the same four letters. I would think that would be enough of a giveaway.

I also love the fact that he’s sure that London Fletcher isn’t from London because he’s black (like the UK doesn’t have black people or something). For those of you that care, London Fletcher is from Cleveland. Which is in Ohio. You know, that state that you drive through between Pennsylvania and Indiana. I’m sure that Mr. Crowder’s mind would totally be blown if he were to find out that not only is there a London, England; but there’s also a London, Ontario, Canada.

Its statements in the media like this that aggravate the heck out of me. This guy just reinforces the stereotype of the ugly, ignorant American. Its also aggravating knowing that because this dunderhead was a great football player, its highly likely he received a free ride in college, while some other deserving student who could locate the UK on a map was turned away from UF.

Moving on…

The Sabres won last night! They played three decent periods of hockey and pulled out a victory. Couple of things from last night:
- During the review of Staffy’s goal in the third period (to see if Paille hit it with a high stick), Staffy threatened to stomp Paille if Paille did indeed touch the puck. According to Staffy post-game, he’s been down about his lack of goals lately.

- The Mair / Paille / Staffy line played like beasts last night. They consistently were moving their legs and keeping the puck moving. Not bad for the alleged fourth line.

- I also was impressed by the play of Mike Webber. The 19-year old played a smart game (ok, his penalty was maybe not so smart) and played over 10 minutes. Sure those aren’t Soupy or Hank-esque numbers, but not bad for a kid who’s goal going into the game was “don’t screw up.”

- During the closed door meeting after Wednesday’s game, the only two players to speak were Miller and Hank. I would have been more surprised if Miller didn’t speak, but the fact that Hank spoke up (and the shock expressed by the broadcast team about him speaking up) speaks volumes. I would not be surprised to see the C on Hank’s sweater at some point this year.

- I was surprised by the number of Buffalo fans in attendance in Florida. While it wasn’t an HSBC level of noise, it was pretty loud in support of the Sabres.

- One woman they showed in a crowd shot had on a bedazzled Panthers jersey. As if the new sweaters aren’t horrible enough, she had to go and crap it up further by bedazzling it.

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Who Says Seeing’s Important?

October 26, 2007

The Buffalo News is reporting that Goose might not play tonight against Florida, as he still cannot get his contact in his injured eye. He needs to have contacts in to play (sounds like he’s like me, blind as a bat without help). He sheepishly added that a visor has already been added to his helmet, and would have stopped the stick in the eye, had he been wearing one previously. The tone of the article is written to have almost an “I told you so” vibe about it, like MamaGoose or PapaGoose had gotten to him and ripped him a new one, in that way that only parents can do.

It will be interesting tonight to see how the boys come out of the gate against the Panthers. Numerous media outlets are reporting that a 30 minute closed door team meeting was held after the loss against the Hurricanes Wednesday night. The News is also reporting that the team had a 75 minute video review session and a 50 minute practice yesterday. I hope asses were kicked and names taken during the team meeting and video review session. Lately, it seems like for every one step forward, there have been two steps back (and in this case, opposites do not attract).

Here’s my two cents for some of the players:

Max – not always the best idea to skate through three defenders with the puck. Pass it, shoot it, dump it, chase it. Sometimes the dipsey-doodle might not be the best move.

Vanek – relax. Don’t think about the damn contract and the pressure that SabreNation is putting on you. It will come in due time. Though next time you get on a breakaway, shoot the puck. You’ve got a cannon for a shot. Use it.

Toni, Tony, Tone – buy Crunchy a beer. You’ve had two goals go in off of you in the past two games. You owe Crunchy.

Stafford – Stomp someone. You’re a big guy. Use your size to your advantage.

Lindy – Please tell me that during this hard and long practice you made like Herb Brooks during the Herbies scene in Miracle (AGAIN! – tweet!). Sometimes tough love is what’s needed. Yes, this is a young team, but that logic will only get you so far.

The whole team: hit someone! You’ve been ridiculously outhit the past few games. You’re not going to break if you hit someone. Outside of maybe Roy, you’re a big group of guys. Don’t allow other teams to take liberties with your goalie. If they hit Miller, hit back. There’s ways to do it and not get called for a penalty.

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Good News / Bad News

October 24, 2007

Good News: I went to the dentist today. No cavities. :)

Bad News: My dentist sounds like a combination of Afinogenov and Spacek. Very disconcerting.

Good News: I have a new Sabres sweater. It was a birthday gift from the ‘rents. Its a Stafford one, since apparently, it is next to impossible to find a Men’s small blue Gaustad sweater in the CCM style in the Buffalo area.

Bad News: Nothing on this front, although I tripped over the fan cord while Pommerdoodling over the new sweater. :oops:

Good News: There was a Sabres game tonight.

Bad News: How much time ya got?

  • They need to stay the heck out of the penalty box. Granted there were a few penalties the refs shouldn’t have called (Lydman’s delay of game for the bouncing puck going off the glass), but these guys are taking stupid, stupid penalties. Its hard to come back from a deficit when you’re spending time in a 4-on-5 situation. And Andrew Peters, I floved you earlier this week after your smackdown of Janet Snyder, but I may have to take that flove back, after I realized that your TOI was equivalent to your time in the penalty box. Real good, Petey, real good.
  • Tri’s injury. It was a completely innocuous and accidental hit with Brind’Amour, but anytime you hit knee to knee, its not going to end well for someone. Thankfully Spacek’s coming back soon from his injury, because I don’t know if having Hank / Toni and Patches / Sekara as your two defensive pairs (with Soupy floating), is going to do much.
  • Goose’s injury. Judging by the replay I saw he took Commodore’s stick in the eye. I hope nothing serious is wrong, and he’ll be back in the lineup quickly. We need his size and body in front of the net on the powerplay. I remember reading that after Goose took a stick in the face last year, his grandfather the optomotrist (or opthomologist, I can’t remember which) was yelling at him to wear a visor. Maybe now he’ll listen. On a shallow note, why does the pretty need to get hurt in the face? (ETA: This morning’s Snooze is reporting that Goose’s eye is swollen shut and bruised, and that he required 5 stitches. Status is day-to-day.)
  • You know it’s been a long night when Timmy Connolly gets the Carubba Collision award. Timmy Connolly of the softest noggin in sports. Brain does not compute.
  • The Sabres need to seriously consider the Spanish phrase “no moleste, por favor.” (don’t bother me, please). That’s the message the Sabres need to deliver to opponents. If Miller gets molested in front of / behind / near the net, you smack the snot out of Chester the Molester. You don’t let them keep on a whacking. Do we need to have a good touch, bad touch lecture with the team? Be tough. Stand up for Miller, who for the past few games has done everything but stand on his head and burp the alphabet for this team.
  • I almost wonder if the schadenfuede that we are exhibiting regarding the Rangers suckitude is coming back to bite us regarding the Sabres (hopefully temporary) suckitude?
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What the Mascot Did

October 24, 2007

I’m a sucker for totally random videos like these.

Sabretooth’s Summer Vacation

Then again, I’m usually a sucker for wacky mascot antics.

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Living It Up at the Hotel Teammate

October 22, 2007

There seems to be a trend in hockey these days where young, just-drafted players move into a wiser (theoretically) and older teammate’s house, instead of getting an apartment / house of their own. Probably the biggest examples of this phenomenon occur in Pittsburgh. Its pretty well-known that Sid lives in Lemieux’s basement, Staal lives with Mark Recchi, and Malkin lives with Sergei Gonchar. I’ve also heard that Pat Kane has moved in with Kevyn Adams in Chicago (one Buffalo boy looking out for another), and this article from ESPN says that Rob Blake has Jack Johnson crashing at Casa di Blake.

I think its a good thing these players are doing. In today’s NHL, younger and younger players are hitting the league, and with increasingly bigger contracts. With all of the temptation that these kids could face, I’d rather they be safe and sound under an older guy’s roof, rather than show up on “Outside the Lines – Where Are They Now”10 years from now, after they’ve crashed out of the league due to too much puckbunnies and blow. I also have to give credit to the older players for taking in these kids. Its got to be an adjustment, having an 18-19 year-old kid under your roof, when previously you may only have been dealing with pre-teens or toddlers. Its an interesting trend, and one that I really wouldn’t mind seeing show up in other pro leagues.

Moving on, this article in the Buffalo News has me intrigued. I like the fact that the guys are frustrated with how they’ve been playing recently. I like the fact that they’re not happy, and the fire is burning within them; so much so that they feel the need to throw things in the locker room. However, I do have to ask that if they are making locker room projectiles, could they please avoid the vicinity of Timmy’s head? Thanks!

Hopefully Lindy will channel that competitive fire onto the ice.

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Friday Night Follies – Columbus v. Buffalo

October 19, 2007

Couple of things from tonight’s Sabres / CBJ’s game.

- RJ made it a whole 1:11 into the game before shedding his Coaches v. Cancer tie. Considering RJ never wears a tie, making it that far is quite the accomplishment. My mother observed that all of the Sabres coaches had on dark suits as well. Combined with the matching ties, she said they looked like they escaped from some boys boarding school.

- Harry Neale has given me my new favorite quote: being a hockey coach is like being a jackass in a hailstorm: you have no choice but to stand around and take it. I will work a version of this quote into my real life, since sadly, sometimes being a media planner works the same way, especially this time of year.

- The first intermission feature was all about Yo-Yo. His teammates weighed in with their opinions, and they all came to the conclusion that he’s quiet and likes movies. Goose has made it his personal goal to make Hecht (or Yokes, as Goose called him) smile in the mornings, as Yo-Yo’s not a morning person. Goose also shared the story about the last movie they watched on a plane together: Saw 3. They only made it about 5 minutes before Goose was clutching Yo-Yo’s arm, and they had to switch to another movie because they couldn’t handle it.

- Rayzor pointed out that Peca / Foote / Federov were directing traffic on the Columbus bench tonight. While he did say that if Hitchcock didn’t approve, it wouldn’t be happening; it sounds like this could be something that innocently starts out as veterans being leaders, but then turns into a veterans v. coaches rebellion. Maybe Hitchy could be an entry into the next coach fired derby?

- Miller played a decent game tonight. I really thought the team would rally after he stopped Nash on the penalty shot (and I’m surprised Tallinder did not get called for slamming his stick on the ice when the shot was called). Usually, a stop on a penalty shot rallies a team, but not this time.

- Miller also had two unintentionally funny moments tonight. The first occurred when the puck headed into the Sabres zone in the middle of the second period. The puck is chilling out behind the net, and there’s a good 5-7 second lapse before anyone in blue shows up to claim the puck, as they were in the middle of a line change. The CBJ’s get the puck and put it on net. Miller grabs the puck, and the camera zooms in on him, as he’s yelling, and shaking his head. I can’t read lips through a goalie mask, but the message his non-verbal communication was giving out was something along the lines of “do I have to do fucking everything myself?”

- The second unintentionally funny moment occurred when Miller drew the tripping penalty. He was whacked gently in the back of the calves. There was this two second pause, and then Miller wobbled like a little weeble, and fell down, throwing his arms up in the air. I wonder if he is taking a class at the Derek Roy School of OverActing and Embellishment?

Speaking of that school, I think Goose may be a pupil as well. When he was called for interference in the third period, he immediately put this angelic look on his face. It was a total “who me?” moment. Very Derek Roy.

- I want to end this post on an upbeat note. The broadcast did reveal the new Sabres team photo. Following previous year’s photos, this year’s is in the lets-all-line-up-along-the-bench-in various-states-of-undress style. Its a very nice photo, although Crunchy’s hair is kind of funky, Timmy’s head is really shiny, and Thiebault’s goalie gear is very bright. This photo is definitely on the shopping list for the game I go to in November.

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Make New Friends

October 19, 2007

One of the great things about the internet is the ability to bring people together that would normally have never met. I’ve become friends with people from across the country because of a little message board devoted to Champcar racing called OffCamber. Not only do these people know their stuff about racing, but they also have become my go-to source about beer, baseball, technology problems and the occasional entertainment review.

I’ve only met one person offline from OffCamber. It was at an Indians game in Cleveland, and we had a good time.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Yesterday, I met up with the amazing Kate, Pookie and Schnookie to watch hockey, make fun of hockey players and to my surprise, cook some organic delights from the Lexington Co-Op. (Note to self, don’t ever buy Moochi unless you feel the need to re-tile your bathroom or create a backsplash mosaic in your kitchen. Moochi is this organic soy stuff that comes in both sweet and savory flavors and is supposed to – I think – be like a puffed cracker or cookie product. I call false advertising on that one.)

We watched the Devils / Flyers game, with the added highlight of the Rangers getting their ass handed to them by the formerly 0-6 Thrashers. (That’s got to sting in NY this morning). Schnookie predicted at the start of the night that the score would be 4-0 Flyers, since Brodeur was playing back-to-back nights on a road trip. At the end of the night, she was right, unfortunately. (I had to use the last name to refer to the Devils goalie, since I don’t want a repeat performance of the one-true-Marty speech). Its not for a lack of effort on the Devils part, it just wasn’t their night. Or, its all part of the team’s super-secret plan to get Sutter fired.

This game was also my first introduction to Doc Emrick outside of the national broadcasts, and he’s so much better doing the Devils games. Its a lot better when he’s not playing to the lowest common denominator in the audience. I also enjoyed the color commentating of Chico, as he has a great knack for stating the obvious or saying the most random things (which did a lot to enliven up the Devils loss).

We also had a lot of really good laughs about Drew Stafford’s musical capabilities. Please refer to the Willful Caboose for a recap of those abilities. I’m still traumatized by the leopard print pants and bad wig to say anything further. I currently have his new musical project playing, and its um…interesting. I may not be able to listen to Jack Johnson (musician, not hockey player) for awhile, however.
After leaving Katebits Manor, I’m not ashamed to admit that I made a detour on my way home to drive past the alleged CrunchyManor and the alleged GooseManor. Granted, it was dark, but CrunchyManor looked kind of creepy. I may have to revisit this in the daytime to make a further determination.

On an unrelated note, Senators forward Nick Foligno scored his first NHL goal last night. His goalie celebration was a mimic of his father Mike’s celebration: a straight-up jump into the air. It was a great way to honor his father, and way cool that Sportscenter picked up on his and montaged it with his father’s highlights.

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Out and About In the Media

October 18, 2007

There’s been a few interesting articles popping up in the media lately. I’ll start with the warm and fuzzy one and then work my way up to the “I want to gouge my eyes out with a spork” ones.

TSN’s reporting that Vinny LeCavalier is donating $3 million US to fund a cancer center at a newly built children’s hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. What a classy gesture. I love reading stories like these in the press, rather than stories about athletes getting arrested or fathering their 7th child with the 6th woman and not paying child support. Note to the media: warm and fuzzy stories on occasion are good.

The Buffalo News is reporting this morning that the Bills would like to play some pre-season or regular season games in Toronto. May I give a hearty “WTF Ralph?!” to this idea? We are the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo. Not Buffalo, Toronto and Surrounding Area Bills. We are the only team that currently plays its games in NY State (sorry, Jets and Giants. Its all about location, location, location.) Training camp is already held in Rochester, as the team wanted to make them a regional attraction and grow the Rochester fan base. Moving a game or two to Toronto is going to do nothing more than start the rumors flying that when Ralph dies, the team is moving to Toronto.

And can the media please not create a quarterback controversy between Trent Edwards and JP Losman? Whomever is playing the best should have the job. If the coaching staff thinks that JP is rusty and needs to sit out another week, then so be it. They’re the guys in the room and on the field. The media and the fans are not. Let Edwards play and see what happens. The Bills are in a pretty good situation, in that no matter who starts, they have a competent back up ready to go.

Now on to the spork gouging.

Bucky Gleason wrote the Buffalo News’ writeup of the Hecht signing. Of course, the Buckster forgot that it was a news article and not a column, and again had to twist the knife of not signing Briere and Drury in his opening graphs. Are we really going to keep hearing about this off-season in every column he wrtes? Regier could have a cure for cancer figured out, but it wouldn’t matter to Bucky, since Briere and Drury weren’t re-signed. Sigh. He reminds me of Bucci in his single-minded focus.

And speaking of Bucci, for all he touts his new book “Jonesy,” its a little pithy. I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday, and they had it on the display table at the front of the store. Its thin, with big font, and for all he carries on, his name’s in tiny font on the cover. Not exactly what I was expecting after all the pimping in his columns.

And finally, the cover of yesterday’s Toronto Sun is a little harsh. I feel bad for McCabe (just a little).

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