Archive for March, 2008

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What Happened to Andrej?

March 30, 2008

- Sejkera scored a much-needed overtime goal. Weber got away with a trip in the neutral zone to set up Vanek for the pass to Sejkera. That play could’ve backfired horribly. Weber could’ve gotten called for the trip, Vanek could’ve fucked up the pass and Sejkera could have missed the net. But instead,

- Crunchy played a great game. None of that stupid “puck-handling” that he tried in the last game.

- How have I not noticed Roy-Z’s really blue eyes before? During his post-game interview, they were really, really bright.

- It appears that Max had his ass nailed to the bench for much of the game. He only had 7:36 TOI. Only Kaleta played less ice time, and Mair played only :02 more. Remind me again why Max is playing and Mike Ryan is sitting? For all intents and purposes, it sounds like Ryan’s groin is all better and he’s ready to go.

- Why has there been no Timmy update? Its been a week. I’m convinced now that there’s been a bigger problem and they’re keeping their mouth shut about it until after the season.

- I completely love the big red TV set in the new Goose PSA. Its so awesomely cheesy, like something you would see in a cartoon or on the Muppet Show. I wonder how many people have tried to plug in their sets to a tin can for some power?

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Giving New Meaning to “Two Minutes for Hooking”

March 29, 2008

The NY Daily News is reporting that Sean Avery allegedly has been listed in the little black book of an NYC madam busted this week on prostitution charges. He allegedly was a client of the “mid-range” services offered by this den of iniquity, utilizing a $500 / hour service.

I wonder if this is going to be a strike against Avery in terms of the Rangers re-signing him this year?

I now return you to your regularly scheduled hockey discussion.

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Yee-Haw

March 28, 2008

- Even though I’ve pretty much given up hope for the SS Playoff Chance, it was nice to see that the boys are still fighting. They played a dominant first period, and the Gaustad line had a hell of a shift at the end of the game to tie it up. I heard Goose say on the radio this morning that he was so tired at the end of that shift, his main thought during the celebration was “don’t throw up.”

- I admit that as soon as I heard that the game was going to a shootout / skills competition, my first thought was that the Sabres goose was cooked. (Calm down, Goose, its not you. Go back to your celebratory honking.)  We all know the Sabres have been less than stellar in this even this season – 2-9 before last night’s game – and Miller’s been not so good during them. But they proved me wrong again.

- What was up with the officiating last night? I don’t think Roy should’ve gotten that diving penalty, though as Roby, Ray, Neale, and a popcorn vendor pointed out, Roy does have that reputation around the league. But the refs let multiple scrums go unpenalized, called a too-many men on the ice penalty when the puck accidentally hit a Sabre, and didn’t call the 47 cross checks that Commodore was laying on Goose during the third period.

- Checking in on Sabres Edge this morning, Vogl reported that the “last minute of play in this period” announcement has a sponsor in Ottawa. You’re kidding me, right? Then again, should I really be surprised? Hockey’s an advertising rich environment. But they’re the kind of ads that blend into the background. Its not too in-your-face.

-  Miller was just a fountain of quotes before and after yesterday’s game. While he has set the record for the Sabres for most games played by a goalie, he doesn’t think he’s going to be getting any advice from Marty Brodeur about how to handle it. Its no secret that Miller looks up to Brodeur, but a comment like the following gives me hope that the Crunchster isn’t going to bolt the B-lo next summer.

“If Marty [Brodeur is] around, it’d be fun to pick his brain. But I don’t think he’s going to give too many pointers being an Eastern Conference guy. [I'm] a goalie on a team that’s got young talent and is going to be giving him hassles for a long time.”

Also interesting is that Miller has been named to the league’s competition committee. He will be one of the 10 members weighing in on any potential rule changes. His rationalization for why he got picked is a pretty good one:

I think maybe they picked me because if you look at my gear I’m really not trying to cheat,” said Miller, a thin goalie in an era of oversized equipment. “I analyze a lot and feel like I’m the kind of person who can analyze the situation and talk openly about stuff.

Hmm. I wonder who he could be referring to about the cheating. CoughGiguereCoughLuongocough.

Something tells me that next time I do the Sabres alphabet, A should stand for Analyze. That seems to be his thing.

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Bionic Timmy?

March 27, 2008

This image was the inspiration for today’s entry. As we all know, Timmy went to Vail to have surgery on his hip. Normally, whenever a player has surgery, the next day you hear that they’re resting comfortably / walking around / playing with their tennis balls / visiting a local den of iniquity, etc.

We haven’t heard this about Timmy yet. Surgery was Monday. Today is Thursday. Is Timmy still with us? Are they turning him into Bionic Timmy, and that’s the reason for the lack of an update? When he does return, will his newfound bionic powers allow him to complete a full NHL season without succumbing to multiple injuries?

Your guess is as good as mine.

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Make Your Reservations Now

March 26, 2008

…on the SS “Not Making the Playoffs.”

These brats were up by 2. And gave up five unanswered goals in the third period. Absolutely unacceptable.

Shame the players don’t have the same faith in themselves that the sign holder does.

Last night’s game is the proverbial nail in the coffin. The fork that’s checking for done-ness. Pending spectacular collapses by the rest of the league, the team isn’t making the playoffs.

You know, it will be nice to watch these last six games simply for the joy of hockey. Not because we’re scoreboard watching and need a slide rule, a graphing calculator and an abacus to figure out how these brats are going to make the playoffs. They’re done. I’m going to enjoy the last six games, and enjoy the playoffs. Its been awhile since I’ve watched the playoffs without having a horse in the race.

Maybe that’s what this team needed. The proverbial kick in the bits that missing the playoffs is going to bring. The core group of guys on this team (Vanek, Roy, Stafford, Miller, Goose, etc.) hasn’t had a losing season in their pro careers. They won in Rochester and they’ve won up here these past two years. Losing might be good for them. It builds character.

About the only good thing from last night’s game is that the only Sabres with a positive +/- rating were Weber and Sejkera. And these were the guys that we were worried about.

- Watching last night’s post game show and reading the paper this morning, I’m a little confused as to who is throwing who under the bus. Lindy threw the vets under the bus, Miller threw the non-goalie players under the bus, and Bucky’s throwing Miller under the bus. Just about the only person that’s not been thrown under the bus is Sabretooth. Or is he driving the bus?

- I’m calling it now. 5 for 25 is over and done. Bucky’s new chant is going to be 6 for 40. Mark my words. Bets are now being taken as to how many times this will be said between now and 7/1/09.

- Speaking of contracts, I was reading a message board post that said Schopp and the Bulldog were floating an idea of signing Pommers to a ten year deal for $40 million. Surprisingly enough, this makes sense. This would keep Pommers, Roy, Hecht and Vanek together for the next long while. These are the core guys that have stepped up this year. It might be worth it.

- And just to clear up any misconceptions from the last post, Dany Heatly was not drunk when he was involved in the car crash with Dan Snyder. Yes, he was driving recklessly, but his BAC was at the legal limit. And let’s leave it at that.

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Out of the Mouths of Babes

March 25, 2008

The Buffalo News reports that Steve Bernier’s teammates are giving him the quick rundown of the Buffalo / Ottawa series, since this is his first Ottawa game. Brawls and playoff knockouts aside, one of his teammates summed it up best:

“We hate those [expletive] guys.”

Ha! I want to know who made this comment. Any guesses?

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A Ryan Roundup

March 24, 2008

Ryan Miller was on WGR’s Howard Simon show this morning, talking about his “Saves for Cancer” effort for Carly’s Club at Roswell. Local companies pledge X amount of money per save that he makes, and the money is donated to Roswell through the Steadfast Foundation. His goal is to raise $100,000 this season. So far, they’ve already donated funds to purchase video conferencing equipment, so that kids in the isolation units can talk to and see their friends and family.

Here’s the PSA for Ryan’s program with Roswell. Its really cute.

I’m just amused by the staff’s brief fussing with Ryan’s hair.

He was also asked how the team is responding to their current situation, the wins, the losses, the inconsistency. “With dignity and grace,” was his answer. That sounds like we’re preparing for the Miss Congeniality portion of the competition, not the season ending push. Miller also pointed out that fan and media analysis and opinions really aren’t going to help them do their jobs. They just need to straighten up, buckle down and fly right. Or words to that effect.

They’ve played a lot of games recently, but have also had stretches where they’ve been off for 3-4 days. He said that momentum is a team concept, not an individual concept. If each player goes out and does their jobs, that’s how they’ll build momentum.

For him, its been tougher mentally to play a lot of games. He’s realized that there’s been a couple plays over the past few games that probably weren’t his best, chalked it up to mentally tiredness. I think most fans could point those out very easily for him. But at least its good that he’s recognizing that these long stretches are taxing on him. Maybe next year, the team will get a better back up goalie, so Lindy won’t have to ride Miller like Secretariat for most of the season.

Howard asked him about whether he’s been following the games this weekend that affect the Sabres. Miller reported that he watches enough hockey to know what’s going on, but not every second of every game. He uses the internet for highlight checking. Last night’s Easter dinner was a nice break away from it all.

Shifting gears, there’s no NCAA bracket in the Sabres locker room this year. It fell through the cracks. He missed Michigan State’s games, but they’re in the Sweet 16, so obviously they’re doing something right. Howard joked about Miller picking MSU to win it all. Miller replied that you have to have faith in your alma mater. Crunchy, that’s easy to say when the team is winning. Try being a Canisius alum and then get back to me about having faith. K? Thanks!

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Mish-Mash.

March 23, 2008

Buffalo.com is a great source for the random Sabres photography. Last night was the Sabres Foundation’s “Aces & Blades” fundraiser. There were some photos posted to the site chronicling the events.

After looking at the photos, the following thoughts come to mind:

  1. Why is Crunchy dressed like my 60-year-old high school English teacher?
  2. Whose bright idea was it to put Sabretooth in a suit? Where does one even find mascot sized clothing?
  3. Good call to have Goose and Staffy go tieless and roll up the shirt sleeves. Its one of my favorite looks on a guy.
  4. I love the picture of Goose on page 2. The expression on his face is priceless.
  5. On Timmy with the beer in his hand: my cousin works at the Buffalo airport as a TSA screener. He checked Timmy through the line this morning, and reported that Timmy was a little green around the gills. My aunt made the comment that maybe Timmy was just scared about the surgery. Cousin reported that this was not fear green, this was hungover green.

- Paetsch has been cleared to play Tuesday against Ottawa. To make room, Funk has been sent down to Rochester. Good to see Patches back in the lineup, even if it is only for the remainder of the regular season. (Too much needs to happen at this point for these guys to make the playoffs.)

- Look what I have:

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My Sabres Green Team window cling came in the mail on Saturday. Since the background of the cling was an opaque white and not at all see through, I trimmed out the “Green Team Member” portion and the white background and am now left with the green slug. My neighbors probably wondered what I was doing, since I was contorted into the hatch of my car while trying to apply the cling to the rear window. At least I have something Sabres related on my car now.

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Everything But The Game

March 21, 2008

Since I’m not on speaking terms with the lot of them after tonight’s game, this post is going to be slightly random.

- I really liked the idea behind the feature during the 2nd intermission about the bracelets the Sabres wore to support Camp Good Days. The little girl’s story was inspirational, and Goose was clearly passionate about the subject, but there seriously had to be a better way to frame the shot of Goose holding his bracelet. As much as I like Goose, I did not need to see an extended close up shot of his groinal area. TMI! TMI!

On an aside, its 1038pm. I checked the Sabres auction site to see what the bracelets are going for. The auction for them opened at 7pm. Crunchy’s bracelet is already up to $100. I’m stunned.

- I’ve been getting some pretty wacky search terms lately. In addition to the usual “mvp hockey wives” queiries, I’ve also received:

  • “ryan getzlaf going bald” (your guess is as good as mine)
  • “paul gaustad favorite food” (bet its not foie gras)
  • “ed kilgore fetish” (AAAAAAAHHH! Brain Bleach, please!)
  • “canuck players wives” (all lovely women, I’m sure)
  • “crossbar calling games” (I didn’t know there were games involved with crossbars)

- Look who’s back!

Welcome back, Teppo! Glad to see you on skates again, and all smiley. I’m sure you’ll be happier when you’re cleared to play in a game and when you’re getting paid again.

- Timmy’s toast for the remainder of the season. Monday’s surgery will put the tin man on the shelf until the beginning of next season. I’m glad to see that its getting fixed, because it sounds like he was in a considerable amount of pain, and the “will he play / won’t he play” each night was a bit of a distraction for the rest of the team. But at the same time, reports of him allegedly being out on the town partying it up while he was on the injured list probably didn’t help things either. Hopefully, the surgery will be successful, and the tin man will return all bright and shiny and new for the start of next season.

- SI did an informal poll of MLB, NHL and NBA athletes regarding their choice for president this year. The poll was limited to American citizens that are registered to vote, which narrowed the pool considerably. All athletes that answered were granted anonymity in regards to their answers. What I thought was interesting was that the vast majority of NHL players that answered the poll were for McCain. One of the players made the comment that his wife said he needed to vote for McCain, because he’s a fiscal conservative, and look what tax bracket they’re in. (That’s an “oh dear”, on so many levels.) Only one NHL player was for Clinton. After reading some of the comments all the athletes provided, its just another reminder that athletes are people like you and me, concerned about taxes, healthcare, the war, etc.

SI has also placed every single one of their issues online. Searching through the issues for articles about some of my favorite athletes, I found the following tidbit about Ryan Miller:

Standing bare-chested in the dressing room and wearing only a pair of padded hockey pants held up by suspenders, he calls to mind, in the words of Spartans assistant athletic director John Lewandowski, “a man preparing to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.” His teammates have dubbed him Quadzilla, a sarcastic reference to the less-than-formidable musculature in his legs.

Oh, Crunchy. I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to go over the Falls in a barrel after tonight’s game.

- I about fell off my chair when I saw this at work today:

Humorous Pictures

Have a great Easter weekend, everyone. And if you don’t celebrate Easter, have a great weekend.

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Its a Doodle!

March 21, 2008

How can you not like and respect Jason Pominville after reading this article?

“The little, lovable guy,” teammate and road roommate Paul Gaustad said with a grin. “He’s always got a smile on his face. He’s a good guy, approachable.”

So is a labradoodle.

Those who have known him longest — Gaustad, goaltender Ryan Miller and Pominville have spent the past six seasons together, three in Buffalo and three in Rochester — can see why fans get so attached.

“Being around him for the last six years, he’s a fun kid,” Miller said. “He’s easy to talk to, kind of goofy sometimes, and maybe that’s the reason.”

Why does the trio of Gaustad, Miller and Pominville sound like they could be trouble off the ice?

I do like that Pominville responds to fans questions via his blog, and even answers the unusual ones (Britney? Seriously, people. There was nothing better to ask him about?). He also handles himself well in the locker room with the pre and post game press gaggles.

Its kind of scary to think that he was put on waivers in 2005 and the Sabres almost lost him. If that would’ve happened, then this wouldn’t have happened.

I just remember there being a lot of talk about “who is this Pominville kid” during that playoff run, and now two years later, he’s the captain of the team.

My how things change.

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