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!

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