Archive for April, 2008

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La De Frickin Da

April 30, 2008

- I probably found this way funnier than I should have:

- I’m supremely disappointed that I missed two Crunchy interviews during last night’s Pens game. Not only because I wanted to hear what he had to say, but also because I have been told that he looked quite foxy. And not just foxy for Crunchy, but foxy for a regular guy. Not fair. Stupid American Idol.

- Speaking of American Idol, I adore David Cook. I’m not ashamed to admit that I downloaded his take of “Music of the Night.” It is a beautiful rendition, and he pulls off the high note beautifully. David Archuleta, on the other hand, should be ashamed of his rendition of “Sweet Caroline.” 18,000 drunk people sing that song better than he did.

- Crunchy (who still hasn’t updated his damn blog) was named to the Goalie Equipment Working Group, which will evaluate goalie equipment standards and make reccommendations to the league. Calling it a working group just makes me think of a dog show, and we can all agree that Pretty Ricky, Marty and Crunchy are not dogs. I hope Marty’s ready to have two young whippersnappers kissing his ass during these meetings. I can see both Crunchy and Pretty Ricky asking for advice, and Marty responding along the lines of “You, Ricky, stop being so attractive. And you, Miller, eat a cookie. Have some Sprite. Bulk up. You don’t see Marty getting fatigued after playing 70 games. Try Marty’s training regimen and you’ll see immediate results.”

- Reported in the Buffalo News this morning is that Pat Kane is Jason Pominville’s roomie on Team USA. The Doodle gets to have the little brother he never had.

- Last night’s hockey could have been called “Do or Die Tuesday,” as three teams had the possibility to go up 3-0 in their series. I watched the Pens game until the Pens started losing, and was strongly advised to turn the game off, since last time that happened, the Pens came back to win. And they did it again. Maybe I shouldn’t watch the next game? I’m also glad for the Stars. They’re a scrappy little group, and them winning means Brian Campbell loses. Its all good.

Note to Soupy: $6 million dollar men do not knock out their own teammate. Its bad etiquette. You’re supposed to knock out the guys in the other team’s sweater. You know, the opposite color of yours.

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Letters to Some Nuts

April 29, 2008

Dear Philly Phans -

Please stop booing “O Canada.” Don’t take your dislike for one hockey team out on an entire nation.

Thanks,

SOTC

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Dear Montreal Fans -

Please don’t boo the Star Spangled Banner. You’re better than that.

Thanks,

SOTC

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Dear PJ Stock -

Keep up your wonderfully goofy analysis. You play the role of wacky antagonist so much better than Mr. Donald S. Cherry.

Thanks,

SOTC

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Dear Derian Hatcher -

What the fuck were you thinking last night when you shoved a guy from behind face first into the glass? You were damn lucky that Montreal managed to not score three goals on the five minute power-play that you so charitably gave them. Two is bad enough, but three probably would have gotten you killed by the fans.

Don’t ever fucking do it again. Please don’t take this as a sign that I’m rooting for your team. I’m rooting for hockey, and asshole plays like that make hockey look bad.

SOTC

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Dear Zach Parise -

Please try not to lord that “A” on your Team USA sweater over Stafford and Martin’s heads. They’re bigger than you and probably could stuff you in a garbage can, refrigerator or other close quartered area very easily. Not to mention that Stafford probably has an incriminating photo or two of you somewheres.

Keep that in mind, and enjoy the World Championships.

Regards,

SOTC

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Dear Ryan Miller -

Update your fucking blog already. Inquiring minds want to know who the Sabres backup backup goalie is and whether or not you or the guys want to throttle Bucky Gleason.

The end.

SOTC

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Weekend Wrap-Up

April 28, 2008

- In this morning’s Buffalo News, Pominville reports that Gaustad is recovering from successful sports hernia surgery performed last week in Montreal. (Question: why are all of these sports hernia doctors in different countries? Goose had to go to Montreal to get his fixed and Sergei Zubov went to Germany to get his operated on. Why do we not have any groin specialists in the States?) Recovery time is 2-3 months, so Goose will be back in time for training camp. I love that Pommers is reporting on Goose’s condition and not Goose himself or the team.

And, did anyone else notice how quickly this was reported and taken care of? It’s not like Tim Connolly’s situation, where it took a couple of weeks to report that he was even alive after his surgery. At least we know Goose is alive and honking.

- Also in this morning’s News, it sounds like the Buffalo boys are having quite the happy-fun time at their training camp for Worlds. During an exhibition rout of Sweden, Kane had a goal and an assist, Gerbe scored a goal, Pommers played point on the power play and had an assist, and Staffy was on the top penalty kill unit.

- And the award for best playoff beard so far is going to Brian Campbell. Compared to the pithy efforts put forth from Sid and Danny Briere, Soupy’s beard is something to behold. Now that I’ve praised him, I’m not feeling as bad about rooting for the Stars. Good grief, a Buffalo fan rooting for a Dallas team. Do I have to turn in my Buffalo residency paperwork?

- Can someone please refresh Versus’ talking points? We all know by now that Soupy and JoeTho are bestest-buddies and lifelong pals, that the Kostitsyns in Montreal are brothers, and that Marty and Danny didn’t sign with Montreal last off-season and are now getting booed for it. There’s 5 other teams still playing in the playoffs. Surely there are other stories or random factoids that can be shared.

- I really, really like this picture of Marty Turco

There’s something about the gold of the pads and catching equipment that just pops out against the white and black of the Stars unis.

- And if the Rangers lose this round, we know Jagr has a future in interpretive dance:

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It’s Spring, Sir!

April 26, 2008

Although Spring officially arrived in March, it really hasn’t felt like Spring until this week. The weather has been in the high 60s / low 70s, the windows have been dropped at tiny SOTC manor, and the fresh spring breezes are wafting through the house. (Well, except for right now. Its a little chilly.)

I ventured in the back with my camera today to take photos of some of the flowers coming back to life after their winter slumbers.

Here’s my little rosebush.

Pay no attention to the empty pot next to the rosebush. I haven’t yet decided what flowers I’m going to put in it yet. You can also see the edge of the wishing well on the right. That is also empty, as I can’t decide whether to put flowers or some herbs in it. I’m so happy that the rosebush is coming back. In three years, this is the first rosebush that I had survive the winter. I do need to put some more dirt in the pot, but that’s a minor thing.

These are the cabbage plants. No, they don’t grow cabbage, but that’s just what we’re calling them.The pot looks a little worse for the wear, but the plants are on their third spring and appear to be doing well.

This little hyacinth popping out amongst the irises was one of my favorite finds of the morning.

To be shortly followed by a tulip in the same batch of irises.

And out front, the Asiatic lillies are coming in. These were barely poking through the ground earlier this week.

When these flowers are in bloom, they’re the brightest shades of orange and yellow. If we’re lucky, we’ll get two or three blooms out of these plants before fall comes.

I haven’t started any of the flower planting yet. Its still a little cold yet, and the garden centers scare me a bit. Its just the sheer volume of plants and the crush of people on a weekend morning can be a touch overwhelming. I do want to get another morning glory, since it was so pretty the last time we had one. It was definitely worth the pain in the ass of unwinding it and getting it off the wrought iron porch railings in the fall.

I’ll post some more photos once I’ve done my flower planting.

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Pizza! Pizza!

April 25, 2008

This description from Miller’s playoff blog is cracking me up:

The game was about to start and I had to have a Little Caesar’s pizza and a beer. Been a while since I was a spectator at Joe Louis Arena so I decided to do it right. After I stood through the national anthem with an entire pizza in my hand the game was underway.

So I guess he really is trying to put the weight back on. Pizza and beer will definitely do it. However, someone should tell him that its usually easier to eat before the game starts, that way you’re not trying to juggle food and cheer at the same time. I wonder if anyone in the Detroit crowd recognized the Crunchster? Or did he go incognito? Also, the image of him giving his 19-month-old godson head butts is just too adorable!

And calm down Buffalo fans, just because he went to a game last night at Joe Louis Arena to support a friend who plays for the Avs does not mean that he’s going to sign with Detroit or Colorado when his contract is up.

-I’m really amused by Marc-Andre Fleury entering Mellon Arena in a nice grey suit and a backwards Pirates baseball cap.

- I’m in a goofy mood right now, so please enjoy the following:

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And The Winner Is…

April 24, 2008

The Buffalo News is reporting that Jason Pominville has been nominated for the Lady Byng trophy. The award is given to the player who best exemplifies gentlemanly play (an oxymoron in hockey, perhaps.) The News also reports that Pommers has slowly earned the respect of the players around the league for his playing style, as well as for his willingness to step in front of the media and answer the tough questions.

And, he’s also assisted in the creation of the Pommerdoodle Quote Generator [Patent Pending]. To use the quote generator, just combine any of the following phrases

We need to give 110%

We need to get the bounces to go our way

Sparkles

Its all on us in the room, each of us just needs to dig deep

We’re not giving up

Kittens

Its a tough road ahead, but we’re going to straighten up and fly right

Sunshine

The team is good. We have a core group of guys

Puppies

We just need to play the system

Rainbows

In addition, getting nominated for an award is just another thing we can put on the list of things that Pominville and Gaustad have done together this year. So far, they’ve bet the remote control on the results of a football game and both gotten named to Team USA for the World Championships. And that’s just the stuff we know about.

Congrats to Pommers!

-Today’s Mediapost e-newsletter mentioned that the NHL has renewed its deal with NBC for another year, and also re-upped on the flex scheduling options. And, it looks like ratings have increased (households 11%, M18-49 33%). I know that ratings can be interpreted 37 different ways to Sunday, but at least the ratings are increasing.

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Its A Lull

April 23, 2008

So we’re at the awkward point between playoff series. I guess its called a “night off.” Even though the Sabres aren’t playing, I’ve really been enjoying the hockey so far. I probably would have enjoyed it more if the Caps and the Flames would have won last night, but its playoff hockey; its not always supposed to go the way I want it too.

Lets take a look at the remaining playoff matchups.

Montreal v. Philly.

I’m really rooting for the Canadiens in this series. They pulled off a triumphant victory against the Bruins, but its not going to be any easier against the Flyers. Those sneaky little devils will sneak up on you. And I really do want to see Carey Price do well. The kid had the starting job thrust upon him at the trade deadline, and he’s handled it well so far (minor gaffe in the Boston series aside.)

Prediction: Montreal in six.

Pittsburgh v. New York

I’m rooting for the Pens here. Not only are they a better hockey team, but they’ve got oodles more personality. Even Sid in all his robotic glory is more entertaining that Captain-I-Won-The-Little-League-World-Series Chris Drury.

I’m really hoping that there’s some trash talking going on about Sean Avery’s summer plans to intern at Vogue. If I were his teammates, I’d be worried that he was making his summer plans while they’re still playing hockey!

Prediction: Pens in five.

Colorado v. Detroit

In a battle of two teams I still don’t know a lot about, I’m picking Detroit. If Colorado wins the series, we’ll all be forced to hear about the resurrection of Peter Forsberg’s career and how it helped the Avs. I really don’t want to hear about it.

Prediction: Detroit in six.

Dallas v. San Jose

In another round of “The Battle of the Former Sabres,” I’m rooting for the Stars. I like Stu Barnes and the Stars way more that I like Soupy, CuBro and the Sharks. The Stars seem to have a lot more personality, the Sharks just seem crochety.

Prediction: Stars in seven.

And there are my completely unscientific picks for Round 2. Tune in at the end of this round and see how I did.

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Simple Thoughts

April 22, 2008

- I know some of you have boycotted the Buffalo News because of things their writers have/have not said. I urge you to rescind your boycott for at least this one Jerry Sullivan column. Sullivan completely hits the nail on the head about why playoff hockey in Buffalo is so great, and what we’re missing out on by not having the Sabres in the playoffs. Its a good read, even though most of us are having fun with the current playoff matchups, and are in agreement that missing the playoffs is good for the guys in the long run.

I miss the Sabres flags popping up on cars, like flowers blooming in spring.

I miss playoff beards.

I miss Lindy Ruff talking about his guys needing to play “out of character.”

I miss Ruff talking, period.

I miss Ryan Miller standing at his locker, full of earnest intensity, trying to say all the right things.

Amen.

- Speaking of earnest Miller, he was named to the league’s competition committee yesterday, along with former teammate Brian Campbell. I really, really hope Miller does say something (or has said something) to the Soupster about Soupy’s comments regarding the Buffalo locker room. If you’re still allegedly tight with those guys, you don’t diss them and how they play the game and step up. Soupy’s trying to have his cake and eat it too.

- After reading this article, is anyone else afraid what will happen if Montreal wins the Cup? Will the city still be standing?

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Shark Bait

April 21, 2008

During last night’s Sharks/Flames game, Ron McLean and Kelly Hrudey were harping on Brian Campbell, that he needs to step up to the plate and be effective. The gist was that he couldn’t expect a big money contract after completely disappearing during the playoffs (two points in six games, compared with a point-per-game pace during his 20 games with SJ in the regular season). Thornton and Marleau have stepped up for the Sharks (Marleau especially has paid a physical price), while Soupy is the hockey equivalent of the kid in left field that’s making daisy chains during a little league game.

They especially pointed out that Campbell has yet to figure out how to move around a person when bringing the puck up ice. Soupy is so used to having the freedom to wheel and deal that anyone getting in his way causes his mind to short circuit. The example they used involved Soupy bringing the puck up, and just past center ice, Damond Langkow steps into his path. Soupy can’t process whether to go right or left, and instead dumps the puck off the boards and right to a Calgary player. There were a couple other examples that they used to illustrate this, and they were just from last night’s game alone.

In Buffalo we knew that Soupy can turn into a ball of goo from time to time. Please refer to the month of February if you need some examples. Could Soupy be thinking ahead to what is waiting for him on July 1, and its messing with his head? Going out of the playoffs in Round 1 when you’re supposed to be the best UFA defenseman available is not helping his value.

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A Time It Was

April 20, 2008

Moving away from hockey for a couple of paragraphs…

Today’s Grand Prix of Long Beach marked the official end to the split in American Open-Wheel Racing. After today, there will officially be one series, as Champ Car and the Indy Racing League will be united under one series umbrella. While this is the best thing that could happen for the sport, there’s a lot of hurt feelings among the fans and drivers that we had to be put through 13 years of hell to fix something that probably shouldn’t have been broken to begin with.

I’m going to miss the sound of turbo-charged engines. Then again, not going to a race this year is probably going to help my hearing. Even with earplugs, the cars are loud. I’m going to miss sitting at the track and having completely random conversations with the people next to me. I’m going to miss wandering around the paddock and ambushing drivers for pictures. I’m going to miss watching an all-road course series. (The new series will have a road and oval mix. Its easier, but more dangerous to drive on ovals, where as road/street courses require both right and left turns.)

Its been a heck of a ride.

Thanks for the memories, Champ Car!

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It was in yesterday’s newspaper that the Philly / Washington game on NBC last Sunday recieved a 5 rating in Buffalo. This rating was higher than the nationwide numbers, and higher than the spot market ratings in Philly and Washington.

Betcha the NHL is really wishing that Buffalo made the playoffs, as those numbers would be doubled, if not tripled.

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If Montreal loses tomorrow night, and Calgary loses tonight, CBC will probably want to commit hari kari, as there would be no Canadian team left in the playoffs.

I want Montreal to win, but seeing a #8 seed upset a #1 seed is totally what the playoffs are about.

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Can there be some sort of moratorium on asking Miller about his contract status on his Maxim blog? Considering his agent can’t even speak with the club until July 1, anything now is purely speculative and not likely to be answered. I’m sure he’s tired of being asked about it, and his contract year hasn’t even started yet. Let the poor little Crunchy be!

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