Archive for October, 2009

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Sabres v. Islanders – 10.31.09

October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween, everyone! Here’s hoping your holiday is a tad bit better than the Sabres’ holiday. According to a tweet from a player whose name rhymes with Blue Bafford, the swine (or H1Goose1) has canceled the Sabres Halloween party.

As to why I am not out frolicking on Halloween, I don’t feel the need to dress like a slutty [insert occupation name] and get hammered, hammered, hammered. But that’s just me. Go forth and sluttily drink and frolic if that’s what floats your boat. I’m going to sit home and relax. It’s been a crazy week at work and I want a lie in night. Also, my mother has now set every single clock in the house to account for daylight savings time, so I have to keep looking at my laptop to know what time it actually is! (Also, while you’re changing your clocks, remember to change the batteries in your smoke detector and also show your car some love by changing your wiper blades.)

First Period

- Per Vogl’s game blog, Crunchy will be starting against Marty tonight. Kaleta and Goose stayed at home due to flu. Poor little buttons. Honk blurgh honk, indeed. At least Kaleta has the benefit of being able to have his mommy tend to him when he’s sick, because really, nothing makes sickness more tolerable than one’s mommy.

- Who the heck dressed Lindy tonight? He’s wearing a diagonal striped tie, tablecloth plaid shirt and pinstriped suit. It’s not even matched in that it’s kind of mismatched but still looks put together way. It’s just wrong.

- There’s a ton of people at the Nassau Coliseum dressed as empty seats tonight. An empty seat costume might be pretty cool, but I’m sure as a lady, I’d be expected to dress as a slutty empty seat.

- I like that the NYC area games are shown in HD, but the overlaying of RJ and Harry makes them sound like they’re so disconnected from the game action. There’s little to no ambient arena noise, not to mention there’s a couple difficulties in modulating the volume. Right now, RJ and Harry are at a whisper level on the HD channel; while the SD channel features them shouting at me. Happy medium, folks. Happy medium.

- There’s a small kerfluffle and Jackman and Rivet do some typical male posturing that leads to Jackman dropping his gloves and both of the children getting sent away for two minutes for roughing.

- Any of you watching NHL Network (especially in HD), please do not adjust your sets. Those horizontally striped wonders are in fact the Montreal Canadiens jerseys.

- RJ mixes up Miller and Biron after Marty makes an absolutely fantastic save. That’s a somewhat more understandable mixup than the usual ones made in the booth like mixing up Gaustad/Mair/Vanek/Pommers.

- Myers gives up the puck in the Islanders zone, which leads to Park making the game 1-0, Islanders. Miller had almost no chance on that one. Everyone – fans and Sabres included – just needs to take a deep breath and relax.

Second Period

- The children in my neighborhood must have all failed “Halloween Safety 101.” SOTC Estates is not giving away Halloween candy (and has not for the past couple years) because the children in this neighborhood are larger than the average hockey player. As a result, no porch or side lights are on. As we all know, you don’t trick or treat at houses that don’t have their lights on. We’ve already had several ring the doorbell and pound on the door, and the last group was a small herd of elephants that added banging on our front window to the trick or treating repertoire.

- Jackman was looking for someone to fight earlier and he found someone in Montador.  It’s an entertaining – if slightly wandering fight, as the two started out at just inside the blue line and ended up in the corner. The replay shows that Montador went looking for Jackman. I guess Montador felt he needed to feed the beast and/or try and spark his teammates into doing something.

- Patches just got hacked by Tambellini in front of the net and drops to a near fetal position in front of Miller. He quickly gets up and ends up on the bench. A quick glance to the bench shows Patches wincing in some pretty severe pain (probable internal monologue: fuckshitowwwwwfuckkkkkkkkkk) and bleeding on the wrist from where he was hit.

- Tambellini gets out of the penalty box and from about a foot away shoves the puck in the miniscule inch and a half between Miller’s pad and the post. 2-0, Islanders.

- I’ve missed seeing the Sabres Green Team commercials. The newer ones are so much “classier” than the original ones. And by classier, I mean better production values. I guess we trade the “humor” (Gaustad’s acting skills and facial expressions) for the “class.”

- I flip over to the World Series because the cast from Glee is supposed to sing the National Anthem tonight (yes, I’m a Gleek). I land right in the middle of a commercial for the show, where the cast is singing The Rolling Stones, and singing it well. I can’t wait for that show to come back.

- After letting in his third goal, Crunchy gets pulled. And Crunchy is pissed, since the three goals tonight aren’t all his fault. What’s interesting is that at Nassau Coliseum the backup goalie for the visiting team is relegated to a seat in the tunnel to the locker room, away from the bench. So pissed off Crunchy gets to stew in his own juices. It would almost be better if he were allowed to sit on the bench and be a disgruntled grump right in front of his teammates. And now, as I’m writing this rant, it’s 4-0, Islanders. Lalime let one in.

- Paetsch appears to be all better as he’s involved in a ruckus in front of the net. From the way he crumpled to the ice earlier, I really thought his wrist/arm was broken.

- I don’t know why I’m getting so frustrated with these guys. This is game eleven. One major fustercluck out of eleven games played really isn’t that bad. If they continue that pace, they’d have a pretty decent record by the end of the season. Then again, the final two periods of last night’s game were kind of clunkers, but those at least ended up working in the Sabres favor.

- Timmy tries to do some sort of behind the back pass that doesn’t work. When all is said and done, Stafford is lumbering back to the bench in pain and the Sabres still haven’t scored.

Third Period

- I’ve started knitting for the remainder of this game. I need to do something enjoyable, since it seems watching the Sabres isn’t enjoyable tonight.

- The baseball game looks to be finally getting underway and the Glee kids completely rocked the National Anthem. As Randy Jackson of AI would say, those kids can blow!

- Staffy takes a stick to the face and the Sabres are on the power play. A goal wouldn’t be too much to ask for, right?

- I realized earlier today that it’s the 10th anniversary of Greg Moore’s death during the CART race at California Speedway. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. Where does the time go? Greg was a talented driver who was just on the cusp of something big. And he was a participant in probably one of the best photos to ever come out of the CART era.

gregjuanYes, he is doing exactly what you think he’s doing.

- Why does Marty have a stork carrying a baby on the back of his mask?

- Rivet and Sutton are now throwing punches quite intently at each other. Rivet wins the fight on punches landed, but he’s in some sort of snit. Is he trying to lead by example, breathe some life back into this team?

- Tambellini gets the hat trick as he pokes a loose puck in the crease past a sprawling Lalime. It’s a power play goal, as Rivet is off for an extra two minutes due to his extracurricular activities with Sutton.

- Oh joy. The Sabres play the Islanders again on Wednesday in Buffalo.

- Do the Islanders have any idea when DiPietro will be able to play hockey again?

- Why do the Islanders Ice Girls look like rejects from a bad version of Annie? Orange velvet dresses and orange wigs do not do those girls any favors.

- I think they’ll be checking Doug Weight’s belfry for any bats as he trips over Lalime’s hand while failing to execute a breakaway. And because tonight’s game isn’t already enough of a clusterfuck – and to add insult to illness – the ref thinks that the Sabres skater tripped Weight on the breakaway and not Lalime. The goalie stops Weight, but Harry Neale is more upset that it looked like the trainer came out to check on Weight while he was prone on the ice, which meant that Weight has to sit out a shift, which meant he theoretically should not have been able to take the penalty shot. However, it’s all just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, as the game mercifully comes to an end.

 

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Sabres v. Devils – 10.28.09

October 28, 2009

First Period

- I’m happy the game is going to be in HD tonight, but this transition from the dulcet tones of Doc and Chico Resch to the engaging happiness of RJ and Harry is sorely behind schedule tonight. (In other news, the residents of SOtC estate had a rousing discussion about the horribly hilarity that is Chico’s rug.) Doc and Chico managed a very nice handoff to RJ and Harry, no doubt making nervous Sabres fans quickly end their irate calls to Time Warner.

- For the other side of tonight’s game coverage, go visit Interchangeable Parts.

- Clarke MacArthur – aka Grizz, Cory Matthews or Screech (which, ew) – scores to make it 1-0, Sabres.

- The Sabres have had two odd man rushes, but neither one ends up with the puck behind Marty. Stafford ends up crashing into the net, and the Vanek rush ends up with Vanek.

- WHOOO! A critical discussion of a potential trip this weekend to the Swedish furniture and meatball emporium in Canada is interrupted by a Tim Kennedy goal. He slides the puck past Marty and I bet Marty really, really, really wants that back and/or wants to kill his defensemen for letting Kennedy walk out from behind the net unmolested.2-0, Sabres.

- Kennedy was just flatted by Colin White, and Grier immediately came to his teammate’s defense. Nice to again see that in action from the Sabres. The hit was an ugly clean, but it did knock Lil’ Timmy’s helmet off. The ensuing kerfluffle results in some four-on-four hockey.

- The game day staff for the Devils start playing “Thriller” on the loudspeaker. This game is anything but, so far. Plenty of good seats still appear to be available.

- There’s a pretty impressive graphic showing how many Sabres and Devils have been with their respective teams long-term. While Tallinder is currently the longest tenured Sabre, Gaustad, Pommers and Miller have all been with the team for 6+ years. Speaking of Gautad and Pommers, are they still road roomies? I know both previously mentioned that they were the only roomie that each has ever had while they’ve been in the organization.

- We’re “treated” to a Stan Fischler interview of C-Mac. Oh joy, oh bliss. Oh, Stan.

Second Period

- The Devils feed shows a commercial for their “Guys Night Out” promo at the Caps game. One price gets a ticket, a hot dog and a beer. My question is how can they limit this to guys only? You don’t see them having Puckbunnies Night at the Rink or Ladies Night (if you want to be less offensive).

- Well, hello there, Mr. Goose. Is this the first Green Team commercial that we’ve seen this season? I think the Cellino & Barnes and health insurance ads are all starting to run together in my mind.

- Speaking of our favorite injury attorneys, you know what’s missing from this lovely Devils feed simulcast? Cellino and Barnes live action pop up ads! I’m happy they’re not on the feed tonight, since they are incredibly annoying.

- Greene puts one past Miller on the power play. 2-1, Sabres.

- Holy hell, could the Devils game announcer stretch out the goal announcement names any longer? I think Langenbrunner somehow found an extra six syllables in his name after that one.

- Rolston tries to do a backhand through the legs shot to put the puck through Miller’s five hole. But fortunately, Miller was right there to poke the puck away.

- Check out the nice article that Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News posted about Buffalo, the Sabres and Chefs.

- Awww, Tyler Myers grandparents were just shown on the broadcast all proudly wearing their grandson’s sweater.

- Nice play by Pommer to break up a two on one-and-a-half (Butler and a stickless Pommer). The little pommerdoodle intercepted the Devils pass with his foot and kicked the puck right back to Butler.

Third Period

- That red velvet cupcake Chico was noshing on during “Chico Eats” looked fantastic. Though I would be on the ceiling if I drank a coffee with an extra shot of espresso in it.

- The Sabres would make me incredibly happy if they managed to score one more goal tonight. It shouldn’t be that hard to score goals. Marty’s shown some sieve like qualities tonight.

- Dear Sabres, it’s not good manners to shove the opposing players into your beloved goaltender. I don’t care if it was Niedermayer. The “Niedermayer…dead” meme should not catch Miller in the crossfire.

- We’re treated to an up close and personal look at Miller’s mask. The Matt Man MSU bulldog with the halo is such a nice tribute to his cousin.

- HONKHONKHONKHONK! Gaustad’s standing in front of Marty just preening his feathers all by his lonesome when he picks the puck up and gently taps it past Brodeur. On the replay, its clear that Ellis feeds the puck through the legs of White standing cluelessly in front of his goalie and ignoring said Goose preening in front of the goalie. 3-1, Sabres.

- Pommers just ran into Marty, knocking Marty flat on his ass (with a gentle assist from Oduya) and no Devils rush to their goalie’s defense? Huh. Does Goose need to come in and give lessons about how to defend your goalie?

The Devils reaction was eerily similar to last year’s Sabres reaction to Gomez taking out Miller.Meaning there was none.

- Parise accidentally gets high sticked by Gaustad and Parise tries valiantly to conjure up some blood with little luck. I’m sad to say that Parise won’t win an Academy Award anytime soon based on that performance.

- Happy belated birthday to Chris Butler.

- Holy cow, Miller just robbed Niedermayer on an up-close-and-personal scoring opportunity. Miller has been on his game tonight for sure.

- WHOOO! The population of Pominville increases by one as Pommers sends one from the point past Brodeur on the power play. 4-1, Sabres.

- Lemaire is lecturing and gesticulating something fierce on the Devils bench with less than a minute and a half left in the game. What good are lectures and gestures going to do at this point in the game?

- Seriously Sabres? Ending the game on a 5-on-3? Well, a win is a win. Heh.

- On a unrelated note, is Stormy the Ice Hog doing the Thriller dance in costume in these photos?

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Happy Birthday to Me, Indeed

October 24, 2009

- I really didn’t think it was too much to ask for the Sabres to win on my birthday, but dear god, they did it the hard way. Scoring at the end of the second period to tie it up, scoring waaaay late in the third to tie it up again, and then six shooters deep in the shootout to win it for me. The boys are now welcome to share my leftover birthday cake. I hope they like Wegmans Ultimate White Cake. (Until Staffy tied it, I wasn’t going to be willing to share the cake with the boys. They hadn’t deserved it.)

- Tyler Myers?! Tyler Myers?! That was an absolutely brilliant move by Lindy and the coaching staff to put him in the shootout. At the sixth shooter for the Sabres, what has he really got to lose? The fact that he put the puck in the net and won the game was just icing on the cake and effing amazing. It was that kind of surprising – and ballsy – move not seen since Lindy put Henrik Tallinder in to face Martin Brodeur. I mean, how often have fans seen some combination of Roy/Vanek/Pommers/Staffy take shootouts and fail? As the most offensively geared players on the team, they should be aces at the shootout, but sometimes they ain’t. Moving Myers in shakes things up. I know it would never happen, but how ridiculous would a shootout lineup of Gaustad, Kaleta and Grier be? None are known for their strong goal scoring prowess (sorry Goose) and Goose isn’t exactly Speedy Gonzalez when he has to head up ice.

Getting back on point, surprise moves in the shootout work.

- The postgame celebration with the team hug turned dogpile was absolutely adorable. How funny is it that Myers and Gaustad, the two tallest guys on the team, were the ones that ended up on the bottom of the dogpile? I also liked seeing Miller speed down the ice to join in on the fun, and try mightily to get near Myers. Lindy said in his postgame interview that the room was flying high after that.

- I don’t think I’ve ever seen Staffy so smiley after a game. He was saying that the team agreed to start missing their shots in the shootout after they saw Mysie’s move in practice. They wanted to see if he could pull it off.

Side note: Mysie as a nickname for the gentle giant? Really? Mysie and Mairsy and Millsy, oh my. The team really needs to come up with something different and unique. Unique is good!

- After tonight, does anyone think Myers is going to be boarding a plane back to juniors? I think not.

- Finally, were my ears deceiving me or were the Vancouver fans chanting “Leafs Suck” at various points in their game tonight?

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Candid Camera

October 23, 2009

H/T to Sabres.com for posting the game night intro video on Sabres.com. I’m going to wade into the shallow end of the pool for a moment.

gooseandganderLook at their matching injuries – Stafford’s lip scrape and Gaustad’s beak scrape. It’s pre-season and these guys are already beat up.

- The #KyleWellwoodIsSoFat meme that broke out on Twitter was cracking me up for most of the afternoon. Could you imagine some of the ones that could be done for the Sabres?

  1. Derek Roy is so fashionable that…
  2. Tim Connolly is so injured that…
  3. Ryan Miller is so skinny that…
  4. Paul Gaustad is so environmentally conscious that…
  5. Jason Pominville is so adorable that…

I promise some actual hockey content tomorrow as I recap the Battle of the Crunchies live from my very own sofa. (On a somewhat related note, it’s pretty hilarious that Tampa has pronunciation guides on their player roster for names as simple as Drew Miller. How the heck would you mispronounce that?)

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Sabres v. Panthers 10.21.09

October 21, 2009

First Period

- Plenty of good seats appear to be available in Florida tonight.

- Mike Grier whiffs one past Scott Clemmensen to make the score 1-0, Sabres.

- On a power play, Pommers increases the population of Pominville to 2, making the score 2-0, Sabres.

- Immediately after the Pominville goal, Clemmer is pulled for Vokoun, much to the delight of the crowd. I’m thinking the crowd has a decidedly pro-Buffalo flair to it tonight.

- Matt Ellis flips a rebound past several bodies in front of the net to make it 3-0, Sabres.That’s right, the Sabres have three goals on their side and there’s only five minutes gone from the game.

- Is Florida really this bad?

- The Sabres successfully kill off a 5-on-3 with four icing sweeps during the length of the kill.

- Tyler Myers makes it a 4-0 lead for the Sabres as he rips a shot off Vokoun’s glove.

- Again, is Florida really this bad?

- A shot by Reinprecht gets past Miller, but the Crunchster dives back and wrangles it back under control before it can cross the goal line. (I’m picturing an internal monologue of “ohshitohshitohshit” as the puck heads towards the goal line.)

- Reinprecht scores as the Sabres make a blind pass in the defensive zone. 4-1, Sabres.

- RJ gives a shotout to a Sabres fan who has served two tours of duty in Iraq and is currently stationed in Afghanistan. I’d like to second the shoutout. I don’t know this gentleman, but three tours of duty in some pretty nasty areas is something to be admired for.

- There’s a video review as Staffy’s backhand leads to a kerfluffle in front of the net and a debate as to whether the puck actually enters the net off of a Buffalo player’s skate. When all is said and done (and after the Florida organist played a rousing rendition of Hava Negila) the goal counts, and it’s 5-1, Sabres.

Second Period

- Miller makes about 5-6 consecutive saves, as the Buffalo skaters try to set an #epicfail record in clearing the puck away from the goaltender.

- Derek Roy needs a lesson in “how to read a cue card without making it look like you are obviously reading a cue card” if those Cellino & Barnes ads are any indication.

- And my word, has this game gotten boring.

- Miller gets caught out of the net and Roy-Z makes a diving save to knock the puck away from the wide open net. Nice job, Roy-Z!

- Per Harry Neale, Miller is currently #2 in the league in GAA, and #3 in the league in save percentage. That’s not a bad deal for Miller, as he’s proving he can be the guy. (There’s a line from The West Wing about how some people want to be the guy, and some people want to be the guy the guy counts on. Love that line and it kind of fits here. Miller’s the guy, and his teammates have to be the guys the guy counts on.)

Third Period

- I never fail to smile when I see the EA Sports commercials with “The Hockey Song.” How can you not love that song?

- Grier is shown stretching with his leg up on the dasherboard while the rest of his body is squatting. If I tried to get into a similar position, you’d probably have to call emergency services on my behalf. I am so not flexible.

- It’s the 11-minute mark in the third period and Miller has been remarkably busy this period. The dominance the Sabres had earlier seems to have evaporated somewhat.

- If (when) the boys win tonight, they get tomorrow off. Harry Neale wonders if this is bribery by the coaching staff (Answer: YES!) Here’s hoping that the guys don’t get too badly sunburned or hurt themselves while watching the scenery at the beach.

- Florida puts the puck in the net, and Miller starts having a litter of kittens in the crease, claiming that Horton hand passed the puck to Reinprecht. The goal is waved off and it’s still 5-1, Sabres.

- RJ takes a moment to express his amazement that Ryan Miller could still follow the hand pass follies of 2009 and worry about stopping the puck. I’m amazed as well. Ryan definitely doesn’t exhibit shiny object syndrome (“ooh, shiny!) in this situation.

- And this just got ugly, as Horton just went after Kaleta with his stick after they both exited the penalty box. I do kind of love Kaleta’s shit-eating grin as the whole thing erupts.

- I’d love to know what Clarke MacArthur said to the ref that got him a 10-minute misconduct. Please let it be at a Mike Ryan “10 minutes for fucking around” level of good.

- Florida puts one past Miller on the ensuing power play, and the goal horn is enough to wake my mother out of her dozing slumber. 5-2, Sabres.

And that’s all she wrote.

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Not. Fair.

October 20, 2009

At practice today, the Lightning get naked shootouts while the Sabres get pucks to the face, temper tantrums, strained hips and the wind knocked out of them? How on earth is that fair to the boys in blue and gold?

And then Danny Paile gets traded. Peace out, little Paille. Go forth and do well in Boston (but not too well against the Sabres, mind you). And now you shall be moved to the SOTC “Former Sabres” realm.

And for the love of everything holy, will someone at Sabres.com please remove the apostrophe from Tyler Myers’ last name in the headline of the article on Sabres.com?

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Miller on Gomez

October 19, 2009

So this morning’s Buffalo News features an article where Ryan Miller and his teammates discuss the increase in goalie interference this season. In short form, there’s more interference, and most of the non-calls are a load of crap that should be called. However, this quote from Miller on what happened last season with Scott Gomez is priceless.

“I don’t have Scott Gomez’s picture up at my house, staring at it while I eat dinner, working up enough psychotic energy to go slash him in the throat. That’s not the case.”

Thank you, Ryan, for that amazing mental image. It’s not like you have Gomez locked away somewhere telling him to put the lotion on the skin or he gets the hose again.

After the drama that was the Bills game yesterday, isn’t it nice to have a hockey player bring a little bit of comedy into our lives?

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Sabres vs. Islanders – 10.16.09

October 16, 2009

First Period

- I’m kind of sad that Marty Biron isn’t starting for the Islanders tonight, but he’s promised the media that he’s going to be a Chatty Charlie on the bench towards whatever Sabres play D or forward on the left hand side. Of course, it’s all fun and games for Marty until someone chucks a puck at his head.

- WHOOO!!! Tyler Myers gets his first NHL goal as he calmly skates in front of Dwayne Roloson and pokes the puck past Rollie the Goalie. 1-0, Sabres.

- I hope someone got the puck for Myers. That’s going to make a nice memento of tonight’s game.

- Harry Neale-ism: “Glass is a defenseman’s best friend.” (Pause). “At the rink, at least.” Oy.

- Clarke MacArthur scores on a penalty shot after he gets hauled down while on a clear breakaway towards Rollie. Harry Neale somehow manages to mixup MacArthur and Myers at this point in the game. While both may be empty-headed, but loveable, they’re not really that interchangeable. 2-0, Sabres.

- WHOA, WHOA, WHOA. Miller gets steamrolled by Jackman, and Gaustad immediately leaps to his goalie’s defense and starts beating the ever loving snot out of Jackman. And this is not a petty Andrew Peters type fight. This is an all out whomping. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Goose in that much of a snit before, but I can’t help liking it. I mean, that’s the kind of action that needed to be taken after the whole Gomez situation last year.

- I still maintain that the Ryan Miller ice cream party contest should be expanded to offices with the mentality of 5-8th graders. Only after how cold my office was today, I’d like to substitute a hot chocolate and cookies party for the prize. Would that work?

- How is it that the Islanders are so bad at hockey but so good on the penalty kill? It really does not compute.

- Hecht has been playing pretty well this period. He’s had a couple of shots go off the post and has been reasonably solid defensively. I think that once that first puck goes in the net, it will all be downhill from there (in a good way).

Second Period

- Stafford pulls out a spinorama in the Islanders zone. How long has it been since we’ve seen a spinorama during a Sabres game?

- Pommers inadvertently shot the puck after a whistle and has practically all of the Islanders on the ice attack him. As a result, one of the Islanders heads to the box for being the lead bully in this situation. Timmy spins out of the corner on the ensuing power play and gently wrists one past Rollie. 3-0, Sabres.

- On a related note, I’m glad that the Sabres are again using “Beautiful” by Flickerstick as their goal celebration song. It’s such a great, upbeat song. Download it. You won’t be disappointed.

- The Islanders score while I’m getting some cookies and refreshing my beverage. 3-1, Sabres.

- It’s about damned time! Jochen Hecht goes five hole on Rollie the Goalie. My cousin Rachel is now getting the vapors. As a result, Marty Biron prepares to exit the French Canadian Backup Goaltender Comedy Zone on the bench and replace Rollie. He’s given a tremendous round of applause by the fans. 4-1, Sabres.

- Based on that photo on Getty Images, Mrs. Paille and Mrs. Lalime are gorgeous. This month might be the only time that pink jerseys are socially acceptable at sporting events.

- Miller, you know I love you, but you’re totally fired after getting pwned by Tavares on that one. 4-2, Sabres.

- In another flurry, Tallinder saves Miller’s bacon as he deflects another Tavares shot away from the wide open net.

- The Sabres gave up 19 shots in this period. While they’re still in the lead, that period was a bit of a hot mess.

Third Period

- Yawn. I’m feeling extremely sleepy right now. I think the Buffalo Spree article about the “turf battle” between Buffalo News/Artvoice/WNY Media/Buffalo Rising about did me in. I only made it halfway through. I do want to finish the article though.

- Marty is completely pwning Hecht tonight. He just made the 3rd or 4th solid save on Hecht. Then again, the Sabres are shooting solidly on Biron’s chest and not towards the five hole or open areas of the net.

- Gaustad riffs one off Marty’s shoulder and the crossbar and sends it out of play. It was a nice shot, if slightly misguided.

- I think the 11:40 mark of the 3rd was the first time I’ve heard Roy’s name tonight. Where has the little fashion plate been all night?

- Well eff me. Patrick Kaleta now has more goals than Roy and Pommers. While I’m glad that Patty is scoring, Pommers and Roy need to start scoring and start scoring quickly. They’re not the young little pups who can get by on their adorability. They need to start putting up or shutting up. 5-2, Sabres.

- The Islanders score to make it 5-3, Sabres.

- Fuck. Miller’s making like a reverse snow angel on the ice and is slow at getting up. I think he’s ok, he had this kind of sheepish smile on his face when he was pulling himself up to his knees. I don’t know much about coaching hockey, but I really think this is a sign that Lalime should play tomorrow night against Atlanta. I mean, Miller’s played five games already. Let’s let Lalime have a turn.

- Oh god, Neale’s quirkiness is affecting RJ, as he’s now mixing up Gaustad and Pominville.

- I don’t ice skate, but I think I would have more oomph in my step on the ice than the Sabres during this third period. It’s like they’ve gone into cruise control mode, which is incredibly dangerous against and Islanders team that has proven they’ve got some skip in their step tonight.

- Finally, the population of Pominville increases by one. This is Pommers 100th career NHL goal and 256th consecutive game. 6-3, Sabres.

- I can hear the crowd doing the “We Want Seven” cheer in the background. I love that cheer.

- Well, the Sabres won, but it was a fun, ugly win. They need to work on not trying to coast the remainder of the game. I know it’s baby steps and the season is still early, but October points will help later on in the season.

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Sabres v. Red Wings

October 13, 2009

First Period

- I’m happy this is a Doc-called game on Versus, although the HD picture is nowhere near as clear as the MSG HD feed

- I’m hoping that Roy-Z doesn’t try so hard to impress Yzerman and Babcock tonight that he forgets that he’s wearing the crossed swords and buffalo on his chest tonight and not the maple leaf

- Why is Doc re-hashing the final minute-and-a-half of Game 7 of the Cup Finals? Detroit lost, Pittsburgh won, let’s all move along now. But on a related note, how awful has it been to be a Detroit sports fan this year? The Tigers lost a 7-game division lead and lost in the play-in game, the Lions went 0-16, Michigan college football was a joke, and the Red Wings lost in Game 7. And that’s on top of all of the problems Detroit itself is facing (unemployment, decaying buildings, high unsolved murder rate, low high school graduation rate, etc).

- Breaking news: Tyler Myers is tall. I’m not sure if any of you are aware of that.

- Whoo! Stafford sweeps one past Osgood to make it 1-0, Sabres. It’s a power play goal.

- Boo. The Red Wings score on their power play and we’re now tied at one.

- Doc explains that if a goal is scored on the power play, that it does not count towards a player’s plus/minus stats. I did not know that. That’s my new fact of the day.

- I think we need to send the Versus crew one of twoeightnine’s Kaleta Collision shirts. After a tough Kronwall/Kaleta hit, the crew remarked they didn’t know that collision began with a K.

- I’m knitting while writing this post and I’m impressed that I managed to get all my dropped stitches back on the needle. Let that be a warning to always make sure your needles are in the up position when you set them aside.

- Toronto’s already had a bag skate this season? Is that some kind of record?

Second Period

- There’s a big kerfluffle in front of the net, and the play goes to review just to make sure the puck didn’t cross the goal line (as it was ruled on the ice). How the heck you can tell it went in or out through the mess of skates and pads and legs and whatevers, I do not know. I don’t envy the job of the goal judge, that’s for sure. (And Doc, don’t ever debate a Buffalonian about Brett Hull’s foot being in the crease. It’s like starting a land war in Asia or going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line. It won’t end well for you.)

- I get the 83rd degree when I cross the border to go to IKEA, but a gentleman takes an 8-foot tall woodcarving of a football hall of famer across the border with no questions at all? That’s a giant WTF, for sure.

- Did Doc just call someone currently on the ice Paetsch, or am I hearing things?

- Hee! The fans are already chanting Os-good! Os-good! I do so love a good goalie heckle. It’s one of my favorite things about hockey.

- Roy misses a shot and Vanek catches the rebound as he’s heading towards the net (and falls down immediately after he shoots the puck). 5-1, Sabres.

- Osgood gets pulled and Vanek heads to the dressing room. Maybe Vanek just lost an edge (hopefully).

- Kaleta already has a goal tonight. Would it be too much to ask if Kennedy were to get a goal in front of the hometown fans as well?

- Filppula gets a penalty shot as Myers makes his first real mistake and trips up Filppula on a breakaway. And Miller stones him cold. That was an eff this shizzle move if I ever saw one.

- Kaleta scores while I am looking my friend’s wedding photos on Facebook. On the replay, I’m shocked at the rush that Myers has as he stormed towards the net. 2-1, Sabres.

- Maybe I should spend more time on Facebook during a game, as Vanek gets in on a break, holds up, flings it towards the net and gets a lucky deflection off a Detroit defender. 3-1, Sabres.

- Awww, Versus pays tribute to RJ by showing the May-Day footage. That is such an awesome call and a reminder of how in the moment RJ gets.

- Doc’s rambling away about the Sabres ability to control puck possession and take shots when C-Mac just strolls calmly in front of Osgood and backhands the puck past the Detroit goalie. 4-1, Sabres.

- Second fun fact of the day: Lydman and Montador are a reunited defense pairing. They were a tandem when they played for the Flames back in the day.

- The crew shares a conversation that they had with Miller, that he wants to not just be a good goaltender, but wants to be an elite goaltender. He wants his name to come up in consideration for the Vezina. He’s pushing himself to be better, and if his teammates give him proper support, I think he can be better.

- When the buzzer sounds, the crowd rises and gives the team a standing ovation. That’s nice to see. Especially since at the last live sports event in Buffalo, the players were greeted with boos.

Third Period

- Vanek will not return for the third period, as he has some sort of upper body injury. With the game standing the way it is, there’s really no need to drill a blowhole or duct tape something so he can get back out there. Let him have a nice soak in the hot tub or a good massage. The next game is Friday night, so he’ll have a couple days to sit with the boo boo bunny without cause for concern.

- HONK! HONK! HONK! Gaustad connected on a Kaleta shot to make it 6-1, Sabres.

- Can we make a list of banned topics for national Sabres games? No Goal, Drury, Briere, Game 7 in Carolina, the amazingly dropping defense, The System…

- I kind of wish this was an MSG game, since you know the postgame interviews will be enthusiastic with the potential to be highly entertaining.

- A shot gets past Miller, as the puck hits both Holmstrom and Zetterberg before crossing the goal line. 6-2, Buffalo.

- So Lindy changed up his practice methods to include drills with pucks and less shots, but more realistic situations for the goalies? Interesting. If it’s creating more realistic goal situations and leading towards what we’ve seen on the ice so far this season, then it looks to be a change for the better.

- Drink! We just hit the Ryan Miller Versus Trifecta, as Michigan State, the family legacy and the Hobey Baker were all mentioned within seconds of each other.

- It’s amazing how my neighbor’s arrival home from work every night sounds like a wild rumpus is breaking out in the driveway next door. I don’t understand how so much noise is made.

- So that was a fun game to watch. Let’s do this again sometime.

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Couple of Thoughts

October 11, 2009

- When Mike Grier and his hands of stone score your only goal of the night, you know you’re having trouble scoring. While it’s not for a lack of opportunity, as the Sabres have had plenty of shots, the lack of finish is what’s bothersome. I wonder if putting cardboard cutouts of foxy ladies in the net during practice sessions would help with scoring, as we know the Sabres do not suffer from a lack of hitting that.

- Check out this quote from Ryan Miller after last night’s game.

“Mike Grier, you are my hero,” Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said. “Mike does a lot of things really well on the ice. He kept on telling us to trust the system and that we would get a breakthrough.”

The quote is noticeable because I think this might be the first time Miller has ever referenced The System (usually that’s everyone but the goalie’s fallback comment) in an interview. Also, with Grier stepping into that on-ice leader role,  could it allow the Pommers, Roys and Vaneks of the world to just chill out, stop trying to do too much and just play some good old-fashioned hockey within The System?

- Timmy looks incredibly relaxed during this interview with Kevin Sylvester. And mother of pearl, Timmy’s gracing a smile at a couple points during the interview. Timmy smiles are incredibly rare, which makes them all the more special when they do come out.

- Please tell me that you all saw Stafford goofing around behind Kevin Sylvester during K-Syl’s postgame report last night. While I did Zapruder the footage of the moment (why yes, I am a dork), and am fairly certain that Staffy was shaking and choking Paille, I hope fun and frolic like that is exhibited after wins. If I ever see / hear about things like that happening after a loss, I will not be a happy camper.

- Continuing with the Staffy theme, he was the first guest of Kevin Sylvester’s new interview series held in the penalty box. Stafford again expresses his admiration of Zach Parise (c’mon, we all know they’re BFF) and shares that Chris Neil is the player he would most like to see take a stick to the bits. (Personally, I’d go with Ovie, but I think Goose took care of that a couple of seasons ago.)

- There’s a couple of 10-12 year olds outside playing with a football and I think it’s incredibly sad that they have nicer cell phones than I do. Why a 10-year-old needs a cell phone is another story, I suppose.

- With The Buffalo News confirming that Andrej Sekera felt shooting pains in his side, can we classify his boo-boo as a middle body injury rather than an upper body injury? I know his injury is north of the Maxon-Dixon line, so it technically is an upper body injury, but middle body is at least a little more descriptive. Also, can we cut the upper/lower/outer/inner crap until the playoffs come? Just say what the injury is an move on.  And if Sekera is going to be out for some time, do the Sabres play Patches or call up Weber? (I’m ignoring for now what’s going to happen when Lydman and Mair are ready to play again. The speculation and fan theories are making my head hurt.)

- Tyler Myers has been pleasantly surprising. I know he’s due for a speed bump in his career trajectory at some point, but management is going to have a very tough decision in six games.

- Check out the images on Getty from the Blackhawks red carpet festivities. I give Dustin Byfuglien a lot of credit for being able to pull off a suit in that shade of red.

- Who lit a fire under Tim Kennedy’s ass last night? He was all over the place and not afraid to take the hit or punch in order to make the play or drive the net. He’s proving he belongs up here.

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