Archive for October, 2010

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Sabres vs. Stars: Deep in the Heart of Texas

October 30, 2010

I was considering adding the Pee-Wee Herman edition, but that’s a little overused. And besides, Dale Evans is one classy lady.

Tonight’s game blog is in a letter format. Enjoy.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Dear Nathan Gerbe,

I don’t recommend stepping in front of any more of your teammate’s slap shots. But perhaps if Tyler does get benched for his atrocious play of late, you can make him fetch you smoothies as you sit in the press box. It’s only fair.

Feel better soon,

Shots Off the Crossbar

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Dear Ryan,

I do commend your choice of a blue toque while sitting on the bench. Blue suits your skin tone much better than the bright gold hat that Lalime favors.

Peace Out.

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*~*~*

Dear Sabres,

Stop taking f*cking stupid penalties.

That is all.

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*~*~*

Dear Sabres,

Your fans are not a bunch of Charlie Browns and did not deserve the rock you gave them tonight. Make it better. Soon. Please. For all of our sakes.

Shots Off the Crossbar

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Sabres vs. Thrashers 2: Electric Bugaloo

October 29, 2010

- So word broke today that Jason Pominville failed his second neuropsych test today. Ruff & Pommers claim that the failures are due to Pommer setting the bar so high when he was a rookie, that perhaps there really is no way for him to match his score. Assuming you believe what Ruff and Pommers are trying to sell, the key phrase of their argument is  “when he was a rookie.” If we look at Pommer’s stats, his rookie season was 2005-06. I’m not a neurologist (nor do I play one on TV or the internet), but I would think that a person’s memory & skills do slightly change as time passes. Now, I don’t know how far off Pommers was from the pass/fail point, but it does bring up an important question. Why are players not given these neuropsych tests at the start of every training camp? It would provide the most current and up-to-date statistical measurement for each player, not to mention show if there were any trends in player decreases in scores as their careers continued. I know, I know. Who is going to foot the cost for this additional testing? The team? The player himself? The union? Your guess is as good as mine, but you would think that the league would want to make sure that they were dealing with the most accurate and up-to-date information while dealing with head injuries.

- With Rivet’s benching tonight, is it a desperate move to light a fire under the team, or a dastardly plot dreamed up by Ruff & Co to light a fire under the team?

- Any ideas on what poor unfortunate Sabre needed an emergency trip to Walgreens for a clipper to rectify a bad haircut? (Small note to the Sabres: double check Niedermayer’s first name in the opening paragraph.)

- It sounds like a very pro-Buffalo crowd in Atlanta tonight.

- Speaking of Atlanta, does anyone else watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta? If so, what did you think of this week’s baby shower episode? I’ve never seen a baby shower before that featured a ballet performance and a waltz by the mother of the baby and her BFF. As the one housewife remarked, what’s wrong with just sitting in a rocking chair, eating some cake and opening some presents?

- I do like Craig Ramsay’s attempt to festively celebrate Halloween by wearing the pumpkin colored shirt & tangerine colored tie combo. And as a bonus, it does follow a similar color theme to the sweater that Atlanta is wearing tonight.

- As the first period progresses, the Sabres have hit the net twice, but with the remainder of their shots, have managed to hit everything but the beer vendor in the section behind Mason. They’ve had shots wide, shots short, shots blocked and even just some dumb luck shots.

- I thought tonight’s intermission feature with Clint Malarchuk was well done. Kudos to the broadcast crew for straddling that fine line between emphasizing the horror of the event and showing gratuitous gore for the sake of showing see. (See: Anatomy, Greys for examples of gratuitous gore.) I did like the inclusion of Ledyard, Tucker & Andreychuk in the interview. It makes me wish that we would see players talking about happier memories of their time with the Sabres. We know Sabres alumni are usually engaging guys, the kind you’d want to sit and have a drink with and listen to. Why not let them have at it; a roundtable of 70s, 80s, 90s & 2000s alumni could be a heck of a good show to watch. And on a final note, it was great to hear Ted Darling’s soothing tones on the air again. The man had class and could call a game, that’s for sure.

- Miller gets bumped by Ladd’s stick in the crease. He immediately takes off after Ladd to get a few whaps in. The ref pulls Miller away from the fray and with some stern finger pointing remininscent of a parent scolding a recalcitrant five-year-old. Because it happens fairly infrequently on the ice, fired-up angry, violent Miller is entertaining to watch. (This is a different Miller than the unhappy, protesting Miller we saw the other night.)

- While we’re speaking of angry and cranky, you’ve no doubt noticed the glut of political ads on TV lately. And most of them do have a negative tone. However, I did stumble across this link on EW to a mockup of political TV ads from the Presidential Election of 1800. (Assuming of course that TV existed in 1800, which it clearly did not.) The best part about the whole thing is that all of the “attacks”  in the ad were based off of things that they candidates actually said about their opponent. They kind of make todays ads appear tame by comparison, right?

- I’m beginning to think that “Gaustad couldn’t connect / Gautad shoots it wide” needs to be added to the Sabres drinking game. Seriously, he’s missed about 95% of the pucks that have come his way tonight. Including the one that led to the Thrashers third goal.

- I’ve never seen a player take a shot to the head like Gerbe did and bound up so quickly. I hope it’s just a small stinger and nothing too serious. It is kind of strange that the tallest person on the team was responsible for the shot that took out the smallest person on the team.

- I noticed that the wheels started to come off the Sabres wagon when Miller flipped his lid. I wonder why it is that the Sabres can’t keep their calm & composure once Miller loses his. I don’t understand it. I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with trying to find the reason behind it.

- So Roy-Z’s last second goal in the third period brought me back to the days when goals like that were the norm. Remember those days? Where every odd bounce, wacky shot, sneeze, fart and deflection was in the Sabres favor? Yea, me too. Le sigh.

- I’m not quite hopping on the ‘Fire Them All’ bandwagon quite yet, but it’s getting to the point where watching Sabres games is downright painful. As someone wise once said, that shit ain’t right.

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That Doesn’t Look So Hard

October 28, 2010

So I’ve been hearing rumors about a new Xfinity (aka Comcast) ad featuring Ryan Miller & Shaq. The YouTube gods finally took pity on me and uploaded the ad.

Shaq’s grimaces during the ad are pretty funny, but I have to ask why Ryan appears to have raided Will Schuester’s closet?

I will say that it is nice to see the unholy Versus/Comcast/NHL alliance finding a clue and featuring an athlete that is not named “Crosby” or “Ovechkin.” Let’s hope this trend continues.

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Things I Could Have Done Instead of Watching Sabres/Flyers

October 26, 2010

- Battened down the hatches.

- Laundry. I need to wash my pink shirt in order to be Boo to a co-worker’s Sully on Halloween.

- Started reading another book.

- Danced my cares away.

Speaking of the Fraggles, my inner 6-year-old is delighted that they are back on TV, on The Hub network. Guess what I’ll be watching on my winter break, LOL.

- Hung posters on my wall.

- Watched Glee and the rest of my regular Tuesday night programming.

- Watched Dancing With the Stars. Kurt Warner has become pleasantly appealing. Rick Fox is dating Elisha Dushku (Faith from Buffy) and Jennifer Grey is married to Mike Casper, Josh’s guy from the FBI on the West Wing. Watching DWTS has become some odd form of six degrees of separation…with sparkles and rhinestones.

- Knit.

- Written a to-do list for the office tomorrow.

- Learned the names of all the US Presidents in order.

Did I do any of these things? Nope, no I did not. I sat and watched the entire freaking game. I deserve a medal. Or a cookie.

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Sabres vs. Sens

October 22, 2010

The Good

- Seeing my uncle wandering through the background of the pre-game sponsorship announcements. My family had a big LOL moment at that one.

- Goose FINALLY wearing a letter. I’m assuming that the Sabres are again implementing different letters for home and away, because the away photos from the past week do not show Goose wearing a letter. (The Sabres must own stock in Velcro letters if this is the case.)

- Timmy’s two goals. It’s good to see Timmy finally put the puck in the back of the net.

- The HSBC Arena crowd being loud and into the game (at least in the first period).

- The Hockey Fights Cancer tie. The pinky-purple color is gorgeous and is just subtle enough to speak for the cause without being all “hey, I’m a pink tie. I represent the cancer fight.” And Lindy makes it work by accessorizing the tie with a simple black coat & tie. It’s a very nice, classy look from Mr. Ruff.

The Decidedly Uncomfortable

- Danny Gare’s commercial with Cellino & Barnes. It’s just icky, uncomfortable, awkward & odd. I don’t know how else to describe it. I have a feeling though, that we’ll be seeing a lot more of that commercial before the season is out.

- Vanek’s hit from behind on Ruutu in the second period. I don’t care how much of a finger-biting snot Ruutu may be on the ice, there’s still no need for hits like that.

The Bad

- Rivet’s awkward smush into the boards during the third period. I’m beginning to think that his upper body is held together with nothing more that rubber bands and bubble gum. While he did come back to the game, his crawling around on the ice in pain was painful to watch.

- Tyler Myers. The kid has been a one man disaster since the season started. It’s not like he’s being intentionally bad or giving up, he’s just hitting a rough patch that’s getting longer and longer and rougher and rougher (kind of like the construction zone in the Wehrle Drive area). It’s almost getting to the point where “Tyler Myers gives up a turnover that leads to an opposition goal” can be added to the Sabres drinking game. (Not that such a thing exists, mind you.)

- Gretchen’s burlap ass-flap dress on last night’s Project Runway. Crunchy granola hipster aesthetic aside, was that flap there just in case you decided to stop at the grocery store on your way home and needed some place to put your purchases, having left your reusable bag at home? While that sounds implausible, what other reason could there be for building in a dangling ass-flap?

The Awesome

- This photo. I have to say that Miller doesn’t look half bad as a blonde. The photo is still hilarious and if that’s a sneak peak of what people can expect to see at the Catwalk for Charity, then the photo has definitely done its job.

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Well, Finally

October 21, 2010

I knew those little stinkers would finally win a game. Despite the excitement of a winning hockey game, I fell asleep shortly after Vanek’s goal. Did I miss much? Yeah, didn’t think so. Now here’s a couple quick thoughts:

- You must look at the photo accompanying the game story in the hard copy of today’s TBN. Staffy looks like you just told him that he won the Stanley Cup and a Grammy on the same day, while Vanek appears to be passing a kidney stone.  It’s quite the ridiculous photo, but it’s making me smile.

- The empty seats in Atlanta were quite disheartening to see as a hockey fan. I’d still bet that the only reason the team is still around is because the league makes money off all the “Yankee” transplants coming to see their hometown team.

- I was quite saddened to see the Yankees win yesterday. I am not a Yankees fan (that’s what having a Mets fan for a father does to you) by any means, so I do delight in seeing them struggle. The ad geek in me knows that media buyers & advertisers would salivate over a Yanks/Giants World Series just because of the size of the media markets involved (not to mention the notoriety of the aforementioned Yankees), but I always root for the underdogs. So go Rangers! And that shall be the last time those words are even written on this blog.

- And I’m betting 5 games in the “how long will Rypien be suspended for” pool. Manhandling a fan – a paying customer – must rank slightly higher on Colie Campbell’s Wheel O’Justice that mimicked fellatio and head injuries, right?

 

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Fact.

October 19, 2010

Fact: The Sabres can be good at hockey.

Fact: The Sabres can also be very bad at hockey.

Fact: The Sabres are not very good at hockey RIGHT NOW.

Fact: Derek Roy has apparently taken off his asshat and decided to become a real, grownup hockey player.

Fact: Derek Roy will probably do something to make us all hate him again very shortly.

Fact: Tim Kennedy was not the be-all, end all of the Sabres.

Fact: The Sabres organization has been known to not exactly make the most PR-friendly decisions when it comes to player management. (see: Numminen, Teppo; LaFontaine, Pat.)

Fact: Kennedy (and his agent) played the game at the bargaining table. They should not have been surprised when the Sabres played the game right back. (Especially since THEY WERE TOLD THAT MANAGEMENT MIGHT TAKE ACTION IF THEY DIDN’T LIKE THE DEAL!)

Sorry for shouting.

Fact: It was apparently Craig Rivet’s turn to bring the orange slices at practice yesterday.

Fact: Each person has their own personal threshhold at which they wish to push the panic button. There is no right or wrong time to do so, and just because people prematurely panic does not mean we get to make fun of them.

Fact: Telling people “it’s alright, do not panic” just pisses them off more.

Fact: It is perfectly acceptable to set off your car’s panic button in an overly crowded parking lot so that you can find your vehicle.

Fact: Setting your panic button off in your driveway will piss off your neighbors.

Fact: There are three Sabres games in the next four days. They will win at least two.

Fact: Pominville feeling better – and going on the road trip to Atlanta – is a good thing. Seeing him alive (and walking) might be the proverbial kick in the pants the boys need.

Fact: The pairing of Gerbe & Goose on a line is really comical. It looks like Goose’s much younger brother has been set loose on the ice with him.

Fact: Bears eat beets. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.

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Happy Anniversary, Sabres!

October 15, 2010

Love the Flintstones.  They don’t make cartoons like that anymore.

- There’s a slight delay in getting the sound to work on the HD channel for tonight’s game. I do not understand why there is such difficulty every night in getting the sound to sync up. It’s not like they don’t know that the game is happening.

- I love, love, LOVE that we get to see the anthems tonight. I wish we would get see them every night. cough THAT’S A HINT, SABRES! cough. I know the only reason that we’re seeing them is because of the special nature of the night, but really, if HNiC can show the anthems, why can’t MSG. I’ll gladly give up K-Syl’s pregame blather if it means we can at least get a brief moment of showing respect for our country.

- One more rant…those pregame ceremonies were such a letdown. It’s the 40th anniversary of the franchise and all we do is recreate a face off and have one more to celebrate the next 40 years. Where’s the parade of Sabres alumni? Where’s a discussion of the greatest team moments? Why trot out Rick Azar if he’s not going to do anything? C’mon, that was pathetic. As Mike Harrington pointed out on Twitter the other day, The Buffalo News has done more to commemorate the anniversary than the Sabres have done. It’s almost a joke at this point.

- Why did no one think of giving Montador a box to stand on while filming the Green Team ads? When the camera pulls back for a long shot of Gaustad & Montador, it is notable how much shorter Montador is than the Goose. I’m just saying…

- I have to stop myself from listening to the leaked footage of The Rocky Horror Glee Show. I want to be surprised when the episode comes on in two weeks.

- While returning from a break, the broadcast shares with us Milt Ellis announcing a penalty on Gaustad. Ellis’ voice sounds a bit gravelly, but it still has that gravitas that a PA announcer voice must maintain.

- After the end of the first, neither the Habs nor the Sabres have scored. Which is both a good thing and a bad thing. But at least they’re trying.

- I can tell that it’s going to be that kind of season when the first Montreal goal rolls off Butler’s foot into the net. If it weren’t for bad luck, the Sabres would have no luck at all.

- Am I missing something or is their currently no way to comment on TBN blogs? I see I can “like” them, I can “tweet” them, but I cannot comment on them. (Of course, I wouldn’t be able to comment since I haven’t registered, but it’s still fun to read others comments.) If I’m late to the party on noticing this, just embrace the fact that I showed up at all.

- Since the Sabres are less than inspiring tonight, I have moved on to browsing Cake Wrecks. Now I want cake. I have no cake. I get cake at the office this week, but that doesn’t help me now.

- RJ shares (almost overshares) that he was so happy that Dave Hannan ended the game against the Devils in 1994 because he had to go to the bathroom really, really badly. This is what the game has come to at this point: potty stories.

- I have to wonder if the reason the Sabres are so woeful lately is because they lost Pominville, who apparently might just be the entire key to The System. Better yet, what if Jason Pominville is The System. Think about it. Have you ever seen Pominville and The System in the same place at the same time? Hmmm? Yes, that’s what this game has done to my brain. It’s driven it around the bend and off the cliff.

- After Roy scores the Sabres first goal, Ray says that if Roy hadn’t scored on his second attempt at the net, he might have curled up on the ice and cried. There are so many directions I can go with this statement that I don’t even know where to begin.

- The fact that the picture froze in the final seconds of the Sabres game is a nice bookend to this game. The steaming pile of ish that was this game is sandwiched between audio & video difficulties. Awesome Sabres. Way to go. Way to honor 40 years of history tonight.

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Fun.

October 14, 2010

I know after last night’s drabalicious Sabres game, we can all use a little fun in our lives. So I come bearing fun. At least momentary fun.

You guys remember Burger King’s subservient chicken campaign? Well, another company is trying a similar concept, but this time, with vignettes. Go ahead, make the bear and hunter do whatever you want them to do. Try and stump it, it’s worth it only for the error message you get.

Linky thingy to YouTube.

I think “plays” is my favorite. “Drinks” might be a close second if only because it’s so completely random.

There will be hockey content soon, I promise.

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Some Things

October 13, 2010

- Watching paint dry might have been slightly more entertaining than this game. A 1-0 game is the worst bit of soul killing hockey, especially when one team does not get a lot of shots off to start the game.

I’m looking at you there, Sabres. There’s this thing called a puck, and you use that long thing with the blade on the end called a stick, to shoot the puck past that large overly padded man standing in front of that mesh net. It’s not as hard as I’m making it seem. Remember that old adage that shots create scoring chances? If not, stitch it on a sampler and hang it in the locker room.

There. I’ve said my almost snarky piece.

- The team owes Miller for even keeping them in the game. The Devils had some good chances, but if not for Miller in the net, the score would have been higher than 1-0.

- Work has been insane lately and I needed a good game to get my mind off the mishegas that is my desk and my to-do list. This game did not deliver. Can I get a refund on my time spent watching this?

- Someone really needs to tell Kaleta that headbutting will get him nowhere. It just pisses off fans and players. Act like the grown up, agitating, respectful hockey player I know you are.

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