Archive for March, 2011

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Laying Down the Law

March 28, 2011

I guess that as a non-hockey player, I will never fully understand the logic behind putting the logo of your team on the carpet in the middle of the room. I mean, on the surface level, I do get it. The logo indicates that this is your room, your team, your space. You take pride in the space and the team, and you don’t dishonor either by stepping on the symbol of the organization. But on some other common sense level, if the logo is so sacred, then why is it on the floor where anyone can/will step on it unless they are threatened with monetary penalties?

At least the laying down of the law regarding the carpet was done with a nice, pleasant reminder from Mike Grier.

Warning: this video contains a word that rhymes with “ducking,” so please be warned if you are in an office environment or other place where such language is not appreciated.

I love Grier’s “dad” tone of voice when speaking to the team and assorted media. You can tell he’s used the same tone with his kids before. (“I warned you about flushing daddy’s keys down the toilet. $20 fine goes into your college fund right now!”) While I wouldn’t necessarily want to hear about any more profanity induced freak outs from the team regarding the new policy, I would genuinely be curious as to the amount of money donated to charity at the end of the season (playoffs) because of the new rule.

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Miscellaneous Mutterings

March 24, 2011

- Color me impressed with Nathan Gerbe lately. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t rely on talent alone to get him through, he works hard and mixes that hard work with talent and tenacity to make plays. He completely outworked Subban at the end of the Montreal game. Even though the Sabres were about 99.9% assured of the win at that point, Gerbe didn’t turn on cruise mode. He kept working. I feel like that’s something that the Sabres as a whole sometimes forget to do during games. Once they get that magical two goal lead, they sit back and turn on cruise mode and then stand there and watch stuff happen around them or make dumb mistakes. Exhibit A was the Nashville game on Sunday. That game should have been locked down after the Sabres went up 3-1. Instead careless mistakes were made, the team lost and had no one to blame but themselves. And they did, but they rebounded well from it.

But back on the Gerbe topic, I still adore the Gerbe, Gaustad, Mancari line combination. Lindy found something special with them. I hope the line still continues to work out.

- I’m COMPLETELY SHOCKED that a fight broke out on the ice during a hockey game. Completely shocked. I mean, who knew that hockey included fighting? However, the way some of these parents were carrying on, you would think that these hockey players were having a group fornication with goats at center ice rather than just engaging in normal fisticuffs that are associated with a hockey game. I understand that fighting is in no way acceptable in “real” life, but you cannot take kids to a game where fighting is a part of the game (for better or worse) and then act all holier then thou when a fight breaks out in front of your precious snowflakes. Maybe I’ll feel differently when/if I ever have kids, but hockey can be one of the most family friendly sports out there. That seems to be getting lost in the pearl clutching going on in Portland.

- If this photo from Tuesday night’s Sabres game doesn’t make you smile, then I don’t know what will. It’s such a perfect mix of joy, tiredness & relief all rolled into one. What a great moment captured by the photographer.

- I hate that we’re now into the scoreboard watching, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” portion of the season. While it does give me an extra incentive to watch additional hockey games, it becomes maddening that I’m forced to root for teams that normally turn my stomach, like Ottawa. And Philadelphia. That’s just not right.

- I’m not a San Fransisco Giants fan, but this new Showtime documentary about the team looks like it could be really good TV. It stinks that we have to wait until July for it to begin. I know Showtime wants to do a good job with it, but if HBO can turn around their 24/7 series on a dime, why is Showtime waiting so long to debut theirs?

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Ramblings: Sabres vs. Thrashers Edition

March 19, 2011

- How great was it to see Hasek back on HSBC Arena ice tonight? Aside from a touch of grey (which happens to all of us), he still looks like the same lean, mean goaltending machine that played for the Sabres. If the Sabres and Hasek can bury the hatchet (and not in each other’s backs), I have hope that the Sabres and other former players can bury their hatchets.

- I love the addition of the 7 on the ice behind the nets. It’s a nice touch and a good way to honor a Sabres legend. (Even Sabretooth’s 7 on his sweater is a nice accent.) Does anyone know if the Sabres will be webcasting the Martin memorial service on Thursday?

- I was at the mall this afternoon and noticed that Laux is already selling Brad Boyes Sabres t-shirts. I approve of that. I do not approve of the Pegula/4 shirts that were for sale at T-Shirt University. I know we’re all excited about T-Pegs, but it seems wrong somehow to be wearing the owner’s name and number on your back.

- I was disappointed that the “Swords of 1,000 Men” song did not come clearly through the TV set after the Pominville goal. After all the ruckus on Twitter regarding the song, I want to hear it during a game for pete’s sake.

- I have no idea what to make of the Thrashers first goal. It looked to me like it went off Miller’s stick (which was on the ice) and then bounced over Miller’s shoulder. I’m pretty sure there’s no way Miller would have been able to contort himself that fast to catch the puck from going behind him.

- I liked Craig Ramsey’s red shirt & patterned tie combination; however, the brown houndstooth coat that he is wearing doesn’t work so well with the vibrancy of the tie & shirt.

- The Sabres second goal just illustrates the unintentional humor that comes from watching Sabres games. The power play unit consisted of Myers, Gerbe, Leopold, Gaustad and Mancari. Gerbe looked like a fun sized candy bar amongst a bunch of king-sized candy bars out there. (I want chocolate, can you tell?)

- I spend way too much time trying to figure out the answer to the Cellino & Barnes trivia question. I knew that the question was easier than I was making it, and it still took me for-freaking-ever to figure out that the answer was Michael Peca. I think I was having a mental block where I was stuck on Rhett Warrener and Jay McKee as the answers, but then I remembered that Warrener was later on and McKee was drafted in 1995.

- I miss a good chunk of the second period while searching online for instructions for the exhaust fan/light in my bathroom. I know the whole fan housing comes off for maintenance, but there is a way that the light cover thingy comes off and I need to find that out to replace a bulb. But enough about my troubles. The Sabres left the period with the lead, that’s all that matters.

- The third period was quite fun, once I abandoned my search for the fan instructions. Niedermayer scored his second goal of the night, the Sabres scored their eighth goal of the game, the crowd chanted “we want nine,” and Evander Kane tried to fight Tyler Ennis (after trying to scrap with Gerbe earlier). That’s a lot to take in.

- I’m pretty sure that the Sabres official Twitter account was as shocked that Connolly scored, as their announcement of his goal used several exclamation points. We’re talking a teenage girl level of exclamation point usage here.

- Cody McCormick’s reading PSA was kind of adorkable. It’s nice to see the team’s designated tough guy reminding kids to use their noggins and read a book. Also, Sabretooth reading to Perrywinkle was a nice touch. I just hope Cody is re-signed next year, I really like this guy.

- So that’s all she wrote until tomorrow’s game against the Predators.

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Sabres vs. Canes: Live and In Person

March 15, 2011

I was at tonight’s Sabres/Canes game. Because I don’t have one of those smartyphones (tm Dan Stark on The Good Guys), I was not able to live blog tonight’s game from the arena. I do however have a few comments on the night.

- First, Montador was blessedly brutal in the third period. I’m still not sure whether the falling down without a Hurricane in spitting distance of him or the penalty in the last four minutes of the game was the worse offense.

- Montador was not the only Sabre to randomly fall down tonight. I know Myers fell and there was at least one other stumble. Carolina had no problems, so I think we can rule out cruddy ice as a factor. Do they all need skating refreshers or aids of some sort to prevent from falling down? Speaking of skating and falling down, the little Timbits shooting on Sabretooth during the first intermission were adorable. I also thought that the Timbits animation on the scoreboard was a nice touch.

- I really liked that Pegula was sitting amongst the people tonight. Being named Mayor of Pegulaville while sitting in that section was really cute.

- I was keeping an eye out for Jersey Fouls tonight. At first, I thought my only contender would be a Zach Parise Devils vintage red and green sweater, but then I saw the following on the walk out to the parking lot. There was a nice young gentleman wearing a sweater with the name/number combination of “Jizzbot 13.” What does it mean and why does this sweater exist? (Or do I really not want to know?)

- I can honestly say that tonight was the first time that I heard “Centerfold” played on the pipe organ. (And was “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” slipped in there as well? I definitely noticed a difference in the music tonight versus the game that I attended back in December. Although I do have to ask, who slipped the “We Like to Party” song in there?

- I’m pretty sure that tomorrow we will be hearing an announcement from the Sabres that Sabretooth has been put on the disabled list with a torn rotator cuff. That cat was really working his shoulder while leading the crowd in the towel waves. (Note to the Sabres: the animated Sabretooth on the scoreboard for birthday announcements still wears a slug on his sweater.)

- Speaking of towels, the first synchronized towel wave of the night looked really cool.

- I might have missed the announcement, but was there no serviceman/servicewoman attending tonight’s game courtesy of the Sabres?

- The water in the ladies room by Section 110 was a coldish version of lukewarm, but not the ice cold that has been reported in other areas of the arena by other lady bloggers.

- Can someone get Pominville some non-breaking sticks? Or at least ensure that the Pommerdoodle has some other chew toy available in the locker room? This stick breaking nonsense is for the birds.

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They Won One for Rico

March 13, 2011

- It was a tough day in Sabreland. The news of Rick Martin’s passing weighed heavy in many fan’s hearts. I know that those fans who got to see Martin play are really feeling the loss, but since Martin had been an active member of the Buffalo community, the loss is really felt by all hockey fans and Buffalonians tonight.

- The stick raise by the players at the end of tonight’s game was an incredibly classy gesture. Kudos to whomever organized that opportunity. (I’ll admit to being completely clueless that something was going to happen, even as I saw Miller skating out to the postgame snuggle huddle carrying a stick. I just thought Miller was carrying his equipment so someone else didn’t have to.)

- The Sabres handled a difficult situation as well as any organization could have. The Buffalo News confirmed the story about two hours and twenty five minutes before puck drop this afternoon. When you consider that in this time frame the team managed to print helmet stickers, coordinate a press conference starting an hour before puck drop and then update their website with a memorial splash page within a few minutes of puck drop, their PR/web/broadcast departments definitely get an A for effort and execution. Well done, team. Well done.

And hey, reclaiming seventh place in the playoff race isn’t too bad either.

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Sad Goalies Not Always So Sad

March 7, 2011

Yesterday, the awesome Carole Browne shared a link to the very creative Sad Goalies Tumblr. While there are some legitimately sad goalie photos posted on the site, there are a few that a borderline sad or not sad at all.

For reference purposes, this is a sad goalie. Heck, this is a “make sure the goalie doesn’t have any sharp implements or shoelaces or bedsheets in the immediate vicinity for the next twenty four hours”, sad goalie.

This is not a sad goalie. This is a pissed off, in need of a clean pair of jammies, a nap and a juicebox goalie. (I may or may not have wanted to act like this sad goalie this afternoon due to events out of my control at the office. But I did not, because that is not appropriate office behavior.)

This is not a sad goalie, either. This is a dead goalie. Or one that’s just resting. Or one that’s contemplating the end of his career, which might actually make him legitimately sad. Then he remembers that he is getting paid a lot of money to be a glorified assistant coach/doorman. Then he is happy again.

Finally, this might not actually be a sad goalie in the traditional sense of the word, but sad in that he’s become nothing more than a punchline.

And it’s not on the site, but a sad goalie stick tap definitely has to go to Jose Theodore of the Minnesota Wild for his valiant performance in giving up Rob Niedermayer’s first goal of the year. Buck up sport, you’ll go down in history on that one.

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Not Just Another Game

March 5, 2011

- Remind me again why Tim Connolly is still a part of this team? I know, I know, Tim is the top center we have, blahblahblahfishcakes.

- How did that high stick on Myers in the first period not get called? He went down, stayed down and was bleeding. It sounded like RJ wanted to hop out of the booth and head down to the ice and argue the call himself.

- The warm and fuzzy first intermission feature on Pominville and the Make-A-Wish kid is exactly what has been missing from games in the past. It’s a total human interest story, but it’s something other than K-Syl & Roby blathering on and on and on. I’m sure the dead horses that have been beaten repeatedly on intermissions appreciate the break, LOL. And the warm and fuzzy feelings generated from this feature are exactly what was needed on this cold, dreary Saturday afternoon, especially since the game was featuring a 2-0 Sabres loss at that point.

- Have I mentioned how much I hate the Boomer and Carton commercials? I hate them about as much as the fact that Kathering Heigl is going to play Stephanie Plum in the movie adaptation of Janet Evanovich’s “One for the Money.”

- On a positive note, glad to see Stafford finally score again.

- Did The Fourth Period really need to use this image of Mr. Biznasty for their story about him? I really don’t want to think about anyone “twooping” for pete’s sake, let alone be confronted with an image of (faux) twooping in action. And yes, I do understand that people do use their phones and Twitter while visiting the loo. I just don’t want to be reminded of it.

- I’m completely enthralled with this video of a Briard riding a scooter. My aunt had a Briard, and his sole achievement was not getting electrocuted while eating the refrigerator cord while it was still plugged into the socket. He was nowhere near the coordination level needed for scooter riding.

- The Flyers third goal is a clusterfuck of epic proportions for the Sabres. First, it’s a shorthanded goal during a four on three. Second, four forwards completely forget about the third Flyers skater in their rush to head up the ice. If Vanek held onto that puck, their puppy-like exuberance could be excused. But because Vanek whiffed, they needed to switch into defensive mode and they didn’t quite do it quickly enough. I’m not even going to mention that Miller needed to make that save, because that’s just obvious.

- I did like seeing Morrisonn take offense to Versteeg poking at Miller long after Miller covered the puck and the whistle blew. Too often, Sabres players have acted ambivalent about the opposition going after Miller. If the team is going to play a style of hockey where Miller is going to be required to consistently bail them out, then they need to treat him like the sacred cow that he is and protect him.

- The fourth Sabres goal is a textbook example of how going to the net can and will often lead to goals. Keep it up, Sabres.

- Where the heck has the refreshed Sekera come from? Where has this guy been all season?

- I’m glad that Boyes is fitting into the lineup so seamlessly. Four points in his last three games is certainly nothing to sneeze at and makes Regier’s past trade deadline acquisitions look like dead fish.

- MSG and the Sabres really need to work on their technical issues. Mike Harrington reported on Sabres Edge that Paul Hamilton had to do the radio play-by-play of the game, as the WGR/MSG link broke (and the SD feed broke at the same time). My father sprinted up the stairs to my apartment just as the Gerbe goal crossed the line at the end of the game, as the SD channel made the switch to college basketball. I know that the Sabres are the redheaded stepchildren of the MSG family, but the team needs to ensure that such technical issues do not happen again.

- I was poking around on the NY Times site (before that infernal pay wall goes up), and this article about NFL players managing their finances is fascinating. It’s refreshing to read about athletes being wise with their money and not spending it all on bling and Bentleys and mansions that go into foreclosure.

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