Archive for the ‘Patrick Kaleta’ Category

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Best. Game. Ever.

December 3, 2010

Tonight’s Columbus vs. Buffalo game was the first Sabres game I attended in two years. I made a comment on Twitter earlier today that if the Sabres played like a lackadaisical bunch of sots tonight that I would have no choice but to pull out the Keyboard of Fury. Well, I’m pleased to report that the Keyboard of Fury has been put away for the night in favor of the Keyboard of Awesomeness and Goal Scoring.

My seats tonight were three rows from the top of the arena on the bench side, so I had a fantastic view of the action. I love the new Columbus sweaters, but for some reason, the blue doesn’t translate well on the ice. It appears black to the naked eye from a high vantage point. I did like the nice touch of the Sabres using the cannon emblem for the Blue Jackets on the scoreboard rather than the team’s traditional logo. And I really loved that the Sabres were wearing white sweaters on home ice. Can we please, please, please go back to that? Both teams had a very Olde Tyme Hockey feel to their look tonight and I liked it.

Anyway, sitting in the row immediately behind us were two boys about eight years old who were attending their first hockey game. They were adorable until the blimp showed up in the second intermission and they started howling about wanting pie. Let’s just say that the “adorable” turned to “obnoxious” REAL quick. Seated behind them were two girls who spent the whole game yelling “Let’s Go Buffalo” and managing to rhyme it with something about a rock & roll. I dunno, they were having fun. However, the crash from their sugar high was bound to be painful tonight.

Onto the on-ice action. Who the heck were those people on the ice tonight and can we have them show up every night? My god, the physicality. Can we please sign Cody McCormick to an extension, like now? Dude took care of Commodore for going after Kaleta. I had a feeling that once the response to Commodore’s hit was delayed, that our usual bunch of softies would show up, but was surprised to see old Pepper Grinder taking care of his boy and exercising a little frontier justice for Kaleta.

Montador wasn’t too impressive in his fight, but he tried. Bless his heart. He can still come sit by me anytime.

Moving on, for the second game in the last three, Patrick Kaleta engaged an opposing player in an actual fight. And again, Kaleta acquitted himself quite nicely. He also riled up the crowd afterward, which apparently, the Columbus bench wasn’t too happy about. If Kaleta were on any other team, I would hate him. But as a Buffalo fan, I embrace his d-bagness. He may have a d-bag playing style, but darn it all, he’s our d-bag.

There were two sickening thuds from players colliding into the boards in the third period. The first occurred when Stafford took out Garon and the goalie’s head bounced off the boards. However, the goalie was a tough nut and returned to the game. The second sickening thud occurred when Boll elbowed Morrisson’s head right into the glass. I have a feeling that Boll will be getting a call from those in the league office to discuss that little play. I did notice Lalime gesticulating madly at someone or something during the ensuing discussion of the penalty for Boll’s hit. I’d love to know what was he was engaged with to warrant that kind of reaction.

Speaking of Lalime, he’s really quite the little busy bee on the bench. He’s got that door opening thing down to an art and he collects old sticks and hands out new ones just as well as soccer moms hand out orange slices and sports drink. To think that the team pays him $600,000 for that. (Oh, you mean he’s supposed to play goal, too?) I know, I know, he’s Chief Morale Officer, Goalie Division for the Sabres and that’s his value.

And speaking of goal, how nice was it for Ryan Miller to finally get a shutout and not a “Ryan Miller Shutout?” Miller really didn’t have too difficult of a night, with the small exception of him getting dumped on his arse in the second period. At least the refs were smart enough to waive off that goal. I could see the arena flipping out if they had let it stand.

It was nice to see Stafford bounce back from his shoulder injury tonight with a goal and an assist. Vanek had a three point night and Pommers, that sneaky little thing, increased the population of Pominville in one fell swoop. If these three gentlemen – and wee Tyler Ennis – continue their scoring touch, this team might just turn around. Might. With a capital M. I know these guys will soon return their heads to their arses and forget how to score, but I will enjoy tonight for what it was.

During the second intermission, there was quite the coffee klatch going on in the press box on the left hand side (press box right, if you were in the box). I was trying to figure out what was going on: cookie delivery, Darcy finally trading Timmy for that 10-pound catfish,new scoop on the new owner, but the klatch broke up reasonably quickly.

I did get a giggle from the nice young ladies that were shown on the Jumbotron holding a sign that says “Sabres Hit It.” While I would hope they were innocently referring to the action on the ice, for the love of everything holy, that sign has quite the puckbunny subtext, does it not?

And what was up with the groups of young boys taking their shirts off and waiving them around for Jumbotron time?

And now to show my crankypants side, the nice lady sitting next to me spent the entire game texting. While she had a thorough knowledge of the game and of the team, it was incredibly annoying to see her phone attached to her like an appendage all night. If you pay $60 something dollars for a seat to watch the game, why not do something outrageous and watch the game. It’s annoying to those sitting next to you when your fingers are flying away all type-y type-y and your phone is beeping incessantly. And get off my lawn while you’re at it.

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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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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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I Don’t Think He Does Well On Halloween

September 28, 2009

According to this WBEN profile of Pat Kaleta (click the “Hear Patrick Kaleta profile” link), the little button is scared of ghosts and has been known to take a Rock Band drumstick around his house with him when he’s creeped out. At least no ghosts inhabit HSBC Arena (that we know of).

I know I use the word a lot, but this interview makes Kaleta sound completely adorkable. I can’t wait to see who else WBEN puts through the ringer.

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I Declare…

September 27, 2009

…that the next organization that uses the BEP’s “I Gotta Feeling” as theme is going to have the keyboard of fury unleashed upon them. I like the song, but it’s just so overused and overplayed. Two of the four broadcast TV networks used the song during their Fall 2009 upfront presentations, it’s on the radio constantly and now the Sabres used it as their red carpet theme. (I’m also extremely bothered by the use of “Gotta” instead of “Got A” in the song title, but I digress.)

Theme music choices aside, the Sabres video is a really quick (and cute) look at the boys on the red carpet.

- I also declare that an organization that uses the phrase “City of Hockey” as its theme for the season should do more to make sure that pre-season games are televised. If MSG won’t play nice, then put the games on the web for pete’s sake.

- I further declare that this Bills game is boring. Losses are never fun. That’s why I pulled up the hockey game on the laptop. Hockey makes it all better. Except when it makes it worse, of course.

- I further think it’s pretty kickass that Gaustad has gotten 17 penalty minutes in two games this preseason. As long as they’re not “stupid” penalty minutes, I will take displays of toughness any day of the week.

- I also submit that Pat Kaleta is truly a good egg. How many professional athletes would donate their autograph fees to charity and then go ahead and start their own foundation? Also, it’s an awesome cause that Kaleta is working towards.

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Sabres v. Flyers – 3.20.09

March 20, 2009

Or, The One Where the Wheels Officially Came Off The Wagon.

I had to watch tonight’s game on a bit of a DVR delay, as I had to go and make like a grownup and socialize at an industry event. Midway through cocktails, the score was still 0-0. By the time I got to my car, it was 2-1, Sabres. When I got home, it was 2-2. Fine. Since I’m a complete spoiler whore, I kept peeking in the picture in picture to check the live score while watching the recording of the game. As the live game pulled away from the Sabres, I couldn’t stop watching the DVR’d version. It’s like I had to know how the team went from winning to losing so pathetically. I even thought that it might be me that’s bad luck, and even debated whether or not to watch tomorrow night’s Rangers game. (I decided I will, mostly because I’m a glutton for punishment.)

- Tonight is the first game I really want to blame Lalime for the loss. At times, he looked shaky, but other times he looked confident. The team doesn’t need a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Spastic Goalie playing in net for the Sabres. While Miller is skating and taking shots again, I doubt he’ll be back any time soon to try and help the team out.

- What the hell was up with Pommers knocking the 5th Flyers goal into the net. There’s “helping your goaltender by crashing the crease when he’s out of position” and then there’s “not helping the goaltender by hitting the puck into the net while the goalie is out of position.” Guess which one Pommers demonstrated.

- Pommers was asked during the post-game press conference why the Sabres can’t keep leads. He almost looked like a deer in headlights while answering the question. I really think they’re overthinking this. Don’t think about the lead, which means a win, which means help in the playoff chase, etc. Just think about the next second on the ice and the next shift. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself by trying to make it fancy dancy. Not to be cliche, but just play the damn system! It’s THE SYSTEM for a reason. It works. To paraphrase Nike, just do it already. Don’t make me and the assorted wheaty bitches come down to HSBC Arena and slap some sense into you.

- Roby brought out a good point, that it’s alright for the fans to lose hope and go to their bad place (per Goose), but if the players lose hope, then you might as well not even take the ice for the game. It sounds like the players still believe, but they’re losing the big room that is Sabre Fandom.

- At least Chris Butler got his first NHL goal. He probably would have liked it better had the goal come during a game that the Sabres actually won.

- The Sabres put 43 shots on Marty and he stopped all but four of them. Marty was especially spectacular at the end of the second period, point blank stopping Roy, I believe. 43 shots and if they can’t beat Marty, who has had his moments of mediocrity this season, then there’s no way that they can beat other, better NHL goalies (Prawn, Tim Tom and the other Marty B. come to mind).

- The power play went 0-7 tonight. When the other team gift wraps  you scoring chances, you better convert on them.

- I fully support the fans booing the Sabres at the end of the game. Giving up a boatload of odd man rushes, lots of shots but few conversions, and some defensive breakdowns do not a successful, winning game make.

- What exactly happened to send Carcillo off for a 10-minute misconduct in the second? I kind of missed that while getting a beverage.

- I’m now fully ready to book my ticket on the good ship World Championships. It sucks that the Sabres are most likely not going to be playing hockey in the spring, but at least some of them can go put on their country’s sweater and extend their season a bit.

- I noticed after the 6th Flyers goal that there’s a large Gatorade, scuse me “G”, jug on their bench labeled “ice bags.” Do all teams keep ice bags on their bench in G containers or is that a Philly tradition?

- I’m not going to wade into the Ovie: To Celebrate or Not To Celebrate discussion, but seriously, Don Cherry’s head is going to explode during Coach’s Corner. The potential to top the discussion from a couple of weeks ago is huge.

- I got a kick out of reading what Pat Kaleta put in his auction basket for the Aces and Blades event.

- And on a light note, check out the rapping flight attendant. Skip ahead to the 1:00 mark for the real fun to start.

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Sabres vs. Kings – 12.19.08

December 19, 2008

I’m quite happy to be sitting on my couch right now. I survived the move of my workplace during the middle of a snowstorm, the intensely high pucker factor of the ride home, and getting stuck at the foot of my driveway. There’s never a dull moment in my life, let me tell you.

So without further adieu, here’s tonight’s live(ish) game blog.

Sabres Show

- We’re treated to a brief feature on Pommers and his blog. Pommers is quite the Two Fingered Louie when it comes to typing. He’s not going to be setting any typing records with the keyboard. He would not do well if he had to do a live game blog. Or type a term paper. I wonder if Crunchy’s a Two Fingered Louie typer as well and that’s one of the reasons for the delays in his blog entries?

- Doc Emrick is quite the funny guy. During a conversation about the Winter Classic, Doc mentions that he half expected all the biblical plagues to descend on Ralph Wilson Stadium during last January’s game, that’s how crazy the weather was. He shared that the broadcast crew is going to be on a scaffold in the second base area for this year’s Classic at Wrigley Field. That’s going to be quite the adventure for the broadcasters, as they’re going to be stuck out in the elements. At least at the Ralph, they had a semi-warm(ish) press box to retreat to.

- According to my Sabres Insider e-mail, Drew Stafford will once again be joining the BPO for their concert with Ronan Tynan. I will be attending that concert again this year. No, my tickets weren’t bought because of this announcement. Yes, I am a dork, but my mother wanted to go to the concert, and who am I to say no to my mother?

- I love that Mike Robitaille keeps insisting that Derek Roy is 5’6 or 5’7. My question is: on what day and in what shoes?

- During the “You Asked For It” segment, Nathan Gerbe settles the score on the pronunciation of his last name. Its Ger-Bee, not Ger-bay. While Gerbe was explaning the proper pronunciation, Sabretooth was completely hamming it up for the camera in the background, and was completely unnoticed by either Maria Genero and Gerbe. I’m sure the camera dude was chuckling, though.

First Period

- Lineup changes for tonight include Matt Ellis and Chris Butler in, Paul Gaustad (upper body injury) and Nathan Paetsch / Max Afinogenov (crappy play) out.

-Seriously!? Pommers just got nailed with a viscious check to the side long after he got rid of the puck. No penalty called, however. Which sucks, considering even my couch surfing rear knew that was penalty worthy.

- 10 minutes left in the first period and there’s still no score, but the Kings are the slightly more dominant team at this point.

- Roy breaks into the Kings zone with Stafford trailing, but Roy shoots the puck wide. I swear, the boys are going to need some practice on hitting things other than the broad side of the barn.

- On a completely whackadoodle play, Derek Roy centers the puck from behind the net, flings it through the goaltender’s legs, and off of LA Defenseman Kyle Quincy. Score: 1-0, Sabres.

- And in some other whackadoodle news, Firefox recognizes whackadoodle as an actual word. Will wonders never cease?

- Miller is credited with an assist on Roy-Z’s goal. I like when goalies make the scoresheet for something other than goalie stats.

- Kaleta and Ivanans are sent to the penalty box for roughing after Kaleta gets facewashed and doesn’t take too kindly to it and retaliates. Kaleta’s reaction is completely justified. Who wants a stanky hockey glove shoved in their face, anyway?

- Checking the TOI stats on Yahoo!, it looks like Paille has had his ass nailed to the bench, as he’s only played just over a minute-and-a-half this period.

First Intermission

- Snack time. Ben and Jerry’s Cake Batter Ice Cream. Yes, it’s 19 below with snow on the ground and I’m eating ice cream. I needed something sweet.

- I really get a kick out of the Molson Canadian commercials focusing on Molson as an honest brew. Every time I see the commercial, I notice something different in it. This time, it was the curling on the TV in the background.

Second Period

- The  period starts off with the announcement that the Miller and Lydman assists on Roy-Z’s goal have been removed.

- Pommers and Mair break into the zone, and Mair just can’t reach the rebound from Pommers shot. If he could have, it totally would have been 2-0 in favor of the Sabres, as Mair was facing a wide open net.

- Adam Mair atones for missing that rebound and pokes in a Chris Butler shot. That’s Butler’s first NHL point.

- We’re being treated to a bit of a goaltending clinic by Miller tonight. So far, he is playing a very strong and consistent game.

- Clarke MacArthur picks up Stafford’s rebound and taps it past LaBarbara. 3-0 Sabres.

- Kaleta takes a run at Gauthier, which we hear moreso than we see, and as the camera follows the puck up ice, Kaleta gets sucker punched by Gauthier in retaliation. It was a completely shitty move by Gauthier, as Kaleta came nowhere close to hitting him. As a result, the Sabres are granted a four-minute power play as Gauthier is in the box feeling some shame.

- That four minute power play kind of sucked. The Sabres had absolutely no momentum to get plays set up in the Kings zone.

- We’re doomed. As the period comes to a close, Harry Neale mentions that the Sabres have a stranglehold on this game. We’re so doomed.

Third Period

- The Sabres are back on the power play as Greene is sent to the box for hauling down one of the guys wearing blue and gold. Let’s see if the power play can improve on it’s lackluster showing in the second period.

- And they do! Staffy backhands the puck past LaBarbara. That goal allowed Staffy’s five game point streak to continue.

- LaBarbara is pulled and replaced by Johnathan Quick. LA responds by promptly commiting a slashing penalty.

- While waxing poetic about Dustin Brown’s smarts, Harry Neale mentions that he was once a high school teacher. I wonder what subject he taught?

- Either Miller is sweating like a pig, or he’s spent a lot of time on his back this game. The back of his sweater is completely soaked.

- Neale mentions that getting shots through to the goaltender is half the battle. I thought knowing was half the battle?

- Miller continues to put on a goaltending clinic, with two spectacular saves in a row.

- RJ intones that Kaleta has not been seen on the ice in quite awhile, and is not on the bench? Could he have reaggravated that neck injury that keptQ&A him out for a couple weeks?

- Matt Ellis shoots, Peters misses the rebound, and Ellis gets the second chance as he recovers Peters missed shot and performs a nifty bouncing wraparound. While I’m happy that Ellis got his first goal, I kind of wanted Peters to get his first. His goal celebrations are the best.

-While it looks like there are a fair number of empty seats in the arena tonight, the crowd is still pretty loud.I just heard the “we want six” chant. Love that chant. It’s so uniquely Buffalo.

- It’s not Sabres related, but it’s still an interesting  Q&A with Sean Avery.

- And Miller gets the shutout. 40 saves to earn his third shutout this year and 10th of his career. Good job Crunchy!

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