Archive for the ‘Paul Gaustad’ Category

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Dear Sabres – Game 2 Edition

April 16, 2011

Dear Sabres,

Stop taking stupid penalties. I mean it. It is easier to play hockey with five skaters, not four. You had six penalties in the second period alone. When you take penalties, you keep your scorers off the ice. As much as I adore a good penalty kill, I do not adore having six penalty kill attempts in one period. Please keep that in mind on Monday.

Frustratingly yours,

- Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Goose,

Your straight arm of Danny Briere in the first period was a thing of beauty. You became the talk of Twitter and I’m pretty sure you made Buffalo smile. Your ass kicking of Hartnall also was admirable. You beat the snot spewing grin right off his face. And you didn’t break your hand on his hard head. Kudos to that.

Honkingly honky honk,

- Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Nathan Gerbe,

Outstanding work in body-slamming Claude Giroux. Way to show him that just because you are fun-sized doesn’t mean you’re a pushover.

Your fellow height-challenged person,

-Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Andrej Sekera,

I was quite worried about you when Mike Richards came and poked you in the face while you were writhing on the ice in what appeared to be “man pain.” He broke all rules of good sportmanship by doing so. But I should expect nothing less from a Flyer.

Way to suck it up and come back on the ice.

Respectfully yours,

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Crunchy,

What. The. Hell? Was tonight’s game needed to average out your outstanding performance in Game 1? While I will admit that you did have some great saves tonight, there were quite a few moments when I wondered what was going through your head. I’m also surprised that Lindy didn’t park your rump on the bench for the third period. Not only would a benching have sparked the team, but also prevented you from getting killed by an overzealous Flyer.You did take quite a few checks, whacks and smacks tonight.

On the plus side, I did enjoy your yammering at Mike Richards after he poked at a wounded Sekera. I’m sure you had a pithy, witty and well-though out retort to his actions. I would expect nothing less from you.

Get some sleep and come back strong for Game 3.

Respectfully yours,

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Tyler Myers,

Stop pushing players into your goalie! It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and 99% of the time, it will be your goalie that gets hurt. Do we understand each other? Good.

Thanks,

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Internet Gods,

Please take pity on the poor reporters and let them have at least one game with a dependable internet connection. I know that asking for constant connectivity is a wild and crazy request, but the role of the reporter in the 21st century requires the use of the internet. I missed reading Sabres Edge this game and want it back for Game 3.

Sincerely,

Shots Off the Crossbar

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Notes and Thoughts

February 5, 2011

I know, I know, I haven’t written a lot around here lately. I’ve been alternately sleepy & grumpy when I’ve come home from the office, and there are times I feel like I’ve said all I have to say during the day on Twitter. But then, a big news week happens and you just feel the need to blog.

- Thursday’s press conference was quite entertaining once I got the sound on my work computer figured out. The bittercakes expressed by Golisano and Quinn were off the charts. I can understand how they might be frustrated with the fans and media, since public opinion of them changed so radically after The Day that Hockey Died Drury & Briere left town. Up until that point, they were still operating under the perception that they were seen as the saviors of hockey in Buffalo and could do no wrong. Once Briere & Drury changed sweaters, the fans saw Golisano and Quinn for what they really were: shrewd businessmen focused on the bottom line, who may have been hockey fans on their down time. It might be a horrible reality check, but it happened. We – both fans and Golisano/Quinn – just need to move on. And hopefully, Pegula moving into the owner’s suite will all allow us to do so.

- I know injuries are never funny, but only Rick DiPietro could manage to injure his knee while getting punched in the face.

- Did anyone else notice the comedic awkwardness of Gaustad’s postgame interview last night? First, K-Syl needs to have a box or a stool to stand on when interviewing the really tall guys. It would make the shot look so much better. Second, Goose’s high beams were quite obvious in the neutral colored UnderArmour shirt he was wearing. It made for an awkward camera positioning, as the camera guy was trying to avoid the high beams and yet keep Goose and K-Syl in the shot, which was made all the more difficult due to K-Syl and Goose being on two different height planes! It’s a vicious cycle, and I don’t blame K-Syl for being short (lord knows, I live in heels to compensate for my lack of height), but when the interviewer is “yay high”, and the players are “yay-yay high”, there has to be a way to level the playing field.

- I enjoyed seeing Gaustad/Grier/Niedermayer as the dominant scoring line last night. These guys have all kind of faded into the woodwork from time to time , so seeing them step up and lead the team was a nice change of pace. Now if only the Sabres can get their muckers and grinders firing at the same time as their top lines. Then they might be a dangerous team.

- I can attest that there are plenty of Toronto & other Canadian residents in town for tonight’s game. They were all over the Galleria mall earlier today. They way they were carrying on at Lord & Taylor, you would have thought they had never seen shoes on sale before, LOL.

- Conan O’Brien has come up with what may quite possibly be the most adorably disturbing concept ever: the Lingerie Puppy Bowl.

- The pre-game spiel contained the title of “Leafblower” in regards to Ryan Miller. For the love of everything holy,why does no one run these things past a 12-year-old to avoid any innuendo or awkwardness? Why not call him “The Rake?” Oh wait, that might be awkward too. (See: here.)

- K-Syl dissed canned spaghetti during the first intermission break. I know what he meant, but there is nothing wrong with the occasional can of Spaghetti-O’s. Nothing wrong at all.

- I’m never, ever one to criticize ads (stop laughing!), but I’m confused as to why Ellen Pompeo was chosen as the spokeswoman for the Huggies/NHL PSA.? Google tells me she’s a member of their “Diaper for Every Bottom” campaign, but why not choose a “real” hockey mom? You could really have some fun with it. Imagine Mama Crunchy or Mama Niedermayer or Mama Staal giving that speech. It would add an aura of realism to the commercial. And I’m not saying this just because it’s a good idea, but also because I can’t look at Ellen Pompeo and not see Meredith Grey. The idea behind the PSA is a good one, it’s the talent I’m having a problem with.

- Goose’s goal tonight was scored off a nifty drop pass from Grier. This is the second consecutive game where the Goose/Grier/Niedermayer line has been one of the best for the Sabres.

- I may be one of the few people out there who doesn’t “get” Tumblr. I don’t mean to be all fuddy-duddy-ish, but I’ve never found it very user/reader/audience friendly.

- I know a lot of people mentioned it on Twitter, but it takes a real tough hockey player to pick fights with and target the littlest guys on the ice. The Leafs were especially guilty of it tonight, going after Gerbe, Ennis & Byron. The only problem with that strategy is that these guys have fire and will fight back if provoked hard enough.

- I’m sorry, but Rob Niedermayer giving Rob Ray a love tap with his stick during the third period was funny. I know Ray was kvetching about it messing up his suit, but it’s still fun to see the guys on the ice interacting and having fun with the broadcasters.

- Speaking of fun times, RJ informed us during the game that the upcoming Florida roadtrip is the Sabres annual trip with their fathers. Altogether now, awwww. I love that NHL teams promote these family bonding moments.

- I know it’s the Leafs, and the Leafs haven’t won in Buffalo in dogs years, but a win is a win. I will take the two points and go about my business.

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News & Notes

June 22, 2010

- Is Miller the chaperone for the NHL draft picks attending the Twilight Eclipse premiere? Is his attendance required because he has a Hollywood starlet girlfriend? Is he secretly a member of Team Jacob? Is he going to be required to explain the plot of the movie to his teammates at some point? I have no idea, but there has to be a good reason for him attending this movie. I know when I think of sparkly vampires pining for their true, pure love, the first thing that pops into my mind is Ryan Miller.

- And speaking of red carpets, what kind of bull is it that the red carpet pre-show for the NHL awards is only going to be broadcast on nhl.com? I have a perfectly cromulent TV set with NHL Network that is perfect for watching pretty men on the red carpet. Why should I have to hunch over my laptop’s 17″ screen and deal with a buffering feed? Boo, NHL. Boo to you on this one.

- The prevalence of back-to-back games on the Sabres schedule for next season illustrates the Sabres need for a perfectly cromulent backup goalie to give Miller a night off here or there. The Sabres need to find a goalie that Lindy will have faith in to play a number of games, and not just sit on the bench wearing a touque, opening and closing the bench door. I’d like to see Marty back here. He’s a good goalie, and a decent guy. There would be a minimal breaking-in period between Marty & Ryan, and Marty already knows enough of Lindy and The System to be dangerous. (On an unrelated note, Lindy and The System would be a great name for a band.)

- However, the goalie situation in the league just got a lot more interesting with the news that the Sharks are not tendering an offer to Nabokov. The goalie pool is deep this year, and watching where the various free agents land is going to be interesting.

- Sabretooth appears to have fallen off the face of the Twitter earth. He wasn’t fired like the Pittsburgh pierogi, right?

- Late edit to add that Goose was the celebrity chair of the Camp Good Days Gala this past Saturday night. Video of him being adorable with the kiddos is at the link.

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Brains in Your Head, Feet in Your Shoes…

April 29, 2010

While perusing the Buffalo News Photo Gallery chronicling locker cleanout day, I noticed something peculiar:

Look  at photo #6 of Miller.

Look at photo #8 of Gaustad.

Notice anything?

Look again. I’ll wait.

Give up?

They’re wearing matching shoes!

Somehow, the thought of them going shoe shopping together is oddly endearing.

I swear, there’s going to be relevant hockey content on this blog soon.

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Quick Hits From Locker Cleanout Day

April 28, 2010

- I’m still upset that the Sabres were bounced so quickly by the Bruins, but when you look at the big picture, this season was a definite improvement on the last two. When you look back at the preseason predictions, most people in the know had the Sabres fighting for the final playoff spot in the East. Fifth place was considered overachieving for this crew. But then – due to heads being removed from behinds and some epic collapses by their divisional rivals – this team actually won the division. That blew everyone’s mind, but still didn’t stop those in the know from saying that the Sabres were ripe for upset. Sadly, this prediction was correct.

I’m excited for next season. Ennis, Gerbe and Myers showed a ton of potential (and heart…and effort) and I’m sure some of the core have to be worried about those little spitfires breathing down their necks and challenging them for playing time. That might motivate them even more…provided they’re still here and haven’t been traded for a Sports Night DVD set and a box of microwave popcorn.

- I’ve been pondering this for most of the day: would a professional hockey team’s locker room be just as gross on locker cleanout day as the locker alley at an all girls high school was on locker cleanout day? I know hockey equipment comes with its own special brand of stink, but high school comes with its own personal level of stuff finding (“Hey! That’s where that skirt went!” as you pull your spare uniform skirt out and give it a shake to return the polyester to its unwrinkled glory. And the skirt was usually just the tip of the iceberg  of crap residing in the locker.)

- I’m falling into the non-surprised, surprised camp regarding Rivet’s injury. He was not playing up to a veteran’s standards during the season, so an injury seemed to be a likely reason for his play. I still am amazed that hockey players suck it up and go out and play even when there’s broken bones involved (Timmy) missing teeth, pucks to the head, etc. I turn into a whiny baby when I’m sick (and just ask my parents how I was while I had shingles) so their resilience and stubbornness to play amazes me. I’m not dumb enough to think that it’s without medicinal aid, but unless their getting horse steroids (which I’m pretty sure is against the law), these guys have to just be mentally strong to deal with what body breakdowns they have during the year.

- I’m incredibly amused by Timmy color coordinating his green Yankees hat to his gentle sea foam green polo shirt. I can’t help but wonder if this was an intentional decision on his part or just an “I’ll pull whatever hat I want out of the closet and roll with it” thing.

- Speaking of hats, the less said about Miller’s chapeau, the better. Male hats should not be gaudy. Ladies hats should be gaudy. Kentucky Derby hats should be gaudy. Goalie hats…not gaudy. However, I can give a thumbs up to how Miller’s skates do look like Chuck Taylors. That’s a neat look and I know it’s probably unintentional, considering the bottom of his pads are white and the white skate tips make everything very matchy-matchy.

- I’m also amused by Paul Hamilton’s peeking around the locker wall while interviewing Timmy. Every so often this little Hamilton head pops around the corner and into the frame.

- Goose still looks pissed off. Like rage-y pissed off. His voice may be calm, but his facial expression is betraying what he’s saying.

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Sabres vs. Bruins – Game 5

April 23, 2010

- Ryan Miller’s new ‘stache is joining Bradley Whitford’s new ‘stache on my “things that are incredibly creepy” list. But hey, if it changes the team’s juju, then I’m all for it.

- Praise the lord and pass the ammunition…Adam Mair gets the Sabres out to an early lead on a Mairsy-around that Rask probably wishes he had back. This is the first time I’ve seen the crowd in the plaza today and I have to commend my fellow Buffalonians for showing up, even in the face of elimination.

- I’m kind of creeped out by the reports of Blake Wheeler’s man crush on Thomas Vanek. If Wheeler was a woman, we’d be warning the Vanek family to keep an eye on the family rabbit lest it be boiled by a crazy person.

- The Sabres have scored first in all five games of this series. That’s your fun stat of the night.

- Harry Neale: “Derek Roy couldn’t get out fast enough.” That’s what she said.

- WHOOO! Pommers increases the population of Pominville and gives the Sabres their fourth 2-0 lead of the series. Oy. And in other news, for the second time tonight, I misidentify a Sabre as Derek Roy. Why am I fixated on Roy-Z tonight? I’d like to apologize to Mair and Pommers for erroneously labeling them as the short and dive-y one.

- How sad is what’s happening to Bret Michaels? I had read about his situation before  I left the office and while I was toodling along home, Star started playing “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (which we all know is not the usual “Star Music”), so I immediately thought he was no longer with us. Best wishes to he and his family while they’re going through this. (On a related note, his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice has proven that he isn’t the vapid skirt chaser that Rock of Love showed him as.)

- The Sabres third goal was quite possibly the perfect play. Gaustad has a dominant face off win, and gets the puck to a wide open Grier who whistles it past Rask. It was just gorgeous.

- I see that RJ has picked up on my mistaking anyone and everyone wearing blue for Derek Roy, as he mislabels Toni Lydman as Derek Roy.

- I love that Dierdre Martin’s new book is coming out in time for my road trip. Hurrah for in-car reading material!

- Nice to see that CJ Spiller is being introduced to life in Buffalo by appearing at tonight’s game. However, how dazed and confused did he look when the camera panned over to him? He’s got to be running on fumes and/or adrenalin at this point.

- Holy Jeebus, Grier takes a Wideman slapper right to the head and drops like a rock. His teammates immediately rush to him after the whistle and Miller is down on all fours talking to him. Again, I reiterate my utter amazement over the fact that these guys willingly dive in front of a speeding frozen rubber disk when the normal human reaction is to, oh I don’t know, get the eff out of the way.

- My curiousity is still piqued as to why exactly the Devils had jelly on their postgame spread. Do they have a PB&J bar? Toast? Saltines & jelly? A make your own jelly donut station? Inquiring minds want to know. And that jelly must have been one hell of a mess for some poor locker room attendant to clean up.

- Boychuk scores with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game. 3-1, Buffalo.

- Game, set, match as Tennis the Menace makes a diving poke check into an empty net. 4-1, Sabres.

- I’m tempering the excitement I feel right now with the knowledge that the wheels can fall off the wagon on Monday night.

- Best ending to a game, ever. Chara and Gaustad start going at it and then everyone piles in, including Miller, who gets a few shots (and a nice face wash) in on Satan. Miller must be at his wits end if he’s diving into scraps like that. Did anyone else notice Lalime gesticulating on the bench while all that was going on, and Lindy standing in the door of the bench making sure no one pulls a groin or breaks a goalie. With how close he was standing to the edge of the bench, I half expected him to come charging in and start throwing bodies around, like teachers do with scrapping kids on the playground. Either that, or he was swearing at his Vezina-nominated goalie to stop fucking around before he gets hurt.

- And just when I think Cranky Ryan is the highlight of the night, after the horn blows, Patty Lalime starts dancing around on the ice. Is he auditioning for a role on Dancing With the Stars? (Because how awesome would a hockey player be on DWTS? I know that the current hockey schedule doesn’t allow an active player to participate (like Ochocinco is now), but why can’t a nice retired player participate?

- Finally, how awesome (and adorable) is this video?

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Goose Gets Loose for Charity

March 23, 2010

And I thought the Briere Bunch hats were nifty.

Turns out Goose is Loose hats are much better.

And that’s all she wrote.

(What, it’s been a long day. Would you rather I went off about the Caps potential link to steroids? I think not, but just want to stress that hugs not drugs is what’s important, my friends.)

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