Archive for the ‘Ryan Miller’ Category

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Post Hoc…

December 21, 2011

…ergo propter hoc.

The above line is the title of the second West Wing episode of the first season and translates roughly to “after it, therefore because of it.” This line keeps running through my head when people bring up one specific reason for Miller’s streak of average play.

Some of those “in the know” are theorizing that Miller’s marriage is the cause of his less than spectacular play of late; that his thoughts are with his sweetums back in California instead of focused on the ice in Buffalo. The “after the wedding, therefore because of the wedding” explanation for his poor play is a joke.  I mean, unless his wedding ring is somehow giving him flesh eating disease or he’s indebted to Russian gangsters as a result of the festivities, what happens in his personal life shouldn’t be used as a justification for poor play UNLESS MILLER CHOOSES TO MAKE THAT EXCUSE. And, he hasn’t. The “woman equals bad” argument also becomes even more ridiculous when those “in the know” point out that he was playing so well in the 2010 Olympics. Well guess what, he was dating his now-wife while playing some fantastic hockey.

Call Miller out for his hockey performance (or lack thereof), but leave his wife out of it until she’s done something to deserve the press. The end.

Before I fall off my soapbox, in case you want to see the “post hoc ergo proper hoc” scene from The West Wing, you can watch it here. It’s worth the viewing, just for Richard Schiff’s impish little grin.

 

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That New Season Smell

October 9, 2011

1. Yay! Hockey’s back! The Sabres are safely back home in Buffalo, tuckered out & jet lagged, but victorious over the Kings & Ducks. I was pleasantly surprised by Luke Adam’s play while in Europe. He seemed to click well with Vanek and Pominville. I know Lindy likes to muck with his lines the same way someone mucks with a Rubix cube, but I hope he leaves this line alone for the time being. 

2. I was pleasantly surprised that Pominville was named the Sabres new, permanent captain. I know most people were hoping for Vanek or Gaustad; but when you think about it, Pominville has that steady, dependable quality that is needed in someone that carries the leadership mantle. It’s also a big deal that the new captain (and the assorted assistants) are the guys that came up through the organization together. The last time the Sabres named a captain, they picked the new guy to the organization, just because he seemed to be the most grown-up  guy in the room. Now, Pominville and the assistants are the grown-ups. It’s their job to keep the team on an even keel. It begins and ends with them, there’s no one else to pull their butts out of the fire. It’s going to be fun to watch how this group develops, that’s for sure.  

And thus ends the cliche festival regarding leadership. 

3. If you haven’t looked at the Sabres.com photo galleries from the Griswolds’ European Adventure, then I suggest you do. Highlights of the many galleries include: 

  • Tyler Myers reading a newspaper. Granted, it’s a copy of USA Today, but it’s still an actual hard copy newspaper. (Gallery: Tuesday Morning Practice)
  • Lindy Ruff’s BAMF-y expression while wearing a pair of sunglasses. This photo feels like it has future internet meme written all over it. (Gallery: Off the Plane & On The Way)
  • A Disney movie (of all things) on the in-flight movie. Someone help a girl out with what the movie is. (Gallery: Leaving Heidelburg)
  • Sabres working out with weights. I know every player has their own specialized workout regimen, but it’s kind of comical to see Pominville and Myers working out with the hardcore weightlifter weights while Miller & Leino are using the “lady-sized” dumbbells. (Gallery: Monday Practice at SAP Arena)

Thank you to the Sabres staffers who took these photos and worked hard on the team’s media coverage while on this trip. Your hard work is really appreciated by those of us here in the cheap seats at home. 

4. The October issue of Buffalo Spree magazine focuses on the Buffalo sports scene, with articles on Ryan Miller, Pat Kaleta, Buffalo mascots, the WNY Flash, Buffalo Soccer Club and more. There is a lot of quality writing in this issue, so I do recommend that you pick up a copy. However, what was most intriguing was the article on Ryan Miller. One paragraph had two bits of info that jumped out at me. First…

Several members of the local sports media told me off the record that they admire Miller’s charity work, and that this makes it harder, at least on a subconscious level, to criticize the guy for letting in the occasional bad goal.

Oh really? The (supposedly) impartial media admits (off-the-record) that they’re soft on Miller because he’s such a good guy off the ice? If this is the case, by making this sort of statement, these media members are admitting that they would have no problem calling out Miller if he was a complete and total bastard off the ice. (On the other hand, that might explain a lot of the Timmy hate. But that’s another story for another time.) 

Secondly, Miller claims that the media by trade are designed to be pot-stirrers and focus too much on one point that they know nothing about. He might have a tiny, bitterness-coated point here. And I’m not saying that just because 5 for 25 is still a local joke. How many times have some media members gone to the same well for commentary topics? However, that doesn’t mean that players have to be hostile to the media in the locker room. All the players have to do is smile & nod, answer the questions, wish the media a nice evening and then go about their business. If players are getting this out of sorts about media coverage, perhaps they should stop reading/listening/watch said coverage. It is entirely possible to watch the news and read a newspaper without hearing/seeing/reading sports stories. I work with people who prove this fact true every single day.

5. Finally, I cannot stop watching this clip of bear cubs in a hammock. Enjoy and catch you back here later in the week for the “official” home opener. 

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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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The Onion Sportsdome Uncovers a Nefarious Plot

January 26, 2011

I don’t think I’m too late to the party on this one, but go watch this video from the Onion Sports Dome.

(In case you don’t have a great connection, the Onion Sports Dome uncovered a nefarious plot in which Gary Bettman paid Tallinder, Miller & Brendan Morrow $800 each to fake kidnap him for publicity reasons.)

Who cares whether the plot makes sense. It’s hockey! Getting national attention on a satirical sports show!  And for once, there’s no Crosby or Ovechkin presence! Please join me in a Snoopy dance as someone in the “media” realized that the NHL exists outside of these two!

That’s progress, my friends.

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Sabres vs. Islanders: A Story in Pictures

January 16, 2011

There were some really good photos taken at last night’s Sabres/Isles game. Please click on the captioned link to go and see the photo in question on ESPN.com.

Won’t someone be Lalime’s friend and save him from the oompa-loompa-y looking lady standing next to him?

Oh F*$#! I just killed Miller. Now they’re going to send me back to Portland. I’ll never see the NHL again.

Instead of a teddy bear, Miller sleeps with a goal stick. I wonder if he was actually knocked out or was he just taking a moment to catch his breathe and re-orient himself again?

Please tell me someone else sees the humor behind a flight of stairs being labeled “No Exit.” Where else would a staircase lead you?

No Tyler, I don’t think holding your breath until the Sabres win is a viable strategy.

Sweet Jesus at the craft store, how difficult is it to spell Niedermayer correctly? This is the second game that the spell check has failed for Rob. If I were him, I’d be worried that this was a sign that I would be shipped out of town soon for a manatee that could play the third line.

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Miscellaneous Stuff

December 14, 2010

- The Sabres visited Children’s Hospital recently for their annual Christmas visit with the kiddos. (Watch the video here.) There’s several things about this video that are blatantly adorable:

1). Lalime did not cut the tag off his Santa hat.

2). Sabretooth. Because really, when isn’t the cat adorable?

3). Tyler Ennis looked like he was playing the role of Tyler Myers elf.

4). Tim Connolly actually smiled. Like an honest-to-goodness smile, not a “how you doin, meet me later” smirk.

5). Jordan Leopold seemed genuinely affected and happy to be spending time with the kiddos.

- I watched Miller’s episode of The Game 365 on MSG and it was your fairly standard Miller interview. It recapped how he got his start as a kid playing goal (negotiating with his father), how he plays the game (analytical) and his family history with Michigan State. What I thought was interesting was that he admitted that he committed to MSU solely for hockey reasons, that if he would have picked on the academics, he might not have been a Spartan. MSU didn’t have the types of programs he’s interested in like architecture and others. Don’t get him wrong, he’s proud of his MSU business degree, but the school choice was solely based on hockey.

What else? The lockout helped his career in that he got to spend the full season in the NHL playing solid hockey with a lot of great young players. He discussed his stance changes from college to the pros (almost fully upright in college, but more of an athletic focus and wider stance in the pros).

Also interesting was the interviewer’s (Fran Healy) attempt to compare hockey goaltending to catching in baseball. Miller disabuses that notion, as the pitcher is intentionally trying to get the ball to a catcher, while in hockey a shooter is trying to get the puck past a goalie. I know Healy is a baseball guy, but this question seemed almost like a “duh” on the “of course, they’re different” scale.

Regarding the Olympics, they were a lot of fun, but a balancing act afterwards, as he had to juggle his professional commitments versus his “media” star obligations. I’m sure going from the glare of the Buffalo media (such as it is) to the glare of the national media has to have been quite the adjustment for the goaltender. It’s not every day that he gets asked to shoot photos for Vanity Fair, you know? It’s a long way from interviews with Channels 2, 4 & 7.

- Last week, WNED showed a retrospective of Buffalo broadcasting’s glory days. I watched it with my parents and cannot believe that back in the day kids were entertained by a gentleman wearing a cardboard box and calling himself a “robot.” The retrospective is also worth watching just for the 70s fashions alone.

- Thanks to a link on Twitter, I watched the Misery Bear Christmas video.

I’m sitting here alternating between laughing and crying, and wanting to go get my old teddy bear out of the closet and give him a great big hug. I’m sure the range of emotions generated are probably what makes the video so effective.

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So That Happened

November 20, 2010

- The night doesn’t get off to a good start for the Sabres. First there was the announcement that Rivet is playing. Then, it’s announced that Miller will be out and is day-to-day with a lower body injury. I really hate the phrase day-to-day. It adds nothing of value to the discussion, because as human beings, by definition, we are all day to day. But I digress. Sitting out tonight means that Miller’s lower body will be scrutinized for a whole different reason at tomorrow night’s Catwalk for Charity. If he so much as winces, or has a wonky gait, it will be discussed ad nauseum.  Hopefully some rest and therapy will help Miller’s lower body heal.

- Vanek’s first period goal was incredibly hot. He just smoked it past Smith. I’m so glad to see that Vanek has gotten the proverbial monkey off his back. It’s great to see him not look so unpleasant and despondent after every game. Next up on the “getting his game back” list is Pommers.

- I can understand WHY Connolly’s second period goal was waived off, but at the same time, it’s not like Pominville intentionally tried to whack the puck to Connolly. He and the Tampa player both swatted at the puck like it was a jump ball and Pommers won. If the Tampa player would have won the jump ball (for lack of a better phrase) and gotten the puck to a teammate who got away on a break toward Lalime and scored, would they have waived that off as well? I would think that standards would be consistently applied. Oh, wait. I forgot what league I was dealing with.

- What in the name of French-speaking goalies was Lalime thinking when he made that ass-backwards backhand right to the Tampa player for the second Lightning goal? Good lord, that was horrible and unneeded. And unjustified. And a whole lot of other “un” words that I can’t think of right now. Patty, nothing personal, but you’re fired. If Miller is unable to go next game, I want Enroth.

- When Rob Ray is making sense and being a valuable, contributing, less-blowhardy member of the broadcast, you know it’s a freaking strange night. He was cracking jokes that made sense, and had a concise analysis of just how many passes Lalime could have potentially made on his gaffe other than the one he chose. Wow. I don’t know where this Rob Ray came from tonight, but can we keep him, please?

- I’m beginning to think there’s a new edition of “Honkers Illustrated” in the penalty box and that’s why Goose has been in there so much tonight. I mean, there is no excuse to have 6 penalty minutes with 24 minutes left to play in the game. You cannot have your number one face off guy in the box for long stretches of the game when you are down a goal. It’s like a rule or something.

- Off topic for a second, while I know they’re a Buffalo holiday tradition, the figurines in the old AM&As holiday windows are TERRIFYING. I understand the nostalgia that those of my parents generation have for these decorations (see: my mother’s 10 minute monologue on going to see the windows and then having dinner at AM&As and then getting candy for the ride home), but they are still terrifying.

- Moving on. What a beautiful tribute from the Canadiens tonight for Pat Burns.

- There were quite a few BS non-calls during the final two minutes of play. I do love the broadcast crew quickly pointing out that Vanek, Ennis & Myers were all clearly tripped by Tampa players with no call made by the refs. (It’s reminiscent of those reality show moments where a contestant is running around like a chicken with their head cut off screaming about missing an object, and the cameraman is clearly focusing on said object that is right in plain sight.) However, you know that if it had been Goose as the tripper and Stamkos as the trippee, that play would have been called six ways to Sunday and Goose would again have been sent to the box to continue reading “Honkers Illustrated.”

Since we’re heading into the holidays, I’m going to end this post with one of my favorite Thanksgiving related video clips. Friends always did fantastic Turkey Day episodes, but this is probably my favorite moment. You’ll have to go direct to YouTube to watch it, as the video is not able to be embedded.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3hn40NlrVk

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