Archive for the ‘Former Sabres’ Category

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Lassie! Go Quick! Timmy Fell Down the Well and Landed in Toronto

July 13, 2011

I’m really going to have to get some new material. There’s only so many games next season where I’ll be able to make a Timmy & Lassie joke.

Earlier today, Sully posted a link to this Steve Simmons story from the Toronto Sun discussing the underwhelming career of one Tim Connolly. I’m of a lot of mixed emotions and feelings after reading this article. On the one hand, the article does seem to cohesively describe a lot of what Buffalo fans have been rumbling about for years. On the other hand, Simmons does kind of write Timmy off before the man even has a chance to put on a Leafs sweater and attempt to prove he’s worth the contract he signed. I mean, look at some of the words Simmons included to describe people’s off-the-record impressions of Connolly:

Soft. Sullen. Difficult. Loner. Spoiled brat. Silver spoon kid. Entitled. Not a team player.

I’d really like to know who Simmons talked to, but I grasp the sanctity of off-the-record. I can understand the use of the first two words because we all know that Timmy’s had his share of injuries and associated issues and doesn’t exactly give off a lot of warm & fuzzy vibes. And there may have been a few times where he’s put self over team, but it’s not like it was an every night thing. I was also struck by the use of the words loner, spoiled brat & silver spoon kid. Those are words that carry a lot of negative weight. However, where are the examples of Timmy’s spoiled brat, loner self? We’re just told that these characteristics are a result of Milbury keeping him with the Islanders rather than let him grow up in juniors. Show me that he’s a spoiled brat. Don’t just tell me.

And what are these “rumors” regarding his off-ice conduct? I’ve only ever heard of one Timmy rumor, and it’s been around since I was in college. What other rumors are out there? Is Timmy a lousy tipper? A puppy kicker? A drunk? Did he steal cookies from a troop of Girl Scouts? Is he a pyro? A flasher? A bank robber? I feel like we’re missing a large part of the picture.

And then there’s this quote from the GM of the Erie Otters implying that Timmy is a screw up compared to his successful parents & siblings.

“He was a kid from a high achieving family. His father was very successful. His mother was very successful. His sisters were successful. You would think he would follow in their paths.”

Now, I don’t know what his parents & siblings do for a living, but I would think that making it to the NHL would mean that one is fairly successful in one’s career, especially if one has been working towards it one’s entire life. I mean, one doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide that one is going to be an NHL player that day. The above quote is very powerful and makes Timmy sound like a right royal loser. (And it makes me kind of feel bad for him!)

Also, what the hell is this story about?

This came after a playoff game in which Connolly skated to the Sabres bench and was asked by a television announcer why he was so glum. His answer, paraphrased: How would you feel if the entire arena hated you?

With how much chatter happens within the press, why didn’t this story hit the Buffalo media? (It didn’t, right?) We know there are some members of the press who appear to get their jollies from writing negative pieces. This item would have been the perfect fodder for a column from one of them.

I think that while Simmons’ intent is to provide Toronto fans with more info on the newest member of the Leafs, I think that he did nothing more that tease the beginning of the Tim Connolly episode of E! True Hollywood Story. All that’s missing is the happy ending or the tragic ending shot of a tombstone overlapped with somber music.

And now that I just wrote an entire blog post defending Timmy, I think I might need a cookie.

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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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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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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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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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What We’ve Learned Today

November 23, 2010

1. Derek Roy did not punch Tim Connolly and is upset that you would think otherwise.

2. Tim Connolly still has not spoken to the media regarding this entire situation. If he would just come out and say that he was (potentially) sauced up and tripped over his own two feet while attempting to be cute and clever, no one would judge him and this entire thing would probably just fade into the sunset. Let’s move on.

3. John Vogl does not like Twitter and thinks those that use it need to get out and get a life. I know Vogl has made his internet disdain known before (see his comments on Sabres Edge about how he wishes he could just be a newspaper writer, rather than a newspaper writer that writes blogs on occasion), but this is the first time he has been so vehement about the evils of the internet.  By delivering an anti-Twitter rant on Sabres Edge, Vogl made himself – and his opinions on Twitter – the story, rather than Roy/Connolly’s alleged conduct at the Catwalk for Charity. Interesting deflection tactic by what you would think would be a non-biased source of information.

I understand that Twitter might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to insult those people that use it because you yourself have no use for it is not fair. The world is going digital. Don’t mock those of us that are exploring how to widen our communication pool because you yourself don’t see any value in it. That’s one of the great joys of a digital world. You can either choose to – or choose not to – use a tool.

That said, I would think that newspapers would want to encourage writers to use Twitter to promote articles that appear on the paper’s site in order to generate traffic on the site. (Traffic = revenue. And that’s a good thing.) However, I can also see the other side of the argument that Twitter allows for much more immediate feedback from the public. That uncensored & rapid feedback is probably disconcerting for people who are not familiar with how the tool works (or those that just don’t want to hear from their adoring public).

That said, there are some journalists that do use Twitter (Mike Harrington, James Mirtle, Elliotte Friedman, Bob MacKenzie, the ESPN writers, etc) and use it well. I hope we continue to see those ranks grow in the future.

4. This entire situation reminds me why I did not go into PR as a career. I’m sure the Sabres PR department was having a field day with this one. I may have messes to clean up in the ad world, but they are nowhere near messes of this scale.

5. The fact that most people are not ashamed of Derek Roy, and would probably throw him a parade if Sunday’s alleged event actually did happen, is astounding. I’m not sure if Roy was aware of this when he made his comments to the media earlier. However, what does it say about Timmy’s shelf life in Buffalo if people are happy hearing that he got popped one by a teammate? (Or not, as it were.)

6. It stinks when you write a draft of a post (“Reasons Why Roy-Z Would Have Popped Timmy”) over your lunch break, but due to time restrictions, cannot post it. By the time you are able to post, the topic is no longer valid.

7. On a non-Timmy/Roy-Z note, Lindy hit about a 9.0 on the rant scale today at practice. Very nice work, coach!

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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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The T Word

November 3, 2010

(Image from Ihasahotdog.com)

Really, after that debacle of a game, most people would be quite happy if the T word was put in a box and shipped to a land far, far, away.

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Preseason: Sabres vs. Sens

September 28, 2010

I’m slowly working my way back into this blogging thing. Baby steps, you see.

- The new white sweaters look sharp, but like a lot of people have said, the gold band on the bottom just seems off somehow. It’s like they pulled the wrong PMS color or something. (Speaking of PMS colors, did you know that Tiffany Blue is a copyrighted color? You cannot take a Tiffany box to the store and get the color matched. PMS 1837 is limited only to Tiffany use.)

- I love the picture used in the online edition of today’s Buffalo News for the article discussing Lalime’s goals for the season. It really works nicely with the headline calling out the Sabres need to lean on Lalime.

- I can’t help but giggle when I hear the name “Bobby Butler” for the Sens. Another Bobby (well, Robert) Butler was one of my profs in college (and head thesis reader) and if you’ve ever met Bobby Butler from Canisius, you will understand why I am chuckling.

- It’s incredibly weird to be hearing the old HNiC theme on TSN. I do like the music that the CBC got to replace the old theme, but to me, the babababa theme will always be HNiC-related.

- The Double Stuf Oreo mascot appearing in the new Oreo commercials looks like he could be Peter Puck’s long-lost little brother. And while I’m thinking about the Oreo commercial, Apolo Ohno really is a little guy compared to the rest of the athletes he’s appearing with.

- Stafford and Connolly are both wearing letters tonight. No leadership pressure in a contract year boys, nope, none at all.

- The season hasn’t even started yet and I’m on Center Ice commercial burnout. I will be thrilled to order CI as soon as I  jump through TWC’s hoops that are required before they will come out and install a cable line to my flat. Then there’s the mishegas of them actually coming out to install and bringing the DVR and all that jazz.

- It was kind of shocking to hear the number of concussions that Peca & Barnaby admitted to having during their NHL careers. (Peca: 3 reported, 6 total. Barnaby: 6 reported, 12 total.) Barnaby’s candor during this segment is refreshing. To admit that he played a chunk of a game with no vision in his left eye as a result of a fight just proves that these guys are of a different mindset than a “normal” human being. I want to curl up and whimper when I have a headache, these guys want to be out on the ice.

- I could live without this Pierre/Gary Bettman interview. Pierre just creeps me out, and Bettman is just to PR-speaky for me. Not to mention that I keep hearing the Charlie Brown teachers “whaa-whaa” voice as Bettman is prattling on with his usual talking points on the Olympics, salary caps, circumventions, and other topics.

- Not NHL related: I simply cannot fathom a $55,000 dinner. Mind…blown. It’s moments like this that don’t do much to rehab the image of professional athletes as spoiled brats. The fact that they spent $55k on dinner (not that the rookie stuck with the bill couldn’t afford it), when people are struggling just to make ends meet on $55k a year is astounding. I guess the rich really are different from you and me.

- After one aborted fight, the refs finally let Cody McCormick and a Senator go at it. McCormick is one tough cookie. The Sabres need that “don’t mess with me, bro” attitude.

- Earlier tonight the broadcast crew said that Gerbe was 5’7. Right. He’s 5’7 in the same way I’m 5’7 – when I’m wearing heels and standing on a footstool. Dude is tiny, but according to the media guide, has some weight on him. He apparently weighs more than Miller despite being 9 inches shorter!

- Leopold has an undetermined injury and was scratched from tonight’s lineup. Sekera replaced him. Isn’t it a little early for all these injuries (Rivet, Kaleta, etc)?

- My cousin had a rugby crossbar fall on him today and ended up with four staples in his head. I guess you could say that he took a shot off the crossbar? (groan)

- I do like the “questions will become answers” theme that the NHL is utilizing for their ad campaign. It’s nice that they can tailor individual spots for each team. If they carry it through the season (say updating at the halfway point and the playoffs), it could be a winner.

- On Pommer’s goal, I’m pretty sure that I could have made the shot through that large gap between the goalie’s legs. And I have no athletic ability or skills whatsoever.

- Neil gets an extra whack in on Miller while running the crease, and Vanek, Connolly and Pominville rise to their goalie’s defense with a little bit of pushing & shoving. Miller just calmly skates away, like “you people deal with this nonsense, I’ll just be over here watching.”

- How funny is it that an Ottawa player heads off the ice and to the dressing room only to be stopped by local constables for some autographs? I’m sure that doesn’t happen at Scotia Bank Place.

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Things & Stuff & Guys

September 27, 2010

- So the pre-season has started and we Sabres fans can’t see any of the games being televised on NHL Network due to some backwards issues between MSG & the NHL. Yay! Way to piss off one of your biggest markets! I’ve only seen bits & pieces of the first two games due to internet feed issues (and the whole being in Pittsburgh thing), but it sounds like Kassian is impressing many. I hope he’s atoned for his past misdeeds and the Sabres give him a fair shot. Whether it means a contract this year or not, he’s gotten a lot of fans past their summer apathy & misery and talking hockey again.

- How adorable is Chris Butler admitting that his grandmother gave him a pep talk regarding getting out of the press box and back onto the ice? Between his common sense, low key Twitter postings and this recent article, Butler is slowly getting back into my good graces. He’s just so refreshingly normal for a professional athlete. There’s no bitching, whining or comments about making panty soup (which is a phrase I just learned, thanks to the Twitter.) He appears to be what my aunt would call “just plain folk.” I love it.

- Ryan Miller is a very nice photographer. He could have a lucrative career capturing moments at weddings, baptisms & bar/bat mitzvahs if that whole hockey player thing doesn’t work out for him. And if I may wade into the shallow end of the pool for a moment, has Drew Doughty always been that attractive?

- And in case anyone is looking for a nice, nostalgic time waster, Entertainment Weekly has provided a list of the 25 or so most memorable Sesame Street guest appearances.

- I wasn’t expecting the Bills to cut Edwards today. Since Trent was a perfectly nice gentleman, he deserves a classy send-off.

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