Archive for the ‘Ales Kotalik’ Category

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What a Weekend

March 8, 2009

- So Terrell Owens is now a Buffalo Bill. Please sit back, fasten your seatbelt, make sure your tray table is in the upright position and start enjoying the ride on the Chaos Express now departing from Ralph Wilson Stadium. There is no way that this is going to end well, but we’ll all be in for a ride. After seeing what Owens did to try and destroy quarterbacks in Philly and Dallas, I really hope he doesn’t try the same thing with Edwards. I mean, Edwards is a good kid and a good quarterback. While he’s still learning, he’s at a critical point in his development. A bad season with a person like TO on the squad could do more harm than good. Hopefully, Trent will be able to tell TO to STFU if things start getting out of hand.

The cynical beeyotch in me thinks that the TO signing was nothing more than a ploy by the front office to sell tickets, as its been rumored that season ticket sales and renewals are lagging. I know the Bills needed a receiver, but I don’t think a TO type ego is needed in the locker room.

This season promises to be interesting, that’s for sure.

- I missed most of Friday night’s Sabres game as I was at a home interior decorating party. I came home in time to see the third period. All I can say is that it’s about time that Pommers woke up and put the puck in the net.

- Saturday’s game was a different story. I watched the game at Tully’s with my fellow amazing lady bloggers. While the company was fantastic, the hockey…not so much. I lost count of how many times the team missed a wide open net or shot the puck wide or just plain screwed up. While the team is only three points out of eighth place, efforts like Saturday night’s will not get them back into the playoff group. I would not be surprised if Tellqvist started on Tuesday, as Lalime looked a wee bit shaky towards the end of the Ottawa game.

- How awful was it that Kotalik learned that he was traded via a text message from Ales Hemsky welcoming him to the Oilers? Regier mentioned that the Sabres have a silence policy until the trade is fully approved by the league. I guess Kevin Lowe and the Oilers don’t have that same policy. Just another reason that Lowe probably won’t be appearing on the Sabres Christmas card list.

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Trade Deadline Reflections

March 5, 2009

Well, now that we’ve all calmed down after the rush that is NHL trade deadline day, it’s a good time to sit back and reflect on what happened yesterday.

- Ales Kotalik was shipped to Edmonton for a 2nd round draft pick. While the team will miss Kotalik’s mad blasts from the point and wicked backhands during the skills competitions, he probably wasn’t going to be re-signed at the end of the year and so better to send him somewhere and get something for him.

- Tellqvist was acquired by the Sabres in exchange for another draft pick. Everyone needs to take a step back and realize this isn’t a sign that Ryan Miller’s injury is more severe than first thought. It just means the team needed to bring in some goalie depth, a proven veteran to spell Lalime on occasion. (And according to Miller himself, he’s still keeping active while on the DL. I do appreciate that he calls himself a wimp when it comes to tattoos. I’ll make no bones about joining him in that boat. The needles thing is what does me in.) Let’s give Tellqvist a chance before we automatically throw him and the team off the SS Playoff Chance.

- Dominic Moore was acquired from Toronto for a 2nd round draft pick. From what I know of Moore, his style seems like it would fit in with the Sabres, a mix of mucking and grinding and solid dependable play. While he may only be a rental player, let’s give him a chance before we write him off as gone at the end of the season.

- And in probably the most shocking news of the day, the Sabres signed Tim Connolly to a 2-year, $9 million contract extension. It wasn’t the fact that he was re-signed that was the most shocking, it was the dollar amount and length of the deal that caused many an eyebrow to be raised. Most people – yours truly included – thought that Timmy would be signed to a one year deal at a pretty significant discount. The fact that he was given a raise despite playing less than half of the games in his current contract. Darcy has to know something we don’t or Timmy has to have pictures of LQ at the company Christmas party with a lampshade on his head, that’s the only reason for such a wacky deal. Right? I wish Timmy nothing but the best, and pray that he remains healthy for the next two-and-a-half years.

- It will be interesting to see whether Calgary implodes with the addition of Olli Jokinen to its roster. General perception around teh internets is that Jokinen is a locker room cancer. It seems that Calgary is also slightly distressed that Lombardi was sent packing in this deal as well. If the room is already tempestous, how will adding such a volitile player affect the chemistry of the team?

- Just what Philly needs: two more rock-em, sock-em robots in McLaren and Carcillo. And it looks like that Marty to Buffalo rumor didn’t quite come true. Guess we’ll all have to look elsewhere for quotable material.

- I hope that the news that Kotalik is playing with Hemsky and Horcoff results in an uptick in production for all three. I would be quite distressed if Hemsky’s production suffered, as he is one of the leading producers for The Little Honkers. Yes, it is all about me, why do you ask?

- And in other news, sounds like Vanek is in the market for a new road roomie, as Kotalik was his roomie for the past three years. I wonder if Lindy will slot one of the new guys in, or break up an existing combination? And in other roomie news, while at Barnes & Noble last night, I was reading The Hockey News and Andrew Peters mentioned that Kaleta is his road roomie. Peters likes Kaleta since Kaleta lets him control the remote.  Heh. Would you want to go up against Peters over the remote control? I don’t think so.

- Last night’s game against the Habs was beautiful to watch. Gaustad set the tone early with his crushing hit. The team responded and took shots, and charged the net. Gaustad’s excellent tip of Rivet’s shot and his breakaway goal definitely put him as the second star of the game in my book. First star was Lalime for obvious reasons. Sure, he pulled a Miller and let in a goal with less than a minute remaining in the game to give up the shutout, but he was solid as solid could be for the entire game.

- I liked that the broadcast pointed out Rivet’s absolute happiness with Danny Paille during one of the goal celebrations. Joy like that for a teammate is something nice to see every now and then.

- Sometimes I think that Harry Neale exists solely in the broadcast to announce inane trivia like “on the second Tuesday of each month during the full moon, Patrick Lalime has let in two goals against the Montreal Canadians when playing at HSBC Arena.” Alright, so that’s slightly exaggerated, but you get my point. Harry tries to be a font of knowledge, but sometimes it’s not inserted at the right moment of the broadcast.

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Sabres vs. Ducks – 2.24.09

February 24, 2009

And so begins the Patty Lalime era in Buffalo. See below for game thoughts mixed in with thoughts on Miller’s wonky ankle, “the code” and any other assorted nonsense that crosses my mind.

- I encourage you to go to the WGR Audio Vault and listen to the two Goose-terviews that have been posted. (We interrupt this line item to mention that it’s now 1:10 into the game and the Ducks are already up 1-0. Good job, guys. Way to make the panicky fans come in off the ledge.) The first interview was done on Friday and discussed hockey, the Oscars and A-Rod. It’s noteworthy if only for Goose’s thoughts on movies; that movies are the new art form for our generation; that we grew up with TV and movies are really just an expansion of the TV arena, as the number of people with high quality entertainment systems grows. In regards to A-Rod, Goose mentioned that A-Rod should have just come clean, that the excuse festival is getting a bit old. The “I was young” excuse got absolutely no sympathy from Gaustad, as he pointed out that A-Rod was 25 when he was injecting himself. That’s plenty grown-up in Goose’s eyes.

The second interview was done last night, just before the signing at Dave and Adams (which, by the way, was extremely well run and Goose was extremely pleasant and wonderful with the little kids). The level of indignancy that Goose displays in this interview is off the charts. He manned up and faced a lot of questioning about the whole ” the Sabres are as soft as a sofa” mentality that’s swept through Sabre Nation since Miller was hurt on Saturday night. Goose does point out that there are some things more important that knocking Gomez into the third row. He uses the example that if he had gone after Gomez on the next shift and got a penalty called on him, then the Sabres would be facing a 5-on-3 with a cold goalie. That would be even more of a less ideal situation than the power play they were facing at the time. If the Rangers would have scored two goals, then Sabre Nation would be calling for the heads of Gaustad and Rivet on a plate, as they were the guys in the box. Either way, the players were damned if they did, and damned if they didn’t. Sabre Nation was going to bitch about something (no, really, hold in your shock at that statement) irregardless of what happened on the ice.

- WHOOOO! The Sabres interrupt the announcers rambling (and mine as well) with a goal. Kotalik rips a shot from the point that gets by Giggy, as Gaustad was making like a dancing bear in front of the net. Later on, the scoring is adjusted to award Gaustad the goal.

- If there’s one thing Miller’s wonky ankle has done, it’s prove that the Sabres are intently aware of what’s being said/written about them in the media. Rivet pointed out that the only person who seemed to care about the lack of a retaliation for the Miller hit was Jerry Sullivan, who wrote a particularly blistering column this past weekend. I hate to break it to Craig, but half teh innernets was thinking along the same lines as Sully. Gaustad mentioned to Schopp and the Bulldog that he was listening to WGR during the day, so he was acutely aware of what was being said and who was throwing who under what bus.

- Dear Versus announcers, how is it that one of you can pronounce Kotalik correctly, and yet the other one of you insists on calling him Coatalik?

- The first period ends with a 1-1 tie and Gaustad, Montador and Rivet exchanging business cards just south of the Buffalo bench. According to the Versus broadcasters, Hecht checked Niedermayer and things snowballed from there. Of course, because this is Versus, we don’t get to see a replay of the play unfold. It’s worth noting that this is the second scrap of the first period that Gaustad has been involved in. He was given a fighting major for some roughhousing with Brookbank behind Giggy’s net. Gaustad was well on his way to kicking some ass, as he had Brookbank’s sweater up over his head.

- Miller sighting: he’s sitting up in the press box with who appears to be his father. At least the 3/4 of the face I was able to see made his companion out to be his father. Miller looked pretty snazzy in his little suit and scruff.

- What the heck kind of penalty is “shooting the stick?” I don’t think I’ve ever heard that called before. And it would be called on Corey Perry, who is sitting on the Little Honker bench tonight.

- While Versus uses a stoppage in play to discuss Ovie’s latest goal, my mother just suggests that the league not hold the awards show at the end of the season and just award everything to Ovie. While she was being sarcastic, I’m sure there’s some in the league who may agree with her in a non-sarcastic way.

- While explaining the Regier / Ruff relationship, Versus shows a shot of Darcy in the press box. He looks pretty foxy in his black glasses. During an interview later in the third, Darcy says that Lalime is the goalie for now. It will be interesting to see if this changes in a week, as the trade deadline rapidly approaches.

- So the score is now 2-0 Ducks as Kunitz tips a Marchant shot past Lalime. Patty had no chance on that one. Marchant was later credited with the goal.

- I’d like to request that the broadcasters not use the phrase “the Buffalo goaltender is down.” That’s a phrase likely to send most of Sabre Nation over the edge…that is, those that haven’t already been sent over the edge.

- And the over the edge fan contingent continues to grow, as Mike Brown taps another one past Lalime. I wonder if Mr. Miller the Elder is in the press box tonight to keep his son from limping down to the locker room and suiting up if things go badly?

- The bumper leading us out to commercial shows Sabretooth dressed in his Mardi Gras finery of hat and beads. I love our mascot.

- Versus continues to lure Sabres fans closer to the edge, as they recap Lalime’s exploits with the Blackhawks last year. He was a mix of very, very hot (shutouts) and not (5-goal efforts). Way to raise the confidence of the Buffalo fans there, Versus.

- I’m glad to see Spacek returning to the ice after he blocked a shot off his foot. That just looked painful.

- The natives are getting restless, as the crowd starts to boo with about 6 minutes left in the 3rd. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow if the team doesn’t turn it around. The news columnists, WGR and their callers are all going to be calling for the head of someone on a platter.

- WHOOOOO! Kotalik scores with 1:06 remaining to make it 3-2 Anaheim. I’ll be dipped.

- Somehow, Goose and Getzlaf collide and they careen into Corey Perry. Goose and Getzi are both shaken up and Getzi gets up and spits blood everywhere. Gross. Totally gross, especially when you consider the blood (or “forensic evidence,” as the Versus dudes called it) was left on the ice for the remainder of the game.

- Well, there were good points and bad points to tonight’s game. The physicality displayed early in the game was good. The fact that it seemed to get turned off in the second period was bad. Goose, Kotalik and Roy were good. Lydman was a hot mess. Lalime wasn’t too bad, but he needs to be better. Hell, the entire team needs to be better. They can’t rest on their laurels until Vanek comes back. I’m willing to give them tonight as their clunker, but Thursday’s game against Carolina now became all the more critical.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch POTUS give his Not State of the Union. Any bets on how many times he’ll be interrupted for applause and/or a standing O? My money is on 75 interruptions for applause.

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Saves for Cancer

November 17, 2008

- So Ryan Miller did an interview with Howard Simon this morning promoting his charity work with the Steadfast Foundation and Carly’s Club.  His “Saves For Cancer” program in conjunction with several local companies is looking to raise $100,000 for Carly’s Club this year. Last season, the program raised only $30,000 due to its late start. Four local companies are donating a specific amount of money to Carly’s Club for every save that Miller makes during the season (current count: 157). This effort is one of those where you want Miller to face a lot of shots and make a lot of saves so that Carly’s Club gets a lot of money, but at the same time, you know that if your goalie is facing a lot of shots and making a lot of saves, that means The System is on a holiday in Acapulco and the team is not playing well.

- According to Miller, Adam Mair and Nathan Paetsch have fantasy football teams and are very much into analyzing the statbits for their teams. Ryan recommends that if WGR needs a fill-in host, they contact one of those two. Can you imagine Mairsy in all his pimp daddy glory hosting a radio show?

- Miller and the gang may “poke heads in” on tonight’s Buffalo / Cleveland game. I’d find it hysterical if Lindy decided to have an early morning bag skate or intense practice tomorrow. Nothing says “cure for hangover” like a rousing bag skate with the underlying theme of “Stick to the System” with a side order of “A Game is 60 Minutes Long.”

- He really doesn’t have any answers for anyone on the Sabres slow start. He flat out said that he was trying not to be too cliche, while just being cliche enough on the what’s going on with them. He says the system breaks down when two guys try to cover the same piece of ice, or instead go after the guy carrying the puck and not the open guy (who is more dangerous than the one with the puck.)

- And this wasn’t in the WGR interview, but Patches was playing forward with MacArthur and Stafford at practice today. Roy-Z was given the day off due to a groin strain (that’s what she said), Timmy was off getting a second opinion, and Kotalik has a hamstring injury. Roy is expected to play, Kotalik is out for a couple of weeks, but no word on Timmy. Le sigh.

- To the persons who found my blog using “paul gaustad catholic,” I’m sorry, I don’t know whether he is or not. Can’t help you there. Nor do I know whether Staffy drools. Nor do I want to know. And if you’ll excuse me, I’m done with this bloggy thing for tonight and am going to watch the Jeff Dunham holiday special before the Bills game. Peace out.

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Semi-Live: Thrashers v. Sabres

November 7, 2008

Check in occasionally for semi-live thoughts from tonight’s Sabres/Thrashers game.

Pre-Game

- I was listening to the Pominville Report on Z101 on my way to the doctor this afternoon. Pommers shared that Tuesday night was the team’s belated Halloween party. He went as Darth Vader. Or would that be Darth Pommer?  He also admitted that they were keeping tabs on the election results while enjoying each other’s company and the libations and such. I can just imagine the boys gathered round the TV watching the election results in all their costumed glory. Wouldn’t that be a sight to behold? After reading his comments on Wednesday, can’t you just picture Miller making like Leo McGarry and telling everyone to shut the hell up so he could hear what Wolf Blitzer was talking about, while Kaleta would be confused about what kind of degrees the electoral college gives out.

(By the way, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a massive West Wing fan.)

- Janet and Nick were talking this morning about Derek Roy showing up at the Juicy Couture party at the Tony Walker store last night. Seriously, Derek? Juicy Couture? I thought better of you.

- The Erin and Andrew Peters interview during the Sabres show was pretty cute. I like seeing these behind the scenes features about the guys. You could tell from this interview that Peters kind of struggles with the perception of the fans that he’s just a meathead who’s only role is to beat up the opposition. He wants to be seen as a hockey player not a lunkhead. And also, Augie Peters…completely adorable. Even if he does have an expensive shoe fetish.

- With Hecht coming back from his thumb injury, Stafford is a healthy scratch tonight. Hopefully, the benching will serve as a reminder for Staffy to remove his head from his sphincter, then play hockey. For every absolutely brilliant play he’s had these past couple of games, there’s been a boneheaded play to offset it. While its been a consistent pattern, that’s not the kind of consistency you want in a hockey player.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Shoutout Gone Wrong

December 23, 2007

From this morning’s Buffalo News:

Winger Ales Kotalik took about 20 stitches to his forehead when he was struck by a puck during warmup. Paul Gaustad took a shot that bounced off the crossbar and nailed Kotalik.

“The cut was almost down to my skull,” he said.

Goose, I do appreciate that you were trying to send me a Christmas shout out by having a shot go off the crossbar, but injuring Kotalik while doing so is not a good way to go about it. Please keep that in mind for future shout outs.

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