Archive for the ‘Clarke MacArthur’ Category

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An Overgrown Boy Scout

November 11, 2008

- I really think that Paul Gaustad is an overgrown Boy Scout. Yesterday, Paille revealed that Gaustad was the player he learned the most from on the team. Now Clarke MacArthur is reporting that Gaustad has been staying after practice to work with him on face off skills. Based on the past two days, I now fully expect to see Goose at the intersection of Elmwood and Bidwell helping little old ladies cross the street.

- I think I’m now deaf after attempting to watch today’s Sabres TV interviews. I like that the interviews are posted so soon after practice ends, and I like that we’re getting a taste of how loud and chaotic the locker room can be, but sweet merciful Staffy, I could barely hear the questions that Robin Adams was posing to Stafford, nor could I hear a couple of his responses.

But towards the end, there was kind of a funny question put forth to Stafford. He was asked if he was going to hang out with Jay McKee tonight while Jay is in town for tomorrow night’s game. As Staffy rightfully (and kind of snarkily) pointed out, he never played on the same team as Jay. You know why? Staffy was in psychology class at the time! He was still a student at UND for Pete’s sake. If I knew that question sounded off, and I’m just a humble blogger, what would make a reporter think it sounded good?

But back to my original point, the Sabres could just turn down the background noise on the daily Sabres TV videos, and all will be right with the world. I also want to know who put on the female singer that’s heard at the end of Staffy’s interview. It doesn’t really scream “locker room” to me.

- Sounds like Miller and the boys had a slight ephiphany regarding last season:

“For some, I think we didn’t buy into what Lindy was preaching every night,” Miller said. “His approach to the game works. Play as a team, keep it simple, be responsible, be accountable, you find out it works. We knew coming into this year we had to get back to that kind of game.”

You mean “the system” works? And Lindy knows what he’s talking about? That he’s not just yelling and screaming for his health? Wow! Who’d a thunk it?

And in the same article, this quote…

“I’m happy here and I felt this was a good place for me and I had been treated well here and felt I fit in well here, with the organization and with the guys and in the community,” Miller said. “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I wanted to be here and I didn’t want to go anywhere else, so I took the contract when it was offered to me.”

Thank you, Crunchy, for putting it out in the NATIONAL MEDIA that you didn’t want to go play for Detroit and you like the Sabres organization, the guys and the city. The last part is especially important. As Buffalonians, we just want to be loved. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less.



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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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Its a Shutout For Reals

November 2, 2008

- Its a gorgeous fall day. The weather is calm. The tree across the street is reflecting the beautiful sunshine off of its golden leaves. I have a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup simmering away on the stove and the Bills are on the TV. Life is good. :)

- Admit it. Last night, you were waiting for Miller to give up the inevitable softie in the third period, ruining his shutout bid. I freely admit that I kept waiting for that other shoe to drop. We all know Miller has that occasional brain fade in the waning moments of a game where he’s working on a shootout.

- Anyone want to start a pool as to what “skill player” is going to come out of the lineup when Hecht returns? My money right now would be on Staffy. There have been moments where the boy has played with absolute brilliance and been a physical entity, but then there are other moments where you wonder if he’s thinking more about his guitar skillz than the game he’s playing in.

Lindy’s comments about Clarke MacArthur were also pretty uplifting. Clarke has played well this season and is currently the team’s fourth leading scorer. No way in hell should he sit.

- Glad to see Timmy back in uniform and playing reasonably well.

Yes, Timmy. That really is your name on the back of the jersey. Welcome back!

- Speaking of Timmy, I was pleasantly surprised with Bucky’s column about our oft-injured center. I think the most surprising part of the article was learning that Timmy is a voracious reader. I’ll freely admit that when I think of “voracious reader” and “Sabres,” that Timmy’s name doesn’t pop to the top of my list. Gaustad, Miller and maybe Teppo pop to the top. Timmy’s chilling out in the basement with Mair and Kaleta. Now I’m curious to know what he reads. Great, classic American literature? Thrillers? Crime drama? Letters to Penthouse? I’m intrigued now.

- With the Sabres and Devils both putting up five or more goals on Saturday night, that means that Monday’s game between these two teams will probably end in a 1-0 score via the most humiliating and embarrassing way possible in a shootout. You heard it here first. (And yes, I do realize that the Sabres / Devils games were some of the more entertaining games last season. Both sides are just due for one of those completely ridiculous games is all I’m saying.)

- That 15-year deal the Isles gave Pretty Ricky is looking more and more ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that he is going to be out for another 4-6 weeks after having knee surgery. This is Ricky’s third operation in the past seven months (two knees and a hip.) He’s going to be playing net in one of those old lady hoverround chairs if he keeps that surgical pace up.

- I still really hate the “hot girls, with skates” commercial. That is all.


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Thoughts On Last Night’s Debacle

October 31, 2008

- I really liked this Pat Kaleta feature on TSN. I think the stat at the end is particularly revealing: that in one-third of the dustups that Kaleta has been in since junior hockey, the opposition player got the instigator penalty. What’s also telling is that 11% of the time, Kaleta received no penalty at all.

- I really, really, really cannot stand the “hot girls…on skates” commercial for Labatt Blue. At least the talking fish and deer were entertaining!

- Number of times I fired Miller during the game: 3.

- Number of times I re-hired Miller: 2.

Once was after the intermission feature where I saw that he donated the tickets for a suite to Carly’s Club and once was after his postgame interview where he admitted that staying in the game and working out the kinks in his game was preferrable to smashing a stick against a concrete wall. (And in the long run, it probably would have been cheaper, too. I can imagine that goalie sticks are pretty expensive.)

- Also fired during the game was Staffy, for that ridiculous giveaway leading to a Tampa goal. However, he was re-hired on a probationary basis after that quick thinking backcheck in the Buffalo zone after Lydman fell down at the other blue line.

- I’m glad to see Clarke MacArthur making a case for staying in Buffalo, rather than getting sent to Portland via the waver wire. The kid has a pretty consistent scoring touch. Five goals on this team is good, considering players like Roy and Pommers are having difficulty finding the back of the net.

- Number of times Pommer mentioned “the system” or “getting away from the system” during his postgame interview: 2.

- Number of times Roby utlitized Gaustad’s first period forecheck as an example of what the team should be doing, but didn’t: approximately 37.

- And this has nothing to do with hockey, but I’m extremely upset at the powers that be over at ER. I watched ER last night because Shane West was returning (mmmmmm) and while the boy did look good, I’m not happy how they ended things between Ray and Neela. And how good Shane West looked is how horrible John Stamos looked. Seriously, dude was looking rough.

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Its A Moral Victory

January 11, 2008

On paper, last night’s Sabres / Sens game should have been an Ottawa blowout. The Sabres were facing a 7-game winless streak, had three of their best players out of the lineup (Timmy, Roy and Afinogenov), and were starting Thiebault instead of Miller. Theoretically, this one should have been over before it even started.

But then, something surprising happened. The Sabres managed to stick with Ottawa, remaining scoreless through the first period. Not bad at all. Then Ottawa put two in the net. The Sabres team that we’re used to seeing would have rolled over and died, letting Ottawa have their way, conceding that the game was already over.

Did that happen? Hell no. The Sabres again stuck with the Sens, who to be perfectly honest, kind of went to sleep once they had a two goal lead.C-Mac got the first goal on a nifty move in front of Gerber and Paille scored the tying goal. (Lindy – can we please keep C-Mac up here permanently? The kid is alright!). The Sabres were also playing with a short bench, as Spacek was out after the second period with back spasms.

Overtime was great. I had to remind myself to breathe as both teams had multiple end-to-end rushes. Vanek had 3-4 different opportunties to put the game away, but right now the kid cannot buy a goal to save his life. That has to end soon, right?

Taking Ottawa to 6-rounds in the shootout also proved this team was not going away anytime soon. Color me surprised that Lindy did not put Vanek in as one of his top three shooters in the shootout, but he must’ve sensed fan disgruntlement with how Vanek has done in the shootout lately. However, I do admit to thinking that the Sabres were toast when Vanek was the fourth shooter. Guess he proved me wrong there.

The Sabres also played a physical game. Mair had a crushing hit or two, and Hecht leveled one of the Sens at the blue line. The Sens did not – or would not – match the physicality of the Sabres. Alright, so they tried once. Chris Neil saw Soupy against the boards and lined him up. Luckily, Soupy ducked, or we would have been squeegeeing Soupy off the ice.

Speaking of Chris Neil, he was involved in a fight with Goose. Goose crushed Neil with a check that Neil took offense to. After some yapping, they both dropped the gloves and went at it. None of this prancing around with the fists up, waiting to see who would throw the first punch (Don’t hide behind Sabretooth, Peters. I see you back there). While it wasn’t the best fight I’ve seen this season, it was probably one of the more interesting ones. The two have fought before and Neil has done some damage to Sabres in the past (Drury last year and Staffy this year). If a fight needed to happen, it was this one.

The Gaustad / Neil fight also served as a great lead-in to the discussion of fighting during the first intermission. It was interesting to see the different viewpoints on this aspect of the game. While Rob Ray thinks fighting is an essential part of the game, Harry Neale does not. Neale made the distinction that fighting does not belong in the sport of hockey, but in the hockey as entertainment aspect, it probably does. I kind of agree with Neale. If you’re judging hockey as a sport, then fighting shouldn’t be involved. Its the only major sport in the US where fighting is an accepted part of the game. Sure, the players are penalized in the game for taking part in a fight, but there’s no further sanctions. Other sports not only toss the player from the game for fighting, but also suspend and/or fine the players involved afterwards. If you’re judging hockey as entertainment, then a fight or two helps to keep things interesting. However, I hate pre-arranged fights (Peters, I’m still looking at you). If fighting does happen, it should stem from something happening within the game – a hit, a goal, trying to shift momentum. It should not happen because two players decide that they should fight. That’s a little too WWE for me.

I saw this picture on Yahoo and had to laugh. I think all of us ladies can learn something from Goose about proper self-defense techniques. Go for the eyes! Blind your attacker.

Owww.

While I would have liked to have seen a win from the guys, this was probably their best 60+ minutes of hockey that they have played this season. I really hope they keep it up, because its no fun watching a team in a losing streak.

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