Archive for the ‘Craig Rivet’ Category

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Sabres vs. Thrashers – 1.13.10

January 14, 2010

Random thoughts from tonight’s epic Sabres/Thrashers battle…

- PLENTY of good seats are still available. It’s scenes like this that make me sad to be a hockey fan. Neither team deserves to play in front of a half empty arena.

- I’m going to extreme northeast Indiana in early May for my cousin’s college graduation. I have convinced my mother that a trip to the Vera Bradley outlet in Fort Wayne is a neccessity. I know I need another purse like I need a hole in the head, but Vera Bradley stuff is just so cute and functional.

- I wonder what Rivet is going to do with his ever growing wealth, courtesy of Tyler Myers? And I sure hope that the media doesn’t pile onto this bandwagon just to make the kid cough up more money.

- I’m kind of glad I didn’t activate Selanne off the IR for the Two Eyed Pea Brains. I’d just be putting him back on today.

- Can someone tell me what Bucci was thinking while he was writing his most recent column? While the idea of what each team should give up for Kovalchuk is a good one, some of the ideas he’s throwing out there are so far down the left field line, they’re in the second level of the grandstands. Do we as Sabres fans think that Darcy would be looney tooney enough to give up Vanek, Kassian and a first round pick to get first negotiating dibs on an (allegedly) tempermental UFA? Come on. Does anyone also really think the Flames would give up Phaneuf or the Devils would mortgage the farm to get Kovalchuk?

- So Goose is apparently wearing the A on the road. Did Lindy flip flop the home and away letters? Are those things really attached with Velcro? Can I stop writing this blog in question format?

- Lindy gets a cookie from me for making the call to put Kaleta in the lineup. It’s a shame Ellis had to sit, but someone had to. Darn NHL rules.

- I also enjoy Kaleta’s goofy goal celebrations.

- I’m beginning to think that Tyler Myers is like Chuck Norris. Tyler Myers plays defense. Tyler Myers blocks shots. Tyler Myers bails out his goalie. In a few years, you won’t be able to stop Tyler Myers, you can only hope to contain him.

- Butler has been in the box enough times to warrant his own water bottle and personalized bench cushion. There would be something slightly ironic about a seat cushion labeled “Butts.” Just me?

- The Sabres fan / Thrashers fan ratio in Phillips Arena has to be at least 2.5:1.

- Rivet was on the news today saying that it’s great the team can get out on the road and “bond,” but by the end of the trip, they’re all ready to kill each other. I have this image of a frazzled Lindy exiting the plane at the end of the trip, ready for a moment away from his little darlings and their incessant bickering/illness/jokes/pottymouths/card games, etc. I wonder how many video game systems were snuck along for the ride?

- It’s flipping awesome that the cell phone/Twitter campaign for Haiti has raised $5 million so far. My media geek is just amazed at how popular this has become.  For those of you that don’t play the mobile game, Wegmans is allowing you to make checkout donations to the Red Cross that will be directed to the Haiti recovery efforts.

- I enjoy a good penalty kill as much as the next girl, but the Sabres really need to learn how to do things in moderation.

- I would have liked a nice regulation win, but Roy’s overtime power play goal was pretty nifty.

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Coldfallo v. Philly – 11.27.09

November 27, 2009

Brief thoughts after the carnage in Philly today.

- The Sabres played a very physical game today. They matched Philly hit for hit and snarl for snarl.

- At the end of the second period, I was amused by how Miller just stood calmly in his crease and looked on while all blessed hell was breaking out in the corner to his left. With how ornery both sides were today, I was half expecting Miller and Emery to get into it at some point. We know Emery has dropped the gloves before, and I’m genuinely curious about how Miller would do in a fight. We’ve seen his temper flare before, but never escalate to an all out physical fight.

- Nice job by Rivet in engaging in not one, but two fights with that little bastidge Carcillo. It was hysterical how Carcillo was sent to the dressing room to serve out his misconduct penalty because he just would not shut the eff up. I lost track of how many times the refs and his teammates came over and told him to STFU.

- Kaleta’s hit was ugly and will probably get him a suspension, mainly because he has a reputation of being an agitator and a shit-stirrer. Meanwhile, so-called league “superstars” get away scott free for similar-type hits. Reputation or status shouldn’t be a consideration for determining the length or qualifications for a suspension. We’ll have to see how long Colin Campbell drops the hammer for.

- Continuing with the ugly theme, Rivet’s crash into the boards certainly was ugly. Here’s to hoping nothing was seriosuly broken, sprained, injured or wrecked.

- Ugly: Part 3 – way to stay klassy, Philly Phans, booing Rivet as he left the ice. I know you’ve booed Santa in the past, so I should expect nothing less, but seriously. No stick taps for you on that one.

- Who woke up Timmy this game? Did the boys all chip in and get him a present? Was Daddy Timmy along for the ride and offering encouragement? As RJ and Harry both said, when Timmy shoots the puck, good things happen. Goose’s tip-in of Timmy’s shot was also a thing of beauty.

- While I was off picking up my mother from work, I was listening to the postgame show and Paul Hamilton interviewed Timmy. He said that he and Miller discussed Timmy’s accidental tip of the Flyers shot that got past Miller. They both agreed there was nothing that either one of them could have done on that one. I’d like to know at just how loud of a volume this agreement took place at. Heh.

- The Sabres dads were absolutely adorable. You could tell that their sons were a little apprehensive about them being on camera and accidentally revealing something embarassing. There were also a few sons who didn’t fall far from the family tree, if you know what I mean. The resemblance between Myers and his dad and even Pommers and his dad was uncanny. Now will the Sabres take their mommies along on a road trip? That could be priceless and show that the Sabres are equal opportunity experience sharers.

-  Can we just order a bionic lower body for Goose? The Sabres are going to miss his kickass faceoff skills if he’s going to be out for awhile.

- In case anyone is wondering, the Sabres store has Myers t-shirts. I am now the proud owner of one. And that’s my story.

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Some of Them Are Still Alive…

August 21, 2009

Or, a brief roundup of some recent Sabres media appearances.

- Ryan Miller did an interview with Schopp and the Bulldog during the Hunter’s Hope Radiothon.

Ater spending the past couple days at Camp USA in Chicago, Miller is back home and was out chasing his godson Riley – all of age “not even 3″ -  around the “big boy golf course” (his words, not mine). They talked briefly about Hunters Hope and screening newborns for different diseases and how not all states screen for the same diseases. Miller was definitely emphatic that passing legislation is tough (like duh…makes me wonder what side he’s falling on in the health care debate), but that every American has the right to have a strong healthy family in these United States.

After the obligatory Hunter’s Hope talk, they moved on to discussing Camp USA. Miller reported that he had fun at camp and it really wasn’t about getting on the ice and showing off for the coaching staff, it was more about starting to come together as a group, having meetings and starting to develop that patriotic feeling before the February games.

Now this is where the interview got a little funny. They had to take a break so that Miller could go off and make a birdie putt. As Schopp and Bulldog pointed out, it wasn’t just any putt, it was a birdie putt. When Miller got back on the phone, it turns out that he missed the putt. That really didn’t matter, as the day wasn’t so much about golf, but more about teaching his godson golf etiquette. Schopp and the Bulldog did mention the irony of trying to teach someone golf etiquette and then talking on the phone during a round of golf. I’m willing to cut Miller a pass on the phone thing, as cell phones are an essential part of my company golf tournament, as gossip spreads throughout the course (who fell off a cart, who made a hole in one, who’s got the snacks, etc) and, when we’re lucky enough to have hockey in May, hockey score updates.

And now for the actual hockey talk. Miller launched into what seems to be his standard talking points these days: management believes in the group of guys that are assembled, Miller believes in the guys that are assembled. They’re going to miss Spacek, but really, they’re a group of guys who are growing together blahblahblahsamestuffdifferentdaycakes.

They talked about Grier coming back, and Miller was positively gushing (for him) about what Grier brings to the team and how much respect he has for him. Miller also made a comment about the “fan sites” speculating about the reasons Grier left Buffalo originally. Hmm. And what fan sites could those be? Inquiring, and slightly paranoid, minds want to know.

The interview came to an end here, as Schopp and Bulldog wanted to return Miller to his golf game. And it’s less than a month until the preseason starts. Yay!

- And Paul Gaustad hasn’t been hiding his light under a bushel lately, either. This article from Portland, OR discusses Gaustad’s recent involvement in promoting youth hockey in the Portland area. He’s excited to be involved with the group, as it not only will help introduce more kids to the sport, but also help develop a fanbase for his former junior team, the Portland Winterhawks.

He also had some nice things to say about the Sabres.

“I’ve been with the organization for seven years, and I’ve had the same roommate on the road (Jason Pominville) all seven years,” he said. “The Sabres have been a class act, and they showed a lot of trust in me to give me a long-term extension.”

I wouldn’t call it trust. I know what he’s trying to say, but that seems like the wrong word.  I see it as the team recognizing that the guy works his ass off day in and day out and holds himself and his teammates to a high standard and isn’t afraid to call himself and his teammates out if they don’t meet those standards.

- Craig Rivet was on the news this afternoon, participating in an event at the Fair with Home Depot and Stone’s Buddies.

- What’s the deal with the “Sabres Road Crew” tab on the new and improved splash page on Sabres.com?

- I’m still undecided about hitting the Tent Sale on Sunday. Sure, there’s some good stuff available, but at the same time, there’s kids and parents to battle at the street hockey tourney, streets closed due to parking, and general chaos. Is it really worth it, is the question?

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There’s Been Hockey News Lately

August 11, 2009

- Color me completely shocked that Mike Grier signed with the Sabres. I guess that “commitment to winning” thing is secondary to having a contract. Anyways, Grier did an interview with Howard Simon and crew this morning in which he reiterated that he has the utmost respect for Lindy and Darcy and that Craig Rivet helped to sell him on the idea of returning to Buffalo. Part of me wonders if Rivet did this so as to have another strong, veteran presence in the locker room to help control some of the younger, immature guys. As we all noticed last year, Gaustad, Miller and Rivet were the only ones that regularly called out their teammates publicly, which did not go over well in the room, as reported at the end of the season. Tell me, if you’re a snot nosed punk Sabre, would you want to go up against Rivet, Miller, Grier and Gaustad?And if you did, would you live to tell about it?

- WGR also reports that Grier’s deal is worth 1.2 million. That deal brings the Sabres current payroll to within $455k of the current salary cap level. With about eleventy bazillion forwards on the roster and Drew Stafford still left to sign at a considerable pay raise, I can’t help but think there’s going to be some trades on the horizon before camp starts. In my eyes, the only untouchables are Gaustad, Miller, Rivet and Vanek. Everyone else should be worried.

- Thanks to Caroline at Hockey Night in Buffalo for linking to this lovely video of Gaustad on a Portland TV show. I’ll avoid discussing anything that could get me accused of frolicking in the shallow end of the pool, but I did like his comments that working on team toughness is again an ongoing goal for the team. For the love of Sabretooth, if I have to watch anymore games where Miller is left to come to his own defense after getting shoved around in the crease, I may have to throw something at my TV set. And then I will have to send the bill for a new TV set to someone and I don’t think they will pay it.

- There’s a teensy part of me that wishes that during Olympic Training Camp next week Ryan Miller goes up to Patrick Kane and delivers a sentiment along the lines of “way to lose the support of the people of Buffalo, asshole.” Of course, it would never happen, because Miller is way too classy for that.

- Today’s announcement that the Sabres will be again hosting the Puck Drop event means that we will be able to watch real live hockey in just five weeks. Can you feel the excitement in the air?

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So Far

May 2, 2009

- If the remainder of the Red Wings / Ducks series is as good as Game 1, we’re in for some fantastic hockey. Game 1 was physical with good, hard play from both sides. I was kind of sad that Detroit won it in the third period, since I really wanted the game to go to overtime.

- I saw this Sabres article on Yahoo and was floored when I read this statement about Craig Rivet.

Rivet told the Sabres’ Web site he is already back in the gym, only two weeks after Buffalo’s season came to an end without a playoff appearance. The captain is eager to help his team right the ship.

He also wants help doing it. Rivet was acquired last offseason, and his new teammates almost immediately voted him captain. He is happy to lead, but he says the Sabres will need more guys to stand up if they want to make it back to the postseason after a two-year drought.

I’m not shocked about the leadership comments, since Rivet discussed those with the Buffalo News (and praised Gaustad and Timmy while doing so), but I am shocked that Rivet is already back working out after two weeks off. Is that a subtle gauntlet being thrown down for his teammates? Between that one and the one Miller threw down earlier about wanting players to come back mad as hell, it sounds like the accountability is going to be starting in the offseason. Less drunken whoring, more working out and making good choices seems to be the message du jour.

- While reading Buffalo Spree during a server crash at the office, I saw an ad for the Camp Good Days Gala. Once again, Paul Gaustad will be the honorary chair. The theme for this year’s gala is Star Wars. Now I know Goose will probably show up in a tux, and look quite yummy while doing so, but does anyone else think that he could pull off the Han Solo look?

- If any of you out there in bloggyland are cubicle drones like me, please go watch this week’s episode of The Office on Hulu. This episode deals with the two words of office life that are open to much interpretation: Casual Friday. I was dying while watching this episode.

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Sabres vs. Canadiens – 3.29.09

March 28, 2009

First Period

- Like the Sabres, I spent today in Canada. I went to Ikea in Burlington, and then on the way home, did the touristy thing and walked around Niagara Falls, ON. I’ve said it before, but the Canadian side of the Falls is so much cooler than the American side. It has the better view and the totally cheesy tourist attractions that make it so much fun. I walked up Clifton Hill (which, between the Hill and the 7 flights of stairs walk to my car, means that my legs are screaming at me now) and walked along the Falls. The weather is still cold enough that the water coming over the Falls has caused ginormous blocks of ice to form at the base of both the Horseshoe and American Falls. The ice formations were absolutely gorgeous, and the ones at the base of the Horseshoe Falls were home to a number of seagulls. Also, why are the Timbits so much better in Canada than they are here?

- I’m liking that the Sabres crease has again become a no-touch zone for the opposition. Gaustad and Kaleta prove on the first Montreal shift that they will not tolerate any liberties in or around the crease. What made the situation funnier was that Miller was trying to sneak out of the crease and away from the fists of fury.

- The two minute penalty on Lapierre was bullshit. That was a nasty hit that could have seriously injured Kaleta. Lapierre should have been given a minumum four minutes, if not thrown out of the game.

- Holy hell, the Rivet / Kostopolous fight was hot. Remind me to cross the street if I see an angry Craig Rivet heading my way.  Kevin Sylvester interrupts to tell us that Rivet was screaming at Kostopolous that ‘this was Round One.’ Oh lord, this game is going to get out of control quickly.

- There was a shot of three Sabres lined up in the penalty box after the Rivet fight. With Rivet, Kaleta and Moore in there, things were kind of tight. But we were at least treated to shirtless Rivet, so thank the broadcast gods for that.

- Hank takes a deflected shot off of his forehead, so while he’s off getting checked out and Rivet is in the box, the Sabres play with only four defensemen.

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Ryan: “Oh shit, he’s bleeding. What do we do?”

Toni: “Usually with the kids, I kiss it and make it all better. I ain’t kissing Hank.”

Ryan: “Don’t look at me. I don’t do owies.”

- WHOOO! Mair tips a shot past Carey Price to make it 1-0, Buffalo. Someone forgot to cover Mair, as he was wide open to the left of Price. Memo to the Habs: just because he’s not a scorer doesn’t mean he should be ignored.

Second Period

- I often wonder if Harry Neale’s repeated use of “the Buffalo player” during a call is him honestly not knowing who is involved in the play or if he’s just trying to be generic and leave the details to RJ?

- WHOO! Timmy rips a bullet past Price for the Sabres second goal of the night. And a power play goal, no less.

- RJ: “These guys have got to get off, but they can’t do it.” I think they have medicine for that now.

- Harry Neale mentions that Timmy’s goal earlier tonight gives Timmy 17 for the season, which is a career high. It’s kind of sad that he’s such a talented player and has only ever had 16 goals in a season. I know the concussions and crap have hindered him in the production department, but I had no idea his numbers were that low. I want to see him get 20 by the end of the year.

- Higgins rips a shot from the dot past Miller to make it 2-1, Buffalo.

- Rivet somehow gets hurt during a flurry in the Buffalo zone. He skates off the ice, doubled over, and we’re treated to several shots of him on the bench shaking out his right hand and applying ice to it. In addition, RJ notes that Kaleta has not reappeared on the Buffalo bench for the second period. I wonder if he got his bell rung after that hit in the first and his better angels talked him out of returning for the rest of the game,.

- In the dirty play department, Butler was cross checked in the back of the head, and Roy got a stick tap in the face. It’s all fun and games until someone gets seriously hurt, boys.

- RJ tries to inject a little levity into the game, as the Sabres and Habs tussle after yet again another stop by Price leads to a tussle in front of the net. RJ wonders how many times he’s said “and here we go’ during the game. Not that the chippy is getting out of control or anything.

- The Bell Centre PA System is playing “99 Luftballoons” during a stoppage in play. Awesome.

- Shit. Montreal ties it at two on a wraparound by Koivu.

- Double shit, Montreal takes a lead on a Kovalev power play goal. Stupid fucking Hecht takes a retaliatory cross checking penalty as he was removed from the puck on a breakaway. Meanwhile, Derek Roy is off for repairs after taking a stick to someplace where sticks should not go.

- I knew I should have picked up some alcohol at the Duty Free on my way home from Canuckistan. I’m not liking where this game is headed.

- During the intermission, Timmy kind of gives Kevin Sylvester an “are you fucking kidding me” look during their intermission conversation. Kevin Sylvester brought up the fact that tonight Timmy scored his career high in goals, and will he think about that now or after the game. Timmy pissily (and rightly so) replies that all he’s thinking about is the next 20 minutes, and how it’s the most important 20 minutes of the season. I liked seeing the fire coming out of Timmy, but do want to point out that we wouldn’t be hinging an entire season on one fucking period if the earlier parts of the season hadn’t been such a hot mess.

Third Period

- “Ambition without determination has no destination.’ – Reportedly Lindy’s game quote for the day.I’m surprised that perspiration or some other -ation didn’t appear in the quote as well.

- WHOO! Clarke MacArthur scores his 15th goal of the season to tie the game at 3. If he would have missed the wide open net, I might have thrown my shoe at the TV.

- Sweet German on a bratwurst, Hecht continues his suckitude tonight by flipping the puck out of play. Real good, Jochen. Real good. Well, at least this penalty didn’t cost the Sabres as the PK performs admirably, including a nice shorthanded chance by Timmy.

- Whoever decided that the song with the annoying “put your hands up in the air” lyrics needed to be a part of any arena rotation should be taken out back and shot. Thank you.

- Harry reports that Sekera hasn’t played a shift in the third period, but doesn’t know if he’s hurt or just in the doghouse. My vote is for doghouse. Sekera was brutal earlier tonight.

Overtime/Skills Competition

- RJ shares the comforting stat that the home team has won every game in this series so far. Great, just great.

- Bob Gainey looks like he’s in need of an enema or something. Dude looks uptight.

- Four-on-four blahblahblah. The game will be decided in the skills competition.

- Timmy’s the first Buffalo shooter and there’s a brief delay while the refs sort out the paperwork. Timmy looks like his pissed at the delay. The mom unit cracks that every minute this game is delayed is one less minute the boys can spend at a bar when they get back to Buffalo.

- Miller stops Kovalev and Price stops Staffy.

- Next up Tanguay is biffed by Miller, who deflects it over top of the net. Pommers whiffs his shot off the fucking crossbar.

- Miller stops Koivu point blank on the final regulation shootout.

- And I beg to differ with Harry Neale. The shootout is not exciting. Hockey is a team sport and should not be decided on an individual effort.

- Price stops Roy and Miller stops Markov to complete Round 4.

- Price stops Vanek’s attempt for the top corner and Miller stops Plekanec to finalize Round 5.

- Holy flirkin schnitt. Toni Lydman scores in the shootout. Turns out its the game winner as Miller makes the save on the Montreal player. I was kind of having flashbacks to Hank scoring on Marty Brodeur last year. It’s amazing what happens when you put the less conventional players out in the shootout, eh?

- So, as it stands right now, the Sabres are four points behind Montreal for eighth. Things just got a heck of a lot more interesting. Never a dull moment in the Buff, right?

- Ooh, commercial for a free chicken wrap snacker at Timmy Ho’s on 4/1 between 1130-2. Sweet. And Wednesday is also free medium coffee day at Dunkin Donuts.

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Sabres v. Leafs: The Return of the Crunchy

March 27, 2009

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- Glad to see ya back, Ryan! (Seriously, this is a nice shot of him. Lot of emotions running across his face.)

- CuJo looked rough tonight. Four goals on nine shots is not a good stat for any goaltender. On the other hand, Buffalo had four goals on only nine shots. How many nights have they struggled to get 2 goals on 40+ shots? Having such a high goal/shot percentage has to be morale inducing for the Sabres.

- Tonight’s interesting stat is courtesy of Greg W. at Puck Daddy: Ryan Miller was 10 years old during Cujo’s rookie season. I can’t believe that CuJo’s been in the league for 18 years already. Crikey. I’m feeling old, and I’m a year nine months younger than Ryan Miller. I can only imagine how CuJo feels.

- The first Toronto goal looked like it bounced off of Spacek’s knee. No wonder Miller looked so befuddled after it went in the net. He thought he had it.

- I spent a good chunk of the first period explaining to my mother that his name is Luke Schenn. Not Lou Chen.

- I hope the Rivet family has already gone to Sears Portrait Studio to have their Easter photos taken, as Mr. Rivet took a puck off the snout early in the third period. Even though it wasn’t bleeding too badly, he looked a little rough when he came back to the game with 8:00 left in the game.

- I think the Sabres got their bits out of storage tonight, especially where defending their goalie is concerned. Every time a Leaf so much as looked at Miller the wrong way, a Sabre was there to throw his two cents in. The biggest example was in the third period when Lori Peckorovsky Alexei Ponikarovsky stumbled over Miller. While Miller got a whack or two in with his goalie stick, Gaustad went after Ponikarovsky and eventually fought Kubina at center ice. I wonder if Lindy put a “do not let them touch Miller” edict into place for the remainder of the season?

-Tonight’s Sabres Trivia Question dealt with which Sabres have won the Masterton Trophy (Don Luce and Pat LaFontaine). The Sabres nominee will be announced Tuesday, and unlike last year where Teppo was a virtual lock to be nominated, I have absolutely no clear idea as to who would make a good nominee. Any thoughts?

- The Leafs made it a close game through sheer dumb luck (their second goal bounced in off Miller’s back and derriere) and mistakes by the Sabres (their third goal was a result of Miller making some great saves and his teammates not being able to clear the puck while he was down). They certainly kept the game interesting, that’s for sure.

- So Gaustad responds to his call out from Lindy the other night about being a -3 by picking up a Gordie Howe hat trick. Nice. Very nice. And once again, Gaustad and Kaleta continue to hit everything in an opposing sweater that so much as moved.

- And continuing with the “responding to a call out” theme, it seems that Stafford has removed his head from his sphincter and has started to play hockey again. Stafford was more physical tonight than we’ve seen in awhile, and he wasn’t hesitating to drop down and block shots. Where the heck has this Stafford been all season?

- I’m distracted from Ryan Miller’s postgame interview by Rob Ray’s antics in the background. First, he starts off by leaning nonchalantly against Peters’ locker. Then he starts fidgeting around like a five-year-old that needs to find a potty and quickly. I don’t know if Ray didn’t realize that he was on camera or what, but it was pretty comical. I did put the listening ears back on in time to hear Miller share some pretty positive thoughts about Gaustad, that Goose has been playing pretty well all season and is developing into a leader on the ice. Lindy also seconded these comments during his postgame press conference.

- Lindy also said during his press conference that Miller will play tomorrow, the only exception being if Miller is dying of death. Contrast this with Miller himself who said that Lindy still had to make the decision tomorrow morning. Memo to Crunchy: the decision’s been made. Get a good night’s sleep, some Tylenol and a healthy meal or two tomorrow and come out fighting.

- It’s not hockey related, but I’m really amused by the instafriendship that’s developed between Steve Wozniak and Steve-O on the Dancing With the Stars set. Talk about two polar opposites: the Jackass and the Techie.

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Yee-Haw!

March 25, 2009

- I was all set to write the 2008-09 Sabres eulogy after the Panthers went up 3-1. However, the Sabres surprised the heck out of me (and probably the rest of the Sabrelogosphere) by scoring four unanswered goals to win the game 5-3. This was one of the most complete games I’ve seen in awhile. The Sabres figured out that if you get pucks to the net, they’re actually going to go in. Teammates were sticking up for each other and Tellqvist put in a solid effort in net.

- Kaleta and Gaustad were once again hitting everything in sight. During one shift in the late second period, Gaustad had two monster hits on two Panthers at opposite ends of the ice. In addition to the hits on the Panthers, Gaustad took out two goalposts; one with his arm and the other with his face. Thankfully, the pretty wasn’t too damaged from the post.

- I wish we would have had subtitles for the Lindy/Max discussion after Max was out on the ice for 2:04. That looked like it was not a happy discussion on either side, but knowing who said what may very well have just made it funnier. While Lindy explained in his postgame press conference that the two had a meeting of the minds where each thought that they were in the right, Lindy thought the discussion ended moreso on his side of the fence. The press room cracked up at that one.

- Judging by Yahoo’s box score, it looks like Stafford may have moved into Lindy’s doghouse for the night. He was the forward with the lowest amount of ice time.

- I said it after the last game, but I like Dominic Moore. Can we keep him? I’ll water him and feed him and take him for walks. Please Darcy, please? Seriously though, I like Moore’s work ethic. He’s been a solid penalty killer, and there was one stretch in maybe the second period, where he seemed like he had the puck for for-fucking-ever in the Florida zone and the Panthers could not get it away from him. He’s also sticking up for his new teammates, and he’s Harvard educated. And Ryan Miller likes that there’s another college guy in the room. While he may not be worth the $3 million that he was allegedly looking for from the Leafs, Miller would be a solid addition to the team for next year. He’s got to be better than Max or some of the other dead wood chilling out on the roster.

- What in the wide world of sports happened after Max scored the empty net goal? Was it really necessary for the Panthers to attack him? On the other hand, I did like that the Sabres all jumped to Max’s defense. Does anyone else get kind of twitchy seeing Timmy jump into scrums like that? However, the Rivet/Ballard fight was HOT. I haven’t seen a Sabre stick up for a teammate like that in a good long time. Rivet kicked the ever loving snot out of Ballard. That was refreshing to see. And what did C-Mac do to deserve the 10-minute misconduct? I just saw him being escorted off the ice.

- I really hope that with Miller returning on Friday that the stick-up-for-your-teammate-ness continues. You know darn well that the Leafs are going to run Miller and run him hard. I want to see heads roll if Miller so much as gets sneezed on by a Leaf.

- I don’t know what was funnier, Clarke MacArthur high-fiving Sabretooth as C-Mac left the ice after being involved in the scrum after the Sabres 5th goal, or Lindy high-fiving ‘Tooth after the game was over.

- I fully admit to watching the last five minutes of the game in a state of suspense, half thinking that the Sabres were going to do something monumentally stupid and lose the game despite roaring back from a 2 goal deficit.

- I really liked Lindy’s tie tonight. The black-and-white design was striking and very lovely.

- What happens to Tellqvist/Lalime when Miller comes back on Friday? Does the team keep Lalime as a backup and send Tellqvist to the press box? Or would Lindy send Lalime to the press box and keep Tellqvist as the backup based on a solid performance tonight?

- I liked that Lindy came out and praised the boys after tonight’s game. He pointed out that the energy in the 3rd period came from the guys in the room. Rivet, Pommers and Vanek were all mentioned as bringing the energy. Kaleta and Gaustad were praised for having a solid, energetic stretch and not giving up despite being -2 for the night. (Both finished with a -3 for the night.)

- The Sabres are 5 points out of 8th place. The Habs continuing their slide and role as “Late Season Hot Mess: Eastern Edition” could benefit the Sabres as the final nine games of the season approach. Karma would be a bitch for the Habs if they didn’t make the playoffs, as they – and their fanbase – had pretty much engraved their names on the Cup at the beginning of the season. And if the Habs don’t make the playoffs, do you blame Gainey? The slide really didn’t start in full effect until Carbonneau was biffed.

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Sabres v. Rangers – 2.21.09

February 21, 2009

Thoughts before, during and after tonight’s Rangers game.

- I didn’t see the Sabres Notebook on Friday morning due to the fact that I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off at the office. However, Mike Harrington mentioned the Notebook in his live blog of tonight’s game. And I have to say, the headline is a bit of an epic FAIL for the Buffalo News. I know the News has put up a clunker or two of a story or headline in the past, but this is a new low. (Sorry, Mike.)

On a lighter note, can anyone else see Marty tromping through the woods to pay a social call on Lindy (or borrow a cup of sugar)?

- I really liked the interview that Craig Rivet did for the Sabres Show. To me, that’s what a proper player interview should be. Roby allowed Rivet to expand upon his answers, and wasn’t in any hurry to get to the next question, unlike some interviews that Maria Genero has done. There was an easy rapport between the two gentlemen, as they both were drawing on the same experience of being professional hockey players.I liked that Rivet said that he’s not afraid to call a player out on the carpet if he thinks that they aren’t playing to their full potential, and that some other guys in the room have stepped up into that role as well. I’d really like to know who the players are that Rivet said hadn’t experienced a public call out before. I have my suspicions as to the guilty parties.

- I’m liking the Paille / Goose combination tonight. They were hitting anyone in a Rangers sweater that moved during their final shift in the first period. That’s the kind of spunk we need to see out of them night after night.

-  So that stupid slag faced whore Scott Gomez tangled with Miller, causing Miller to awkwardly fall and have to leave the game. I did, however, think that it was incredibly telling that Miller crawled back toward the crease, trying to keep up with the play, rather than flopping around behind the net like a dying trout. That tells me that the team and the game is more important to Miller than his own personal status.

I’m surprised that the team let Ryan speak to the media after the game. Usually injured players are squirreled away, never to be seen by the postgame media horde. Also, color me surprised that the team didn’t try to disguise the injury under the traditional lower-body injury classification. I wonder if the team figured that the shitstorm they would get from the media and the crazy internet people (this blogger included) outweighed the benefits of keeping the injury secret.

Miller reported he has a high ankle sprain, but a low one for that type of injury. (A low, high ankle sprain. Isn’t that some sort of oxymoron?) He looked shaken during the interview, but I don’t think it was so much that he was hurt, but more a reaction to the intensity of the media’s questions about the injury and Gomez’s intent. On a shallow side note, I did like the tweed overcoat that Miller was wearing. A peacoat in that fabric would be nice. Then again, I need another peacoat like I need a hole in the head.

If Miller is out for an extended period of time, this wouldn’t be the first time this season that an elite goalie has been injured. Both the Devils and Canucks lost their franchise goalies earlier this year.  Both teams have done reasonably well while Lui and Brodeur were relegated to the press box. The Devils are currently holding onto the number 3 spot in the Eastern Conference, and the Canucks maintained their playoff positioning. The Sabres need to follow these examples and unite behind the backup goalie if they hope to keep a spot in the top 8 in the conference. I may be overly optimistic, but if Scott Fucking Clemmensen of all people can lead a team to the Top 3 of the conference, then the Sabres should be just fine behind Patty Lalime.

- Why was Mr.Held-Together-With-Spit-Bubblegum-And-The-Grace-of-God Connolly the only one to go after Gomez? Why Timmy and not Goose or Mairsy or Kaleta? The fragile shall lead them I guess.

I was also really intrigued by Lalime’s thoughts on opponents running Miller these past couple of games. Lalime has one of the best seats in the house, and if he’s noticing it, you can’t help but wonder why the other 20-something guys on the bench haven’t noticed it and done something about it. Lalime made the point that you would think something would be done about it, since they’re all in this together. If one team notices that liberties can be taken with the goalies, you bet your ass that other teams are going to notice.

- After seeing Miller leave the game, I really want to know now who the team’s emergency goaltender would be. C’mon, you know someone has to be able to strap on the pads and go.

- On the positive side, Jochen Hecht proved tonight that he wasn’t dead, just resting these last couple of games. It’s about darn time he showed up on the scoresheet.

- Stay tuned for a post later this week detailing my experience at the Paul Gaustad signing at Dave and Adam’s. If you behave yourselves, I may even share a picture.

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We Won. They Lost. Film at 11.

February 7, 2009

- Hopefully that headline will work for tonight’s game against Ottawa as well.

- The crowd sounded like it was a pretty even split between Sabres fans and Montreal fans. I heard a few “Ole Ole” chants and a few “Lets Go Buffalo” to counter, but judging from the goal reactions, it seemed like the crowd was evenly split. I realize that a lot of Canadiens fans come down here for the games, and I’m not going to fault Sabres season ticket holders for selling their tickets to Leafs and Habs games (if selling 6 games out of their package pays to keep them in the seats for the remainder of the year, who am I to judge), but this is HSBC Arena. This is our rink. Not theirs. Then again, Sabres fans are guilty of doing the same thing as Habs fans when we invade Washington and Carolina and Columbus, so I really should exit my soapbox gracefully before I tumble off. Moving on…

- Ryan Miller is playing out of his mind. At the end of the first period, I half expected him to take his teammates to task in the locker room for their crappy play. For most of the first period, it seemed like he was the only Sabre out there who gave two shits about the game.

- Timmy is also playing out of his damn mind. The on the knees goal was definitely worthy of rolling the highlight film for. I’m also really enjoying the series of Buffalo News columns discussing whether or not Timmy should be traded, re-signed or sent to live on a farm downstate. While trading Timmy is an entertaining idea (might as well get something for him while you can), I’d really like to see the Sabres hang onto him until the end of the season. We don’t need another player worrying about whether their suitcases should be packed just in case they get summoned to Coach’s office with the request to bring their playbook.

- I did get a good giggle out of Rob Ray calling Pierre McGuire a chicken for failing to block a shot that entered their little office last night.

- Continuing with the Pierre theme, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun has a nice look at the Sabres and how they’re one of this season’s biggest surprises. This paragraph stood out to me, as it really nails our core group of players.

Vanek has grown comfortable with the pressure of a $50 million, seven-year contract and has found the back of the net about as often as anyone in the league not named Alex Ovechkin. Roy is looking the part of a No. 1 center. Pominville is the reliable two-way winger you can count on in the clutch. Stafford started slowly this season but is finally evolving into the offensive force the Sabres had envisioned. Gaustad is the feisty tower of strength who oozes character.

Alright, so we can argue that lately Pommers hasn’t been clutch so much as invisible. I’ll grant you that. But these guys are all part of the team’s core and need to keep playing their roles in order for the Sabres to be successful.

- I may be tempting the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing with this next statement, but I really want to see the Sabres make the playoffs just to see what kind of playoff beard Rivet can pull off. When he was interviewed post-game, his growth was impressive. He looked like the kind of dude that you would cross the street to avoid. The Sabres haven’t had the potential for a playoff beard like that since JP Dumont left town.

- How in the bluedilly fuck did I initially miss this shirtless Goose interview on sabres.com? Since Goose is on the DL for the next little while, this is as much of him as we’ll get to see. (Unless he’s spotted at the grocery store or at Wine Theif.)

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