Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

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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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Thinking Time

July 20, 2009

Today on Puck Daddy, Greg W. posted an entry about the waning role of print journalism in today’s environment. He ends his entry with two questions:

1. Where do print newspapers fit into your consumption of hockey news?

I’m a dedicated reader of the Sunday Buffalo News. I look forward to reading the game summaries and Bucky’s Inside the NHL column, as it usually contains tidbits of news about teams that I only tertiarilly care about. (Yes, I did just make up a word.) I also read the Sunday NY Times, but they’re usually a day behind on the news. I will scan the comics section of the Buffalo News each day, but generally catch the rest of my hockey related news on the pub’s website. I like that the website version of the news stories can be updated as information changes or is clarified. And now with the News offering comments on the stories, a dialogue can be started. The reporter/columnist blogs offer inside information that may not always make it into the printed edition for space or relevancy reasons, but is still newsworthy and interesting. And the game blogs are always entertaining, as the reporter either bitches about the on-ice action, press box food, crowds or needs to step in and referee the people in the comment section.

I realize I’ve digressed a little bit, but more and more newspapers are moving more and more content online. Online is a revenue generator. The “death of newspaper” shouldn’t be seen as a reason to scale back reporter’s travel schedules just because they are writing more for the web and less for the snapper wrapper.

2. Do you feel the reporting on an official team Web site is, or can be, objective enough for it to be your primary source of news for that team?

Hell no. Come on, a team’s website serves solely as a PR vehicle for the team. Look at the articles recently posted on Sabres.com. There’s the announcement of MacArthur and Sekera agreeing to deals, development camp features and assorted other puff pieces. There’s no negativity and nothing written from an outsider’s point of view. Sure they have news on the team, but everything is written and prepped by Sabres and/or NHL staffers. If they really wanted to be a true news source, they would post pieces written by those not receiving a paycheck from the Sabres or the league.

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On a lighter note, please also visit Puck Daddy for videos of the Blackhawks singing karaoke.*

* Shots Off the Crossbar is not responsible for any glass that shatters, eardrums that bleed or any other physical ailments that may happen after hearing these videos, particularly Sweet Caroline.

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Sports and Social Media

July 14, 2009

One of today’s big stories in the internet hockey world is Martin Havlat’s Twittering about all of the ish that allegedly went down with the Blackhawks while he was there. Obviously, he can’t talk about it, but it’s major stuff, you know. I personally think he’s being a tease about it. If you can’t talk about it, don’t even dangle the “I know something you don’t know” carrot. You’re just going to piss a lot of people off.

At the office, I subscribe to a plethora of Mediapost e-newsletters. For every five that are duds, I get the occasional e-newsletter that piques my interest. Today’s “Marketing: Sports” e-newsletter was especially interesting. It talks about something that everyone is becoming increasingly aware of in the sports world. Whether the MSM likes it or not, fans, athletes, teams and leagues are now a part of the media. Teams are increasingly adding video and audio to their sites, fans are twittering from their seats at the arena, fans, media and players alike are all blogging. It’s one giant content generating machine. No longer does one have to wait for the morning sports section or the 11pm news to see who won the game and what the commentary on it is. Often times, commentary is happening as the game is being played.

Is this a good thing? Yes. By increasing the amount of content generated, you’re seeing more information exposed and allowing more people to have a voice. The blogosphere/message board arena went nuts during the Buffalo/Ottawa brawl game a couple years ago. Could you imagine how much more crazy it would have been had Twitter been around at the time?

On the otherhand, is this a bad thing? Yes. Athletes almost have no privacy now. Every move they make can be Twittered out into the world without a second thought. Get a little slushy on Chippewa one night? You’re blog fodder the next day. Previously, you just had to worry about whoever saw you telling their little circle of friends. Now, that little circle of friends is the entire freaking world. I mean, look at what happened last season with Mike Commodore and that unfortunate picture of him rolling in dough after winning a Super Bowl bet. An innocent Facebook posting turned into a “scandal.” An admittedly mild scandal, but a scandal nonetheless.

I also don’t want to see players Tweeting from the bench during a game. In the case of hockey, I think it’s physically impossible to text with hockey gloves on from the bench, but that doesn’t mean our enterprising band of little snots couldn’t find a way to do so. I also think they shouldn’t be tweeting from the locker rooms during intermissions. Those should still remain the domain of potty breaks, snacks, equipment adjustments, pep talks and scathing lectures.

Personally, I still recognize the value and necessity of the mainstream media. They have the credibility and access that a lot of bloggers don’t. And while some bloggers do get access to different press boxes (depending on the sport and team), there’s still a lot of bias against blogs and social media by the teams. Every blogger is assumed to be like Ek, making ish up depending on which way the wind is blowing. While I do get tired of the attitudes displayed by some members of the MSM, they still provide a valuable service to fans everywhere.

That thud you heard was just me falling off my soapbox.

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All Quiet on the Locker Room Front…NOT

April 20, 2009

Just when I think that there’s a lack of stuff going on in the Sabres internet world, two gems show up today to make me think otherwise, courtesy of John Vogl and Ryan Miller. Please excuse my rambling, I’ve tried to make it as coherent as possible.

- Vogl’s article regarding the eerie quiet in the Sabres locker room was an interesting read.

I can understand why those Sabres that spoke with Vogl regarding the locker room atmosphere wanted to keep their comments off the record to preserve team harmony. But on the other hand, why aren’t they speaking up within the room to make their points? It’s also interesting that MULTIPLE Sabres spoke on this topic. If it were just one or two, you could chalk it up to a couple of disgruntled malcontents, but if there’s multiple people confirming the quiet, it’s a problem.

The Washington game in late December is brought up as an example of a game where speaking up wasn’t appreciated. A little detective work shows that after this game, the only two Sabres to speak up regarding accountability were Miller and Gaustad. Vogl points out that there was at least one Sabre who didn’t take too kindly to the constructive criticism offered after the game. I’m really curious as to who has the soft outer shell and can’t handle the feedback of their peers. I know in my job peer feedback is really valuable. Granted, my peers don’t give me feedback in front of the media, but as I recall, neither Gaustad nor Miller specifically threw any one player under the bus. While they were mad, they were very careful to keep their comments general and applicable to the entire team.

I guess this summer will be the one where a lot of players look at themselves in the mirror and see what they’re made out of and whether they really can handle being a Buffalo Sabre.

- Ryan Miller’s postseason wrap up was an intelligent look at the good, the bad and the ugly for the season. He did compliment the Buffalo News for being reasonably fair in their coverage of the team. (Color me shocked on that one. Sorry News writers, you can make the argument that sometimes your commentary beats the same drum over and over again.) I like that he pointed out that the players that we as fans hold up as the epitome of the great Sabres teams – Briere, Drury, McKee, Dumont, Briere and the rest of the cast of thousands – had to grow and develop and find themselves before they became “stars.” Who knows if in our current group of muckety-mucks we have the next Briere, Drury, McKee, etc. I also wonder if this is Miller’s parting shot that they players are tired of being held up to the players that are no longer here? It’s tough to forge your own identity when you’re constantly being compared to those that have come before.

Now onto the part that really caught my eye:

The catch is some people don’t ever get to the point where they are fuming mad, so we have to evaluate that and I want to see who in our organization shows up in September with that motivation… Because this has to be all together, all for one and one for all, team first, it’s not about what is on the back of the sweater, no man left behind, no “I” in Team, the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts… I had a few more quotes to drive the cliché spike home but it ended up being annoying.

You honestly cannot tell me that the first part about teammates getting mad is not in response to Vogl’s article today. This definitely proves that the players are keenly aware of what is said about them in the media. Look at how angry and pissy they got when the News called them out as soft for not retailating after Gomez injured Miller.Which brings up another interesting question: why do they seem to respond well to getting called out by the media but cower when one of their teammates do it? And how would they feel if they hopped on the internet and checked out what’s being said about them in the Sabrelogosphere?

Miller is essentially issuing a challenge to his teammates. Are they going to take not making the playoffs seriously and work hard at bettering themselves this summer, or are they going to spend the summer golfing, drinking and whoring it up? Also, which players need to go watch “Network” to remind themselves that they’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. (If any of them do go watch “Network,” I have a study guide from my senior seminar available on a disk somewhere, in case they need some interpretation assistance.)

And if Miller is worried about resulting to cliche to prove his point, maybe he needs to check out some of the demotivators and hang them around the locker room? I’m personally fond of the arrogance, cluelessness, ignorance and idiocy ones.

Also interesting was this thought:

part of the development process is about falling flat on your face… And then recovering, learning, adapting and remaining motivated.

They say there’s not a lot of similiarities between the hockey world and the corporate world, but you learn by falling flat on your face, picking yourself up, not scraping the ice from your shoulders or dirt from your knees and figuring out how to do the same thing again but with a different result. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (now who’s resorting to cliche), but it’s a painful learning experience to get stronger.

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Sabres v. Leafs – 4.8.09

April 9, 2009

- I thought the Brad May ceremony was very nicely done. The Leafs were incredibly classy to let the Sabres even be involved in the ceremony itself. Then again, considering May played 43% of his career in a Sabres uniform, it should have been a no brainer to include the Sabres. I did like the brief “oh shit” moment that passed across Rob Ray’s face when May turned to hug Rayzor. I think the past couple of weeks have showed us that Rob Ray does not have much of a poker face. And that was a pretty snazzy painting that the Sabres gave May. I’d like that in poster form.

- After reading on Sabres Edge that RJ was fully prepared to re-enact the May Day call if May scored during the game, there was a tiny part of me that hoped that May would score so we could hear the call. But alas, Miller foiled that opportunity.

- The “three men in the booth” dynamic was interesting, especially since RJ and Harry kept encouraging Ray to speak up more. I think Ray’s used to being called on at certain times, and doesn’t really have a rolodex of talking points that he can readily call on at a moments notice.

- Hey look, bitter cynical Bucky has made an appearance.

- Goose scored a goal, continuing his foxy, consistent play.

- Vanek reappeared out of nowhere, scoring a goal. That’s a good thing.

- There were a couple of times during the game that I wanted to bungee cord Ryan Miller to his goal posts. He was either out of position or down on a couple of Leafs shots, and through whatever benevolence (or torture) of the hockey gods, was saved from looking like a fool as the Leafs shot either wide or high.

- Did anyone else notice that the Leafs had an itchy trigger finger on the goal celebration light? How many times did that thing go off despite the puck being shot high or way wide? I’m surprised Miller didn’t start bitching and ask for a pair of sunglasses or some sunscreen.

- What was going on between Dominic Moore and Jason Blake all night? They were especially scrappy with each other. I kept waiting for some sort of throwdown, but it never came.

- Congratulations to the Columbus Blue Jackets for making the playoffs for the first time in their history. They’re going to be one of my WC bandwagon teams for the playoffs, which means that they’ll be destined for an early, yet painful exit. I’m rooting for them if for no other reason than they’re the ultimate underdog, they have an awesome rookie goalie and Michael Peca.

As of right now, other playoff bandwagons that I’m jumping on include the Devils, the Bruins (unless the Sabres make the #8 seed, of course), the Canucks and maybe the Blackhawks.

ETA for an off-topic rant:  While doing some work related reading, I’ve become even more aware of the fact that I am a 27-year-old fuddy duddy. I like reading the newspaper. I like watching local news. (Though admittedly I do check out the web versions of local newspapers and TV stations. I think it’s the commentary from “users” that keeps me coming back for more.) I like watching TV on a TV set through my cable system. (Though admittedly I flove my DVR.) I have a respectable collection of TV shows on DVD, but the world doesn’t stop with those shows. I do watch the occasional online video, but I don’t regularly become glued to my laptop to watch shows. (If I missed something, then fine, but Hulu is not appointment viewing.) I really think that the MSM is not dying, it’s evolving.

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Monday Medley

March 30, 2009

Not a lot going on right now, so here’s a few links to tide you over.

- The rehab of Sean Avery continues, as the NY Times profiles Avery’s off-ice goings on, including a movie tentatively titled “PuckFace.” Dollars will get you donuts that Puckface will translate into Eff-Face very, very easily. Seriously though, I wish Puckface no ill will and continued success in his anger management control. That said, I wouldn’t mind if old Fatso went up Avery’s creek with his goalie paddle tonight.

- This column effectively summarizes who Sabres fans need to root for this week. I think I just gave myself a migraine trying to keep it all straight.

- If you haven’t already, go read Heather B’s interview with Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.

- Not hockey related, but these photos showing the decline of Detroit are both heartbreaking and yet stunningly beautiful.

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Monday, Monday

March 23, 2009

What’s new in Buffalo sports these days?

- TO’s a no-show for VOLUNTARY workouts at the Ralph. How is this news? They’re vol-un-tary workouts, meaning the player can choose whether or not to participate. If it was a mandatory workout, I’d be a little more concerned. But let’s just chill for a bit and see if he shows up later in the week. From the little bit I saw on the news, looking good, Poz. Looking good.

- The Bills are going to start their season with a Monday night game in Foxboro against the Patriots. If Brady is back and healthy, can you say ass kicking? Then again, the Bills have performed well on MNF the past two years, so who knows? They could pleasantly surprise me.

- I’m not even going to talk about the idea of playing more Bills home games in Toronto. All I want to point out is that the Packers played home games in both Milwaukee and Green Bay for how many years and no one stroked out over it.

- Ryan Miller updated his blog. Three posts in a month is a nice change of pace from the once-a-month plan that he was on for awhile. I particularly enjoyed his comments on Ovechkin and Don Cherry. I don’t think many people would have thought to write out such a detailed analysis comparing the styles of Ovechkin and Cherry. It’s an interesting way of looking at the situation, that’s for sure. But I bet Don Cherry’s head is probably going to explode over the fact that someone has compared him to a person that he spends the better part of his Coach’s Corner segments trashing.I’d laugh if Miller’s opinions were brought up on Coach’s Corner on Saturday.

In addition, Miller pretty much tells the Buffalo fans to chill the fuck out regarding the end of the season. He would have gone up another notch in my book if he had told us fans to chill the fuck out, but I understand that his website is supposed to be family friendly. Anyway, Miller does point out that there’s still 20 points left to be gained and they have the chance to do something memorable. And it’s his preference that things be kept interesting down the stretch. (So he’s the one that we should be sending the alcohol and therapy bills to based on how these last 10 games turn out? Heh.)

I may be falling for the smooth talk at the right time, but his post is pulling me out of the little hockey funk I was in earlier today. That’s what happens I suppose, from visiting Sabres Edge, where the big to-do earlier today was about whether the Sabres allegedly should have been out and about at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade a couple of weeks ago. I can’t believe the collective hissy fit that was being had over there on this topic. But I digress.

- This Devils / Flyers game is mildly entertaining. It’s nice to be able to watch a hockey game that I’m not 100% completely invested in, both in the on-ice action and the off-ice running of differential calculus to figure out what the current scores are doing to the Sabres playoff chances. But based on the chippiness shown so far in the first period, I’m going to be seriously pissed if I don’t see a little Marty vs. Marty brawl.

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Not To Make Excuses

March 20, 2009

Here’s a quick summary of Paul Gaustad’s interview yesterday with Mike Schopp. Apparently, Goose didn’t realize he was supposed to do a call in, and Schopp was giving him some grief over that. Apparently Goose needs to get a copy of the call-in schedule so he knows what’s going on.

- The penalty kill in last game was good, but threw off ice time allotments for the forwards, as they get cold or not as involved in the game. (What, do they get Shiny Object Syndrome and start scouting out the hotties sitting in the first two rows of the arena?) It’s not an excuse for losing the Ottawa game, as they should have been able to keep a two goal lead.

- They have to take pride in winning the third period, untimely penalties don’t help.

- Schopp asked who in the locker room rallies the troops? Goose kind of danced around this one, saying it’s a team thing. There’s no lack of hope in the team, they control their own destiny, but its a challenging position. It’s the same situation as last year, and hopefully they learned from it. They don’t want to not be in the playoffs again, since that leaves a horrible taste in the mouth. The team is definitely good enough to make the playoffs (and Schopp agreed), but at the same time, the team needs to play playoff caliber hockey (last part added by me).

- All of the Sabres stats are better than the stats of the teams the Sabres have games against before the end of the season.

- The most interesting part of the discussion, I thought, talked about hockey in Buffalo. According to Gaustad, the fact that the fans do care is what makes playing in Buffalo so great. Such a big part of putting on sweater every night is that the fans do care and support them. They play as hard as they can since the fans are behind them. (I’d argue that there’s some nights the team is phoning it in, but I digress.) The players can understand that the fans are getting frustrated.

Gaustad also mentioned that he knows that some fans are in a “bad place” heading into the Philly game. (Has he been listening to WGR or reading the various blogs that are calling for the heads of Darcy and Lindy on a platter and the entire team to be set adrift on Lake Erie in a rowboat and one oar?) The use of the phrase “bad place” just kind of struck me. Makes us fans sound like we should all be one step away from entering the funny farm. (At this point, there was a sound coming over the phone line that either may have been a cell phone hiccup or Goose quietly burping. I couldn’t tell.) Again, even though the fans are in a bad place, the support of the fans during the bad times is what makes Buffalo such a cool place to play. He’ll be out to lunch and someone will come along and wish him well. (Seriously, interrupting players while they’re eating is not cool. Let the man finish his entree and dessert before you go pester him.)

- They wrapped up the interview with a discussion about what seems like the almost constant line shuffling. In “the system”, guys can play with everyone. Part of the line shuffling is trying to find chemistry. Gaustad said he really couldn’t comment on what makes the line shuffling start happening, that this topic is more of a question for Lindy. Both Schopp and Goose joked about conferencing Lindy in on the other line. Now that would have been a fun conversation.

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Books Off The Crossbar – Saved

March 15, 2009

I cannot find the words to adequately express my thoughts on the Sabres collapse last night. So far, I’m working off of different variations of “I hate them all” and “Goodbye playoffs, hello golf course.” That’s not enough to base an entire entry on, so please enjoy a brief book review.

Since late last year, John Buccigross’ column has regularly featured snippets of writings by the late Jack Falla. I was intrigued enough to pick Saved up at the library a couple of weeks ago and finished it the other night.

Saved is told from the point of view of JP Savard, Boston Bruins goalie. On the ice, he’s trying to put together a Cup winning season before heading into his big free agent contract year. Off the ice, he’s trying to find the right woman, dating a string of women who are mainly identified by their name and occupation (Sherri the Equestrienne, Julie the Account Exec, etc). It is only until Cam Carter, Savard’s best friend and teammate since college, re-introduces him to Faith, their old friend from college, that Savard’s off-ice life begins to even out. On the ice, we follow the ups and downs of a typical NHL season: injuries, losing streaks and the wackiness perpetrated by front office bean counting. It also details the struggle a player undergoes to come back from injury, both the physical rehab aspect and the mental struggle to know what to do with yourself while you’re hurt.

There were a couple of moments out genuine out loud laughter while reading this book. Savard notes that the Bruins third jersey looks like it contains the image of “Winnie the Pooh’s stoned grandfather.” In making this observation, he rightly states that third jerseys are nothing more than money grabbing schemes by the front office (and that the people who fall for them are idiots). Savard also notes that his girlfriend’s wardrobe could double as the Montreal Canadiens power play, as it consists solely of French designers.

Any hockey fan will appreciate this book. Falla, who covered the NHL for Sports Illustrated in the 80s, has an intimate grasp of the details of the game. The writing is rich and detailed and Falla includes a lot of hockey history to flesh out some of the characters’ thoughts and actions.

There’s one quote from the book that has stuck with me. “The first rule of life, love and hockey is the same rule – you’ve got to play hurt.” Ain’t that the truth?

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Friday Funnies, Take 2

March 13, 2009

It’s Friday the 13th and a full moon. So that means there’s all sorts of fun stuff flying around on the internet tonight.

First, Puck Daddy links to a newspaper article (!) about Joe Thorton’s underwear and how amazing they make his tushie look. The National Post is a major Canadian newspaper and it’s waxing poetic about players and their drawers. Could you imagine The Buffalo News writing about any of the Sabres and their drawers?

Then again, maybe articles about the Sabres and their underoos might just boost those dwindling circulation numbers, especially amongst the female demographic. (Just kidding, I would never suggest that the Buffalo News undermine their editorial credibility by writing about something like hockey players and their intimate apparel.)

Second, Ryan Miller updated his blog, probably just to quash the speculation about the status of his ankle. (Buffalo fans and media speculate? Us? You must have us mixed up with someone else.) Anyway, Miller reports that he’s taken up swimming in the arena’s current pool to keep up his fitness levels while he recuperates. I’m getting the giggles over the image of Miller in the locker room in his goggles and “board shorts” while the rest of the guys are prepping for practice. (Only someone that is really into fashion would call them “board shorts” and not swim trunks, trunks or a bathing suit.) I’m sure some of the boys have made jokes that all Miller is missing is his inflatable duckie life preserver, his water wings and a bathing cap.

For the record, I cannot swim a lick. I was the one clinging to the side of the pool for dear life during the swim test portion of check-in at Camp Seven Hills during my younger days. So I fully admire anyone that can swim 30 second intervals with only a minute rest in between.

And who would have thought that there was a pool (albeit a small one) inside HSBC Arena? I swear, I learn something everyday. And isn’t hearing about a player swimming more interesting than hearing “he’s riding the bike?” The way the bike is emphasized by teams and coaches, these guys are thisclose to being Lance Armstrong (well, minus the testicular cancer and allegations of PEDs). Hearing that a player is doing his best Michael Phelps imitation is definitely something different.

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