Archive for the ‘Non-Sabres’ Category

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The Summertime Blues

July 7, 2009

- With today’s news that Philly signed Chris Pronger to a seven year contract extension, could this spell the end of Danny Briere in Philly? Right now, Philly has almost $19 million invested in three guys (Briere, Pronger and Timmonen). Briere has been injury prone in Philly and has not been worth the contract to the Flyers. Stay tuned, I guess.

- After reading Bucky’s “Free Agency Winners and Losers” column in Sunday’s News, I was mildly surprised to see him call out the Devils as one of the losers of this initial free agency period. Not many people call out the Devils, especially people in these here parts. Not to mention that the Devils GM, Lou Lamoriello, looks like he knows where more than a few bodies are buried, and how to dispose of nuisances. (He’s a master conspirator in the Devils recent strain of coach killing, is all I am saying.) Anyway, I just have this mental image of Bucky curled up under his desk* muttering “can’t sleep, Lou will get me. Can’t sleep, Lou will get me.”

* I chose a desk, because as a professional, that’s where Bucky supposedly writes from. Unlike us bloggers who write from their couches, chairs, offices, decks, porches, etc.

- Thomas Vanek’s official Austrian site has up a two-part interview in which Vanek discusses this past season, his injury and a range of other things. The link is to part one of the interview, with the link to part two at the bottom of part one. It’s a very interesting and candid interview, and about the only first hand information we have proving the Sabres are still alive.

- And finally, as we head deeper into the doldrums of summer, the Hockey Hall of Fame is posting the Penguins Stanley Cup Journal. See pictures and read stories of the players’ days with the Cup. The stories are usually pretty entertaining and the pictures are fantastic.

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Hmmm.

June 8, 2009

- Greg W. twittered earlier today with a link to a blog post regarding a very controversial question a team allegedly asked a prospect during the interview portion of the scouting combine. While the question may have been asked to judge the maturity of the prospect based on his response, there are other, better ways to determine maturity than questioning the prospect’s sexuality. In addition, it doesn’t send a good message to the current players and the league if the team is trying to judge a player by his sexuality. I can’t wait to see what – if any – feedback the league gives on this.

- Moving on, news reports out of Philly indicate the Flyers and Ray Emery have agreed to a 1-year / $1.5 million deal. Such a deal ends the Marty Biron era in Philly. The Philly media also indicates that Marty is allegedly looking for the mythical 5/$25 deal that we all know and love. Now I adore Marty as much as the next person, but there is no way that Marty is worth that much money for that length of time.

It seems fitting that any post talking about both Marty and Ray Emery deserves this video to be included, right?

At least with Emery potentially entering the league again we’ll hear the “Emmmmmm-ry, Emmmmmm-ry” chants again echoing from HSBC Arena. (And part of me kind of would like to see an Emery/Miller fight. Emery may have size and temper, but I think Miller could cut a bitch and swing a blocker when needed. Heh.)

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Stuffapalooza

May 19, 2009

- Patrick Kane has been all over the media today. Bucky Gleason did an excellent profile of him in today’s Buffalo News, and ESPN profiled him via stories and other embarrassing information provided by his parents and sisters. I’m sure after reading the ESPN article, Kaner will be hearing no amount of grief from his teammates over dance parties, karaoke and still sleeping in his childhood bedroom when he goes home. After reading both articles, I kind of want to carry Kane around in my pocket. At times he sounds like a grownup and yet, there are other times he still sounds like the 20-year-old kid that he is. Irregardless of where he goes and what he does, it sounds like he’s still grounded in South Buffalo. And I do like that he addresses – somewhat indirectly – the perception that he can be an arrogant little shit. Heh.

- Favorite search term of the day: “the stick that Sidney Crosby youses.” I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve ever seen that word spelled that way. Where has our educational system gone awry?

- I’ve been looking at the weather report all day trying to figure out whether hell has actually frozen over, since I enjoyed both Bucky and Jerry Sullivan’s writings in today’s paper.

- The Toronto Star had an interesting article the other day, ranking North American cities based on the winning percentage of their sports teams since 2000. For this purpose, “sports teams” is limited to NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL/CFL organizations. The #1 city was Indianapolis, with Boston at #2 and Vancouver at #3. Of the 37 cities ranked, Buffalo fell in the 29th position. Since the Bills and the Sabres were at varying levels of mediocrity throughout this decade, I was curious as to what the team’s actual records were and how this ranking could have been achieved.

Since 2000, the Bills record is 60-84. By my rough math, this gives them a .416 winning percentage in eight seasons. The Sabres record in that same time frame is 330-245-33-48, with a points percentage somewhere around .565 or so (I took an average of the percentages in the seasons under question for sake of simplicity.)

So what does this all mean? Who knows. It’s open to interpretation, especially since a city so rich in good/decent sports teams like Boston is falls second to Indy, which only has the Pacers and the Colts. In closing, I want to paraphrase something my research methods teacher once said: 25% of all research is crap. You make the call whether this study is or not.

- Joke time: In France, why do they only eat one egg for breakfast? Because to them, one egg is un oeuf. (Thank you, thank you. No applause. Try the fish.)

- This Bob Cole parody is absolutely brilliant. The writer has all of Cole’s verbal ticks down cold.

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Oh-So-Quotable

May 6, 2009

- Thank you Sami Salo for giving me the biggest laugh I’ve had today. When asked by the media about the exact nature of his injury, Salo played coy and replied that it could even be something as simple as a burning sensation when he pees. I know we all joke about hockey players and STDs, but I think this may be the first time I’ve ever seen it referenced by a player in the mass media. I love when players have senses of humor about their injuries and try to deal with the ridiculousness of the upper/lower/inner/outer body injury classification.

The thing is, I could see some of the Sabres resident wiseasses making similar jokes about injury statuses. While I don’t imagine that they would get as descriptive as Salo, I could imagine a little creativity being used by the boys. I can see things like “I can’t play because I just gave myself a manicure and my clear polish isn’t dry.” “I have a lower body injury from having relations with my wife on a piece of living room furniture, which then broke.” “I got my toe stuck in my faucet.” And so on.

Thanks to alix of Canucks Hockey Blog for tweeting about Salo’s amazing quote.

- From the statbit files, someone found my blog via the search term “Ovechkin, chill the fuck out.” And someone else found me with “who has Sidney Crosby slept with.” Those are definitely better than the usual ones regarding Ryan Getzlaf’s hairline (or lack thereof) and the girlfriends of Drew Stafford/Martin Brodeur/Ryan Miller, et. al.

- With the announcement that Jim Basillie wants to purchase the Coyotes and move them to Hamilton, sorry, an undisclosed market in southern Ontario, one cannot help but wonder how this would affect the Sabres. I seem to remember that the last time Basillie tried to move a team to Hamilton, that it would require him to make a very substantial payment to both the Leafs and Sabres, as Hamilton falls squarely within their market area. While there’s no doubt that the Greater Toronto Area could support two teams, it is likely that a team in Hamilton probably would affect the Sabres. I believe the last stats I read said that something like 10% of the Sabres season ticket base is from S. Ontario. While some of these people undoubtedly will remain loyal Sabres ticket holders, you can’t help but think that these people will undoubtedly jump ship and go to their “own” team.

The one group of people that I definitely feel sorry for are the Coyotes players and staff. It can’t be easy having your livelihood be the subject of so many rumors, speculation and gossip. While the players may be used to moving around, it can’t be easy for Suzy CreamCheese in the front office to be dealing with the uncertainty of her job and whether or not the team will be in Phoenix next year.

- If Basillie does move the team to Southern Ontario, I’d be curious to see how the league would be realigned. Nick Mendola of WGR has some intriguing thoughts on this subject on the WGR website. It really does make sense to align the teams using more of a geographuc sense. I mean, there’s no good reason why Columbus and Detroit should be in the Western Conference. It’s like the NHL decided to pick up some alignment tips from the NCAA when they decided that one.

The Coyotes situation does add some additional drama to the playoffs, that’s for sure.

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Sabres v. Caps – 4.3.09

April 3, 2009

First Period

- I love that the Caps goalie tonight is named Simeon. That’s not a name you see very often. It’s such a strong, biblical name. Love it.

- I cannot believe Timmy missed a wide open net within the first two minutes of the game. The shot went behind the goalie, through the crease and out the other side. But that missed opportunity sums up the season in a nutshell, doesn’t it.

- I love that Gaustad tested out his injured elbow by jumping into the arena glass. That sounds like an activity that usually involved the phrase “hey guys, watch this” and never ends well.

- C-Mac gets sent to the box for hooking. On the ensuing power play, Gaustad gets smushed by Ovie, only to continue on with the puck, like Ovie was a pestering gnat, easily brushed off. But Ovie gets his retribution when he pops a goal past a diving Miller to make the score 1-0, Washington.

- Buffalo heads to the power play as Max gets tripped up on a dipsy doodle. And said power play looks like a hot mess as the Sabres have difficulty keeping the puck in the Washington zone. And just as I’m writing that sentence, Staffy and/or Max tip the puck past the Washington goalie, shortly after the PP expires.(Correction, the goal has been credited to Goose, even though my blind eyes say he never really touched the puck. Double correction, the goal has been recredited to Stafford.)

- C-Mac tries to send a cross ice pass to Connolly, and Kozlov ends up tipping the puck into his own net. A goal’s a goal, so it’s now 2-1, Buffalo.

- One of my search terms yesterday was “hockey players are whores t-shirt.” I hate to break it to the poor dear that searched for a shirt like that, but I don’t know where to find one. And even if I did, I wouldn’t wear one.

- After the Sabres second goal,the camera pans to a kid in the stands wearing a Sabretooth hat. My mother is completely enamored of this hat and wonders why something like that didn’t exist when I was a kid.

- I may be completely hallucinating, but I swear the Caps PA system is playing the theme to the Great Escape. If I’m not hallucinating, that’s completely awesome.

Second Period

- What in the bluedilly you-know-what happened to cause Washington to have a 5-on-3? Complete stupidity by Spacek combined with an already called penalty on Roy, that’s what.

- Harry Neale starts waxing poetic about his and RJ’s tour of the White House. I kind of want to know if any of the players came along for the tour, or if it was just RJ and Harry? Touring the White House is definitely on my to-do list, as is a trip to the Smithsonian, Arlington and the Holocaust Museum.

- Another penalty to Buffalo while they’re on the five-on-three? Are you kidding me? The Sabres penalty box is getting kind of crowded, that’s for sure. It sounds like there’s quite the Buffalo fanbase in the crowd tonight, based on how loud the crowd was when Buffalo cleared the puck out of the zone. And Roy’s penalty expires with Semin putting the puck past Miller to make the score 2-2. However, before the puck went into the net, Miller was putting on quite the goaltending clinic. He had some spectactular saves.

- Sweet Crunchy on a cracker, Fedorov rips a shot from just inside the blue line past Miller to make it 3-2, Caps.

-Dear Sabres, please to not be taking anymore penalties. The penalty kill is not how you win hockey games.

- If I had a dollar for every shot the Sabres missed wide this season, I would be a very rich woman. Alright, maybe not rich, but I’d have enough for a payment on my college loans. Chez Griff isn’t cheap, you know.

- So Butler’s in the box for elbowing and the Sabres get called for ANOTHER penalty, this time for delay of game.What was it that Lindy said the other night about taking too many penalties? It throws off the flow of the game, as the penalty killers are forced to take a disproportionate amount of ice time, and the non-penalty killers are forced to sit on their duffs and wait.

- I’m wishing I had some vodka to put in my cranberry juice right about now. I can only imagine what Lindy’s thinking. These guys, however unintentionally, are stinking up the joint.

- This game diary is momentarily interrupted by a phone call from my grandfather telling me that my younger cousin has gotten engaged. The proposal happened over dinner. When my cousin brought out the cheesecake for dessert, he handed his girlfriend a knife that he had engraved with “will you marry me?” When she turned around to look at him, he was standing there with the ring in his hands. (Altogether now…awww.) So…Congratulations Andy and Caila!

- WHOO! Roy-Z ties the game at three with a nifty between the legs deflection.

- Son of a pup, Washington just scored to make it 4-3. Fedorov just lets the shot go past about five Caps and Sabres just standing there, and Miller never even saw it.

- I’ve decided that the Vitamin Water sweaters are what make the Roy, Cellino and Barnes commercials art.

- These “March to the Playoffs” spots are making me sad. Nothing like reliving past glories while watching the present go down the drail. Remind me again why I care so much?

Third Period

- Bullshit, bullshit. Max is helped into the Washington goaltender by Morrison, which negates a Sabre goal. I call bullshit.

- Again, a missed shot by the Sabres as the goalie isout of position. This time, for something different, Sekera does it on a wraparound.

- While I do enjoy Ryan Seacrest’s Twitter feed, I do not enjoy his recent pimping of Heidi Montag songs. Seacrest, I’m begging you to ignore them. If you do so, they will go away.

- Ovie flies into the net, taking out Miller. Miller responds by giving Ovie a good smack and then adjusting himself. I really like seeing Miller all feistied up.

- WHOO! Max ties the game up at 4 with a nifty shot into the wide open net. See guys, when the net is open, the pucks go in!

- Do the Caps fans have cowbells or something? I’m getting a headache from all the honking (not to be confused with HONK!ing) and bell ringing going on in the background.

- Roy-Z, what did I say earlier about staying out of the penalty box? Taking a penalty with 4:28 left in the game is a bit much, sunshine. Especially when the Caps have been so deadly on the power play tonight.

- Laugh of the night:

RJ: “I could have skated faster than Morrison. And he’s 40 years younger.”

Harry: “And a lot trimmer, too.”

Snerk.

- And we’re going to ohhhhhhvertime.

Overtime

- RJ and Harry are having a discussion about whether the Caps statement that they’ve sold out season tickets and multi-game packs for every home game next year means that there’s no tickets left for John Q. fan to buy. I could read the statement either way, but am leaning more towards the idea that the season ticket and mini-pack quota is filled and walk up seats will still be sold.

- Hecht gets into the Washington zone on a breakaway, misses the shot, gets his own rebound and instead of shooting, tries to pass to Pommers.

- Timmy steals the puck away from Fedorov, passes it to Pominville, who is in all alone. And Pommers rips it five-hole past the Washington goalie. As RJ put it, it was a heck of a time to increase the population of Pominville.

- I loved seeing how jubilant the boys were at the end of the game. This might have been the shot in the arm that they needed after the debacle the other night against Les Thrash. Tomorrow night’s game against the Devils should be exciting for sure. Here’s to hoping the Sabres ride the high from tonight through tomorrow night’s game.

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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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Ugh.

March 18, 2009

Now that I’ve calmed down a bit from last night’s rampant cussing, let’s take a look at the Sabres/Sens game. I think we all probably can admit that we knew that a Sens game probably wasn’t going to end well for the Sabres, since the Sens were 4-1 against the Sabres this season heading into last night’s game. For whatever reason, they seem to know exactly how to play against the Sabres.

- According to Mike Harrington, Lindy closed the locker room for 15 minutes after last night’s game and tore his team a new one. A well deserved new one, in my humble bloggerly opinion. They blew a two goal lead against one of the leagues worst teams. Come on, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that is not how you make the playoffs. I want to see some frustration out of these guys. For too long, comments to the media have been all sunshine, kittens, puppy dogs, rainbows and the system. I want to see the kind of anger and bitterness that we saw out of Gaustad and Miller after that horrible home loss to Washington at the end of December. These guys need to be ready to kick some ass and take some names within the locker room before they can start kicking ass and taking names against their opponents.

At least the game’s positive elements included some decent play from Tellqvist in his first start in a long while and Pominville proving that he’s not yet dead (just resting), by kicking in a goal and an assist. I also liked the intermission footage of Miller skating around and having some fun with Corsi and the other goalies. I did notice that when Miller is  wearing street clothes on the top and his breezers and leg pads on the bottom, it makes him look very, very, very pear shaped. It really was quite jarring. I also noticed during the interview footage with Miller that Chris Butler’s locker appears to be a folding chair stuck in front of the wall that separates two lockers? Poor guy doesn’t even have a locker stall to call his own.

- Eight consecutive penalties are not how you win hockey games. I mean, sure some of them were chintzy, borederline calls by the refs, but I do know Staffy’s retaliatory elbow against Heatley was just a boneheaded play to make (by a bonehead, no less). On the other hand, Roy got knocked around a couple of times by the Sens and they weren’t called. I have a feeling sunshine’s reputation as a diver proceeded him in this case.

- Off topic, but there’s a small part of my cold, cold heart that wanted the blind guy to sing “Jesus Take the Wheel” during last night’s Idol show focusing on the Grand Ole Opry. (I’ll just sit over here quietly at the stop for the bus to hell. Don’t mind me.) To actually talk about last night’s Idol, that seismic event you felt was Johnny Cash rolling over when he heard what Adam Lambert did with Ring of Fire. On the positive side, Kris Allen was fantastic with To Make You Feel My Love. Randy Travis was just a sweetheart while “mentoring” the contestants, but if that was his wife sitting next to him in the audience last night, oh dear. And that’s all I’ll say about that. On the negative side, Danny Gokey just needs to STFU already about the dead wife and stop with the Jesus singing and lesbian science teacher glasses.

- Congrats to Marty Brodeur for winning his 552nd career game. Check out the ESPN video for how loud the crowd’s “Marty, Marty, Marty” chants are during his interview with MSG. It’s chilling, but in a good way.

To give you an idea of how long Marty’s been around, check out this YouTube video from the Sabres/Devils series back in the mid-90s. Brodeur as a young pup versus Hasek. Good times.

Apologies for the shitty video quality.

- Another off topic, but how cool are the US baseball guys at the World Baseball Classic. Yahoo! has a great story about them inviting a wounded US soldier into the clubhouse after the win against Puerto Rico last night. Classy show guys, classy show.

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