Archive for December 10th, 2007


Practice Makes Perfect

December 10, 2007

Christmas Shopping. Car Shopping. Hockey. Work. One of these things is different than the other. One of these things just isn’t the same. If you guessed work, you’re right. I took a planned mental health day today to go Christmas shopping and car shopping. My Christmas shopping took me to HSBC Arena and the Sabres store this morning. I needed to find a gift for a few people in my life, and Sabres stuff fits the bill. After shopping at the store, I headed upstairs to watch some of the game day skate. I’ve never been to a game-day skate before, and it was pretty interesting to watch.

– Towards the end of practice, Roy, Campbell and Connolly were playing a very intense game of “shoot the puck through the photographer hole in the glass.” Soupy and Roy were the only ones to make it through the little hole, so of course there was some friendly ribbing of Timmy.

– I’ve said it before, but Derek Roy is a midget compared to everyone else on the team.

– Lindy put the team through a skating drill. He had the team line up on the blue lines in their individual lines (ie: Timmy’s line, Goose’s line, goalies, defensemen), and then they had to skate to the red line and back again in their individual lines. All was going well, until Lindy started messing with their heads by calling out different lines randomly, rather than each line following the line that was lined up next to them on the blue line. I’m explaining that really badly, but it was pretty funny when Staffy jumped offline and was at the red line before he realized that he was the only one from his group going. I also noticed how awkward it is for the goalies to skate that little distance. Miller was a more fluid skater that Thiebault, but both were pretty awkward.

– Spacek took a shot on Miller that Miller whacked away handily. Spacek then let out a groan that I could hear from my seat at the opposite end of the ice. Picture the Charlie Brown groan when Lucy pulls away the football, and that’s what it sounded like.

– I was sitting behind the Sabres bench, and all of them had their own individual water bottles. However, there were a few community bottles of Gatorade. I have to give the players props for being able to hold a gatorade bottle a foot away from their mouth and squirt in the beverage and not wear any of it. I know I’d be wearing red gatorade all over me if I tried to do the same thing.

– Kalinin was skating at practice, in a normal jersey, not the “I’m injured, don’t touch me,” jersey. I wonder if that means he’s going to play tonight? If so, who does Lindy sit? Patches? Pratt? Both recently have made good cases for staying in the lineup. As much as I like Patches, I would sit him over Pratt, since Pratt’s the only one that seems to get the concept of not letting the other team into Crunchy’s crease.

– Brian McCutcheon tripped Goose at center ice, leading to some pretty fancy footwork by the Goose to stay upright.

– Lindy? Yells loudly and likes his whistle.

– I spent most of my time watching the powerplay units practice on Miller. I love how the strategy seems to be put Goose / Vanek in front of the net and go from there. Lets see if that continues to work or not.

– Paul Hamilton of WGR? Is a really big guy, but not intimidating at all.

Tonight’s game should be fun, that’s for sure.