Archive for November, 2008

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Philly Phollies

November 22, 2008

Random miscellaneous thoughts from last night’s game.

– Miller went down way, way too early on the first Philly goal. Him down on the ice practically made the entire net open.

– The team was hitting the broad side of the barn with their shots. Now, they just need to concentrate on hitting the barn door and getting the damn pucks into the net.

– Nice to see that the coaching staff had confidence in Mancari by putting him on the powerplay right away.

– The team seemed to play more cohesively without Max in the lineup. The guys didn’t have to think six steps ahead about what Max could potentially do. Instead, they could just run with the play.

– Speaking of Max, I think we can cross 10-pound catfish off the list of things that the Sabres would accept in a deal for him. As we learned during last night’s episode of the Sabres Show, Paul Gaustad is afraid of live fish and worms. It would not do for a key member of the Sabres to be afraid of a new acquisition.

Relax, Goose. No fishies will be joining the team. We’ll make sure of that.

Although…how long is it going to be before one of his wiseass teammates pulls a prank on him involving his locker, fish and worms?

Genero’s interview with Gaustad was probably one of the best so far in that Gaustad was completely relaxed with her. There wasn’t any squickiness in the air *coughAdamMaircough*, but the location for the interview was completely odd. I get that Gaustad was a member of the rink teardown crew when he was a wee lad in Portland, but does interviewing someone in the bowels of HSBC Arena really make sense? I kept getting distracted from the interview because I was looking at what was in the piles of crap in the background.

I also liked that Gaustad admitted that making the NHL was never his goal. His main goal was to pay for college and he almost fell into the NHL. You could tell that he definitely appreciates what he has and what he’s been given moreso than someone who’s been told that they’re god’s gift to hockey and will make the NHL someday. (I’m not naming names, but I’m sure we all have our suspects as to who this guy is. And this guy isn’t just limited to the Sabres. Every team has one.)

– Check back later tonight for a semi-live game blog of the Sabres / Isles game. Now with 100% less Pretty Ricky.

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Double You. Tee. Eff. Sabres? Double You Tee Eff.

November 20, 2008

– I go out of town for 24 hours and the wheels manage to completely fall off the Sabres wagon. What the hell? Since I didn’t get to see any of the game due to not arriving in Albany until 9:30pm and having a stupid fucking hotel internet connection that wouldn’t cooperate, I had no idea what happened to the Sabres last night other than what pithy information was contained on the ESPN ticker. I could watch the entire end of the Rangers game on the hotel TV, but darned if I knew anything about the Sabres other than Vanek scoring two goals and Pommers adding another one.

(By the way, the Rangers losing did make me feel a little bit better. Or maybe I was still on the food high from the pork chops I had for dinner. Seriously, these pork chops were amazing. They were grilled chops, then topped with mashed sweet potatoes and broiled for a second or two, and then the whole thing was drizzled with a warm apple glaze. They were absolutely amazing.)

Anyway, I come back to Buffalo today to find out that the wheels came off the wagon on all fronts. Hank had his ass nailed to the bench after a bad giveaway, Miller got pulled and Lindy’s seething.

So to them I saw Double You Tee Eff Sabres. Double You Tee Eff. You went from a fantastic start to giving up roughly eighty bajillion goals in your past three games. Did you suddenly forget how to play defense? Goal? Offense? Is The System still on holiday in Acapulco? Why do you now suddenly suck so bad?

But at least someone is realizing that its on the 23 guys in the room to fix whatever the heck is wrong on the Sabres.

We have to fix this,” Gaustad said. “The coaches are putting in game plans that are the right ones. We just have to execute. It’s the players in the locker room right now.

Yay! Self-awareness! But the real question is what they will do about it?

–  Lindy’s quote discussing Timmy’s injury is vaguely unvague.

“It’s an injury that I don’t want to explain,” Ruff said. “It’s a tough one, and I don’t want to explain it. I give him a lot of credit for muscling his way through one game. If it was a groin injury, I’d tell you a groin because nobody’s going to go after his groin. If it’s an injury where I really think somebody could target, you don’t say anything.

I’m still voting for disassociated man boob. The chest is definitely a targetable area of the body. A well-placed elbow or stick can really do some damage.

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Newsflash: Timmy’s Injured More Seriously Than First Thought

November 18, 2008

– So according to John Vogl’s latest post on Sabres Edge, Timmy is now week-to-week with an “upper body musculoskeletal injury.” As Vogl was so nice to explain for those of us without formal medical training, musculoskeletal simply means “the parts that make up the body.” So basically anything on Timmy from his widdle noggin to his widdle bits could be injured, as anything in between those two extremes technically makes up the upper body. I really hope that its nothing serious, because while its occasionally fun to make Old Yeller jokes about Timmy, sometimes he is just another hapless dude that needs a little bit of care and sympathy.

I really don’t like the vagueness of these injury reports. While we can all get creative with what exactly an upper body musculoskeletal injury exactly is, it doesn’t really do anything except allow wacky rumors to get started about what exactly is wrong with a player. Unless the injury is something really embarassing (you know, like Timmy’s man boob disassociated itself from his chest, or something), just tell us what the hell it is already. Stop the rumor mill before it starts!

At practice today, Lindy broke up the Roy – Vanek combo. Vanek played with Hecht and Pommers, while Roy-Z centered Staffy and MacArthur. If the latter line stays together, I really want to call them the Snot-Nosed Punk Line. Even though C-Mac isn’t a snot nosed punk as far as I know, he’s guilty by association. The other two lines were Mair/Paille/Afinogenov and Goose/Kaleta/Peters.

– I don’t even want to talk about last night’s Bills game. I fully admit to not being as up on my football knowledge as I could be, but did I miss the memo about Brady Quinn being the new Football Baby Jeebus? Tony Kornheiser was slurping the heck out of Quinn last night. I think every time TK opened his mouth, it was to praise BQ. It was downright annoying. I liked Mike Tirico’s play-by-play, and Jaworski’s analysis was spot-on, but Kornheiser just needed to STFU most of the time.

However, I did get a good chuckle when TK remarked that Trent Edwards perhaps needed to buy his defense dinner and watches for limiting the Browns to only 13 points off those three interceptions. At that point, Trent was playing so horribly that he should’ve bought me dinner and a watch for suffering through watching his passing game.

– And to end on a happy note, I liked the little article on Sabres.com showing what charity organizations the Sabres are involved with. I knew about Goose and Camp Good Days, and Crunchy and Roswell/Steadfast and what Peters does for domestic violence and missing children’s charities, but I had no idea about some of the other players involvement.

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Saves for Cancer

November 17, 2008

– So Ryan Miller did an interview with Howard Simon this morning promoting his charity work with the Steadfast Foundation and Carly’s Club.  His “Saves For Cancer” program in conjunction with several local companies is looking to raise $100,000 for Carly’s Club this year. Last season, the program raised only $30,000 due to its late start. Four local companies are donating a specific amount of money to Carly’s Club for every save that Miller makes during the season (current count: 157). This effort is one of those where you want Miller to face a lot of shots and make a lot of saves so that Carly’s Club gets a lot of money, but at the same time, you know that if your goalie is facing a lot of shots and making a lot of saves, that means The System is on a holiday in Acapulco and the team is not playing well.

– According to Miller, Adam Mair and Nathan Paetsch have fantasy football teams and are very much into analyzing the statbits for their teams. Ryan recommends that if WGR needs a fill-in host, they contact one of those two. Can you imagine Mairsy in all his pimp daddy glory hosting a radio show?

– Miller and the gang may “poke heads in” on tonight’s Buffalo / Cleveland game. I’d find it hysterical if Lindy decided to have an early morning bag skate or intense practice tomorrow. Nothing says “cure for hangover” like a rousing bag skate with the underlying theme of “Stick to the System” with a side order of “A Game is 60 Minutes Long.”

– He really doesn’t have any answers for anyone on the Sabres slow start. He flat out said that he was trying not to be too cliche, while just being cliche enough on the what’s going on with them. He says the system breaks down when two guys try to cover the same piece of ice, or instead go after the guy carrying the puck and not the open guy (who is more dangerous than the one with the puck.)

– And this wasn’t in the WGR interview, but Patches was playing forward with MacArthur and Stafford at practice today. Roy-Z was given the day off due to a groin strain (that’s what she said), Timmy was off getting a second opinion, and Kotalik has a hamstring injury. Roy is expected to play, Kotalik is out for a couple of weeks, but no word on Timmy. Le sigh.

– To the persons who found my blog using “paul gaustad catholic,” I’m sorry, I don’t know whether he is or not. Can’t help you there. Nor do I know whether Staffy drools. Nor do I want to know. And if you’ll excuse me, I’m done with this bloggy thing for tonight and am going to watch the Jeff Dunham holiday special before the Bills game. Peace out.

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Newsflash: A Hockey Game is 60 Minutes Long

November 16, 2008

Not 50. Or 51:43. Someone really, really needs to communicate that critical fact to the Buffalo Sabres. Last night’s game was just ridiculous in that the Sabres watched a lead get right the heck away from them. They retreated into their shells, and tried to protect their lead, but guess what, it didn’t work. Has it worked the past 37 times they’ve tried it? NO! So why do they keep doing it?

I honestly wouldn’t blame Lindy if after the game he had told the players they were walking back from Pittsburgh. Maybe a nice hike through some remote areas in cold weather would wake some of these guys the heck up.

– I was really, really amused by Miller deciding to spear Jordan Staal in the bits. Yes, I know its unsportsmanlike and maybe Miller didn’t react in the best way to people being in his personal space. But the Penguins had been taking liberties with him all night, shooting the puck at him after whistles, banging away in the crease, etc. But none of his teammates were standing up for him while these liberties were being taken, so I really don’t blame Miller for taking matters into his own hands, if you will.

– Did Tallinder step into Lindy’s dog house again? Every other defenseman played well over 18 minutes (with Rivet and Lydman breaking the 21 minute barrier) while Tallinder was just a hare under 13:30.

– I love the look of intense concentration on Miller’s face in this shot:

Sabres Penguins Hockey

At least he showed up for most of the game.

– I watched Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Thanksgiving Leftover Bonanza this morning. I know that when I have my fellow lushes, I mean “friends,” over for Thanksgiving leftovers, I always make sure to tell them what I’m wearing so that we all can be color coordinated to each other, the kitchenscape and the tablescape. I’m still in horror over what she did to that leftover turkey, as well as shuddering at the thought of mixing mashed potatoes and green bean cassorole together for dumpling filling.

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They’re All Fired

November 15, 2008

After last night’s loss, I want to fire the entire team with the exception of the following:

Ryan Miller – not his fault that he stepped into a pile of shit last night and had to play 14 minutes of semi-cleanup duty. Though I did notice during the goalie transition that Miller was sporting an unfortunate case of flat hat hair, received from wearing his yellow trimmed beanie during the game.

Drew Stafford – can’t punish him for this. Emphasis on the word this. There’s still plenty of things left to blame Staffy for.

Pat Kaleta – the kid was playing good until Lindy made him ride the pine. Not sure what the rationale is behind that one.

Nathan Paetsch – can’t blame him for being the seventh man in a six man band.

– With the news that Kotalik has a hamstring owie and may be out for a while, do you play Stafford or Kaleta? Stafford’s been in a slump, but the benching might have made him find his mojo again. Kaleta was playing well before his benching and he brings some oomph and chutzpah to the lineup. As much as I like Staffy, I’d vote for Kaleta.

Or, Lindy could do something radical and bench Derek Roy’s Juicy Couture wearing ass for a game. Since yelling before / during / after games doesn’t seem to sink in with young Roy-Z, maybe a night in the press box with some popcorn and sports writers would deliver Lindy’s message loud and clear.

– Did anyone else pick up on the “man on the prowl” vibe that Adam Mair was giving off during his sit down with Maria Genero on “The Sabres Show?” It was most notable during the part where Mair was trying to convince Genero that 40 is the new 30, which is the new 20. Then again, maybe it was the shit eating grin on Mair’s face, coupled with the undone by one too many buttons shirt with the bit of chest hair popping out at the top, that made it seem like that vibe was present.

– I did like hearing the explanation behind the decorations on Lalime’s mask. How sweet that he has something special for each of his daughters. And his daughters’ names are beautiful (Rosemary, Lilliana and Evangeline), not that my opinion matters.

– After almost being declared dead by much of the free world (including yours truly), I was surprised to see Timmy playing last night. At times, it seemed like he was the only player for the Sabres trying to do something. He played almost 19 minutes of the game, which is a pretty fair showing. Granted, a good chunk of it was power play time, but its still a decent amount of time.

Hopefully a different team shows up against the Pens tonight. Otherwise, its going to be a long, ugly Saturday night.

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Dancing With Henrik

November 13, 2008

Today’s practice notes on sabres.com contained this gem:

The Sabres enjoyed a laugh at the expense of defenseman Henrik Tallinder following practice.

As players entered the locker room, a video of the blueliner’s goal looped to Chubby Checker’s version of “The Twist.”

Tallinder scored a goal for the first time since March 15, 2008 in last night’s win against the Blues, and celebrated with an unconventional move.

“He’s never going to want to score again” Clarke MacArthur quipped after seeing the video.

“I just can’t stop watching it,” Jason Pominville added. “It’s hilarious.”

Here’s the link to the video of Tallinder’s little jig. Twist music not included. I can just imagine Pommers standing in front of that ginormous TV set in the locker transfixed by the whole thing.

Tallinder didn’t do a bad job of moving his hips and staying in rhythm. Could an appearance on Dancing With the Stars be in his future, once his playing career is over?

Also worth noting from the team today is that Peters was given the ceremonial pigeon for his performance in last night’s game.

And Timmy has a bruised chest, but no head trauma after last night’s hit from Tkachuk. I would bet that he doesn’t play tomorrow but plays on Saturday, but only time will tell.