Archive for December, 2008

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Hockey Players Are People Too

December 18, 2008

– At least that’s what Ryan Miller implied during the announcement of the Third Annual Catwalk for Charity. He mentioned that the event is a chance for fans to see what players are like off the ice. If I were at the CfC, I doubt I would be able to keep a straight face if I saw one of the Sabres dressed up like a 1920’s gangster. (This year’s event is focused around the idea of a “roaring speakeasy party.”) I’m having a hard enough time not giggling at Kaleta, Mair and Miller dressed in their best gangster get-up.

– And our beloved Crunchy updated his blog with his thoughts on the holiday season, including a lament that he’s going to miss all the fun holiday parties back home where someone has a wee bit too much egg nog and makes a fool of themselves. You mean to tell me that at the Sabres holiday party, no one gets smashed and is talked about the next day? I thought it was a rule that every party had one of those people. Even my work party at Dewey Addem and Howe has had that person make an appearance….every year. And it’s never the same person, either!

– And it looks like our long national nightmare is over. Mats Sundin signed with the Canucks. “Sundin and the Sedins,” while probably being a tongue twister for a play-by-play guy, sounds like a great name for a band.

– After reading this article, I kind of get how Drew Stafford is friends with Zach Parise. Parise seems very high strung, while Stafford gives off the chill vibe. They complete each other!

– While I missed most of last night’s game due to the need for sleep beating the crap out of the need for hockey, I did wake up briefly in the first intermission and saw the feature on the Sabres trip to Childrens. Tim Connolly in a Santa hat looked more human and less sleazy than I think I’ve ever seen him. Both the kids and the Sabres looked like they were having a ball during this visit. I just wish the Sabres would show more of the warm and fuzzy features during their intermissions.

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What Is Going On At The Arena?

December 15, 2008

What kind of practice is Lindy running these days? There should not be two injuries to two relatively key players during one practice. First, Patches somehow loses a tooth. (No word on whether the tooth was recovered for Patches to leave under his pillow as an offering to the Tooth Fairy.) Then, James Patrick tries to dump in a puck and ricochets it off of Paul Gaustad’s chin, causing Goose to leave the ice bleeding and in need of X-Rays. I guess someone forgot to tell Goose to duck.

:::ba dum bum::: Thank You. Thank You. I’m here till Tuesday. Try the fish.

Anyway, Lindy predicts that Gaustad will be fine, but is just a little sore. (Ya think!)

At least the puck didn’t ricochet in off Timmy. That would have probably scared the poor dear into giving up hockey altogether. If it didn’t kill him first.

Today’s practice also revealed what Rivet’s exact upper body injury is. His shoulder is a bit out of whack and he will be evaluated in two week chunks. After reading about Patches, Goose’s and Rivet’s injuries, I half expected the next bulletin out of HSBC Arena to be that Ryan Miller threw out his back while putting on his peacoat after practice.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch the Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade holiday special. Cocktails, seasoning packets and tablescapes for all!

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Lazy Sunday Post

December 14, 2008

– Last night was corporate merrymaking time. We broke bread and toasted the past, present and future. And while a good time was had by all, the good time was definitely bartender assisted. He was a member of the Sandra Lee school of cocktails: the more booze in the glass, the better. My vodka cranberries were definitely more vodka than cranberry. That definitely slowed the drinking pace a bit for me.

Corey Griswold’s blog of last night’ s Sabres / Devils game is pretty darn funny. I especially liked this comment:

2-1 Devils. Holik scores because the only Sabre who would take the body was Paul Gaustad. Spacek and Sekera were too busy waving their sticks at full extension. If a Sabres defenseman were to ask my daughter out on a date I wouldn’t worry about funny business because there is no way any body contact is happening.

Sad but true. Our defense lately has been a little soft. Gaustad, however, has been hitting anything and everything that moves. That fight with Craig the other night is still one of the better ones I’ve seen this season.

– Speaking of hitting things, why doesn’t the Bills defense try something new and different; you know, like hitting Brett Farve before he runs half the length of the field?

– I would love to know what Lindy and the boys think about Staffy and his metal god ambitions.

staffyguitar

It’s still funny two days later.

– Yesterday I was at the Sabres store attempting to holiday shop. (That didn’t work so well. So Dad, if you’re reading this, you’re not getting anything from the Sabres store). I was pleasantly surprised to see a rack of Portland Pirates gear. I ended up buying a Gerbe t-shirt (also available were Weber and Kennedy). This is the first time I can recall seeing AHL merchandise at the Sabres store. There never was any Amerks gear around during the Sabres long affliation with them. New team, new location, new enthusiasm, I guess.

– So now that Sean Avery has been shown the door by the Stars, where does he go from here? Is there an NHL team crazy enough to take him on (hi, Tampa!) or will he be destined for the AHL or even Russia?

– At least JP Losman’s appearance on Deadspin is slightly less scandalous that Derek Roy’s.

– Why do I continue to watch Bills’ games? First, Losman fumbles the ball while the Bills have the lead, leading to a Jets touchdown. Then, on the next possession, he throws a fucking interception. That’s not good on two levels. First, if the Bills running game is kicking ass and taking names, why did Jauron decide to throw the ball? JP hasn’t exactly been confidence inspiring lately (neither was Trent for that matter). Marshawn’s been running his ass off, and yet on a third down, with the lead, when all the team needs to do is kill the blessed clock, we throw the ball. The mind, she is blown. Not to mention that a fumble and an interception in consecutive series aren’t doing JP any favors in putting together his “Best Of” reel in order to find a new team next year. It’s going to be a long week on Buffalo sports talk radio, as the Sabres are silent until Wednesday, and thus unable to serve as a distraction.

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Sabres vs. Leafs – 12.12.08

December 12, 2008

Sabres Show Highlights

– I’ve seen the fake mustache and wig shtick from him before, but Staffy in a long wig, fake mustache and muscle shirt will never not be funny. He was the second player interview on the show, and spoke about his music interests. We were then treated to a demo of him playing drums and then some guitar. And in case anyone is wondering, he has two ginormous tats on his arms.

– Oh. My. God. Just when I thought the Sabretooth foam paw was the best thing ever, Kevin Sylvester holds up a child’s Sabretooth hat. The little beanie even has Sabretooth ears poking out the top. It’s so freaking cute!

First Period

Rivet out, Patches in. I guess Rivet’s upper body injury has flared up. Has it ever been clarified where exactly on the upper body Rivet is hurt?

– Gaustad flies across the ice and takes out Ryan Hollweg. Yeah, tonight is going to end well for Hollweg.

– Half the crowd starts chanting “Go Leafs Go” until they are drowned out by a chorus of boos.

– Lydman plays trailer on a nifty breakaway by Roy-Z. This goal is only the 4th goal that the Sabres defense has scored all season. Yeah, we may need to keep working on increasing that total.

Second Period

– RJ shares with the crowd that tomorrow night marks the first time in 14 years that the Leafs will not play on Saturday night. Crikey, what will HNiC ever do without the mighty Maple Leafs to anchor their broadcast? [/sarcasm]

– Rayzor chimes in to say that a member of the Leafs skated by the Sabres bench and told Lindy to stop smiling and laughing or he [the Leaf] will tear his mustache off. Dude should not threaten Lindy. Lindy can kick ass and take names for later with one hand tied behind his back. Lindy is like Chuck Norris in that way.

– In some news from around the league, the Caps backup goalie tonight is their website producer. A combination of Jose Theodore’s hip injury, plus a delay in the arrival of their new goalie from the minors, led the Caps to ask the league for dispensation to sign their web dude for one game. This guy is now going to have a story to tell his grandkids.

– The Buffalo defense completely breaks down in their defensive zone, giving the puck away twice. This leads to the first Toronto goal. Sejkera looked completely awkward during this little series of plays in the zone.

– I should not be hearing chants of “MIIIIIILLLLLLLER MIIIIIILLLLLLLER” during a home game when Miller is actually playing a pretty good game. Stupid Toronto games and their invading fans.

Third Period

– This power play sucks. The Sabres have almost a four minute power play and have done diddly with it. Oh, goody. Another penalty is called on Toronto, and we’ll be playing 5-on-3 for 17 seconds. It’s like none of these idiots want to be the one to go in the record books as scoring the 10,000th goal in franchise history.

– I think the story about the Black Hawks crashing their GM’s father’s wake is pretty heartwarming. Though Jonathan Toews does his best to add a comedic element by (allegedly) wanting a McDonalds stop since the Happy Meals now include a free Toews card.

– Words I never want to hear again in combination: Al Unser Jr. and Sex Tape. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to look for the industrial size vat of brain bleach to rid my head of some unsavory images.

– Rassafrassamumblemumble. White takes a shot from the point and it takes a deflection off of somebody or something to beat Miller. 2-1 Leafs. The very partisan crowd goes nuts.

– I reiterate that I should not be able to hear a Miller taunt loud and clear during a home game.

-Damn it, Staffy. That’s two open nets and one in the crease shot you’ve missed tonight. You’re precariously close to being fired right now, and no amount of fake mustaches and wigs are going to save you.

– Bleh. That’s all I have to say. The Sabres were outplayed, outworked, outwitted and outlasted in the third period. I know I shouldn’t complain after the last couple of games, but did the guys forget that hockey is a 60 minute game? If they flake out again against New Jersey tomorrow night, they’re going to lose, and lose bad.

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Special Guest Stars

December 11, 2008

The Sabres were visited by former POTUS Bill Clinton before the game last night.

crunchygollyandbill

Good grief…are Crunchy’s legs skinny. And are those backless sneakers he’s wearing? I can’t tell. Though they do look like they’d be cute with jeans.

I also like how he and Lalime have spread their gear out on the floor. It’s like they’re claiming their turf.

And seriously, do we need another useless crap promotion from the Sabres? Mini pucks?  Seriously? They’re going to be like the size of pepperoni, right? Totally not worth the price the Sabres/Tops are asking for them.

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Honk! Honk! Honk!

December 11, 2008

– So he didn’t score a goal last night, but one could argue that Paul Gaustad made just as important a contribution last night as Vanek and Stafford did. That fight with Tampa’s Ryan Craig was a key turning point of the game. It re-energized the crowd (I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a prolonged Gooooooooose! before) and put the Sabres on the power play that led to Stafford’s goal. It wasn’t until the replay on the jumbotron that you really got the full impression that Gaustad kicked Craig’s ass in that fight. I think I counted Goose landing at least 8 punches before Craig got one in.

I was really struck by a couple of quotes in Mike Harrington’s article in this morning’s paper. First, we hear from the Goose regarding his fight.

“It’s probably not the best thing for my hand,” he said, looking at his wrapped appendage. “It’s still pretty sore but it’s my job and sometime you have to go through pain.”

Talk about putting the team/job over oneself.

Also, does anyone else think that while Lindy gave Goose a public  “atta-boy” during his post-game press conference,  that in private he’s giving Goose the old “what the hell were you thinking?” Sabretooth’s House has  a photo from the fight posted and you can clearly see Goose’s hand is wrapped up pretty well. While it’s good that he stepped up and took one for the team, I don’t want Goose to mess himself up further by fighting. Although, again, it was a pretty kick ass fight. Seriously,  kick ass.

And the second quote from Harrington’s article comes from our beloved Crunchy:

“I’m glad to see him back swinging,” goalie Ryan Miller said. “He’s been waiting for the right moment with his thumb. .‚.‚. He’s a big animal. I wouldn’t want to tussle with him.”

The mental image of a Goose and Crunchy fight is giving me the giggles. It would be like the class jock taking on the class emo dude. It would not end well for the emo dude.

– I thought the refeering was a little off again last night, especially in the third period. Crunchy’s delay of game penalty was a joke, considering he was waving his glove and indicating that the puck was in it. If I, who am blind as a bat on a good day, can see from the 300 level that the puck is in the glove, why couldn’t the ref?  Crunchy wasn’t just waiving his glove around for shits and giggles. The next time Crunchy made a glove save, the guys in the row behind me yelled that it should be a 2-minute penalty for use of the glove.

Crunchy was very vocal with the refs in the immediate time after the penalty was called. I hope he was still being respectful towards the refs, though I would laugh if he was told again to go eff himself.

The Kotalik penalty at the end of the game was also a bunch of mularkey, considering that a similar play was a non-call a couple of minutes before. As my dad put it, towards the end of the game, you really had to wonder if Rick Tocchet had any money down on Tampa, the game was that skewed. (Bad joke, I know. But relevant.)

– Interesting to see former POTUS Clinton at the game and the crowd give him a nice round of applause.

– During the starting lineup introductions, Staffy’s “photo” was giggling, like he just heard the world’s dirtiest joke. On the other hand, Roy-Z’s “photo” was working some serious bedroom eyes. One more minute of him on the Jumbotron, and I think he would have been having eye sex with half the arena.

– The kids doing the Timbits skills competition during the first intermission were absolutely adorable. They could not have been more than five years old, and the vast majority of them were still using the stick for balance. Sabretooth was a good goalie, letting each kid score. The final kid was having difficulty skating and moving the puck at the same time, so ‘Tooth picked him up, dropped him in front of the net, and let him shoot. Then carried him off the ice so no one would get runover by the Zamboni. This was the first game that I’ve been to in I don’t know how long that had the little kids playing during the intermission. More little kids and less high schoolers, please!

– And speaking of little kids, Gerbe looks like a little kid when he’s out on the ice. He makes Roy-Z look gigantic.

– Wacky observation: when the jumbotron lists what players are on the ice of each team and includes that cut-off headshot, Pommers’ picture makes him look like a young Wallace Shawn. (You know, Cyrus on Gossip Girl or Vizzini from the Princess Bride.) It’s not a good look for Pommers.

– About the only downside of the game was that there could have been more ice in my pop. My Sprite was warm by the end of the first period.

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I Don’t Think Bleeping Yourself Is Anatomically Possible

December 9, 2008

Usually the media reports coming out of Sabres practice are humdrum and as dry as a good martini. However, today’s reports on WGR contained some great tidbits.

– First, Lindy and Ryan Miller are on good terms. There is no rift between them after last week’s call out of Miller by his coach. I mean, did any of us seriously think there was a rift? Lindy has been known to call out his players in the media. He’s not shy a lot of the time about protecting their widdle feelings. If he was exhibiting a pattern of consistently calling out Miller, then I think we would have evidence of a rift. I think the media just encountered Miller on a bad day, as his quotes made him sound like he was having a bad PMS day.

– I find it hysterical that a ref told Miller to go fuck himself during last night’s game.  First of all, I really don’t think it’s anatomically possible; let alone anatomically possible while one is wearing a hockey uniform. While it’s not the most professional thing for a ref to say to a player during a game, somehow, I doubt that Miller was the completely innocent choir boy that he claimed to be during his encounter with the ref. What Miller saw as “respectful,” the ref could’ve seen as insolent whining. Irregardless, the league probably will have a thing to say to the ref in question.

– Continuing with the hilarity, while WGR broke the news of Gerbe getting some fighting pointers from Peters, WGRZ had the video on their 6pm newscast. The “fight” was all the more comical because it looked like Peters was taking on his seven-year-old brother, and not a fellow professional athlete. Peters had Gerbe’s sweater over his head, and eventually got it off him and was twirling it around. I would definitely add that “fight” to a Sabres blooper reel.

– And based on Miller’s comments about goalie fights, I guess I can cross “goalie fight” off my Christmas list.

“No. I watched Marty (Biron) and all his fights here and how well he did, so I don’t think a skinny guy is gonna have to leave the net.”

Ryan, the skinny guy thing can be remedied. Eat something, sunshine. Calories are your friend. This is the holiday season. You’re a freak of nature with the metabolism of a hummingbird on crack if you don’t gain weight during the holidays. And besides, Sabres fans have seen your temper come out occasionally during games. The next logical step is to fight. Just saying that you’d be a hero to Buffalo if you got into a fight. Remember how much Marty’s fight with Emery was talked about? If you’re worried about your fighting skills being less than stellar, see Peters. he’s been giving fighting lessons left, right and center this season. Just think about it for me, alright?

– Tomorrow night’s game marks the first one I will be seeing in person this season. I really, really hope it’s a good one. Otherwise, some bitches will get cut.