Archive for January, 2009


Seven Minutes With Ryan Miller

January 31, 2009

The Buffalo News added a very in-depth interview with Ryan Miller to its archive.

See it here.

According to a Buffalo News editorial preview published on Friday, there’s supposed to be an article in tomorrow’s paper about Miller. I don’t think the video is a complete giveaway of the article, but it probably contains a good bit of info that might be included.

Quick thoughts:

– In addition to being a talented goalie, he really is a talented photographer as well. I was kind of coveting some of those shots in the book he was flipping through as I need some new art on my walls. He really did a good job of capturing the natural beauty of his home state.

– I love, love, love his thoughts on Buffalo. We’re not chain-restaurant city, there’s so many mom-and-pop and locally owned places that give Buffalo its own flavor. He also mentioned his appreciation for the beauty of Buffalo’s architecture, like Mansion Row on Delaware and the beautiful houses on Chapin. It really underscores how much he’s come to embrace Buffalo and all we have to offer. It also sounds like he misses the place when he goes home for the summer or over breaks. And it sounds like he (and Goose) also have some great neighbors keeping an eye on them and their houses, which you can tell he appreciates.

I think this interview just reinforces that he wouldn’t have signed his contract extension had the team and the city not been right for him. He would have been on the first plane out of here if he didn’t like the area, but you know, the city can and will take a hold of you if you let it. And it sounds like Buffalo has gotten its hooks into Ryan Miller.

– I was mildly amused by the plethora of liquor bottles sitting behind him in one of the still photos of him and his guitar. It was like he was playing guitar at Sandra Lee’s house, and cocktail time was just around the corner. (That’s a crossover I never want to see: Ryan Miller and Sandra Lee. Girl would be all over him like a bitch in heat and he doesn’t deserve that.)


In some non-Sabre related news, the great state of oHIo had better be preparing for a Buffalo invasion in early August. Not only were Bruch Smith and Ralph Wilson elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the Bills will be playing the Tennessee Titans in the Hall of Fame game that weekend. There’s no one that will argue that Bruce wasn’t deserving of making it in on his first ballot. I do think that a lot of people were surprised that Mr. Wilson made it in. He was considered a long shot by many of the prognosticators, based on the thinking that he wouldn’t be voted in until he had passed on. Irregardless, that weekend in August is going to be one heck of a blue and red painted party in Canton.


Don’t Give Me None of This Ole BS

January 29, 2009

A Major League reference in a post-game interview? Ryan Miller, are you trying to kill me? I frickin love Major League.

“It was my best impression of Roger Dorn from ‘Major League.’ Just ground balls going through,” Miller said. “Not very like me, but I definitely have to be better, especially on the road and especially for a team that needs some points.”

IIRC, Dorn’s problem was that he wasn’t willing to sacrifice the body to make the play. I don’t think we can say the same about Ryan Miller.



January 28, 2009

– I’m really amused by the fact that Drew Stafford kept his pigeon perched on his shoulder during his interview after last night’s Sabres/Oilers game. But that he mentioned he would probably be sleeping with it was enough to give me pause. Who knows where that pigeon has been in the Sabres locker room?

– While I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Edmonton announcers during last night’s game, they did seem to have a really good understanding of and appreciation for the Sabres. They pointed out that Miller was playing some of the best hockey of his career, that Roy was coming on at just the right time and that Vanek was finally living up to the massive expectations put on him by the community. I can’t wait to see what’s in store from the Calgary dudes tonight. And here’s to also hoping for a less blindingly white ice surface tonight.

– Did anyone else notice last night that the cameras were positioned on the same side of the ice as the benches? That was the first time I’ve noticed this set-up in a game. It took a little getting used to seeing the players coming off the bench right in front of me, rather than from across the ice, as is the usual position in HSBC Arena.

– I cringed when I saw Rivet lying on the ice last night, but was happy (is that the right word?) to see that he only took a skate in the CraigBits and that it wasn’t a serious injury. The last thing the Sabres need is another defenseman succumbing to injury.

– Earlier today, Puck Daddy posted a great look at Tim Connolly. We all joke about Timmy’s fragility, but the guy is honestly one knock upside the head away from ending his career. The article also makes a good point that Timmy is tough, as he has played through a cracked rib, nausea and who knows what else that we in the cheap seats don’t know about. That takes a set of cojohnes the size of Syracuse.

– So the Red Wings signed Zetterberg to a 12-year contract. Eesh. Here’s to hoping for a long, injury free career out of Mr. Zetterberg. Otherwise, that’s a lot of money to have to finangle around in this fun salary cap environment.

– And to end on a lighter note, the Steadfast Foundation has posted the list of the auction items available at the Catwalk for Charity. I can’t decide what’s more awesome:

  • the black lab puppy named Capone (early prediction that this puppy is again the hit of the event)
  • the “take Andrew Peters to show-and-tell” experience
  • Catwalk Cookout Challenge between esteemed Buffalo chefs and Ryan Miller and a teammate
  • a Saved by the Bell DVD set autographed by Mr. Belding. (Seriously, all that cool stuff and you could win a DVD signed by Mr. Belding. But then again, there are those of us of a certain age who can quote Saved by the Bell episodes chapter and verse. So there is that quirky nostalgia factor there.)

Do Something Good Today

January 26, 2009

Pedigree Dog Food is running its first ever Super Bowl ad this year. And in support of this new ad, they’re going to be running a dog food donation drive for shelters across the country. If you visit the Pedigree website and watch either the Super Bowl ad or the related videos, Pedigree will donate a bowl of dog food to a shelter for each video watched. If the videos are viewed four million times, that is the equivalent of America stepping up and feeding every dog in a shelter for one day. So think of the puppies and go watch the videos already!


Not Dead, Just Resting

January 24, 2009

– I apologize for my absence around here the past couple of days. My Crohn’s is being a real bitch these days, and usually the only thing I can think about doing when I get home from work is falling face first onto the couch and hiding under a blanket. No offense to you, my loyal readers, but sleep and rest are outweighing blogging these days. So if you notice me posting a little more infrequently for the next while, have no fear that I’m not dead, I’m just resting. I’ll let you know when I’m dead. 🙂

I may become twitchy over the next two weeks, as there’s no Sabres hockey on TV until February 4th. This radio-only thing for the West Coast road trip sucks all kinds of monkey balls. I know that the team and MSG think that the West Coast games won’t draw ratings, but how many people would just put the game on and drift off to sleep while watching it? Those TVs still count as ratings points, even if the people watching them are asleep.

Updated to add that Bucky just posted that LQ and MSG struck a deal to televise the games after all! Yay! And the villagers rejoice!

– After reading Kevin Sylvester’s interview with Curtis Brown and Jeremy Roenick, I’ve decided that Jeremy Roenick is good people.

– Some of the photos that have been released from All Star Weekend are absolutely hysterical.


Thomas looks very nice in this photo, but can’t we get the poor dear some ProActive? I know the redness on the nose is from the game the other night, but the rest of it can be easily handled with meds.

What is with the All-Stars sporting cardigan sweaters this year? I don’t like Kovy’s old man sweater here.

However, Vinny completely rocks the heck out of the cardigan in this photo.

And this is just a gratuitous photo of Soupy. He looks good.

I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.

This photo does not do Zach Parise any favors.However, he kind of looks like Zachary Quinto in this photo. Which is not a bad thing, but ZQ and ZP are different animals.

Tooth! Although what is going on with SJ Sharkie’s skates? They’re like ginormous in relation to the little shark legs.


On The Road Again

January 20, 2009

– I don’t know who lit a fire under Ryan Miller’s rear end these past couple of games, but I really like what I’ve been seeing from him. There’s been confidence, enthusiasm and even a smile or two coming out of the Buffalo crease lately. It’s like a switch was flipped within him. That level of play needs to continue if the Sabres want to maintain their current playoff pace.

– I almost wanted to throw something at the TV set when the Panthers scored their second goal. While it all worked out in the end, the Sabres really need to work on that finishing touch for close games. There was no reason for that game to have gone to overtime and the shootout.

– And I think I fired Toni Lydman like four times last night. It seemed like he was just a bit off last night, with probably the low point coming on the play that generated the penalty shot. Though I do have to say that last night was the first time I’ve ever seen a penalty shot and an actual penalty called on the same play. I probably wouldn’t have minded either as much if the Panthers hadn’t scored on the penalty shot.

– After seeing this picture of Gaustad tussling with Zednik, I want to yell at Goose to title his damn helmet strap already. There’s absolutely no need for there to be that much give in the strap so that one tussle on the side moves the helmet darn near off your head.


It’s all fun and games until someone’s head gets smushed.

– Since travel difficulties caused a late (early?) arrival in Tampa for the team, Lindy canceled practice this morning and scheduled an organized team bonding activity for the afternoon. I wonder what Lindy has in mind for the guys? A sandcastle building contest? A boardwalk stroll? A “bury your teammate in the sand and see how long it takes him to wriggle out” contest? (My money would be on Paille and MacArthur to win the sand castle contest and Miller to win the bury in the sand contest, would those things actually exist.)

– And the Islanders version of Timmy is out for the year. We kvetch about the size of Timmy’s contract and the number of games that he’s played, but I think DiPietro’s situation is a little bit worse than ours. I mean, we can potentially be rid of Timmy at the end of this year. The Isles are stuck with DiPi until 2021.

– Anyone else find it a wee bit comical that the league is resorting to using an unknown goalie during the trick shot competition at the All-Star Game Skills Competition? Instead of pulling some poor dude off the street, just leave the net empty. It’s not like goaltending matters in the trick shot competition.


Game Night – Sabres v. Hurricanes

January 17, 2009


– Ryan Miller has updated his bloggy. The highlights are that he just finished reading Night by Elie Wiesel, he doesn’t like the new Ryan Adams album, and professional athletes work hard at manipulating the stereotype of dumb jocks so that they can surprise people when the need to be smart arises. (But has any Sabres fan ever thought that Miller was a dumb jock? I think his intelligence and thoughtfulness is pretty well recognized amongst Sabres fans.)

Anyways, Night really is a great book and I remember being really moved by it when I read it my freshman year in high school. Not only was the topic affecting, but since my grammar school wasn’t the best quality in the literature department, it was really jarring to go from reading Johnny Tremain in 8th grade (twice…don’t ask), to reading “real” books like Night in high school.

(And in case anyone is wondering, I’m currently reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon. It’s the last book in her Outlander series and it’s a dense read. Fun, but dense.)

– The Buffalo News is reporting that Sekera is out for “weeks” with an ankle injury. While this still means that Paetsch is the low man on the defensive totem pole, it does mean that Chris Butler gets to hang around up here for a little while longer. He’s been playing well with both Teppo and Rivet. I really think spending time with the older guys is helping him out.

– Also found in today’s news is a nice story about Rip Simonick’s 3,000 game career with the Sabres. When he retires, he could make a killing if he ever wrote a book about his time with the team. Then again, I’m sure the players see him as more like a priest in the confessional: what’s shared in the locker/equipment room stays in the locker/equipment room.

First Period

– Fallsview Casino atones for the horror that is the tattoo commercial by creating a new commercial that features a goalie coming out for the announcement of the first star only to have horseshoes fall out of the rear of his goalie equipment. The commercial is made all the more awesome by the use of the Leafs arena announcer as the commercials “arena” announcer.

– I saw today that Tops has been named the official supermarket of the Buffalo Sabres. I find that extremely funny, since it seems like half of Buffalo has seen numerous Sabres shopping at Wegmans.

– With 17:30 left to go in the first period, Blime Warner is giving me an HD picture, but not HD sound. Instead of RJ’s dulcet tones, I’m getting some sort of instrumental Allman Brothers esque music to accompany the game. This is the last HD game for the next who knows how long. I’m getting jipped.

– Oh, sweet jeebus. Miller moves out of his crease to play the puck and collides with Williams in the middle of the zone. That had the potential to not end well.

– There’s a new commercial for the Sabres Green Team debuting tonight. Goose reminds us all to keep our tires inflated and get excess crap out of our trunks in order to increase our fuel mileage.

– WOOOOOOO! Lydman lets a wrister loose from the point and Timmy deflects it past Cam Ward. 1-0 Sabres.

– My check of the HD channel shows me that the sound is back on, but the sound isn’t synched up with the video feed. I heard Teppo’s goal go in before the video showed it make it past Ward. So the score is now 2-0 Sabres, and I head back to the SD channel.

Second Period

– Teppo takes a puck off his head during a play in the Carolina zone. He gets up under his own power and skates off the ice, but is wincing pretty regularly.

– Walker heads into the Buffalo zone past Butler. Miller is down, misses the poke check and Walker bounces it off the post. He had a 100% wide open net with Miller down and he doinks it off the post. I think I love the left goal post right about now.

– I just heard a “fuck this” come over the air from the on-ice mikes. No word on who it came from.

– Still no sound sync on the HD channel between the play and the broadcast booth. When Roby and Sylvester were talking during the intermission, it was like watching a movie with bad dubbing. The words were that out of sync with the lip movements.

– And Teppo is back on the ice after taking the puck to the head. Glad to see he’s back.

– Rivet misses a breakaway after coming out of the penalty box. Harry Neale cracks that Rivet just lost his opportunity to be included in future shootout rotations.

– Timmy capitalizes on a Carolina turnover to make it 3-0 Sabres. For those of you playing along with the home team, that would make Rod the Bod a -29 for the year. And how cute was Lalime rubbing Timmy’s head after Timmy was seated back on the bench?

Third Period

– I guess Kevin Sylvester doesn’t read Puck Daddy, ESPN or TSN, as he reminds us during the intermission that Wade Dublewicz has been retained by the Islanders due to their goaltending difficulties. Had he checked teh internets before going on the air tonight, he would have seen that Dubie was picked up off waivers by Columbus.

– The period starts on a bad note as Ray Whitney tips a puck past Miller. 3-1 Sabres.

– The Sabres play just good enough hockey to hang on for the win, allowing Carolina to get 19 shots off in the third period. A lot of that good play can be credited to Miller, who was really on his game tonight.


Dude. That Was Fun

January 16, 2009

– Last night’s game was a blast to watch. Sure, the first period and a half was a complete downer, as the Sabres were facing a 3-1 deficit. But then, something changed in the third period. It’s like the guys realized that they still had a chance to win the game, that rolling over and dying wasn’t the best option in this case.

– I liked that we got to see the slow fire light under Goose last night. Between the scraps with the Dallas players in front of the net (at one point he ended up down on the ice with his head pretty much on Turco’s tushie), to the fight with Sutherby, to the two goals, it’s like Goose was laying it all out on the line. It was nice to see his teammates step up and match his effort for once.

– It was good to see Miller once again step up and be clutch in the shootout. Watching the postgame interview on the Sabres site, he seemed almost sheepish that the shootout went so many rounds. Trust me Ryan, it’s not always on you in the shootout. Three of your teammates also have roles to play.

– I was exhausted during overtime and the shootout, and was pretty much ready for the shootout to be over after three rounds. When it went to Round 4, I even promised at the TV that I wouldn’t make fun of Timmy for a week if he made the shot. Since he missed, it’s still open season on Timmy around here.

– After catching some brief player interviews on tonight’s news, I want to know what in sam hill Derek Roy was thinking when he was getting dressed this morning. He was wearing a black knitted cap, a cream colored chunky knit fisherman turtleneck sweater (eesh, could I have used anymore adjectives to describe that sweater?) and a black jackey with a fleecy/furry collar. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy wear a fleecy/furry collar coat before. All three pieces together were completely overwhelming.


What Was That?

January 15, 2009

It was entirely too cold in my house to even think about leaving the comfort of my warm blanket to blog during/after last night’s Sabres game. (Alright, the cold was more of an excuse to cover the “during”, and “sleep” is the excuse to cover the “after”.)

– Why did it seem like Derek Roy was the only forward out there who seemed like his give a damn wasn’t busted? Timmy would also fall a close second in this category. Both of them were extremely noticeable in a good way last night. I will also admit to being concerned every time Timmy went flying across the ice, as I envisioned him injuring himself while doing so. It’s going to take awhile before the Tim Connolly Cringe Factor calms down to normal hockey player levels.

– Let’s not even discuss the travesty that was the 6 minute power play. Six minutes and only one shot. One god damn shot (and yes I can say god damn on my blog, even if you can’t say it on the radio) in six minutes. Sheesh. A team of Timbits could have probably done better.

– Which also brings me to the debacle that was the four-on-one last night. Goose was leading the rush up the left side of the ice and can’t get the blasted pass off. I’m thinking that non-pass trumps any good that may have come from his scrappiness last night.

– I will also admit to wishing that I had my laptop open to play Pominville Bingo during Pommer’s intermission interview last night.

– At least the intermission feature on Tallinder was nice. Mrs. Tallinder and the Lil Tallinders looked absolutely adorable in the photos shown. It’s almost enough to make you ask why he almost threw that all away during his little third man in deal a couple of years ago.

– Stafford did have a nice clean check on Duncan Keith last night. About darn time the little punk hit someone. I also noticed that Chicago seemed to make it their personal mission to target Stafford after that hit. Where was the same spunk and determination out of the Sabres after Mair was cross checked into the bench on a line change? I realize Mair was giggling about it afterward, but where were his teammates to stick up for him? RJ was more incensed about it that some of the players on the ice.

– It may have been my poor eyesight, but was Miller not seated on the Sabres bench last night? Does the United Center require visiting backup goalies to be exiled to backup goalie purgatory? Based on what I read pre-game, I was half expecting Miller to pull a Marty and start trash talking from the bench.

I hope an entirely different team shows up against Dallas tonight. If not, the good people of Buffalo may revolt against this team.


Monday’s Meditations

January 12, 2009

– The following post-practice quote from Ryan Miller explains a lot about what’s going through his mind while he’s in the crease.

“It’s kind of like a golf swing. That’s how I try to explain things to people. You go to the range and you’re thinking about six different things: Where is the weight on this foot, back hinge, the elbow, all this stuff. Goaltending is a lot like that. My stance, my hand positioning, where I am in the crease, how much I challenge, my glove side not being too low or too high, trying to get dialed in. The last few games I’ve felt good… I’m starting to feel more like where I think I need to be.”

I like that he’s able to share these technical aspects of his game with the media and the fans. And he’s right, the past couple of games, he’s played like that elite goaltender that we know he is.

But in regards to the golf aspect, maybe Ryan needs to take the advice of the founder of the Dewey Addem & Howe Golf Outing: grip it, rip it and open a cold one afterward. Golf is supposed to be fun (And so is hockey for that matter. Even when you’re getting paid to play it).

– I got a chuckle out of hearing that Rhett Warrener showed up at the rink dressed as Darth Vader the day after his son Luke was born. (Doing so shows just enough of an understanding of the absurd, and I love it.) Rhett was a good egg and I miss having him on the Sabres, though if reports out of Calgary are correct, it seems like Rhett could be hanging up the skates soon. He was one of those guys (same with Jay McKee) that put the body on the line every night and didn’t run away from the hits.

– Anyone want to speculate on what the over/under is on Vinny Lecavalier heading out of Tampa before the trade deadline? If Tampa’s interested in a couple of UFA’s, maybe we could interest them in Timmy and Max? (Yes, I know that management would freak at having a Vinny contract on the books, and so this is only a pipe dream). I’m sure Max would love Florida if only because he would be closer to the tennis player girlfriend, and the Florida weather might do wonders for Timmy’s constitution.

– And Yahoo still hasn’t put Ales Hemsky on the IR. I’m not a happy camper over here.