Archive for January, 2009

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sabres vs. Wings – 1.10.09

January 10, 2009

First Period

– To recap, last night’s game against the Rangers contained an incredible performance by Miller, and a pretty decent performance from everyone else.

– Tonight’s game gets off to a good start for the Sabres with a quick goal by Roy. The Roy/Vanek/Stafford line has been pretty consistent lately, though I would like to see Staffy pick it up a bit more. I feel the snot nosed punk action is missing a little bit from Staffy’s game.

– Miller makes a quick save on a high Detroit shot, but it appears to strike him in the neck/mask area, as he is briefly dazed. I wonder if he does get “hurt” tonight, would his mommy would come down and kiss it and make it better? Sabres Edge reported that Miller has quite the contingent in the stands tonight. If Miller hadn’t signed an extension in the off-season, I would say that this would be a sign of the “Miller-to-Detroit” rumors gaining strength. Heh.

– According to John Vogl at Sabres Edge, there’s quite a few vocal Buffalo fans in the house tonight. I thought I heard a “Lets Go Buffalo” popping up at the beginning of the game, but just chalked it up to a figment of my imagination.

– I’m kind of bummed I wasn’t able to make tonight’s Buffalo BloggerCon at Casa di Pizza tonight. Stupid bug of mine. I raise my Gatorade to y’all instead.

– So the big hockey news of the day is the Devils signing Brendan Shanahan. Guess the Devils haven’t met the league mandated old fogey quotient for the year. The Sabres have Teppo, so we’re well covered.

– Have I mentioned how much I hate the Fallsview casino commercial where the fat dude is giving himself a tattoo? If I haven’t I REALLY HATE THAT COMMERCIAL. It rankles.

– Dear Yahoo Fantasy: Please put Ales Hemsky on the bleeping IR already. The Little Honkers will thank you later.

Second Period

– Toni Lydman’s daughters are absolutely adorable.

– Sweet merciful heavens, Timmy went down to block a pass, preventing Detroit from getting a shot on a two-on-one.

– Even though Miller wasn’t anywhere near the blue ice in making the save on the play, it’s nice to see Rivet take quite the exception to Holmstron residing in Miller’s crease. Why don’t more of the Sabres defensemen and forwards take similar offense?

– In his leadout to commercial, RJ mentions that Ryan Miller “sparkles.” Please don’t tell me this means Crunchy is a vampire. I don’t think I could handle that.

– These past couple of games, Miller has done everything but stand on his head and burp the alphabet. This is the Ryan Miller that needs to show up every night, not just every other game on alternate Fridays.

– At least the first Detroit goal benefited The Little Honkers. :\

Third Period

– I call shenanigans on the goaltender interference penalty called on Stafford. He was totally helped into Conklin by Rafalski.

– Looking at the photos from WGR’s Whiny Awards / Lindy Ruff roast, I’m really struck by the differences between Peters and Goose. Gaustad looks like you could bounce a quarter off his abs, while Peters looks all soft and cushy like. And speaking of the Lindy Roast, I can really live without ever hearing Harry Neale use the word “semen,” especially as it relates to Lindy Ruff.  I’m off to go scour my brain with some brain bleach and ponder what that last sentence will do to my blog search stats.

– Toni Lydman, even though your daughters are adorable, you’re fired for the turnover that lead to Detroit’s second goal. I do not blame Miller one bit for that goal. You could tell he wanted that one back…badly.

– Miller’s going to be one worn out puppy if his teammates keep allowing him to face 40+ shots a night. At some point, the boy will need to cut a bitch and remind them that just because he is the last line of defense, he isn’t the ONLY line of defense. There’s five other guys on the ice that can help him out.

– And on the 46th shot (by my count), Detroit goes up 3-1, this time after Hossa outworks THREE Sabres to get the puck and take advantage of Miller. Sweet Staffy’s ghost, that effort from the three of them was pathetic. It’s like they didn’t even care that they were down by one and still theoretically had a chance at winning the game.

– I’m beginning to think that the Mike Robitaille dentist commercial is going to be this season’s Soupy/Center for Excessive Sweating commercial. It’s a repeating commercial and Roby has that same level of sincere insincerity that Soupy brought to the plight of those suffering from hyperhydrosis.

– Can someone please tell me why Lindy broke up the line of Gaustad, Pommers and Ellis? The three of them worked well together on the physical side, and also seemed to have a grasp of this thing called “offense.” They weren’t broke, so why were they fixed?

– Also, can someone please tell me what the heck Spacek was saying in his postgame interview with Kevin Sylvester? I have no idea outside of “Miller. Good.”

– Now the Sabres are off until Wednesday, when they face old pal Soupy in Chicago. Remember friends, this game (and the Dallas game on Thursday) start at 8:30 Buffalo Time.

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“Bite Me” Is Not Meant to Be Taken Literally

January 7, 2009

– Did Ottawa forget to feed Ruutu before last night’s game? Biting a chunk out of Andrew Peters hand is not kosher. While I’m sure the bite wasn’t as big of a deal as Peters embellished it to be, it’s still pretty serious. Biting has no place in hockey. Heck, biting has no place anywhere in polite society, unless your name is Bella and you’re pining away for your sparkly true love vampire boyfriend to turn you into a vampire.

– I’m really liking the Goose / Ellis combination. For whatever reason, those two seem to work well together. And Goose last night was a pissed off little honker. It seemed like every time he was on the ice, he was involved in a scrap, or a hit or just busting his ass out there.

– I don’t blame Ryan Miller at all for letting in the first Ottawa goal. That was a completely fluky shot that managed to find the inch and a half of space that Miller left open between his hip and the goalpost. I do think he could have done better on the Spezza breakaway, however. He got a piece of the shot, but not enough of it.

– Congratulations to Rob Ray on the birth of Rob Ray Jr. However, I still would have loved to have heard his reactions to all the Peters biting drama that took place in front of his usual game position.

– I think my cell phone is possessed.  One of my friends texted me this morning saying I called him. However, while the call did come from my phone, the timestamp on the call occured when I was scraping ice off my car. My phone was in my purse in the car. This is so frigging bizzarre.

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Musings of a Bored Blogger

January 5, 2009

– During Saturday night’s HNiC broadcast, the distinguished in studio panelists started talking about the sheer ridiculousness of Crosby’s fight. Mike Milbury went out on the ledge and said that there’s a crisis-a-brewin’ in the Pittsburgh locker room. Milbury continued by saying that there’s potentially some resentment brewing between Sid and his teammates, and there’s only two ways the resentment might be fixed. First, Sid needs to move out of Unkie Mario’s house and into a domicile of his own. (Note: Milbury did not actually use the words “domicile” and “Unkie Mario.” Those are my creative terms.) Next, Sid needs to find a way to tell his father to scram, that Papa Sid no longer needs to attend every practice. His son is a big boy now; he should be able to figure out how to deal with practice on his own. I thought these were some very interesting observations that Milbury was making. If there’s even a kernel of truth to them, that could be one reason why the Pens are suddenly a hot mess.

– And Caps fans called Buffalo fans “classless” for stomping on Ovie posters and/or drawing Sharpie mustaches on the posters? Somehow, urinal “decorations” don’t seem much classier.

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We Want Three!

January 3, 2009

Now that the Sabres beat the Leafs and the Bruins, I’m going to be greedy and ask if the Sabres can go three-for-three in this divisional series of games and beat the Sens on Tuesday.

– Matt Ellis was a little beast today. Two goals, an assist and a plus 3 for the game. You could also tell that the guys were really trying to get him the puck so that he could complete the hat trick.

– I really liked the Ellis / Gaustad / Pominville line. They had some spunk and generated a halfway decent chemistry together. I can’t figure out though, whether this is a demotion for Pommers or a promotion for Goose and Ellis. Either way, it worked.

– Speaking of the Goose, Harry Neale mentioned during the Leafs game that Brian Burke was keeping an eye on Goose for the 2010 Olympic team. Neale mentioned that Burke really liked Gaustad’s physical presence. And short of his death or injury, Miller is a lock for the Olympic team. Could one of his BFF’s in Gaustad be joining him? There’s been rumbles about Burke wanting a bigger and badder Team USA.  Time will tell, I guess.

– Did anyone else notice Lindy crack a smile at the end of today’s game? Smiles from Lindy have been a truly rare sight this season.

– I can live with Brian Campbell being named to the All-Star team, but is he really worthy of a starting position? And I say that as someone who owns Campbell on her fantasy hockey team. He’s a perfectly cromulent defenseman, but I’m not convinced he’s worthy of a starting position. And maybe I’m just naively looking at it from the point of view of someone who thinks that the starters should be the cream of the crop, not just the most popular.

– I’m ashamed to admit that I spent way more time during the Winter Classic than I should have contemplating Ty Conklin’s time management skills. In the third period, he utilized the link-up of the final commercial break and the singing of “Take Me Out To The Hockey Game” to meander over to the Red Wings dugout, get his skates fixed and take a whiz. I’m impressed, Mr. Conklin, very impressed. And it also sounds like the ratings for the Classic were pretty impressive as well. Hopefully, the final ratings will be as good as the overnights.

– I can’t believe that the Boston fans booed Sejkera as he was leaving the ice after taking the stick in the bits. Dude was in some serious pain and they’re booing him. Though I’m glad to see he recovered and was back on the ice. I did get a giggle out of Harry Neale’s euphemisms explaining where Sejkera got hit. Yes, I’m 12. And speaking of injuries, what the heck was up with Max’s mysterious “lower-body injury”? He was involved in a perfectly innocent collision with Chara and then suddenly was gone from the game.

– And Sidney Crosby fought and got 19 penalty minutes during today’s Pens / Panthers game. Sid’s getting a little pissy at how the Pens are playing. Alright, Captain Sid; take some of your aggression out on your teammates and not the opposition.