Live from Buffalo: It’s Sabres Hockey

October 3, 2009

It’s a fresh start for the Sabres. All the past whining, finger pointing and bitching is in the rear view mirror. There’s a palpable sense of excitement in the air. Let’s watch some hockey!

First Period

– Gaustad and Pominville are wearing the A’s tonight. Let us all HONK! and Pommerdoodle in a dignified manner…if that’s even possible. It’s about time Gaustad was recognized for his leadership abilities. The fans have clamoring for this for awhile, especially after seeing Gaustad defend his teammates on the ice and call them out off the ice.

– If I drank every time I saw the Leafs/Flames Greatest Game Video or NHL Center Ice commercials this weekend, I’d be in desperate need of a liver transplant. I swear, the Center Ice ad ran during every single break in the BlackHawks/Panthers game.

– CBC brought back Peter Puck. It’s deliciously cheesy, but I love it!

– The players entered the ice to the sounds of “Street Fighting Man” by the Stones and salute the fans at center ice. Then, chaos ensues as they have have to line up by number at the blue line. Tim Kennedy, as expected, gets a huge round of applause. Kaleta, Grier, Goose and Miller were also well received by the crowd. (At this point, my mother is insisting that “Eye of the Tiger” is playing, when in reality, it’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” My mother can be deaf as a post at times, in case you were wondering.

– It’s now officially hockey season, as Doug Allen graces us with the National Anthems. Every time he points at the end of the Star Spangled Banner, I feel like he’s pointing at me.

– Puck drop! Ladies and gents, we have hockey! It’s a beautiful thing.

– I’m glad to see that both major donut franchises in Buffalo (Dunkin and Timmy Hos) are represented on the dasher boards. For the record, Dunkin has better iced coffee while Timmy Hos has better baked goods and hot coffee.

– The crowd sounds incredibly pumped, as the “Let’s Go Buff-a-lo” chant rocks through the stands.

– I do like MSG’s new understated new scoreboard graphics. The small bar is very subtle compared to what’s been used the past couple of seasons.

– WHOOO!! Timmy scores on the power play after Rivet’s point shot made it through the crowd. 1-0, Sabres. The scoreboard helpfully tells us that this is Timmy’s 89th NHL goal. Thanks statboard for that bit of relevant info.

– The Sidney Crosby couch interview on ESPN is great, especially the part where they discuss Sid’s continued presence at Chez Mario. However, did ESPN really have to use at borderline bow-chicka-wowow music as the intro and outro?

– Ack, live action Cellino and Barnes pop-ups during the broadcast! Do not like!

– I wish I was in 5th-8th grade and could have an ice cream party with Ryan Miller. Could we expand that to offices that have the mentality of 5th-8th graders? I’m sure my co-workers would love to have an ice cream social with Miller. We’re all sane…well, most of the time at least.

Second Period

– I think I may have hit my social media limit, as I’m blogging, checking Twitter and messing around with the family on Facebook. I might need to step back and pay attention to the game.

– The SabresDotCom twitter reports that the special at the arena is a hot dog, chips and a souvenir soda for the low, low price of $9.25. I think I can go to Teds and get several hot dogs for that price. I know arena food is expensive, but that’s borderline highway robbery. Actual highway robbery is paying $1 for a cup of cheese to go with a pretzel.

– I like that Rivet immediately came to Butler’s defense when Gomer attacked him. Then Pommer comes flying  into the fray when Hal Gill enters to defend his teammates and Gill starts swinging his cane and muttering about those damn kids.What Pommer is going to do in that situation, I don’t know. Pommer doesn’t scream “I’m a big tough guy” to me.

– There’s now three Sabres in the penalty box as Roy gets assessed a penalty for participating in another scrum, this time at the Montreal end of the ice. Apparently, the new rule to stop scrums is to only assess a penalty to one of the players involved in a scrum. Somehow, this is supposed to stop them from happening. I’m not following this leap of logic from TPTB at the NHL.

– The kids are playing alright tonight, as both Kennedy and Myers have seen time on the penalty kill. That’s confidence building from the coach right there (with a side order of out of the frying pan and into the fire for good measure).

– Two of the Habs have dropped by the wayside during this second period. O’Byrne is out with a lower body injury and Metropolit is out with an upper body injury. That’s three injuries for the Habs in one-and-a-half games. At this rate, they’ll have burned through their entire  A-team and minor league team by the midpoint of the season.

– I FLOVE that Myers, Gaustad and Hecht all went flying in to defend Miller after Lapierre got a little too close to the goalie for their teammates comfort. That’s the kind of toughness we need to see for the remaining 81 games this season. Gaustad gets a double minor and Lapierre a single minor, so Montreal is on the power play. They also show Myers on the bench getting his helmet re-screwed together, and it looks like they’re re-tightning the bolts on Franken-player.

– That Montreal power play lasts for all of a blink as Roy gets tripped up.

– I love this Chris Butler interview on Sabres.com. He’s thoughtful with his answers and I do enjoy that he’s paying forward the kindness shown to him in his rookie season by becoming Myers’ chauffeur and lunch buddy.

– The crowd erupts as the puck, Miller and Moen all go crashing into the net. Even though the net is off, the goal stands as unfortunately the puck crossed the goal line before the net came off. Whatevs. Let’s just hope this retreating nonsense doesn’t continue.

– Alright Ryan, I know you’re a busy little boy and all, but it’s been two whole months since you updated your blog. Please share your snarky wit with the rest of the world. We like it, and those that don’t can just go take a long walk off a short pier.

– Where is Sabretooth? I haven’t seen his little tiger striped head along the glass at all so far.

– Miller makes a pad save on Latendresse, who got in on a breakaway. Nice save as Miller had to sweep from side -to-side pretty quickly to stop the puck.

– Defenseman down! Sekera gets beaned by a Spacek slapshot. The shot was a deflection, so Spacek didn’t intentionally mean to kill Reggie, but he’s looking a bit worse for the wear as he skates of the ice. Here’s hoping it’s nothing too serious, but if it is, and he’s out for a significant amount of time, would the Sabres call up Weber or play Paetsch?

Third Period

– Harry Neale tells us that 14 different Sabres have had a shot on goal in tonight’s game. Vanek is one of the four players without one.

– It seems like Sekera wasn’t hurt too badly, as he’s back out on the ice, but he inadvertently hits Stafford with the puck while trying to bring it out of the zone. Was he paying something forward?

– Dear RJ, please don’t use the word “diddling” ever again. It’s not a good out loud word.

– Neale mixes up Gomez and Gionta while trying to explain which player Miller gave an elbow to after said player inadvertently got into his crease. Gomez & Gionta are totally interchangeable, right? (NOT!)

– The Sabres are on the power play as Myers draws his second penalty of the night. I think teams are going to realize that tripping the tall dude is kind of obvious and will get called every.single.time.

– I now have “Piano Man” stuck in my head, after reading on Sabres Edge about the Billy Joel sing-a-long that happened at the Arena tonight.

And we are going to ohhhhhhhh-vertime. Guys, Game 1 of 82 should not be going to overtime. You played well, but a nice convincing win would have been a good way to start the season.


– You know what I noticed? There didn’t seem to be the intense booing of Spacek that normally greets a departed Sabre (Peca, Hasek, Drury, Briere, etc).

– There’s two good – and I mean GOOD – scoring chances for the Sabres, but both go wide.

– Well fuck me. Gionta takes a rebound off the dasherboard and whacks it past Miller. Drive home safely, folks.

All in all, the game was alright. The Sabres still sat back on their heels and tried to protect the lead rather than go balls out and try to create a bigger lead. But overall, I like what I saw tonight, especially in the tough and scrappy department.

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