Archive for November, 2010


Miscellaneous Saturday Night Thoughts

November 27, 2010

– While driving down the 33 this morning, I noticed that a Canisius billboard appeared directly before a LeMoyne board. Is there a Jesuit college holy war about to break out over the hearts & minds of Buffalo’s college-age youth? I know Jesuit schools stick together most of the time, but this is particularly amusing to see as one drives down the 33.

– Not to continue to beat the dead horse that is Timmy Connolly facial injury situation, but I’m intrigued by the little blurb in today’s news about Timmy fleeing upon seeing the media enter the public area of the locker room. He was given a perfect opportunity to step up and give his side of the story. Why didn’t he? Was he stifled by management and told to keep his yap shut? Is TBN including this to show “hey,we tried?” My word Timmy, what happened is embarrassing, not illegal or criminal. Cowboy up and say something…if you can.

– I noticed during last night’s game that the Cellino & Barnes dasherboard changes for the third period to reveal the answer to their trivia question. That’s a pretty involved promo that C&B’s marketing folks have worked out; when you consider the cost of the tickets, the on-air promos, the dasher board changes, etc. It’s a great idea with strong implementation, even if the trivia clues are pretty easy.

– Dear MSG: you showed us the anthems tonight. Good network. “Oh Canada” is beautiful with the French interludes. Please continue to show us the anthems during broadcasts.

– Was I hallucinating during the first period or was the Montreal organist playing some version of “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountains When She Comes?”

– Dear Sabres: please, please, please for the love of everything holy, clear those guys wearing the sweaters that don’t match yours out of the goal crease. Miller doesn’t look good smushed or splatted or anything like that. Same thing goes for when Lalime & Enroth are playing, too.

– Speaking of Miller, he was pretty hot tonight. This is one of those nights where his teammates let him down.

– I’m pretty sure that Sekera just wishes he could have a do-over on tonight’s game. His oopsies (puck over the glass and pinching in) both led to Habs goals. C’mon, Reggie, you’re better than this.

– RJ seems a bit snarky tonight, what with calling Subban “heroic” for knocking down Gerbe.

– Gerbe and Cammalleri scrap towards the end of the second period. It’s comical because Cammalleri isn’t exactly a hulking brute of a guy and yet Gerbe still looks like Scrappy Doo going after an opponent.

– I still cannot get over the fact that Alec Freaking Baldwin is in a Wegmans commercial.

– The Black Eyed Peas are a bunch of talented individuals, but do they really need to borrow from Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes for their newest song?

– Uninspiring game. Uninspiring post. Maybe tomorrow’s Bills game will be better?


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2010

Thinking about things that I am thankful for this year:

-Friends & family and their continued good health.

– Pleasant, yet unexpected surprises at the office.

– My new apartment and the good folks at Lowes, Home Depot & “Labor by Dad.”

– That I live in a country where a Muppet can launch a Facebook campaign to host Saturday Night Live.

– That a “rumor” on Twitter can lead to (at minimum) 48 hours of discussion of the myraid of ways that Hockey Player A could have a received black eye courtesy of Hockey Player B. (For the record, my leading reasons included a fight over a cell phone number getting changed to 867-5309, an intense discussion on whether Kelly Kapowski or Jessie Spano was hotter or whether or not the beer tasted great or was less filling.)

– That the Sabres are willing to check their dignity at the door and parade around in a plethora of 80s costumes all in the name of charitable fundraising for a teammate’s foundation. Just from looking at the photos of the night in question, it takes a brave man to wear Spandex leopard print pants (Stafford) in public. And an even braver man to wear nothing but a shirt and his tighty-whities in public (Peters).

– The stability (or stagnation, your pick) that Lindy Ruff & Darcy Regier bring to the Sabres organization.

– That the US government actually does pardon a turkey. And if the president pardons more than one turkey, he might get a reputation for being soft on turkeys.

– The predictability of holiday commercials. Its Thanksgiving Eve and the Folgers “Peter” ad and the Hershey’s Kiss holiday bell commercial have already started running. Both of these commercials are old, and yet comforting at the same time.

– The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love the floats, the balloons & the deliciously cheesy lip-synched songs by artists that you have never heard of…and probably never will hear of again.

– You! This blog would be nothing without my readers. Whether you comment or not, I do appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your day to stop in and take a look around. Catch you back here after we all come out of our turkey comas.


What We’ve Learned Today

November 23, 2010

1. Derek Roy did not punch Tim Connolly and is upset that you would think otherwise.

2. Tim Connolly still has not spoken to the media regarding this entire situation. If he would just come out and say that he was (potentially) sauced up and tripped over his own two feet while attempting to be cute and clever, no one would judge him and this entire thing would probably just fade into the sunset. Let’s move on.

3. John Vogl does not like Twitter and thinks those that use it need to get out and get a life. I know Vogl has made his internet disdain known before (see his comments on Sabres Edge about how he wishes he could just be a newspaper writer, rather than a newspaper writer that writes blogs on occasion), but this is the first time he has been so vehement about the evils of the internet.  By delivering an anti-Twitter rant on Sabres Edge, Vogl made himself – and his opinions on Twitter – the story, rather than Roy/Connolly’s alleged conduct at the Catwalk for Charity. Interesting deflection tactic by what you would think would be a non-biased source of information.

I understand that Twitter might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to insult those people that use it because you yourself have no use for it is not fair. The world is going digital. Don’t mock those of us that are exploring how to widen our communication pool because you yourself don’t see any value in it. That’s one of the great joys of a digital world. You can either choose to – or choose not to – use a tool.

That said, I would think that newspapers would want to encourage writers to use Twitter to promote articles that appear on the paper’s site in order to generate traffic on the site. (Traffic = revenue. And that’s a good thing.) However, I can also see the other side of the argument that Twitter allows for much more immediate feedback from the public. That uncensored & rapid feedback is probably disconcerting for people who are not familiar with how the tool works (or those that just don’t want to hear from their adoring public).

That said, there are some journalists that do use Twitter (Mike Harrington, James Mirtle, Elliotte Friedman, Bob MacKenzie, the ESPN writers, etc) and use it well. I hope we continue to see those ranks grow in the future.

4. This entire situation reminds me why I did not go into PR as a career. I’m sure the Sabres PR department was having a field day with this one. I may have messes to clean up in the ad world, but they are nowhere near messes of this scale.

5. The fact that most people are not ashamed of Derek Roy, and would probably throw him a parade if Sunday’s alleged event actually did happen, is astounding. I’m not sure if Roy was aware of this when he made his comments to the media earlier. However, what does it say about Timmy’s shelf life in Buffalo if people are happy hearing that he got popped one by a teammate? (Or not, as it were.)

6. It stinks when you write a draft of a post (“Reasons Why Roy-Z Would Have Popped Timmy”) over your lunch break, but due to time restrictions, cannot post it. By the time you are able to post, the topic is no longer valid.

7. On a non-Timmy/Roy-Z note, Lindy hit about a 9.0 on the rant scale today at practice. Very nice work, coach!


So That Happened

November 20, 2010

– The night doesn’t get off to a good start for the Sabres. First there was the announcement that Rivet is playing. Then, it’s announced that Miller will be out and is day-to-day with a lower body injury. I really hate the phrase day-to-day. It adds nothing of value to the discussion, because as human beings, by definition, we are all day to day. But I digress. Sitting out tonight means that Miller’s lower body will be scrutinized for a whole different reason at tomorrow night’s Catwalk for Charity. If he so much as winces, or has a wonky gait, it will be discussed ad nauseum.  Hopefully some rest and therapy will help Miller’s lower body heal.

– Vanek’s first period goal was incredibly hot. He just smoked it past Smith. I’m so glad to see that Vanek has gotten the proverbial monkey off his back. It’s great to see him not look so unpleasant and despondent after every game. Next up on the “getting his game back” list is Pommers.

– I can understand WHY Connolly’s second period goal was waived off, but at the same time, it’s not like Pominville intentionally tried to whack the puck to Connolly. He and the Tampa player both swatted at the puck like it was a jump ball and Pommers won. If the Tampa player would have won the jump ball (for lack of a better phrase) and gotten the puck to a teammate who got away on a break toward Lalime and scored, would they have waived that off as well? I would think that standards would be consistently applied. Oh, wait. I forgot what league I was dealing with.

– What in the name of French-speaking goalies was Lalime thinking when he made that ass-backwards backhand right to the Tampa player for the second Lightning goal? Good lord, that was horrible and unneeded. And unjustified. And a whole lot of other “un” words that I can’t think of right now. Patty, nothing personal, but you’re fired. If Miller is unable to go next game, I want Enroth.

– When Rob Ray is making sense and being a valuable, contributing, less-blowhardy member of the broadcast, you know it’s a freaking strange night. He was cracking jokes that made sense, and had a concise analysis of just how many passes Lalime could have potentially made on his gaffe other than the one he chose. Wow. I don’t know where this Rob Ray came from tonight, but can we keep him, please?

– I’m beginning to think there’s a new edition of “Honkers Illustrated” in the penalty box and that’s why Goose has been in there so much tonight. I mean, there is no excuse to have 6 penalty minutes with 24 minutes left to play in the game. You cannot have your number one face off guy in the box for long stretches of the game when you are down a goal. It’s like a rule or something.

– Off topic for a second, while I know they’re a Buffalo holiday tradition, the figurines in the old AM&As holiday windows are TERRIFYING. I understand the nostalgia that those of my parents generation have for these decorations (see: my mother’s 10 minute monologue on going to see the windows and then having dinner at AM&As and then getting candy for the ride home), but they are still terrifying.

– Moving on. What a beautiful tribute from the Canadiens tonight for Pat Burns.

– There were quite a few BS non-calls during the final two minutes of play. I do love the broadcast crew quickly pointing out that Vanek, Ennis & Myers were all clearly tripped by Tampa players with no call made by the refs. (It’s reminiscent of those reality show moments where a contestant is running around like a chicken with their head cut off screaming about missing an object, and the cameraman is clearly focusing on said object that is right in plain sight.) However, you know that if it had been Goose as the tripper and Stamkos as the trippee, that play would have been called six ways to Sunday and Goose would again have been sent to the box to continue reading “Honkers Illustrated.”

Since we’re heading into the holidays, I’m going to end this post with one of my favorite Thanksgiving related video clips. Friends always did fantastic Turkey Day episodes, but this is probably my favorite moment. You’ll have to go direct to YouTube to watch it, as the video is not able to be embedded.


Be The Ball. Err…Puck

November 17, 2010

– Add me to the list of people blown away by Ryan Miller’s star re-enactment of Carl Spackler in Caddyshack.

Miller’s deadly accurate impersonation of Spackler shows a true love of the movie. It’s not just memorizing the lines and attempting to recreate them. It shows that he’s seen the movie eleventy billion times and can roll the lines from memory. (I can do that for a lot of West Wing episodes. I can pretty much explain what the virtue of a proportional response is, in addition to knowing that the country is stranger than it was four years ago. LOL)

I applaud ESPN for not going with the cliche move and having Miller re-enact Miracle or The Mighty Ducks or Slap Shot or The Cutting Edge.  Although I do admit that Miller as Gordon Bombay or as Doug Dorsey could be hilarious.

– As of the start of tonight’s game against the Caps, Steve Montador leads the league in plus/minus rating at a plus 13. Goose is second in the league in face off percentage. Nice to see two Sabres leading the league in something besides the growth of nose hair.

– I do not approve of Lindy’s wardrobe choices tonight. The dark green shirt & black polka dot tie coordinate. The shirt & the pinstriped jacket coordinate. The tie & jacket coordinate. However, the shirt, tie & jacket do not work together. That’s a wardrobe fail by Mr. Ruff.

– I also do not approve of the incessant horn blowing in the Washington arena. I’m glad the fans in Buffalo are better than that.

– I do approve of the new, improved & grown-up Derek Roy that has decided to play for the Sabres this season. I hope he sticks around for awhile. And I’m still waiting for the new & improved Tim Connolly to show up, but I think he took a left turn at Albuquerque, so I’m not holding my breath there.

– I do not approve of the Singing in the Rain/Umbrella mashup on last night’s Glee. Singing in the Rain is a classic song that should be left alone. What’s next, Edelweiss crossed with AC/DC?

I do, however, approve of the Guy Gleeks wearing vests & fedoras. That’s such a killer look.

– I do approve of the effort the Sabres put forth after they were down 3-0. The “old” Sabres would have just packed it in, said goodnight and proceeded to play a perfunctory 40 minutes of hockey so that they could just get out of Washington and back to Buffalo. Instead, these Sabres showed heart, effort, a scoring touch and some pretty close chances to win the game. I’m ok with the loss, because they played with fire in the final two periods. The positives did outweigh the negatives, I think.


“I’m Not Into Whimsy”

November 15, 2010

Tonight’s blog title courtesy of everyone’s favorite cranky curmudgeon, Mike Robitaille.

– Ryan Kesler, honey, we need to have a little chat. I know you’re on my fantasy hockey team, and you wanted to remind me of your presence on the ice tonight, but no need to give me a shoutout by bouncing your head off the crossbar. That is not a Shots Off the Crossbar approved shoutout. I don’t care that you appear to have no problem posing in just your underpants,  just please don’t bounce your head off the crossbar again. (There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)

– The crowd seemed much noisier tonight than in previous games. Was it a mix of loud Canadian fans? The value ticket pricing? An energized crowd with a team that’s actually playing  like it gives a hoot? Who knows, but it’s good to be able to clearly hear the crowd in the background behind RJ & Harry. Too many times this year, HSBC has been as quiet as a tomb.

– If I were Mrs. Vanek, I’d be dangerously close to injuring Rob Ray due to tonight’s broadcast. How many comments did Ray make about her husband getting a good night sleep now that the twins arrived? Hardyhar. I know Ray has kids, so he can joke about it from a place of experience, but the woman just evacuated two tiny humans from her body and has a toddler at home. Let her and her hubby enjoy the moment before you start snarking at them. And on a related note, I love the names the Vaneks chose for their children. They’re common, but unique at the same time, if that makes any sense. There’s not a lot of kids named Luka or Kade running around on the playground these days.

– With that game winning goal, Tyler Myers officially redeems himself for all of the times he fell down earlier this season and caused opposition goals. His winning goal was just a thing of beauty, and I’m sure some poor Canuck is going to hear all about how you can’t not cover the big 6’7 guy in the middle of the ice. What a great ending to an exciting overtime period. Both teams had great chances until Tyler stepped up and said eff this and ended the game.

– During the postgame celebration, did anyone else notice Lalime jumping up and down, like he was engaging in his own version of a potty dance?


I’m Back!

November 13, 2010

– Blahblahblah work is picking up, on the road for a couple days, lost my blogging mojo blahblahblahblah. But I’m back!

– I was reading some of the coverage this week regarding the anniversary of Pelle Lindbergh’s death. I found it interesting not only that the team had a bar over its practice facility, but also that one of Lindbergh’s teammates is now a minister at a church in Clarence. It really is a small world.

While we’re talking about drunk driving, a racing forum I frequent mentioned that NFL players have access to a designated driver & car fetch service at all times, with no questions asked by either the team/league. Does the NHL have something like that available for its players, or are they all responsible for finding their own DD’s/calling a cab/booking a hotel room once they are too inebriated to drive?

– The pregame ceremony honoring Mike Grier was a nice way to start the game. I loved the nice little video the Sabres put together with words of congrats from former & current teammates. I did think it was adorable that Pommers chose to address him as “Michael,” while the rest of the gang (Miller, Goose & Rivet) chose to address him as “Griersy.” And his kids are quite precious.

– Good to finally see Thomas Vanek back and scoring goals. And beautiful, beautiful goals at that. The pure joy on his face – and his teammates faces – when the puck went in was so nice to see. I feel like that for as much as we the fans are hard on Vanek, that he’s 1,000 times harder on himself. Now he should just relax and rest up and enjoy things before the birth of his twins (which, if his website is anything to go by, are scheduled to arrive on Monday.)

– Before the game, I purchased my tickets to my annual bit of culture – going to see the BPO’s Holiday Pops show. There is a time and a place for holiday fun and frolic, and December is just that time. (Do you hear me, Wegmans? I should not be hearing Christmas carols while I’m waiting in line at the deli. Not that that happened to me today or anything.)

– How can you live in Western New York and NOT know that the red flowers that the broadcast crew is sporting are poppies and signify remembrance? That makes me sad. Look up “In Flanders Fields” on Wiki for further details.

– One last thought, what is with those huge rope/plastic/bead necklaces that some of the players are wearing? I noticed Roy’s tonight during his postgame interview. Are they supermagical healing necklaces or the next fashion trend?


Sabres vs Habs Musings

November 5, 2010

Watch the video.

The Sabres are that baby monkey. When life is going great, they’re riding around on that pig, happy as can be. When things get rough, they tumble off that pig. However, unlike the baby monkey in the video, they have yet to figure out how to climb back on that pig.

I can only hope they figure it out soon, because hockey is getting pretty depressing to watch these days. Hockey should not be depressing. It should be fun. I know losing is no fun for the players either, but it seems so much worse for the fans. There’s only so many Buffcon1 jokes one can make before one just gives up.

And really, things seemed to be going well for the Sabres tonight. They had goals. They had pep. They didn’t commit a turnover until midway through the second period. (I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed by that one.) It’s like every bad mistake, every sneeze in the wrong direction, every stupid penalty somehow ends up coming around to bite Buffalo in the arse. When does it stop?


The T Word

November 3, 2010

(Image from

Really, after that debacle of a game, most people would be quite happy if the T word was put in a box and shipped to a land far, far, away.


Off to See the Wizard

November 1, 2010

Katebits and Heather B. have already proven that the Sabres are quite like the Sound of Music. However, I would like to submit the hypothesis that the Sabres are also like the Wizard of Oz.

Work with me here.

The Tin Man (for once, I’m not referring to Tim Connolly) would be one Larry Quinn. For all we joke that Larry can be a heartless & ruthless so-and-so, his heart surgery earlier this fall proved that old LQ contained a heart after all. (All kidding aside, I do wish LQ a full and successful recovery from his operation.)

The Cowardly Lion would be represented proudly by one Craig Rivet. His interviews the past days regarding his benching and the status of his captaincy have been very bold and forthright. He could have hid from the Buffalo media, fans and even his fellow teammates, but instead looked deep down inside himself to find the courage to confront his play, his critics and the fact that the end of his career is potentially looming larger and larger in front of him.

The Scarecrow would be played by none other than Jason Pominville. His adventures in neuropsych tests these past few days have proven to Sabres fans that years of parroting The System’s talking points has not killed Pommer’s brain.

Dorothy would probably be most similar to Patrick Kaleta. He proves that there really is no place like home, as he gets to don the familiar blue and gold every night for his hometown Sabres.

Toto is none other than Sabretooth. Do I really need to explain this one?

Picture it (Sicily, 1922): Kaleta, Pommers, Rivet, LQ and The Tooth skipping hand in hand down the Yellow Brick Road Washington Street towards the Land of Oz HSBC Arena.

GM Darcy Regier is of course the wonderful Wizard of Oz. But alas and alack, we do have to pay attention to this man behind the curtain.

See, it really is that easy.