Archive for the ‘Craig Rivet’ Category

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Yee-Haw!

March 25, 2009

– I was all set to write the 2008-09 Sabres eulogy after the Panthers went up 3-1. However, the Sabres surprised the heck out of me (and probably the rest of the Sabrelogosphere) by scoring four unanswered goals to win the game 5-3. This was one of the most complete games I’ve seen in awhile. The Sabres figured out that if you get pucks to the net, they’re actually going to go in. Teammates were sticking up for each other and Tellqvist put in a solid effort in net.

– Kaleta and Gaustad were once again hitting everything in sight. During one shift in the late second period, Gaustad had two monster hits on two Panthers at opposite ends of the ice. In addition to the hits on the Panthers, Gaustad took out two goalposts; one with his arm and the other with his face. Thankfully, the pretty wasn’t too damaged from the post.

– I wish we would have had subtitles for the Lindy/Max discussion after Max was out on the ice for 2:04. That looked like it was not a happy discussion on either side, but knowing who said what may very well have just made it funnier. While Lindy explained in his postgame press conference that the two had a meeting of the minds where each thought that they were in the right, Lindy thought the discussion ended moreso on his side of the fence. The press room cracked up at that one.

– Judging by Yahoo’s box score, it looks like Stafford may have moved into Lindy’s doghouse for the night. He was the forward with the lowest amount of ice time.

– I said it after the last game, but I like Dominic Moore. Can we keep him? I’ll water him and feed him and take him for walks. Please Darcy, please? Seriously though, I like Moore’s work ethic. He’s been a solid penalty killer, and there was one stretch in maybe the second period, where he seemed like he had the puck for for-fucking-ever in the Florida zone and the Panthers could not get it away from him. He’s also sticking up for his new teammates, and he’s Harvard educated. And Ryan Miller likes that there’s another college guy in the room. While he may not be worth the $3 million that he was allegedly looking for from the Leafs, Miller would be a solid addition to the team for next year. He’s got to be better than Max or some of the other dead wood chilling out on the roster.

– What in the wide world of sports happened after Max scored the empty net goal? Was it really necessary for the Panthers to attack him? On the other hand, I did like that the Sabres all jumped to Max’s defense. Does anyone else get kind of twitchy seeing Timmy jump into scrums like that? However, the Rivet/Ballard fight was HOT. I haven’t seen a Sabre stick up for a teammate like that in a good long time. Rivet kicked the ever loving snot out of Ballard. That was refreshing to see. And what did C-Mac do to deserve the 10-minute misconduct? I just saw him being escorted off the ice.

– I really hope that with Miller returning on Friday that the stick-up-for-your-teammate-ness continues. You know darn well that the Leafs are going to run Miller and run him hard. I want to see heads roll if Miller so much as gets sneezed on by a Leaf.

– I don’t know what was funnier, Clarke MacArthur high-fiving Sabretooth as C-Mac left the ice after being involved in the scrum after the Sabres 5th goal, or Lindy high-fiving ‘Tooth after the game was over.

– I fully admit to watching the last five minutes of the game in a state of suspense, half thinking that the Sabres were going to do something monumentally stupid and lose the game despite roaring back from a 2 goal deficit.

– I really liked Lindy’s tie tonight. The black-and-white design was striking and very lovely.

– What happens to Tellqvist/Lalime when Miller comes back on Friday? Does the team keep Lalime as a backup and send Tellqvist to the press box? Or would Lindy send Lalime to the press box and keep Tellqvist as the backup based on a solid performance tonight?

– I liked that Lindy came out and praised the boys after tonight’s game. He pointed out that the energy in the 3rd period came from the guys in the room. Rivet, Pommers and Vanek were all mentioned as bringing the energy. Kaleta and Gaustad were praised for having a solid, energetic stretch and not giving up despite being -2 for the night. (Both finished with a -3 for the night.)

– The Sabres are 5 points out of 8th place. The Habs continuing their slide and role as “Late Season Hot Mess: Eastern Edition” could benefit the Sabres as the final nine games of the season approach. Karma would be a bitch for the Habs if they didn’t make the playoffs, as they – and their fanbase – had pretty much engraved their names on the Cup at the beginning of the season. And if the Habs don’t make the playoffs, do you blame Gainey? The slide really didn’t start in full effect until Carbonneau was biffed.

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Sabres v. Rangers – 2.21.09

February 21, 2009

Thoughts before, during and after tonight’s Rangers game.

– I didn’t see the Sabres Notebook on Friday morning due to the fact that I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off at the office. However, Mike Harrington mentioned the Notebook in his live blog of tonight’s game. And I have to say, the headline is a bit of an epic FAIL for the Buffalo News. I know the News has put up a clunker or two of a story or headline in the past, but this is a new low. (Sorry, Mike.)

On a lighter note, can anyone else see Marty tromping through the woods to pay a social call on Lindy (or borrow a cup of sugar)?

– I really liked the interview that Craig Rivet did for the Sabres Show. To me, that’s what a proper player interview should be. Roby allowed Rivet to expand upon his answers, and wasn’t in any hurry to get to the next question, unlike some interviews that Maria Genero has done. There was an easy rapport between the two gentlemen, as they both were drawing on the same experience of being professional hockey players.I liked that Rivet said that he’s not afraid to call a player out on the carpet if he thinks that they aren’t playing to their full potential, and that some other guys in the room have stepped up into that role as well. I’d really like to know who the players are that Rivet said hadn’t experienced a public call out before. I have my suspicions as to the guilty parties.

– I’m liking the Paille / Goose combination tonight. They were hitting anyone in a Rangers sweater that moved during their final shift in the first period. That’s the kind of spunk we need to see out of them night after night.

–  So that stupid slag faced whore Scott Gomez tangled with Miller, causing Miller to awkwardly fall and have to leave the game. I did, however, think that it was incredibly telling that Miller crawled back toward the crease, trying to keep up with the play, rather than flopping around behind the net like a dying trout. That tells me that the team and the game is more important to Miller than his own personal status.

I’m surprised that the team let Ryan speak to the media after the game. Usually injured players are squirreled away, never to be seen by the postgame media horde. Also, color me surprised that the team didn’t try to disguise the injury under the traditional lower-body injury classification. I wonder if the team figured that the shitstorm they would get from the media and the crazy internet people (this blogger included) outweighed the benefits of keeping the injury secret.

Miller reported he has a high ankle sprain, but a low one for that type of injury. (A low, high ankle sprain. Isn’t that some sort of oxymoron?) He looked shaken during the interview, but I don’t think it was so much that he was hurt, but more a reaction to the intensity of the media’s questions about the injury and Gomez’s intent. On a shallow side note, I did like the tweed overcoat that Miller was wearing. A peacoat in that fabric would be nice. Then again, I need another peacoat like I need a hole in the head.

If Miller is out for an extended period of time, this wouldn’t be the first time this season that an elite goalie has been injured. Both the Devils and Canucks lost their franchise goalies earlier this year.  Both teams have done reasonably well while Lui and Brodeur were relegated to the press box. The Devils are currently holding onto the number 3 spot in the Eastern Conference, and the Canucks maintained their playoff positioning. The Sabres need to follow these examples and unite behind the backup goalie if they hope to keep a spot in the top 8 in the conference. I may be overly optimistic, but if Scott Fucking Clemmensen of all people can lead a team to the Top 3 of the conference, then the Sabres should be just fine behind Patty Lalime.

– Why was Mr.Held-Together-With-Spit-Bubblegum-And-The-Grace-of-God Connolly the only one to go after Gomez? Why Timmy and not Goose or Mairsy or Kaleta? The fragile shall lead them I guess.

I was also really intrigued by Lalime’s thoughts on opponents running Miller these past couple of games. Lalime has one of the best seats in the house, and if he’s noticing it, you can’t help but wonder why the other 20-something guys on the bench haven’t noticed it and done something about it. Lalime made the point that you would think something would be done about it, since they’re all in this together. If one team notices that liberties can be taken with the goalies, you bet your ass that other teams are going to notice.

– After seeing Miller leave the game, I really want to know now who the team’s emergency goaltender would be. C’mon, you know someone has to be able to strap on the pads and go.

– On the positive side, Jochen Hecht proved tonight that he wasn’t dead, just resting these last couple of games. It’s about darn time he showed up on the scoresheet.

– Stay tuned for a post later this week detailing my experience at the Paul Gaustad signing at Dave and Adam’s. If you behave yourselves, I may even share a picture.

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We Won. They Lost. Film at 11.

February 7, 2009

– Hopefully that headline will work for tonight’s game against Ottawa as well.

– The crowd sounded like it was a pretty even split between Sabres fans and Montreal fans. I heard a few “Ole Ole” chants and a few “Lets Go Buffalo” to counter, but judging from the goal reactions, it seemed like the crowd was evenly split. I realize that a lot of Canadiens fans come down here for the games, and I’m not going to fault Sabres season ticket holders for selling their tickets to Leafs and Habs games (if selling 6 games out of their package pays to keep them in the seats for the remainder of the year, who am I to judge), but this is HSBC Arena. This is our rink. Not theirs. Then again, Sabres fans are guilty of doing the same thing as Habs fans when we invade Washington and Carolina and Columbus, so I really should exit my soapbox gracefully before I tumble off. Moving on…

– Ryan Miller is playing out of his mind. At the end of the first period, I half expected him to take his teammates to task in the locker room for their crappy play. For most of the first period, it seemed like he was the only Sabre out there who gave two shits about the game.

– Timmy is also playing out of his damn mind. The on the knees goal was definitely worthy of rolling the highlight film for. I’m also really enjoying the series of Buffalo News columns discussing whether or not Timmy should be traded, re-signed or sent to live on a farm downstate. While trading Timmy is an entertaining idea (might as well get something for him while you can), I’d really like to see the Sabres hang onto him until the end of the season. We don’t need another player worrying about whether their suitcases should be packed just in case they get summoned to Coach’s office with the request to bring their playbook.

– I did get a good giggle out of Rob Ray calling Pierre McGuire a chicken for failing to block a shot that entered their little office last night.

– Continuing with the Pierre theme, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun has a nice look at the Sabres and how they’re one of this season’s biggest surprises. This paragraph stood out to me, as it really nails our core group of players.

Vanek has grown comfortable with the pressure of a $50 million, seven-year contract and has found the back of the net about as often as anyone in the league not named Alex Ovechkin. Roy is looking the part of a No. 1 center. Pominville is the reliable two-way winger you can count on in the clutch. Stafford started slowly this season but is finally evolving into the offensive force the Sabres had envisioned. Gaustad is the feisty tower of strength who oozes character.

Alright, so we can argue that lately Pommers hasn’t been clutch so much as invisible. I’ll grant you that. But these guys are all part of the team’s core and need to keep playing their roles in order for the Sabres to be successful.

– I may be tempting the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing with this next statement, but I really want to see the Sabres make the playoffs just to see what kind of playoff beard Rivet can pull off. When he was interviewed post-game, his growth was impressive. He looked like the kind of dude that you would cross the street to avoid. The Sabres haven’t had the potential for a playoff beard like that since JP Dumont left town.

– How in the bluedilly fuck did I initially miss this shirtless Goose interview on sabres.com? Since Goose is on the DL for the next little while, this is as much of him as we’ll get to see. (Unless he’s spotted at the grocery store or at Wine Theif.)

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Pigeons

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.)
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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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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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That’s What He Said

December 3, 2008

– I’m finding the whole Sean Avery “sloppy seconds” situation pretty comical. I mean, should Avery have said what he said in front of the media? That’s a resounding NO. But should the NHL have stepped in and suspended Avery? Probably not. By stepping in, the league took what should have been a quietly handled team matter and thrust it even further into the spotlight. All the league would have had to have said is that “the Stars are handling it, but we’ve discussed this situation with their management, and have given our input on the matter blahblahblah Colin Campbell cakes” Now, because the league has stepped in, discussions of whether the league is being hypocritical are now hitting the media and the blogosphere. I mean, the League doesn’t have a consistent standard when it comes to suspension-worthy infractions, or suspension length. Someone executes a late hit, and they’re given a slap on the wrist, but someone else calls their ex-girlfriend a skanky ho, and they’re suspended indefinitely.

What’s also adding to the hilarity is the MSM’s creative editing of the term “sloppy seconds.” Could some people take offense to such a term? Yes, and I’m sure some people are. But at the same time, that phrase is at the heart of the story. Removing that phrase and substituting a euphemism like cheap tart, or removing the phrase and bracketing in [euphemism for loose woman] is really taking away the main reason why this story is even a story at all.

And to think that if Avery had just kept his mouth shut to the media and made his comments to Phaneuf on the ice, none of this would have happened. Ok, so Avery might have been Phaneuf’d into the fourth row during last night’s game, but there would be 97% less pearl clutching going on this morning.

I did like Lindy’s comments on Avery-gate:

“We always talk to our players about how much pride they have to take in representing the Buffalo Sabres, the organization and themselves. I do it every year at the start of training camp … We’re in a unique situation here in that we’re a lot closer to our fans than in a lot of cities. I want our fans and our young followers to be proud of the way our players handle themselves.”

Obviously Lindy has not seen any of his boys on Chippewa.

And why do I have a feeling that the plane ride to Florida is going to include a brief lecture from the Sabres PR department about how to conduct oneself in front of the media or just out in public? I mean, the ish hit the fan last year when Soupy busted out with the Expletive Deleted Stupid Ice Bowl comments at the Buckin Buffalo, and that was relatively minor compared with how the league is viewing the Avery situation.

– Moving on, why does the Lindy Roast at WGR’s Whiney awards sound like it could be a barrel of laughs?

– I’m not sure that I like this “fresh start” crap that the Sabres are spewing. Do they need to forget the past couple of games? Probably. But at the same time, they shouldn’t forget the streak they went on to start the season? Remember that? It was when Buffalo was having fun with their sports teams, instead of running around looking for bandwagons to jump off of. I did like that Rivet skated in the post-meeting practice despite being injured. Now that’s a leader.