Archive for the ‘Live and in person’ Category

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One Reminder and Some Thoughts

November 3, 2008

This is my semi-live blog of tonight’s Sabres/Devils game. If you want to read the NJ perspective, hop on over to Interchangeable Parts for Pookie and Schnookie’s thoughts.

First Period

– For the love of everything holy, why is Timmy charging towards the net helmetless? His helmet should require three teammates, an equipment manager and some vaseline to get it off his noggin.

– Could there *be* any more power play opportunities for the Sabres in this first period? Every time I turn around, some hapless Devil is on his way to the box.

– Glad to see that Rivet is back in the lineup. That was a completely surprising personnel move for tonight’s game. I’m shocked that a) Rivet is ready to play and b) Lindy tinkered with the lineup after such a resounding win. We all know Lindy doesn’t like to tinker after wins. And that’s what she said.

– The Devils should be thanking their lucky stars that the score is only 1-0 at the end of the first period. Weekes stopped 20 Sabres shots while the Devils only put three on Miller. That’s roughly a 7:1 shot ratio. Games are not won like that.

– The mentions of Gaustad’s large body are getting a little out of control. I think we were up to four mentions of Gaustad’s size during this period alone. While Gaustad is a little intimidating on the ice, he’s not an extremely bulky guy off the ice. I mean, he’s tall, but he’s not bulky. He carries his weight well, it doesn’t carry him, is what I’m trying to say.

– I just read that Poz is going to be the special guest host of Kissmas Bash. Please tell me that they’re going to give David Archuleta a bench or something to stand on for any photo ops he has to do with Poz. Otherwise, those could be some extremely awkward looking photographs.

– Speaking of awkward photographs, check out Miller being all Gumby-like with his leg propped up 100% on the boards. I try that, I’m on the floor with a broken something-or-other.

Second Period

Rayzor mentions that Lindy preaches a game of tempo and intensity, and he’s getting both in spades from his team tonight. He can say that again.

– Wow. Marty Brodeur has only missed 9 games due to illness or injury during his career. That’s pretty phenomenal, especially for a goalie. Rayzor then mentions that Miller lost 12 pounds or so during last season, and that wasn’t weight he really had room to lose in the first place. I’m glad that this year the Sabres have a perfectly cromulent backup goalie on place, so that Lindy won’t have to ride Miller like Secretariat. (Speaking of backup goalies, does anyone know where Thiebault ended up this year?)

– I noticed that the Sabres have now posted an “Ask a Sabre” feature. You can submit a question to either the entire team or to a specific player and the question may be answered on The Sabres Show. I can think of a couple very easily.

– Dear Timmy: Please shed some further light on your new found love of reading. Are you a library lover (and not in that way, sunshine) or do you pick up the latest and greatest at your favorite local bookstore?

– Dear Team: Do you think anyone will ever get the mythical 5/25 offer? And as a follow-up, during the doldrums of last season, did you ever want to tell Bucky to shove it up his piehole sideways, as he continued to beat the dead horse that was Briere and Drury.

– Dear Ryan Miller: Please explain why The Refinery sells boob hoodies. They serve no useful function other than to cut a woman in half in the most unflattering way. Please reconsider your stance on selling this garment.

– I’m very, very disturbed by the photo over at Puck Daddy of the gentleman who dressed up for Halloween as the be-gashed Clint Malarchuck. Not cool, dude. Not cool. (I’m not linking to it here, since it is kind of disturbing. The photo is in Greg W.’s preview of tonight’s games, if you need/want to see it.)

– The Devils have cheerleaders? The hell?

– Doc ends a brief anecdote about Nathan Gerbe by mentioning that Gerbe is only 5’8. I don’t believe that. Promoting Gerbe to 5’8 would automatically make Roy-Z about 5’10 and that does not compute either.

– I spend the last little bit of the second period looking for Richie Havens’ version of “The Times They Are A Changin” on iTunes. I cannot find it. Boooooo!

– During the intermission, the broadcast staff relates how surprised they are by Miller’s extremely low GAA. They’re not as surprised as some of the fans are. There’s a vocal contingent of Sabres fans who are ready to throw Miller under the bus if he so much as sneezes the wrong way.

Third Period

– The Sabres start the third period by extending their shotless streak to thirteen minutes. At the beginning of the game, they were shooting every other second. Now, they’re not shooting at all. Do they think that there’s a limit to how often and how many shots they can take during a game? Minimizing their shots is not how they win hockey games.

– Dear Doc: its pronounced Rih-vay. Not Ree-vey. K? Thx. Bye.

– Shaq looks like he wants to be anywhere but being interviewed by Versus. Although I do admit that the interview would go a lot better if Shaq would a) enunciate and b) the broadcast staff turned down the background noise. It was a little difficult to hear what Shaq was saying.

– WHOO! Sejkera and/or Paille score. Versus isn’t clear about telling us who did the deed. Correction: The Kaleta scored. There’s just a little bit of difference between Sejkera, Paille and Kaleta is all I’m saying. Clear player identification is pretty important is all I’m saying.

– Miller arguing his puck into the mesh call is pretty comical. He’s so delightfully animated when he feels he’s being wronged.

– Every time Doc or Rayzor mention the Devils Vrana, I have this urge to start humming the Mahna-Mahna song.

– The Devils look like they’ve pulled a page from the Bad Sabre playbook, thinking that the game can be saved with only two consistent periods of hockey on their part.

– Holy crap. Miller has back-to-back shutouts. I don’t think he’s ever done that before. Keep up the good work, Crunchy!

– Post game gives us a nice interview with Miller. He talks about his puckhandling, and how he feels better with it, since its been worked on in practice. However, the lighting at the Rock and Miller’s sweaty head are conspiring to make him look like he’s rapidly gaining a salt-and-pepper shaggy head. Now I think I understand why he’s usually wearing a hat post game.

And now that the game is over, just a friendly reminder to everyone that no matter who you vote for, make sure you vote.

TSN’s James Duthie has a pretty entertaining look at how politics and hockey have intertwined in this election.

– And in honor of Election Day, this blog would not be complete without two of my favorite clips from The West Wing.

Bradley Whitford pwns this little vignette about how our ballots can be somewhat complicated to fill out and understand.

This next one is one of my faves just because it deals with the stereotype of internet crazies. It’s also Aaron Sorkin’s oh-so-subtle “fuck you!” to the good folks over at TelevisionWithoutPity.com, who banned Sorkin from their forums after he got into a pissing match with some fans and one of his writers. In trying to condemn them, he stooped down to their level. Bad Sorkin. But in being a little petulant, he gave Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney and Janel Moloney some pretty great material to work with. Then again, those three could spin shit into gold…and often did, during the John Wells years.

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Puck Drop Report

September 20, 2008

WARNING – PHOTO HEAVY, WORDY POST AHEAD!

I just got back from Puck Drop, and it was so nice to see actual hockey being played. Even though it was just a scrimmage, and there was no hitting, it was good to see the scoring, the skating and the creativity on the ice.

Hockey, Its Good To See You Again!

I fully admit to having edited the above photo in Picasa. The flash of my camera was having a blast catching the reflective stripes on the jerseys. Making the photo black-and-white really made the stripe pop.

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Hell Hath No Fury Like a Pissed Off Blogger

June 23, 2008

Or…my trip to The Refinery.

This past weekend I was in Frankenmuth, MI. It’s a really cute, quaint German town halfway between Saginaw and Flint. The entire town is focused around German food, German history and little shops selling every sort of chotchke available. It’s a total tourist area, but the townsfolk acknowledge it and move on. As part of our weekend, the mom unit and I decided to drive down to East Lansing and visit The Refinery, which as we all know is the clothing store owned by our very own Ryan Miller.

(I would have posted this earlier, but I was without internet access this weekend, as my cheap little self didn’t want to pay $9.95 per 24 hours of access at the hotel. Hotels should have complementary internet, damn it. It was very disconcerting being without access to the Buffalo News, especially during NHL draft weekend. I wanted to find out who the Sabres drafted and whether Darcy traded Max for a 10-pound catfish and a bag of pucks. ESPN was completely useless in this regard, for what it’s worth (shocking, right?). I can however, tell you the complete saga of Evgeni Malkin’s contract offer from the Russians, and Marian Hossa rejecting the Pens 7/$49 deal.

Now that I’m back amongst the civilized, I can’t wait to see how our new 6’7″ draft pick drastically adjusts the height alignment of the team. I’ll bet that Derek Roy magically grows to 5’10” by the start of training camp.)

But I digress. Onto the real reason you’re reading this post…

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A Ryan Roundup

March 24, 2008

Ryan Miller was on WGR’s Howard Simon show this morning, talking about his “Saves for Cancer” effort for Carly’s Club at Roswell. Local companies pledge X amount of money per save that he makes, and the money is donated to Roswell through the Steadfast Foundation. His goal is to raise $100,000 this season. So far, they’ve already donated funds to purchase video conferencing equipment, so that kids in the isolation units can talk to and see their friends and family.

Here’s the PSA for Ryan’s program with Roswell. Its really cute.

I’m just amused by the staff’s brief fussing with Ryan’s hair.

He was also asked how the team is responding to their current situation, the wins, the losses, the inconsistency. “With dignity and grace,” was his answer. That sounds like we’re preparing for the Miss Congeniality portion of the competition, not the season ending push. Miller also pointed out that fan and media analysis and opinions really aren’t going to help them do their jobs. They just need to straighten up, buckle down and fly right. Or words to that effect.

They’ve played a lot of games recently, but have also had stretches where they’ve been off for 3-4 days. He said that momentum is a team concept, not an individual concept. If each player goes out and does their jobs, that’s how they’ll build momentum.

For him, its been tougher mentally to play a lot of games. He’s realized that there’s been a couple plays over the past few games that probably weren’t his best, chalked it up to mentally tiredness. I think most fans could point those out very easily for him. But at least its good that he’s recognizing that these long stretches are taxing on him. Maybe next year, the team will get a better back up goalie, so Lindy won’t have to ride Miller like Secretariat for most of the season.

Howard asked him about whether he’s been following the games this weekend that affect the Sabres. Miller reported that he watches enough hockey to know what’s going on, but not every second of every game. He uses the internet for highlight checking. Last night’s Easter dinner was a nice break away from it all.

Shifting gears, there’s no NCAA bracket in the Sabres locker room this year. It fell through the cracks. He missed Michigan State’s games, but they’re in the Sweet 16, so obviously they’re doing something right. Howard joked about Miller picking MSU to win it all. Miller replied that you have to have faith in your alma mater. Crunchy, that’s easy to say when the team is winning. Try being a Canisius alum and then get back to me about having faith. K? Thanks!

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I Hate Shootouts. And Goalies. And Slag Faced Whores

February 25, 2008

That should about cover it all, right?

I also hate teams that blow three goal leads. Three goals. That takes talent. And lately, our team has talent. Just not the good kind.

I’m in a mood right now that the entire team (well, except for Staffy. And Yo-Yo. And Goose) should be traded for some catfish, a bag of pucks and a Zamboni battery. I don’t know why this team manages to fail so spectacularly so often. You could tell that as soon as they got that three goal lead, they sat back on their heels. Then, once it was tied, they started playing for overtime and the guaranteed point.

They lost to a team that was on a ten-game losing streak. And, the insult to the injury, was Danny Briere scoring the game-winning goal in the shootout. But the game should never have gotten to the shootout because they had a three goal lead. Its very disheartening that these guys are doing this repeatedly.

Let me also discuss Crunchy for a moment. Last year, he was rock solid in shootouts. This year, a three-year old could probably beat him. Does he need some new elastic in the leopard print jock? Maybe a new spangly bedazzled lining for it? (I heard Roy-Z’s a whiz with the bedazzler. Maybe they could have craft time in the locker room.) Something, anything. Crunchy’s killing me lately.

However, Crunchy did provide me with a little bit of amusement during warm-ups. He kind of kicked a puck around and hid it under his skate while standing at the bench. Then he stick-handled around with it for awhile. He’s not a puck handler by any means, but he was having fun with it. During the game, I really wanted to bungee cord him to the posts, he was worrying me a little bit with all his wandering outside of the crease. If bungee cords weren’t available, I would’ve settled for one of those harnesses you see people putting around their young children that allow them to walk but under parental control. Just stay in the darn crease.

Anyways, I did take a little joy (just a little) in the Sens loss to the Leafs.

Is there some irony in Andrew Peters doing a PSA for domestic violence? Petey does not give good PSA. Goose gives good PSA. Pommerdoodle gives good PSA. Petey, not so much.

And I have a migraine from sitting in a idling car in a parking ramp for 20 minutes because people don’t know how to get out of downtown Buffalo.

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Live and In Person Thoughts from Buffalo / Ottawa

November 21, 2007
  • Peters and McGrattan were clowning around in the pre-game skate, trading end-to-end shots as they were the last two players off the ice. Peters finally settled it once and for all by going top shelf on the Ottawa net from behind the Buffalo blue-line. The crowd went nuts.
  • Miller had a good game. Sure he gave up some big rebounds (the Alfreddson goal for one), and should be kissing his goalposts for bailing him out on the Chris Kelly breakaway.  Miller also got an assist on Kotalik’s goal and a penalty for interference. I kept hoping he would get a goal, just to complete the unusual-for-Miller stat night.
  • Timmy continued the fine Buffalo trend of missing wide open nets, hitting the post early in the first. My dad remarked that its because Timmy was seeing four nets. Yes, there’s never not a good time for a Timmy head injury joke.
  • I like when we score the first goal. It sets the tone for the entire game. After Ryan punched in the first goal, I really felt like the energy in the building changed. The crowd was more into the game, and it seemed like the players were more into it as well.
  • During the post-game, WGR mentioned that Afinogenov wasn’t his usual detrimental self. Then again, he wasn’t doing much on the positive side, either. I almost wish Lindy would send him to the press box for a game or two. Its never good when you’re biggest accomplishment from a game is not being a detriment for your team.
  • Staffy scored on a beautiful pass from Vanek. But if the pass wouldn’t have gotten through, Vanek would have been lambasted in the media. But at least Vanek’s setting up goals at this point. I’ll take a player who’s setting up goals consistently, rather than one who’s just out there for thrills and giggles.
  • I love how 18,000 people chanting “Emery” in unison can make the heckling sound almost lyrical. I don’t know why, but I really like the name Emory or Emery for one of my future children. But then again, I would be damning her to a life of being called Emery Board.
  • Whoot! A two-game winning streak. Which as Lindy pointed out post-game is better than one, but not yet three. He also said that Timmy’s first period miss was his best Derek Roy impersonation. He’s here all week, folks. Tip your waitress.
  • And the best part of the night – Ronan Tynan sang God Bless America before the game. Which brought tears to my eyes, though I’m blaming the stress of the day for doing that. Then during the game, they interviewed Tynan about his concert in December. He mentioned that members of the Sabres will be performing at his show, specifically Stafford and Miller. I’m pommerdoodling over this one; not only will I be seeing a great tenor in concert, plus a great orchestra, but I’ll also have the added value of two musical Sabres. Then again, I’ve heard Staffy sing, and am aware of his musical preferences, so I’m not sure now it’s going to mesh with a tenor and an orchestra. I’ve seen Miller on the guitar, but never heard him play. Its going to be great!
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Make New Friends

October 19, 2007

One of the great things about the internet is the ability to bring people together that would normally have never met. I’ve become friends with people from across the country because of a little message board devoted to Champcar racing called OffCamber. Not only do these people know their stuff about racing, but they also have become my go-to source about beer, baseball, technology problems and the occasional entertainment review.

I’ve only met one person offline from OffCamber. It was at an Indians game in Cleveland, and we had a good time.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Yesterday, I met up with the amazing Kate, Pookie and Schnookie to watch hockey, make fun of hockey players and to my surprise, cook some organic delights from the Lexington Co-Op. (Note to self, don’t ever buy Moochi unless you feel the need to re-tile your bathroom or create a backsplash mosaic in your kitchen. Moochi is this organic soy stuff that comes in both sweet and savory flavors and is supposed to – I think – be like a puffed cracker or cookie product. I call false advertising on that one.)

We watched the Devils / Flyers game, with the added highlight of the Rangers getting their ass handed to them by the formerly 0-6 Thrashers. (That’s got to sting in NY this morning). Schnookie predicted at the start of the night that the score would be 4-0 Flyers, since Brodeur was playing back-to-back nights on a road trip. At the end of the night, she was right, unfortunately. (I had to use the last name to refer to the Devils goalie, since I don’t want a repeat performance of the one-true-Marty speech). Its not for a lack of effort on the Devils part, it just wasn’t their night. Or, its all part of the team’s super-secret plan to get Sutter fired.

This game was also my first introduction to Doc Emrick outside of the national broadcasts, and he’s so much better doing the Devils games. Its a lot better when he’s not playing to the lowest common denominator in the audience. I also enjoyed the color commentating of Chico, as he has a great knack for stating the obvious or saying the most random things (which did a lot to enliven up the Devils loss).

We also had a lot of really good laughs about Drew Stafford’s musical capabilities. Please refer to the Willful Caboose for a recap of those abilities. I’m still traumatized by the leopard print pants and bad wig to say anything further. I currently have his new musical project playing, and its um…interesting. I may not be able to listen to Jack Johnson (musician, not hockey player) for awhile, however.
After leaving Katebits Manor, I’m not ashamed to admit that I made a detour on my way home to drive past the alleged CrunchyManor and the alleged GooseManor. Granted, it was dark, but CrunchyManor looked kind of creepy. I may have to revisit this in the daytime to make a further determination.

On an unrelated note, Senators forward Nick Foligno scored his first NHL goal last night. His goalie celebration was a mimic of his father Mike’s celebration: a straight-up jump into the air. It was a great way to honor his father, and way cool that Sportscenter picked up on his and montaged it with his father’s highlights.