Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shit Show Extravaganza

Oh my. What a difference a week makes, huh? Last week we were discussing about how far up the Sabres were going to climb up in the standings and we had a superhero disguised as a tall & lanky goalie in net for us. Now people are talking about which golf courses select Sabres are going to be teeing off at come April and we've got some 11 year old Swedish kid in net for us. Oh, hockey. You and your rollercoaster of emotions that you make me ride. Thanks to stupid sprained ankles, lame broken jaws, bum groins, stomach flus, old age, and good old fashioned laziness & stupidity, it's really hard to tell where this team is at.

Well last night can be summed up in one word...disappointing. I have to say the highlight of my night was sitting next to a guy who was eating a banana. It might quite possibly be the first and last time that I'll ever see someone eating a banana at a hockey game. As for the game itself...well, I don't think they looked awful. At times they did. But for the most part I thought they were pretty defensively sound, but those gaffes between the sound play is what will kill you. That terrible turnover at the very beginning of the game and the shorthanded goal comes to mind. I think the shorty is what really killed us. They never recovered from it. Now everyone is so quick to blame Lalime. Hold your horses, everyone. First goal came from a breakaway due to an awful turnover, second goal was deflected, and the third goal went off of Gaustad's skate. Now is that to say Lalime gets a free pass? Of course not. But to lay the blame all on him is ignorant. To me, it looks like a sorry excuse and it's easy to simply make Lalime our scapegoat. I think fans need to realize that Lalime isn't Ryan Miller. He isn't going to be stealing many games for us like Ryan can, and maybe he isn't going to bail out his team after they make costly mistakes as much as Ryan will. It is what it is. He's our backup goalie, not a bonafide starting goaltender like Miller.

So yeah, our goaltending situation at the moment certainly isn't ideal. But it gets better! It seems as though Lalime won't be playing tomorrow night against Carolina because he's come down with the flu. So we've got our little Swedish friend (who by the way looked surprisingly small in the warmups last night) in goal for us. So who's our backup goalie? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? The goaltending situation in Portland seems to be as troublesome as ours at the moment, considering they've been riding Enroth up until he got called up, so if they can't find a decent goalie in the AHL, then where does that leave us? When it rains it pours.

Remember the good old days when we had a really awesome goalie in net for us that threw really cool themed parties and resembled Jesus when he would skip shaving for a few days? Remember when we had a cool Austrian top-scorer who's mouth wasn't wired shut? Ahh yes, nostalgia. So while having both your top-scorer and franchise goaltender injured at the same time is a recipe for disaster isn't ideal, can the Sabres suck it up? It's not like their next opponent is one point behind them in the standings or anything. Or that a loss against them would mean that we're bumped out of the playoffs. Nahhhh. No big deal.

I hope Ryan Miller's left ankle isn't getting any enjoyment out of all the attention it's receiving. Ryan better watch out, pretty soon his left ankle is going to be more popular than he is. It starts out pretty innocent. People will go up to Ryan and ask him how his ankle is, blah blah blah. But then pretty soon girls are going to be asking for its autograph. Kids will be wanting their picture with it. And then before you know, Ryan will be out at a bar and his left ankle is going to leave with more phone numbers than Ryan. So for the sake of Ryan's popularity, and for the sake of the Sabres fate, please heal quickly, Ryan's left ankle. Please? We all miss Ryan so stop being a little bitch and heal for him. Ryan's left ice skate misses you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Positive Vibes

Well today's update didn't really reveal anything new. With this injury, I guess it's just a waiting game and you have to feel it out to know when you're ready. So I think I've done all that I could with writing an encouraging letter to Ryan's ankle, so everyone send your positive vibes over to Ryan and his ankle in hopes that he recovers quickly. Instead of developing a stomach ulcer over this, I am just going to be positive about it, because that's just how I roll. The good thing is that Ryan said that the swelling has gone down and there wasn't much to begin with, and that the doctors have called it a "minor" high ankle sprain. Ryan is also using a walking boot, but said that he only really uses it when he's out and about and within the next few days he won't need it...which is good right? I'm assuming it means he's not completely immobile which means he can do some sort of workouts to stay in shape and such. Honestly, I'm not a professional athlete so I don't know what it means but I am just assuming. I'm sure he'll do all he can to remain in top shape without risking himself to any more injury.

So while we play the waiting game with Ryan's injury, believe it or not the show must go on and the Sabres will be playing all of their games on schedule. That means that Patrick Lalime is going to step up and be our number 1 guy for a little bit, while Jhonas Enroth has been called up to backup Lalime. A lot of fans have been disappointed with Lalime, but I have always stood by him. I think he's a lot better than his numbers would lead on. And now he's got a chance to get into a rhythm. As for Enroth, people have had high hopes for him as he's been considered a top goalie prospect around the league. I can only go by the reports I get from the games in Portland, but apparently he's been struggling as of late, which may be because he isn't used to the long AHL schedule. Perhaps him getting called up to the NHL will put some jump back into his game. But depending on how long Miller is out and how Lalime performs, we may not even see him in action at all. So can a Lalime/Enroth tandem hold down the fort until Miller returns? Stranger things sure have happened. We all know how important Miller is to this team, but we must remember hockey is not a one man show and that it's a team sport. While Ryan is a key component in our team's success, this team is capable of winning games in his absence. While I'd want nothing more than for Miller to return from his injury as quickly as possible, Patrick Lalime is getting my full support now that he's our main man between the pipes.

Now a lot of people have been toying with the idea of Miller being out for the rest of the season and not even being ready come playoff time. I'll say this. Let's just take it one game at a time. Regardless of Miller's injury, we should not be looking ahead to the playoffs yet. We still need to make them. So while I don't even want to process in my head where this team would be sans Miller in the postseason, I am not going to consider it because we simply can't be thinking that far ahead. We honestly have no idea what's going to happen, regarding both Miller's status and the team's fate.

Tomorrow's going to be real interesting. We've been saying how every game is "huge" so much that it's getting old, but now it's for different reasons. A victory tomorrow would obviously mean we gained 2 big points which helps us in the playoff race, but it would also be extremely reassuring to the Sabres and for the fans. We'll say to ourselves, "Hey maybe we can do this." But if it's a loss, well, we've all seen how the fans and the media reacts. I'll be at the game tomorrow supporting Lalime and the rest of our boys.

So my fellow Sabres fans, whip out your incense and meditation books (Ryan would be so proud) and send some really awesome and hippish positive vibes to Ryan Miller and his left ankle. OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I can tell Ryan is trying to stay in a ~positive vibe hippie mode~ because he's still sporting that fantastic Jesus facial hair. Don't shave it bb, you look good. And hey, maybe looking like a mad earthy hippie will improve the positive energy. YOU NEVER KNOW. I've heard a few theories thrown around that the reason why Ryan Miller plays so great in the playoffs is because he looks like Jesus which makes him play more godly. Until they can prove that this theory is wrong, I am going to say that it's right. So in conclusion, Ryan, and the rest of you Sabres fans, reveal your inner hippie (we all know it's there) and work your magic. And since we're all feeling so earthy and loving, maybe we should take advice from one of my favorite movies/musicals...Jesus Christ Superstar (which is coming to Shea's in April and I am OH SO EXCITED). One of the best Jesus and hippie-loving rock operas there is out there. Take it from them, just try not to focus on the bad and try to remain positive. Everything's Alright!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Open Letter to Miller's Left Ankle

Dear Ryan Miller's left ankle,

Firstly, I want to express my deepest sympathies in the sprain you endured when your owner fell and landed on you awkwardly no doubt making you twist in a way that you didn't want to be twisted, which must have caused you a great deal of pain. Secondly, I am writing you this to let you know how important you are to us and how a speedy recovery is essential. Look, I'm sure you understand how important you are to Ryan. You two have been together since the beginning, and I'm sure after 28 years with him, you two have developed an everlasting bond and there's no question that you really mean a lot to him. But I'm not sure if you understand your importance to the rest of us. You're not only important to the Buffalo Sabres, but your important to all of the fans of Buffalo. Right now we're all pulling for you and you're currently the hot topic to talk about around the city. Right now you hold all the cards and you decide when Ryan will be able to return to tend goal for our beloved hockey team.

So Ryan's left ankle, I write to you not as a plea, but just to give you a few words of encouragement while you're not feeling so good. I hope you get all the R.I.C.E. that you need. I'm sure Ryan is going to do his best to treat you well during this difficult time, and I'd just like you to consider his feelings and how badly he must want to come back and play for us right now. This is a very important time in the season and your owner is very important to our team's success. After all Ryan's done for you (you're attached to a franchise NHL goaltender's body, and there aren't that many left ankles that can say the same, so I think you should show some gratitude), I think it's not too much to ask for you to recover as quickly as possible. I don't want to rush you, but if you could just do a solid for Ryan, the Sabres, and for all of the fans, then it would be greatly appreciated and it would not go unnoticed.

So get well soon and try to improve your owner's spirits by not being such a nuisance and heal quickly and properly! We're all pulling for you.

All my best,

P.S. - Say hi to Ryan for me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Good and The Bad

So, was tonight good or bad? We got two huge points, which is good...but our franchise goalie is now injured which is bad. Let's go through tonight's game, shall we?

Well look who decided to show up. Paille AND Hecht. Solid. When I saw Connolly back on a line with Hecht I just thought to myself how Hecht is just a lost cause and Connolly won't make him any better...well I am glad to say that I can retract that statement...for tonight at least. Roy was very good, making two great plays to set up both Paille's and Sekera's goals, and netting one for himself. It was a huge win considering that Carolina is right behind us and Florida won, same old same old. It's going to be like this for the rest of the season, I'm sure. onto the BAD. Ryan Miller. Hurt. Fuck. My initial reaction was just, "WHY?!", a la Nancy Kerrigan. Really though. He's been having a career year and just playing like a top-5 NHL goalie. When goalies were dropping like flies this season I just kept thinking to myself, "Count your blessings, Sabres fans. Be glad it's not Miller." With our two best players out indefinitely, and with the tight playoff race, it's going to be very interesting. I'm sorry if I come off too frank, but this just fucking sucks. I'm not ready to press the "panic" button and say our season is doomed, but we all know that this team owes a lot of their wins to Ryan Miller. He's been spectacular and has gone above and beyond to ensure that his team wins games. I guess you just don't have time to feel sorry for yourself because the standings are too tight and our next game is on Tuesday (which I'll be going to). Lindy was absolutely livid in his post-game press conference. He believes that the collision was intentional. Ryan did say that he doesn't think Gomez would do something like that. I don't really know what to think. But man Lindy looked furious, you could see it in his eyes. What I am thinking about is the reaction. There wasn't much. When Miller was getting bumped against Ottawa without any retaliation from our guys, a lot of fans complained that it was sending a bad message to other team's around the league and we were also saying, "God forbid if Miller got hurt...". Although they did show Timmy go after Gomez and you saw Kaleta shouting at him from the bench. But what do you think?

I'm pretty surprised that Miller agreed to an interview tonight. He was extremely upset, for obvious reasons. You could hear it in his voice and see it in his face. While I adore Miller getting sassy during interviews as much as the next fan, I couldn't get full enjoyment out of it tonight given the circumstances. He kept trying to leave but the reporters kept asking him questions. I love his facial expressions when he's pissed off, but man, all I wanted to see was this face:

I don't want to see Miller being all sassy and pissed off if it means that he's talking about himself being injured. I'll do my best to talk to the hockey gods tonight to see if they can help us out and make sure that he isn't out for a long period of time. This blows. I just hope he's not out for a long time for obvious reasons, but also because if he's out for a long time it might take him a little bit to get back into the swing of things. He's really been on a roll and now it's going to be interrupted by an injury. Great timing too, considering our top scorer is also out several weeks with a broken jaw. Cool.

I consider myself to be an optimistic person, so I'm going to hope for the best. Ryan will not be out for a long time, and while he is out, Patty Lalime and perhaps Enroth(?) both do a good job until Ryan is ready to return. And once Ryan returns he'll get right back to business and continue playing like he was before he got hurt. And then we all live happily ever after. The End.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still in 8th

Another game, another missed opportunity. I don't have much to say except I thought Jochen Hecht was absolutely terrible. Just awful. A very frustrating loss because we were in the game the entire night and we really had a good chance at coming out with 2 points. We didn't play terrible, but a few bad mistakes and stupidity cost them the game. Very frustrating. Fortunately, the teams that we needed to lose did just that...except for Carolina but they were playing the embarrassment that is the New York Islanders so that's just a given. So...we're in 8th place still. We didn't lose any ground but we didn't gain any. And with teams creeping up behind us that is just very annoying.

But you know what is making me feel better? You know how I said that I enjoy watching other teams crash and burn worse than the Sabres? Well, up in Montreal it's a real shit show. We've all seen the drunk pictures of select members of the team, but apparently things are getting worse. There's an uncomfirmed report floating around that there are more pictures about to be leaked that will cause more controversy. I've been browsing through some Habs message boards and some rumors are saying that the police are waiting at the airport for the Habs to land so they can arrest 3 players (apparently it's Price, Gorges, and Higgins). NOW BEFORE WE JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS, we must realize that this is Montreal that we're talking about and the media up there is batshit crazy. This all might be blown wayyyy out of proportion, because we all know much the media loves to do that. Apparently it just involves some of the players knowing a drug dealer. Disappointing.

But until we find out that this is a whole lot of nothing, I am going to sit here and add fuel to the fire and speculate on what I want it to it could be. I'm betting it involves a hooker, a gay midget stripper, and some booze and some blow. There may or may not be a picture of a huge gay hockey player orgy. I am only speculating here, folks. But if I am right I think you should all take me out and buy me a few rounds. Screw this if it's only about some players being involved with a drug dealer and maybe some organized crime. Booorringgg.

Happy 100th anniversary, Canadiens!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What A Day

Today definitely has not been my day. First of all I'm sick...and I've been progressingly getting better...up until yesterday when I woke up feeling worse than ever. Today I didn't have much luck either. Still pretty sick. But I had a paper to turn in, so I had to go to class. I couldn't get through the whole day though, so I left shortly after my first class. Between me being sick, there have also been other things going on in my life that is just really knocking me on my ass emotional-wise. I don't feel too comfortable going too much into it, but I am just very rattled at the moment. Very shaken up. I am hoping that writing this and listening to music will help me out.

Thank god there was hockey on last night...and thank god we won. It was a nice road win. During the first ten minutes I thought we were in for another long night, but Miller made some nice and timely saves until the team woke up. You know, I wanted to feel bad for Pogge, I really did...but we're just in no position to feel bad for anyone else right now. Speaking of Pogge, a few bloggers out there have said how much the name Pogge reminds them of pogs. It got me thinking of what other player's last names remind me of. I don't know about you, but Paille's name will always remind me of paella...but that's probably my Spanish roots coming out. Speaking of Mr. Paella, it was nice to see him score last night...almost forgot about you for a second, buddy!

I am kind of glad that Gerbe got sent down...I'm not surprised. I think he needs more time down in the AHL to work on his speed and his hand eye coordination. He'll be NHL ready all in good time, I'm sure...but I think he needs to be down in Portland for a little longer. The second reason I'm glad that he's being sent down because it most likely means that we're getting Paul Gaustad back. Hell yes to that. We seem to be a much better team when he's in the lineup. Let's celebrate this news with a lovely photograph, shall we? I said that I'm not having a good day and I think I've mentioned on here before that this picture always makes me feel happy.

Ahh, that was refreshing. Well anyways, there's always talk about how certain games are extremely important...and they're all going to be important from here on out. Tomorrow night against Philadelphia is certainly no exception. With four teams currently with 66 points which is good enough to be in 5th place, a win tomorrow night would be huge. It would not only possibly give us sole position of 5th place (if both the Habs & the Rangers lose tonight and other teams lose tomorrow night as well), but we'd be closing the gap between us and Philadelphia, a team that we could possibly catch. It's going to be one wild ride all the way up until game 82. With all this postseason talk, it's not surprising that my order form for playoff tickets came in the mail today. The thought of a Stanley Cup playoff game played at the HSBC Arena gives me chills. It's one hell of an atmosphere around this city when the postseason rolls around. It's great. It comes right at the perfect time. Right at the start of spring and going into the early months of's a wonderful time of the year.

Well, that last picture of Ryan and the Goose made me feel so good, that I think I should treat myself (and my dear readers) to another gem.

I will always love this picture.

Not only is this picture absolutely adorable because it's of Ryan Miller holding a precious baby...but that baby is just awesome. She's amazing. She's being all sassy and posing and you know she's thinking, "Hell yeah I'm being held by Ryan Miller right now, jealous?" Her parents should be very proud.

I saw Slumdog Millionaire again last night and I am currently listening to the soundtrack on repeat. I love that movie. I also really want to see Coraline, The Wrestler, and Mall Cop (shut up...I'm allowed to enjoy stupid humor).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How Embarrassing

Well it looks like we've got another candidate for the Worst Game of the Year category for the 2009 NHL Shit Show Awards. How lovely.

I can sit here and say how the Sabres missed a great opportunity to improve their position in the standings and to put a team whose been nipping at their heels away...blah blah blah... but I don't think this game really deserves to be summarized. So I took a picture of myself watching the game to show you guys what I thought of it because I don't really feel like expressing it in words:

You know what they say... A picture says a thousand words.

But I must say that I really want to give Patrick Lalime a kiss on the forehead for being such a precious jewel. I would say the same about Ryan, but he just looked too angry and to be frank, he kind of scares me when he's pissed off. Just imagining about being the receiptor of his "Ryan Miller Death Glare" (you know, the one where his eyebrow is extra wonky and he looks like he's about to whip out a machete and go all medieval on your ass) just sends a very cold shiver down my spine. So I think I'll just leave Ryan to his thoughts while I send Lalime a bouquet of flowers with a note that says, "Nice try, buddy. Keep up the good work."

So while watching my precious Sabres look like they're trying out for the Special Olympics brings me absolutely no pleasure, I do find a lot of enjoyment in watching other team's crash and burn. Last night watching the Pittsburgh Penguins get their asses handed to them by the pathetic Toronto Maple Leafs was a treat (it even got their coach canned!). But not to be outdone by the Rangers who gave up a shorthanded goal to the Philadelphia Flyers while they were on a 5-on-3 power play. It just warms my heart :')

So while tonight's "game" is something that I'm currently trying to erase from my memory, thinking about other team's who are close to us in the standings failing helps ease away the pain and embarrassment that many Sabres fans felt tonight. Oh, and the Panthers losing helps too. Enjoy your day off tomorrow, everyone! I owe you one, George & Abe.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Emotional Night

Ever since I found about flight 3407 crashing in Clarence I've been feeling a whirlwind of emotions. It goes without saying how devastated not only our community is, but everyone around the nation is of the events that unfolded. At the risk of sounding a little too sappy, I want to touch on the situation and what it feels like to be a Buffalonian during a time like this. Bear with me, this entry will probably be pretty lengthy. I was up until about 2 am last night watching the coverage and it was extremely surreal and saddening at the same time. Buffalo is such a tight-knit community and I'm sure we all know someone who is connected to this tragedy in some way. I already know that two of my good friends were friends with a young woman onboard the flight. I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone who's been touched by this event, and I hope everyone finds the strength they need to get through this. I just have to say that I was real proud of Lindy Ruff tonight during his post-game press conference. He passed along his thoughts about the tragedy, and he touched a little bit on the game, but his press conference was very brief and he made it clear that tonight was only a hockey game and everyone's mind is elsewhere. It was very classy of him.

Now onto where I might come off as real sappy, but I was at the game tonight and it was heartwarming for me. Not the game itself, but as I was sitting waiting for the game to start, I was just absorbed into my fellow Sabres fans sitting around me and how kind everyone is. We all hear about how friendly everyone is here and how we all watch out for one another, and I was just noticing the little things tonight that was making me real proud. There was a little boy sitting next to me and we were sitting near the player's hallway but he wanted to get down a row so he would be able to reach his hand out and touch the player's hands. So he went down but then the people who were sitting in the seats got there but they let him sit there so he could touch the player's hands. We all know how annoying it is to have to stand up and let people get past you to get to their seats, and a guy and his kid did that only to realize they were in the wrong row. So they had to get the people next to them to stand up again just right after they sat down and I don't know the people were just really kind to him when a lot of times people just sigh and roll their eyes. I'm probably just looking into it too much but it really just makes me proud to see the overall kindness that most Buffalonians possess.

So for me and most people, sports is a nice outlet for us and it's a nice form of escapism. Whatever problems we may be having at home, at our jobs, or anything in general, going to a sporting event or watching a game is a real nice way to forget about your problems for a bit and get absorbed into something else. The game tonight was certainly no exception. I didn't know how crazy it was going to be! I started getting a good feeling during the pre-game warmups. Against Me!, The Raconteurs, and the Smashing Pumpkins all in a row...seems like Mr. Miller has taken control of what music is played during the warmups. So I was grooving on the great music selections and I had a nice feeling after seeing the kindness in the stands from the fans.

I certainly was not expecting the team to go up 3-0 on the Sharks, but I knew that it was a very early lead and no lead is safe in this league...especially against one of the best teams. So although I wasn't surprised that the Sharks battled back, I still was ticked. The crowd was very into the game the entire night, maybe it was because everyone's emotions were high due to the events, but I haven't heard the arena that loud in a long time when we scored the tying goal with 3 seconds left. Oh and apparently I was on TV right after they scored! I kept getting texts from my friends haha. I guess I was also shown when they had the moment of silence right before the game. It was real nice to see Pominville come up big tonight because he's been getting a lot of criticism. And of course, our captain...what can I say? He was there as our captain and he also showed up big against his former team. Great.

By the time the Sabres tied it up the emotions were so high. Everyone was on the edge of their seats during overtime and everyone was on their feet during the shootout. I hate shootouts just because they are so nerve-wracking. But it was great to see Miller come up huge especially after his last shootout performance in Ottawa coupled with the fact that he let in a few questionable goals during tonight's game (although the defense was just standing around doing nothing during a few of them). Leaving the arena was awesome. Everyone was so excited and cheering. For just a few hours our minds were off the terrible events, and we all came together to root for our boys. Going into tonight's game I said to myself that it didn't matter if we won or lost, because right now it just doesn't matter...but it was real great for everyone to leave the arena on such a positive note...even if it was just a minor distraction for a few hours. It still felt great.

Oh and everyone's favorite fedora wearing goalie updated his blog. How cute is he? He's so thoughtful when he's talking about how he analyzed getting some dogs. Poor Ryan. I own 3 dogs and I would love to dogsit for Ryan. At the fashion show he was loving that puppy and it was pretty adorable. I've got some real cute videos of him interacting with the little guy on my YouTube page. He also has me very intrigued in taking a tour of the Town Ballroom...the basement sounds awesome and creepy. I love creepy stuff like that. I also loved how he so nonchalantly said that he doesn't have a girlfriend. Let's see if I can come off as casual as Ryan did... Hey Ryan, I don't have a boyfriend. I'm ~single~ so I think we should ~mingle~. Come and get me before someone else scoops me up. Did it work? Did I come off as casual about my relationship status as Ryan did?

Alright, enough of those shenanigans. So even though in retrospect, tonight's game was just a hockey game...there are much more important things on hand to think about...but I'm glad that our boys gave us something to be happy about even if it was just for a few hours. Everyone in that arena was on such a high and it came at the right time. Of course it was the only game I went to this year where I didn't bring my camera...but I still had to capture the moment. So I did with my crappy cell phone camera. Here are the boys celebrating the win through the lens of my 1.3 megapixel camera phone:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Well That Wasn't Cool

You know, I was doing so well...out of this entire winter season I had not gotten sick at all, but then the drastic change in the weather made my immune system go all wonky and last night it felt like there was a tumor in my throat. I'm feeling a little better than I was in the middle of the night, but I still feel pretty run down. Thank god my class was cancelled today because Buff State's campus is really windy so I can only imagine what it's like today.

Anyways...onto last night's game. I'll keep it short and sweet. I've been to a lot of awesome games this season. The Vancouver, Pittsburgh, and Carolina games come to mind. I've also been to a lot of bad games this season. The Nashville, Washington, and last night's come to mind. Last night was really bad. Everytime we went on a power play I cringed a little. That's not what you're supposed to feel like when your team is given TWELVE power play opportunities. Patty Kaleta, bless his heart for drawing the penalties...sah sahry the team could not take advantage of your antics, Patrick. The team was sending a good message to the rest of the league last night. Feel free to run our goalies because we sure as hell aren't going to stop you. What was up with that? It was obvious Ottawa's coach told his team to run Miller...and it worked. They even got a goal out of it. Unbelievable. I guess the refs were too afraid to disallow two straight goals due to goaltender interference. Then finally Butler tried to stand up for Miller but of course he got a penalty for roughing. Cute. Why wasn't Rivet being the animal he usually is when players get too close to our goalie. You know what I think it might be? I think the Sabres are very intimidated by Ottawa. The Senators have had our number since the end of the lockout, and even when they suck this year the Sabres just seem to be afraid of them. It gives Ottawa some confidence and they exploit us. Just mi dos centavos. An exciting part of the game was when I almost took a puck to the face. It hit the person in front of me instead. Thank goodness for that. And there was this really adorable old man sitting two rows in front of me and he was so happy and cute and he was talking to everyone around him. He was adorable and I wanted to be his friend.

According to WGR 550, Ruff is adding Ellis to the power play in hopes that a grinder will spark something. He also said that it really frustrated him that the team was trying to be too cute and they aren't playing dirty like they were in January. Sekera is also ready to return for action and Weber has been sent back down to Portland. I really hope the team responds to what Ruff was saying and they stop trying to be cute and they start playing dirty, hard-working hockey again because it will win them games. Tomorrow night they'll have a real test as San Jose will be in town. I'm going to that game as well, so let's hope I can add that one to my "Awesome games I've been to this season" list and not my "Really bad games I've been to this season" list.

Oh and I'd like to welcome two new additions to my blogroll, NHL Snipers and Brochu is Hockey.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Catwalk for Charity III...the definition of SASSY.

Where do I begin...what a fun night! When I went to Catwalk last year I didn't think I could have had any more fun, but this year's was absolutely great. I really don't want to ramble on about every single detail because then this entry might turn out to be the longest blog entry known to man. Let's see...

Well everyone looked absolutely adorable. So many people dressed for the event in their 1920s attire and the Town Ballroom was all decked out. When I got there I saw Ryan pretty early and I decided that I should talk to him before it got too crazy. Even though there were a lot of people there who were dying to talk to him, he was extremely friendly and nice. I got to talk to him about photography which was really awesome...I meant to talk to him about it last year but I forgot. I told him that the photos I take of him at the hockey games get the most views on my Flickr and he thought that was funny. When I was talking to him his brother Bryce and sister Brynne came up to us and Ryan was so cute. He was like, "These are my siblings!" and he introduced them to me. They both looked so cute in their 20s outfits. I got my picture with them and Ryan and I also got a picture with just Ryan and me.

Later on I saw Ryan's dad hanging out and I went up to him and was like, "Um I just have to say that your son is a really good goalie." Haha. He laughed and we talked about Catwalk for a bit...I told him that I went last year as well and how it was such a great event and how I was real excited that it was 20s themed this year. We talked about Ryan for a little bit and Ryan sounds just like his dad haha. I saw Rick Jeanneret a little bit later and I had to get my picture taken with him. My dad used to work with the Sabres in broadcasting so he knows my dad and he was like, "Why isn't he here?!" Then Ryan's grandparents came up to us when we were talking to Rick and they introduced themselves to Rick...I got to talking to them and they were the sweetest people. They were so gracious and they kept thanking me for coming.

Sooo, there was really good food and the auction items as always were really great. Everyone was just walking around, eating & drinking and having a good time. I talked to Ryan again and I just told him how proud I was of him and how amazing he's been playing lately and that we're real lucky to have him. He was very gracious and I told him how it's real nice to see how well-rounded he is and he thanked me and he asked me if I was having fun.

So now onto the real fun stuff...the live auction and the fashion show. Ryan was hilarious when they were auctioning things off. When they were auctioning off the black lab puppy Ryan did his best Russian accent and asked how much Max had (he won the puppy last year). The puppy was won by Dan Paille's fiancée. Before they auctioned it off Ryan was coddling the little puppy and it was pretty damn cute. When they were auctioning off the bubble hockey set Rick Jeanneret was like, "I'll go to the winner's house and call the game for you." and Ryan was like, "WHUT I can't even get him to come to my house!" haha. When they were auctioning of a poster with a bunch of former Sabres' autographs, Ryan was trying to read the signatures and he was like, "Um...I can't read these...I don't know all of their numbers" and he had to get Rob Ray to read them and Rayzor read a few off and then was like, "Whatever...good enough." So during the fashion show Harry Neale & Rick Jeanneret were absolutely hilarious. They kept making cracks at the players and it was pretty funny. Tim Connolly did the worm on the catwalk and I was like, "OMG...don't get hurt!!" and when Gaustad was leaning down to touch people's hands, Ryan was like, "Woah, don't pull too hard on his arm!" in reference to Goose's "upper-body injury". I also had a little peek into backstage and I saw a shirtless Paul Gaustad running around. That was a treat. So the fashion show was great and they all looked so cute.

After the fashion show, Drew Stafford played some songs on the drums and Ryan played the guitar. Derek Roy did the vocals and it was pretty funny. Then someone gave Petey the microphone and he kept having the audience do chants. First he was like, "When I say 'PLAY' you say 'OFFS'!" and then he was like, "When I say 'TRADE' you say, 'RIVET!'" haha. What a jokester. So I found myself in the ~VIP Area~ by the end of the night where most of the Sabres were hanging out with their friends, girlfriends, wives, etc. And Pominville was our typical little Pommers...his fiancée (or wife? Hell I don't know...I avoid those hockey player gossip message boards like the plague so I have a very vague idea on who the player's girlfriends are for the most part) had her shoes off but when she wanted to put them back on our dear little Pominville put them on for her. What a nice boy. By that time I had a lot of glasses of wine so I went up to Ryan and gave him a big hug and I was like, "Zanggg I love your hat!" He was wearing one of those Irish caps...and then I was like, "I have to say that I think you're absolutely adorable!" and he smiled and said he appreciated that. Haha wow...I really hope he doesn't remember that encounter. But it was really, really neat to watch the Sabres off the ice and just goofing around with each other and having fun. It really was a lot of fun and you could tell they were all having a great time, especially Ryan. I caught him throwing stuff at someone and he was ducking by the bar to hide hahaha. Drew Stafford was hilarious trying to auction off the cutout boards of some of the players... someone shouted that they'd pay $50 dollars for one and he was like, "$50?! Come on, you know you can sell this on eBay for like $400." I saw that Andrew Peters' wife bought the cardboard cutout of Peters and they were taking pictures with it haha.

So all in all the night was fantastic. I had a blast. Ryan was a great host and he was a sweetheart to everyone. Great entertainment, great drinks, great food, great venue, great's a perfect night for any Sabres fan and if you haven't been to one yet you're really missing out. I told Ryan that it was a real great thing that he has them and he was like, "Well we're going to keep having them!" So that's awesome. I met up with Rachael and Lucinda and Jill and Jay which was real awesome!

Alright...I know you all want to look at my pictures! I just have to say that they're pretty bad quality because I just had my point and shoot and not my nice camera, but oh well. You can see them on my Flickr page. Here's two of my favorites:

Ryan and myself of course!

Ryan looking cute with his Irish cap after the fashion show

I didn't take as many pictures as I planned on, but I did take a lot of videos! Check them out on my YouTube page. Make sure you watch the ones with Ryan and the puppy...they're precious. Ryan's Russian impression is in the one where they're auctioning off the puppy. The one of Harry Neale & Rick Jeanneret is pretty funny too. So enjoy the videos...they'll give you a nice perspective of what it was like all night.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Weekend of Hockey

Well it's going to be a jam-packed weekend for myself and the team...with last night's game, tonight's game in Ottawa, and Catwalk for should make for a fun-filled hockey weekend.

So since I updated this thing, a few things have happened. Drew Stafford scored a SIQ GOAL, Ryan Miller made a whopping 15 saves to record his fifth shutout of the season and then he subsequently improved his shutout streak to just around 157 minutes, Thomas Vanek realized that he needed some new hats so he decided the easiest way to get some was by getting a hat-trick, Nathan Paetsch decided that since he was playing forward that he might as well add some more offense to his game by scoring a goal, and Tim Connolly is apparently a self-centered dink. Whatever that means.

So all in all it was a pretty exciting few games, huh? Timmy is looking like the Timmy we've all known to love when he's healthy...and I know I keep reiterating this, but he's really going to be a key component to not only get this team to the playoffs but also to give us a chance at making a deep playoff run as well. I know when he's injured it's very frustrating for everyone and a lot of times people are calling for the Sabres to trade him, waive him, or do whatever possible to get him off our roster. But the truth is, when he is healthy he's one of the best players on the ice night in and night out. He's sparking trade rumors now, and I just have to say that this team needs to keep him for the entire season. I don't think we should deal him at the deadline to see what we can get in return. Not only is he extremely talented, but he's providing great chemistry, and why should we mess with a good thing? If he can stay healthy for the rest of the season, the Sabres should try and sign him to a contract extension. I think a 2-year deal would be ideal. It would give the Sabres a chance to see if he can really stay healthy for an entire season or if he's just going to continue to be injured year in and year out.

Don't look now, but the Sabres are closing in a few teams to move up in the standings. We are tied in points with Philly, but they have 3 games in hand on us. We're only 2 points behind the Rangers... While it's a good idea to see where the Sabres are in the standings, number crunching can make you go nuts. I remember last season I would watch the standings like a hawk and it wasn't fun. I'd be all, "Okay, so if this team wins tonight in regulation against that team, then we will be able to get 8th place, only if we win in regulation as well." I then decided to not look at the standings and just try and enjoy the games that I watched after that. This year I've done that most of the time, but ever since the new year rolled around, I've found myself peeking at the standings more frequently. So while I do pay attention to who's creeping behind us and which teams we can possibly pass in the standings, for the most part I'm just going to watch my team and root for a victory. If the Sabres keep performing like they have been, then things should be okay.

Speaking of teams that we can possibly pass, I don't know about you, but I loathe the Rangers... I don't really have a legitimate answer as to why I do, but I've always extremely disliked that team. I guess it's a combination of a bunch of little things, but anyways, I really enjoyed seeing them getting their asses handed to them by the Stars last night. I didn't necessarily watch it, but I went to to see that after 2 periods Dallas was up against the Blueshirts 4-2. Then I checked back a little later to see that they were up 8-2. I thought that screwed up the box score or something. But then it was 9-2, and then it was 10-2...and I could only laugh. I think I've mentioned this on here before, but they're a team that I can see just free-falling all the way out of playoff contention. They just haven't been the same team they were in the beginning of the season. We'll see.

And completely unrelated to hockey, I just have to say that you guys should remind me to skip class when it's bitter cold out. I don't know what I was thinking. It's been so cold out. I get out of class and I want to sprint to my car because it's just so damn cold out. Yesterday it was pretty nice out though. I am also really really proud of myself because I purchased a textbook that I needed for school online for only 8 bucks. It was orginally $93 at the bookstore, but I found it online for EIGHT DOLLARS thanks to a tip from one of my classmates. It's a little worn out, but the binding is still intact and there are no pages missing. I'm usually not one to find a good bargain, but hell yes did I hit the jackpot, so to speak.

So between the Hockey gods giving our team some extra loving, and me finding an amazing deal online, I'm pretty happy. Oh and isn't this picture adorable?

LOVE IT. If it didn't have the annoying watermark on it, I'd totally print it out and hang it up on my wall. It's precious.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back to Buffalo

I know it's hard to imagine but the Sabres are actually the Buffalo Sabres and they even play some games in this city too. They will be reacquainted with this lovely city and the HSBC Arena this month, as they have 7 home games. Unfortunately the Sabres couldn't edge the Ducks after a long road trip...but I liked the physicality that the team possessed. Rivet was super fiesty and he did a good job protecting our goalie. Poor Gaustad was stuck in the penalty box for the first half of the third period and I could tell he was dying to get out of there so he could throw his weight around. I thought Lalime did a good job. Considering he only starts once or twice every several weeks, he made some pretty big saves for us. He seemed to get more confident as the game went on. He made 34 saves, and it would have been nice if our top 2 lines could have produced to help him out more. He's our backup goalie, not our starting goaltender, so we shouldn't expect him to steal games for us...but he did his best to try. I wish the team could have gotten a win for him.

All in all, I thought it was a pretty good effort by the team...maybe the affects of being on the road for 6 straight games were taking its toll, but it's not a loss that I'm going to get too hung up over. I thought it was pretty entertaining and I'm glad that I watched it even though I only got around 7 hours of sleep last night, which isn't too bad. The good thing about having class early in the morning is that it's my only class of the day so I can go home afterwords and take a nice nap.

I'm going to the mall today to spend my Sephora gift card that I got for Christmas. I'll probably buy some nice makeup for Catwalk for Charity on Sunday. I've got my outfit ready and I can't believe it's already almost here. It's going to be such a fun night. So if any of you are going (I know a few of you are!), make sure you grab me and say hi if you see me. I'll be the blonde girl wearing a black dress with an awesome peacock feather in my hair. It should be pretty sassy.

Oh, and ladies...there's a post-game interview with a shirtless Paul Gaustad from last night over at Sabres TV. Just a little FYI. So this past week I saw Ryan Miller being adorable on his couch talking about sushi and a shirtless Paul Gaustad? Have I mentioned how much I love being a hockey fan?

Monday, February 2, 2009

January Friend

Well the Sabres have completed the grueling January schedule in a convincing fashion. 13 games total, 3 home games, 10 away, with a 9-4 record. It was definitely an important stretch and I know a lot of fans were worried about how the team was going to stack up once everything was said and done. The road seems to be a friendly place for the Sabres, which is a real asset. The Sabres have had their troubles on home ice, but they did win all 3 of the home games in January. There are a lot of games at home in February, so we'll see if they've really turned things around at home. I have a feeling they have.

It's no coincidence that our top players have been really on their game during this nice stretch. Roy has really found himself and it looks like Stafford is coming around as well. It's not only our top players, but energy players like Gaustad and Ellis have really done their jobs well and have played with effort and passion which can drive a team to success. Our blueline continues to face injury problems but we are still winning regardless. Our young players like Chris Butler have really been solid for us when we've really needed them to step up. But I think the biggest story for us is Ryan Miller. A goalie is the most important player and when he's on his game he gives us a chance to win every single night. Luckily for us, he's been really on and he's been very consistent. I know a lot of times fans will complain about his consistency, but he's really been excellent over these past several weeks. I think goaltending can be a position where it can make goalies out to be really inconsistent, but that's neither here nor there... He's been named NHL's Third Star for January and he's earned the recognition.

While he's been extremely hot (zanggg baby boy) and he's just coming off a shutout, I'm glad that Lalime is getting the start tonight. If we want Miller to continue playing this well, then he's going to need to get some rest. Plus Lalime needs to playing time to ensure that he can be sharp enough to compete. While Lalime has let in some questionable goals, I also believe that the team has not been playing well enough in front of their backup goalie to win many games. Patrick Lalime isn't Ryan Miller. He's not a starting goalie anymore. He's our backup goalie and the team and fans can't expect him to steal any games for us. During the month of January, there were several games where Miller faced 40+ shots a night and we picked up victories in the process, but I just don't think we can or should expect that type of outcome with Lalime in net. It'd be nice to see them buckle down better when he's starting and try to help him out a little more. With a goalie like Miller, for the most part he can be there when the team has a breakdown and he will bail the team out, but I don't know if the same can be said when your backup goalie is in net. It would be great for Lalime to get another win for us tonight because he seems to be a great teammate to have in the locker room and he seems to be very supportive of Miller. It would just be nice to see him get a win. Obviously because we need the points but also because of the type of player he seems to be.

So all in all, I just wanted to make a post talking about what a great month January was for the Sabres and all the wins were well deserved and it came from strong effort and hard work. We picked up valuable points and hopefully the team has some more confidence and they can be proud of what they accomplished over the past month. Now let's hope they can finish the road trip on a positive note before we welcome them home...