Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mystery Solved?

So the other night I posted that now infamous video of Rob Ray reacting to something off camera while Ryan Miller is being interviewed. The video has been reposted on various Sabres blogs and even on Puck Daddy so I'm sure you've seen it by now. But like the most of you I'm sure, I can watch it over and over again and still get a kick out of it. So while I was watching it for the 27th time, I pursued the comments on YouTube and came across this comment:

I was listing to the morning show on WGR, and this came up. Howard Simon talked to Rob, and he said that the Candian Media was pushing and shoving; trying to get to the front. So apparrently he's doing this to the media

Hmm...could that be it? I can see why the Canadian media would be extra pushy considering it was Miller's first game back after being sidelined with an injury, so they would want to interview him...but it's a little disappointing to be honest. I was really hoping it was something more funny like him seeing a naked player out in the open in front of all the cameras and the reporters. I can see it. The player (you can decide which player it is) is all, "Screw it...I'm taking a shower." and he just strips naked and strolls to the showers disregarding the media that's swarming the locker room. Hey, if you're going to walk into a locker room full of sweaty guys undressing, you're just going to have to deal with the "consequences" (and by "consequences" I mean being surrounded by naked professional athletes). I'm sure Rayzor has seen a naked hockey player or two in his day, but not when there's a room full of cameras and reporters. Rob probably just wants to keep the true source of his shock a secret, so he came up with that lame "the Canadian media was being mean and pushing everybody" excuse to quiet all of us who are curious. I'm sure when the media gets too crazy in the locker room, Rayzor wouldn't mind stepping in and policing those folks.

Ah, the locker room after an important hockey game must be such a shit show that I want to witness. How do I go about getting one of those fancy press passes...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hard Earned Win

I have stated before on this blog that at this point I am just going to try and enjoy the games that I watch, because if the Sabres go out there and play an honest game then I can't get too angry over the outcome. Of course I want them to win every night and make the playoffs, and I'm sure the online sports betting people do also. That's just a given and I don't think I need to mention that. Last night was a very entertaining game to watch. Even when the team gave up their two goal lead and let the Habs score 3 straight goals to take the lead, I liked what I saw from the team. There was determination and they sure as hell weren't going to give up without a fight. They didn't develop a defeatist attitude and let the Habs have their way with them. After we gave the Habs life in their own building, they continued to pour on the pressure, but the Sabres didn't back down.

The statistics weren't on the Sabres side that night. I believe the Habs were 7-1-1 with the Sabres when playing in their own building. And the Sabres had only won 5 games this whole season after trailing in the third. But at this point you have to throw all those stats out the window and forget about them. They're meaningless. The Sabres started off the third period shorthanded but they kept pressing and they got rewarded when MacArthur scored the equalizer. Both teams played hard, and for me, it seemed inevitable that this game was going to overtime. Not the most ideal situation for the Sabres, but we'll take the wins any way they come. So while they couldn't get the job done in regulation as hoped, they took care of business in the shootout (well, Miller and Lydman did at least) and left Montreal with 2 points. That's all I really could ask for right now. A well deserved win.

I was a little disappointed seeing Max out of the lineup. I have no problem with Mair returning, I just think that Max has been playing pretty well ever since he's been inserted back into the lineup and he's not the one who deserves a benching. But having Mair back proved to pay dividens as he scored our first goal. I thought Sekera played very poorly. All night. No surprise that he was benched in the third. Another player that I have to comment on is Jochen Hecht. Just when I start to compliment his game, he takes a stupid retaliatory penalty when we were already down a man to put the Habs on a 5-on-3 and they shortly score to put them in the lead. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Some argue that it was a weak call, and the Habs were getting away with stuff like that all night, but it still was a penalty that he didn't need to take. Then he took another penalty on a routine clearing attempt when he shot the puck over the glass. Jochen, Jochen, Jochen. Other than those mistakes, I liked his game. Rivet was also impressive when he took on Kostopoulos. I love Rivet. This team needs more players like him. In my opinion, he is just the quintessential hockey player. Hell, he even looks like a hockey player. Connolly had another great game and it's good to see him come back to life these past few games.

I thought both Miller and Carey Price played very good games. Miller was busy all night and he had two huge saves that stick out for me. The one where the puck bounced off the glass and right in the crease by the goal line and he had to be quick to be the first person to get to the puck or else it would have been an easy tap in for Montreal. The second save was when he was out of the crease but dove in a sprawling effort to stop the puck. Very acrobatic. Then he came up huge in the shootout, stopping all six of Montreal's players. Price looked good, too...only surrendering one goal in that extended shootout. But we were better. After our big guns couldn't get it done in the shootout, I wasn't surprised to see an interesting selection like Lydman. I had a good feeling he was going to score, just because I kept getting flashbacks to Henrik Tallinder's wicked move to beat Brouder. Lydman's post-game interview was pretty hilarious. Sylvester was like, "So Toni...what was the move?" to which Lydman responded, "Well the trick was...there was no move." Lydman seems to be a bit shy on camera, but his sense of humor doesn't go unnoticed on me. He seems to be a funny guy.

So while the Sabres still need to climb a bit more to make a playoff push, last night's win was very satisfying and it's nice to see this team play some good hockey. It's extremely reassuring to see Miller on his game like this. Looks like he hasn't missed a beat, and it's just what we need right now. He was so sharp in the shootout and I was just like, "For the love of god, score a goal for Ryan, PLEASE." Thank youuuu, Toni.

So today is my last day of spring break. I used this break to recharge and relax. Now I have to write a few papers and I have a midterm to study for. Ugh...I am trying my best to enjoy myself before the semester ends. I just keep saying to myself that after my midterm on Tuesday I'll be able to relax. And then I have a Sabres game on Wednesday to look forward to. So until then...

OH, by the way...I have to post this video. It's of Rob Ray's reaction to something during Ryan Miller's post-game interview the other night. I don't know what the hell he saw but his reaction is priceless.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Refreshing Victory

So the Sabres made it a little interesting in the third period (they seem to like to do that) by letting the Leafs creep in and cut the 4 goal differential into just one. I was really hoping that the Sabres weren't in the mood for another third period collapse, and I'm glad that they showed that they weren't by netting another goal to put the Leafs away for good.

How great was it to see Miller in net for us again? While Kevin Sylvester and Mike Robitaille were giving us the stats and such before the game, I heard the PA guy announcing the lineup to the crowd and when he said Ryan Miller you could hear the huge uproar of applause and cheers from the crowd. It was great to see Ryan pick up where he left off and look like his old self. I'm sure his adrenaline was running high from returning and I'm sure that attributed to it, but he really looked sharp out there and he came up with some big saves.

This team really does seem to play different when he's in net, and I know that's been debated back and forth whether that's true, but it really does seem to be the case. It's not like the Sabres are going to play like superstars every time Ryan is between the pipes, but there just seems to be a little more swagger in their stride when he's playing and I'm sure that stems from confidence. They're familiar with him and they know that they've got a solid goaltender on their side.

I also really liked how the team responded whenever players got too close to our net. They let them know that there was going to be consequences if they are going to be hanging around there. We even saw a little bit of sass come from Ryan when a player blew some snow all up in his grill. He was like, "Um excuse you, no one blows snow in my face." I liked when Gaustad dropped the gloves after Miller got an extra bump. Watching out for his buddy Ryan. Gotta love it.

Speaking of the Goose, he had a Gordie Howe hat-trick tonight! Picked up an assist, got into a few fights, and scored a very important goal to put the Leafs away. Very nice. It's pretty hard to not like Gaustad's game. He gives an honest effort every night and it seems as though he's put himself into a leadership role and it's really nice to have players like him on our team.

So at this point in the season and the position that our team is in, you just have to take it game by game. Scoreboard watching, predictions, and calculations can make for stressful situations and it can take the enjoyment out of watching the games. I know the team's chances are pretty thin, but I am just going to try and not worry about it and just enjoy the games. I was really excited all day for the game tonight just knowing that Miller was going to be back. It was so much fun to watch him again. It's been awhile, eh? So while the team tries their hardest to climb, I'm just going to hope that they give an honest effort every night and hopefully the enjoyment will follow.

By the way...what the hell was going on with Rayzor in Ryan Miller's post-game interview? Something catches his attention off camera and he makes the funniest facial expressions. I don't know what happened, but I wish I knew what caused him to have such a funny reaction.

Also, unrelated to hockey, I mentioned in a previous post about the local restaurant week that has been going on. It was a good opportunity to go out and eat at the restaurant, Sample...a place that I've been really wanting to go try but just haven't gotten around to it. So I went today and it didn't disappoint. All the little samples were really cute and I should have taken pictures of them haha. Every dish that had different samples were different and had some pretty unique selections. Everything was very good. They also had this great passion fruit margarita that had cayenne in it. It was this sweet, tangy taste with a little kick at the end. I really liked it. I think it's a real neat concept. Whenever I go out to eat I am always drawn to the appetizers and I usually like getting a few to split amongst the people I'm with. This way you get to try a little bit of everything. And even though it's small samples, you really do get a lot of food and it fills you up. I had to pace myself and make sure that I made room for the dessert dish...which was very good. So if you're ever in the Allentown area I'd recommend this place. I'll definitely be back...that margarita is a-callin'.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Miller Time

Ryan Miller is coming out of hiding...

And he's bringing his game face...

...And of course, the sass.

Everyone's excited.

Hopefully we see a lot of sick saves...

Oh hi, Dominic.

And not so much of this...

I was at that game...sahhh sad.

Hopefully the at the end of the game we'll see a bunch of this:

Maybe in his post-game interview we'll be treated to some of his thoughtful insight, sarcasm, and dry sense of humor...

And if we're lucky enough, we'll see some quintessential Ryan Miller sassiness.

...Now, I hope people don't confuse this Ryan Miller lovefest as me thinking that he's going to come in and save the season and single-handedly carry this team into the playoffs (although that would be kind of cool), of course we can't expect that to happen. So while Ryan Miller isn't Jesus who'll be our savior, at least he sometimes looks like Jesus...

That's a start, isn't it?

So fans, I know it's been a rough couple of weeks...and it's been real hard to find the slightest bit of optimism or hope, but let's try and enjoy the last few weeks of the hockey season and maybe watching Ryan Miller compete will make this team somewhat enjoyable to watch again. Let's all rejoice!

*This entry has been approved by Ryan Miller*

I made that...I don't know whether I should be proud or embarrassed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break

Today is officially my first day of spring break and I can't believe it's already that time of the year again...I know it's such a cliché to say that, but really. Almost done with this semester...thank god. The only bad part about spring break is that all of my friends who go to different schools have their breaks at different times. Some of my friends have already had their spring break while some of my friends haven't. So it's kind of hard to catch up with people that I haven't seen in a long time, but I don't want to just hang around and do nothing this break. The weather is supposed to be real nice tomorrow so maybe I'll take my little munchkin of a dog out for a walk. She's a teeny tiny chihuahua and she always brings a lot of attention when I walk her. I can't go a block without someone stopping me and asking about her. It's okay though because I do the same exact thing when I see someone walking a cute dog. I love animals so I always have to make a big deal when I see a real cute dog or something. Even with cats, but I'm more cautious with them because I know they can be quite the sassy things. But they're so cute, I just want to pick them up and coddle them but I know better.

Anyways...the latest news in Sabreland is that Miller is practicing fully with the team. A lot of fans have mixed emotions on this...some are saying that he should just sit out for the rest of the season because the team has no chance at making the playoffs and he shouldn't risk further injury. I'll say this. If he's ready to play then I am 100% for letting him play. I don't really know about the team right now, but I know that Ryan makes them a better team and if he's been working hard at returning, then he deserves to play. Besides, even if it's too late for this team to make the playoffs at least watching Ryan compete will be enjoyable, you know? I think we all know that he's a smart guy and from his interviews and updates it really seems that he's waiting to get to a point where he's completely ready to go so he doesn't risk re-injuring his ankle. I know injuries/setbacks happen and sometimes you can't really control it...but I am willing to bet that when Ryan returns he'll truly be ready.

He also updated his blog today. My favorite part is when he said, "Don't judge me!" Probably because I find myself saying that a lot because I'm kind of...weird. Or as my best friend eloquently put it, "You're the most fucked up person I know." That sounds pretty mean for a friend to say, but I'd be lying if I said that he doesn't have a point. It was after I shouted the word, "stumps" in his face. You had to be there okay. Or sometimes I find myself saying, "Don't judge me..." when I'm driving with my friends and I back into garbage cans. Just kidding but not really. Anyways, I really liked what Ryan had to say about Ovechkin's "controversial" 50th goal celebration and what Don Cherry had to say about it. He made some good points. I just don't think Don Cherry has a lot of room to criticize someone for being attention seeking with the way he is. How many times has someone in the room said, "Who shot the couch?" in reference to Don Cherry's suit when you're watching Coach's Corner? I get a big kick out of Don Cherry and I respect him...but that doesn't mean that I always have to agree with him. He sort of reminds me of the class clown in high school. Everyone always has a good laugh with them but at the end of the day you have to remember to not take them too seriously. I remember reading on a message board where a Canadian was claiming that Ovechkin degrades the game because hockey has no room for his flamboyancy and "true hockey fans" (aka Canadians) know this. I thought that was funny considering one of Canada's and hockey's most regarded person wears outfits such as this. It was funny how Ryan kept taking shots at Don Cherry's suits, surely a fashionable person such as Ryan (loved his tweed/herringbone baseball cap today, by the way) cannot go without mentioning someone else's fashion disasters.

I also liked when Ryan said, "We are not in a good spot in the standings at the moment but the season is 82 games last I checked..." I don't know about you, but I sensed a little sass in that. Love it. He's right though...but it's still hard for me to try and feel positive about our situation right now. Just gotta keep on keepin' on. I'd definitely get a new boost of confidence and hope if Ryan comes back soon. Seems like him starting against Florida is a no, but who knows maybe it'll be Miller Time on Friday. We've all seen that sometimes Ryan is the difference between a win or a loss... let's just hope his left ankle doesn't give him any more trouble. I don't want to have to write it another letter.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Sabres Are Never Winning Another Game

Never ever ever ever. Really though, doesn't it feel like that? When Miller went down and we got off to a shaky start which bumped us out of the top 8, I really thought that this team had it in them to regain the ground that they lost to put themselves back into a good position. Even when many fans counted them out because things started looking pretty bleak, I said to myself, "Maybe it will just take one win." One win to have them regain some confidence. Put some swagger back into their stride. But now when this team goes into every game I just say to myself, "Can they even win?" Whenever they face an opponent I feel that we've got the disadvantage, regardless of either teams records. Makes you wonder how many of the players in the locker room have acquired the same defeatist attitude during this losing streak which could attribute to their losses.

It's pretty upsetting, because this team really showed promising signs of them capable of being contenders that could pull together a nice playoff run. Looks like we're just facing the inevitable now, and that being that this team will miss the playoffs two years in a row. It's pretty harsh thinking about, especially considering that the majority of our guys, our "core", were all there during those two great years directly following the lockout. It seems like this team has a lot of pieces, but apparently they don't have everything to complete the puzzle. As much as I look forward to the summer because it's my favorite season, I am not looking forward to another long offseason. After two straight years of the playoffs, last offseason seemed really long and I was sooo ready for hockey to start up again. I'm not too thrilled about going through that again this summer. But what can you do... They're my team and I'll still be watching every game for the rest of the season hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I'll be there buying my tickets for next season in hopes that I see my favorite team succeed. That will never change.

So I've been trying to cheer myself up lately since the Sabres have been really doing a good job at bumming me out and pissing me off. Yesterday I went to one of the best stores ever and that's Target. I don't care if I become a multi-millionaire one day, Target and I will always be tight. I love that store! I found these really cute sandals there that I bought and I've been wearing them every chance that I get. I don't care if it drops down to 20 degrees, I'll still be sporting my sandals in hopes that the spring weather is here to stay until summer rolls around. I also went to Wegmans today and I bought some sushi, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), and some Burt's Bees chapstick. Okay I think I've already confessed my undying love to Burt's Bees products but I have to say it again. I love that stuff.

I'll take 5 of everything, please.

So a trip to Target and Wegmans really did cheer me up...yes I am a woman who enjoys the simple pleasures in life. Another thing that cheered me up was a nice Indian dinner last night. I went out with my friend to Kabab & Curry in East Amherst and it really was a tough choice. The Rangers had just scored to put the Sabres down 3-1, and my friend really wanted to go out for Indian. I made the decision to turn the TV off and go out, and I really felt guilty. Like I was cheating on my boyfriend or something...I never miss a hockey game if I can help it. I usually make watching hockey my main priority and I try not to make plans that interfer with a game, but really...I couldn't do with another disappointing night. So I went out with my friend and enjoyed a nice dinner. I receieved a text message from Sabres.com telling me the final scored and I just rolled my eyes and sort of expected that they'd be dealt another loss. What else is new, right?

Speaking of good food, are any of you going to participate in Restaurant Week this week? A bunch of local restaurants offer select menu items to the public for just $20.09, given that it's the year 2009 (thanks, Phil). It's a real good opportunity to go out and eat at all the unique restaurants that Buffalo has to offer, especially the ones that aren't in your price range normally. Personally I've got my eye on Shango. I drive past it a lot and I've never gotten around to eating there. Their course offering is pretty tempting. I've also been really wanting to eat at Sample because I've heard really good things about it, so now would be a good chance to go there. And of course, I'll have to stop in Taro's No Good, Rotten Cafe!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Not Amused

Dearest Buffalo Sabres,

Maybe you should go fuck yourselves.

Yours truly,
Tim Peel Caroline

PS - This was me at the game tonight:

Spring Has Sprung

Happy first day of spring, everyone! It's a little brisk out, but it's nice and sunny. Today was my last day of class before spring break. I only had one class today and it being the last day before break, it would have been real easy to just skip (I admit that I find myself skipping class on Friday a lot because I've only got one class), but I decided to be a good student and show up. Too bad I was the only one who thought to. I knew class wasn't cancelled, so I booked on out of there before my professor showed up because it would have been real ~awkward~ if it was just us two. So I took a drive down to the Globe Market and ate a nice lunch with my dad.

Anyways, I'm going to the game tonight. It's my second last game of the season so you know, I'm just going to try and enjoy it. So Sabres, why don't you do me a solid and try to make my job as a happy fan a little easier, okay? Thanks a bunch. Not a whole lot to say about the team, as they've been off for a few days making it easier for fans and sports writers alike to analyze the team's current state. So I'll skip all those shenanigans to prevent myself from sounding too redundant. I did read that Ryan practiced fully with the team today...is it Miller Time yet?

Since I don't have much to discuss Sabres-wise, how about we take a look at some amusing search queries, courtesy of Google Analytics. That's always good for a laugh or two. First one up is...

"buffalo special hockey"
Well, that's one way to describe the way the team has been playing lately...

"definition of sassy"
I'm glad you asked (whoever you are). The definition of that lovely word can be found here.

"nathan gerbe cute"

"nathan paetsch sexy"
I guess there's something attractive about being named Nathan.

"puck bunny costume"
Probably has something to do with the fact that I was a puck bunny this year for Halloween.

"sexy sabre fan"
I'm flattered.

"sexy photographer in buffalo"
I'm even more flattered!

"shenanigans restaurant buffalo"
I swear to god, I'm going to pistol whip the next guy who says "shenanigans". (Super Troopers quote if you didn't catch that)

"where do the buffalo sabres hang out after hockey games"
At that really cool restaurant called Shenanigans.

"where ryan miller lives in buffalo ny"
I heard he lives in the Red Light District.

"the buffalo sabre players shirtless"
Oh honey.

"buffalo sabres ryan miller shirtless pictures"
Whoever went on the quest to find those pictures, I salute you.

And finally, my two favorites:

"the worm and rayzor party"

"www.free shit show.com"
...I don't even know.

Well that's it for this edition of funny search queries...I'm sure I'll have plenty more funny keywords to show you in the future. In the meantime, keep searching for funny shit on Google and maybe one day it will lead you to my blog. Oh and Go Sabres.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Not Much to Say

I don't really know what to say about last night's game. Funny thing is I really didn't have much emotion from the outcome, just some disappointment and confusion. Every time our team took a penalty I just rolled my eyes and shook my head. While it was impressive that the Sabres managed to kill off the majority of the penalties...the fact remains that they took 6 straight penalties. Playoff teams don't do that. Teams fighting for a playoff spot don't do that. 13 shots on goal for the entire game? Atta boys. That'll get you into playoff contention for sure. While many fans are going back and forth deciding whether it's the player's fault, Lindy's fault, or upper management's (Darcy, Larry, and Golisano) fault...I don't really feel like playing that game. Truth is I don't know what the hell is wrong with them and while I have speculated about it and have come up with some theories, I'm not going to go into it because I'm just a fan. I'm not a hockey player. I'm not a coach. And I don't run a sports franchise. So, what it all boils down to, I am not the best person to analyze what's wrong with the team. I am just a confused fan who wants to enjoy watching the Sabres again.

What's funny is that the teams around us are losing too...and it becomes an interesting thing to think about. Is it good or bad? Some would say it's good because it means that we still have a chance. Others would say that it's not good because this team is just a lost cause and it would just be better off if the team would just fall too far out of contention so people's hopes won't be built up. I'm an optimistic person by nature, so I obviously am in the first group of people and I still say that there's a chance. But last night's game wasn't promising at all and it just leaves me shaking my head. It would just be nice to have fun again while watching the Sabres. It's why we watch sports in the first place, right? It's entertainment, a form of escapism. So while I try my best to enjoy myself while watching them, it's been hard lately. I just end up getting nervous, pissed off, or just plain old apathetic. Trying to remain positive, but it's hard. At least we're still getting good news about Miller. He tested his ankle out more again today and faced some shots against some of his teammates. Who knows where the Sabres are going to be in the standings once Ryan returns, but I just want to see him back. I miss him. He works hard and does a good job. He deserves to be back.

Another posistive thing I have to talk about (and it doesn't involve the Sabres...surprising, I know) is Martin Brodeur. I mean what's there really to say except that he's truly special. He's been around for so long and it's amazing to see the success that he's achieved over the years. He's really something else...and it's been great to watch him play hockey. The longevity of his career is amazing and he really shows no signs of slowing down. He's played over 70 games a season since 97-98 season, and you know he would have done the same this season had he not gone down with an injury. People can debate back and forth over who's the best goalie (Roy or Brodeur...and sometimes Hasek is thrown in there), but honestly does it really matter? All I know is that they're all great goalies and it's been awesome watching all of them play. All of Brodeur's achievements have been well deserved and it's great to see him surpass Roy's record and make some history of his own.

Cutting out the net...awesome.

T-minus 2 days until spring break.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Uplifting News

So admist of all the sadness, frustration, and negativety...we've got some good news. Ryan Miller is skating again! Ryan is missed for obvious reasons, but I've also missed his thoughtful interviews. It's been awhile since we've been treated to one. And he looked so happy out there on the ice...it's nice to see. But what the hell was on the stereo in the locker room while he was being interviewed? Speaking of Mr. Sass himself, in my previous post I mentioned how I saw him at Delish! helping out Carly's Club, here are some cute pictures from the event...looks like it was a fun time for the kids.

So the Sabres still haven't been able to put up a nice winning streak and 10th place sounds so low in the standings...so it really does come as a surprise to see how they're still right in the thick of things only being 3 points out of a playoff spot with a game two games in hand. Doesn't their position sound better when you spin it like that? Of course those games in hand only come in handy when you win them...and the Sabres have been having a hard time doing that. Especially against our next opponent, the dreaded Ottawa Senators. Tellqvist will be in net for us, so it will be interesting to see how he does. Maybe tomorrow my Irish roots will come in handy and I can pass some good old fashioned Irish luck to the Sabres and see how that helps them.

Speaking of St. Patrick's Day, did any of you guys go to the parade? I went and it was a lot of fun. A big turnout because it was such a perfect day for it. Lots of sunshine, green, and drunk people of course. I took some pictures of the parade but I am still debating if I like them or not. I've got some nice pictures that I took at Delaware Park when I was in the area on Saturday, so I'll share those with you once I get around to uploading them. This is my last week of classes until spring break. Very exciting! Today wasn't a bad day at all, school-wise. I think the nice weather is making my mood turn around and I am getting a more positive outlook on my classes. If only my hockey team could lift my spirits too. Well, seeing Ryan skating around on the ice with our other goalies and enjoying himself did, so I guess that's a start.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Playoffs?! You Kiddin' Me?

Obligatory Jim Mora quote. Don't you love this new-age technology and its offerings? Blogging is such a good way for us to vent whatever we feel the need to vent about. And anyone else who feels the same way can put in their two cents or simply just say, "Fuck yeah!". Blogging is a perfect outlet for angry sports fans alike. Now onto the venting...

Up 3-1 and they still found a way to lose against a shitty team. Those final 3 seconds of that period will haunt that team (and me) while they're teeing off at the golf course in April. Okay, so we didn't lose any ground tonight...but we didn't gain any. Tonight would have been a perfect night to snag 2 points considering many of the teams we are chasing lost tonight or only got a point. Unbelievable. And the fact that we were only three seconds away from walking away victorious...what a punch to the stomach. What was a real fun game to watch turned into a real heartbreak real fast.

...but I did see Ryan Miller wearing a chef's hat today. Try not to be too jealous.

More about the goalie/chef later. The team dominated the game after they scored those 3 unanswered goals. I thought Max had a great game. I was real proud of him. Too bad his great effort tonight is overshadowed by such a disappointing loss. That shorthanded goal was killer...as they usually are. Just terrible. I thought the officiating tonight was pretty slanted, but it really didn't affect the outcome of the game. Yeah, Atlanta scored a power play goal in the first period...but it wasn't the ref's fault that we got scored on shorthanded. It wasn't the ref's fault that we couldn't clear our zone with 3 seconds left in regulation to end the game. Brutal. The mental lapse that resulted in the shorthanded goal and the mental lapse at the very end of the game cost the team the game. I cringed when I saw Pominville fan on his clear attempt...but the worst part was seeing how Lalime was this close to covering up the puck while it was sitting idle in the crease before it was tapped in.

Pominville had many great chances tonight that he missed on...he certainly has a big, black cloud looming over him. I don't understand why the guy gets so much praise from people because he answers to the media after a tough loss...it's not like he's saying anything of substance. Just a bunch of empty clichés and "Definitely's". Not impressed. I don't mean to be harsh on Jason because I really like him as a player and he is very talented, and I really do believe that he'll come around. Whether it will be this season remains to be seen. Every player has an off year and it does not define them as what kind of player they can be. Now I really don't want to knock against Lalime, because I really think he's been doing a good job ever since Miller went down...but sheesh, his rebound control is pretty bad. It's been pretty poor the entire season and I have not seen any improvements. He had problems handling the puck tonight and it resulted in the first goal...but shit happens. I'm not blaming him at all for tonight's loss and I thought he was solid in the shootout, but I would like to see better rebound control from him.

Don't really know what to think about this team. What an enigma. To put any positive spin on them is that they're only two points out of a playoff spot with a game in hand...but the season is winding down. And they are not seizing the moment and grabbing real important points. Come on Sabres, I know you can do it. Throw a sister a bone here. Alright, I'm sure some of you are probably reading this and still thinking, "Did she say she saw Ryan Miller wearing a chef's hat today? Whaaa?"

Well, today my friend Scott and I took a lovely stroll down Elmwood because the weather was so nice and we took some pictures. Elmwood was pretty lively today which I'm sure can be attributed to it being Saturday and the weather being so nice. We stopped into Delish!, a bakery, and I see some stylish skinny dude wearing a chef's hat. I was like, "Is that who I think it is..." And of course, it was. Ryan was helping out Carly's Club and he was preparing a meal for the kids who are apart of Carly's Club and their families. How awesome. Let me tell you, he knows how to rock a chef's hat. And I'm sure he looks just as fierce in his board shorts and goggles as he does in his chef's hat. I know everyone's well aware of all the charity work Ryan does, but I still have to give him props for it whenever I can. It's just really cool to see. I'm sure he knows how special it is for the kids to be able to spend time with him and it's just really nice to see how much fun the kids have with him. And hello, when's the next time I'm going to be able to see Ryan Miller wearing a chef's hat?

So despite the utterly frustrating game tonight, my weekend has certainly been very interesting and fun. Last night my school was holding a special night due to it being Friday the 13th. So I drove on over to the Buff State campus and I was treated to a fabulous drag show, tarot card & palm readings, and I had some delicious love potion (come and get me, boys). Let me just say that the drag queens were fierce as hell. They were awesome and sassy. And then today on Elmwood I got to see Ryan Miller cooking up a storm and I met a puppy bulldog named George. I pretty much love my life. I'm not complaining...but it certainly would be better if my beloved hockey team could stop messing with my heart and win some games. At least the St. Patrick's Day parade is tomorrow. I'll drown all my hockey sorrows with green beer.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Still Contemplating

So I was going to wait until after Saturday's game to weigh in on the Sabres. After the disappointing and frustrating loss in Philadelphia, many fans decided that it was the last straw and they decided that the Sabres will not make the postseason. But after last night's win in Florida I think it put a lot of fans on the fence instead of them just giving up on the team entirely. The outcome of Saturday's came will be a big indicator. If they lose, well, we all know what to think. But if they win, then fans might start believing that they can make a nice run to secure a playoff position. It's annoying that a lot of the teams that we are chasing are ending up with one or two points after they play a game, but it is what it is. The Sabres have had several opportunities to overtake some teams in the standings and they did not seize it. That's all on them.

The special teams last night was really impressive. The team did a great job killing off a lengthy 5-on-3. We were up 2-1 late in the third, and it could have been deadly if the Panthers scored to tie it up at that point. Then the Sabres took total control of the game when Vanek netted a power play goal late in the third to put the team up 3-1. Lalime looked strong in goal and was an important reason why the Panthers did not tie it up when they had the two man advantage. Still waiting for Pommers to show up. Same with a lot of our top-6 guys...I am well aware that there are other aspects in the game where players can contribute other than scoring, but where this team is at this point and given our circumstances, it's really imperative that our top-6 guys really thrive and show up big on the score sheet.

So Lindy addressed Ryan Miller's injury to the media today and said that he's still progressing. Not a whole lot of new information and still no time-table, but his comments are interesting. While Ryan still hasn't taken to the ice yet, he said that once he's at the point where he can get back on the ice then he'll be ready to return. He also said that Ryan's return is closer than it was before. Which is an indicator that he won't be out for the rest of the season which a lot of people are speculating about. I think I can speak for most of the fanbase when I say that I really, really miss Ryan. Come back to us, precious jewel.

So this week of class was an interesting one for me. While I've previously mentioned that I have been having a hard time getting motivated about doing work, I am strangely up for the task this week. After writing a lengthy book review that I am pretty proud of, I am ready to take on a few assignments that I have coming up. I've been more alert and involved in my classes which is probably contributing to me being more inspired about doing my work. But still with all that, I am still really glad that it's Friday. I've got another nice weekend planned. I'm kind of glad that there isn't a game on tonight because I plan on going out later tonight. The weather is warming up this weekend and it's going to be sunny! I'll have to bring along my camera incase I see some photo op's. This Sunday is the St. Patrick's Day parade and that's always...fun. Gotta celebrate my Irish roots! But seriously, you don't even need to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. But it sure helps. I really want this t-shirt. Classy, I know. I try.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Manic Monday

Although this is a hockey blog, I've been known to go off-topic and talk about things completely unrelated to the Sabres or hockey. So I can't go without saying anything about this T.O. business. It's pretty amusing how much attention this has brought the Bills. Every time I turn on ESPN it's all about T.O. and the Bills. It seems as though people's feelings on this whole deal is pretty black & white. You either love the move, or you hate it. I would consider myself a "casual football fan" meaning that I follow the Bills, but I don't really follow the rest of the league other than just what I hear in the sports wrap up on the 11'oclock news. All I'll say is that it's only a one-year deal and what's the worst possible outcome? The Bills miss the playoffs? What else is new. He certainly is bringing a lot of attention and I don't think Bills are used to that as we haven't really had a superstar on the team for awhile. This whole situation just gives me a perfect chance to whip out one of my favorite .gifs, so obviously I'm not getting too bent out of shape over this.

...let the shit show begin!

So now onto the Sabres...not a very good weekend for us. We did win on Friday and that's about the only thing that went right for us. Every team that we're chasing won their games. And we gave away 2 precious points to the Ottawa Senators. What else is new...I don't care how poor Ottawa's record is, that team certainly knows how to get into our player's heads and beat them. Yeah, yeah, yeah...it was our third game in four nights and apparently several players on the team are battling the flu. Those certainly aren't ideal conditions to play in, but those 2 points were very important. I still believe that this team has it in them to make the playoffs, so I guess all we can do is keep hoping. Hope that they string together some real nice wins and hope that we can catch up to the teams ahead of us. It's a tough task for sure, but it isn't impossible. All it can take is a nice streak of wins from the Sabres and a few losses from the teams ahead of us.

Today I saw Ryan Miller's dad, Dean, and I had a real nice conversation with him. He's a real nice guy to talk to and I enjoyed our conversation. We talked about a lot of things... from what it was like for Ryan growing up being a hockey player, what it was like for him to be his father and watching him play, the current state of the Sabres and what they need to do, and we just had a real nice talk. The highlight of our conversation was definitely when he told me about an incident earlier in the season where Ryan almost kicked Bucky Gleason's ass. It was golden. I told Dean that I would have paid good money to have witnessed it. I also told him how much I appreciate Ryan's interviews because he's real insightful and how I love it when he gets sassy with the media. I would have loved to have stayed and chatted more with him, but I had to go to class. I made sure to tell Dean to send Ryan my best and pass along positive vibes for his ankle.

Speaking of school, I am so ready for spring break... Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty content at Buff State, but I am just so ready for the summer. I don't even have to complain about my work, because although it is a good amount of work, it's not nearly as bad as it was last semester and it is doable. I am having a hard time finding motivation to do my work, which is a problem. I think it has to do with the fact that this semester I decided to take all core classes just so I could get them out of the way... so they're all pretty generic. I try to make the best of the situation because I really like two of my professors. So while the material we are learning is pretty basic & generic, at least I can enjoy who is teaching it to me. But I've got one professor that I absolutely can't stand. I'd go into more detail about it, but I don't think I should bore you with the details. Besides, you need to meet this person to fully understand where I'm coming from. Now it's real hard for me to dislike someone for the most part, I'm always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. So I'll sit there and be like, "He's not that bad." but then he'll do something that just drives me nuts. It's a little hard to explain. So another reason why I'm looking forward to the semester being over is so I won't have to deal with my one professor anymore.

So the Sabres face the Flyers tomorrow and that team has proven to be a difficult opponent to face so far this season. I don't have to go into why this game is a "must-win" and how these 2 points are critical, you've all heard it before and are well aware. It just goes without saying at this point. So while the weekend wasn't very kind to the Sabres, maybe this upcoming week will be. We can only hope.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Eventful Day

Today certainly was a busy day for the Sabres. With the trade deadline today and then a game directly following, it was pretty eventful. I guess I should touch on the trades this team made before I talk about the game...

I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the moves Darcy made today, and I think a lot of people were surprised in how active he was. Firstly we signed Connolly to an extension. I've said before that a 2-year contract is ideal for Timmy's situation, so that was nice to see. The Sabres will be able to evaluate whether or not Timmy will be able to remain healthy for an entire season and then they can go from there. We've got ourselves another goalie, Mikael Tellqvist, which provides us with some insurance. A lot of fans are worried by this move because it might indicate that Miller is going to be out longer than anticipated. I don't think this is necessarily the case. Ruff has said that Ryan is progressing well, but setbacks can happen so Tellqvist provides this team insurance. It also helps out Portland because they heavily relied on Enroth until he got called up, so now he can be back between the pipes for them and it will also benefit him in the long run because he'll be playing instead of riding the bench. I am very glad that we got Dominic Moore. He's been having a pretty good season in Toronto and he's a good faceoff man. I've heard he's good on the special teams so that's another nice incentive. Fans say that he's a guy who plays with a lot of heart and effort so that's always a good thing. I'm excited to see what he can do for us. We had one departure, and that was Ales Kotalik. I have to say I've never been a big fan of Ales. He often played as though he was very uninspired and he took lazy penalties. He was money in the shootout though. It's a little sad to see him go just because he's been with the organization for so long, and I wish him success in Edmonton. A good thing is he'll be out West so we won't have to worry about facing him in the shootout too often.

Now onto the game...a very satisfying win for the team. Lalime finally got the offensive support that he needed and he was very strong for us making 38 saves. He really deserved that shutout, but oh well. In the first half of the first period he played very strong and he made key saves for the team until the Sabres found their scoring touch...very similiar to what Miller has done for this team night in and night out. It was real nice to see Vanek out there again. He's been so missed and I'm excited to have him back in the lineup. Gaustad also came up huge tonight, scoring both a power play goal and a shorthanded goal. Very nice.

I have to say that I really enjoyed seeing Max out there again. I admit that I have a soft spot for him, so it made me happy to see him back out there and he looked pretty good. I'm sure it felt real good for him to get back onto the ice after being scratched for several weeks straight and to go out there and have a nice game. Hopefully he can build on that and he can contribute to the team while he's here.

All in all it was a very entertaining game and it's nice to see this team finally get a much-needed victory amidst a tight playoff race. We're still right in the thick of things, and we've got a game or two in hand with the teams currently keeping us out of a playoff spot. Of course, games in hand only matter if you win them...so here's hoping.

I can't believe that I am almost halfway done with this semester already. It seems like I have nothing to show for it, but I've got a few assignments coming up so maybe this is the calm before the storm. Actually it isn't, as this is a very busy week for me school-wise. I am glad that I am halfway through the week. I've got three papers that I have to do and I am going to try and get a leg up on it and work on some of them in my downtime tomorrow between classes. I have a bad habit if procrastinating, but I also work good under pressure, so to speak. The night before I have a big assignment due, I usually crack down and get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. Of course leading up to the night before I am usually stressing over the assignment so it would be nice to actually do the work earlier so I don't have to worry.

I'm so glad that this weekend is going to be nice. My friends and I plan on spending time in the city and taking some pictures. I feel like I haven't taken as many pictures as I should and it makes me feel a little guilty, being a photo student and all. I found an unopened package of Polaroid film the other day and it got me real excited. I thought I had some film lying around, but when I coudn't find it I thought I was mistaken. I'll definitely have to use it conservatively and hopefully I find something neat to photograph with it. Over the summer I took some Polaroids at the Erie County Fair and the pictures turned out real neat with the carnival-esq look to it. My friends and I also plan on smoking some hookah too. Have you guys ever done it? A hookah is a device for smoking, and you can smoke shisha with it, which is flavored tobacco. It's very common in Middle Eastern countries and it's pretty relaxing. There's a hookah bar on Hertel that we like to go to, so hopefully we get to do that too. I've also been wanting to try out Falafel Bar's new location on Allen.

So the win tonight and our new acquisitions have me feeling pretty optimistic. Between the nice weekend that I have planned and the upcoming games, it's helping me get through this hectic week at school. I'll have to get some studying and work done between my plans and the games, but that's alright. Another really cool thing is that my dad is interviewing Wayne Gretzky on Friday. How cool is that? He isn't actually the interviewer, per se, but my dad is a freelance producer and he has done a lot of work with the Sabres in the past. I'd really love to be there, but it's probably a little unprofessional to tag along with my dad just to get a glimpse of The Great One.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


So, it still isn't much of an update, but it's something! Ryan Miller and his wonky eyebrow ankle are feeling better. Ruff said there's still no time-frame, but hey, at least it's something positive, right? Hopefully it gets better and heals quickly like Thomas Vanek's jaw seemed to. Thomas was being such a tease when he was all, "LOL @ me getting better in 4 weeks, it's more like 5-6 weeks lol so sry." on his blog. Ryan also updated his blog and he talks about what he's doing to get his ankle to heal and to stay in shape. He also discusses that he's going to have a new mask when he returns and that he's too afraid to get tattoos. Thanks for your blog Ryan, it truly is a gem.

So tomorrow is the TRADE DEADLINE...dun dun dun. Or as Anne would call it, the BEST DAY EVER. What's going to go down? Last year the hot story around Buffalo was Brian Campbell and we all know how that ended. But there really hasn't been all that much around here...except for Tim Connolly. Will he be traded? I doubt it. We really need him around if this team is serious about making the playoffs. So does that mean we're going to lose him to free agency? Who knows. As much as we want to know the inside scoop, we really don't know what happens behind closed doors and we don't know what direction both the Sabres and Tim Connolly want to head. I'd like to think that the Sabres and Timmy can get a deal done before he becomes an UFA come this July, but I really have no idea what's going to happen and I'm not going to sit here and speculate. Other players on the team that have been discussed about being moved are Henrik Tallinder and Maxim Afinogenov. Everyone's been disappointed with Hank ever since his arm injuries because he hasn't been the same defenseman since. Then there's Max. Max, Max, Max. I think the Sabres have been trying to move him for some time now, but they just haven't gotten any takers. Honestly at this point, I don't see how he'd hurt the lineup. Not with the way some players have been playing lately. Players like Hecht have been really disappointing night in and night out so how about we see how Max does for a game. Apparently he might be ready to go tomorrow night (if he isn't traded) so it'll be interesting if he does get to play.

So will Darcy make a move? I can't see how he wouldn't. He's not been known to do anything drastic, but I'm sure he'll acquire something to try and improve the squad. I know he gets a lot of shit, but I wish people would stop acting as if they could run a sports franchise with ease. There's just so much that goes on behind the scenes that we don't know about, so people shouldn't act as if they could do a better job than Darcy. People sit there and wonder why he hasn't acquired or signed a superstar defenseman yet, as if it's so easy to go out there and pick one up. If only it was as simple as calling up a GM from another team and say, "Gimme this guy, thanks." I'm not saying that Regier is the best GM in all of hockey and that he doesn't make mistakes, I just wish people would stop acting like they could do a better job when they really have no business talking about running a sports franchise because they haven't got a clue to what goes on.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now. So with the trade deadline tomorrow and hearing some reassuring news about Miller, I guess it's been an OK day in Sabreland. Not great, considering we're now in 9th place and we're on a 3-game losing streak, yadda yadda yadda. But now that Vanek is back maybe this team's morale (and offense) will be given a boost and they can turn the tides a bit. And hopefully that 3 1/2 hour meeting that went down yesterday did some good. We can only hope.

Oh and has Blogger been acting wonky for anyone else lately? It has been for me for the past week or so. Just wondering if it's just me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I think it's safe to say that this team is in trouble. Losing to the Islanders? Not even losing, but being shutout? Terrible. Look, I know on any given night any team can beat any other team, despite their records, but...this is the Islanders. We are better than them, aren't we? It's not like they dominated us, far from it...but good god. I said before this game that if they lose then I am going to be very concerned. As Tim Gunn would say, this worries me. Um...at least Florida and Carolina lost? Yay? For some reason that does not comfort me in the least. Not when your team just got shutout by the ISLANDERS. Shit, if coaches always get canned after their team loses to the Maple Leafs, then where does that leave us?

Oh and can we please buy this guy a win? What the hell is he going to have to do to get another W in his record? Score a hat-trick? Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. Look Sabres, if you don't give a shit about remaining in the top-8, the least you could do is win for your backup goalie whose been playing great.

Look at that face, tell me you don't want to see him skate off the ice victorious at least a few more times this season?

In other news, Maxim Afinogenov is claiming that he's been ready to go since the middle of February, but he's just been a healthy scratch since then. Surprised? It seems as though he's been on the trading block for quite some time now, there have just been no takers. Poor Max. I really wish him success, whether he's on the Sabres or not. I've always liked Max and it's a shame that it's never really worked out for him here.

And in MORE news...Ryan Miller's left ankle...oh wait. There hasn't been any news :(. I am really anxiously awaiting to hear ANY update. I don't even need a time-table, just something. You should see me when I get any wiff of an "update". Paul Hamilton yesterday said on the radio that he saw Ryan running around in the locker room wearing sweats which might imply that he's doing off-ice workouts. I was all,
"RUNNING?! Where you using that figuratively or was he for real running? DON'T LEAVE ME HANGING PAUL, TELL ME." Of course, running around in sweats is a lot different than playing goal in the NHL, so even if we was running that doesn't imply that he's ready to return soon...but still. I need to know these things. I propose that they launch a website called www.ryanmillersleftankle.com and they update us hourly daily on what's going on. I mean, we all know that Thomas Vanek's jaw was wired shut and he had a diet consisting of only SOUP, yet we can't find any more news on Ryan's sprained ankle? Blasphemy.

On a lighter note...I just bought tickets to see No Doubt this summer at Darien Lake. You guys have no idea how excited I am. They've been my favorite band since I was a kid and I've never seen them live. I've seen Gwen Stefani live twice but of course that's not the same. I wasn't expecting No Doubt to come to Buffalo/Darien Lake, but I was pretty sure they'd come to Toronto (which they are) so I was banking on that. But I was very thrilled to see that they are coming here! And tickets here are cheaper than the Toronto show so that's a nice incentive. I used to go to shows all the time but for some reason I haven't been to many at all this past year. The last one I went to was Lollapalooza (an awesome music festival) this past August in Chicago. Which was awesome and I plan on attending this summer as well.

Brand New is headlining UB's Spring Fest this year and I am very excited for that. I've seen Brand New twice and they're pretty good live. Albeit, they kind of come off as jerks, but I like them for their music and not for their personalities so I guess it doesn't matter. I've seen them at the Town Ballroom a few years ago and they played a very long set so that was nice. I then saw them at Lollapalooza last summer and they were being a little pissy because they knew that half of the audience were Rage Against The Machine fans just getting to the stage early to ensure they got a good spot once RATM took the stage. But I do have to say that I think RATM was the best show I've ever seen. They were great. Partly because I've loved them for so long and I never thought I'd get to see them live, so I really cherished the fact that I was watching them perform live. Live music is the best. I wanted to see Kings Of Leon in Toronto this April, but I think the tickets have sold out. My cousin told me that they always sell out fast. They seem like they'd be a great band to see live though. Maybe they'll be at Lollapalooza this summer, who knows.