Monday, September 27, 2010

Look at this Goalie

Talented, flawless, amazing, wonderful, the next Richard Avedon, etc.

A few weeks ago, 20 NHL stars were in NYC promoting the start of the NHL season. One of the activities that took place during the media tour was Ryan Miller photographing a few of the NHL stars for Vanity Fair. It was a clever promotion because as a goalie, Ryan is used to players taking shots at him, and now it was his turn to do his own shooting....BEHIND THE LENS! I'm sure most of us know that photography is one of his biggest hobbies so I was excited to see how the pictures turned out. You can see the pictures and read the story that goes along with them here.

Let's take a look at the amazing, wonderful, stunning photographs that Ryan took:

Here he captured Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in an almost sullen, melancholy tone. Perhaps as Ryan was photographing him, Lundqvist started reminiscing over the fact that he is 0-3 when it comes to Vezina nominations, while Ryan is a perfect 1-0. Henrik can always take solace in the fact that he is a pretty snappy dresser.

Again, Ryan seems to capture Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins in deep thought, with a touch of saddness in his face. When Bergeron saw Ryan he was probably reminded of the playoffs last year where he and the Bruins eliminated Ryan and the Sabres in Round 1. But as soon as Ryan was about to snap the picture, Bergeron was immediately reminded that his Bruins were then eliminated by the Flyers in Round 2 after being up 3 games to none in the series, which in turn resulted in Bergeron looking so somber in this photograph.

Here Ryan captured Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning looking very poised and confident, and.... Um... Let me just remind everyone that Ryan had NO part in the styling of this photoshoot.

As you can see, Ryan does a superb job at bringing out the raw emotions of his subjects and really knows how to convey the true essence of the photograph to his viewers. He is such an artist, both on and off the ice.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Recap on the Sabres/Leafs Opener

Hockey is back! It feels so good to say that. I love the feeling you get when the lights finally dim down after you've been sitting in the arena with a few thousand hockey fans waiting for the game to start. I love hearing the announcer announce the starting lineup (especially how he says RYAN MILLERRRRR). I love hearing the Canadian and American anthems (especially when they're sung by Doug Allen). I love hearing the announcer shout, "NOW LET'S PLAY SOME HOCKEY!" It's enough to get any hockey fan excited and preseason hockey is a nice reminder for fans that hockey is finally back. Here's a little recap of my game experience:

- I went to the game with my good friend from Cleveland who I hadn't seen in several months. She is also a huge Ryan Miller fan and I hadn't seen her since the beginning of the last season, so while we were sitting in our seats waiting for the game to start we talked about Ryan's Olympic performance and him winning the Vezina which was nice.

- I was hesitant to wear my Miller Team USA jersey because I knew I would be in the company of a bunch of Leafs fans who are both: a) Canadian and b) don't like Ryan Miller (the feeling is mutual, bitches!)... But I decided that I'm not going to let stupid Leafs fans get in the way of what I want to wear in MY arena and I'm proud of owning a Miller USA jersey, so I wore it with pride.

- With that said, no one gave me a hard time over the jersey and the Leafs fans that I experienced were mild mannered. I'm guessing that has to do with the fact that it was a preseason game, but when I was in Toronto last year for a preseason game, things were pretty hostile.

- I didn't really go to the red carpet festivities (I sort of sashayed by it on my way inside when I got there around 6), but between that and looking at pictures of it online, I gathered two thoughts regarding it:
  1. Kevin Sundher is really hot.
  2. It doesn't get much cuter than this:

Taken by Mark Mulville for The Buffalo News. Enlarge for maximum cuteness.

- Now onto the game itself... I was really pleased when I found out that Miller was going to be playing. There's not much left to say when it comes to giving him accolades about his goaltending, but it was nice to see him between the pipes again. I thought that Enroth looked real good so I'm looking forward to seeing him get some playing time up here this season.

- I really liked Kassian. I know he's been impressive in training camp so I was eager to see him out there, and I think most fans were excited and pleased with what they saw out of him. I'm assuming he'll be seeing a lot of playing time during preseason, so we'll have to keep an eye on him.

- I liked what I saw out of the Morrisonn-Myers pairing. I liked the physical play out of Morrisonn.

- The power play is still worrisome... I know it was only the first game of preseason, but things were just looking a tad too familiar for my liking when it came to the power play.

- But the PK was spot on, like it was last season. But we were playing a Leafs team full of prospects and rookies, so...

- I still can't get a good read on Gerbe. Is he going to crack the NHL anytime soon?

- Ennis is very exciting.

- Saw a few of the guys out after the game. Derek Roy is still a diva. Some things never change.

I had a great time and it was great to catch up with my friend. She's a huge Sabres fan too, so she's always excited when she can make it out to Buffalo for a game. I also like taking her out to show her the Buffalo night life which usually never disappoints. The highlight of my night was watching a really sloppy drunk girl completely eat it in the bathroom. It was pretty hilarious but her drunkenly lying on the dirty, wet bathroom floor was slowing down the line and we had all been waiting in it for a long time considering there were only TWO STALLS.

Oh by the way, how lame is it that the NHL Network is blacking out our preseason games? I was lucky that I was at the game last night, but apparently they blacked out the game that was aired at 11pm on a tape delay. Really, NHL? It's cool that the NHL Network is airing 5 out of our 6 preseason games, but they are really going to black out the local market? Come on... It's the end of September, we are fiending for hockey, specifically Buffalo Sabres hockey. FIENDING. If I'm going to have to search online for a crappy feed of the game on Monday to stream on my computer, all while knowing that the rest of the nation gets to watch the game in HD on their nice TVs, I'm going to be one pissed off broad.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Wanna Rock

As I mentioned in my previous post, the press conference for Catwalk for Charity was coming up, and today Ryan Miller announced this year's event and reminded us why it's such a fun event for a great cause.

The theme for this year's event is "A Reason To Rock" and it will be dedicated to the spirit of the 70s and the 80s. I'm definitely looking forward for rocking my Run DMC t-shirt with acid wash skinny jeans and fingerless lace's going to be pretty bitchin'.

If you've never attended, I highly suggest that you do... It's just one big party and there are really cool auction items up for grabs and a bunch of hockey players wandering around and strutting their stuff on the catwalk.

I'm sure most of you are aware that it's the annual fundraiser for Ryan's Steadfast Foundation and it's also to help raise awarness of cancer and to get people to go out and get involved in their community. After attending Catwalk for Charity year in and year out, I started volunteering at Roswell Park once a week and I also help out at events for Carly's Club. It's been a rewarding experience and I'm so glad that I'm doing it. I'm a proud Buffalonian so I'm glad that I can give back to my community in some way. Volunteering at Roswell has also lead me into new interests that I didn't have before, which has been awesome.

So if you can, I really hope you make it out to this year's's a perfect night for any Sabres fan and you can feel good that you're supporting Ryan's foundation and a great cause all at the same time!

Another exciting thing about hockey season starting again besides the actual hockey of course, is... Ryan Miller interviews! I forget how much I miss his insight during the offseason, so I was glad to read this interview he did with One of my favorite parts of the interview is what he said about Darcy's activity during the offseason:

Yeah … you don't just tear everything apart because we didn't get what we wanted in the playoffs. We put a lot of hard work in and it was a culmination of a lot of years of work. We had some good runs a few years ago. We had some down years that really led to a good year last year. We have to get to that point, and sometimes things don't go your way. I think that I'd rather learn the lessons and come back with the same group than be a part of team that doesn't show any patience. Sometimes you have to go through tough things in order to improve and be better. We had our fair share of success last year, but the end was definitely frustrating. You grow from that and learn from that.
I think fans have a tendency to be too impatient and too reactionary when it comes to sports. I know Darcy isn't always the most popular guy in Buffalo, but I think it's common for a sports organization's management to be pretty unpopular in their respective cities... But I think fans need to realize that making the "right" moves isn't as always black and white and simple as the video games, fantasy leagues, and sports columnists make them out to be. I also think that "blowing it up" isn't usually the answer either. I know what it's like to be frustrated and fed up, and I know a lot of fans believe that their favorite sports team "owes" them a championship, but building a championship winning team takes time, and if you go out and get rid of everything that you've worked for over the past several years, I just don't see how that's going to be your answer to a quick Cup. But what do I know...

Well I think that's enough insight out of me for today. It feels good blogging again... I know my posts have been few and far between, but I'm really going to try and post more frequently again. I know for sure that I'll post about going to the game on Saturday, and hopefully I'll take some nice pictures as well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Puck Drop, New Joiseys, and Catwalk

This past Saturday I attended Puck Drop along with 3,500 other Sabres fans. It's a nice way to bring in the new season and to tell fans that hockey is right around the corner. I got there a little late, right around the time when Rick Jeanneret was announcing the team on the ice and the players were coming out wearing the new jerseys.

I think the new jerseys are sharp! I'm sure most of us saw the leaked cell phone pictures of them, but when you see them up close and in person, obviously you appreciate them much more. I love the colors of the third jersey, and the homage to the Buffalo Bisons with the "Buffalo" script on the front. The one thing I'm not crazy about is the gold name plate. But I love the pants with the gold vertical stripe that the players wear with the thirds.

Not crazy about the gold name plate...but everything else is nice. A lot of people aren't crazy about the stitching on the numbers, but I think it looks neat.

My favorite of the two new jerseys is the white away one... I am definitely going to have to purchase one this season (A Miller one of course, who else?). The last time we saw the Sabres wear the white jerseys with the vintage logo was at the Ice Bowl a few years ago. I remember seeing the Winter Classic jerseys when they were first released and it reminded me how wonderful the old white jerseys were and I'm just glad that the Sabres are finally wearing them again. I know most people weren't crazy about the "slug", and I wasn't either...but after the first season I just got used to it. But I never got used to the road jerseys... Honestly I hated them. I thought the yellow logo against the white was pretty ugly.

Muuuch better than the "slug" roads... I'm gonna have to invest in one of these babies.

After RJ announced the players and they skated a few laps around the ice to show of their new duds, the team was split up into two teams: Blue (Team Norty) and White (Team Seymour). Naturally I had to cheer for the White team because my main man was in net...but I left after the second period. Miller was already on the bench by that point but I think they were up 2-1. I think they eventually won in a shootout, according to Sabres Edge.

All in all it was a fun way to spend a Saturday and it's a fun, cheap (unless you forked over some cash to buy a jersey) way to celebrate the start of a new season. I think what I enjoyed the most out of the day was hearing Rick Jeanneret's voice announce the players, and the reception that each player received as they skated onto the ice (can you guess who got the loudest reception?). I also enjoyed the sounds of the game... Just sitting there listening to the sounds of the blades of the skates on the ice, the sounds of the puck hitting the stick after a pass, the sounds of the sticks banging on the ice, the sounds of the players hitting the boards, the sounds of the players shouting at each other on the ice... Just the sounds of hockey. That's when it really hit me that hockey is back.

Moving on from Puck Drop, yesterday I volunteered at a fundraiser that was held at Caz Park and at a bar called Charlie O'Brien's in South Buffalo where all of the proceeds went to The Steadfast Foundation. I thought it was pretty successful given it was the first year that it was held... I had a good time selling Steadfast merchandise despite the fact that I was watching the Bills get their asses handed to them at the same time. Just another Sunday in Buffalo...

Here's a picture of me from the fundraiser:

You can see all the other pictures from the event here. All photos were taken by my friend Kathryn Ross who works for

I was told that the press conference for Catwalk for Charity this year is going to be held very soon. Like, next day soon probably. Soooo that's something to look forward to! If you're going, I hope you're actively thinking about what totally radical get up you'll be wearing to the event.

So with the season so close and Catwalk coming up, it's a very exciting time of the year for Sabres fans. I'm going to the preseason game against the Leafs this Saturday and I'm really excited! My friend is coming in from Cleveland for it and I'm real excited to see her as well. Should be a good time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Next Richard Avedon*

Hockey is still a few weeks away, but to get us psyched up, the NHL is holding a media tour in NYC over the next few days. The event is super ~exclusive~, as only 20 of the NHL's best (and most marketable) were invited. So to find out that Ryan Miller was in attendance was clearly no shock to anyone.

But how awesome was it to find out that he was going to photographing his fellow NHLers for a Vanity Fair photoshoot? Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the photoshoot... I don't know if the pictures are going to be in an issue of Vanity Fair or on their website, but all I know is that I can't wait to see the photos once they surface. Who would have thought that the NHL could persuade me into buying a Vanity Fair magazine? Well done, NHL marketers, well done.

So with the media tour wrapping up, that leaves us with only a few days until Puck Drop. Even though it's been several months since we've watched the Sabres take the ice, I still can't believe that hockey season is pratically here. I'm super stoked about Saturday's festivities, and I'll try to take some good shots of the guys on the ice and post a recap of the events!

* If you don't know who Richard Avedon is, I highly suggest you check out his photographs on his website.