Archive for November, 2007

HurriLAMES

Tomorrow I am getting on a plane for a brief trip to the motherland (Minneapolis) so I will not be able to watch the Hurricane game……which is fine, because I’m not a fan of the Hurricanes. I dislike the scariness of the Senators, but I am a humorless, cranky bee-otch about the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes are assholes.

Although I didn’t watch a single regular season game last year, I did watch a lot of the 2006 playoffs. The very first hockey game I ever watched was against the Flyers (I think it was the Flyers). My friend Stefan drew a crude picture of the rink, explained the bluelines and icing, and I happily watched the entire game. It’s puzzling to me why that initial burst of hockey-loving didn’t stick. I was very caught up in the emotion of the city in the spring of 2006, but I wasn’t at all attached to the team or the players. I may have been just a passenger on the bandwagon back then, but I was there……at least a little. While it would be a full year before I started paying attention to the Sabres for good, I came by my dislike of the Hurricanes honestly.

Thankfully, things are different now. I could never hate a team as much as I love the Sabres.

Pommerdoodle Appreciation Day!

First, press play on this video and let it set the mood as you read this post.

It’s Pommerdoodle Appreciation Day!

This song was on Jason Pominville’s Player Playlist last night. Someone asked him what songs he wanted played at the arena on game day, and he chose this.

I know. It’s out of control.

It’s amazing the teenage girls in attendance at the game last night survived this brush with such deadly cuddliness. Thank God this song is in French. If the girls had been able to understand the lyrics, there would have certainly been a epidemic of swooning from the balconies at HSBC.

Jason Pominville is adorabe, and I defy you to find a more pleasantly appealing guy in the NHL. I’m convinced that he sleeps on a bed of clouds, and that he writes his girlfriends beautiful love letters in crayon, and that when he’s sad the petals wilt off the stems of nearby flowers. He speaks in giggles. He always falls for practical jokes, but he never gets mad. He’s scared of thunder and vacuum cleaners.

The likeness is uncanny.

Today is Pommerdoodle Appreciation Day because in addition to being a great hockey player, he’s also totally bucking the brutish hockey player trend. Good boy, Pommerdoodle!

Life is Cruel

Dear Inner Child Katebits,

How are you doing little buddy? I bet you’ve been enjoying all this hockey we’ve been watching! I know I’ve been making you practice the viola a lot lately, and I’m sorry about that, but I’ve also been letting you eat a lot of candy, so hopefully that has evened things out a bit.

Listen, stop jumping around for a minute. Sit down. We need to talk.

You know that concert at the BPO we’ve been looking forward too? The one with the Sabres and Ronan Tynan? Yeah, the concert which Ryan Miller and Drew Stafford will attend and perform on stage with the Buffalo Philharmonic? I’ve got some bad news for you, little one. You’re not going to like this one bit.

We don’t get to play that concert.

Shhhh. Shhh. There, there. Go ahead, have a good cry.

It seems that Ronan Tynan only needs three violas for his show, and sadly, there are seven violists in the BPO. Today, they drew names out of a hat, and in a cruel twist of fate, “Katebits” was not one of the names that they chose to play the concert. It’s horribly unfair. Of all of the people in the Buffalo Philharmonic, surely we are the ones with the greatest interest in playing this concert. A lot of those other people at work don’t even CARE about the Sabres.

I can’t believe this is happening. Drew Stafford and Ryan Miller are going to be wandering around backstage at work (most likely wearing tuxedos), and we won’t be there. It’s horrible.

And since you’re already upset, Inner Child Katebits, there is something else I need to tell you. I might as well just give you all the bad news at once…..I really don’t know how to tell you this, but…..you know that outdoor game we talked about awhile ago? The one on New Years Day?

We don’t have tickets.

I tried to get them! They just sold out so fast.

I know. Christmas is ruined. So is New Years. Our hopes and dreams are dashed. We’ll probably never have fun again.

Sigh.

Love,

Adult Katebits

Please don’t look at me like that, Inner Child Katebits. You’re breaking my heart.

10 Things I Really Do Not Like About Hockey

1. I really do not like that going into overtime increases the total value of a game to three points.  This is my single biggest complaint about hockey.

2. I really do not like when the puck goes out of play.

3. I really do not like when players don’t bother wearing fake teeth.

4. I really don’t like it when the other team gets an empty net goal.

5. I really don’t like it when a broken stick is sitting on the ice forever, mucking up the works.

6. I really don’t like fights for no reason.

7. I really don’t like when both teams are all standing within two feet of the net, taking random whacks at the vicinity of the puck.

8. I really don’t like the artwork on most goalie helmets.

9. I really don’t like when the players chew on their mouth guards.

10. I really don’t like it when the Sabres lose.

10 Things I Really Like About Hockey

1. I really like it when a forward is cruising to the net in a near break-out situation, and just when you think all hope of stopping him is lost, the defenseman hot on his heals reaches out with his stick and…pokes…the puck away.

2. I really like it when all five guys come flying out from behind the net in a line formation on a power play.

3. I really like empty net goals if the Sabres score them.

4. I really like it when the refs fall down.

5. I really like it when someone performs a crazy stick maneuver to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

6. I really like it when they show shots of all of the Sabres tapping fists with Sabretooth after a win.

7. I really like it when the game is NOT on Versus, and Rick Jeanneret is broadcasting.

8. I really like it when the puck goes cleanly to one of the guys off the face-off.

9. I really like it when two guys get tangled up and skid down the ice in a big, careening fiasco.

10. I really like it when the Sabres win.

Let Them Eat Cake, Crunchy!

“I’ll just worry about my plate, what I’m eating, and not what everyone else is having. It’s definitely helping me out.”

- Ryan Miller, discussing his decision to stop trying to lead the Sabres in the locker room.

***********

Good Lord! No wonder they were losing so many games earlier in the season! With Crunchy attempting to control what everyone else was eating, the entire team was starving.

Listen, Crunchy. You may be able to survive happily on yogurt-covered raisins, steamed broccoli, and non-fat/sugar-free granola bars, but the rest of the team needs to eat food. No wonder Thomas Vanek was so listless out there! He barely had the strength to hold his stick, much less score goals. No wonder Pommer’s coat was getting so brittle; he was clearly not getting enough protein.

I’m so glad Crunchy came to his senses before the Sabres completely wasted away. That rosy glow we’ve been seeing on their cheeks is more than just the happy flush of victory, it’s also a sign that the players are being properly nourished again. Now that Toni Lydman can eat all the raw steak he wants, I expect his play to improve dramatically.

From now on, Crunchy is just going to worry about his own skinny jeans.

Ryan Miller, You Make Me Want To Be A Better Violist.

Ryan Miller is a fascinating guy.

Brad Ritter has an very interesting post up today. Last night after the game, he headed down to the Sabres locker room and listened in on the very tail end of the interviews.

Since I hadn’t planned on heading downstairs after the game, I went in without a recording device and didn’t bother to write down what I was hearing. Therefore, nothing here will be directly quoted, but I just want to shed a little light on what’s going through Miller’s head as the team works its way back into the playoff race.

According to Miller, early in the year, he was wasting too much time and mental energy on trying to be a leader. He said something along the lines of “I can’t be the captain of this team. I can’t constantly think about the right things to say to you guys or the guys in the room. I need to focus on what’s on my plate and let the other guys do their jobs.”

Apparently, ever since he decided to abandon his “I’m gonna lead” philosophy, things have gone a lot more smoothly for him.

I know I poke a lot of fun at Crunchy, but in truth, I have a lot of respect for how he handles himself on the ice and with reporters. His honesty and willingness to share his mental process with the fans is commendable, and in my case, it’s actually useful.

At the risk of sounding like a total jerk, I believe there are a lot of comparisons to be made between performing music and sports. I would never claim that what I do is anywhere as stressful or emotionally taxing as being a goalie, but the truth is, I’ve spent much of my life in a very competitive environment. I grew up in direct competition with by very best friends, and I continue to audition, perform and compete in my role as a musician. I am currently working on a project where weeks and weeks of hard work will boil down to a five minute, high-pressure situation.

The mental steeliness required to do a job like Miller’s is incredible to witness. I know that for me, this mental steeliness (or lack thereof) has proven to be a far bigger foil than any technical musical passage. For this reason, I am so grateful for these little glimpses into the mindset of Ryan Miller. I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of NHL goalies for whom the required temperament of the job comes naturally (Martin Brodeur comes to mind), but Miller seems to be actively honing this temperament, and I love that about him. Watching him struggle with the realities of the new season has actually been very educational for me. His ability to adapt and his willingness to articulate where he went wrong is something I find personally inspiring.

My sudden and intense interest in hockey has led to some incredible shifts in attitude, but the one I find most interesting is how is has effected my approach to music. I actually think that watching hockey is making me a better violist. I know it’s making me a happier one.

Thanks for being so interesting, Crunchy!

(I know that this post isn’t exactly the normal TWC fare. I guess I’ve just been doing a lot of navel-gazing these days. I’ll try to tone it down and get back to making fun of everyone and everything soon. However, if you’re into this kind of stuff, last spring I wrote a post about Chris Drury that is similar in approach.)

I Love Hockey!

Wow! What a difference a few wins make!

Things I Love:

- Thomas Vanek. My feelings about Old Grimace-Face started veering towards sympathy a few weeks ago, and now that he has started to pull himself together, my heart is actually warming to him. I know! This shift in attitude is just as shocking to me as it is to you. Thomas Vanek, you can stay……for now.

- Kevin Sylvester. Kevin Sylvester is so cute. Don’t try to deny that you love his dimples and his widow’s peak. Just admit it. You love him too.

- The Montreal Canadiens. Of all of the teams we have played repeatedly, I have enjoyed the Montreal games the most. A lot of people have been complaining about the non-stop divisional play this month, but I have to admit, I’ve kind of liked it. The repetition has been a good way to get familiar with the other teams in our division. So far this month I have learned that the Bruins are boring, the Senators are scary (I actually knew this one already), and the Canadiens are fun. It only took one home game in person for me to adopt the general policy of all Buffalonians regarding the Leafs: Hells, no. No. Just NO.

- Winning close games. When Montreal tied it up in the third my heart sunk. But then we won! Tonight was the kind of frustrating mess we were losing a few weeks ago.

- This picture that I found on Facebook. I have a feeling that everyone on the interwebs has already seen this picture, but like most things involving hockey, it’s new to me.

Heh.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, SabresNation!

The Senators were not so scary…..

…….and for that (amongst other things), we give thanks.

Return of the Sabri

The Senators are back, and they’re grumpier than ever.

Well, on the eve of American Thanksgiving, we have to play the stinky old Ottawa Senators again. I am less scared of the Senators now than I was last week. I think this is partially due to the fact that we finally broke the streak of incredibly low scoring games, and partially because the Senators have been shut out by the Leafs since we last saw them. Heh. (Don’t worry Senators, it happens to a lot of guys. Really.)

Last time I put up a picture of the Senators, Heather and Sam both pointed out that even the lowly Ewoks have defeated these guys. That is an excellent point, especially since we have some Ewoks on our team! I’m pretty sure that Pommers, Roy and MacArthur (henceforth known as “Sparky” [TM The Goose's Roost]), are all part Ewok. This bodes well for the game tonight.

Ewoks are not just cute, they are also deadly.

I will be distracting myself from the game by baking Thanksgiving pies tonight (two apple, two punkin). The Senators can ruin our fun, but they can’t ruin Thanksgiving. Hells no.

Go Sabres!


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Observations 2
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In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)

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