Thomas Vanek Appreciation Day!

It’s Thomas Vanek Appreciation Day!

Aww. Our little slag-faced whore is growing up so fast! I have to admit, I wasn’t sure this day would ever come, but today we celebrate and give thanks for one Mr. Thomas Vanek.

All season long the Sabres’ interviews have been all about “leadership blah blah blah inconsistent blah blaaah blech blah HONK blah streakystreakstreak blahblah leadership leadership leadership.” Then one day, Vanek was all, “Fuck this. We’re getting into the playoffs, SO SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE BUCKY GLEASON, ” and then, just like the bearded fella in the Men’s Warehouse commercials, he turned to the camera pointed his finger and said, “Buffalo fans, come playoff time, you’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” (Okay, that’s not exactly what he said, but that’s what he meant. I’m sure of it.)

Listen, for most of the season, Vanek has been grimacing his way right into the TWC doghouse, but I’m nothing if not forgiving, especially when a dude scores three goals in four minutes to erase a deficit and win the game.  The Willful Caboose is all about giving credit where credit is due.  (In fact, I might owe Tim Connolly a tiny apology.  It’s too soon to tell.)  Thomas Vanek was nothing short of dazzling last night.  He was bewitching.  He stepped up to the plate, and then he picked the plate up and threw it into the Lightning goal.  It would be insane to expect this kind of play with any regularity, but last night Thomas Vanek made me perk up and reset the bar for the rest of the season.

Depending on what happens with Soupy this week, certain people are going to try to tell us that the future of the Buffalo Sabres looks grim. I think Thomas Vanek would beg to differ. Today is Thomas Vanek Appreciation Day in honor of the guy we have locked up for the next seven (hopefully awesome) seasons.

15 Responses to “Thomas Vanek Appreciation Day!”


  1. 1 Heather B. February 21, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Then one day, Vanek was all, “Fuck this. We’re getting into the playoffs, SO SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE BUCKY GLEASON, ”

    Word, Thomas. Word.

    (In fact, I might owe Tim Connolly a tiny apology. It’s too soon to tell.)

    Timmy was great last night. All over the place, making things happen. Man, I wish he weren’t so injury-riddled.

  2. 2 Amy February 21, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    All season long the Sabres’ interviews have been all about “leadership blah blah blah inconsistent blah blaaah blech blah HONK blah streakystreakstreak blahblah leadership leadership leadership.”

    The HONK kills me every time.

    I meant to ask earlier, but how did your blogging panel go?

  3. 3 Blitzen February 21, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Speaking of Soupy, take a look at what James Mirtle has come up with at: http://mirtle.blogspot.com/

    Scroll down to “Defining Bad Defense”. And then to the bottom of that entry. I’m no statistician but whenever you are at the bottom of a list of bad things, it can’t be good. Maybe he’s not worth as much as he thinks he is. Things that make you say hmmmmmm. (and that’s not to be confused with mmm mmm good).

  4. 4 Katebits February 21, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    The blogging panel was pretty fun Amy, thanks! I will probably do a post about it soon.

    Blitzen, I have been very happily enjoying Mirtle’s exploration of bad defense! :D

  5. 5 Pookie February 22, 2008 at 12:09 am

    “Buffalo fans, come playoff time, you’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

    12 years of seeing that commercial all the time just completely paid off!

    HONK!

  6. 6 Schnookie February 22, 2008 at 12:10 am

    “Buffalo fans, come playoff time, you’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

    If you were not already my favoritest blog (uh, all my other blogger friends who are reading this comment, I’m excluding you, of course…), the fact that you worked this into a post would have cemented it. Katebits, you are a genius.

  7. 7 Schnookie February 22, 2008 at 12:11 am

    I’m no statistician but whenever you are at the bottom of a list of bad things, it can’t be good.

    Soupy would probably argue, “At least I’m not at the top of the bad defense list. Surely that’s worth at least $6.5 million a year for the next 15 years. SURELY.”

  8. 8 Katebits February 22, 2008 at 11:59 am

    “Buffalo fans, come playoff time, you’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

    This whole thing with Vanek “guaranteeing” a playoff spot has sort of revealed my inexperience with sports, I think. I saw the interview in which Vanek said “We’ll be in the top eight at the end of the season, and that’s all that matters,” and while it was totally AWESOME to hear him say that, my mind sure didn’t flip to “Vanek just guaranteed the Sabres will make the playoffs,” but the next day EVERYONE was writing about Vanek’s “guarantee”, so clearly this is an established sports ritual. I just didn’t know about it. As I was reading people’s reactions to Vanek’s statement, I kept thinking, “Well, sure. He was kind of cocky, but I wouldn’t really call what he said a guarantee. The Men’s Warehouse guy? Now THAT’S a guarantee!” To me, it’s not a guarantee until someone says, “I guarantee it.”

    I guess hockey is different than selling discounted suits. :D

  9. 9 Schnookie February 22, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I find the hysteria over “guarantees” in sports to be the most ridiculous thing, in a really wonderful way. I mean, I love the mythmaking quality of it, like the Namath guarantee, or the Messier one (before my time as a Devils fan, so it doesn’t burn at my soul), but EVERYONE makes guarantees ALL THE TIME that don’t work out, but no one ever gets called out for it. It cracks me up that everyone could run around after a player issues a “guarantee”, being all “He’s gonna be the SAVIOR!!!” and then if it doesn’t happen, everyone just moves on. DEEEE-lightful!

  10. 10 Katebits February 22, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Wait? Are you saying Vanek isn’t going to be a savior, Schnookie? Because, I’m not sure you understood. He said he’s going to get the Sabres into the playoffs. I’m not sure you understand what “guarantee” means. Your a tool. Dont evr post something like this agin. :D

  11. 11 Schnookie February 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Your a tool. Dont evr post something like this agin.

    :^::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    I’m not sure you understand, Katebits. When Vanek “guarantees” something it just means he thinks it might happen and isn’t smart enough to keep his yap shut around the media. That’s because he’s a small-S savior. When certain OTHER Saviors, of the capital-S variety, “guarantee” something, it’s money in the bank. There’s a big difference, though, between the two.

  12. 12 Heather B. February 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    It cracks me up that everyone could run around after a player issues a “guarantee”, being all “He’s gonna be the SAVIOR!!!” and then if it doesn’t happen, everyone just moves on. DEEEE-lightful!

    Well, that’s probably why Vanek only guaranteed a playoff spot. He didn’t promise a Stanley Cup. Heck, he didn’t promise a playoff win. Just a playoff spot. He’s hedging his bet and working up slowly to savior status :D

  13. 13 Katebits February 22, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Vanek is a semi-savior.

  14. 14 Schnookie February 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Yes, I think “semi-savior” is certainly appropriate, but I’m sure someone somewhere has published a set of official criteria. We should check with them.

  15. 15 Heather B. February 22, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Your a tool. Dont evr post something like this agin.

    Somehow I missed this this first time :D At least she didn’t misspell your name, Schnookie.


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