Archive for November, 2008

Afinogenov

Last night, a few of my friends were over during the second period of the Pens game.

While we were watching the game, my friend Dinesh referred to Afinogenov, only he didn’t pronounce his name correctly, he called him, “a-fi-NOG-i-noff”.  The first time he said it I ignored him, thinking that maaaaybe he didn’t know the correct pronunciation.  The second time he said it, I shot him a wary glance.  The third time he said it, I KNEW he was just trying to get my goat, so I purposefully didn’t react.

And the forth time he said it, I could no longer contain myself and I screeched, “AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!  STOP CALLING HIM A-FI-NOG-I-NOFF!”

My goat = gotten.  Dinesh was quite pleased with himself, and rightly so.  I’m generally a fairly mellow person, and Dinesh played his cards just right in order to get me to freak out.

Now that I have gotten past my initial bad reaction, I’m beginning to enjoy the sound of “a-fi-NOG-i-noff.”  Say it outloud a few times.  You might like it too.

Sabres vs. Penguins 11/28/08

Pregame

Mood: Chipper!  I hope you all had a joyful and delicious Thanksgiving.  I love Thanksgiving and I love that the Sabres put in a good effort on Wednesday.  That said, I’ve learned (the hard way) to never ever ever trust the Sabres.
Favorite Sabre: Thomas Vanek, please, please, please, don’t be injured.
Least Favorite Sabre: Andrew Peters, please, please, please don’t be in the lineup.
Prediction: There’s no way the Sabres win this game, right?  I figure that after their fine display of solid hockey (and foxy jerseys) on Wednesday, the Sabres will certainly attempt to phone it in tonight. Then again, as a sign of their utmost respect for us, the Penguins are starting a rookie goaltender.  Lazy, turkey-bloated Sabres versus a nervous, highly motivated rookie goaltender…..it’s a tough call.
Insane holiday tradition representing my hopes for this game: Waiting in line to shop on Black Friday.

blackfriday

Much like the Sabres often make me feel, looking at this picture makes me question what it means to be a human being, but not in a good way- more in a “sweet merciful heaven, WHY?!” kind of way.

After the 1st (1-1)

Mood: Entertained.  This is a good game.
Favorite Sabre: Max is a whack-a-doo, but someday soon he won’t be a Sabre.  I’m going to enjoy him while I can.  The set-up for Staffy’s goal, which involved Max skating the puck all over tarnation while performing clumsy pirouettes until he finally misfired on a wrap-around attempt and accidentally slid the puck to a waiting Staffy, was a HOOT.
Least Favorite Sabre: Max is a whack-a-doo, but someday soon he won’t be a Sabre.  For that we give thanks.
Summary of events: Hey, they didn’t fold after giving up the first goal!
Insane holiday tradition representing this game: Mistletoemistletoe-01

Mistletoe is mostly weird, but potentially fun.

After the 2nd (3-2, Penguins)

Mood: Eff the Penguins.
Favorite Sabre: HONK!
Least Favorite Sabre: Thomas Vanek missed a gaping open net.  He’s so fired.
Summary of events: This period was wall-to-wall penalties, and the Sabres have a minute of defending against a 5-on-3 to look forward to at the start of the next period.
Insane holiday tradition representing this game thus far: Fruitcake

fruitcake

I’m going to choke on it.

At the end (4-3, Sabres)

Mood: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  You know what?  That was a SUPER fun game.  About half way through the 3rd period I realized that I should just let go and enjoy the game regardless of the outcome.  The officiating was atrocious, but all was forgiven when they blew the whistle early while Sid was standing in front of an open net in the final seconds.  Heh.  The foxy new jerseys are OBVIOUSLY good luck.  Down with the slug!
Favorite Sabre: Goose is my one and only. *dreamy honks*
Summary of events: The Sabres were badasses.
Insane holiday tradition representing this game: 1992 St. Paul Winter Carnival Ice Palace

icepalace

Yeah, it’s a little grandiose, but I don’t care.  I’m excited.
The Sabres are never going to lose again!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Bruins weren’t so scary……..

not-so-scary

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

Thanksgiving Eve

Thanksgiving is pretty much the best day of the year in my opinion. I’m going to the game tonight with the fabulous Lizzie B and i’m inviting the Sabres to do their worst, because Thanksgiving is bigger than the Sabres. Yeah, I said it.

After the 1st (2-0, Sabres)

So far so good!

After the 2nd (3-1, Sabres)

To appease the hockey gods I shan’t say a word. Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

Tweet!

Hey, do you want to follow me on Twitter?  Cuz, I want to follow you.

twitter3

I’m not the most prolific twitterer ever, but I promise I won’t fill your Twitter feed with endless links advertising my new posts.  I haven’t entirely decided how I want to use Twitter, but I noticed the following tweet today from the Michael DiLorenzo, NHL Director of Corporate Communications and I realized I want to try to figure Twitter out:

Out of curiosity, would there be an appetite for a player to be the “NHL Tweeter of the Week”? Or does that seem contrived?

Yes, it sounds contrived.  And yes, I have an appetite for “NHL Tweeter of the Week”.

I keep reading about how Twitter is being used in all sorts of interesting ways to market products, and more importantly consumers are using Twitter to communicate their wants and desires back to the people selling them stuff.  If the NHL is going to use Twitter to ask me what I think, I’m totally on board.

Poor Timmy?

According to Mike Harrington and John Vogl, Tim Connolly has a broken rib.  The thing is, it took three days and two rounds of x-rays before Timmy’s was correctly diagnosed.  Timmy actually played in an NHL game before they figured out that he even had a broken rib.

Now, I dislike Tim Connolly as much as the next viola-playing-Sabres-blogger, but even I have to feel a little badly for poor Timmy on this one.  I bet nobody in the Sabres organization takes Tim seriously anymore when he complains about pain.  He’s like the boy who cried wolf….only there ACTUALLY IS a wolf EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Here’s how I imagine things went down with Tim Connolly last week.

After the hit during the game:

Timmy: My chest hurts.
Lindy: Shut up.

After the game was over:

Timmy: No, seriously.  My chest really hurts.
Lindy: Shut up.
Team Doctor: We’ll do an x-ray just to be on the safe side.

After the first x-ray:

Timmy: My chest really hurts, you guys.
Doctors: Well, that’s weird because you’re fine.  There is nothing wrong with you.
Lindy: I’m so sick of you.  If you don’t quit your bitching and man-up RIGHT THIS SECOND, you are never seeing another minute of NHL ice time on my watch. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!
Timmy: *whimper*

After the game that Timmy played with a broken rib:

Timmy: SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS, MY CHEST REALLY EFFING HURTS. THERE IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME.  I WANT ANOTHER X-RAY YOU MOTHER EFFERS!

After the second x-ray:

Doctor: My bad.  Turns out you have a broken rib.
Lindy: Tim, I really give you a lot of credit for playing through this injury.  Sorry we didn’t believe you.
Timmy:  (shooting death glares) I want two puck bunnies and a six pack of Zima in my hotel room in the next ten minutes or I am going to sue you people into oblivion.
Darcy Reiger: Done.

Thoughts

Huh.  I can honestly tell you I didn’t see that game coming.  I did not expect the Sabres to play a decent defensive game and get shutout by Marty Biron.  When I got home last night I was too tired and cranky to write about the game, but I woke up this morning feeling rejuvenated.  Here’s what I was thinking about in the dawn of a new day:

1. Beer

Until last night I had never had a beer at HSBC arena.  It’s weird that I never drink at the arena because I have absolutely no objection to drinking, in fact I do it frequently.  I attribute my non-drinkyness to a few things (not the least of which is that I’m not much of a beer drinker these days), but I think the number one reason I wasn’t drinking was it just seemed like too much of a hassle.  When you don’t eat or drink at games, you’re all settled in for the evening once you get to your seats.  Drinking involves dealing with crowds in the concourse, lines at the concession stand, and of course, peeing. Oh, the peeing!

I’ve already been to five games this season, and I’m getting really good at maneuvering around in my little portion of the 300 level concourse.  I’ve learned that if I bolt out at the end of a period I can hit the bathroom, hit a concession stand, swing by to wave hello to Anne (and buy some cotton candy from her if I feel so inclined), and still have PLENTY of time to be back in my seat to see the majority of a weirdo interview with Maria Genero and Paul Gaustad on the jumbotron. (Seriously, what was that all about?  I couldn’t hear the audio on the clip on the jumbotron.  All I gathered from the feature is that Goose went fishing at some point and that, judging from the body language, he and Maria might very well be in love.  That was a LOT of bashful giggling.  Not that I’m complaining.)

My point here is this: I was totally wrong to not drink beer.  Beer helps.  A lot.  I’m never not drinking beer at a hockey game again.

(Maybe at some point I will investigate those gigantic beers that they pour out of bottles, but maybe not.  What’s up with those?  Why can’t they pour a gigantic draft at the concession stand?  My inclination is to assume draft beer is colder and more delicious, but ENORMOUS beers have their attributes as well.  Please advise, dear readers.)

2. The Crowd

The crowd was terrible.  I’m not judging, because I was a part of the crowd and Buffalo sports fans have had a real rough week, but MAN, the crowd was flat.  I’ve never been to such a subdued game.  Granted, the action was very, veeeeery slow, but still.  The crowd was skeptical, belligerent, and cranky from beginning to end.  As you know, I am PRO booing. I like to boo, and I don’t care who knows it, but…..I’m not a fan of booing just because you have no particular reason to cheer.  If I had my say, we’d save our nonsensical booing for the opposition (like Chara! BOOOOOO!), but I fully recognize the crowd is gonna boo when they’re gonna boo.  That’s just how it goes.

Our section did have one nice crowd moment: In the third period when it was 2-0 and the arena seemed library-level quiet, a guy about five rows back from us screamed out in a very clear, loud voice, “WE WANT MAX!”  He yelled it at just the right time and it seemed to boom over the entire arena.  There was lots of giggling in response.  Then, a guy in front of us yelled, “I TOTALLY DISAGREE!”  And I then I yelled, “ME TOO!”  And someone else yelled “ME THREE!”  I’m sorry to say that this exchange might have been the highlight of the evening.  I like the idea of an orderly discussion occurring in the middle of the game.  I was tempted to shout, “I’M CONCERNED THAT LINDY’S THREATENING INSISTENCE ON DEFENSIVE PLAY IS BACKFIRING!  THE SABRES SEEM AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES.  THEY ARE NOT PLAYING AGGRESSIVE OFFENSE!,”  just to see if some else would shout, “SOLID DEFENSIVE PLAY LEADS TO OFFENSIVE OPPORTUNITIES!  THEY JUST HAVE TO STICK TO THE SYSTEM AND BURY THEIR CHANCES. THE GOALS WILL COME!”

3. The Sabres aren’t that bad, but they’re also not that good.

If the Bruins game was when I lost all perspective, last night’s game was when I got it back.  Listen, it’s still early in the season.  There is LOTS of Brahms hockey left to be played.  After the Bruins game I reached a level of unhappiness with the Sabres and sports in general that crossed a line I have drawn for myself.  There is only so much angst I am willing to tolerate in the name of sports.  It’s a long season, with a lot more annoying-ness yet to come, so I realized I need to dial it down a bit if I am going to survive with my sanity intact.

These Sabres are just not dominant and we need to stop expecting them to be dominant.  They have lots of potential to dramatically improve, so I guess we just hope for the best.  They tricked us by coming out of the gate so strong, but it’s time to accept that those first six games were a bit of an anomaly.

4. Thank GOD I have to work tonight.

I love my job, but it’s a drag that it so frequently conflicts with the Sabres schedule.  Usually I’m sorry to miss the Saturday games, but not tonight.  I need a break.  To make matter even better, we’re playing a REALLY cool concert at the BPO this weekend.  The concert involves a lot of great music, but there is also some truly dazzling acrobatics that will steal the spotlight.  We’re playing a full concert with the acrobats tonight, and then a truncated version tomorrow afternoon as part of our Family Series.  I can’t get comp tickets for tonight, but if you are interested in coming to the show (for free) tomorrow afternoon, shoot me an email.  I have four tickets set aside for anyone who would like to use them.  I can’t imagine anyone not liking this show, and I think kids will LOVE it.  Our family shows are usually about an hour long, without intermission.  Yes, it conflicts with the Bills game.

Another super neat thing going on in Buffalo this weekend is the opening of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center. In the middle of a terrible economy, in an already economically depressed community, Buffalonians managed to get a brand new, state-of-the art, museum built.  This is an accomplishment that really really needs to be celebrated.  The museum is opening today, AND it’s going to be open ALL NIGHT. That means, that you can go out, do whatever, and check out the museum at FOUR IN THE MORNING AFTER YOU GO TO JIM’S FOR A CHICKEN FINGER SUB!  I’m SO there.  I really encourage everyone to check out the Burchfield-Penney Art Center tonight.

I love Buffalo sports, but sports are not all we’ve got around here.  When sports are getting you down, try something else!

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

For All Your Facebook “Needs”

Categories

puck goggles
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.)

Pages


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers