4 Things

1.  The “delay of game” call against Crunchy last night was one of the most reDONKulous things I’ve ever seen.  The few seconds between when he caught the puck and when the ref blew the whistle were just spectacularly awkward.  Miller was standing there, waving his glove around and all the other players on the ice were kind of like, “Wait….we’re supposed to…keep playing?  But….Crunchy’s got the puck in his glove.”  The call was total bullhonky.  (Can you IMAGINE if Crunchy HAD put the puck back on the ice?)  TOTAL bullhonky.  As we all know, Crunchy does not take kindly to bullhonky, so a few minutes later when he had the opportunity to stop the puck and then put it back into play, he made a big show of sarcastically placing the puck back down on the ice.  Robin and I had a good chuckle over that.  At the time, Crunchy was playing in the net on the opposite side of the rink from where we sit.   It takes real talent to convey sarcasm and assiness (while wearing goalie equipment, no less) to people sitting 150 yards away.  Crunchy, I applaud you.

2. A week ago I wouldn’t have bet a nickel that the Sabres would ever win again, but last night, in the second period, when the Sabres were still down 2-1, I turned to Robin and said, “Do you think I’d be angering the Hockey Gods if I say that I really think the Sabres are going to win this game?”  She agreed that, no, the Hockey Gods could not possibly exact revenge upon a fan for expressing confidence when her team was losing.  The game last night was fun because even when the Sabres were down 2-0, the comeback felt inevitable.  This was partially because the Sabres have been playing legitimately well for a few games now, but also because the Lightning were just exuding losingness.  (Seriously, their suckiness was visibly emanating off the ice in cartoonish “stinky” waves.)  Even the bad calls in the third, while providing a nice excuse for the expression of righteous indignation (I’d never heard the “Bull-shit” chant in person before last night), felt somehow silly. Like, “Oh, thanks a LOT ref, now we have to kill THIS off TOO?  Bastard.”

3.  It’s hard to criticize a coach during a good stretch like this, so I’m going to tread lightly here, but I have something I really want to say.  Last week, when the issue of Lindy Ruff’s effectiveness was very much on my mind, I was thinking, “This team needs a coach who will be mercilessly mean.”  At the time, Lindy was throwing Miller under the bus for no apparent reason, and making them skate hard every morning, and being an all around a-hole, so I felt weird being all, “Be MEANER, Lindy!”  How mean should a couch actually be?  It occurred to me this morning that NOW is the time when Lindy should be mean; when they’re playing well.  The problem with these guys is that whenever they have a good stretch, they inevitably lose focus.  They revert back to laziness and they seem to think that wins should just start landing in their laps. The team only manages to muster up desperation when they are in a truly desperate situation.  A few ugly loses in a row, followed by an irate coach constantly being in their face, and voila! It’s hard fought, grinding hockey again!  This is a pattern, and I think that as the coach, Lindy needs to shoulder a lot of the blame.  For whatever reason, these players don’t manufacture enough desperation on their own, so I wish Lindy would create it for them…by being a raving lunatic.  If he can keep them off-kilter and fighting desperately for his approval for the length of a SEASON, not just when the going gets tough, then this team might wind up being legitimately good.

4. Thomas Vanek was breathtaking last night.  Truly.

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20 Responses to “4 Things”


  1. 1 Anne December 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    so a few minutes later when he had the opportunity to stop the puck and then put it back into play, he made a big show of sarcastically placing the puck back down on the ice.

    I loved the sarcastic smattering of applause that followed. I let out a “woo!”

    Looking back on it, is there a “2 minutes for Sassing the Officials” penalty?

  2. 2 jill December 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    If the Sabres ever fire Lindy they should replace him with Gordon Ramsay.

  3. 3 Caroline December 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    As we all know, Crunchy does not take kindly to bullhonky, so a few minutes later when he had the opportunity to stop the puck and then put it back into play, he made a big show of sarcastically placing the puck back down on the ice.

    I loved that. Just another display of Ryan Miller’s awesome sarcasm.

  4. 4 Porky December 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    “Seriously, their suckiness was visibly emanating off the ice in cartoonish “stinky” waves.”

    HA! Like Pepe Le Pew! Think Pominville was going by those guys and yelling in Frenglish “Le Phew! Le Stink!”

  5. 5 CrotchetyOriginalSam December 11, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    1. The “delay of penalty” call against Crunchy last night was one of the most reDONKulous things I’ve ever seen. There’s a “delay of penalty” penalty now? I’d love to see one of those. Maybe if you started to slash a guy, then stopped right before your stick caught him on the knees and started chanting “I’m not slashing you! I’m not slashing you!”

    2. “This team needs a coach who will be mercilessly mean.” Careful. That way lies Mike Keenan, and we all know how that always turns out…

  6. 6 Katebits December 11, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Sam, :^:::::::::::::: Also, damn it. I need an editor. Bad. I also used the word “vengeance” when I meant “revenge” in an earlier published draft of this post. It’s been a rough day. I’m tempted to leave this mistake, but um, not too tempted. *runs off to fix “delay of penalty”*

  7. 7 Katebits December 11, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    And I agree, Mike Keenan is too mean, at least he’s too mean to tolerate for any length of time. I’m thinking Tortorella for one year, then back to Lindy.

  8. 8 Ryan December 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I completely, completely agree on the last two points, and it’s pretty awesome to see someone else write it out. What gets to me about Lindy is that he seems to say the same things no matter what is going on or how the team is playing. There are times I doubt whether “get pucks deep” would motivate me to take out the garbage, let alone forecheck like a functioning forward should.

    Lindy’s job is to break this team out of bad habits and these silly patterns that ruin good seasons and kill playoff hopes. Mike Keenan is insane and tries to play Dion Phanuef at wing, we just need someone to not take his foot off the gas pedal when they finally start playing good hockey.

    As you can see I’m really excited about this, but you made a great point. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to explain this for a good two weeks now, and you nailed it here.

  9. 9 Katebits December 11, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for chiming in, Ryan! I read your Lindy post last week, and I kept trying to comment on it, but frankly it took me a few days to organize my thoughts. I really should have linked to you in the body of this post, because you really got my mind turning in terms of Lindy. I think this town has a really wonderful relationship with Lindy, but I also think it’s time to acknowledge that it doesn’t seem like he’s the best fit for this particular bunch of dudes. Considering that we’ve got the “core” locked up for the next five years, I think we now have to look at Lindy’s role. I think Lindy is a great coach and a fantastic person. In a lot of ways this isn’t a criticism of him at all, I’m just observing how the current players seem to operate, and I’m observing Lindy’s style- and I don’t think it’s a good fit. I’m not even at a place in my head with this where I feel comfortable being all, “LINDY SHOULD BE FIRED!,” all I’m really saying is that recently I’ve begun to imagine what a NEW coach might bring to the table. I know that’s a really ticky-tacky stance to take (I don’t really want to fire Lindy, I just want a new coach :P), but that’s where I am with this issue. I’m glad I’m not Darcy, because losing Lindy would be a heart breaker, but honestly, I think this club is at a real crossroads right now. We’ll be able to shed some dead weight from the roster this summer, but I think that if the Sabres miss the playoffs again there will be genuine consequences at the box office. This summer might be too late.

  10. 10 Katebits December 11, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    In response to a few of the other comments on this post:

    Anne, I forgot to mention the sarcastic applause! I totally contributed! :D

    Jill, I had to google him, but I’m totally on board with Gordon Ramsay as the new assy coach!

    Porky, “Think Pominville was going by those guys and yelling in Frenglish “Le Phew! Le Stink!” elicited a hearty “AAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!” from TWC headquarters.

    Caroline, word. Good old Crunchy!

  11. 11 JB December 11, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    If the Sabres ever fire Lindy they should replace him with Gordon Ramsay.

    Ha! That’s funny! I can see it now… not going there but I can see it now…

    If your going to post often we will have to work something out… I generally use JB on WP but everywhere else… I’m Jill… people may get confused… this maybe become a case of mistaken identity. LOL!

  12. 12 CrotchetyOriginalSam December 11, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Tortorella rules. He looks like he should live on the corner of Wharton and Passyunk, wolfing down cheesesteaks and spouting off about the Flyers’ inability to play a decent second period. I would totally support Tortorella as Lindy’s replacement. But I still kinda like Lindy.

    Also, “vengeance” and “revenge” are different? I use them more or less interchangeably, except I always sort of assume that vengeance would involve more knife wounds…

  13. 13 Katebits December 11, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Well, the sentence as it was originally constructed was “She agreed that, no, the Hockey Gods could not possibly exact vengeance for a fan expressing confidence when her team was losing.”. That seems horribly wrong to me in a number of different ways. But I totally agree, for the most part revenge and vengeance are the same except vengeance is more stabby.

    And also, I still TOTALLY LOVE Lindy. This is really not a matter of disliking Lindy. The Sabres just need someone meaner and I think Torts is the guy.

  14. 14 CrotchetyOriginalSam December 11, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion that vengeance is right in that instance. Something in the back of my brain says that you exact vengeance, but you take revenge.

    Ugh. Where’s that college ex-boyfriend English major when I need him…?

  15. 15 Katebits December 11, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    This is why I need an editor.

  16. 16 Kitten December 12, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Totally agree on point three. Did you ever notice how they have a pattern of scoring a goal and then being answered the minute the puck is dropped again? Still celebrating in their minds.

    I think Lindy needs to read Cesar Milan’s book. A little calm assertive leadership would help. Maybe some e-collars if it comes to that.

  17. 17 Chaz December 12, 2008 at 9:21 am

    If the Sabres ever fire Lindy they should replace him with Gordon Ramsay.

    I would pay serious $$ to see Gordon and Crunchy have a discussion on the proper nutrition for HPs.

  18. 18 Amy December 12, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Chaz, I’d chip in to make that conversation happen. I would also love to see the looks on the guys’ faces the first time that Ramsay called them a bunch of effing donkeys.

  19. 19 Katebits December 12, 2008 at 9:48 am

    I’ve never seen Hell’s Kitchen, but the more I hear about this guy, the more I like him. He’s hired!

  20. 20 danielleia December 12, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    HAHAHA!!!!! Chef Ramsay and the Sabres would be the best show everrrr. Kate you must watch Hell’s Kitchen!


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