Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

Thanks for a sharing this hockey year with me, dear readers.

Enjoy the evening, and don’t think twice about whether you’re lame or cool, pretty or fugly, kissed or unkissed tonight.  These things don’t matter, and even if they did, cool and attractive are seriously overrated, and frankly, the kissing ritual at midnight is silly.  And, I promise you, even if you’re a crankypants troll, there is someone out there who would love to kiss you if they had half a chance.  You can trust me on this because I’m old.  I know these things.

New Years Eve is about embracing the future.  That’s all it is.  You can do it from Times Square, and you can do it from your couch.  Either way, there’s a Sabres game tomorrow, so I’ll see you soon.  :)

Happy New Year!

It’s Patrick Lalime Appreciation Day!

When the Hockey Gods bestow upon us such a wonderous game, it is not for us to ask why.  It is our job to give thanks and to do our best to honor the Hockey Gods by living a life in devotion to their cryptic teachings.

Thank you oh mighty Hockey Gods.  Amen.

But, if we DID ask “why?”, if our feeble human hearts were so moved by the gift of a three-goal-deficit-come-from-behind-win-against-the-freaking-Penguins-of-all-teams that we could not stop ourselves from wondering…how?, this is what we would ask:

WHAT in the name of Lindy Ruff has come over Patrick Lalime?!

He went from Player-Most-Likely-to-be-Accidentally-Left-Behind-When-the-Team-Bus-Leaves-the-Hotel to BELOVED HERO in the blink of an eye.  It’s wonderful, and it’s making me feel like anything is possible.  I mean, if Crunchy can be chased by the Penguins, and then Patrick Lalime can be such hottie-pants in relief that the rest of the team has no choice but to get inspired, well, anything is possible.  I’m dreaming big, and I have Patrick Lalime (and the Almighty Hockey Gods- Amen) to thank for it.

It’s Patrick Lalime Appreciation Day!  *tosses confetti*

As Kevin wrote about yesterday, as Ryan Miller goes, so go the Sabres, but…..what if that’s not entirely true? What if Crunchy can afford to rest his scrawny bones from time to time (or to suck ass occasionally) and the Sabres can still win?  It boggles the mind.  It’s a situation I have never experienced as a Sabres fan.  It feels like a miracle.

So, today we celebrate Patrick Lalime who’s been quietly lying in wait on the Sabres bench with nary a complaint.  Thank you Patrick Lalime for helping to create this buoyant surge of Sabres-related happiness.

In honor of Patrick Lalime Appreciation Day, I would like to present Patty with this set of slightly smaller dentures…..

Patty is an EXTREMELY handsome man, but he looks like he’s wearing the wrong size teeth.  His teeth are juust a tad too big.

…..and two warm fuzzies:

When I was in elementary school (probably first or second grade) my class actually used these yarn pompoms (we called them “warm fuzzies”) as school-endorsed currency.  If you were really well behaved, or particularly kind in some way, the teacher would give you a warm fuzzy.  Then, we were allowed to trade our warm fuzzies amongst ourselves.  We were encouraged to give and recieve warm fuzzies as a symbol of love and friendship .  I know it’s cheesy, but warm fuzzies actually make me feel warm and fuzzy inside- which is why I’d like for Patrick Lalime to have two of them.  Two warm fuzzies from the bottom of my heart.

Magic

Kevin wrote a post today that really got me thinking.  While I agree with all of his individual points about the Sabres, I don’t necessarily think that the city-wide skepticism about this team has been out of proportion.

Skepticism and joyfulness are not mutually exclusive.  I’m a skeptic and I love the Sabres.

But damn if that game didn’t knock this skeptic right into outer space.

The key to being a joyful skeptic is making sure you can still marvel when the marveling comes due.

Marvelous

That was a special game and I’m starting to believe that this is a special team.  We had everything tonight.  Guts, redemption, unlikely heroes, and joy, joy, joy.

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

Please say yes…

So, is Patrick Lalime all of a sudden good?  Does Lindy all of a sudden trust him?  Is the goalie rotation finally going to make sense?  Is everything all-awesome-all-the-time in the goalie department?

Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge, and Other Disgusting Atrocities: A Story in Two Parts

Part One: Last night, Crotchety Original Sam and I tromped out into the icy mess that is St. Paul for our annual Minnesota Wild game at the Xcel Center.  In past years this trip has ended in despair and tears.  (Just kidding, Sam and I ALWAYS have fun, even when the home team sucks rhino ass.)  Guess what?  THE WILD WON!  I’m pretty sure that they were so impressed with my new North Stars t-shirt that they played extra hard.  The Wild are QUITE zippy and fun.

Anyhooch, there we were, wearing sassy retro NHL t-shirts and watching the Wild win, when suddenly during the second intermission, came the “Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge.”  The jokes immediately started flying about the name of this competition and the fate you would suffer if you ate a Chipotle burrito.  (Worst name of intermission game EVER.)  The game involved contestants rapidly identifying pictures of celebrities up on the jumbotron.  The winner would win free burritos for a lucky row in the arena.   I was immediately preoccupied with imagining the meeting at Chipotle headquarters that created this game (“I know, let’s call it “The Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge!”  “Do you really think it’s a good idea to associate our burritos with sudden death, boss?”  “Oh SURE!  Sudden death refers to the GAME, not the food!  I like the name!  It’s folksy!”) to pay much attention to the contestants, and Sam was busy recounting a South Park episode which graphically detailed the terrible fate that would happen to your digestive system if you ate a Chipotle burrito.

But that’s right!  You guess it!  At the end of the contest, section 202, row 9, OUR ROW, was the lucky recipient of the Sudden Death Burritos!   Of all the hundreds of rows in the arena, we had won!  Now, I hate sudden death as much as the next gal, but I LOVE free burritos, so needless to say, I was PSYCHED.  A few minutes later, a pleasant Minnesotan came by and handed out our burrito coupons.  It was joyful.  We were triumphant.

But that’s where the fun ended.

The Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge is a SHAM, people.  First of all, it’s NOT a free burrito, it’s a “buy one get one free”.  It’s HALF of a free burrito.  Second of all, THE COUPON EXPIRES AT THE END OF 12/09.   So, after all of that rigmarole, all I got was a “buy on get one free” coupon that I have to use in the next fifteen minutes before it expires.  I think this is WRONG.

I think this is SO wrong, that I intend to give this coupon to my most hated enemy so that he/she will first have to BUY a burrito only so that he/she will suffer from the SUDDEN DEATH caused by the free one.

(Truthfully, the whole thing was hilarious.  Loudly complaining about our prize brought our row together for lots of laughs.  I suggested that we all throw our Sudden Death Chipotle Challenge Buy-One-Get-One-Free credit card gift certificates onto the ice in protest, but sadly we decided that it would be difficult to hit the ice with a coupon from the upper bowl.)

Moral of the story: Eff you, Chipotle.  Eff you right in the ear.

Part Two: At the end of the Wild game, we scurried back to Sam’s house to watch the Sabres game on DVR delay.  I changed out of my North Stars t-shirt and into a Sabres sweatshirt (I really did this), and we settled in.  Sam got to see my oh-so-delightful-I’m-sure transformation from a happy-go-lucky Wild fan to a nearly-abusive-to-the-players Sabres fan.

A few thoughts on the game:

I think it’s okay to be legitimately concerned about the following things:

1. The overall  lack of energy.  At no point did the Sabres seem pissed at Ruutu.  At no point did anyone seem to care that Roy took an elbow to the head.  At no point did coming from behind seem to create any legitimate momentum.  The Sabres might be better this year, but they’re still lacking in the “fiery passion” department.

2. Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford.  Remember when we all used to wring our hands and saying things like, “Oh, if only Tim Connolly could stay healthy THE SABRES WOULD BE UNSTOPPABLE.”  Did anyone ever stop to consider that someday Timmeh would be able to stay healthy and that he would simply….suck? I don’t even know what to say about Staffy.

3. I know that they got a power play goal, but the power play still looks like a half-eaten Sudden Death Chipotle burrito.  Which is to say, very bad.

4. I’m pretty sure that Lindy put Vanek first in the shootout to reward him for playing a good game, but it was ill-advised.   I know, hindsight is 20/20, but Lindy OBVIOUSLY flew too close to the sun on that one.  Sadly, all the confidence-building good of the game was probably erased when Thomas failed (for the 50 millionth time) to score in the shootout.  Very unfortunate.

The following things are legitimately good:

1. At the start of the game, I said to Sam, “The following players MUST have a good game: Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville” and then they both scored!  I will try this trick again today.

2. Steve Montador is getting hotter by the day.  Is it just me, or does he always seem to be charging around creating offensive chances and being generally foxy?  Private to Monty: My car mats ALWAYS need shaking.  IfyouknowwhatImean.

3. We should be happy they got a point. That was a bad game, but they’re still leading the division.  I have no experience with the ebb and flow of a successful season.  As a result, I think my spazziness after the bad games is probably a tish excessive, and for that I apologize.  Being a Negative Nellie is not my real-life style, so, let’s be thankful for this point.  Let’s love this point like it’s the best point in the world.  Last year the Sabres missed the playoffs by two points. Maybe this point that we inexplicably squeezed out the Ottawa game was one of those points that we will really need later on.

Moral of the story: There is another Sabres game in a few hours.  I’m going to forgive them for yesterday, but if they look like disinterested poo again, I’m sending my Sudden Death Chipotle Buy-One-Get-One-Free credit card coupon to the Sabres locker room.  That’ll teach ‘em.

A Christmas Vision

I find myself quite intrigued by the idea of Steve Montador shaking out my car mats and then vacuuming up the dust.

I Won’t Go Until I Get Some

I’m in Minnesota living it up Christmas-style, so I was spared the discomfort of watching that fugly game.

I’d like to suggest that we all do our best to forget that game, and enjoy our holiday.

If Lindy can do it, so can we.  As you can see, Lindy’s already in the Christmas spirit!

“Eff this.  Bring me some figgy pudding.”

6 Things

1. I have to admit that going into this game I was HELLA irked by all the talk about the Sabres win streak against the Leafs.  If you ask me, crowing about something like that is just ASKING for big time troubs.

But I’m a believer now.  No matter HOW badly the Sabres play against the Leafs, as long as we have a healthy Miller, hilarity and joyousness will ensue.

Thank you, Hockey Gods!  Thank you for giving us the Toronto Maple Leafs!

2. That said, the Sabres craptastic offense is getting worrisome.  I suppose they did score some handy goals tonight, but I’m still confusingly bitter.

3. Drew Stafford and Tim Connolly are not even remotely amusing.

4. I forgot to mention something I loved about the LAST Leafs game.   When Toskala let in the blooper goal, on the replay you can see Pominville skate by with his arms in the air.  Then, you can practically see the thought bubble above his head which says, “Oh wait.  Maybe I shouldn’t boisterously celebrate this wonky goal which we totally do not deserve,” as he sheepishly lowered his arms.

I can admit that I’m often looking for reasons to like Pominville.  I’ve had to look reeeal hard lately.

5. The Sabres did not take a single penalty tonight. Weird.

6. Are the Sabres good at hockey? I swear to you that I often cannot tell.

Goaltending is Kind of a Big Deal

As soon as Toskala bobbled Lydman’s “shot” and allowed the second goal to trickle in, you knew the game was over.  The Leafs (who had been completely dominating the play up to that point) visibly deflated, and the Sabres took complete control of the game.

If Ryan Miller had let in that same fluky goal, everyone in the arena would have simply rolled their wonky eyes and been all, “That was weird, Crunchy”.  Then the Sabres would have been right back to business.  The Leafs, on the other hand, totally folded up because they knew no matter how well they played after that, they had no chance of winning.

Heh.

Ryan Miller is rad.  I’m glad he’s on our team.


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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

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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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