Archive for January, 2010

Trade-y

My.  Well that was certainly an interesting day for trading.

I’m not too worried about the Leafs suddenly turning into a powerhouse.  If my fantasy hockey stats over the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that both J.S. Giguere and Dion Phaneuf are BAD at hockey.

It’s too bad Brian Burke didn’t check with me first.  I could have warned him.

5 Things

1. If Clarke MacArthur is scratched in the woods and no one is there to see it, does he make a sound?

I guess I’m not a very big C-Mac fan because I didn’t even notice his absence yesterday at the arena.  Now, that was a VERY boring game, so I think my weak powers of observation should be forgiven.  I happily entertained myself by yammering with Jessica, drinking big beers, and apparently, not missing Clarke MacArthur in the slightest.

2. Jessica is a hoot, and it’s fun to go to games with her.  We sat in her seats yesterday, and it was neat to have a different view.  It got me thinking that it would be fun if the Sabres sold a season ticket package where you moved all around the arena during the season.

3. My ability to cause the Sabres to score by complaining about them is getting a little spooky.  Yesterday, literally MOMENTS after I said, “Vanek, Roy, and Mair is a weird line.  I do NOT approve,” they scored.  This season alone I’ve made Vanek, MacArthur, Pominville, and Roy-Z, and now Mair, all score by bitching about them.  I wish that I could somehow channel this power into more Sabres goals, but I have to be genuinely peeved in order for it to work.

It seems to work best with Vanek.  Maybe I should try to remember to be irritated with him.  He needs me!

4. We scooted up to the Harbor Club for a drink after the game, and it was super fun, but they kicked everyone out at 10:30.  I think the Harbor Club bar should stay open later.  Silly Sabres.

5. I really wanted #phony to trend on Twitter today in honor of J.D. Salinger.  Can you IMAGINE what Holden would say about Twitter? I mean, EXACTLY HOW PHONY can something even BE?!  Envisioning J.D. Salinger on Twitter really cracks me up.

6 Things

1.You know what sucked most about last night?   The damn Canucks didn’t bother to score on their unjust power play, and the Sabres DID score on their make-up call power play, so even though that whole Kerry Fraser episode was COMPLETE BULLHONKY, we can’t even claim that’s why the Sabres lost.  No, the Sabres lost because those creepy Sedins (particularly that one Sedin) are MUCH better at hockey than they are.

3. For the first time since I starting thinking about the Sabres in the Olympics, I’m a little bit worried about Miller’s involvement.  I mean, the Olympics are fun and all, but I don’t care AT ALL about Team USA in comparison to how much I care about Team Buffalo Sabres.   If Crunchy gets hurt, or comes home all bedraggled and not-so-fresh, I’m going to be irked.

3. I am going to FOUR Sabres games in the next two weeks.  How lucky am I?  WOO!

4. I’m surprisingly attached to Tim Connolly’s points streak.  Regular readers of this blog know that I barely cheer for Timmeh, so it’s weird to feel this gung-ho about his individual achievement, but I do.  TIMMEH!

5. I’m going to admit something to you guys because I feel I can trust you: I’m trying to be cool about the Sabres poopy road trip because that seems to be what the more experienced hockey watchers are doing, but truthfully, I’m kind of sucking my thumb, holding my Sabres security blanket up against my cheek, and rocking softly back and forth right now.   I’m not freaking out, but I am being a bit of a worrywart.  I don’t LIKE when they lose.  Losing makes me feel sad and mad.  *stomps foot like a brat* *also whines pathetically*

6. Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed that I had jury duty yesterday.  Jury duty was hilariously easy.  I got there at 9am, and at 10:30 I was in a pool of people who were released without having to answer a single question.  Sweet!  (Private to the State of New York: It’s time to freshen up that “Welcome to jury duty!” video.  It’s the same one I watched seven years ago, and while I DO get a kick out of your dramatization of the whole witch-trial If-you-float-you’re-guilty-if-you-sink-you’re-innocent situation, I don’t think your repeat customers should have to watch reruns.)

Hello

Blobby Fixed

Just come here, you big lug.  You and me, baby.  We don’t need the Sabres.

Scouts

Yesterday Heather tweeted a link to this Globe and Mail article about how the NHL teams with big budgets have much bigger scouting staffs than the on-a-shoe-string teams (like the Sabres).

The article is amusing for a few reasons.  First of all, you get information like this:

By sending one scout to a game who is trained how to use a video camera, he can come back with a DVD that can be studied by several other Sabres scouts.

I know!  They TRAIN professional hockey scouts to use a video camera!  What kind of science fiction world are we living in?  What is this, The Jetsons?  SCOUTS with video cameras?!  WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?!

And then there is this:

Regier said he has had inquiries from other teams about their system, but so far no one has adopted the model as completely as the Sabres.

I’m pretty sure those inquiries went like this:

Brian Burke: Darcy, I’m calling to inquirer about your new scouting department. That is biz-ONKERS, dude.
Darcy: Well, it’s really quite fascinating.  You see, scientists have invented this crazy device that will record the things that happen at a game.
Brian Burke: ….You mean like a phonograph?
Darcy: Well kind of, but a phonograph is just a sound recording.  With a video camera you can actually see the action too.
Brian Burke: Whoa whoa whoa.  You are BLOWING my mind.
Darcy Regier: Do you want me to tell you more?
Brian Burke: No.  Please slow down.  This is too much to absorb.  I don’t think I can take it.  Just stop talking.

The article prompted Heather and I to have a goofy conversation on Twitter where I admitted that I’ve always imagined that the Sabres are actually sending soulless robots to do their scouting.  I mean, with all the uproar about the Sabres using video technology instead of thinking, feeling human beings, there was only one logical assumption left to make:

Robots are cheaper than people because they don’t need health insurance. THE SABRES ARE CHEAP!

Robot: A.ccord.ing.to.my.cal.cu.la.tions.you.should.draft.Drew.Staff.ord.next.
Darcy Regier: Are you sure, robot?  I mean, he appears to be a brain eating zombie….and a furry.
Robot: I.be.lieve.Drew.Staff.ord.will.be.an.im.por.tant.part.of.the.Sab.res.
or.gan.i.za.tion.
Darcy Regier: But….what about Evgeni Malkin?  Shouldn’t I pick him before Drew Stafford?
Robot: NO.Ev.gen.i.Mal.kin.does.not.compute.does.not.com.pute.does.not.com.pute.
does….not…com….puuuute…
Darcy Regier: Darn it.  This robot is always getting jammed. (slams the robot on the head)
Robot: (whirring back to life) ….a.cord.ing.to.my.cal.cu.la.tions.Drew.Staff.ord.
is.bett.er.at.hoc.key.than.Ev.gen.i.Malk.in.
Darcy: Okay, robot.  If you say so!  Stafford it is!  I’ll pick Malkin in round two…

(I know, I know. The Sabres did NOT actually draft Staffy before Malkin.)

_________

I think that’s enough nonsense for one day.

(Private message to the Sabres: The moral of the story is you should NEVER give me and Heather just a little information.  That’s about the worst thing you could possible do.  You should either explain how your video scouting works completely, or you shouldn’t say anything at all.  As God is my witness, I will believe for the rest of my days that you’re sending Short Circuit to do your scouting.)

The Sabres Are Never Winning Again…

….but the night wasn’t a total loss.

Sweet.

I feel like there is something off with the Sabres and the Hockey Gods right now.  When they were in the middle of a 10 game points streak I was all, “Why aren’t they losing?” and during this entire road-trip-of-poop I’ve been thinking,”Why aren’t they winning?”

Rats.

5 Things

1. I don’t mind that the Sabres lost in both Anaheim and L.A.  Those were HUGELY entertaining and feisty games, and while I hate when people say this, the Sabres could have won either of those games just as easily as they lost.  However, it’s now time for the Sabres to stop almost not losing, and actually win (2 points) again.

And Sabres, I don’t want to hear any whining about how, “They’re the Sharks, they’re SCARY!” because you had your chance to get two points from the less intimidating California teams, and you chose to be all sassy and run-and-gunny.  Run-and-gun (or as the Kings announcers like to call it “DEFENSEMEN, ACTIVATE!”) is DEFINITELY fun (and again, I’m not complaining about the last two games), but let’s face it, run-and-gun doesn’t really work unless you guys consistently hit the net, which….you don’t always do.  So, I hate to say it, but it’s time to be machine-like and boring again.  WOOOOOOO, for trapping!

2. The combination of the late start time and the opposing team’s announcers give this week such an exotic feel.   I love it.  I even like listening to the announcers, mostly because I know this is only for another week, and then Rick will come back and all will be well.

I have Center Ice, and I watch the Kings a lot.  I genuinely like their announcing team, and I thought they did a good job talking about the Sabres.  I thought the game broadcast last night was intelligent and interesting.

Rick Jeanneret is wonderful because he makes every game so exciting.  He’s charming, and fun, and colorful.  He’s irreplaceable.  If we can’t have Rick forever (and sadly, we probably can’t), I think the Sabres should go in an entirely different direction for awhile, and take the “informative and buttoned-up” route.  It’s going to be a rough time no matter what, but the Sabres should do everything they can to avoid the indignity of someone trying to “be like Rick Jeanneret”.

3. Now I’m all depressed.  Rick is going to live to be 150-years-old and broadcast until the day he dies!

4. Please welcome three new blogs to the blogroll: Roll the Highlight Film and The Ruff Writers (good name!), and Let’s Go Buffalo!

5. The Sabres want my money again!  For playoff tickets!  WOOOOOO!  Here’s my Visa number, Sabres!  Take whatever you want!  (Note to Hockey Gods: I’m hoping that this whole “counting our chickens [and in the Sabres' case, dollars] before they hatch thing isn’t too jinxy.  Yeah, it’s quite a bit too early for this, but look how charmingly enthused we are about it.  You can forgive us for being excited, right?  *fingers crossed*)

Stop, Drop, and Roll

Do they even teach kids to “stop, drop, and roll” anymore? Surely there’s a newfangled and modern way to put yourself out if you’re on fire, right? They probably teach kids to use the “extinguish me” app on their iphones now.

________

Years ago, when my BFF Courtney was freshly engaged and struggling with the wedding plans, a soon-to-be-classic joke was born. In an effort to reassure her that everything would work out, our other BFF, Ashley, informed Courtney that of all the things she had to worry about, she shouldn’t worry about us. Her BFFs could be activated for the wedding in a heartbeat. Or, as Ashley put it, “Kate and I are always ready to stop, drop, and bridesmaid.”

Now we say this all the time. In Portland it was, “I need you to stop, drop and hold this baby.” If I’m feeling stressed about work I know I need to, “Stop, drop, and practice.” And as soon as I get done writing this post it’s going to be time to, “stop, drop, and finish painting the bathroom trim.”

________

I bring this up because lately the phrase, “Stop, drop, and cheer for the Sabres” has been in my head.  I think this is an important time to stay focused as fans. The Sabres are good, and we should embrace the opportunity to stop, drop, and roll around in it, especially since the stakes are still relatively low. The Sabres have a pretty good grip on the NE division lead. The games aren’t stressful at all right now- they’re just plain fun.

At the beginning of the year we were too cynical to fully enjoy the wins, and the end of the season we’ll be too emotionally ramped up (regardless of where the Sabres end up in the standings). Now is the time to stop, drop, and enjoy the ride.

It’s waaaaay too early to count our chickens, but it’s not a bad idea to brush-up on the safety procedures in case of a Sabres-related explosion of joy.

In a few months, this town might be on fire.

Sabres @ Ducks 1/19/10

Pregame

Mood: I started out the evening all “WOOOOOOOOOOO!” because I had a MAJOR home improvement breakthrough today.   You see, when I pulled up the carpet (weeks ago) there was this REALLY sharp wooden strip around the perimeter of the entire downstairs.  I guess this is how the carpet stuck to the edges of the floor (along with 45 million staples).  I’ve been totally ignoring this project because every time I got down on my knees and attempted to use the tiny crow bar the guy at Home Depot told me I should use for this activity, I quickly wanted to KILL myself because of the brain searing frustration.  Seriously, last week I struggled for about an hour on a three foot strip.

But today I wised up.  I went BACK to Home Depot, and I looked long and hard at all of their crowbar/prying-looking-things, and I chose the one that I thought would get the job done- and guess what?  That baby popped these annoying carpet strips RIGHT OUT.  You should have seen me zooming around the room all triumphant and proud.  It might have been the most satisfying moment of home ownership so far.  I solved a problem I’ve been avoiding, and now my floors won’t tear my guest’s feet apart!  Hooray!

The only problem is, in my zeal for this project, I probably went a little faster than I should have, and I wound up giving myself several cuts and scraps with various decades-old nails and tacks.  It was…very dumb.  Especially after I started wondering if my tetanus shots are up to date (they are not).  (Incidentally, if you think you might have tetanus, do yourself a favor and DON’T google it.)

So, the long and the short of it is that my good mood was really tempered by my SURE case of impending lock-jaw.   It all balanced out, and now I’m back to “neutral” on the evening.

Favorite Sabre: Oh, Tyler Myers.  Everyone loves you.  Including me.
Least Favorite Sabre: Thomas Vanek.  I actually pretty much love Thomas Vanek lately, but I REALLY want him to seek professional help with his low self esteem issues.  I’m very tired of watching him berate himself.  It’s time to get serious about this Thomas!  There is no shame in going to a therapist.
Prediction: Originally I was thinking the Sabres were going to lose this game (they have to lose eventually and the Ducks ALWAYS beat them), but now I’m watching the Duck’s pregame coverage, and apparently they have a very feisty streak going themselves- 7 home wins in a row.  I’m always suspicious of streaks, but I think our streaks balance each other out.  Someone has to lose and end their streak, and it might as well be the Ducks.  So, the Sabres are winning this game, 4-2.
Balanced item representing my hopes for this game: All these people on this bike

As you can see, the Sabres are EXTREMELY well balanced.

After the 1st (4-0, Ducks)

Mood: The only thing saving us is that this is a late game and so it barely feels like it’s actually happening.  Plus, it’s so bad it’s funny.  I am however, worried about how I’m going to come up with things unbalanced enough to represent this game.
Favorite Sabre: HAHAHAHA!  Um….no.
Least Favorite Sabre:
Rick Jeanneret.  I don’t CARE if he’s old and worn out, he’s not allowed to take vacations, and he’s not allowed to retire.  EVER.  I blame Rick.
Summary of events: First we got punched in the face, then kicked in the gut, and then CoreyPerry peed on us, and then the Ducks announcers laughed at us.  It was REAL LAME.
Unbalanced thing representing this game so far: The score

4-0

Just look at it.  That’s some unbalanced shit right there.

After the 2nd (4-3, Ducks  I KNOW!)

Mood: Completely.  Electrified.
Favorite Sabre: Many, many Sabres are making me love them right now, but mostly, I love Ryan Crunchy Miller.
Least Favorite Sabre: Sorry, Patty. It wasn’t even all your fault. They totally hung you out to dry, but a save or two would have been handy.  Everything calmed waaaay down when Crunchy came in.
Summary of events: Connolly and MacArthur scored two quick goals and made everyone in Buffalo sit straight up in their pajamas and slippies.  Then, the Sabres proceeded to RELENTLESSLY kick ass.  Eventually Montador scored, and now everyone in Buffalo is UTTERLY CAPTIVATED.  (Just as an aside: I’m sorry about your crappy day, Bills fans.  But HOW ‘BOUT THEM SABRES?! )
Item representing the balance of this game so far: wacky teeter totter OF AWESOMENESS

Sometimes you’re an elephant, sometimes you’re a mouse, but either way, CoreyPerry is disgusting.

At the end (5-4, Ducks; Poop.)

Mood: EXHAUSTED.  That game was completely and totally insane.
Favorite Sabre: Ryan Miller you are wonderful
Least Favorite Sabre: Jason Pominville you are fired.
Summary of events: This period was considerably less “totally lawless” than the others but the Sabres had the edge for the ENTIRE time EXCEPT for the split second when Pominville was tossing an ill advised pass that Connolly was totally whiffing on.  That nanosecond completely blew.  But, the Sabres never gave up, and that was a HUGELY entertaining game.  I’m sorry they didn’t win, but I’m pretty proud of them regardless. (Except for Pommerdoodle.  Bad dog.  Bad. *rubs Pommerdoodle’s snout in the terrible pass*)
Balanced thing representing this game: yin and yang

Breath in, breath out.  Breath in, breath out.
We knew they would lose eventually.
It’s all good.

Good Times

Picture 1

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

I may or may not be half drunk right now, but I’m NOT afraid to say that if the playoffs started today, the Sabres would play the New York Islanders. The stinky old Islanders!

Bring it!  BRING IT, I SAY!

Tonight Heather and Jessica came over to my house (*sing-song voice* loooove them!), and we ate brownies, drank wine, yammered away and barely paid ANY attention to the game. (Seriously, I have no idea what happened tonight.  Every time we looked up a Sabre was bouncing a puck in over the shoulder of a Coyotes goalie.)

I know I shouldn’t be this giddy about the Sabres in January, but you know what?  I don’t give a rip.  Life is short, and I know a good time when I see one.  It’s a GOOD time to love the Sabres.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


…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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