Archive for March, 2010

Having Nothing to Do With Anything…

This morning I sent out a tweet-for-help.

I needed suggestions on what to buy as a present for a superhero-obsessed 4-year-old.  I thank you for all your ideas, and since I ended up with what I think is the CUTEST and most BITCHIN’ present in the history of EVER, I thought I’d follow up on my blog.

Check out this bad boy:

For all your 4-year-old space-walking needs.  (It’s an astronaut suit, just in case you have no imagination or are a stickler for “realism”.) To infinity and beyond, homeslice.

7 Things

1. I’m not sure how many times you guys can stand to hear me say “I can’t believe we’re going to the playoffs,” but for realio…….WOOOOO!   As a relatively new fan, I have no frame of reference for this.  The Sabres clinched a playoff berth and they still have eight games to play?  Whaaa?  I haven’t looked at this site at all this year.  Is spring still going to come even if I’m not obsessively praying that other loathsome NHL teams lose so that the Sabres playoff hopes stay alive?

This is just so WEIRD!  The Sabres are going to the playoffs!  What IS this happy hockey-related feeling in my heart?  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

2.  HOW ABOUT THAT TYLER ENNIS?!  Holy buckets.  I’ll join in with the chorus of people who are vocally praying that he stays up for Buffalo for the duration of the regular season.   I don’t quite understand how the roster works during the playoffs (I think there’s an expanded roster?  Something like that?), and I don’t care.  For the time being, let’s make room for Tyler Ennis.

It’s too bad we didn’t see more of Ennis during the regular season because it’s kind of kooky to suggest he should be on the playoff roster at this stage.  BUT, we’ve got eight games to study him and argue about him.  (Provided at least one of our injured players stays hurt.  I would urge Darcy to personally injure one of them if that’s what it takes to buy the time necessary to figure Ennis out.)  Wouldn’t it be fun if he turned out like Tyler Myers?  A fully functional NHLer, fresh out of the draft-womb, just in time for a playoff run?

3. In addition to being good at hockey, Tyler Ennis already has a KILLER nickname.  “Ennis the Menace” is a GREAT name, especially for a small blond player.   Just think of the fun we can have watching his opponents shaking their fist at him and bellowing “Ennnnissss!”

4. Tyler Ennis, if you need a place to stay while in Buffalo, you can totally stay at my house.  You can have your own room, and I’ll cook you meals, and I’ll mostly stay out of your way except to occasionally veto the skankiest puck bunnies.  The only downside is that you’ll have to park your car on the street, I get to keep control of the television remote, no loud music, and I’m going to need you to do some light handyman work around the house.  (How good are you at roofing?)

5. I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth about writing a detailed post about Patrick Lalime Boo-Gate, but I’m going to do the internet a favor and keep my thoughts to myself.  I wish the Sabres had done the same.  Heh.

6.  You know who I love?  Ryan Miller.  Also, Goose.  And Pommerdoodle.

7. Maybe it’s just because I’m a girl, and math is hard, but I find all the “magic number” talk to be HUGELY confusing.  Way back in the day when I was a baseball fan (and a child), I had my arms all the way around the concept.  I understood it fully.  But with hockey, and with hockey’s system of points, it makes absolutely no sense.  I’m just taking the internet’s word that the Sabres have clinched a playoff berth.  Truthfully, I don’t get it at all.

WOO!

I know we’ve been marching towards this forever, and no one with even three brain cells would be surprised, but still.  I am so happy that they clinched the playoffs.   So happy!  Let your car flags fly!

EEEEEEEEEEE!!

Response

Dear Katebits,

Um, please stop sending us letters.  We get it, you want us to win blah blah blah blah blah.  Look, we’ve got a plan, okay?  Our plan doesn’t involve taking advice from bloggers, and it doesn’t involve beating Ottawa ever.

Sincerely,

The Sabres

PS: Love the car flag.

Part 5

Dear Sabres,

Man, I sure opened a can of worms with this car flag thing. I’ve decided to keep it on. I’m keeping it on because that’s how the readers voted and because that’s my gut instinct, but more important than either of those reasons is this: What kind of person removes a joyful car flag out of fear?  When I put the car flag up I did it without a second thought to superstitious protocol.  I just put the car flag up because I was in a good mood.  I think removing it now would be terribly cowardly.  I made my choice two days ago, and I did so with a spring in my step and joy in my heart.  Surely the Hockey Gods cannot frown upon such enthusiasm.

What I’ve really learned from Car Flag-Gate is that I’m ready to turn the page on the whole “analyze and debate” portion of the season, and get on with the, “Just cross our fingers and hope for the best” phase.  We fans can debate and discuss your chances all we want, but the wheels of the post season are already in motion, so, I’m going to just go with it.

Installing the car flag is very indicative of current mood:  Eff reason and decorum, it’s time to start cheering for the Sabres.

Now, about this game with Ottawa.  Listen guys, I think you need to win this game.  I realize I’ve been saying this about every game for weeks, but…..for real now.  The Ottawa fucking Senators are NOT as good at hockey as you.  YOU ARE BETTER THAN THEM.  Tonight you have the chance to clinch a playoff spot, but even more importantly you have the chance to shake the retarded-monkey-that-is-the-Senators off your back.  Let’s not wait for the post-sesaon.  Let’s beat them into submission now.  Isn’t always losing to them getting irritating?

This is not a must-win.  This is a Holy Shit It Would Feel Good To Win. You should win tonight for the sake of winning.  Because it would feel good, and because the Senators are monumentally less awesome than you.  You should start the post season by ending this dumb “thing” you have with the Sens.

I won’t be at the game.  Me, my viola, and my car flag will be in Williamsville playing a concert tonight.  But, I know you can do it.

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!

love,

Katebits

4 Things

1. LAST NIGHT WAS AWESOME.  I mean, sure, the Sabres sucked ass for 57.5 minutes of the game, but that only made the win sweeter.  It came out of no where.  It came out of no where, and it swept us all up, and it was just joy joy joy.

2. Last night one of the sledge hockey gold medalists spent a few minutes sitting near us in the arena.  He had his gold medal around his neck and it was absolutely mesmerizing.   Before last night I wouldn’t have thought that’d I’d be so interested in looking at a gold medal, but honestly, I could not stop staring at it.  Gold medals are very cool and very awe inspiring.

3. I’m not one to get too frothy about the visiting fans from Canada.  I’ve really got no beef with them, and I also don’t think it says anything negative about Buffalo fans that so many Canadians get their mitts on tickets (except for maybe that Buffalonians are pretty crafty about finding ways to pay for their seasons.  Go us!).  But there is one type of visiting fan that I HATE.  I freaking LOATHE the visiting fans who stand up during play and turn around to mock the Sabres fans surrounding them.  I mean, honestly – that’s just bad manners.  (And I’ll also say, I have NO DOUBT that Sabres fans behave poorly in other arenas.  All I’m saying is that I would never do the stand-up-and-taunt-the-home-fans WHILE PLAY IS GOING ON.  I would not do this because I am not a caveman.)

So, while I wish (most of) the visiting fans no ill will, having them there, and watching them walk out all dejected made that win so much more fun. Ole oleoleole……

4. Alright, I’m really not sure what to do about the car flag now.  Last night when it looked like the Sabres were headed to certain, humiliating defeat, Mike Harrington accused me via Twitter of cursing the Sabres with my early car flag installation.  I bravely held my ground, but I’ll admit, I was rattled.  I did put the flag on a tad early.

But then the Sabres won!  In hilarious fashion (my favorite kind of win)!

I feel like the Hockey Gods sent me some seriously mixed messages last night, and I’m totally confused.  Did the Sabres miraculously win in spite of the car flag, or, did the car flag actually propel them to hilarious victory?

I just want to do the right thing here, and then I want to stick to The System.

I need your help.

I’ll do whatever you guys tell me to do.

Part Four

Dear Sabres,

Two years ago, my aunt Mary (who lives in Minnesota) bought me a car flag for Christmas.  She actually emailed Heather B. in order to figure out which Sabres-related trinket I would like the most, and the two of them nailed it.  I love this car flag.

I think car flags are incredibly charming, but, I think of car flags as a playoff thing.  Car flags are for the spring, when hopes are the highest, and when it’s still sunny as you walk towards the arena for a 7pm game.

I feel so strongly that car flags are a playoff thing that as soon as I opened this gift, I thought to myself, “I’m not using this until the Sabres make the playoffs.  I don’t care how many years it has to sit in a drawer.”

Sabres, I know you haven’t quite made the playoffs yet, and I know I’m a little early on this, but I don’t care. Today I went out in the sunshine, and I put my playoff flag on the car, and it felt like my Sabres fandom came full circle.

I fell in love with the Sabres during their last playoff appearance.  This time, I’ll be well accessorized.

Sabres, you should try very hard to win this game tonight.  I’ll be at the game, and I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy towards you already. A nice pleasant win would absolutely hit the spot.

Let’s celebrate Playoff Car Flag Day in style.

Love,

Kate

5 Things

1. The Sabres were so GOOD yesterday (except for the 3rd period but I’m totally cutting them slack for that because it was their second game in 24 hours, and because I just love them right now).  I know it’s been safe to think “playoffs” for weeks, but I think last night was the first time it really sunk in with me.  For the first time in my fandom, the Sabres (OUR Sabres) are going to make the playoffs!  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  And I will have tickets to the home games!  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  This is a big deal for me.

2. This is SUCH a big deal for me, that yesterday I told my BFF Janz that I could NOT play on his concert series on April 14th because there is a possibility that the playoffs will begin that night.  And hilariously, Janzie completely understood why I would make that choice.  He wasn’t necessarily happy about it, but he got it.  For me, being a Sabres fan has been filled with moments like, “If I could go back to 2007 and tell my myself then how my life would be in 2010…,” but really, this one takes the cake.

To recap: I told Janz I didn’t want to play Brahms B-flat sextet (which is one of my favorite pieces EVER written) because there is a possibility that a hockey team would be playing the first game in a series of seven, and Janz, who knows me extremely well, was all, “Oh, yeah. Sure. That makes perfect sense.”

Sometimes I feel like I’m at an age and stage of life where everything is all set, and I trick myself into thinking there are no more big shifts ahead.  Of course this is REDONKULOUS, and I know this is redonkulous, but thinking about how much hockey has changed my life makes me excited about what might be around the next bend.  I mean, honestly.

3. I think Panera is hugely overrated.   I would say that I have no idea why everyone loves it so much, except for the fact that I think their egg soufflé is the most delicious thing on the entire planet.  So basically, my position on Panera is that I hate it, except for the egg soufflé, which is my favorite food in history of time and space.

4. I wrote this post about Jochen Hecht in September of 2008, and I refer back to it frequently when thinking about Yo-Yo.  Last year was obviously a rough one for Yo-yo, but he’s been quietly putting together a pretty good year for himself.  I hadn’t really thought about it until yesterday, but his return to defensive respectability might be playing a BIG role in the Sabres’ season.  Probably much bigger than we give him credit for.  Like I said in that post, Jochen Hecht is someone who seems to WANT to be taken for granted.  It’s somehow a part of his persona.   But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t sit up straight and take notice when he has a game like he did yesterday.  Hecht’s first goal was extra sexy because it’s was so out of character for him.  It was as if Clark Kent accidentally pulled a Superman move without first removing his nerd glasses.

5. I wrote this on Twitter last night:

Yikes. I didn’t even notice that Torres was out today. Of course, I didn’t particularly miss MacArthur either. So…whatever.

I’m tempted to call Torres a bust, but it’s not like we have a gaping hole where MacArthur used to be in the lineup.  Plus, there will be playoff this year (PLAYOFFS!) and who knows how Torres might come in handy in the playoffs.  I keep thinking about him like I think about Dominic Moore in retrospect, but it’s silly.  Torres will have a much bigger opportunity to step up than Moore every had.  Darcy didn’t get Torres for the regular season, he got him for the playoffs.  Now, there certainly isn’t any reason to expect that Torres will suddenly be a visible force in the playoffs, all I’m saying is that I think it’s too soon to get all frothy about him.  Unlike it was with Moore, Torres and Lindy have a few more weeks to try to make this work.

Part 3

Alright, it’s worked twice, so now I feel obligated to keep up with the pre-game letter writing.  The Sabres are NOT losing today.  NOT ON MY WATCH.

___________

Dear Sabres,

I feel that over the last few days we have developed a trust.  I give you some gentle advice, you follow it, and then everyone wins.  You win a hockey game, and I win a greater confidence in your ability to be awesome.  It’s been fun!

It’s because of this trust that I feel I need to come clean with you now.  Remember how I told you not to take the Lightning and the Panthers lightly, because even though it seems like they are stinky, in reality, they’re totally capable of beating you?  Remember that?  Well, I might have been slightly exaggerating their non-stinkyness.  Just a smidge.  The truth is, those teams really ARE pretty stinky. (I saw the Lightning last Sunday, and while they were great in the 1st period, they were TERRIBLE in the third.  They were so terrible that about 15 minutes into the third we all got preoccupied with our iphones in a quest to figure out if the Lightning had taken ANY shots on goal in the period.  [For some reason the arena was not keeping a period-specific shots-on-goal tally anywhere that we could easily see.]  What I’m trying to say is that the Lightning DO kind of suck.)

I’m admitting this to you now so that you know you can trust me.  My slight exaggeration was for your own good, and you can’t argue with the results.  By convincing yourselves that you were going to have to work hard to beat your opponent, you wound up winning easily.  I know it seems paradoxical (Crunchy, will explain what “paradoxical” means to you later), but it’s true.  Play easy, lose hard.  Play hard, win with ease.

So, I hope I have earned your trust.

I hope I have earned your trust because I am about to tell you something, and I really really really need you to listen as hard as you can.

*snaps fingers* Timmeh, stop sneering into thin air.  Look at me.  Right here. *imagine me using two fingers to point to my eyes, and then using those same two fingers to point to Timmeh’s eyes.  Back and forth between us.*  Right here, big guy.  Listen to me.

The Carolina Hurricane really are good at hockey. I know.  It makes no sense.  They sucked ASS at the beginning of the season.  If this were still November I’d probably be all, “Unless you show up drunk (like REALLY drunk), you’re going to beat the Hurricanes,” but sadly, this is NO LONGER THE CASE.  If you were thinking about showing up to the game even slightly buzzed, I URGE you to reconsider.  Carolina’s recent record is something like 24-1-0.*  You MUST play well against them or they will beat you in HUMILIATING fashion.  I’m really really really serious this time.  For rizzle.  The Hurricanes can eff you up, especially that Staal guy.  I HATE that guy.  DO not let him eff you up.  You should eff HIM up.

So, go out there and kick some ass.  I know you can do it.  You’ve been playing well, and organized, and beating a hot team on the road would be SUCH a good way of convincing yourselves and your fans that you plan to make some noise in the playoffs.  Everything is leading to the playoffs now.  Don’t you want to go barreling into the playoffs like an unstoppable juggernaut?  I think you do.

WOOOOOOO!

xoxoxoxo,

Katebits

PS- Crunchy might have to explain “paradoxical” to me as well, because I have no idea if my example actually is paradoxical.  Mostly, I just like how that word sounds.

*totally made up “recent record”

Stick to the System

My pep talk on Thursday worked ridiculously well (I mean, Jason Pomiville scored a hat-trick.  Jason. Pominville.) , so, in honor of Lindy’s tried and true “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the line-up, I will stick to the pre-game blog posting routine.

Dear Sabres,

Okay.  That was a pretty good game on Thursday.

I know you’re tempted to phone it in tonight.  I know this because I know you, and because I’m looking at the schedule and I see that you’re playing the Panthers.  “Panthers?!” I can hear you giggling to each other, “They suck!  We can beat them easily!  WOOOO!”

You hosers need to listen to me.  Are you listening?  Everyone?

THOMAS VANEK STOP FLAGELLATING YOURSELF WITH THAT BAMBOO SWITCH, AND LISTEN TO ME.  MAYBE YOUR PROBLEM IS THAT YOU SPEND ALL YOUR TIME BERATING YOURSELF AND NONE OF YOUR TIME SEEKING PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP.  EVER THINK OF THAT?  NOW LISTEN TO ME.

Okay listen up, gentlemen.

I just looked at the standings, and yes, the Panthers seem to be kind of stinky, but remember last year when you ALWAYS lost to stinky teams?  That was lame, don’t you agree?  If you don’t come out hard, and you don’t play grown-up defense, the Panthers will beat you.  I mean, they’re stinky, but they’re not that stinky.  No team in the league is so stinky that they can’t beat you guys if you’re being Lazy Sabres.  Also, Tomas Vokun can eff you up good if you’re not careful.

So, in closing:

1. Thomas, stop beating yourself up both physically and mentally.

2. Don’t take the Panthers lightly because if you do, you’ll lose and we will be sad.

With love,

Katebits

PS- Apparently my future husband, Mr. Byron Bitz, is now a Panther.  Please give him a gentle kiss on the forehead from me.


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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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