Archive for March, 2010



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.

Some Advice

Dear Sabres,

I know I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to you recently, so maybe I’ve lost some authority with you, but I URGE you to listen to me now.

Are you listening?

Everyone?

Pommers?  Are you listening?

Okay, good.

Now listen carefully…..

I cannot help but notice that you are scheduled to play the Lightning Bolts tonight.  Do NOT underestimate the Lightning Bolts.

I was recently in Tampa where I saw the Lightning Bolts play the Penguins, and while the Pens won the game, the Lightning Bolts did not go down without a fight.  They were surprisingly feisty actually.  The Lightning Bolts skated around, and hit the Pens, and generally acted like they intended to win the game.  The Lightning Bolts were especially good in the first period.  Sabres, if the internet is to be believed, the first period recently is when you like to skate around, not hit anyone, and generally act like you do NOT intend to win the game.

If you’re not careful, the Lightning Bolts will be up 10,000-1 in the first period.  That is not a situation that anyone is in the mood to see.

It is my recommendation that you 1. Do NOT take the Lightning Bolts lightly, and 2. Attempt to win from the very beginning of the game.

I know you can do it.

Good luck tonight,

Katebits

I’m In Florida

I’m neck deep in traveling, and working, and eating peel n’ eat shrimp on a regular basis, so I am WAY out of the Sabres-loop.  I was vaguely aware that there was a game tonight, and when I checked the score at intermission, I saw that it was 3-0.

When I checked the score at the end of the concert it was 3-2 with two minutes remaining, so I assume the Sabres made it interesting.

There was some talk of the BPO playing Sabre Dance as an encore on this tour, and I STRONGLY believe that had we played it tonight (and it would have coincided perfectly with the last two minutes of the game), the Sabres would have won.

Our bad.

Puttering

You know what I almost never do anymore but that I should do more often because I really enjoy it? – putter around the house while the game is on.  I had about ten thousand things on my to-do list tonight, so I never really committed to sitting down and watching the game.  I just wandered in and out of the livingroom all evening and it was deeelightful.

How about that Tyler Myers though, eh?  One part of the game I DID catch was him skating the puck all over tarnation and then nearly scoring by leaping over a sprawled out Turco.  He didn’t score, but he looked so amazing not scoring that Rick was all, “That’s just fun to watch.”  I had to agree.

Thanks Sabres!

BPO Blog!

Tonight I need to take a little break from my Katebits-persona, and invite y’all on over to a new blog, where, if you are so inclined, you can get a glimpse of my BPOKate persona.  BPOKate is pretty much the same as Katebits, except that instead of talking about hockey, I’ll be talking about the BPO Florida tour, and instead of tomfoolery and swearing, there will be tomfoolery and ABSOLUTELY NO swearing.  This is an officially sanctioned BPO blog, so I suppose I’ll have to be somewhat dignified, but who are we kidding?  There is only so much dignity where I’m involved.

On Thursday the BPO embarks on an eight-day, five-concert tour of Florida.  Obviously, this is awesome for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is that I get to go to Florida on Thursday WOOO!), but it’s awesome for the internet because you get yet ANOTHER way to track my every move.  God forbid I leave the house without blogging every last detail.

So, if you find yourself even remotely curious about the triumphs and shenanigans of an orchestra tour, please stop by The BPO Florida Friends Tour Blog.

If you prefer your BPO tour news Twitter-style, you can follow me or a number of my truly funny and awesome colleagues.   BPOKate, BPODaniel, BPODinesh, or BPOJanz.

I’m not sure what the tour will mean for my hockey blogging.  You guys know how I am.  I might find a way to watch every game and blog every day, or you might not hear boo from me until next week.  We’ll see!


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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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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