Archive for January, 2011

It’s Tom Golisano Appreciation Day!

When gleefully entering into a new relationship it’s easy to get caught up the new romance.   Terry Pegula is currently overwhelming Sabres fans with tales of his mighty bank account and (alleged) enthusiasm for our beloved team.  We’re flush with excitement and trembling with anticipation.  Instead of listening during math class, we’re all drawing little heart on our Trapper Keepers, and in those hearts we dreamily spell T-E-R-R-Y.

But to allow ourselves to drift unconsciously into a new affair would be a mistake.  It’s important to look back at where we’ve been so that we can honor the past, learn from our mistakes, and ultimately live happier, and more winning lives.

It’s Tom Golisano Appreciation Day!  *tosses confetti and blows a kazoo*

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Many years ago, while nursing a broken heart (a real one, not a hockey one), I had a brilliant idea to start a dating service called….wait for it….Rebound.  The way it would work is this: The broken-hearted fill out a form, detailing how and why their previous relationship failed, and then my team of experts matches that person with an emotionally safe “rebound” relationship. Rebound strives to match people who are in complimentary stages of a break-up.

The underlying premise of Rebound is that rebound relationships are almost always temporary and that the absolute BEST cure for broken-heartedness is to just suffer through it (albeit with the help of lots of mopey music and red wine). But the trouble with a broken heart is that you’re always lonely, and loneliness makes you reach out to inappropriate people.  Rebound relationships can be fun, but they can also just make everything messier and create more and MORE broken hearts as innocent bystanders are sucked into the I-need-someone-but-I’m-not-ready-for-anything-real vortex.  Loneliness combined with emotional instability can cause all SORTS of problems (I’m pretty sure it’s the reason Rome fell, actually).

This is where Rebound steps in.  We’ll hook you up with the person who will leave the LEAST amount of emotional damage while also providing the minimum amount of companionship required to survive the broken heart.

It’s science!

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When Tom Golisano showed up on the scene the Sabres were a pathetic mess.  Paychecks were bouncing, people were being hauled off to jail, and Gary Bettman (Gary Bettman!) had to take over in order to save the Sabres from themselves.   For a while things were so bad that the Sabres were talking about moving to another city (any city) to escape the pain that John Rigas left behind.

And then, just when the Sabres were hitting rock bottom (they were listening to “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia on an endless loop while crying into their boxed wine and posting morose song lyrics to their Facebook page), Tom Golisano showed up.

While the Sabres were with Golisano, everything stabilized.   The Sabres got good, everyone stopped talking about moving away from Buffalo, and as a city we remembered how to love (hockey) again.  Golisano was a rock.  He was there for us.  We  trusted him not to screw us over by moving the Sabres away, which is a level of emotional stability we desperately needed. Tom Golisano made hockey cheaper and more fun.  And, in spite of his shortcomings, he really did do the best he could with the team.  People called him cheap, but that was never really true.  He wasn’t cheap, he just never felt passionately about winning hockey games.  There’s a difference.

Sure, there were problems.  His friends kind of suck (we certainly won’t miss having Larry Quinn lounging around the house), and as the relationship wore on, Golisano got increasingly distant.  Tom got all wrapped up in politics in a really annoying way, and at one point he made a big stupid show out of “moving to Florida and taking my tax dollars with me!”  Inevitably, things had to end, as we always knew they would, and ultimately we’re both ready to move on.

After the Rigas fiasco, we were not ready for Terry Pegula.  We needed time to re-discover that hockey is fun, and that we like going to the arena, and that even though we think Darcy and Lindy are mega-awesome we don’t necessarily have to keep them forever.  We needed room to make some mistakes (oopsies!  Sorry we severely undervalued you, Daniel Briere!), and learn from those mistakes (just because we blew it on Briere does NOT mean we should overcompensate by signing Drew Stafford like we did with Tim Connolly).  We’re older and wiser now.   We’re ready for the real thing.

That’s the beauty of a good rebound relationship- both parties are leaving the relationship happier and healthier than when we first got together.  Tom Golisano has more money, and we have a stable hockey team that will never ever move to Kansas City, Las Vegas, or Hamilton.  But even better than stability, we, as a franchise and as a city are ready to embrace the man who might ultimately prove to be the love of our lives, Terry Pegula.

It’s Tom Golisano Appreciation Day!

Tom, we wish you well.  We hope you find all the love and happiness you deserve down in Florida.  Thanks for showing up and buying the team at just the right time, but even more than that, thanks for selling the team.  Thank you for agreeing that it’s time we both move on.  We are a better franchise for having loved you.

P.S.- Good luck with Monica Seles.  She’s way too young for you and frankly, we’re prettier.

Blah Blah Blah Sabres Blah Blah

I recently read a good post on Black Dog Hates Skunks about the Oilers and how they may or may not handle the trade deadline.  The basic premise of the post is this: If you want to build a better team, keep the good players you have, and get more good players when you can.  This makes sense to me, because it’s logical and sane.  (Incidentally, I really recommend adding Black Dog Hates Skunk to your RSS feed.  Most of his posts are divided into two parts.  The first part is usually a story about himself or his family.  The stories are oddly heartwarming despite the fact that they’re 95% about drinking beer, making babies, or being generally unruly.  The second part is usually about the Oilers, and if you’re like me, and you don’t care about the Oilers, it’s easy to skip.)

I’ll admit, there is a part of me that wants to believe in the “blow it up” philosophy.   Blowing it up sounds satisfying, but what if it doesn’t work?  If you blow it up and you STILL stink, then what?

For the good of the bottom-line, I think it’s important for the Sabres to stay at least semi-competitive.  I don’t think the Sabres would be wise to take the Penguins/Blackhawk route, because, well, sucking that hard would….suck.  No fun.

Anyhooch, Black Dog’s post got me thinking seriously about the Sabres and who I think is realistic trade bait, and who I think the Sabres should keep.  I do think the Sabres should be sellers, but they should sell with the idea of getting better next year.  No need to blow anything up, m’kay Darcy?

We’ve got a few categories of players:

Players that I would consider addition by subtraction:

Hecht
Connolly
Rivet
Grier
Niedermayer
Lalime

The only players on this list that any team would even CONSIDER taking off our hands would be Connolly and maaaaybe Grier.   Trouble is, even when healthy, Connolly has been terrible this season, and his stock may have totally plummeted.  If Connolly is still trade-able it’s because GMs are morons….which, you know….they kind of are.  So, *fingers crossed*.  But let’s err on the side of not-getting-our-hopes-up, and assume that all of these players will finish the season as Sabres.  Bummer.  The good news about these guys is that with the exception of Hecht, all of their contracts are expiring this summer.

Untouchables:

Miller
Myers
Vanek
Sekera
Roy

Yeah, I know.  None one of these guys are having particularly great years, but I have faith that they’ll all be worth it in the end.  Even if Myers and Miller never return to 2009/10 form, they’re still very handy players to have around.  I initially thought maybe Darcy should dangle Sekera, but I think he’s developing into a nice little player.   Why should we assume a draft pick is going to be any better at hockey than Sekera?  All of these guys fall firmly into the category of “keep your good players,” if you ask me.  

Babies we should definitely keep:

Ennis
Weber
Adam
Byron

Ennis and Weber have performed admirably this season, and I was impressed with both Adam and Byron during their call-ups.  I’m looking forward to seeing all of these guys play more. These guys fall into the category of “keep your best prospects”.

Veeeerry Interesting players:

I’ll discuss them one by one.

Montador- I think the Sabres should definitely try to keep Montador.  He’s a solid defenseman, he’s surprisingly points get-y, he gives good interviews, and he somehow manages to be hot even when he’s NOT wearing his teeth.  Plus, the Sabres have been bleeding defensemen every summer for as long as I’ve been a fan, and frankly, I don’t think it’s working out too well.  Montador is pretty good.  He’s thrived in Lindy’s system.  Let’s keep him.  If Darcy is not already trying to negotiate with Montador, he’s stupid.   HOWEVER, if the Sabres already know that Monty wants to move on next year, I have to think he’d have some trade value.  In that case (although I would definitely shed a tear), Monty should be traded.

Gerbe- As recently as three weeks ago we all would’ve happily put Gerbe on a bus to Anywhere-But-Here.  Don’t deny it.  You know it’s true.  But little Gerbs is doing us a real solid by stepping up his game recently.  He’s proving that in the right conditions, he can be a productive NHL player.  I saw enough of him in the first half of the season to be veeeerrry skeptical of his abilities, so, I say let’s try to get something, anything, for this guy while the getting is good.

Butler- Someone took Paehcsehtchesch from us last year, so I think someone will take Butler.  Once upon a time I truly loved Butts, but he’s definitely on Lindy’s “unsalvageable” list, so if he can be traded, he should be traded.

Stafford- If he can stay healthy for the next month, I think Staffy is definitely our most valuable trade asset.  He’s big, he’s shown definite signs of being offensively gifted, and he’s got at least one more year of RFA status after his contract expires this summer.  Plus, he’s having a career year.

Staffy has NEVER played with consistency, in the past he’s PROVEN that he can be lazy and distracted (I mean, he’s said OUTLOUD in INTERVIEWS that he might prefer to be a rockstar.  I love you, but for FUCKS SAKE, Staffy!), plus he’s easily injured.  How would giving Stafford a contract now be any different from when Darcy gave Connolly his contract two years ago?  In reality, it would be worse, because at least Connolly had shown signs of near brilliance in previous years.  All Staffy has shown us with consistency is inconsistency.  Signing Staffy now would be the textbook definition of “buying high”.   (And, again, I direct you towards this post at Hockey Rhetoric which compares Stafford to Kotalik in a MOST unsettling way.)

When we rail against Darcy for overvaluing his draftees, we’re talking about guys like Drew Stafford.  I, for one, feel quite comfortable taking the risk that Staffy will go and be awesome for someone else, because honestly, I don’t think he’s going to be awesome for someone else.  I think he’ll be a 15-20 goal scorer for the rest of his career.  He’s useful, but he’s not special.   If the Sabres want to change, they have to ACTUALLY change some of the players (and not just defensemen).  They have to let players go. I think, for better and for worse, Staffy is emblematic of the post-2007 Sabres.  Stafford is part of the “core” that has proven beyond a DOUBT that they can’t get it done. Let’s move him while he’s hot, get something in return, and never look back.

_________

If there’s a player I didn’t mention it’s because I think he’s providing value to the Sabres in one way or another.  (I wasn’t entirely sure how to categorize Pominville until I remembered how terrible the penalty kill was when he was injured at the beginning of the season.  Remember that?  That was not cool.  We may be paying Pominville too much, but he’s definitely providing value.  I never ever ever ever want to watch the PK without him again.)

And on a sidenote, I have no idea what’s come over me in the last few days and compelled me to write such serious posts.  It’s very unlike me.  Hopefully I’ll return to whimsy and bullhonky in the very near future.  Thank you for your patience.

State of the Onion, Part II

I find myself with an unfamiliar Sabres-related spring in my step this afternoon.  I’m, like, happy about them or something today.  Maybe “happy” is taking things too far.  It’s not happiness I feel, it’s a lack of these-guys-make-me-want-to-barf-ism.   Over the last few months, I’ve come to accept the Sabres for what they are (a mess), and along with this acceptance has come an unexpected sense of peace.

It’s been a bit easier to feel peaceful about them of late.  They really haven’t been all that bad.  8-3-1 in their last twelve games.  Sure, two of the three Islanders games were horror shows, but still, their recent record is their recent record.  They’re doing alright.  Yesterday afternoon I was shocked to realize that the Sabres are six point back, with three games in hand over the Thrashers.  That’s doable, you guys.  It’s not likely, but it is doable.

The thing that’s been most interesting about this stretch of non-suckiness is that they’ve done it with significant injuries to the corp of forwards.  It makes no sense that the team’s record improved as their top points guys started dropping like flies, but there you go.  I find myself watching these games with a kind of bemused detachment.  Like, “Huh.  Look at little Gerbe go.”  It’s nice.

I believe the main reason for this pleasing sense of not-quite-optimism is Terry Pegula.  I don’t tend to put much stock in the ramblings of Bucky Gleason, but the one thing we’ve been consistently told is that Pegula will eventually buy the team.  After that it’s anybody’s guess what Pegula will do, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine that he’ll be as checked-out as Golisano.  Even if Pegula keeps both Darcy and Lindy, at the very least, Larry Quinn will be out of the picture.  That’s not nothing.

As far as players go, next season Rivet, Niedermayer, Connolly, and Grier will almost certainly be gone.  The Sabres will have a new captain- one who presumably will not be in the pressbox for weeks at a time.  Connolly, the guy who drives us all batty with rage, will be driving some other fanbase batty with rage next season. (Imagine a Sabresworld without Connolly!  Just imagine!  I bet the air will smell sweeter, and the arena will be bathed in the warm glow of heavenly love, and little bluebirds will flutter down to perch on our fingers as we sing songs about how much we love the Sabres during the games.  Paradise!)  Obviously, Nieds has been a complete disaster, and thankfully, next year he’ll be gone.  And Grier, well, we wish him the best.  Thanks for your service, good man.  Now please, retire, and stop taking Luke Adams’ minutes.   The elimination of these four players from the roster is NOT insignificant, and by shedding these contracts the Sabres will be waaay ahead of recent years in the “addition by subtraction” category.  WAY ahead.

I’m also hopeful that the Sabres will find a taker for Drew Stafford at the trade deadline.  There are some people who advocate keeping Staffy, and to those people I say, “You’re wronger than anyone has ever been wrong.”  Read this post by Hockey Rhetoric and then come back here and say we should keep Staffy.  It’s time to turn the page on Staffy, just like we turned the page on MacArthur.  (Do you guy miss Clarke MacArthur?  I sure don’t.)

And these are all changes that we can reasonably expect even if Darcy stays.

If Darcy is canned, we’re looking at a whole new Sabres landscape.  I’ve always been curious to find out if the fierce loyalty that Darcy has shown Lindy is a two-way street.  Will Lindy even want to stay if Darcy goes?  I won’t even bother speculating on what kind of on-ice changes a new GM and a new coach might bring, because at that point we’re basically talking about a different franchise.  We’d be in no-man’s land.  Delicious, exciting, thrilling no-man’s land.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I really believe that things ARE going to be different next season.  I don’t see any way around it.  Even if Darcy stays, Tim Connolly and Larry Quinn are leaving. For the first time in my short fandom, the sense that “nothing will ever change” is gone.  I’m watching the Sabres differently now.  I’m watching with a more appraising eye.  In a weird way I’m grateful for the string of injuries because it’s given us the opportunity to get a good look at the young guys in the system.  I’m looking at the franchise as a whole, and I’m trying to figure out what we’ve really got here.  Watching the Sabres like this is refreshing and it’s fun, and most importantly, it’s different.  In that respect, the change is already beginning for me.

Barring some miracle, this season will not amount to much, but I’ve really enjoyed watching the Sabres lately.  I’m less preoccupied with wins and losses, and more fascinated by the individual efforts of particular players.  (You know who I’ve found downright riveting lately?  Sekera.)

The entrance of Pegula has allowed me to give up on the season without giving up on the Sabres, and that is a change I never saw coming.

Nonsense

This photo from the today’s Buffalo News made me laugh.  I’m not sure if these guys are celebrating a goal or what, but they do NOT look celebratory.  They look very…concerned for Yo-Yo.

Yo-Yo: You guys. Check out this thing growing on my neck.
Gerbe: Dude, Yo-Yo.  You should get that checked out by a doctor.
Myers: Seriously.  Gerbs is right.  Maybe that thing is the reason you suck at hockey.
Sekera: That thing can explain why Yo-Yo sucks, but why do YOU suck, Mylers?
Gerbe: Oh snap.

Hockey Player Money Is Different Than Viola Player Money

I was fiddling around with my personal budget today, and for one reason or another, I got to thinking about NHL salaries.

Take Thomas Vanek, for example.

Vanek makes $7,142,857 per year.

I have NO idea what sort of taxes you have to pay when you make that kind of money, and I’m waaaay too lazy to try to figure it out, so for simplicity’s sake let’s just say that with taxes, agent fees, union fees, and of course the dreaded escrow, Thomas Vanek only sees about 50% of his annual salary in the form of cash. I actually suspect that it’s much less than that, but I like “50%” because it means I just have to press “÷ 2″ on my calculator to figure out his (totally made-up at this point) take-home pay.

So, at the most, Vanek is taking home a measly $3,571,428.50 in cash a year.   I know!  How does he survive?

When I started thinking about writing this post, I DMed Mike Harrington on twitter, and he was nice enough to answer a few questions.  According to Mike, hockey players only get paid during the regular season (meaning no paychecks during the preseason, which I think is a little odd), and they get paid every two weeks.   Don’t even try to pretend that information isn’t strangely interesting.

A hockey season is between 25-28 weeks long.  Let’s call it 28 weeks, because it’s a nice round number.  We’ll pretend this is an Olympic year, and therefore a longer season.

So, you take $3,571,428.50 and divide it by 28 weeks, and then you multiply that by 2 to figure out what Thomas Vanek’s paycheck looks like.

$255,102.07

According to my (super scientific and not-at-all based on complete guesses) calculations, Thomas Vanek gets a paycheck for $255,102.07 every two weeks during the hockey season.

Now, I didn’t do all this math (math is hard!) so that we can marvel at how rich Thomas Vanek is, and I definitely didn’t bring it up to cast negative light on Vanek’s salary.  He’s a highly skilled and incredibly rare athlete.  All the power to him, I say.

But, the idea of getting a paycheck for a quarter of a million dollars is downright hilarious to me.  I actually did the math on this, like, five times, because the number seems so preposterous when I think about it in the form of a paycheck.

The number brings up all sorts of amusing questions.

Do you think he has direct deposit?  I have direct deposit at work, but my boss still walks around on payday handing everyone their fake checks.  Does Larry Quinn come through the locker room every other Friday and hand everyone a ridiculously huge check?   Is Thomas Vanek’s locker at HSBC filled with pay stubs for a quarter of a million dollars that all have, “this is not a real check” written on them?  Is it possible that Vanek DOESN’T have direct deposit?   Can you imagine Thomas Vanek standing in line at the bank, waiting to deposit his $250,000 after work on Friday? Do you think they get excited about payday the way we do?  Is Vanek ever all, “Oooh, I’m going to buy that new diamond-encrusted Escalade….but not until payday,” or is payday just totally meaningless?

Is it possible that some of the younger guys are so bad with their money that they ever run out?  That seems unlikely.  I think the more likely scenario is that guys like Tyler Myers wind up with, like, $500,000 in their checking account by the end of the season.  Then they go home to bumblefuck-wherever in the summer and talk to their family accountant and he’s all, “Dude.  You can’t keep all of your money in your checking account.  You have to invest this shit.”  And then Tyler Myers is all, “Okay.  Whatever you say Uncle Milt.  Do I have enough money to buy this diamond-encrusted iphone case?”  And Uncle Milt is all, “Yeah.  Totally.”

_______

These are the kind of things I think about.   I don’t know why.

Stinky Sabres

I had three revelations during that Sabres/Habs game.

1.  I almost never putter around the house during Sabres games anymore.  I used to do this all the time.  I’d multitask.  One eye on the game, and one eye on some other mindless chore.  A few minutes into the first period tonight I realized, “This is bullhonky and it’s making me cranky.  I need an additional activity.”  So, I spent the next period and a half painting the trim on my new window in the dining room while the game rambled on in the living room.  It was lovely.  I really enjoy twitter during the games, but sometimes I need to just experience a game quietly, and on my own terms.   As soon as I started painting I began to enjoy the game more.  Painting is therapeutic during the stinky Sabres games.  I might just paint the living room over and over and over again until the Sabres win the Stanley Cup.  That’s my new plan.

2. Scott Gomez has a bitchface.  He has a BIGtime bitchface.

3. I intend to refer to the Sabres as the “stinky Sabres” for the remainder of the season.  I think it’s cute and it makes me like them more.  Good work, stinky Sabres!

Woolgathering Sabres @ Islanders 1/15/11

In the style of the great IPB, I am doing some woolgathering tonight.  Gather round, Sabres fans. Let’s make fun of the Sabres!

-Why didn’t Connolly get a cuter nose put on when his got all smushed up?  If I had to get reconstructive nose surgery, you better believe I wouldn’t have them reconstruct the same old honker.  This was Connolly’s big chance to get the button nose of his dreams!  Dummy.

- Because he stopped that 2-on-0, Crunchy has earned at least one period of relief from my constant suggestions that he dump the woman he loves for the good of the Sabres.  That save was foxy, and fun.

- So far, with 3 minutes left in the 1st, the Sabres seem to match up pretty well with the Islanders.  Yeeeeeah.  “Matching up well with the Islanders” is not exactly how we envisioned this season going, is it?  But at least it makes for a zippy, fun-to-watch game.

- Oooh, a 5-on-3 for 16 seconds!  Let’s see what happens….hm.  Nothing happens.

-1st Intermission: We seem to be watching the Islanders’ intermission feed.  I’m actually sick of complaining about how hard MSG sucks.  They suck, but at least we’re getting all the games in HD now.  I don’t totally hate checking out the other team’s intermission broadcast.  It’s something different.  Plus, with all of his time off, Kevin Sylvester can get his widow’s peak waxed, his eyes re-twinkled, and his dimples re-set.  He’s going to look amazing next time we see him!

2nd period

- Whoops I missed a goal because I changed the channel to football during the intermission (I guess I’m not that enthused about watching the Islanders’ intermission) and I was working on a jigsaw puzzle.  Yup.  It’s Saturday night and I’m working on an actual jigsaw puzzle.  (I know.  My sexiness can be overwhelming sometimes.)  Anyhooch, Vanek scores a goal on the leftover 5-on-3.  It’s 1-0, Sabres. Go team.

-Why does Netflix have the first Lord of the Rings streaming, but not the others?  I think that’s weird.

- Darn it.  How come no one was paying any attention to John Tavares?  Someone is fired, and I think that someone is Tyler Myers. 1-1. Boo.

- Okaaaaay. John Tavares completely owns the Sabres. Now he has a hat trick, which is annoying, but at least it gives RJ a chance to comment that the “young ladies” working the shovels to pick up the hats don’t seem to be doing such a great job. The Islanders feed gives us a long lingering shot of Patrick Lalime sitting on the bench. Ha! Yeah right, Islanders feed!  Unless Crunchy actually DIES on the ice, Lindy is not playing Lalime.  3-1, Tavares.

-This is now a bloodbath.  Some sort of clusterfuck has just occurred.  I think the Sabres on the ice might have literally bonked heads on that one.  4-1, Islanders.

-In retrospect, perhaps this tweet after Tavares missed on the 2-on-0 was ill advised.

3rd Period

- WHY hasn’t Lindy pulled Miller?  Lindy is fired.

- Seriously.  Why?  Is Lindy still trying to pretend the Sabres can win this game?  Has he SEEN our offense?  WHy is he getting Ryan Miller all worn out on a lost cause?  Oh…fuck it.  It doesn’t matter.  Ryan Miller is going to be all worn out and bedraggled soon.  Whatevs.

- Ennis scores but I wasn’t paying attention.  I assume someone passed him the puck and then he used his hockey stick to knock the puck into the net.  That’s usually how these things work.  4-2, Islanders.

- Yesterday I found out there’s a guy in the NHL named “Grant Clitsome”. 

- Vanek just deked out about 45,000 Islanders only to skate around behind the net and then pass it to a falling down Pommerdoodle.  This is why Vanek is both magnificent and revolting.  Mostly revolting.

- I really worry about Tyler Myers sometimes.  What if he turns into a Vanek?  I can’t handle two Vaneks.

- Has Tim Connolly been playing this whole game?  I swear I haven’t heard his name mentioned in at least an hour and a half.

- Oh GREAT.  Luke Adam just killed Crunchy after the Islanders score a shortie. 5-2, Islanders.  Miller stays in game.  NO idea why.  Get your skinny ass to the showers, Crunchy!  THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO ESCAPE.  You got kneed in the head by Luke Adam.  We all saw it!  RUN!

- Some Islander with the biggest mustache I’ve ever seen takes a run at Vanek, meanwhile, Pommerdoodle scores a goal.   Or maybe it was Hecht.  5-3, Islanders.

- Thanks goodness.  All done.  That was lame.  Good thing I still have a jigsaw puzzle, boxed wine and the first season of Bones.

State of the Onion, For Realsies.

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging with the same zeal (comical rage-aliciousness?  passionate flabbergasttedy?) as I have in the past.  This blogging lull is for a variety of reasons, ranging from ordinary blog fatigue to dude-the-Sabres-blow-itus, but I am hoping it’s just a lull, not a permanent situation.  In the last month I’ve given some real thought to closing up shop on the blog, but I’m not there yet.  I don’t want to quit, and I especially don’t want to quit while the Sabres are being so…meh.

If I quit now, then Tim Connolly wins.  He will have beaten me.  That’s not going to happen.  Not on my watch.

So, we slog forward.  (See, right here is a perfectly decent excuse to keep blogging.  If I didn’t have a blog about the Buffalo Sabres, I would have considerably fewer excuses to use the word “slog” in public.  Not using the word “slog” is no way to live.)

I’m curious to find out how I’ll remember a season like this after a lifetime of fandom. (And please, if you happen to be there at my deathbed in 70 years [I plan on living until I'm 105], please do NOT ask me to spend any of my last moments on earth attempting to recall the 2010/11 Sabres. That’s no way to die.)  I suspect I’ll forget all about this season.  To be honest, I’m barely keeping track of them from one game to the next right now.  I had to think reeeeally hard this morning trying to remember the Sabres opponent at the game I attended with Heather three weeks ago (Ducks).  It’s not that I haven’t been paying attention (I still watch whenever I can, and I still want them to win), but that funny thrilling desperation for wins is very muted this year.  That tired expression, “Don’t get too high, and don’t get too low,” is….laughable this season.  The rally cry of the Sabres fan is more like, “Try not to fall asleep during the 2nd period.  Maybe lay off the boxed wine, you filthy lush.”

And that’s really all I have to say about the current state of the Sabres.  Well, that and, “Ryan Miller, I want to be happy for you and your starlet fiance, but seriously, your lack of crankiness is worrisome.  I realize it’s difficult to stay cranky when you’re sleeping with a super-mega hottie, but Crunchy, you must try.   Without your crankiness, I’m afraid you’re considerably less charming.  Your super powers in net seem to depend on you being an unhappy person.  That sucks for you, but you’ll have plenty of time to be happy after you retire.  I’m pretty sure I speak for all Sabres fans when I say- it’s time to ditch the woman you love.  Sorry!”

_________

But this Pegula thing is genuinely interesting.

I have high hopes for Pegasaurus if only because he might fire some people, and then, at the very least we’ll have a new set of problems to complain about.

Here’s a story to illustrate my point: Last year on trade deadline day, I ran into Kevin [of Bfloblog fame] at the arena.  He was making fun of me for being all gung-ho about our new Sabre, Raffi Torres.  It wasn’t that Kevin was anti-Torres, it was more that he had learned over time not to get too worked up over Darcy’s deadline acquisitions.  He found my enthusiasm amusing.  Now, Kevin was ultimately proved 100% right.  The correct response to acquiring Torres is NOT, “yay.”  Sweet baby Jebus, no. The correct response is, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!  WHY GOD, WHY?!” with lots of fist shaking towards the sky.  But still.  I want to live in a world where giddy enthusiasm over a trade deadline acquisition is expected, not weird and misplaced.   Even if we wind up loathing the next GM with the passion of a trillion white-hot suns, we’re still going to enjoy a brief period of not knowing what to expect.  We’ll have tons to talk about, and tons to analyze, for better or for worse, and hopefully we’ll get at least one really interesting trade deadline day out of the deal.  (Sell, New Guy!  SELL!)

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, just like everyone else in town, I’m pro-Funky-Cold-Pegula.  Very.

_________

Hey!  I just had a really good idea!  Maybe we can cheer Darcy Reiger up [presuming he gets fired] by giving him Ryan Miller’s fiance.  We can send Darcy off with a smile on his face, and we can piss Ryan Miller off, something fierce.  Two birds, one stone, you know?

Mega-Quick Thoughts

- The World Juniors were certainly interesting.  Canadians are bonkers, and there is no possible way we could ever love that tournament as much as they do.  I’m fine with this because the WJC doesn’t really do it for me, mostly because I’ve never heard of the players, and I don’t feel comfortable calling an unpaid 18-year-old a “slag-faced whore”.

- Okay, the WJC are done now.  Where’s Pegula?  Nick Mendola just tweeted that Paychex employees have been told that they no longer have use of the owner’s box at the arena.  This is….titillating, to say the least.

- Interestingly, the Sabres seem considerably less sucky recently.  I guess after Roy got hurt they all thought, “Well, I suppose we should try to score ourselves since Roy-Z isn’t here.”  And yes, I really do believe the Sabres are so stupid that they hadn’t noticed that their plan to let Roy-Z score all the goals wasn’t exactly working.

 


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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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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