Archive for the 'Blowholes' Category

Blowhole!

I can’t believe that in all of this hand wringing over Vanek’s injury, I have FORGOTTEN to make a blowhole joke.  I am DEFINITELY taking things too seriously.  I’m slipping, you guys.

I do not want to turn into the kind of person who would rather fret about Thomas Vanek’s injury than suggest that the CURE for that injury is a blowhole.  That’s no way to live.

3 Things

1. When I got to work today everyone was all, “Were you at the game last night?!”  It made me so happy to say, “YES, I WAS AT THE GAME ANDITWASTHEMOSTFUNEVER!”  In the two years since I started going to hockey games, I’ve never managed to catch one that was quite that exuberant.  I’ve seen lots of fun games, but last night was special.  It was the Red Wings, and the Sabres kicked their asses, and it was the inauguration of our seats.  WOOOO!

2. I told my friend Janz at work yesterday that I’d read that there’s going to be a swingers convention on Grand Island this weekend, but apparently he didn’t hear the part where I said, “at the Holiday Inn,” because he was quiet for a second and then he said, “But what if you live on Grand Island?….That’s not cool.”  It delights me that for a brief second Janz thought all of Grand Island was going to be transformed into a free-for-all orgy, as if suddenly the streets would no longer be safe for monogamy.  We ironed out the miscommunication pretty quickly, but it was funny while it lasted.

3. One of the things I love about Lindy Ruff is my sneaking suspicion that he likes to eff with us from time to time.  I wish I could say that when I tweeted this to Mike “Every Blogger’s Favorite TBN Guy” Harrington it was because my finely tuned Ruff-bullshit-detection skillz sensed that something was amiss, but alas, I cannot.  I just wanted to make a blowhole joke. (Blowhole jokes are never not funny to me.  In fact, I’ll probably make a blowhole joke every time Vanek is injured for the rest of his career.  As far as I’m concerned, there is NO Vanek injury that a blowhole can’t cure.)  But, I love it when my jokes turn out to be clairvoyant, especially when it means that Vanek is not about to miss weeks (weeks).  Hooray!

A Prayer For the Season #1

Oh, great and powerful Hockey Gods, please heed our prayer.  We ask that you, in your infinite wisdom and terrible power, look down upon us with mercy and bless us with a bountiful year.

Please, oh Hockey Gods, keep Ryan Miller’s ankles stout and full of vigor,  Tim Connolly’s skull free from dents and useless thoughts, and Thomas Vanek’s jaw square and properly hinged.  Should Vanek’s jaw become improperly hinged due to your awesome and terrifying wrath, please compel him to drill a blowhole in your name, as this is what is natural and good.

For thine is the arena and the slapshot and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo.

TWC Top-to-Bottom Review: Thomas Vanek

(This is the second post in a series which will evaluate the Sabres organization, one man at a time.  On Friday, Larry Quinn announced that 5% of the internal review was complete, and that his findings led to the decision to keep both Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier on board for next year, a decision which cements Larry’s review as the Official Worst Top-To-Bottom Review EVER.  I’m conducting my own review, to show Larry how it’s done.)

Name: Thomas Vanek, aka Slag-Faced Whore, aka Slaggy Sir Fantastico

Position: forward

number of years with Sabres organization: drafted 5th overall by the Sabres in 2003, Thomas has been a Sabre for 3 years.

Career high point: signing a kazillion dollar offer sheer from the Oilers, forcing the Sabres to match in July 2007.

Career low point: being benched in the 2006 playoffs; also, meeting Derek Roy

2008-09 grade: B+   At times this season Thomas Vanek single-handedly carried the Sabres offense, but he also disappeared for long stretches and refused to drill a blowhole when he broke his jaw.

Areas of strength: craftiness, ability to protect the puck with the strength of his upper body while carrying it around the opposition’s net, bank account, origami, making a better door than a window in front of the goalie, grimacing, scoring “dirty” goals, and playing Edelweiss on the clarinet.

Areas of weakness: jaw, consistent determination, shootouts, spelling

General comments: Thomas Vanek is a mystery, wrapped in prosciutto and smothered in club sauce.  One month he’s the best hockey player you’ve ever seen (and STILL blaming himself for every loss in post-game interviews), and the next month he’s lolling around on the couch all day, hopped up on Vicodin, whimpering about his shattered jaw, and refusing to drill a blowhole.

Overall, Vanek had a very strong season in 08-09, but it’s my belief that the Buffalo Sabres will never be a truly good team until Thomas is able to step into a leadership role in the locker room.

Thomas’ game is not perfect, but it’s not chopped liver, and it’s certainly the best we’ve got.  In order to increase Thomas’ overall effectiveness we need him to be a leader, and in order to be a leader he must increase his credibility with his teammates.

There are two areas in which I believe Thomas Vanek MUST improve:

1. He must work harder, longer, and with more consistency.  I would never go so far as to call Thomas Vanek lazy, but there is a certain oafish lackadaisical quality to him.  He looks a little doughy sometimes, he doesn’t always appear to be skating full force, and for reasons beyond the scope of my comprehension, every time he falls down he looks like my grandmother trying to get out of her Lazyboy as he hoists himself back onto his feet.  I’m not saying that Thomas Vanek is actually out of shape (at all), but I am saying that sometimes he exudes a quality of laziness, and he needs to knock it off.

Vanek must learn to lead by confident example so that when he is carrying the team on his back, he’s got the credibility in the locker room to be all, “You bitches need to stop expecting me to do all the work around here.  Get off your asses and score a few goals.”  He can’t do that until he eliminates the laziness from his game.

2. He must chill the fuck out.

Honestly, it often seems like Vanek just needs to lighten up.  I know, I know, he’s Austrian. He’s not boisterous, he’s not playful, and he’s not demonstrative with his emotions off-ice.  His interviews are incredibly bland, which ordinarily I have no problem with (See: Drury, Chris), but in Thomas’ case, I think his taciturn disposition is masking a deeply rooted problem.

There is not much joy evident in his game.  I’m not asking that he turn into Ovechkin (eww) and get all goofy with his goal celebrations, but I do believe he’d be a better player if he dialed down the “grim” and dialed up the swagger.

Things are going well for him, you know?  Why all the angst?

REQUIRED SUMMER HOMEWORK:  Thomas Vanek must complete the following tasks before returning to Buffalo in the fall.  Some of these tasks may seem contradictory.  This is by design.

1. Boot camp.  I’m not talking about the boot camp class down at the JCC.  I’m talking about real, honest to God, boot camp- with an evil drill sergeant, and forced push-ups.  Truthfully, I’m not sure if Thomas Vanek is actually lazy, but he often appears lazy, so he is sentenced to boot camp, just in case.

2.Write a book of poetry.  Everyone needs an outlet for their feelings.  I think if Thomas writes some poetry he might feel less weighed down by the painful burden of being a 25-year-old multimillionaire.

3. Give away a million dollars.  I’ve written about this before. Thomas, don’t you dare come back to Buffalo until you’ve given away *putting pinky to corner of mouth* one miiiiilllion dolllllars.  I’m serious.

4. Clown School.  If clown school fails to lighten him up, Thomas will be required to undergo tickle therapy, which is exactly what it sounds like, and any rational person would avoid it at all costs.  This kid will lighten up, even if it kills him.

5. Chose a Sabre at random and beat the shit out of him.  Enough of this Mr-Nice-Guy-I’m-Just-Trying-To-Focus-On-My-Game routine.  It’s time to lay down the law.

6. Learn to play the banjo.  As the Steve Martin monolouge goes, “The banjo is such a happy instrument–you can’t play a sad song on the banjo – it always comes out so cheerful.”

Bigger Fish To Fry

No offense Buffalo, but you’re beginning to sound a little unhinged.   I always get kind of nervous when you start to act like this. Yes, the Sabres are soft.  No, you don’t have to have to go all Cuckoo for Crankypuffs about it.

It’s not that I don’t think the Sabres are soft, it’s just that my distaste for the tone of this dialog is far outweighing my interest in the subject matter.  Furthermore, it’s not like the Sabres being soft is even the most significant issue right now!  The way I see it, we’ve got plenty of other things to freak out about, including, but not limited to:

1. Tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future, Patrick Lalime is our goaltender.

2. I don’t understand why Crunchy hasn’t taken a little more heat for this whole mess.  What, is Ryan Miller too good for ankle steroids?  If Crunchy had spent the summer bulking up his spindly little ankles instead of gallivanting around Europe with Goose, maybe this whole fiasco could have been avoided.

3. Has anyone considered that Ryan Miller is faking? If I were pissed off at my teammates for being reluctant to stand up for me, and I lived in a city prone to sports-related mass hysteria, I might limp around in a walking boot just for fun too.

4. If Thomas Vanek doesn’t have a blowhole drilled by tomorrow, I’m going to flip the eff out.  Enough of this bullhonky!  Man up, Thomas!  If we don’t have Ryan Miller, we’re going to need a LOT more goals.  Get your gimpy jaw back in the game, RIGHT NOW.

5. The Rangers hired Tortorella. This pisses me off because he was my go-to coach in case Lindy ever needed to be fired.  (I know, I know.  You guys don’t like to think about these things, but SOMEONE has to come up with a Plan B.  Tortorella was my Plan B.)  I kind of love Torts, and now he’s a disgusting Ranger.  Sad.

To review:  Everyone stop shouting about the Sabres being soft, and start shouting about blowholes and ankle steroids.  Thank you.

Uh-oh

1st Power Play: Hm.  That…..wasn’t very good.

2nd Power Play: They seem out of sorts.  I guess Vanek’s jaw was an important part of the power play.  Bummer.

3rd Power Play: DUDE!  They NEED to score here.

4th Power Play: I’m getting scared now.

5th Power Play: *gentle crying*

6th Power Play: *loud sobbing*

7th Power Play: *stunned disbelief, and violent rocking back and forth in chair*

8th Power Play: Oh, COME ON!  SOMEONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP VANEK!  I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH VICODIN HE’S SWALLOWED TONIGHT, THE SABRES ARE NOTHING WITHOUT HIM!  GET HIM ON SKATES, AND PROP HIM UP!  DRILL THE BLOWHOLE!  THIS IS AWFUL!

9th Power Play: Hold me.

10th Power Play: *vomiting begins*

11th Power Play: *vomiting continues and crying begins anew*

12th Power Play: *vomiting and crying continue, and I begin threatening Sabretooth at knife point*

13th Power Play:

panicbutton

*finger hovering*

14th Power Play:

panicbutton1

*Press*

15th-20 MILLIONTH Power Play:

panicbutton3

Press press…..press…..presspresspress….press
presspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspresspress
Preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss

PRESS

_______________________

We = screwed

4 Things

1.  Okay, I think I understand now why Vanek can’t play with his broken jaw.  With his jaw wired shut, he can’t breathe enough to play hockey, and he also can’t eat enough to stay buff and game ready.  What I DON’T understand is why the doctors didn’t just knock out his front teeth to create a blowhole.  Maybe they could attach a snorkel or something to aid his breathing.  Not to downplay Vanek’s injury (I ASSURE YOU, I would opt for medically assisted suicide rather than eat only smoothies for a month), but I think that the Sabres doctors need to think outside the box here.  All he needs is a blowhole.

2. Whining aside, I think the Sabres could come out of this alive.  This might actually be good for them.  When thinking about the Sabres, one must never underestimate their stunning capacity for laziness.  These guys need to be compelled to work hard.  Perhaps being without their top goal scorer will cause them to buy further into Lindy’s system.   I completely DON’T CARE if the team resorts to a full blown trapping in order to get through this.  All they need to do is keep the boat steady for 3-4 weeks.

3.  When is Goose coming back?  When is Pommerdoodle going to remember how to score?  What the hell happened to Yo-Yo?  Can Mair, Paetsthchstchstchs, and Ellis stay together forever?

4. I watched the Devils/Rangers game last night.  Both Montreal and NY seem to be in a full blown shame sprial of pathetic losingness and total impotence.  If I were a shark I’d say “there’s blood in the water, Sabres” but I’m a violist, so I’ll say, “Go get em, boys.”


…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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