Archive for the 'Frustration' Category

The Ecstasy and the Agony

The Ecstasy

That Leafs game was some seriously good times. Leafs fans are annoying mothereffers, but the arena was undeniably  amazing on Friday. The Leafs fans added to our experience tremendously. At times (like, every time the Sabres scored) it was AWESOME to have so many Leafs fans there, and times I wanted to light myself on fire with rage, but the entire night was passionately experienced, which is more than I can say for most games at FNC these days.

In the past I’ve avoided Leafs games (because, as previously mentioned, Leafs fans are annoying mothereffers, but also because you can completely rip them off by selling them your tickets), but Friday was a real eye opener. Leafs games are high risk, high reward. If the Sabres had lost it would’ve been playoff-loss-level misery, but when they won it felt like no win could ever feel as good as that win. Sometimes it’s good to just lose your head during a game, and the Leafs game certainly provide plenty of opportunity for that. (Along those lines, about halfway through the game, while watching a drunk, moronic nearby Leafs fan stand up in a sea of Sabres fans [during a commercial break, no less] and do that infinitely retarded thing where he grabbed the logo on his jersey to “taunt” other fans, Robin suddenly blurted out, “I’m gonna to punch that guy.” And for a brief moment, I think she meant it. After the moment passed, we laughed REALLY hard about that one, because of all the people I know, Robin might be the least likely to punch someone at a sporting event. The fact that she was tempted to punch someone speaks volumes about Leafs fans and also about our level of emotional commitment to the game. We went all in on Friday, and our reward was sweet.)

Robin and I sit low in the shoot twice side, so the Leaf fan presence wasn’t that horrendous (visiting fans tend to gravitate more towards the other end), but I know that my friend Roman didn’t fair as well. He estimated that up in his section in the 300s, the ratio was 70/30, Leafs fans. Ew! Poor Roman! But down in our end, we were mostly okay. In fact, the closest guy to us in a Leafs jersey turned out to be a Sabres fan who had lost a bet. We discovered this when, to our complete confusion, he turned around to high five us after the Sabres’ second goal.

Me: (high fives a dude in a Leafs jersey) WTF, dude? (points to his Leafs jersey)
Him: (shakes his head sadly) It’s okay. I’m a Sabres fan. I lost a bet.
Me: Ouch. Does your skin burn in that thing?
Him: Yeah, it does.

There was a moment late in the third period when I remember thinking to myself, “No matter what happens with the final score, I need to remember how fun this game has been.” Thank you Hockey Gods, for not testing my resolve on that pledge.

I had so much fun on Friday that after the game ended I was tempted to make a pact with the devil: As long as the Sabres manage to beat the Leafs at FNC forever and for all eternity, I don’t care what else happens. But thank GOD the devil wasn’t taking my calls on Friday night because the VERY next day, I was whistling a different tune…

The Agony

I was playing a concert Saturday night, so I didn’t see much of the game. But I saw enough. I saw enough to say definitively that the Sabres are in deep doo-doo. If Ryan Miller is going to play like crap, and half the roster is going to be injured, and the other half of the roster is going to be Roy and Stafford… the Sabres are in serious trouble. Not, like, cute “we just need time to gel, but it’s okay because we beat the Leafs last night” trouble, but real, “OMG. This season will be lost,” trouble.

The thing is, the more I think about it, the more I agree with Ted Black. We need to be patient. It’s not that I think that if we’re patient this roster is suddenly going to be good, or that Lindy Ruff will suddenly figure out how to make Roy and Stafford stop sucking, or that everything will be better once Tyler Myers and Brad Boyes come back. I just think it’s going to take time to fix this team. The fix is way more complicated than we want to believe.

Personally, until Ted Black and Terry Pegula give me reason to feel otherwise, I trust them to make measured, intelligent changes. It probably wasn’t what I would’ve done (no one will ever accuse me of being intelligent and measured), but keeping Lindy and Darcy after the ownership change was the intelligent, measured thing to do. The problem is that right now, in this situation, there isn’t a measured, intelligent change available. A new coach wouldn’t suddenly heal the injured players, and a new GM couldn’t make new cap space appear out of thin air.

As longtime readers of this blog know, I’m not one of those, “Lindy should have a job for life,” people. I’ve called for his head before. Right now, I don’t think the problem is coaching, and even if I did, there is just NO WAY Lindy should be fired while his forward lines look like this.

As for Darcy: So far, this season is looking like a perfect storm of suck for Darcy. I’m not willing to argue that any of his off-season signings were disastrous on their own (okay, maybe Leino, but… I still want to believe in Leino, so dammit, that’s what I’ll do), but the cap situation is h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e. The Sabres have exactly zero space under the cap right now and they are in injury hell.  The lack of cap space puts Darcy in a severely weakened position when it comes to tinkering with the current roster. Even when the plan was “cross your fingers and pray everyone stays healthy,” Darcy was still walking a very dangerous line with his cap space, but now, with all these call ups, he’s in serious trouble. This is the very definition of cap mismanagement, and in my opinion, depending on how the season shakes out, it’s a fire-able offense. But again, we’ll see.

It’s annoying as HELL to admit it, but it’s pretty difficult to fairly assess the roster with this many injuries. The intelligent, measured thing to do is to wait and see. Ted is right.

It seems to me that a lot of Sabres fans reacted to Pegula by upping their expectations dramatically without much consideration for how these new expectations could be met. I upped my expectations too, but unlike in the past, I now have faith that Sabres ownership is going to keep trying. When things don’t work out, Pegula and Ted Black aren’t going to do nothing. No, the first two and a half months of the 2011/12 season have not gone spectacularly well, but, I fully believe that they’re going to keep trying. So, if Darcy and/or Lindy need to go, I think sooner rather than later they will go. I couldn’t say that about the previous ownership.

Instead of feeling angry about the roster, I feel oddly pacified this season. It never made sense to me that Pegula could waltz in and be all, “I am a billionaire, and I want a Cup! BEGIN WINNING CUPS, BUFFALO SABRES.” That would’ve been too easy.

I believe that when Pegula took over, he gave Darcy Regier just enough rope to hang himself. Whether or not Darcy’s summertime moves have doomed him is still up in the air. I like Darcy as a person, and I love it when the Sabres are successful, so I hope things turn around here, but if they don’t, I do trust that things will change.

For now, we wait.

(But if Darcy wants to get to work trading Roy and/or Stafford, that’d be fine by me.)

Killer Instinct

Last night’s game was disappointing.  Not only were the Sabres shutout at home (and we didn’t get to hear Jeremy White’s goal song!), but they lost the opportunity to put the hated Carolina Poopicanes down for good.  Instead of being SIX points behind the Sabres, now the Poopicanes are only TWO points behind the Sabres.  LAME!

We could chalk this loss up to “You can’t win ‘em all,” except that they did this against the Leafs too!  When given the opportunity to take the Leafs out last weekend, they didn’t.  LAME!

Wake up and look at the evidence, people!  The Sabres have no killer instinct!  LAME!

Fortunately, Lindy Ruff is on it.  The Willful Caboose has obtained exclusive footage of Sabres practice.  Lindy Ruff has a plan to turn these guys into killing machines.  YAY!

Here we see Jason Pominville practicing his “killer instincts” in an exercise designed by Lindy Ruff.

Aw.

Pommerdoodle will be a cold-blooded killer in no time!   YAY!

_______

Everything is under control, Sabres fans.  Stay the course.

 

State of the Onion

I was originally going to write a post about the Sabres, inspired by the Bills, titled “State of the Union”.

The post was probably going to be totally lame because the plan was to talk about how my relationship with the Sabres feels different this season and blah blah blah whine whine blah blah blah shut up Katebits blah blah.  It was all planned out.

But then, I sat down to write this emo post, and when I was writing the title, I accidentally wrote “State of the Onion” instead of “State of the Union,” which made me giggle.  Then, figuring that the Blogging Gods had intervened in order to prevent me from writing a lame emo post, I realized that maybe I have the strength to forge ahead as a Buffalo sports fan after all.

So, I guess that’s the state of the union.  I’m listing towards mopey-ness, but I’m easily distracted by other, happier things.  Like funny typos about onions.

(When is Festivus, by the way?  I think we might all benefit from some organized, “airing of the grievances”.)

Are You Freaking Out? Me Either!

I think it’s a little funny how we’re falling all over each other on Twitter to declare that we’re, “not pressing the panic button yet”.  I honestly don’t think there is a single person in town who actually is panicking.

Panicking requires some element of, “OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN!  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!  THIS IS TOTALLY UNEXPECTED AND ENTIRELY UNFORESEEABLE!  NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS DID I THINK THAT THIS SITUATION COULD BE A POSSIBILITY,” and, well, let’s face it, that dynamic is not in play here.

The Sabres are just being the Sabres right now.  (I know, Crunchy.  The truth hurts.)

Please join me in a deep sigh of mild irritation to commemorate the annoying start to the 2010/11 season: *Inhale….aaannnd release*

Those of us who have been vigilantly watching this team for the last few years are definitely not panicking.  We’re mostly just rolling our eyes and thinking, “Oh for pete’s sake, VANEK.

(I will admit [in a totally nonchalant, non-panicking kind of way] that it would be nice if Myers stopped sucking.  That one does have my blood pressure up just a teensy-tiny bit.  Not panicking.  Just wary.)

Offsetting My Cranky Footprint

The timing of this Ilya Kovalchuk trade is really a shame.  The collective mental health of Sabres fans (always shaky, even in the best of times) was already spiraling, and now we’ve got Lou Lamoriello reminding us that even the DEVILS are bold and creative adventurers compared to Darcy and The Gang.  The Devils.

A month ago if you had told me that Kovalchuk would be available for the equivalent of Butler, Kennedy and Ennis I would have said, “THAT is the DUMBEST thing I have EVER heard.  I can’t WAIT to laugh and laugh and laugh at whatever pathetically desperate team bites at that one.”  Then I would have wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes and gazed adoringly at my perfect, perfect Buffalo Sabres.

BUT NOW.

Good golly.  I would trade those suckheads in a heartbeat.

To Atlanta: Butler, Kennedy, Ennis.
To Buffalo: Three orange TicTacs.

Done and DONE.  At least with this trade Butts and Kennedy would be off the ice, and Buffalo would have three delicious orange TicTacs.

I know, I know, I’m being petulant and ridiculous.  What can I say?  “Petulant and Ridiculous” is my middle name.

_______

Here are a few uncranky things to offset my crankiness.  Consider these the “carbon credits” of pissy blogging.

- I’m not sure what Sekera’s numbers were like yesterday (I haven’t dared to look at the stats), but he was a bright spot from the game.  That guy should NOT be in the press box anymore.  Free Sekera!

- This was my fourth game in two weeks at the arena, and my second HIDEOUS game in three nights.  At some point during the second period as I was getting increasingly disgruntled (the 2nd period theoretically should have been exciting because the Sabres had something like, 40,000 shots on goal, but sadly every shot was accompanied by the deepening sense that the Sabres would never score again) I decided to play a game where I only watched Tyler Myers.  And I mean ONLY him.  I even tried to keep my eyes glued to him even when he was sitting on the bench doing nothing.  It’s a surprisingly rewarding game.  I can highly recommend it.  My game led to a lot of firing and unfiring of Tyler on Twitter, and for that, I apologize to my followers.  I was just trying to find my happy place.  (Related aside: if anyone ever wants to discuss Tyler Myers’ long-astonishingly-skinny-leg-iness, I am now fully prepared to do so.  I’ve done the research.)

- I’m not sure this qualifies as “uncranky” but let’s give it a shot: At the end of the 3rd period I reeeally had to pee but because of the STUPID GATE at the end of my row, in order to do so, I would have had to make about 15 people stand up to allow me to pass.  That’s just bad form at the end of a tie game, so I resigned myself to holding it in until the game was over.  BUT, I was feeling uncomfortable enough to say to Robin, “If this game goes to overtime I’m going to be irked.  Heh.  I shouldn’t have said that.  Now the Hurricanes are going to scor- OH FOR EFFS SAKE, CRUNCHY!”   Seriously.  The timing was that perfect.  I’m not sorry, in fact, I’m a little proud.  The Sabres deserved that jinx.

- I usually buy a few 50/50 tickets at the game.  I find 50/50 charming in its simplicity.  Usually I buy between 1-5 tickets depending entirely on how many one dollar bills I have in my wallet.  Last night, I bought 4 tickets.  Get this- the gal who sold me the tickets tore each ticket off of a different booklet.  I thought this was INCREDIBLE.  I’m sure that the math will back me up here, because I believe STRONGLY that my odds of winning go up exponentially when my ticket numbers are not sequential.   Thank you 50/50 girl!  I didn’t win last night, but I sincerely appreciate your efforts to increase my chances.

Surly

I am a Surl-a-saurus Rex.

dinosaur

Terrifying, I know.

Right before I moved, I said to myself, “Self, this is going to suck.  The house is not move in ready, and there is no way around the fact that you’ll be living in chaos for a few weeks. There is nothing to be done but grin and bear it.”  So, with the knowledge that everything would certainly suck for a while, I took pains to ensure that I had a few comforts so that I could relax in my new house, even in the midst of chaos.  One of those comforts was DirecTV (so far I don’t miss Versus, but ask me again in a few weeks when the Sabres are on and I can’t see them), the other was DSL.  Well, the DirecTV is humming along quite nicely, but the internet is NOT.  What I’m trying to tell you is that even though I called Verizon THREE WEEKS ago to set up DSL service “as soon as possible” I still have no interwebs at my house.

Now, ordinarily I’m a “roll with the punches” kind of gal, but I’m having a difficult time recovering from this setback because today was supposed to ROCK.  You see, today was the day I had circled on my calendar as the first Sabres game I could watch in my new house with both my television and internet operating at full tilt.  Tonight was the night when I was going to ignore the chaos all around me, put down the paint roller, and blog my ass off while watching my favorite slug-clad heroes play hockey.

But nooOOoooOOoooOOoo.  There will be no live blog tonight.

The good news is that even though it’s a crazy scene right now, homeownership is kind of a hoot.

AOB1346

Home Sweet Disgusting Home.

The other good news is that as soon as I get the interwebs, I will return to blogging about hockey and stop droning on and on about my death trap house.

The OTHER good news is that the Sabres have been extremely sassy lately.  They’ve been so sassy that I have almost nothing to say about them.  Tim Kennedy’s roster photo pretty much sums up my feeling about the Sabres of late.

Tim Kennedy makes me laugh

Adorable little angels.

In closing: I have no interwebs, my house is strangely lovable despite being filthy, unpainted, and most likely about to fall down, and the Sabres are so good at hockey that I have nothing to bitch about as far as they go.

According to Verizon, the interwebs should be up at and running at Casa de Katebits on Friday, but they’ve made promises before.  We’ll see.

The Downside of Getting Season Tickets:

The calendar says “July 8th”, but my heart says “IWANTHOCKEYTOSTARTRIGHTNOW”.

On a Break

If you are like me, your interest in the Sabres is seriously waning.  This team is just not fun to watch lately.  They’re so….lose-y.

I did something last night that I’ve never done before.  I turned off the game before it was over.  Oh sure, I’ve missed tons of games because of work or socializing, and I LOVE puttering around the house when a hockey game is not capturing my full attention, but I’ve never just shut it off.  Last night, about ten minutes into the third I clicked of the television in disgust/sadness/frustration, and then I went upstairs and listened to an audio book.

This morning I was lamenting my general Sabres malaise, and I was thinking in very dramatic terms.  I don’t have to watch these jerks!  I have better things to do with my time than blog about such a cruddy team!  I don’t need hockey!    The Sabres are lame!  Hockey is lame!  Eff hockey!  I’m DONE with hockey!

That’s when I checked my email and found this:

picture-6

The NHL is seriously needy.
Also, that couple is making “come hither” eyes at me, and it’s making me feel like a piece of meat.

The NHL dispatched a hockey clad couple to try to win me back only ten minutes after I had sworn off hockey.

Listen, NHL.  I just need some space.

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

Small Victories

Sometimes, when nothing is going right with the Sabres I play a little game with myself.  I pick some random part of the game and I place a totally nonsensical importance on that exact moment.

———-

I’m still in Minneapolis.  I spent the day with relatives, and then I had plans to go out with friends for evening drinks.  During the time between these two events, I stole a minute upstairs to freshen up.  As I was reapplying a little make-up, I listened to a few minutes of the second period of the game on my laptop.  The score was tied at one, and the Sabres had been awarded 30 seconds of 5-on-3.  Because I hadn’t been following the game up until that point, I had no context in which to place the situation, but I instantly decided the moment had significance for me.  This moment was the game, and for some reason, this game was the season.  So, rather than hold back for fear of making an ass of myself, I twittered this:

picture-4

Then Jason Pominville scored, and for a brief second, it felt like I was a part of it:

picture-3

———-

I know how the game ended.  An ugly, ugly win.  I didn’t watch, but I followed along on my phone at the bar.  Sometimes, when the big picture is no fun, it helps to reexamine my perspective and celebrate the little things.


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

For All Your Facebook “Needs”

Categories

puck goggles
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.)

Pages


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers