Archive for the 'Hockey Gods' Category

A Prayer of Thanks #1

Oh, great and powerful Hockey Gods, thank you for blessing us with a very reasonably priced Drew Stafford for the next two seasons.   Thank you for adding a new faux-fur lined sweatshirt to the Sabres gift shop.  Thank you for giving us Crunchy, who is often badass, and always hilarious.  Thank you for providing open practices.

Most importantly, thank you for not being football.

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

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!

A Prayer For the Season #2

Oh, great and powerful Hockey Gods, please heed our prayer.

Our feeble human hearts do not always understand your plan.  We ask that during this annual period of rebirth, that you bless us with the patience and faith that an NHL season requires.  In particular, we ask for your guidance in regards to Drew Stafford, because about this topic, we are filled with feelings of doubt, confusion, and an overall sense of “Seriously, WTF?”.

Please forgive us our frustration, as we forgive those who frustrate against us (Staffy).

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

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo.

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.

4 Things

1.  The “delay of game” call against Crunchy last night was one of the most reDONKulous things I’ve ever seen.  The few seconds between when he caught the puck and when the ref blew the whistle were just spectacularly awkward.  Miller was standing there, waving his glove around and all the other players on the ice were kind of like, “Wait….we’re supposed to…keep playing?  But….Crunchy’s got the puck in his glove.”  The call was total bullhonky.  (Can you IMAGINE if Crunchy HAD put the puck back on the ice?)  TOTAL bullhonky.  As we all know, Crunchy does not take kindly to bullhonky, so a few minutes later when he had the opportunity to stop the puck and then put it back into play, he made a big show of sarcastically placing the puck back down on the ice.  Robin and I had a good chuckle over that.  At the time, Crunchy was playing in the net on the opposite side of the rink from where we sit.   It takes real talent to convey sarcasm and assiness (while wearing goalie equipment, no less) to people sitting 150 yards away.  Crunchy, I applaud you.

2. A week ago I wouldn’t have bet a nickel that the Sabres would ever win again, but last night, in the second period, when the Sabres were still down 2-1, I turned to Robin and said, “Do you think I’d be angering the Hockey Gods if I say that I really think the Sabres are going to win this game?”  She agreed that, no, the Hockey Gods could not possibly exact revenge upon a fan for expressing confidence when her team was losing.  The game last night was fun because even when the Sabres were down 2-0, the comeback felt inevitable.  This was partially because the Sabres have been playing legitimately well for a few games now, but also because the Lightning were just exuding losingness.  (Seriously, their suckiness was visibly emanating off the ice in cartoonish “stinky” waves.)  Even the bad calls in the third, while providing a nice excuse for the expression of righteous indignation (I’d never heard the “Bull-shit” chant in person before last night), felt somehow silly. Like, “Oh, thanks a LOT ref, now we have to kill THIS off TOO?  Bastard.”

3.  It’s hard to criticize a coach during a good stretch like this, so I’m going to tread lightly here, but I have something I really want to say.  Last week, when the issue of Lindy Ruff’s effectiveness was very much on my mind, I was thinking, “This team needs a coach who will be mercilessly mean.”  At the time, Lindy was throwing Miller under the bus for no apparent reason, and making them skate hard every morning, and being an all around a-hole, so I felt weird being all, “Be MEANER, Lindy!”  How mean should a couch actually be?  It occurred to me this morning that NOW is the time when Lindy should be mean; when they’re playing well.  The problem with these guys is that whenever they have a good stretch, they inevitably lose focus.  They revert back to laziness and they seem to think that wins should just start landing in their laps. The team only manages to muster up desperation when they are in a truly desperate situation.  A few ugly loses in a row, followed by an irate coach constantly being in their face, and voila! It’s hard fought, grinding hockey again!  This is a pattern, and I think that as the coach, Lindy needs to shoulder a lot of the blame.  For whatever reason, these players don’t manufacture enough desperation on their own, so I wish Lindy would create it for them…by being a raving lunatic.  If he can keep them off-kilter and fighting desperately for his approval for the length of a SEASON, not just when the going gets tough, then this team might wind up being legitimately good.

4. Thomas Vanek was breathtaking last night.  Truly.

Fun!

Last night I got my first taste of human flesh quadruple overtime, and I have to say, QUADRUPLE OVERTIME ROCKS. Last night’s game was an odd beast for me. I started out the evening bound and determined NOT to watch any hockey. I went out, ate some barbecue with friends, and reluctantly turned on the television when I got home at about 10:30. I started watching during the second intermission of regulation. Little did I know, there was still a full game and a half yet to be played.

At first I was too tense and stressed out about the prospect of the Sharks forcing a Game 7 to enjoy the overtime. (I’m not proud of it, but cheering against Soupy became my most desperate rooting interest this year. More than any other thing, I wanted to see Soupy eliminated.) But, as the OTs piled up, I became less and less invested in the outcome of the game, and more and more invested in the game itself. It was zany, desperate, wild, and exhilarating. Adding to the overall thrill of such a goofy long game, I knew I could sleep in this morning so I wasn’t at all concerned about the late hour. This might sound weird, but it started to remind me of the times I have stayed up late waiting for the results of a particularly compelling political election, only instead of annoying/depressing politics, it was WONDERFUL HOCKEY! It was somehow exciting beyond the normal scope of a hockey game. I was in it for the long haul, and there was NO WAY I was going to sleep before I knew the outcome. It was a delicious treat.

Thank you, Hockey Gods! Thank you for reminding me to love playoff hockey for playoff hockey’s sake AND for eliminating the Rangers and the Sharks ALL IN THE SAME BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Oh My Hockey Gods

Scene: Katebits is sitting on a cloud, surrounded by many huge, ethereal beings.

Katebits: Hey, Hockey Gods.
God of Penalty Kills: (with low, booming voice) Hello, Katebits. How are you?
Katebits: (sullenly) Not very good, frankly.
God of Icing: What’s wrong?
Katebits: It’s these playoffs! They’re making me cranky!
God of Icing: Why?
Katebits: (crossly) All I want is for Soupy’s team to be eliminated because of some ill-advised spinoramas! Is that too much to ask? Instead of the Sharks losing, Soupy scores the come-from-behind, game-tying goal? That SUCKED. This SUCKS. You guys aren’t DOING this right. Why are the FLYERS still playing?! IF THE SHARKS AREN’T ELIMINATED IN THEIR NEXT GAME, I WILL FREAK OUT. DO YOU HEAR ME?! I WILL FREAK OUT!
God of Thunderous Illegal Hits: (thunderously) SILENCE! HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE HOCKEY GODS?

(descending upon Katebits in a swirl of dark mist)

Katebits: (terrified) I’m..I’m so sorry! Please forgive me!
God of Referees: (blowing a whistle and standing between Katebits and the God of Illegal Hits) Chill out, Clyde. She’s in a vulnerable position right now. You can’t attack her.
God of Thunderous Illegal Hits: FINE…….BUT YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE, REF!
God of Referees: (Blows whistle and points emphatically) That’s it! You’re out of here!

(God of Thunderous Illegal Hits slinks away into the big dressing room in the sky)

God of Schadenfreude: Ha! That guy is such a douchebag! I love it when he gets ejected for being a tool.
God of Canadian National Anthem: (singing) O, Kaaa-aate Bits! You are so verr-rry sad! Hoooow can we heeeeeelp? It’s rea-lly not that baaaaad!
Katebits: Yes it is! It’s bad enough that the Sabres didn’t even make the playoffs, but now all the EX-Sabres are being all heroic. Argh! If I hear one more word about Marty Biron being a legitimate candidate for the Conn Smythe, I’m going to scream. (wailing) It’s TORTURE.
God of Poke Checks: Katebits, I think you are failing to remember all the things you like about hockey. You’re too worked up about certain teams and players. What about poke checks? You love a good poke check!
Katebits: (sniffling) Well….that’s true, I suppose. I do love poke checks. Marty Turco has been on fire with those lately.
God of Faceoffs: And clean faceoff wins! Who doesn’t love those?
Katebits: (smiling) You’d have to me dead not to appreciate a nice clean faceoff win.
God of High Ankle Sprains: Listen, you need to chill out because it could really be a lot worse than this. Don’t make us show you how much worse it could be.
God of Sports Hernias: Seriously. Quit your whining, Katebits, or I’ll give you something to whine about.
Katebits: You’re right. I’m sorry. I won’t question your plan, Hockey Gods. I’ll be chill.
God of Playoff Goggles: Just try to focus on the stuff you DO like. Like Chris Osgood! He’s your nerdy playoff boyfriend!
Katebits: Okay, I’ll try.
God of Overtime: At least in the playoffs there are no more third points or shootouts.
Katebits: True. But there are also no Sabres
God of Players Wandering Around Shirtless in the Background of Locker Room Interviews: Listen, if you can’t make your own fun Katebits, that’s your problem. We’re giving you plenty to work with here.
Katebits: You are absolutely right.
God of Green Gatorade Bottles: And stay hydrated! You’re looking a little parched. (turning to the God sitting next to him) Does she look like she needs more electrolytes to you?
God of Impending Free Agency: (putting hand over the cell phone he is holding to his ear) I can’t talk right now….I’ve got Ryan Miller on the phone.
Katebits: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! (leaps off of cloud in despair)
God of Impending Free Agency: What’s her problem? I was just reminding Crunchy that he should sign an extension this summer if he wants to avoid the drama. I was just doing my job by making sure he was aware of all his options!
God of Schadenfreude: (glancing over the edge of the cloud) Heh. Katebits is such a spaz. I don’t think she’ll ever learn. Heh heh heh.

End Scene


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
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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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