Archive for the 'Media' Category

6 Things

1. Happy Valentine’s Day, all you lovable little chickadees! Whether you are in a couple, or as single as single can be, take a minute today to close your eyes and send a few extra love vibes out into the world. After that, celebrate Valentine’s Day however you see fit. Personally, I prefer the “eat some candy-hearts and then otherwise go about my business,” method of celebration.

2. Maybe it’s because of Valentine’s Day (and my belly full of soul-nourishing candy hearts), but I’m just not too worried about the Islanders game. I mean, seriously.  It was one game.  The Sabres kept pace with the Hurricanes, the offense looked robust, Drew Stafford is completely blowing our minds, and it’s warm enough outside that some of this snow is finally going to melt.  Chin up, soldiers!

The bad news: Miller was terrrrrrible (Bad, Ryan!  Bad!), and the defense looked quite poopy.

3. Apparently, things got all cranky and bitch-slappy during the postgame, but whatevs.  People get cranky sometimes, especially cranky goalies when they are in cranky moods. I don’t think I care what goes on between Ryan Miller and the local media. Sometimes Miller’s going to be a brat because he’s a crazy-assed goalie, and being a brat kind of comes with the territory.  *shrug*

Here’s a dramatic interpretation of events that would rouse my genuine interest:

Vogl: Did you feel okay?
Crunchy: (screeching) WHAT ARE YOU IMPLYING?!
Sullivan: He’s not implying anything!
Crunchy: Why don’t you let him speak for himself?!
Vogl: …feces?
Sullivan: You’ve given up 4 goals or more 14 times this season, LOSER.
*Crunchy karate-chops Jerry Sullivan*

Call me if (when?) Miller karate-chops Jerry Sullivan, but until then, I’m unmoved.

(For the record- I have absolutely no problem with how Vogl handled himself in the audio I heard, so it’s probably not very nice of me to reference his famous “feces” twitter-analysis.  But I couldn’t resist.)

4. Would it be nice if Ryan Miller returned to Vezina form? Absoluuutely. Is it reasonable to demand that he do so?  Sadly, no.  Frowny faces all around.  :(

Corey Griswold made a pretty good case yesterday on Twitter that the Miller we’re seeing this season is the real Miller, and that last season was an anomaly. (I believe Corey used the Malcolm Gladwell-approved word, “outlier” to describe Crunchy’s last season.) Corey used a bunch of stats to make this point, so, you can rest assured that numbers and mathematics were consulted when I came to the following conclusion:  Every needs to calm the eff down about Crunchy.

I’m not in the mood to get all pissy about Ryan Miller. He’ll be fine. He’s just doing his thing and unfortunately that thing does not include winning the Vezina every year. That’s a bummer for us.

The Sabres lost yesterday because of Ryan Miller. It’s true. Deal with it.

Be glad it doesn’t happen very often.

If you really have your undies in a bunch about Ryan Miller, you can begin crossing your fingers that he gets traded before the deadline. (Lemme know how that works out for you.)

5. That said, a competent backup goalie would be REALLY HANDY right now.  I have no idea what’s got Miller all out of sorts, but it sure would be nice if there was another NHL-ready goalie on the team. Riding Miller into the ground has always seemed like a bad plan, but it seems like a particularly bad plan this season.

Not only is it a bad plan on an intuitive level (I mean honestly, look at Ryan Miller. He looks like he belongs on a Depression-era soup line), but we’ve seen AMPLE evidence that Miller is not up to the task.  It didn’t work when Lindy played Miller for the entire second half of 07/08, it didn’t work when Lindy played Miller for the entire second half of 08/09, and Miller was not particularly sharp in the playoffs last season (an Olympic year).  In my opinion we’ve waded WELL into “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” territory.

The Sabres need another competent, NHL-caliber goalie on the roster, and they also need a coach who is willing to play him.  They will need this for every year that Ryan Miller is on the team.  (Mr. Pegula, if you’re reading this [and I assume you are], you might want to add that to the list of “needs”.)

6. The thing we really should be talking about today isn’t, “Ryan Miller vs The Local Media, Hair Pulling Galore!”  We should be talking about the wondrous, shocking, titillating, confusing, glorious, and jaw-dropping recent play of Drew Stafford.

Yesterday during the game, Kevin Snow tweeted that Staffy had six goals, on his last six shots.  THAT’S RIGHT, YOU FURRY BEEYOTCHES.  Six shots. Six goals.

Personally, I have absolutely no idea how to analyze Staffy these days.  He’s a mystery, wrapped in a hat trick, and smothered with club sauce.  Staffy is currently the most beloved wonky-browed player on the Sabres, which is title I NEVER thought could be wrestled from Ryan Miller’s bony grasp. This is a stunner, Sabres fans.

Behold, our new Wonky-Browed King:

Nice highlights, Staffy.

Punch-Gate Begets Feces-Gates, And Then We All Just Laugh And Laugh And Laugh.

In case you somehow missed it, Tim Connolly got a mysterious black eye at the Catwalk for Charity. Although he later amended the story, at one point, Matt Barnaby of ESPN claimed Roy-Z punched Timmehin the face. In the day 24 hours after the Catwalk, twitter was abuzz with goofy chatter about Roy-Z and Timmy’s big slap fight. (Roy-Z and Lindy both say it never happened, and not a single person has come forward to definitively say, “I saw Roy-Z pop Tim Connolly in the eye, and I liked it,” so I’m inclined to believe that the whole thing is [hilarious] hogwash.)

Regardless of the what, something happened to Timmy’s eye, so the local media was rightly intrigued, and the next thing you knew, Lindy Ruff and Roy-Z were being asked about it after practice. Connolly is conveniently nursing a groin injury from the comfort of his home, far away from the prying eyes of the Buffalo News.

THEN, John Vogl got compleeeeeetely asinine and wrote this little gem about how it’s ALL TWITTER’S FAULT!  FECES! GET OFF MY LAWN!

I actually think this post is so poorly argued and utterly ill-informed that I’m not even compelled to respond except to say that if Vogl wants to get his newsie-britches all twisted up into a bunch over misinformation on Twitter, he should take it up with former Sabre and current ESPN employee, Matt Barnaby.

Lost in all of the ruckus were a few bits of juicy information:

1. The story that Lindy Ruff is apparently going with (and sticking to!) is that Tim Connolly fell and hit his head while rehearsing a routine that was to be performed during the catwalk. I find this 100% believable (except by “practicing a routine” I think Lindy meant Timmy was, “flailing about like a drunk baboon”), and at LEAST 70% sympathetic.  Who among us hasn’t sustained a minor injury here or there after a few beverages?  It happens, you know?  Unfortunately for Timmy, he’s a handsomely paid professional athlete, so theoretically he and Roy-Z probably should have understood that reenacting the tricky “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” lift from the end of “Dirty Dancing” while drunk backstage at the Catwalk for Charity is inherently risky.  But can you blame them for wanting to put on a good show?  NO!  You can’t!

2. When I first read the Vogl post I found it so irksome that I wanted to leave a comment on Sabres Edge.  I understood that they’ve recently implemented a commenter verification system which makes leaving anonymous comments impossible, but I was willing to jump through their hoops.  I tried to activate my account.  After I gave them my full name, my address, AND my phone number, I waited for an email confirmation that was like, “If you are who you say you are, press this link,” or possibly a text that was all, “If you’re really Katebits, text “Yes, I’m Katebits” to this number.”

Here’s what I got.

Read it and weep.

Yeah, you read that right.  The Buffalo News is sending me a piece of MAIL, that will be delivered to my MAILBOX (not the inbox in my computer, but the actually physical mailbox I have attached to my house), delivered via the US Postal service using an actual STAMP, so that I can begin “commenting right away”.  This is BEYOND redonk.

Now look, I applaud TBN’s for their efforts to eliminate the racist comments left on their articles.  I think it’s healthy to insist that people attach their actual name to what they write on the interwebs, but seriously, this system is absurd.  There has GOT to be a better, faster way to verify that people actually are who they say they are than sending them a piece of mail MADE OUT OF PAPER.

No wonder John Vogl is so confused and angry about Twitter.  If the TBN commenting policy is any indication of how things go over there, Vogl is working in an office that utilizes the technology we’re used to seeing on “MadMen”.

3. There ARE good, social media-savvy people working at the Buffalo News.  @BNHarrington is one of them.  There are many others, but truthfully, I took a Tylenol PM before I started writing this post, and as a result I’m too tired to be linking all over tarnation right now.

4. Ryan Miller has a sad groin.  :(

Scouts

Yesterday Heather tweeted a link to this Globe and Mail article about how the NHL teams with big budgets have much bigger scouting staffs than the on-a-shoe-string teams (like the Sabres).

The article is amusing for a few reasons.  First of all, you get information like this:

By sending one scout to a game who is trained how to use a video camera, he can come back with a DVD that can be studied by several other Sabres scouts.

I know!  They TRAIN professional hockey scouts to use a video camera!  What kind of science fiction world are we living in?  What is this, The Jetsons?  SCOUTS with video cameras?!  WHAT WILL THEY THINK OF NEXT?!

And then there is this:

Regier said he has had inquiries from other teams about their system, but so far no one has adopted the model as completely as the Sabres.

I’m pretty sure those inquiries went like this:

Brian Burke: Darcy, I’m calling to inquirer about your new scouting department. That is biz-ONKERS, dude.
Darcy: Well, it’s really quite fascinating.  You see, scientists have invented this crazy device that will record the things that happen at a game.
Brian Burke: ….You mean like a phonograph?
Darcy: Well kind of, but a phonograph is just a sound recording.  With a video camera you can actually see the action too.
Brian Burke: Whoa whoa whoa.  You are BLOWING my mind.
Darcy Regier: Do you want me to tell you more?
Brian Burke: No.  Please slow down.  This is too much to absorb.  I don’t think I can take it.  Just stop talking.

The article prompted Heather and I to have a goofy conversation on Twitter where I admitted that I’ve always imagined that the Sabres are actually sending soulless robots to do their scouting.  I mean, with all the uproar about the Sabres using video technology instead of thinking, feeling human beings, there was only one logical assumption left to make:

Robots are cheaper than people because they don’t need health insurance. THE SABRES ARE CHEAP!

Robot: A.ccord.ing.to.my.cal.cu.la.tions.you.should.draft.Drew.Staff.ord.next.
Darcy Regier: Are you sure, robot?  I mean, he appears to be a brain eating zombie….and a furry.
Robot: I.be.lieve.Drew.Staff.ord.will.be.an.im.por.tant.part.of.the.Sab.res.
or.gan.i.za.tion.
Darcy Regier: But….what about Evgeni Malkin?  Shouldn’t I pick him before Drew Stafford?
Robot: NO.Ev.gen.i.Mal.kin.does.not.compute.does.not.com.pute.does.not.com.pute.
does….not…com….puuuute…
Darcy Regier: Darn it.  This robot is always getting jammed. (slams the robot on the head)
Robot: (whirring back to life) ….a.cord.ing.to.my.cal.cu.la.tions.Drew.Staff.ord.
is.bett.er.at.hoc.key.than.Ev.gen.i.Malk.in.
Darcy: Okay, robot.  If you say so!  Stafford it is!  I’ll pick Malkin in round two…

(I know, I know. The Sabres did NOT actually draft Staffy before Malkin.)

_________

I think that’s enough nonsense for one day.

(Private message to the Sabres: The moral of the story is you should NEVER give me and Heather just a little information.  That’s about the worst thing you could possible do.  You should either explain how your video scouting works completely, or you shouldn’t say anything at all.  As God is my witness, I will believe for the rest of my days that you’re sending Short Circuit to do your scouting.)

2 Things: Schopp and the Bulldog Edition

1.Yesterday afternoon Schopp and the Bulldog had one of the most intelligent and logical conversations about Lindy Ruff that I’ve ever heard in the Buffalo media.

As everyone who regularly reads this blog knows, I’ve been harping on the Lindy issue for many months, but one thing I’m still not sure I’ve ever adequately expressed is that my real interest isn’t in seeing Lindy fired.  For me, the most compelling thing about the Lindy conversation is….the actual conversation.

Hearing a radio show where the callers were essentially challenged to make arguments that go beyond the endless repetition of “He’s one of the best in the league,” and “It’s all Larry Quinn’s fault” and “He’s doing the best with the players he’s got” was extremely refreshing.  Extremely. And the callers came through with intelligent responses. (FOR REAL.)  That was the part of the show that really blew my mind.  A guy called in, and defended Lindy with keen observation and a total lack of sentimentality.  I’m not sure I’ve EVER heard someone do that before.  It rocked, and it made me think about the Lindy issue a little differently.

The case for or against Lindy isn’t clear cut.  There’s quite a lot to discuss once we are operating in a conversational environment where Lindy isn’t in some bizarre blameless bubble.  All I really know for sure is that if Larry Quinn is the devil, and Lindy Ruff is a saint, the conversation is useless because it’s pure fiction.  By clinging to these cartoonish characterizations, we’ve been opting out of discussing the Sabres in any meaningful way.

I’ve been perplexed and frustrated that much of the main stream media in Buffalo has (until very recently) appeared to value Lindy’s quotability over reasoned, critical analysis.   Blogs have been clawing at this issue for awhile, but it’s the main stream media that can really effect the tone of the large scale conversation.  There are two perfectly reasonable sides to this story, and if both are approached with levelheadedness, we can elevate the level of dialog.

Hooray!

2. In addition to interesting Lindy conversations, Schopp and the Bulldog have been talking a lot about the impossible pipe dream idea of Martin Biron returning to Buffalo as Crunchy’s backup.  There are a couple of good arguments to be made in favor of this plan, but the most compelling one is something I hadn’t thought about until Bulldog brought it up.

Ryan Miller is almost certainly going to the Winter Olympics this year.  He might even be the starting goalie.  What are the chances that our high-strung, underweight, prone-to-exhaustion, little scarecrow of a goalie can handle the extra workload with ease?  Yeah…I’m thinking not good.

We need a better backup, and Marty Biron ain’t got no job.

Giggling

Bucky Gleason has a new column which I checked out because it was getting some discussion on Twitter, and the first line made me laugh out loud.  The headline is “Ruff Sends the Wrong Message” and the first line is, “Lindy Ruff is one of the best coaches in the NHL, but…..”  The article goes on to criticize Lindy for toeing the party line about the Sabres roster in comments made from prospect camp last week.

It cracks me up how Bucky castrated his entire column FROM THE VERY FIRST LINE with a qualifier which basically amounts to, “Oh, don’t worry, I KNOW Lindy’s one of the best coaches EVAH!  WOOOOO, Lindy!  Go Lindy!  Go Lindy!  It’s your birthday! It’s your birthday!”

Way to take a hardline stance, Buckster!

Still Funny

I really have no idea why I revisited this video tonight, but before I knew it I had watched it ten more times.  The screen captures are almost funnier than the video.  Every moment of Rob Ray’s shock and horror is just so special, you know?

Picture 27

Picture 11

Picture 12

Picture 13

Picture 14

Picture 15

Picture 16

Picture 19

Picture 20

Picture 22

Picture 24

Picture 26

I will NEVER believe Ray’s story about this incident.  There is no way a pushy journalist caused this reaction.  No way at all. 

(The joke of this post is in the rollover captions.)

OMG, The NHL Is So Dumb.

All day long I’ve been batting around the idea of doing a Sean Avery post, but I just read this, and I am now too dumbfounded to continue.  I….don’t have any idea how to respond to that.  I’m literally speechless.

So, instead of a post about the Sean Avery “sloppy seconds” incident, here is a video of a really funny dog wearing little dog shoes.

Make sure to watch to the end!  (It’s only 45 second long)


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