Archive for the 'On My List' Category

5 Things

1. I’ve been quite frustrated watching the Sabres games without Vanek.  Obviously, he’s a good player to have around, and a large part of my discontent has been because of Vanek’s absence, but something about the way Lindy’s been reconstructing the lines has left me feeling, like, “Um….do we have any good forwards?  Why do all these lines make me sad?”   Normally, I’m not much of a line watcher.  I don’t pay super close attention to who is playing with who, but without Vanek things have felt WAY off, not just on the first line, but on ALL the lines.

You know how over the course of the game you begin to anticipate, and wait for the first line to come out?  Well, it turns out, hockey is less fun without a legitimate first line.  Over the past two weeks it’s felt like the Sabres NEVER rolled out a line that made me sit up straight and go, “WOOOOOOO!  Here we go!”

Connolly, Roy and Stafford seem like the most obvious combination of currently potent players, and they were on the ice together for two goals last night, so I really hope Lindy keeps them together.  We need at least one, functional, scoring line.  The idea of spreading out the guys who are playing well in the hopes of “sparking” some of the slumping guys is just NOT going to work.

Of course, it’s really not fair to judge Lindy’s lines when two of his supposedly reliable forwards are in such deep, deep ruts. Which leads me to my next point…

2. Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville need to be quarantined- for their own protection and for the protection of their teammates.  I’m not here to point fingers.  I don’t know who infected who, but Pommer and Yo-Yo are CLEARLY and UTTERLY diseased.

quarantine6

Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children?

We have young, impressionable players on our roster right now.  Do we want Chris Butler, or Nathan Gerbe catching that suck?  Paille and MacArthur have already displayed symptoms, but they might still be salvageable.  What if (GOD FORBID) after he’s finally pulled it together, Drew Stafford catches the suck?  We canNOT afford the risk.  Drastic measures must be taken.  Hecht and Pominville must be separated from the general Sabres populace until we understand more about this horrific and debilitating sucking disease.

3. For whatever reason, I’m more sympathetic to Pominville than I am to Hecht.  Say what you want about Pommerdoodle, but he’s got 47 points so he hasn’t been totally worthless even when his defensive play is highly questionable.  I said in Heather’s comment thread today that my sense is that Pominville is slumping, but that Hecht is sliding into a pit of despair from which he might never return.   Don’t get me wrong, they have both been completely terrible, but Yo-Yo’s particular brand of ass-tastic seems disturbingly terminal.

4. Reading over this post I’m realizing how negative it sounds, and I just thought I should say that I enjoyed the game last night.  It was zippy, and if it weren’t for that meddling Mike Richards, we very well might have snatched those two points.  For the most part I thought the Sabres looked like a reasonably respectable NHL team.  (Except for Yo-Yo and Pommerdoodle who looked like Timbits.) (And not the hockey-playing Timbits.) (Last night Pominville and Hecht looked like donut holes.) (Donut holes who really suck at hockey.)

5. After writing a Sabres blog for a year and half, I am proud to report that I have FINALLY learned how to spell H-E-C-H-T. It’s such a short name, but for some reason I could NEVER remember how to spell “Hecht”. Thanks to his currently vomitous play, and the need to write his name repeatedly, I’ve finally learned how to spell “Hecht” once and for all. I promise you, I will NEVER learn how to spell “Paetchsetahscetahsecth”.

Sabres @ Leafs 1/1/09: Special “Fuck You, Sabres” Edition

Pregame

Mood: I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to even watch this game, much less blog about it, but I’m going to give this a shot.  The Caps game was a real turning point for me.  For the first time since I became a Sabres fan, I really had to face the fact that regardless of the winning or losing, lately I’ve found the Sabres fundamentally unlikeable. I mean, they’re not just bad at hockey, they’re lazy douchebags about it.   I hit the wall with them on Tuesday.  I hit the wall, and then the Sabres threw up on the wall, and then I painted “Fuck you, Sabres” on the side of my bulldozer and I bulldozed the wall.  It wasn’t pretty.

As most of you know, I’m a fairly new hockey fan.  I don’t have a long history of this, and the sudden realization that I don’t even LIKE the Sabres has been disconcerting, to say the least.  As someone who lived quite happily without hockey for thrity years, when I find myself very miserable over hockey, I tend to take it seriously.  Unlike some of you, who were born into sports fandom, becoming a Sabres fan was a conscious choice that I made, and it’s a choice that I still question from time to time.  The fact that hockey now occupies so much of my time and energy still bewilders me, especially when I find the Sabres this frustrating.  Why on earth am I doing this to myself?

I think sports fandom is a really complicated and fascinating thing.  When I started watching hockey, I did it because I wanted to be a part of this town.  I wanted to stop feeling like I was on the outside looking in.  I wanted to be a Buffalonian.  So much of my sports fandom has been wrapped up in this “Yay!  Buffalo!” thing that until recently I’ve not had to confront the flip side of that coin, which is that BEING A BUFFALONIAN SUCKS.  THE SABRES SUCK ASS AND I HATE THEM WITH THE BURNING PASSION OF A MILLION WHITE HOT SUNS.  I CAN’T FUCKING BELIEVE THAT LINDY REARRANGED THE LOCKER ROOM STALLS AND THEN THEY WROTE AN ARTICLE IN THE PAPER ABOUT IT LIKE IT’S FUCKING NEWS! I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M CHEERING FOR A BUNCH OF A-HOLES WHO ARE SO CHILDISH THAT THEIR BOSS HAS SEPARATED THE TROUBLE MAKERS!  WHY DON’T THEY MAKE DEREK ROY SIT IN THE CORNER WHILE THEY’RE AT IT?!   I DON’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THEIR DUMB ATTEMPTS TO “HOLD THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE”.  ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS YOU FUCKHEADS. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!  I HATE THEM! I HATE THEM! I HATE THEM!

But I digress.

I’ve realized something amazing in the last two days.   Even if the Sabres disintegrate into full blown irrelevance, I can NEVER not be a Buffalonian again.  In a weird, awesome way, that makes me feel really happy.  I think all along I’ve had this wacky fear that as quickly as the Sabres turned me into a Buffalonian, they could somehow UNturn me.  It’s not true.  The Sabres are no longer my primary emotional connection to this town.  That ended a long time ago.  I have a whole life here now.  I can afford to kick the Sabres around a bit, because I don’t really need them anymore.  Not like I used to.

So, without further ado, here is a gameday post, completely devoid of affection for my team.  Because I can.

Favorite Sabre: Okay, I lied.  I still have affection for Goose.  He’s the only one who made it out of the Caps game with a little piece of my heart.  Goose not only played with a shred of dignity, but he’s also the only Sabre whose postgame interview was at ALL appropriate to the situation.   I think if Adam Mair had given an interview he might have maintained a scrap of my respect as well.
Least Favorite Sabre: HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Prediction: The little assholes are going to win this one.  Then they’re going to give irritating post-game interviews about how they stuck to the system and worked as a team.  Then, after that, they’re going to lose three in a row.  Lather, rinse, repeat- for the rest of the season.
Item representing my love for the Sabre: I just googled “smallest thing in the world,” and Google tells me that a “Quark” is the smallest thing in the world.
quark

This is the first thing that comes up in an image search for “quark”.  I can’t believe that he’s the smallest thing in the world.  Quantum mechanics are so weird.

After the 1st (0-0)

Mood: See above
Favorite Sabre: Meh….but I remembered that I don’t hate Matt Ellis.
Least Favorite Sabre: See above
What we’ve learned: When the Sabres hit rock bottom, and everyone is freaking out, and Lindy pulls out his most intense coaching moves (rearranging the stalls), and the Sabres are playing as hard as they can because they’re genuinely upset….they’re exactly as “good” as the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Item representing my love for the Sabres: 3/4ths of a quark.
34-quark

They gained a half a quark because Ryan Miller stopped a penalty shot, but they LOST a 3/4ths of a quark because of that Sabres power play where the Leafs had control of the puck for fifteen years.  Net loss = 1/4 of a quark.

After the 2nd (3-0, Sabres)

Mood: Alright, fine.  I admit it.  I’m amused.  But I still hate these effers.
Favorite Sabre: Meh. Meh.  A thousand times, meh.
Least Favorite Sabre: Jason Pominville.  Yeah, you heard me.  You know what two goals gets you tonight?  Nothing.  You’re playing against CuJo.  Stop acting like you don’t suck.  No one on this team gets to act like they don’t suck for AT LEAST a month.  I don’t care HOW many goals you score against CuJo.
What we’ve learned: I’m still rooting for the Sabres.  I wasn’t so sure I would.  I still like it when they score.

Item representing my love for the Sabres: three quarks.  One for each goal.

quark4 quark4quark4

Yes, this represents three times the love I started out with, but PLEASE remember that these quarks are extremely, extremely small.  So, I love the Sabre three times a quark.  That’s like loving them three times the chance that we’ll ever see Tim Connolly play hockey again.

At the End (4-1, Sabres)

Okay fine.  They won.  Please remember dear readers (and I say this with your own best interests at heart), this is what they do. They suck SO HARD that you wish you were dead, and then juuuust when you’re ready to swear off hockey for the rest of your life, they pull themselves together and play a really solid, complete game….FOR ONE NIGHT.

You know what they’re doing right now?  They’re patting each other on the back in the locker room, and they’re all thinking, “OMG! OMG! OMG!  We’re sooooo good at hockey! YAAAAAY!”  And Lindy is all, “WOW.  I’m a GENIUS!  I really sent them a POWERFUL MESSAGE when I moved their stalls!!  I’m going to go tell them how much I love them.”  They are all SO PROUD of themselves right now, and they are FORGETTING about the last 18 months.  Yes, they ARE that dumb.  Dear readers, PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLED.  For the LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT BE FOOLED.

I’m not going to trust these guys for at least two months.  If they play like this for two months, I MIGHT forgive them for the Caps game.  Maybe.

This Is War

I don’t know how it came to this.

I don’t know when it got this bad.

I’ve tried to be a good fan. I’m sure I haven’t been perfect, but I know I’ve tried my hardest. Somehow, despite all of my good intentions, the situation has spun out of my control. At first I tried to ignore it, and then, when ignoring it failed, I tried to smooth things over, but nothing seemed to work. I can no longer ignore the truth. It’s time to face facts: The Sabres are trying to kill me.

This is Leslie, my new bodyguard.

I’m not going down without a fight. Do you hear me, Sabres?!  You’re not taking me down. YOU’RE NOT!

10 Things I Really Do Not Like About Hockey

1. I really do not like that going into overtime increases the total value of a game to three points.  This is my single biggest complaint about hockey.

2. I really do not like when the puck goes out of play.

3. I really do not like when players don’t bother wearing fake teeth.

4. I really don’t like it when the other team gets an empty net goal.

5. I really don’t like it when a broken stick is sitting on the ice forever, mucking up the works.

6. I really don’t like fights for no reason.

7. I really don’t like when both teams are all standing within two feet of the net, taking random whacks at the vicinity of the puck.

8. I really don’t like the artwork on most goalie helmets.

9. I really don’t like when the players chew on their mouth guards.

10. I really don’t like it when the Sabres lose.

Blog on Blog Violence

The hockey blogosphere is in a mighty tizzy today because fancypants blogger Eric McErlain wrote a piece about the New York Islanders “Blog Box” that was all, “The unprofessional bloggers wore JERSEYS, they are LAME and they are damaging the GOOD NAME of sports blogging”, and then even fancierpants blogger/journalist/folk hero, James Mirtle, wrote a piece that was all, “Loosen up, spaz! The internet is a big place.” (There might be a little creative paraphrasing, here.)

And then I was tooootally like, “I heart James Mirtle.”

I’ve been thinking about this issue all day, but you know what? Rather than expound on blogging, the nature of the media, snobbery, and the boneheads running the NHL, I’m instead going to post this picture of a monkey hugging a bird:

When I get my press pass, I’ll ask Pommers to autograph this picture.
That’s just the kind of blogger I am.

 

 

Open Letter To Thomas Vanek

Dear Thomas Vanek,

Before I get too far into this letter, I want to tell you how much you mean to me. It has been a rough summer for Sabres fans, and I think most everyone can agree that signing you to a long term contract was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark time. I am so proud to have you on our team, and I look forward to watching you grow as a player and a leader in the coming years. You seem like a genuine guy, and I wish only the best for you and your young family.

I feel that our relationship is at a cross roads. Due to the nature of your contract, we are bound to one another for the next seven years. As we embark upon our time together, I feel I must be honest with you about my feelings. I feel that in order to set the course for a happy and healthy relationship, I must address my reservations about you with honesty and openness. By clearing the air now, it is my hope that our union can blossom into a mutually satisfying experience.

So, please know that when I ask you the following question, I do so with love in my heart:

Why are you such a slag-faced whore?

I don’t understand why more people have not held you accountable for the offer sheet debacle. Sure, Kevin Lowe was the one who wrote up the contract, and Darcy Regier was the one that allowed the situation to get to that point, but Thomas, you are the one who signed the offer. You are the one who shopped for, and then signed a seven year deal to play for Edmonton. Who does that? Who signs away their best playing years, to join a bottom dwelling team, for a salary everyone agrees has not yet been earned? A whore, that’s who. I understand, it was well within your rights as an RFA to do what you did, but Thomas, it was gross. It was gross, and it was slutty.

Because of your actions, you have angered your management, created a massive unbalance of salary (don’t kid yourself into thinking this won’t effect your relationships with your teammates), and handcuffed the team with your hefty price tag. To make matters worse, you have created sky high expectations for your play next year. I hope you enjoy pressure, because for the foreseeable future you will be under the Buffalo microscope .

Now, the good news is is that you are an awesome hockey player. Every indication is that you may very well be the franchise player of our dreams. I want nothing more than for you to succeed, Thomas, and when you do, I will be the first to congratulate you. Sure, you’ve been slutty- even whorish- this summer, but everyone makes mistakes, and the best way to cleanse yourself of your indiscretions is to play your ass off next season. I know you can do it, and you can count on my support. I believe in you, and no matter what, I will take comfort in the fact that even though you are a whore, you are our whore. (At least for the next seven years.)

With Love,

H. R. M. Katebits

P.S.- This picture goes a long way in restoring my faith in your character, Thomas. Keep up the good work!


…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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