Archive for the 'Patrick Kaleta' Category

Down the Line

I promised myself that I wouldn’t start analyzing the Sabres until they’d played ten games, but I can’t hold myself back because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I just want to line the Sabres up, and walk down the line, ruffle their hair one-by-one, and tell them each why I love them so. You know what?  That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I doubt the actual Sabres are willing to stand in a line for me, so you’ll just have imagine the hair tussling.

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The Sabres, presented in the order in which I think of them, which is probably a pretty good indication of the order of their awesomeness:

Thomas Vanek- Thomas Vanek, I’ve written many, many, many times about how incredible it is to watch you when you’re “on”. You’re just spectacular. But this season feels a little different. You seem so joyful out there. Joy is the one thing that has always been missing from your game. I’ll admit, your visible frustration on the ice has always made me a tad hesitant to really believe in you as “The Guy.” I’ve been joking for YEARS that you need therapy, and I’m starting to believe that maybe this summer you finally got some. (And just FYI, if I were running a professional sports team, sports psychology would be a requirement for every single player on my payroll, so, my insistence that you get therapy is really nothing personal. I only bring up the therapy with you because of all the Sabres, historically you’ve seemed to be the most crazypants. I guess that part is a little personal.) At any rate, as I wrote last night on Twitter, when you’re cool, everything’s cool. So, keep up the good work, and do whatever your therapist says. That guy/lady is a genius.

Jason Pominville- Jason, you’re a Sabre who I’ve always loved unconditionally, so it’s super fun to see you being all captain-ly and top-line-y. I don’t know how you do it, but you are the only hockey player I’ve ever seen who somehow manages to look adorable no matter what you’re doing. That’s a compliment (of course).

Ville Leino- Last night was extremely good for our relationship, Ville. After your pretty pass to Pommers for the goal, I wasn’t just happy for me, I realized I was genuinely happy for you. That doesn’t happen with every goal (for example, I don’t think Derek Roy has ever scored a goal that made think, “Oh, I’m so happy for Roy-Z!” His goals are just the garden-variety, “Hooray! The Sabres just scored and this makes me, Katebits, feel joy in my heart). Ville, I want you to be an awesome Sabre, and I feel extreme confidence that you WILL be an awesome Sabre, so just hang tight, buddy. You’ve got this. (Also, you and McCormick were strangely good together last night. That was weird, thrilling, and totally unexpected.)

Ryan Miller- *fist bump and chin nod of eternal respect*

Drew Stafford- How you doin’?

Tyler Myers- *gets on a step-stool in order to ruffle Tyler’s hair* Hey there big guy! You seem to be either totally awesome or totally terrifying. Last night you were totally awesome and it was really good to see. Just try to be awesome most nights. But don’t worry. The team is better this year. Not everything will go straight to hell if you have a few bad games in a row.

Christian Ehrhoff- I love how you shoot, and I also like how your lips always look like you’re wearing a tinted lip gloss.

Luke Adam- Lu-kie! Lu-kie! Lu-kie! Welcome to Buffalo, kiddo! You’re doing great. Just keep working hard, and when in doubt in the gym or out on the town, do what Goose does. Speaking of Goose…

Paul Gaustad- HONK! Goose, I’d like to encourage you to casually undress in the background of all your teammates’ interviews.

Andrej Sekera- You’re probably my favorite skater on the team. Good job.

Brad Boyes- Um, this is a little awkward. Usually Darcy’s trade deadline acquisitions are gone by now, but… you seem to still be here. Hm…. Oooh, I know! You have a very pleasant-looking face. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise, Brad Boyes.

Derek Roy- I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with you but you haven’t looked like yourself yet this season. Maybe you miss Vanek? I’m not too worried because apparently the Sabres don’t really need you to be awesome in order to win games. I have faith that you’ll pull it together soon. And if you don’t, well… *shrug* We apparently don’t really need you to win games! (That might sound a little harsh. Roy-Z, I think what I’m trying to tell you is: don’t get frustrated. When you suddenly get awesome again, it’s just going to make the Sabres LITERALLY UNSTOPPABLE, but for the time being, your atypical-averageness isn’t really doing any harm.

Cody McCormick- You were surprisingly good with Leino last night! Nice job. Everyone in Buffalo likes to root for you already, but if you can be the catalyst for getting Leino on track, I think we might erect a statue in your honor.

Tyler Ennis- Look, Tyler. I can’t lie. I’m a little worried about you. I’m not like, freaked about you, but I’m concerned. You need to tone down the “dipsy-doodling followed by a blueline turnover.” Just tone it down. Also, could you please clarify something? Is this actually you? That looks a LOT like Ehrhoff’s head on your body to me, but after an in-depth twitter investigation, the consensus seems to be that is IS you. I’m still not convinced. Your thoughts?

Jhonas Enroth- YOU ARE AN ELVISH HERO! Most of the time I forget all about you, but every time I remember you I get an incredible burst of confidence. Seriously. You might change everything this season. That’s how important and awesome you are. You might change everything.

Nathan Gerbe- Rock on, lil Honey Badger. Rock on.

Patrick Kaleta- Hey, Patty. You haven’t provoked my ire at all this season. Good job. Every once in a while, I think you’re Vanek on the ice. That amuses me.

Robyn Regehr- I can’t say I have any strong thoughts or feelings about you, but actually, that’s probably a good thing. You seem cool. Thanks for helping Mylers be less spazzy. I’m not going to ruffle your hair because, a.) you’re pretty much bald, and b.) you seem too dignified for such things. I’ll just shake your hand respectfully, instead.

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Ah, that felt great! It’s fun to love the Sabres! I’m a little concerned about the future of this blog (nothing kills The Willful Caboose faster than a complete lack of over-the-top outrage), but we’ll make do.  I’m sure I’ll find something to complain about eventually, but for now, I love these little buggers.

Punchy

Well, I think we can all agree that last night’s game against the Blue Jackets was awesome and that the Sabres are never going to lose again.  (Full disclosure: I’m rushing to get this post finished within the next few minutes so that it can be published before the eternally lame Senators swoop in to challenge the “The Sabres are never going to lose again” theory.  If the Sabres do win tonight, they really AREN’T ever going to lose again.)

I attended the game with the always-hilarious Jessica and it was one of the best times evvvver.

There are roughly ten million things to discuss when the Sabres are the triumphant kickers in a thorough ass-kicking such as the one we all enjoyed last night, but time is short, so I’ll cut right to the chase.

“I’m all done kicking your ass now.  It was super easy.  Who’s next?”

First of all, let’s just all admit it.  Even the most ardent Kaleta fans had no idea Pat could do that.  That was….terrifying.  And amazing.  And hot.  And revolting.  That was me alternating between blood thirsty howls of approval and cringing in my arena chair thinking, “Holy Mary, Mother of Lindy Ruff.  Kaleta is trying to kill that guy.  Kill him, as in dead.”

And THEN, after the incredible flurry of punching was over, Patrick Kaleta leapt to his feet and did the douchiest thing I have ever seen. He theatrically washed his hands for our benefit, using the universal sign for, “Let me hear your roars of approval, Sabres fans.  I am a douche, but I am your douche, and I am mighty.”

And roar we did, for our beloved Douche King.

I was so taken aback and taken with the gesture that I’ve been making it all day.  Pretty much all day long I’ve been doing the, “Kaleta hand wash” gesture to mark my meager accomplishments.

This morning when I put my dirty coffee cup in the sink?

“All done with my coffee, bitches.  I’ll load the dishwasher when I’m damn good and ready.”

During the dress rehearsal this morning after we finished running the Brahms?

“Brahms, you’re the best, but you’re really no match for me.  I will play all your notes and then I will punch you in the face a few extra times for good measure.  Don’t act like you don’t like it, Brahms.”

At Home Depot, picking out a gigantic flower-pot to go with my new gigantic plant?

“Flower pot, I’m going to buy you, and then I’m going to take you home, and I’m going to fill you with dirt and a giant plant and I’m going to put you in the corner.  I’ll put you in the corner WHERE YOU BELONG, BEEYAAAAACH!

After mailing my Netflix back?

“That’s RIGHT, West Wing Season 3 Disc 3, I watched your ass, and now I’m sending you back to the Netflix headquarters.  FEEL MY POWER!”

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I should warn you in advance.  I intend to get a lot of mileage out of this one.

“I wrote a blog post, mofos!  KNEEL BEFORE ME AND REJOICE.”

 

The Bandwagoner’s Guide to the Sabres, Part Three: The Forwards

The concept of “the bandwagon fan” is very controversial, but I have a fondness in my heart for the new fan.  After all, it was at this time of year that I myself hopped on the Sabres bandwagon.  Every fan has to start somewhere, and often fandom is inspired by the playoffs.  The current Sabres may not feel like a bandwagon-y situation to a longtime fan, but I’m writing this series for the “Katebitses of 2007″; the guy or gal who is suddenly drawn to the Sabres, but doesn’t know where to begin.

Begin here, Bandwagoner!

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We’ve already covered the goalie and the defense, so, today we wade into far murkier waters.  Today, we grit our teeth, roll up our sleeves, and get to work trying to decipher the mystery that is the Sabres corp of forwards.

Part Three: The Forwards

The primary role of the forward is to score goals.  Oh sure, Lindy is going to go on and on about defensive responsibility and blah blah blah, but the fact of the matter is, to varying degrees, these guys are paid to score.  When they don’t score, we are cranky with them.  When they do score, we love them.

-”Lines”

Forwards play in lines of three.  Every line has a center, and two wingers (left and right).  I invite you pay not one speck of attention to who is playing what position.  I’ve never bothered to figure this out, and I don’t think it’s hurt my enjoyment of the game in the slightest.  If faceoffs are what floats your boat (*raises hand*), you should pay special attention to the centers, but other than that, it’s all the same to you.

Some teams have fixed lines, and others don’t.  The coach of the Sabres, Lindy Ruff, tinkers with the lines quite a bit, so you never really know who you’re going to see together on the ice.  Just when you think you’ve figured out the method to his madness you’re all, “…..whaaa?  Is Ellis playing with Vanek and Roy?”  Line watching can be confusing.  When you first start watching hockey, it’s best not to get too bogged down with the construction of the lines, but I CAN highly recommend focusing on the bench to watch them hop over the boards for the line changes.  Board hopping can be foxy, and so can Lalime when he opens and closes the little bench door for the tinier Sabres.

There are several different kinds of lines:

Scoring Lines: The top two lines are the scoring lines, and they are expected to score.  Duh.

Checking line: The checking line is usually the third line, and these guys are often sent out there to neutralize the other team’s top offensive threats.  These guys are certainly welcome to score, and we love it when they do, but really, their job is to slam into the other team and make life difficult for them.

Energy Line: The energy line is usually the 4th line, or as I like to call them, “The Scrubs”.  The Scrubs are not expected to score, and they’re not even really expected to be any good at hockey, but they ARE expected to play really, really hard.  They are expected to play every shift like it might be their last in the NHL (in many cases, it really might be).  They are expected to hit really hard, to not take penalties, not bitch about being a healthy scratch, and, if called upon, to fight in order to protect the “Top Six”.   Personally, I think these guys are kind of a hoot (at a recent game I turned to Robin and said, “Mair and Ellis are stunningly good at keeping control of the puck in the offensive zone for DAYS at a time without ever actually taking a shot on net,” but lots of people get super pissy about them and like to wail continually on Twitter for their dismissal.

Now, onto the actual Sabres players.

Long ago, back when I was a bandwagoner just like you,  my innocent eyes set upon Chris Drury, and my fate was sealed.  It was love at first sight.  My Chris Drury appreciation played a HUGE role in my eventual hardcore hockey fandom.  One look at that thick, dark beard, one interview, and one last-second goal against the Rangers, and I was hooked.  At the time, Chris Drury was the captain of the team, he was the obvious leader in the locker room, and he was constantly scoring clutchy goals.  He was an obvious and perfectly acceptable first favorite player.  Any Sabres fan would have approved.  Chris Drury was an extremely safe choice. (Unfortunately, Chris Drury proved to be a revolting Ranger who is not worth one third of the money he is getting paid.  But that’s a story for another day….)

Sadly for you, Dear Bandwagoner, these are not the simple times of 06/07.  The forward situation is confusing, but I’m here to help.

-The “Top” Six

The Sabres pride themselves on “balanced” scoring (meaning their scoring is fairly evenly distributed throughout the lineup).  Balanced scoring can be a real advantage.  If the other team has no idea which Sabre is the most likely to score, the Sabres can be very difficult to defend against.  But “balanced scoring” might just be a polite way of saying “lacking a true offensive threat”.  I just looked it up, and the Sabres were 10th in the league in scoring this season (I KNOW.  IT BLEW MY MIND TOO), so, they really did score plenty of goals  Because of this “balance” it can be a little difficult to identify our top six.  Players float in and out of the top six based on their performance and Lindy’s whims.

Some teams have Thornton, Heatley and Marleau.  We’ve got these guys.

(But we love them.)  (Mostly.)

Thomas Vanek. Had bad year. I want to love him because he costs $7mil per year and he's all we can afford now. Capable of putting the entire team on his back.

Derek Roy. Ew. Can be awesome, often chooses not to be.

Jason Pominville. Often good. Girls love him, boys can be grumpy about him (just jealous). Cute as a bugs ear.

Tim Connolly. Very good at hockey. Creative player. Most likely has cooties.

Jochen Hecht. He was good, then he sucked, now he's good again. Shy likeability is his trademark. Might be injured for start of the playoffs (girly fingers).

Drew Stafford. Brain-eating zombie? Probably. Concussed. Definitely. Poor guy. "Morrre Braaains" Very rarely plays on top six now that I think about it.

Of this crew, your best bets are Connolly and Vanek.  Vanek has been heating up, and when he gets hot he really is a sight to behold. (He can make that $7 million price tag look like a bargain.)  So, Vanek could be a perfect player to set your bandwagon-y sights upon.  As for Tim Connolly, now this was before my time, but his entire legend was built on one playoff series back in 2006.  Apparently he was amazing until he got his brains scrambled, so I’m figuring he might have high playoff potential now that he’s allegedly healthy.

- Checkers, Grinders, and other assorted misfits

Tim Kennedy. Rookie. Does not look like this anymore. Now he looks like a toothless, greasy hoodlum.

Paul Gaustad. Beloved HONKer. Hard hitter. Funny looking skater. Everyone in Buffalo wants to marry him.

Mike Grier. Is a grown-up. Hard worker. Has probably played a bigger role in returning the team to respectability than he's getting credit for.

Nathan Gerbe. Is currently on the team, but probably won't be come playoff time. That flavor-saver is gross, Gerbs.

Matt Ellis. Got his roster photo taken from waaaaay across the room. Total scrub, but an appealing scrub.

Adam Mair. Less appealing as far as scrubs go, but I don't understand all the squawking for him to be fired. He'll punch you right in the face.

Of these guys, Goose is the clear choice.  Regardless of your gender or sexual orientation, everyone will just nod and say “me too,” when you announce that you intend to marry Paul Gaustad.  Mike Grier is another perfectly acceptable favorite, but the problem with him is that he’s only signed through the season and he may very well leave town all, “Screw you guys, I’m going home,” in a few months.  It’s difficult to tell if Mike Grier loves us back. He’s risky that way.

-The Wildcards.

These are the guys that defy categorization.

Tyler Ennis. Might be the next big thing. Might not. *fingers crossed*

Raffi Torres. Darcy gets us one of these guys every year at the trade deadline. Torres is this year's model.

Patrick Kaleta. Pest. Hard hitter. If he were on any other team, we'd hate him passionately. But he's a Sabre, a native Buffalonian, and he's QUITE good at his job, so we pretty much love him. Plus, he seems sweet in a dopey puppy kind of way. Don't try to fight him. You'll just wind up penalized.

Of these three guys, Kaleta is the clear choice.  If you try to talk up Ennis when you’re really just a bandwagon fan, you’re going to sound like a major tool.  If you try to talk up Torres you’re going to get blank stares.  But Patrick Kaleta is the perfect choice for a new fan.  He’s VERY visible on the ice, and almost everyone in town loves him.

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Good golly.  That was a lot about the forwards. I hope that clears things up!

Tune in tomorrow (or maybe the next day) to discuss the coaches and management.

Is Patrick Kaleta the Straw That Stirs the Drink?

Once again, I had bigtime plans to use statbits to prove a point (in this case, my point is that the Sabres cannot win unless Patrick Kaleta is in the lineup), and once again, STATBITS HAVE FAILED ME.

I did all sorts of hard hitting analysis/death-defying statbit crunching this evening only to learn that the Sabres’ record with Patrick Kaleta out of the line-up is…..(drum roll please)……dumdumdumdumdum……9-9.

This is another instance of statbits painting a picture that is WRONG WRONG WRONG, because anyone with eyes, ears, and a wonky brow can see perfectly well that Patrick Kaleta is an important cog in the wheel.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t always loved Patrick Kaleta.  He’s a pest, and he’s good at his job.  I find the whole pest profession to be undignified and difficult to cheer for, but you know what?  He’s our pest. The statbits might not prove that the Sabres are helpless without him, but those of us who closely watch the Sabres know the truth: Patrick Kaleta makes enormous contributions every night that he’s on the ice.  Patrick Kaleta keeps the other team a little off-kilter.  Sometimes he draws penalties, sometimes he scores goals, and sometimes he hits Ovechkin hard enough that it makes sitting though a dull loss at the arena worth the time and the money spent.

Last night during overtime, Derek Roy missed on a glorious scoring opportunity, and before I was even done tweeting, “I’m a little glad Roy didn’t score there. I’m not in the mood for another ‘I made a mistake but then made up for it’ postgame interview” when Kaleta scored the winning goal.

I did not hesitate to feel good about a Patrick Kaleta goal.  He did the deep knee bend, and the douchy hand twirl, and I felt happy for him, and happy for me as a Sabres fan.

Kaleta isn’t perfect. He’s not particularly good at hockey, and he’s not really hot, or funny, and he’s probably not eligible for Mensa membership, but his hard work on the ice means something, and he is one of us.  He’s a good Sabre, a good Buffalonian, and somewhere along the way I realized that I enjoy cheering for him.

I hope he has better luck with the injuries from here on out, because I believe strongly that the Sabres are a significantly better team with Patrick Kaleta in the line-up.  Statbits can suck it.

Patrick Kaleta = Terrifying Scoring Threat

What child is this?

- The Sabres continue to delight.  That game was spunky and fun.

- Watching Patrick Kaleta play hockey this week is like watching your cat cook an omelet.  Awesome on several different levels.

- For the first time all season, I got REALLY nervous during a game.  And you know what?  I listened to the whole thing on the radio.  I tried to watch it on my computer, but the feed looked terrible and it was in French.   Rick Jeanneret is such a gem.  I couldn’t have asked for a better game experience than I got this evening, listening to the radio and puttering around my house.  The bright side of the DirecTV/Versus debacle is that it forced me to remember just how much I love RJ.

- WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Let’s Blow This Baby Up

I’m kind of a drama queen when it comes to the Sabres (although oddly, I’m not a drama queen in any other area of my life), so I felt a little bit of vindication when I made my morning blog rounds today.  It seems I’m not the only person who thought that that was THE WORST HOCKEY GAME IN THE HISTORY OF TIME AND SPACE.  I mean, I’ve seen the Sabres suck plenty of times before, but that game last night was an abomination.  I’m not sure that either team successfully completed a pass all night.  I will forever remember that game as ten guys standing in the middle of the rink kicking the puck around randomly with their skates.  For all I know, they didn’t even USE hockey sticks last night.

But the details about last night are neither here nor there.  The main point is that the Sabres are not a good hockey team.  I’ll admit, I’ve lost ALL patience for waiting around for this particular group of guys to pull it together.  It’s not going to happen.  Drastic steps must be taken.

I’m not ordinarily the type of blogger to play the role of GM.  I don’t feel very confident with my hockey analysis, but this situation has inspired me to go out on a limb and write a serious post about what I would do if I were the GM of the Sabres.  In my opinion, this team needs a major shake-up.

Here are the moves I would make:

Tim Connolly should be retired and sent to a farm to live out his remaining years grazing peacefully.  It’s the most humane solution at this point.

Drew Stafford should be traded for Evgeni Malkin.

Derek Roy‘s talent should be surgically extracted and implanted into Paul Gaustad.  This is a dangerous scheme because there’s a risk that Goose could be infected with some of Roy-Z’s personality as well as his talent (that, of course, would be disastrous/tragic), but I’m sure we can all agree that a Goose/Roy-Z hybrid would be a useful player to have around.  I think it’s worth the risk.  After the talent transferring procedure, the now talentless Derek Roy can become Goose’s personal assistant.  Everyone wins….except Goose, who now has a talentless Derek Roy following him around all the time.

Ryan Miller needs his glass eye removed and replaced with a real eye.  He’s done pretty well with one glass eye, considering, but it’s clear that he needs two good eyes to compete in the NHL.  He might as well get his wonky eyebrow re-cocked while he’s at it.

Jason Pominville needs to be taken off the point on the power play.

Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman need to be sent out into the deep forest and each be given a match, a single bottle of water, and a penknife.  They have 48 hours to hunt and kill the other.  Whoever comes out alive gets to keep his job.

Thomas Vanek should be paid $7.1 million dollars per year for the next six years.

Clarke MacArthur should be traded to the Blackhawks for Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane.

Max Afinogenov and Ales Kotalik should be melted down and then recast as Christmas tree ornaments which the Sabres wives and girlfriends can then sell in the concourse to benefit charity.

Andrew Peters should be waived and Adam Mair should start actively practicing punching people and being punched in return.

Patrick Kaleta should be sent to Portland, and Danny Paille should start actively practicing being really, really annoying.

Nathan Paetsch should be traded for Nicklas Lidstrom.

Craig Rivet should be returned to the San Jose Sharks.  This is a mercy trade made of behalf of Rivet who is probably looking at his old team with extreme longing right about now.  This poor dude was living a perfectly happy life in California a few months ago, and now, through no fault of his own, he’s the CAPTAIN of this train wreck.  Poor dude.  I want to set him free.

Mark Mancari, Nathan Gerbe, and Tim Kennedy should all be given trial jobs with the Sabres, but they should be FORBIDDEN from socializing with any of their elder teammates.  Everyday after practice they should be chauffeured to their grim apartments at the Extended Stay America off the 290, and supervised for the remainer of the day.  If any of them even glances wistfully at Chippewa St, they should be automatically fired/executed.

Teppo Numminen should be compelled to retire so that he may begin some sort of job which involves him standing behind the bench with James Patrick looking foxy in a well tailored suit.

Jaroslav Spacek should call a press conference and then bite the head off the pigeon so that we never have to hear about that dumb thing again.  (This isn’t so much of a personnel move as it is a personal request from me to Jaro.)

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So that’s what I would do if I were GM.

12 to Remember That Recapping Sucks

I now present to you my pathetic attempt at recapping a game.

I have been purposely avoiding the Sabres 12 to Remember because of their high ex-co-captains content, but this game is watchable because both captains are out. Briere has the flu, and Drury’s head is still scrambled thanks to Chris Neil.

Do me a favor and don’t read this as a recap, but more of a record of Kate’s stream of consciousness while watching a game. Reading over this, I have to admit, I describe basically no hockey. Instead, you are “treated” to the experience of watching a game in my head. Please remember that I am a new fan, and I have very little experience watching games, much less describing them.

The first ten minutes of the game were total disaster from a recapping perspective, so just trust me when I tell you, nothing really happens. If I were devoted to this exercise I would go back and re-recap the first 10 minutes, but frankly, I’d rather die. So, for our purposes, this game begins at 9:32.

Enjoy (snort).

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9:32 Crunchy is way out of position and Hank helpfully swats the puck away on his behalf. Nice teamwork Crunchy and Tallinder! Crunchy, you owe Hank a beer, or some glögg, or whatever the hell Swedes drink.

After some uncalled penalty-looking messiness in the corner, RJ loudly exclaims, “Lindy Ruff is about to have kittens!” Heh. I am distracted now, imagining Lindy birthing a litter of kittens. All of the guys on the bench will have to grab a little kitten and hold it in his huge hockey glove to protect it from harm. Aww. After the game, the Sabres will put all of Lindy’s kittens in a cardboard box and stand around cooing at them in the hotel. Thank God Drury isn’t here for this. He’s allergic to cats and he is adamantly opposed to cuteness of any kind. What a pill.

5:50 Good work Pommers! 1-0! Pommerdoodle, you are SO my favorite teeny-bopper Sabre. Everyone comes together for some adorable helmet nuzzling. See? You guys don’t need those slag-faced ex-captains. They were holding you back all along.

Game recaps are harder than they look.

4:02 Ohh. Staffy almost does something really cool but instead opts to try on some fancy pants. Rather than scoring, he draws a penalty.

3:14 Everyone is swatting away at some poor Leaf who has fallen down on the puck in front of the net. Staffy gets punched in the head for his trouble. Sorry dude, but you kind of deserved that punch in the head. Roy amusingly tries to jump to Saffy’s defense. Roysie, you’re so tiny and funny.

Now that I have eliminated Paetsch and Hecht, I totally love them the most.

Ooooh, good work! Toni Tony Tone Lydman is defending Crunchy like his life depends on it.

2nd period

19:02 Heh! Hank loses the puck behind the net which requires a flying dive across the crease by Crunchy. Suddenly, Crunchy reminds me of the Purple Pie Man, absurdly skinny and leggy, windmilling across the ice. Okay Hank, now you owe Crunchy a glögg. Crunchy gives Hank the evil eye, and Hank skates sheepishly back to the bench.

15:37 Tallinder sort of gracefully tackles a Leaf at center ice. That was weird, Hank.

15:10 Yay! Drew Stafford with the wrap-around! 2-0! RJ screaming about the wrap-around totally makes me giggle. Hopefully he’ll say something about someone being “stuck in his own end” soon.

I guess when Briere is out, Lindy just puts Peters in for the whole game. Damn, this is a lot of Peters.

10:59 Vanek misses his shot on the breakaway pass.

10:10 Kaleta gets all punchy in front of the net. Mair seems highly amused by this, but he’s ready to fight. Oh Mairsy, I love how you manage to be both punchy AND good natured.

I can’t believe I’m only half way through this game. Recapping is too hard. You guys better be enjoying this, because it’s the last recap you’re ever gonna see.

8:01 Woo-hoooo! Good work Roysie! 3-0! MSG shows all of the Buffalo fans in the crowd. Of which there appear to be three.

7:35 Mair clobbers someone at the net. Nice.

We hear a lot more than I need to hear about Briere’s foot and mouth disease, or whatever hobbit illness he has. Whatevs, Briere.

4:12 Whoops. Leafs score. 3-1. It’s okay, Crunchy. You’re doing great.

Have I ever mentioned how I hate when the players push their mouth guards out of their mouths and chew on them? I hate that. It’s gross, boys.

3:31 The game feels like it is spinning out of control. Everyone is flopping all around and diving ineffectually. The madness finally ends when Crunchy holds onto the puck and the whistle blows. See, if Drury was here, the Sabres would not get all worked up like this. He’s the calming influence. Have you guys been eating spicy food or something? Are you listening to music again? Without Drury I get the feeling you kids have been laughing, and snacking, and napping sporadically. Next year is going to be a disaster without Drury. Who is going to hand out the Demerits for Unnecessary Merriment? Wipe that smile off your face Mairsy! This is a hockey game, not some sort of carnival ride!

1:32 Oooh! 4-1! My defensive boyfriend Toni Tony Tone Lydman scores a goal! ….oh wait….that was Hecht. Aw, whatever….everyone gather round for some helmet nuzzling! You better live it up before Drury gets back. He hates helmet nuzzling.

I’m ready for Vanek to score a 10 million dollar goal. Maybe next period.

3rd period

Is it just me, or does Kaleta really like to knock guys over?

Thomas Vanek totally squanders a pretty pass from Staffy. RJ notes that Thomas Vanek is having trouble scoring goals. No kidding. I’m the stupidest hockey fan in the world and even I can see that much. Oh, TV. Don’t you see what you have done? You’re never allowed to slump for a few games again.

14:39 WHoo-ooo! Yo-Yo scores! 5-1! In the celebration I notice that Jochen is wearing an “A” tonight. Hey, nice one, Yo-Yo. As he skates away from the hug circle, Yo-Yo blows a bubble with his gum. Are you sure its such a good idea to chew gum while you play, Jochen? I mean, Drury’s not here tonight. If you start choking there won’t be anyone to give you the Hemlich Maneuver. I’m assuming that was gum. Repeated slow motion play backs do not confirm that Yo-Yo is chewing gum, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a florescent green mouth guard. No, that distinctive green color can be one thing, and one thing only: Green Extra. Yo-Yo, I’ve made a terrible mistake with you. Please forgive me.

People are leaving the arena in droves in the face of our awesomeness. Drury and Briere, egos bruised, are on the phone with their agents right now.

Oh my god. Shots of Jochen sitting on the bench are so adorable I want to jump up and down while clapping my hands and squealing. He also does not appear to be chewing gum. Drury must have called in from home and ordered him to spit it out.

9:49 Thomas Vanek blows it again. SLAG-FACED WHORE! At least he looks properly ashamed of himself.

9:03 The puck ends up on top of the Sabres net and Crunchy makes some amusing jerky moves in an effort to pretend he knows where it is. He looks like a cat chasing a sunbeam. Speaking of cats….I wonder how Lindy’s kittens are doing?

7:53 Oooh. Stafford is so fancy. Fancy, but in this particular case, ineffectual.

6:49 Pommers hits about 59 rebounds in a row, but none of them go in. Pommerdoodle is so fun. If you keep throwing that stick, he’ll chase it all day.

6:12 Yeah! 6-1! Clarke MacArther gets a shot on a wide open net.

Okay. We have now reached what I know to be the final score. I’m going to watch the rest of the game, but not recap. This is WAY beyond my abilities as a fan. The flow of the game is totally destroyed by the pausing and the rewinding, and I simply don’t have the experience or the vocabulary to pull off a good recap. If you want a good recap, you should stick to the professionals.

(Okay, here’s one more little recappy bit: Kaleta’s Carruba Collision of the Game is hilarious because of the “I am such a stud” pose he strikes as soon as he knocks his man over. Hee. You are a stud Kaleta. Good work.)

Well, this was an interesting little experiment, but I think that if I tried to regularily recap games, I would have to claw my eyes out in anger and frustration. I had to discard the vast majority of the crap I wrote, so even though this took me three and a half hours, I have very little to show for my efforts. Frankly, I can’t even remember why I like blogging or hockey anymore.

Recapping has destroyed my will to live. The terrorists have won.


…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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