Archive for the 'Toni Lydman' Category

RIP, Toni Lydman

I still have one blog post that I need to write before I can fully embrace this upcoming season.

I need to formally say goodbye to Toni Lydman.

“Toni Lydman?” you say.

Yes.  Toni Lydman.

“Since when do you care all that much about Toni Lydman?”

Since always, really.

____

When I first started attending Sabres games I was such a new fan that I had some trouble following the action.  My enthusiasm for hockey far surpassed my experience actually watching hockey.  I was able to keep up with the basic game action (it’s not rocket science), but what I was trying to do was keep track of every little thing that every single Sabres did.  As a result, my earliest experiences with hockey were a jumble of confusion and minute details.  It wasn’t at all unusual for me to miss exciting plays because I was distracted by watching one of the Sabres wiping down his face mask on the bench.  My focus was all over the place.

In the middle of all of this was Toni Lydman.

(This is hard to describe, and I’d love to know if anyone else has ever had this kind of relationship to a player. )

For some reason, in the arena, Toni Lydman is like a beacon on the ice to me.  I’m not kidding.  In the middle of the chaos of an NHL game, Toni Lydman stands out as if he’s skating around under a spotlight. In the early days of my fandom it was like that scene in “West Side Story” when Tony and Maria first see each other at the dance and everything around them becomes blurry- except it wasn’t at all romantic, and as far as I’m aware, I do not hold the same magnetic attraction for Toni Lyman as he does for me. (Wouldn’t THAT be something?)  I’m not particularly infatuated with Toni Lydman or his playing.  He’s not someone I ever consciously tried to “see” out there.  Lord knows he’s not flashy, but something about Toni Lydman just attracts my attention.

In some ways, Toni Lydman became the player that I used to orient myself to the game.  He was like a hockey landmark.  “Okay, there’s Toni Lydman….so Tallinder must be up here on the right…”  I know.  It makes no sense.  But there you go.

My interest in Toni Lydman never became particularly sentimental, probably because he’s just not the type of player or personality you’re going to go all ga-ga over.  To go ga-ga over Toni Lydman would be to disregard whatever you like about him in the first place.  Toni Lydman is a player to be quietly appreciated, but never fussed over.

I’m going to miss Toni Lydman.  I’m going to miss thinking, “Hey, there’s Toni Lydman,” twenty times a game, I’m going to miss his (usually) reliable defense, and I’m going to miss his self-deprecating interviews.  I’m curious to see if some other Sabre takes up the “Hey look at me, Katebits!” mantle now that Toni Lydman is gone, but I kind of doubt it.  Toni Lydman might be a once-in-a-lifetime player.  It’s possible that you never get another Toni Lydman.

Good luck in Anaheim, Toni Tone Tony!  Thanks for being so rad.

That Was Really Awesome

I really wasn’t prepared for how much more awesome the playoffs would feel.  Oh sure, you guys kept telling me, but I guess I had to experience it for myself.   Playoff hockey in person is just astounding.

First of all, the crowd.  Wow.

I’ve bristled a bit all season when I’ve heard people bagging on the HSBC crowd for being too quiet.  As most of you know, this was my first year as a season ticket holder, so even if the crowd was a little subdued compared to previous years, I wanted to love it, and I did.  I loved HSBC Arena and the people I shared the games with this season, passionately and with all my heart.  So, when people kept telling me, “You won’t believe how much wilder the arena can get during the playoffs,” a small part of me was thinking, “Oh please, that’s just the old ‘everything-was-better-a-few-years-ago’ Buffalo thing, talking”  I kind of didn’t believe that the crowd would suddenly change, as if a flip had been switched, just because it was playoff time.

But that’s exactly how it was.  It was as if a switch got flipped.

I think Jessica said it best in the comments a few days ago: “This is the best time of year for fans to lead with their hearts and not their heads.”  That’s exactly how if felt last night.  All of a sudden, everyone was on the same page, cheering for the Sabres.  Everyone was cheering with their hearts instead of their heads.  It was loud and raucous and wonderful.  The atmosphere was incredibly special to me, and even though I’ve been to nearly 50 games over the last three seasons , I think last night was the game I became a real citizen of HSBC Arena.

Second of all, the game. In the immortal words of Rick Jeanneret, “WOW.  DOUBLE WOW.”

There were times last night when I was thinking, “WHO IS THIS TEAM?!  Who are they…and can I marry them ALL?”  A flip was switched with the Sabres, as well as in the crowd.  Playoff hockey really is a different game.  It’s wilder, and harder, and all around MORE AWESOME, which seems weird to say, because frankly, I think regular season hockey is pretty damn awesome already.

Of course I’ve watched the playoffs before, so I know what playoff hockey looks like, but to suddenly see the Sabres, my Sabres, playing real playoff hockey like they meant it, well, it was super cool.  My doubts about how the Sabres would perform in the playoffs were always there just because I couldn’t imagine them playing as hard as, say, the Pens and the Caps played last postseason.  But now, after seeing Jason Pominville (!) lay a hit on Chara with my own two eyes, I’m a believer.  I was really impressed.

The Sabres have looked like a playoff team all season, but last night they looked like a team in the playoffs, and it made me incredibly happy.

I can’t believe I get to go back tomorrow.

___________________________

A few thoughts about the game and last night in general:

- I’ve always booed Chara, mostly because it cracked me up.  Truthfully, I’ve actually always liked him, and I really only booed him because it cracked me up.  (Robin and I referred to him for years as “The Guy We Boo For No Apparent Reason.”)  But things are different now.  What a douche.  Last night I booed that guy with genuine malice in my heart.  I will do so again tomorrow.

- A lot of forwards had impressive games, but the one who really amazed me was Thomas Vanek.  He had a few shifts last night that reminded me of last year, when some nights he was the only guy I could see on the ice.  I LOVE it when Vanek is the only player I can see on the ice.  I love it so so so much.  If Atlas is back…..*stops to ponder what it might mean for this postseason if Atlas really is back*……man oh man.

- Last night during the first period for awhile I was thinking, “Gee, the Bruins are hitting REALLY hard, I don’t know if the Sabres can deal.”  And then, a few minutes later I realized that the Sabres were dealing.  Quite capably, in fact.  I was actually impressed with the Bruins last night (rightly or wrongly, I think of them as a passionless team), but I was MORE impressed with the Sabres willingness and ability to push back.  Screw you, Bruins!

- Derek Roy played a terrific game.

- Toni Lydman is the best.

- I heard Julien’s postgame comments in the car on the way home, and I was very unimpressed.  Basically all he said was, “Well, I thought we played well enough to win.  Hopefully we’ll win on Saturday.”  Thems fightin’ words!

- I also heard Ryan Miller’s postgame comments on the car on the way home, and I was, as usual, very impressed.  The thing that he said that I loved the most was about the second period (which was fairly puke-tastic).  He said something like (I’m paraphrasing), “If we do this right, we’ve got two more months of hockey.  Not every period is going to go our way.  The important thing is that we were way better in the third.”  That’s pretty much how I felt about the second period too.  Yeah, the second period was WAY lame (that’s where having Crunchy comes in SUPER handy), but they pulled themselves back together, and they WON THAT SHIT.  The Sabres are now 31-0 when entering the 3rd period with a lead this season.  31-0. That’s THIRTY ONE WINS, and ZERO losses.  This team knows how to lock it down.

- Sabretooth rappelled from the rafters, you guys!  I’ve always assumed that maybe it was actually Daniel Briere in the Sabretooth suit back when he regularly rappelled, because that tradition seemed to disappear after the Briere-era.  It’s something I’ve always been sad I missed.  Was it always just a playoff thing?  At any rate, I might have squealed out loud when I saw the spotlight on Sabretooth way up there.

- Raffi Torres!  All of a sudden!  Raffi Torres!

- I have two minor quibbles about the crowd last night: 1. I DISAPPROVE of goalie taunting until the goalie has DONE SOMETHING DUMB.  For goodness sakes, people were busting out the “Tuuuuka, Tuuuuka,” when the game was still scoreless. I didn’t think Rask did anything that warranted a goalie taunt last night, but I will admit that in the third period when the score was locked at 2-1, I did feel a strong urge to join in.  “Tuuuuuka, Tuuuuuuka,” seems like a VERY satisfying thing to chant.  Hopefully he’ll have a bad game tomorrow and I’ll be able to taunt him with a clear conscience. 2.  I realize that chanting U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A is really just our way of chanting “We love you Crunchy!” but the Olympics are over, AND BOSTON IS IN THE UNITED STATES.  We need a better, “Yay for Crunchy” cheer.  (May I suggest, “Yay for Crunchy!”)

- Tyler Ennis really is good.  He came close to two highlight reel goals last night.  One of these nights he’s going to score a beauty.

The Bandwagoner’s Guide to the Sabres, Part Two: The Defense

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!

____________

Okay, so yesterday we learned about the goalie.  He’s pretty self explanatory (“NONE SHALL PASS,” says the goalie, especially when your goalie is Crunchy.  If your goalie is Toskala, he’s more like, “Oh sure.  Come on in, pucks.)

But what about all the skaters?  To the untrained eye, it looks like a gobbledy mess out there (actually, it looks like that to the semi-trained eye too), but the skaters do have defined roles.

One of those roles is, “the defenseman,” or, for our Canadian friends, “defenceman”.  (Canadians are weird.)

Part Two: The Defense

It’s the job of the defensemen to help guard the net by actively battling with the other team’s players.   Ideally, the defensemen skate around, hitting the other teams forwards and snatching the puck in order to scoot it out of harm’s way.

At any given time, two out of the five skaters on the ice are defensemen. If you’re having trouble spotting the defensemen, look for the guys skating backwards.  That’s usually them.  They’re also the guys who are hanging back at center ice when all the action is down in one end.  When I first started watching hockey I used to get cranky thinking,”That guy is just standing there at the blueline doing nothing. He should go try to score a goal.  Dumbass.” But then I was always pleasantly surprised when the play turned around and there were still Sabres between the other team and our goal.  “Toni Lydman, that was very clever of you to stay back behind the blueline so that the other team can’t skate right up to Crunchy!  You’re so smart!”

Fun Fact about defensemen and defense in general:  You can just call it “D”.  At first it will feel redonk to say “D” (very similar to the first time you said “redonk,” actually), but after a while it rolls right off the tongue.

Defensemen skate in pairs, so every defenseman has a BFF.  Sometimes Lindy (more on Lindy later) mixes the pairs up, but for the most part, the Sabres defensemen are monogamous and loyal to their BFF/life partner.

The Sabres strongest current pairing is Tallinder and Myers.  Tallinder separated from Lydman last season and at first he seemed to be having a REAL rough time, but now he’s found someone younger and sexier and his broken heart seems to be totally mended.

There are two noteworthy things about the Sabres defense.  1. Everyone thought they would be sucky this year, but they’re totally not,  and 2. They are NOT sucky, primarily because of this guy:

Tyler Myers. He's more than just an insanely long neck. He's also very good at hockey.

Tyler Myers is, like, six-years-old.  He’s a wee little baby.  (“Wee” in years, not in size.  He’s actually humongous.)  He’s a wee little baby who is about to win the Calder Trophy.  “Calder Trophy” is NHL-speak for “rookie of the year.”

In my not-at-ALL humble opinion, Tyler Myers is a big deal.  Last year, the Sabres were poo.  THIS year (Myers’ rookie year), the Sabres are third in the Eastern Conference.  Coincidence?  I think not.  In addition to being good at his job, he’s almost singlehandedly rehabilitated Tallinder, which was no small feat.  I used to worry that Myers would get hurt because he’s so spindly, but he seems to have the super-strength of a toddler.  You could toss him down a flight of stairs and I bet he’d just pop right back up and start skating around, no problem.  Tyler Myers is awesome and he’s changed everything about the Sabres.  Love him without reservation.

Here are the other defensemen:

Henrik Tallinder. Smiley, attractive, NOT a good drinking partner.

Toni, Tone, Tony Lydman. Hilarious. Good at hockey except for when he sucks. My favorite defenseman.

Steve Montador. Shockingly hot for a guy who's not that hot. Seems to not be an idiot. All-around alluring.

Craig Rivet. Got elected captain of the team on his first day as a Sabre, probably because he seems like an adult.

Chris Butler. Poor Butts. There is something wrong with him. Hopefully it's just a sophomore slump.

Andrej Sekera. Looks like a little old man for some reason.

In conclusion, the Sabres defense is pretty good and moderately foxy.  Since you’re a Bandwagoner, I am going to recommend that you focus on Myers.  You canNOT be a Sabres fan this spring without knowing that Tyler Myers is young, awesome, tall, and long-necked.  Myers is the most deserving of your bandwagoning affections, but really, all of these guys have their good qualities.  The defense is relatively safe waters for the new fan.

Have fun watching the D, Bandwagoners!

___________

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment, when we begin to examine the “forwards”.

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.)

——-

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

Why HELLO, Big Bear!

That happy sigh you just heard was the sound of every man, woman, and child in Buffalo falling in love with Steve Bernier.

We liked him right from the start.

Hey, Big Bear.

And then he started playing hockey, and suddenly it was like:

Holy shit, Big bear. Um, whoa. I mean,….dude! WELCOME TO BUFFALO!

And as soon as the game was over it was back to:

Big Bear: “I’m just happy to be here. Buffalo is great. These guys are amazing.”

And that’s when we all collapsed into a full blown swoon. The National Guard had to be called in because every single person in Western New York passed out simultaneously…..from love and relief.

*****

Toni Tone Tony Lydman had four (4) assists tonight. Just saying. Kate’s Favorite Sabre, represents.

*****

I watched the game over at my friends Dan and Sandy’s house tonight. They have a new television that’s the size of my dining room table. It took me about twenty minutes before I could stop saying things like, “It looks amazing. The picture is…so…I mean….it’s….I feel like we are AT the game right now.” I might need to impulse buy a new television soon. Either I need a new television, or Dan and Sandy are going to have to get reeeal used to me sitting on their couch and drinking their Diet Coke.  They’ll never get rid of me.  It’ll be like that movie “You, Me, and Dupree,” only incredibly annoying.

Stupid Bruins

-Robin and I bounded happily into the game tonight, and shuffled sadly out a few hours later. I’m scared that I make them lose. They are 1-3 with me in the building. At least tonight (unlike the last two games I attended), the Sabres had a lot of zip in their game. At first I felt guilty, but on further reflexion, I now refuse to take responsibility for this loss. There were clearly darker forces at work than anything I am capable of conjuring up. Which leads me to my next point….

-The Bruins are clearly using witchcraft against the Sabres, and I don’t like it a bit. Personally, I don’t think that sorcery and black magic should be allowed in the NHL.

-I don’t know why we hate Chara, but I followed the lead of the crowd and booed him every time he touched the puck. All I know about Chara is that he is big and ugly and he is a witch.

I dislike you for no reason that I am aware of.

-Crunchy got hurt in the third period, and he says it was his ankle, but I think he just got knocked in the beans.

-I hate the Transitown Dodge Blimp. I hate it so much.

-Is it just me, or is Goose a really handy Sabre to have around these days? I get confused about him because he is so tall and handsome.

-Toni Lydman and I are in a fight. Ordinarily his spacey disposition is what I love the most about Toni Tony Tone, but tonight he took things way too far. You’re sleeping on the couch tonight, buddy.

-With the exception of a few hideous turnovers which cost them the game, it looked to me like the Sabres played pretty decently tonight, they just couldn’t score. Wait. That makes no sense. Let’s try again. With the exception of sucking both defensively and offensively, the Sabres were pretty good tonight. Heh. It was confusing. During a lot of the game it felt like they should be winning, but they just…..weren’t. At all.

-Brian Campbell took a few shots that were, like, forty feet wide of the net. During the power plays, Robin and I kept joking, “Nooooo, whatever you do, DON’T SHOOT, Soupy!” I only mention this because I am very pleased with how much better I have gotten at watching hockey. An individual player taking crappy shots is something I wouldn’t have noticed even a few weeks ago. So, at least I’m getting better at hockey.

 

Big Week

Scene: The Sabres and the Bills are sitting in a cramped room filled with folding chairs. The Bills are sitting on one side of the room in straight lines, patiently waiting for the meeting to begin. The Sabres are sitting on the other half of the room, spread out messily. Many Sabres are leaning back in their chairs. Tim Connolly has his feet up on the folding chair in front of him. Drew Stafford has turned his chair around so that he can play cards with Paetsch who is sitting behind him. The room is filled with chatter and laughter. Katebits enters the room and the noise dies down as she walks up to a podium.

Katebits: You’re probably all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today. You represent the two professional sports teams of Buffalo, the Bills and the Sabres. I have some rather disconcerting news and I wanted to deliver it to you as a group.

(mummer of interest in the room)

Katebits: Please try not to panic as you hear the news. First of all, Bills, congratulations on your four-game winning streak. You’ve exceeded expectations in recent weeks…..which is why I regret to inform you that you have to play…..the New England Patriots this Sunday. On prime time television.

(silence) (The Bills sit quietly, glancing nervously at one another.)

J.P Losman: Yeah, we know. We’ve been preparing for it all week.

(Bills nod in general agreement.)

J.P. Losman: It will be a big challenge, but we’ve been working hard, and our schedule after this game is pretty favorable. We’re excited about the rest of the season!

Katebits: Oh! I’m so glad to hear it!……Well, good. I guess you already knew. (turning to the side of the room where the Sabres are sitting) Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you as well, Sabres.

(Pominville and Roy cling to each other in fear. Crunchy closes his eyes. Vanek pulls his baseball hat down lower over his face.)

Katebits: I am very sorry to have to tell you this….but on Thursday, you have to play the Ottawa Senators.

(Pandemonium erupts. The Sabres leap to their feet in alarm. Toni Lydman kicks over a folding chair. Pommers and Roy start running in panicked circles, knocking heads and freaking out. Brian Campbell puts his head in his hands. Everyone is shouting.)

Pommers: (wailing and rubbing his head which he just knocked into Derek Roy) I DON’T WAAAAANNA PLAY THE SENATORS!

Katebits: (soothingly) And believe me, we don’t want to see you play the Senators, but sadly at this point there is no alternative. Actually, this is a great opportunity for you guys to turn the season around. I know it’s scary, but you can do it. We, the people of Buffalo, believe in you guys. Just try to stay calm, and remember, you’ve beaten the Senators before, you can beat them again.

(The Sabres stare blankly back at Katebits)

Katebits: Seriously. You can do it. Either way, win or lose, you have no choice. You’re playing the Senators. Look at how bravely the Bills are facing the Patriots! (Gestures towards the Bills who are sitting, staring smugly at the Sabres.)

Toni Lydman: As the captain of this team, I accept your challenge, Katebits.

Katebits: Wait. What? This isn’t a challenge. It’s just how the schedule works. You’re scheduled to play the Senators.

Toni Lydman: Whatever. I hate being captain.

Katebits: (with loud dramatic sigh) Listen, just play hard on Thursday, alright?

Toni Lydman: Do you see the stitches on my face, Katebits?

Katebits: (with wry smile) Point taken, Toni Lydman. Good luck, boys.

END SCENE

Rough Night

In a solemn ceremony on the plane coming home from Boston, Toni Lydman was sworn in as Kate’s Favorite Sabre. The official time of death on Maxim Afinogenov’s reign was the 1:44 mark of the second period last night. Paul Gaustad was sworn in as Vice-KFS.

A reporter for TWC caught Katebits in a candid (and drunken) mood at a Buffalo bar on Saturday night. Katebits had this comment about the shakeup in the KFS position:

“I no likey Max Afinogenov….[wagging finger in reporter's face]..at all. Oh SUuuRE, he seems like a perfectly nice guy. He’s got a cool accent and the dangerous spy vibe….[giggling dreamily]….he still looks like Faye Dunaway….[snapping back into focus]….but honestly, he’s so freaking annoying. All he ever does is skate in circles and then turn over the puck. I’m so sick of that guy. [sloshes red wine on to the floor] Toni Tony Tone is dopey and fun, plus he stops pucks with his face, like, all the time. I find him delightful. Toni and Goose are soooooo much better than Max. [pauses to take gulp of wine] I noticed recently that Goose’s hairline is receeding. [Holding wine glass up in toast] BALD IS BEAUTIFUL!”

Katebits then fell off her bar stool and remained on the floor giggling and honking like a goose for five minutes.

Toni Lydman is a Monster

Children cry. Ladies faint. Grown men flee in terror.

Poor, Toni Lydman! He kept reopening his cut, so now he has to live in this cage!

TWC has obtained exclusive information that Toni Lydman’s life is in shambles and he is living an increasingly isolated existence. Horrified by his unsightly appearance, his family is now making him sleep in the back yard, and his teammates are refusing to share a dressing room with him.

“I love Toni like a brother, but he’s freaking everybody out right now,” said teammate Ryan Miller. “I’m just trying to be the best professional goaltender I can be, but how am I supposed to concentrate with that…..thing….on the ice with us?”

Paul Gaustad shook his head sadly and said, “Listen. I spent the entire game yesterday tangling with Zdeno Chara, but when I went to sleep, I had nightmares about Toni. I feel bad for the guy, but I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t even honk anymore….I don’t know how much longer I can live like this.”

According to sources close to the Sabres locker room, Jason Pominville has refused to speak for the last two days, and his trainers are growing concerned. Said one of Pommerdoodle’s handlers, “Pommers can’t handle a lot of stress. Looking at Toni seems to have sent him into a deep mental retreat. He is no longer speaking. All he does is whimper. It just breaks your heart to see him so terrified.”

If you should encounter Toni Lydman and his horrible cage, please, look away, for your own safety. If you, or someone you love has been effected by Toni Lydman’s terrifying countenance, do not delay. Seek help immediately. You don’t have to suffer alone.

*******

(Yes, I know everyone plays youth hockey in a cage. It still looks freaky to me. Can’t they at least let him out of there at night?!)

Captain November

Scene: Coach Lindy Ruff is sitting in his office with Assistant Coach (and super hottie) James Patrick.

(bubblebubblebubble.)  (Lindy Ruff takes a huge bong hit.)

Lindy:(holding smoke in) So, Jimmy.

(long exhalation, creating huge cloud)

Lindy: (lower voice) We have to choose a captain for November.

(hands bong to J.P, who takes a long rip.)

James: Oh, that’s right. Is it November already? (stares blankly off into space for a few minutes.) Who’d you have in mind?

Lindy: (giggling) We could give it to Toni. Heehehahhe.

James: HAHAHAHA! Can you imagine?! Hehehhhehehe. heheahhaha!

(five minutes of laughing ensues)

Lindy: (wiping tears from eyes) No, seriously though. I want to give it to Toni.

James: Hehehe. Really? Why?

Lindy: I want him to learn to lead. I like the kid. (Takes bong hit. Exhales.) Plus, it’ll be funny as hell.

James: (giggling) Sounds good to me. (long pause) If only Chris Drury could see us now!

Lindy: (gleefully) Ah, fuck him. This is gonna be awesome.

**********

I would once again like to declare my unbridled LOVE for the rotating captaincy. I could not possibly be more pleased with the thought of Captain Toni Lydman. Do you realize that after every game in November we are going to be treated to Toni’s weirdo assessment of the situation? A solid month of his mumbly, goofy interviews! Of all of the guys on the team, Toni Tone Tony seemed like a pretty unlikely candidate for the “C”. I mean, he had a fairly rough start, he is obviously not a natural leader, and he looks like this. I feel like Lindy Ruff has been reading The Willful Caboose, and now he is making decisions with the sole purpose of amusing me. Thanks Lindy!

(If this month goes well, I am SO pulling the trigger on a throwback Lydman jersey.)


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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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