Archive for the 'Montreal Canadiens' Category

Every Game Is Like a Snowflake: Horrible and/or Awesome In Its Own Unique Way

Last night, before the Canadiens game:

Sigh.  I’ve had a rough day already.  I don’t think I can handle a Sabres loss with grace tonight, especially if the game has the slightest tinge of oopsies-we-crapped-our-pants-instead-of-winning to it.  It’s not that the Preds game bothered me that much (I erased it from my accepted reality banks, after-all), but… I just can’t deal tonight.

Maybe I’ll listen to the game on the radio instead of watching it on tv.  That seems safe.  Or, I know!  I’ll wait until 7:30 to start cooking dinner, that way I’ll be occupied during a lot of the first period.  Or, I could start calling people and inviting them over to my house so I don’t end up watching a stinker alone.  Games are always less painful with friendies nearby.  The absolute ONE thing I must MAKE SURE I do not do is sit down in front of the television alone and with my laptop open to Twitter.  I’m just not up for that tonight.

At 7:30, on the nose:

Hm.  I seem to be sitting in the comfy chair in front of the television with my dinner fully prepared, repeatedly clicking “refresh” on Twitter.  This is exactly the situation I was trying to avoid.  I get an “F” at avoiding easily avoidable situations.

After the 1st:

Hey, the Sabres look pretty good!  I’m proud of them for coming out all orderly and non-sucky after their stunning collapse against the Preds.  I kind of wish the Sabres had scored on one of those 45 power plays though.  But whatevs.  Crunchy looks good so far.

After the 2nd (1-0, Sabres):

Dude. This game is intense. How about Tenacious G! He’s unstoppable. It’s fun to see a guy come alive like this, especially one we’d all written off.  Good work, lil’ Gerbs.  We’re sorry we tried to leave you for dead earlier this season.

I am a liiiiittle worried that the game is only 1-0.  The Sabres would’ve been wise to score more goals.  I am SO not in the mood to listen to people bitch on Twitter about how Miller lost this game even though the forwards only scored one goal.  I’m not saying I think Ryan Miller is incapable of shutting out the Habs, I’m just saying it’s a bad “Plan A”.  Let’s see if we can’t score Crunchy some more goals, m’kay boys?

I really want them to win. I really, really want them to win.  I think I might actually cry if they lose.

I’m scared, fragile, and alone, with only Twitter for companionship.  THIS IS EXACTLY THE SITUATION I WAS TRYING TO AVOID.

During the 3rd

This is scary.

THIS IS REALLY FUCKING SCARY.

I’m going to PUKE!  I’m jumping around!  I’m yelling at no one! When did the regular season get this stressful?!

To Ryan Miller: You can do it!  I believe in you!
To everyone else on the team: HE CANNOT DO THIS, YOU GUYS!  YOU HAVE TO SCORE MORE GOALS.  ARGH!  SCORE A GOAL!  SCORE A GOAL!  SCCOOOOOORE ANOTHER GOAL!  *BARF*

THIS GAME IS KILLING ME. IT’S TORTUROUS. THIS IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN THE SITUATION I WAS TRYING TO AVOID.  I DID NOT NEED A GAME THIS STRESSFUL TONIGHT. IF THEY DO NOT WIN THIS GAME I THINK I’M GOING TO LOSE MY MIND.

After Tenacious D scored his righteous empty net goal (2-0, Sabres): WOOOOOOOOO!!  TENACIOUS G is the greatest Sabre EVER!  WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

30 seconds after Gerbe’s empty net goal:

Oh god.  It’s the dreaded two goal lead.  Come on you little bastards, you only have to hold on to this two goal lead for 30 seconds…. IF THIS TURNS OUT TO BE A RYAN MILLER SHUTOUT, OR THEY FIND SOME WAY TO GIVE UP A TWO GOAL LEAD IN 30 SECONDS I AM NEVER WATCHING HOCKEY AGAIN.  I REALLY MEAN IT.  NEVER!

30 seconds later, at the end (2-0, Sabres)

WOOOOOOO!  Hockey is so wonderful and I love it so much.  This game was horrible, beginning to end, but it was totally worth it in every way because now I am filled with a sense of well being and smug peacefulness.  My hockey team is wonderful, and I will sleep well tonight.

The next morning:

I would suggest that winning a game like the Sabres did last night is the best case scenario after a meltdown like the Predators game.  Sure, it would’ve been fun to see them score 8 goals again, but I’ll be honest, those big blowouts make me a little nervous.  It’s fun when it’s easy, but it’s not actually as convincing.  Give me a hard-fought, intelligently played chess game if you want to convince me that you’re mentally tough.  The Sabres were genuinely impressive last night.  Miller looked great, but the team was brilliant in front of him.  Crunchy didn’t have to work that hard, because the Habs were never allowed to gather any steam. 

But I stand by my assertion that that game was torturous.  This shit is getting stressful.  I, for one, am grateful for a few days sans-Sabres.

So, congratulations on your nearly perfect road game, Sabres!  Now, please leave me alone for a few days.  Thank you.

Stinky Sabres

I had three revelations during that Sabres/Habs game.

1.  I almost never putter around the house during Sabres games anymore.  I used to do this all the time.  I’d multitask.  One eye on the game, and one eye on some other mindless chore.  A few minutes into the first period tonight I realized, “This is bullhonky and it’s making me cranky.  I need an additional activity.”  So, I spent the next period and a half painting the trim on my new window in the dining room while the game rambled on in the living room.  It was lovely.  I really enjoy twitter during the games, but sometimes I need to just experience a game quietly, and on my own terms.   As soon as I started painting I began to enjoy the game more.  Painting is therapeutic during the stinky Sabres games.  I might just paint the living room over and over and over again until the Sabres win the Stanley Cup.  That’s my new plan.

2. Scott Gomez has a bitchface.  He has a BIGtime bitchface.

3. I intend to refer to the Sabres as the “stinky Sabres” for the remainder of the season.  I think it’s cute and it makes me like them more.  Good work, stinky Sabres!

A Few Thoughts On the East

Remember a few days ago when I bitched that, “I hate the playoffs this year,” all pout-y like?

I was out gallivanting last night, so I didn’t watch either of the games, but when I saw the scores I got sucked right back in.  I think that’s one thing I should try to remember about the playoffs.   They take a million years to unfold, so there’s plenty of time to lose and then regain interest as the rounds progress.  I was so grossed out by the Sabres that it took me a few weeks to get back into “casual observer” mode, which is necessary if you are going to attempt to watch games played by teams that you largely hate.  Now that I’ve had a little period of time to recover from the Sabres, I’m pretty amused by the goings-on with the rest of the Eastern Conference.

What the heck is going on here?

Habs: I’m a Sabres fan, and a decent person, so I don’t really like the Habs, but dang it, those little guys are scrappy!   Unless you hate the Habs with a burning passion (I don’t), I think you have to be at least a little intrigued at this point.  I’m incredibly jealous of Canadiens fans.  Cheering for a team that is massively overachieving seems like one of the most appealing things in all of sports fandom.  What could be more fun than that?

(I feel compelled to make a small but totally embarrassing confession here.  This is DEFINITELY might just my playoff goggles talking, but I loooove me some Hal Gill.  He’s gigantic and handsome, and I know his nickname is “No Skill-Gill,” but I don’t care.  I like it when Hal Gill is happy and doing lots of interviews.  I also have a soft spot for Brian Gionta, which I’m not even TRYING to curb because I think a crush on Brian Gionta compliments a crush on Hal Gill very nicely.  It’s as if my playoff goggles are practicing Feng-shui.)

Flyers: Look, I know you guys hate the Flyers, and I’m certainly not in love with them or anything, but COME ON, you HAVE to be rooting for them at this point.  I know it burns to see the Flyers succeed, but try not to focus on that.  Just focus on how uncomfortable, freaked-out, and nervous the Bruins must be right now- poised at the precipice of complete collapse.  Don’t think of it as “cheering for the Flyers” think of it as “cheering for the humiliation of the Bruins, specifically Chara.”

_____

The great thing about the situation in the East is that no matter who emerges victorious, it’s safe to assume they’ll be completely demolished in the Finals.  So, while it feels dirty and wrong to cheer for any of the remaining teams, I think there’s very little risk of permanent psychological damage here.

So, fuck it.  Go Flyers!

In the Dumper

(Antoine, please turn away.)

The first major upset in the Battle of the Secondary Teams (for my heart) has occurred. I’ve had it with the Habs. What the HELL? They are the worst juggernaut EVER and I am totally over them. I didn’t see the game last night because I had a concert. It looked like it was a pretty exciting game, but honestly, the stupid Habs should have finished these Bruins off a week ago. What kind of powerhouse are these guys? NONE! They are NO kind of powerhouse.

It seems like the Habs are everyone’s default secondary team, and you know what? They have let us down.

Go Bruins!

We Need To Talk

Dear Minnesota Wild,

You guys are KILLING me. You are so freaking boring I want to DIE….until the last ten minutes of the game when you somehow ALWAYS end up in a 2-2 tie. Perhaps you and the Avalanche could agree to start the game at the 10 minute mark of the 3rd period. It would save us the fifty minutes of mind numbing, and cut right to the INCREDIBLY EXCITING. I am really into you, but I’d like to see a bigger commitment to keeping me entertained through the first two and a half periods. (STELLAR work in the last half of the third period and overtime, though. Seriously. Well done.)

With love,
Kate

Dear Pittsburgh Penguins,

Carry on.

Kate

Dear Montreal Canadians,

If you guys don’t pull it together and act like the powerhouse you supposedly are, I am going to withdraw my support. I’m serious. Get it done. Or else.

Sternly,
Kate

Dear Washington and Philadelphia,

Please work this out as quickly as possible. You guys playing each other is upsetting.

I don’t care for you guys,
Kate

Dear Devils,

It is up to you to defend the game of hockey. I know you didn’t want or ask to be in this position. You just wanted to play a quick and easy first round and then go home, but the Hockey Gods have spoken. You are the defenders of good, and the Rangers are the defenders of evil. You are only down 2-1 in this series. There is still a lot of hockey left to be played. I know that you aren’t very good at hockey, BUT NEITHER ARE THE RANGERS. At this point, it doesn’t even matter if you win or lose the series. If you win, evil is vanquished until next season, if you lose, the Curse of Brodeur kicks in, dooming the Rangers to years of misfortune. All that matters now is that you put up a fight. Be indignant.

Sincerely,
Kate

Dear Dallas Stars,

Heh. Nice. Keep up the good work.

Kate

Dear Calgary Flames,

No one has benefited from the playoff goggles (tm, IPB) more than you. I’m into you guys. Your fans are incredible, your jerseys are beautiful, and you’re quite feisty with the questionable hits and the crazy goaltender switcharoos. Please don’t literally hurt the Sharks. Just beat them. At hockey.

Kate

Sabres @ Canadiens 4/3/08

Pregame

Mood: Giddy. Scared. Hopeful. Amused.
Favorite Sabre: Poni Lydstad HE’S A HONKING MONSTER!
Least Favorite Sabre: Ales Kotalik, I’ve had it with you.
Summary of thoughts: I have truly enjoyed this crazy, last-ditch playoff push. For some reason, I find the Sabres’ tenuous survival both hilarious and exhilarating. Somewhere along the way, I must’ve lost my mind, because our 3.9% chance seems a lot less depressing than their 90.7% chance. If we squeak in, HOORAY! If we don’t, well, whatevs; the Sabres aren’t very good. Hopefully, we’ll make the playoffs. Hopefully, next season won’t suck this hard. Hopefully, Goose will get the game winning goal. Hopefully, Crunchy will use his laser death glare to keep the puck out of the net. Hopefully, Staffy ate some brains last night. Hopefully, Pommers will make lots of babies tonight (by increasing the population of Pominville, not by ravaging the female population of Montreal. Although, go ahead and do your worst Pommers. You’ve earned it.) Hopefully, the Hockey Gods will shine their sweet light upon us, and the Buffalo Sabres will live to play another meaningful game on Saturday.
Four objects representing out (nearly) 4% chance of making the playoffs:

Four Donuts
Four donuts is better than no donuts, plus, they are good for post-loss binge eating.
After the 1st (2-0, Montreal)

Mood: Misery, misery, misery.
Favorite Sabre: The off-season.
Least Favorite Sabre: ALES KOTALIK IS A DISGUSTING, FILTHY HOOKER….AND NOT THE GOOD KIND.
Summary of thoughts: Remember forty-five minutes ago, when I was all “Tra la la hockey is wonderful la la la our situation is hilarious tra la la la tee da let’s just all join hands and be grateful we still have a 4% chance”? Remember that? THAT WAS THE CRACK I SMOKED FOR DINNER TALKING.
Four objects representing our (nearly) 4% chance of making the playoffs: four ants

Four ants are gross and totally unhelpful.
After the 2nd (3-0, Montreal)

Mood: It’s just a dull ache now.
Favorite Sabre: It’s one of those nights when I can’t tell the Sabres apart.
Least Favorite Sabre: Your mama. (No, not your mama. Calm down.)
Summary of thoughts: *sniff* (You guys, I don’t actually HAVE four donuts. That was just a googled image. What could be sadder than the Sabres not making the playoffs AND NOT HAVING DONUTS?)
Four objects representing our (nearly) 4% chance of making the playoffs: four invisible donuts

Worst. Donuts. Ever.
At the end (3-1, Montreal)

Summary of thoughts: That hurt a lot more than I thought it would.
Object representing our 0% chance of making the playoffs:

STANLEY CUP
It’s so horribly beautiful.

Sabres vs. Canadiens 2/29/08

Pregame

Mood: Pumped but cautious.
Favorite Sabre: I’m tempted to say Steve Bernier, but I feel it’s too soon. Goose and his tree-hugging ways are always a good bet, but the thing is, Toni Tony Tone really recaptured my heart the other night. He had FOUR(!) assists on Wednesday. He’s a points getting MOOOONSTER!
Least Favorite Sabre: Sigh. T-Bone, I just can’t deal with you.
Animal representing my hopes for this game: Duh

Summary of thoughts: It’s Leap Year Day which is obviously a date steeped in black magik and mystery. I don’t know if Leap Day is good or bad for the Sabres, all I know is that it’s a weird day. All sorts of oddness is swirling: A healthy Staffy and Max being scratched for Peters and Kaleta? Whaa?

After the 1st (0-2, Canadiens)

Mood: Unhappy, sad, and hungry.
Favorite Sabre: BOOOOOOOOOOOOO! BOOOOOO! BOO!
Least Favorite Sabre: I could never choose. I hate all my Sabres equally.
Animal representing my hopes for this game:

Pathetic

Summary of thoughts: Steve Bernier did NOT score two goals in this period. In fact, he scored ZERO goals. What the hell? Staffy and Max are back, but they’re NOT even trying to woo me. Is it just me, or did that period COMPLETELY SUCK? They were slow, disorganized, and Crunchy is….worrisome. I want my money back. I want my life back. I also need to eat dinner because this game is crazy annoying on an empty stomach.

After the 2nd (1-4, Canadiens)

Mood: For awhile I was feeling unreasonably irked, but now I’m just….blank.
Favorite Sabre: I have to admit that my hideous mood was somewhat soothed by the sight of Crunchy in a shower cap/hair net and goggles wandering around the ice cream factory trying out his personal flavor “Breakaway Berry-er”. Due to his excellent work with the ice cream industry, Crunchy is my temporary favorite Sabre. Since there is more hockey to play, I’m confident this renewed sense of calm won’t last.
Least Favorite Sabre: I am not at all happy to have you back Max.
Animal representing my hopes for this game:

This is just sad

Summary of thoughts: The Canadiens are much, much better at hockey than the Sabres. One thing that is awfully discouraging about this team is that they never seem to rise to the challenge of a better team. I basically couldn’t stand to watch for most of the second period, so I went into the kitchen and made myself a delicious nicoise salad. I can highly recommend eating a nicoise salad tonight. Do it. You might feel better about life.

At the end (2-6, Canadiens)

Summary of thoughts: I TOLD you Leap Year Day was EVIL. This day doesn’t EVEN EXIST.

Okay, hold on. Mike Robitaille just called the Montreal powerplay “staccato-like”. That’s kind of…..awesome. GREAT. Now I’m in love with MIKE ROBITAILLE. This day could NOT be worse!

I Love Hockey!

Wow! What a difference a few wins make!

Things I Love:

- Thomas Vanek. My feelings about Old Grimace-Face started veering towards sympathy a few weeks ago, and now that he has started to pull himself together, my heart is actually warming to him. I know! This shift in attitude is just as shocking to me as it is to you. Thomas Vanek, you can stay……for now.

- Kevin Sylvester. Kevin Sylvester is so cute. Don’t try to deny that you love his dimples and his widow’s peak. Just admit it. You love him too.

- The Montreal Canadiens. Of all of the teams we have played repeatedly, I have enjoyed the Montreal games the most. A lot of people have been complaining about the non-stop divisional play this month, but I have to admit, I’ve kind of liked it. The repetition has been a good way to get familiar with the other teams in our division. So far this month I have learned that the Bruins are boring, the Senators are scary (I actually knew this one already), and the Canadiens are fun. It only took one home game in person for me to adopt the general policy of all Buffalonians regarding the Leafs: Hells, no. No. Just NO.

- Winning close games. When Montreal tied it up in the third my heart sunk. But then we won! Tonight was the kind of frustrating mess we were losing a few weeks ago.

- This picture that I found on Facebook. I have a feeling that everyone on the interwebs has already seen this picture, but like most things involving hockey, it’s new to me.

Heh.

 


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
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In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)

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