Archive for the 'Pittsburgh Penguins' Category

Sabres @ Penguins 12/8/08

When I woke up this morning and this story was making the media rounds, I said to myself, “Self, this is bullshit.  You need to eat some marshmallows for breakfast and then think of a way to create a little joy in this world, because this town is gonna make you crazy.”  I then proceeded to create a little joy in this world by eating marshmallows for breakfast and taking a nap from 10:30am-11:45.  (I didn’t say I was going to create joy in the WHOLE world…..just mine. )

There is a limit to how many things I can worry about at once.  Here are the things currently on my “to worry about” list:

(in no particular order)

1. Super germs
2. The Bills moving to Toronto.
3. How can Q-tips be bad when they feel so good?
4. The economy
5. Where is that buzzing sound coming from on my viola?
6. Whether or not the Sabres need a new coach.  (I’m sorry to say that I think they do)

As you can see, I have no room in my life to worry about the Sabres being sold and moved to Hamilton.  I suppose this topic is a perfectly reasonable thing to worry about, but I just don’t have room on my plate for it right now.  It’s not you, random-report-that-the-Sabres-are-up-for-sale-to-the-highest-bidder, it’s me.

So, without further ado (or angst about this, or any other thing not on the above list), here is your gameday blog:

Pregame:

Mood: Average
Favorite Sabre: Tom Golisano.  Tom, have I told you lately that I love you?
Least Favorite Sabre: All of the rest of them.
Worst news EVER: The Sabres are moving to Hamilton?  Whatevs.  THIS GAME IS ON VERSUS?!  I WISH I WAS DEAD.
Prediction: Sabres asses on a platter, handed to whoever owns the Sabres at the end of this game.
Item representing my hopes that the Sabres win this game: A single grain of rice.

236485009_352b01bc5c1

Scrumpsh.

Is this better than no hope at all?  I don’t know, but it’s all we’ve got, so eat up, homes!

After the 1st (2-1, Penguins)

Mood: When expectations are incredibly low, the carnage is easier to absorb.  And actually, the carnage hasn’t been that bad so far.  I mean, what are you supposed to do against Malkin?
Favorite Sabre: Dave and Adam’s.  I LOVE this new Pommerdoodle commercial.  I love P-Doods pretending to be a stock boy, but I don’t understand the end where Peters says “You’re so lucky,” and then P-Doods shrugs his shoulders.  I mean, I, um, literally don’t understand that part.  I think I might love Dave and Adam’s a little bit MORE when their commercials make no sense. (Shop Dave and Adam’s, people.)
Least Favorite Sabre: Nathan Gerbe, don’t try to impress your new teammates by choosing to pass forty times rather than shoot.  Your new teammates are idiots, FYI.  Don’t try to emulate them in ANY WAY.

Summary of events: Evgeni Malkin is very, very, very good at hockey.

Item representing my hopes for the Sabres winning this game: one rice cake.
Rice Cake

Ultimately unsatisfying, but kind of pleasant to munch on.

After the 2nd (3-3)

Mood: Pleased?  Stunned?  Flabbergasted?
Favorite Sabre: The 5-on-3 penalty kill.  Killing off a full two minutes of 5-on-3  = straight up hot.  (Somehow managing to play half the game down TWO MEN = considerably LESS hot.)
Least Favorite Sabre: Thomas Vanek, how about you don’t spend the entire third period in the penalty box, m’kay?
Summary of events: The Penguins failed to break the game open when given ten years of 5-on-3, and the Sabres (somehow, miraculously) managed to capitalize on the defensive breakdowns of their foes.
Item representing my hope for the Sabres winning this game: Rice Pudding.
011108kshack2

Looks gross, tastes great.

At the End (4-3, Sabres)

Mood: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  That was one of the most entertaining games we’ve seen all year.  Stressful, but fun.  I totally dig how the Sabres have delivered back-to-back  heartbreaking loses to the Pens.  Suck it, Sid.
Favorite Sabre: Ryan Miller, you complete me.
Item representing this game: This is a grain of rice, carved and painted to look like a cruise ship.

hawaii ship

Why does a person carve and paint a grain of rice to look like a cruise ship?  I don’t know.  Why do people invest so much energy in sports?  Because sometimes sports feel great.

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!!

Oh Yeah! Hockey is Fun!

Now that was a hockey game!

I have begun to cheer very much for the Red Wings, and very much against the Penguins. I can’t quite explain it except that I’m really in awe of the machine-like efficiency of the Red Wings, and frankly, the Pens get on my nervies. From my rooting perspective, that game completely blew.

BUT WHAT A GAME!

I’d prefer that the Red Wings win, but I’m not going to get my undies in a twist over this series. I don’t care enough about either of these teams to get too worked up over the actual outcome. Over the last few days, it’s only been out of a sense of obligation that I’ve trudged along blogging about the Stanley Cup Finals. I’m worn out on hockey without the Sabres. I’m looking forward to a summer of blogging about utter NONSENSE. It’s going to be glorious, non-stop, Sabres related hogwash….but tonight was a fun reminder that hockey kicks ass, and soon it will be gone, so I’ll live it up while I can. Damn that was a good game.

(On an unrelated note, I can’t believe that they fed them pizza during the intermissions of a triple overtime game.)

Hard Hitting Game 4 Analysis

Perhaps Therrien should have spent a little less time bitching about not getting the calls, and a little MORE time working on the power play. That 5-on-3 was positively Sabre-esque. And not in a good way.

In Defense of the Penguins

Yesterday I wrote a post about my goofy reasons for rooting for the Wings, now in the interest of balanced coverage, I present three goofy reasons to cheer for the Pens.

1. I discovered Evgeni Malkin.

Remember how the first time you fell in love you felt like you INVENTED falling in love? That’s how Evgeni Malkin’s playing makes me feel; like I INVENTED sitting on the couch being dazzled by hockey. I like his playing so much that I feel surely I am the first person in the world to have noticed his awesomeness. This happened twice to me this year; first with Vincent Lecavalier, and then with Evgeni Malkin. These guys are so riveting on the ice that the mere act of watching them play has filled me with a sense of ownership as a fan.

When you are a brand new hockey fan, and your new obsession involves absolute immersion in the hockey blogosphere and media, you spend a lot of time trying to “catch-up”. This is, of course, a futile experience. I’ll never catch up with those of you who have been watching hockey all your lives. When you spend all your time feeling a few steps behind, it’s extra fun to feel like you’ve “discovered” a player all by yourself, without outside influence. I know a lot of you have been watching hockey for quite some time, and you think you know more than me (and most of the time I am happy to agree with that assessment), but I’m proud to inform you, I INVENTED loving Evgeni Malkin. You can thank me for paving the way. Heh.

2. Talbot and Iceburgh locked in a loving embrace.

I have found no reason not to love Maxime Talbot. In fact, the more I investigate him, the more I find to love. Take this picture for example:

Maxime Talbot and Iceburgh INVENTED having fun.

I want to see a lot more adorable player-on-mascot action. As far as I know, the Detroit Red Wings don’t have anyone anywhere near as fun as Talbot on their roster, and the closest thing they have to a mascot is a dead, rotting octopus. Major advantage to Pittsburgh in this category.

3. The Pensblog

You really can’t argue with The Pensblog (well, you can, but it’s not advisable). Usually hilarious, often ridiculous, and occasionally truly offensive, The Pensblog (along with IPB) is paving the way for fan generated, reader interactive, sports blogging. I love how they don’t try to be something they’re not, and they make no apologies for what they are. Day in and day out, The Pensblog is chugging away, providing us with such gems as Law & Order: Pensblog Unit- Fluery vs. Conklin. When accused (rightly so, IMO) of being too cavalier with terms like “gay” and “homo”, they brought us Pensblog Charlie, one of the most important hockey figures of our time. You might not enjoy their tone, but you’re the fool if you can’t respect their consistency and clarity of message. I so enjoy Pensblog that I consider them a perfectly good reason to cheer for the Pens.

Ladies And Gentlemen, Your 2008 Stanley Cup Final:

Now we know what we’re dealing with. We are dealing with the Penguins and the Red Wings.

Deal with it, people.

As a fan of a non-playoff team, I have to admit, it’s been hard to stay focused during the playoffs. Oh, I’ve watched as much as I can, but my heart hasn’t really been in it, and my allegiences have been ALL over the place. One second I’m rooting for the Flyers, then the Habs, then the Stars, the the Wings, then back to the Stars, and then “Hey! Hi Penguins!” This all would have been so much easier if the Sabres had hung in there and MADE THE PLAYOFFS, but we make due with what the Hockey Gods hand to us, and this was not Buffalo’s year.

My Hockey Gods, why hast thou forsaken me?

Things are starting to look up though, because I find that I’m genuinely excited about the Finals. Say what you will about the teams in question, but we’re getting close to the Cup again, and that is fun. Someone’s going to lift that puppy up over their head, and it’s either going to be a bunch of kids too young to drink, or a bunch of deserving veterans. Either way…fun!

On the one hand we have the Pittsburgh Penguins: Young, insanely talented, feisty, untested, cute as a bug’s ear (especially Talbot).

On the other hand, we have the Red Wings: Old, professional, experienced, efficient, sexy (if you ignore Chelios).

I like them both! I TOTALLY want Malkin to score a million goals, but I also want Chris Osgood to be dazzling. I want Sid to have his way, but I want Lidstrom to be freakishly great. I honestly have no idea who I’ll wind up cheering for, and I don’t think I’ll know until the Finals begin. It’s possible I’ll just be cheering for whoever lost the game before. (Interestingly, I can pretty much guarantee I’ll hate both of these teams next season. These Finals feel like a wacky summer camp romance. I’m living it up while I can, future be damned.)

Since the NHL has retardedly considerately given us until Saturday before resuming hockey, I’ll be examining each of our Stanley Cup contenders over the next few days. Tomorrow: Sidney or Geno? What’s your flavor?


…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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