Baby Sabres

I went to the game against the Blue Jackets! The Sabres lost 4-1! Bummer!

I have no idea what a preseason walloping means for a professional hockey team. Glenn and I were making jokes on the way out of the arena along the lines of, “Help! Someone tell us what to think! Should we be panicking?! How should we FEEL?!” The average age of the Sabres line-up was about fifteen, so it’s kind of hard to judge. For the most part I had a lot of fun, but obviously I wish the Sabres had won. (Or scored more goals.) (Or hadn’t spend the entire game in the penalty box.)

Here are my observations:

-Vanek looks high strung out there. I’ve been thinking it in all of the practices I’ve seen (3), and now I’m saying it. Dude looks stressed. I suspect he’d feel a lot better if he got rid of some of that money. (Thomas, may I suggest donating a few million to a local non-profit organization? I bet you’d feel a lot less weighed down by the contract if you were giving back to the community. I happen to know of a very highly regarded arts organization that is in the middle of an endowment campaign….. )

-Thibault might have OCD. He is very aware of the amount of snowy debris in his crease.

-Seriously, Mark Mancari (Yellow 19) is the best.

-The hotdogs at HSBC arena are not worth eating.

-Watching hockey is much harder in person because there is no Rick Jeanneret telling me what is going on. In particular, the fights confused me. I like to know why everyone is fighting. Without RJ, I most certainly do not understand why everyone is fighting. (Andrew Peters got tossed out of the game about 5 seconds in.)

-Toni Lydman is the current front runner for Kate’s Unexpected Favorite Sabre. I don’t know why, but Toni Tony Tone Lydman is a Katebits beacon. Every time he is on the ice, I am drawn to him and what he is doing. I guess I just like that guy. My high levels of Lydman awareness has been an interesting development because I certainly didn’t have him pegged as a potential favorite. For one thing, he looks like a Finnish redneck. For another thing, he has baby chick hair. For another thing, his name does not lend itself to a good nickname. I am concerned that “Loodie” is the go-to nickname, and I’m just not into it at all. Right now I’m fighting my Lydman love, but I’m not sure how much longer I can hold out. He’s calling me. (If this keeps up you can expect to see me in the Sabres gift shop fondling the Lydman jerseys and singing R.E.O Speedwagon. “I can’t fight this feeeling anymooore! I’ve forgotten what I started fighting foo-ooor.”)

-The Sabres took, like, forty-five thousand penalties. If I am not mistaken, all of the Blue Jacket goals were scored on the Power Play. It was kind of annoying.

-I like Jaroslav Spacek. There, I said it. I like him. I like his weird rectangle head. I like Jaro. I am prepared to give him my unwavering support this season.

-It appears that I am going to need a jersey for the games. I was jealous of everyone with a jersey. Right now, Lydman is in the lead. (Q:How cute would Heather and I be with Tallinder/Lydman jerseys? A: Extremely! [Lindy, you can’t break up the band!])

-When you think you are taking a picture, but you accidentally shoot a video, it’s funny.


26 Responses to “Baby Sabres”

  1. 1 Heather B. September 21, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    I thought Thomas looked really good tonight so maybe he works best under pressure. I thought he was one of the bright spots really. (More on my blog. What, you think I’m going to say EVERYTHING here?)

    The hot dogs at HSBC are disgusting. And I love hot dogs.

    Fights are very confusing in person for sure. You almost never see what started it, all of a sudden there’s just a scrum of guys. I did feel a little bad for Kaleta getting pinned in over the Blue Jacket’s bench though. I’m pretty sure some of the guys on the bench got a couple of shots in.

    Wait until you hear Jaro give an interview. He’s hilarious to listen to. He seems to be speaking English but I’m usually left scratching my head because I only made out 4 or 5 words. Mark and I always alert the other if Jaro’s being interviewed because it’s so great.

    Wow, Max really didn’t last long, did he? I only saw one Lydman jersey all night so he could use more supporters. We call him “T” at our house but his go-to nickname seems to be “Loods.”

  2. 2 Heather B. September 21, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Oh, yeah… You should not be panicking. Preseason means very little, particularly when half of the starters weren’t even playing.

  3. 3 Katebits September 22, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Well, in my defense, I haven’t seen Max since that first practice. He’s been out with his injury since then. I repeatedly warned everyone that the KFS Competition surely would not produce my actual Favorite Sabre. I’m not being fickle, I just didn’t know them very well when I was doing the competition. How could I have possibly predicted that Toni Lydman would capture my fancy? It makes no sense!

    Poor Kaleta took a wicked beating.

  4. 4 Gambler September 22, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Vanek looks high strung out there.

    I was listening to WGR online, and some radio guy (I wasn’t paying too much attention during the second intermission) specifically mentioned that he’s seen a huge change in Thomas from last season to this in terms of his level of relaxation. Apparently he seems much more at home with the team and his role within it. I thought that was kind of comforting. I didn’t really hear enough of the game to tell, but it sounded like he was having a pretty good game.

    I think Lydman is an excellent jersey choice. I have no idea why, but he really fascinates me, too. Man, I wish Yo-Yo would sign that damn contract extension already so I could buy my own jersey without worrying about jinxing anything. By the way, how cute is captain Yo-Yo?

    And I agree with Heather, there’s no reason to start panicking about this. At all. I’m sure that won’t stop Buffalo from trying, though.

  5. 5 Gambler September 22, 2007 at 12:49 am

    Oh, and as for Toni’s nickname, I’ve taken to calling him “TMT.” It’s kind of lame, but it stands for Thrash Metal Toni, and allows me to sing a little AC/DC whenever I see him. “T-M-T, he’s dynamite! T-M-T, he don’t like to fight!”

  6. 6 Katebits September 22, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Well, maybe I don’t know Vanek well enough to judge his level of relaxation. Maybe I secretly think he’d better be a little stressed. I can’t seem to make my peace with that guy.

    Also, don’t forget: I don’t know anything about hockey!

    Captain Yo-Yo was adorable.

  7. 7 Meg September 22, 2007 at 1:20 am

    Kate, I’m pretty sure the Sabres suffered a similar beating at the hands of the Bluejackets last offseason. They’ve also already played a bunch of preseason games, which probably doesn’t hurt.

    And I’ve mentioned before, but it bears repeating: I fully endorse Lydman as KFS. Also, I find the baby chick hair much more appealing than the chin length, center-parted look he used to sport.

    I also agree with Heather on the Spacek interviews. I don’t understand 3/4 of what he says, but that just makes them totally hilarious.

  8. 8 Meg September 22, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Er…Blue Jackets, that is. I swear I know their name! And last preseason, not offseason (it’s too late for me–I’m such a 70-year-old lady).

  9. 9 markberm September 22, 2007 at 11:57 am

    I only listened to the game so I can’t really judge our level of play but you never want to lose, even in the preseason.

    That being said, this is who was out of the lineup: Max, Al, Timmy, Goose, Mair, Paille, Mike Ryan, Hank, Tree and Ryan M. That’s pretty significant! Even worse than our string of injuries last year.

    Preseason hockey really has little bearing on how a team will do in the regular season.

  10. 10 Schnookie September 22, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    EEEK! I just heard Katebits’ voice! EEEK! It’s like you’re sloooowly becoming a real person, ever so gradually working your way up to being someone we get to meet IN REAL LIFE.

  11. 11 Becky September 22, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    I own a Max jersey, and to tell the truth, a lot of people have them. I went to some benefit game (police & Sabres alumni for Parete I think) and it seemed every woman was wearing one. I felt so…so…common :)

    Lydman is a very good choice, IMO.

    Try on a jersey on first, any name, just to get the fit. Last year that wasn’t possible, so I went up a size figuring I’d shrink it and it would ride up on my butt. It didn’t (yet), and I have to roll the sleeves up. Of course, I got the lesser priced one, but it still wasn’t cheap. That said, I’m thinking of getting another one, but since today I’m leaning towards Peters, I need to slow down on that idea :)

  12. 12 Katebits September 22, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    Whoa there, Becky!! Buying a Peters jersey is a serious decision! Take your time. That’s not one I’d rush into. :D

  13. 13 Becky September 22, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    Actually my son has a too big Vanek (an Arena order filling mix-up, resulting in a desperate purchase to have one by the playoffs)that fits me, and I got him a just right Miller this summer, so I have an option without taxing my brain with a possible ill-advised decision!

    By the way, what I meant by “lesser priced” – it still cost 145 with name & number. They make better ones for 280, but I decided to pass.

  14. 14 Blitzen September 22, 2007 at 5:18 pm


    Great blog. Just stumbled across it while surfing for an update on Yellow 19. I am an Ottawa 67s fan (and an Ottawa Senators fan – sorry) who, like you, is learning to be a hockey fan later rather than sooner in life (and I have a couple of decades on you). Yellow 19 was one of my favorites when he played here and I try to keep track of the guys that graduate. I too write a blog so that I have to pay more attention during the games. Gonna keep you on my fav list.


  15. 15 Katebits September 22, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Hey thanks for stopping in Blitzen! I’m glad you like The Willful Caboose. I’m always happy to discover fellow Yellow 19 fans. I’ve got my fingers crossed for him. I don’t seem to be the only person in town who thinks he looks good out there. Come on, Mancari!

  16. 16 Gambler September 22, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I should clarify my earlier statement. Losing in the pre-season doesn’t matter, unless you’re the Rangers, and you lose 5-0 to the Flyers. Then it is most definitely a sign of impending DOOOOOOM!

  17. 17 Katebits September 22, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Hee. I was just thinking that very same thing, Gambler! And the Rangers had Henrik, Drury, Jagr, and Gomez ALL PLAYING! Surely they are going down in an expensive (and hilarious) blaze of glory this season.

    Our preseason loss means very little, but the Rangers will clearly suck this year.


  18. 18 ccomfort September 22, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    kate- max practiced today, and actually smiled the whole time he was in our corner of the rink!! he’s not BAD looking when he’s smiling :}

  19. 20 Meg September 23, 2007 at 1:48 am

    Our preseason loss means very little, but the Rangers will clearly suck this year.

    Hey, at least we scored. And allowed fewer than 5 goals with out backup goalie. I can dig it. Preseason losses are only meaningless if we like the team, right?

  20. 21 Heather B. September 23, 2007 at 2:21 am

    That video is very funny. You look like those little video intros/clips of the players where you can see them start thinking, “Are we done yet? Can I stop glaring menacingly/smiling happily (whichever)? They’ll tell me when we’re done, right? Are we done?”

    Also, Toni no longer has baby chick hair. I remember noticing that he had hair sticking out of the bottom of his helmet. Maybe he’s going back to thrash metal Toni?

  21. 22 Katebits September 23, 2007 at 9:41 am

    Heather, I agree that Toni’s hair is a little too long to qualify as “baby chick”, but it still has the essential baby chick qualities. Extremely blond, whispy, thin, and white-dandelion like. He might think he’s going thrash-metal, but he’ll never escape his baby chick-iness.

    Hmm. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like him so much. He reminds me of a huge baby chick trying to act tough.

  22. 23 Heather B. September 23, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Kate, have I told you lately that I love you? I will forever picture Toni as a little tiny chick hopping up and down, wings flapping away. How adorable!

  23. 24 Katebits September 23, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Hee. I’m glad you like Lydman as Baby Chick, Heather!

  24. 25 Christina September 23, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    You have me intrigued by the Alluring Yellow 19. I’m going to keep my eye on him. Zubrus the 2nd?

  25. 26 Katebits September 23, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Well, now I enjoy Yellow 19 as much as the next girl, but he’s not, like, Zubrus level hot. Zubrus is indisputably hot by almost anyone’s standards. Yellow 19 is more of a dark and dangerous kind of hot.

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