Archive for February, 2009

Hey, The Sabres Won That Game.

I suppose I should comment on the “SABRES = SOFT” issue, but you know what?  I’ve been pondering this all day, and frankly, I don’t know what to think about the Sabres and their smoooshy, soft ways.

Part of me is all, “Yeah!  The Sabres are SOFT!  They avoid hits and they never defend Crunchy!”  I mean, let’s face it, the Sabres are pretty cuddly as far as hockey teams go. The opposition spends WAY too much time pestering Miller in his crease.

But then another part of me is all, “Oh, please. Everyone just calm the eff down.  Fighting and brawling is theater, designed to romanticize the game.  Nothing more.  Fans love retaliation, but that doesn’t make it a necessary part of winning, and it CERTAINLY couldn’t have prevented Miller’s injury.”

I’m glad the Sabres didn’t put themselves on a 5-on-3 penalty kill right after Miller was injured, and I’m glad that no one got themselves suspended last night.  On the other hand, on a purely emotional level, it would have been awfully nice to see Gomez take a punch square to the face.

So basically, I don’t know how I feel about this issue. I do think the Sabres are “soft” but I’m not convinced it really matters.

I’m just still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Patrick Lalime is our new goaltender.  Absorbing the situation is really all I can handle today as far as hockey goes.  I’m not mad that the Sabres are soft.   I’m mostly just bummed out.



Sad times.

5 Things

1. I’ve been quite frustrated watching the Sabres games without Vanek.  Obviously, he’s a good player to have around, and a large part of my discontent has been because of Vanek’s absence, but something about the way Lindy’s been reconstructing the lines has left me feeling, like, “Um….do we have any good forwards?  Why do all these lines make me sad?”   Normally, I’m not much of a line watcher.  I don’t pay super close attention to who is playing with who, but without Vanek things have felt WAY off, not just on the first line, but on ALL the lines.

You know how over the course of the game you begin to anticipate, and wait for the first line to come out?  Well, it turns out, hockey is less fun without a legitimate first line.  Over the past two weeks it’s felt like the Sabres NEVER rolled out a line that made me sit up straight and go, “WOOOOOOO!  Here we go!”

Connolly, Roy and Stafford seem like the most obvious combination of currently potent players, and they were on the ice together for two goals last night, so I really hope Lindy keeps them together.  We need at least one, functional, scoring line.  The idea of spreading out the guys who are playing well in the hopes of “sparking” some of the slumping guys is just NOT going to work.

Of course, it’s really not fair to judge Lindy’s lines when two of his supposedly reliable forwards are in such deep, deep ruts. Which leads me to my next point…

2. Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville need to be quarantined- for their own protection and for the protection of their teammates.  I’m not here to point fingers.  I don’t know who infected who, but Pommer and Yo-Yo are CLEARLY and UTTERLY diseased.


Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children?

We have young, impressionable players on our roster right now.  Do we want Chris Butler, or Nathan Gerbe catching that suck?  Paille and MacArthur have already displayed symptoms, but they might still be salvageable.  What if (GOD FORBID) after he’s finally pulled it together, Drew Stafford catches the suck?  We canNOT afford the risk.  Drastic measures must be taken.  Hecht and Pominville must be separated from the general Sabres populace until we understand more about this horrific and debilitating sucking disease.

3. For whatever reason, I’m more sympathetic to Pominville than I am to Hecht.  Say what you want about Pommerdoodle, but he’s got 47 points so he hasn’t been totally worthless even when his defensive play is highly questionable.  I said in Heather’s comment thread today that my sense is that Pominville is slumping, but that Hecht is sliding into a pit of despair from which he might never return.   Don’t get me wrong, they have both been completely terrible, but Yo-Yo’s particular brand of ass-tastic seems disturbingly terminal.

4. Reading over this post I’m realizing how negative it sounds, and I just thought I should say that I enjoyed the game last night.  It was zippy, and if it weren’t for that meddling Mike Richards, we very well might have snatched those two points.  For the most part I thought the Sabres looked like a reasonably respectable NHL team.  (Except for Yo-Yo and Pommerdoodle who looked like Timbits.) (And not the hockey-playing Timbits.) (Last night Pominville and Hecht looked like donut holes.) (Donut holes who really suck at hockey.)

5. After writing a Sabres blog for a year and half, I am proud to report that I have FINALLY learned how to spell H-E-C-H-T. It’s such a short name, but for some reason I could NEVER remember how to spell “Hecht”. Thanks to his currently vomitous play, and the need to write his name repeatedly, I’ve finally learned how to spell “Hecht” once and for all. I promise you, I will NEVER learn how to spell “Paetchsetahscetahsecth”.

I Love My Job

I have a great job.  I get to play music for a living, I have wonderful colleagues, and at the end of my work week I literally receive a round of applause.   I’m so incredibly grateful that music brought me to Buffalo.

Today was an especially fun day at work because after an hour of rehearsal the mayor of Buffalo showed up, congratulated us for winning two Grammys, declared today “BPO Day” in the City of Buffalo, and gave us the key to the city.  Then, we all went into the lobby and drank champagne and ate adorable Grammy cupcakes.


Adorable and delicious

The ceremonial key to the city is pretty cool, you guys!  It comes in a beautiful velvet lined wooden box, and it’s made out of something heavy so it has a very satisfying weight when you hold it in your hands.


The key to the city of Buffalo

I think my boss was a little nervous when I asked if I could pose for a picture with the key and then proceeded to disappear with my friends for five minutes- his worry was probably for good reason.  Basically, as soon as we had our mitts on the key, everyone started making jokes about what it could open.  So, we had a little photo shoot.

Amelie and Glenn.jpg

Amelie and Glenn investigate exactly which doors our key will open.

key door

If anyone needs to open a door in Buffalo today, call me, because I’ve got the key.


The key to the city looks good on Glenn’s keychain.

After these photos were taken, we took the key to Home Depot and had 73 copies made (one for each musician).  If I’m Byron Brown, I’m changing the city locks.  ASAP.

In all seriousness, today was a lot of fun.  The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is so proud of these Grammys, and we are so thankful for all of the support that we get from Buffalonians.  We are incredibly honored to be recipients of the “Key to the City.”

Thank you, Mayor Brown!  And thank you to all the people who support our music at the BPO!


I think the Sabres knew that I wanted to coast through the evening, because they provided a stress-free, pleasant hockey game for my viewing pleasure.  I like a high energy nail biter too, but sometimes it’s fun to just let an easy win wash over the evening.  No fuss, no muss.


In unrelated news, I would like to call your attention to this, which I wrote on December 20th:

Hey, remember Chris Drury?  Right now, Chris Drury has three more points than Drew Stafford.  Drew.  Stafford.  The biggest difference between them is that Drew is a +6, and Dru is a -5.  Also, Drury is   $6 mil more per season than Stafford.  Intangibles don’t come cheap, you guys!

I originally wrote this to serve a totally different point, but since then I’ve kept an eye on the stats of Mr. Drury and Mr. Stafford.  For the last two months, I’ve periodically checked in to see who is winning the “scoring race” (snort) between them.  Amazingly, the two have stayed nearly neck and neck for months.   For some reason I’m unreasonably proud of having noticed early on that these two are statistical twinsies.

Now, we here in Buffalo know that Drew Stafford is WAY better than Chris Drury. These stats look terrible on Chris Drury, but they don’t look half bad on young Drew Stafford….and anyway, the stats don’t tell the whole tale.  We know that Staffy’s better because he scored two goals tonight, and also because we’ve seen his eyelashes in HD.

Intangibles, baby.  Staffy’s got ’em.

Like a Virgin….

..touched by high definition television for the very first time.

Of course I’ve seen hockey in HD before, but right now, for the first time in my life, I’m enjoying it from the comfort of my own home.  Until today, I’ve been watching hockey on a 19 inch television that I bought at Target in 1999 for $129.  (No, I’m not kidding.)  Before I started watching sports I couldn’t have cared less about HD, but things are different now.  I put it off as long as I could bear it, but last week I broke down and ordered the television.  It arrived this afternoon.

I am literally sitting here with my mouth agape.

Sabres vs Hurricanes 2/15/09


Mood: I work a lot of Sundays, so I very rarely get to sit around and enjoy a day of wall-to-wall hockey.  Today I got up, and puttered around for a few hours making to-do lists, and preparing for a day of errands, and blah blah blah….how annoying.  In a sudden and brilliant change of plans, I decided I was going to spend the ENTIRE day watching hockey.  No practicing, no laundry, no cooking (I went to Weggies and bought a rotisserie chicken this morning, so I’ve been munching on that guy), and no feeling even the slightest bit guilty about “wasting” a day. This will be my third hockey game of the day from the comfy chair.  I’m feeling downright blissed out.  (Oddly, during the Devils game, in the middle of my lethargy, I managed to do my taxes.  So, technically I haven’t done nothing today.  Taxes aren’t nothing.)
Favorite Sabre: I love how Pommerdoodle busted out of his slump on Friday, but it was Craig Rivet who busted into my heart.
Least Favorite Sabre: Vanek’s jaw.
Prediction: This game has some very serious “emotional letdown” potential from the Sabres, and after back-to-back humiliating losses the Hurricanes have GOT to be desperate for a win.  Hm…… Sabres win, 63-1.
Chore I should have done this afternoon representing my hopes for this game: Dishes

dirty-dishesI don’t actually mind doing dishes, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at my kitchen. (That’s my gentleman caller, Dudley, in the back there.  He comes by to do my dishes from time to time.  He did not come by today.)

After the 1st (2-0, Hurricanes)

Mood: I wish I hadn’t already done my taxes.  I’d do them again if I could.
Favorite Sabre:  They all look the same.  (Okay, wait.  Mike Robitaille is cracking me up by pointing angrily at the Robistrator with his middle finger.  Robi is such a crotchety old crankpot.  He’s my favorite Sabre.)
Least Favorite Sabre: They all look the same.

Summary of events: The Sabres were batting their eyelashes all, “We’ve been lifting the hearts and minds of Western New Yorkers this week!”  And then the Hurricanes were all, “Yeah, we’re unimpressed.”
Chore I should have done this afternoon representing this game so far: Cleaned out the car.

I’ve got a lot of junk in my trunk.

After the 2nd (2-0, Hurricanes)

Mood: Totally shocked.  This game should be 1,000,000-0.
Favorite Sabre: Aw, Patrick Lalime.  You don’t deserve to have to be in this game.
Least Favorite Sabre: Derek Roy is on my nerves, but it’s probably not fair to single him out.  They’re all totally lifeless.
Summary of Events: Well, first I ate some rotisserie chicken, and now I’m eating some Wegmans Green Apple Sorbet, which I can highly recommend.  As for the Sabres, they skated around listlessly, totally lodged in their own ends.
Chore I should have done this afternoon representing this game so far:  High level diplomacy

Instead of watching this game I should have at least tried to broker peace in the Middle East.  I’m so incredibly lazy and lame.

At the end (3-0, Hurricanes)

Damn it.  I wish I had done my laundry.  I want clean sheets.

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

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