Archive for November, 2009

Goalie Thoughts

The first time I paid continual intense attention to the Sabres was during their 07-08 06-07 playoff run.  Obviously I didn’t know much about hockey at the time, but even a total novice could see that by the time the Ottawa series rolled around the Sabres would have lost every game 50-2 without the incredible play of Ryan Miller.  I don’t very often give him credit for helping to make a hockey addict out of me, but I probably should.

Ryan Miller was amazing against the Hurricanes last night.  He was so amazing that I was reminded of those first few hockey games I watched two and a half years ago.  It’s a real treat to watch him when he’s like this, so much so that it could inspire someone to become a lifelong fan of the game.

I reeeeally hope Crunchy’s got the stamina to stay up and running for an entire season (during an Olympic year no less).  Darcy and Lindy, need to find a way to ensure that Ryan Miller gets enough rest.  If they don’t, they suck.  Crunchy deserves better.  He’s playing his ass off right now, but this won’t last forever.  He’s going to need a breather or two, and we don’t want him all deflated and worn down in March.  No, we do not.

This team is still a total mystery, but one thing we know for sure is that in the right circumstances, Ryan Miller is capable of carrying this organization on his back.

The Sabres need a better back-up.  STAT.

9 Things

1. What is wrong with the Hurricanes?  I mean, HONESTLY.  If the Sabres had played Lalime instead of Crunchy the score could have been 4-0 going into the third period, but even THAT wouldn’t have been enough for Carolina to overcome their complete and utter third period suckitude.  The third period was breathtaking, especially when you consider the Hurricanes did that last night too.

2. Rick might be right.  We’re not worthy (of Crunchy).

3. Except for Ryan Miller, for the first two periods the Sabres looked T to the E to the R to the R to the I to the B to the L to the E.  That was pukeriffic.

4. I miss Goose already.  *mournful honk*  (Side note: The other day I was hanging out with a percussionist friend and he pulled out his collection of bird calls.  Every once in a while a piece of music requires a bird call of some sort, and as a result all percussionists have a box of odd whistles and honks at the ready.  When my friend pulled out the goose call, I got all wistful imagining a whole arena of people honking away in tribute to Goose.  Now ordinarily I am VERY opposed to noisemakers in the stands, but just once it would be fun.  Especially if we could somehow surprise Goose with a chorus of genuine honks after his next goal.)

5. How drunk was Robi during the postgame report tonight?  Loved it.

6. When you play The Nutcracker you often feel like an animal in a zoo because a lot of parents bring their kids to the edge of the pit to look down at the orchestra. I’m never sure if I should wave at these children, or if I should just ignore them.  Wouldn’t it freak you out if an animal in a zoo made eye contact and then waved?  I don’t want to scare the children.

7. Every time they showed Crunchy during a stoppage of play, he was rooting around in his jersey.  Something about his pads must have been on his nervies tonight.  Did someone forget to add the fabric softener?   You can’t do that to him.  He has sensitive skin.

8. I know that by the time he scored it Vanek’s goal was pretty meaningless, but it was still nice to see.  I miss good Vanek.  I hope he comes back someday.

9. Now look, I loooove NYC, but I am SO INCREDIBLY SICK of the “rah rah New York City” commercials that we have to watch on MSG.  We live in BUFFALO, MSG.  Buff. a. lo.  It’s DIFFERENT than NYC.  Quite.  Stop showing us commercials with a bunch of people beating their chests about The City.  We. Don’t. Care.  If a commercial doesn’t contain Cellino, Barnes, Yancy’s Fancy, Hurt in a Car?, or knotted ropes representing veins IT’S NOT FOR US.

1pm Game? Whaa?

Apparently, the Sabres play a game in a half hour.  This sucks a little bit for me, because I’m about to head downtown to rehearse The Nutcracker all day.  (In the music biz we say, “It’s time to crack some nuts” at this time of year.)

Anyhooch, I’ll be catching this game in little bits and pieces which almost doesn’t bother me because if those guys lose again……yikes.

Katebits and Heather B if these a-holes manage to lose 5 in a row.

UPDATE: Victory!  WOOO!

We are pacified……for now.

Be Thankful. Be Safe. Chow Down.

punkin pye

I love Thanksgiving.  It’s delicious, it’s wholesome (what with all the thankfulness), and it’s often hilarious (what with all the fun people and the alcohol).   I’m also really attracted to the (totally bizarre if you think about it) idea that everyone in America is eating the same food at the same time. That never ceases to trip me out.  Thanksgiving is the best.

I am so thankful to have discovered hockey, and more importantly, hockey fans.  Thanks guys.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sabres @ Caps 11/24/09 Thanksgiving Eve Edition


I feel like I’ve lost my mojo with the old game day format, so I’m going to try something new, which is to totally wing it.  I’m going to blog about this game, but I have no idea how.   The only preparation for blogging I’ve made this evening is to have a VERY generous glass of wine and to place the wine bottle within arm’s reach.  We’ll see what happens.

You know what rocks?  Thanksgiving, that’s what.  So, tonight we will give thanks.  No matter how dry the turkey the Sabres serve tonight, we WILL be thankful for the them.  We can do it.   I mean, we’re drunk right now.  We can do anything.

1st Period

-Okay, first of all, MY EYES!  MY EYES!  This is the ugliest low-def feed in the history of feeds.   But, um, I am thankful that we have a game to watch at all.  Yeeeah.

-I have a confession to make: I think Ovechkin is totally gross and I’ve been secretly hoping that he’s gotten too fat to play hockey.  Yes, I’ve been reduced to irrationally wishing that Ovechkin a lazy oaf.  I KNOW HE’S A FATTIE AT HEART.  It takes one to know one.  You mark my words, hockey fans- In three years, that guy is going to be too fat to walk, much less play hockey.  And for that, we give thanks.  Sadly, for now, we have to accept that Ovechkin is better at hockey than both Crunchy and Mylers.  But not for long because there is NO WAY that either Crunchy or Mylers is going to get fat.  Ever.   (I’m trying out “Mylers” as a nickname for Tyler Myers, FYI.) 1-0 Caps

In-depth drunken analysis: Well, that could have been worse- Ovechkin could have a hat trick by now.  This game has a topsy turvy feel.  The Caps are speedy and score-y, but they also look awfully we’re-happy-to-sacrifice-defense-y, so maybe, maybe, MAYBE if the silly Sabres could remember how to score, they could still have a chance.  For that chance, we give thanks!

Intermission report: James Kennedy (Tim’s father) is cracking me UP.  He is probably the worst interview in the world.  I am thankful for charmingly monotone NHL fathers who don’t know how to look at the camera (or smile) and as a result look kind of shifty even though you KNOW they’re not.  Totally unrelated- I just toasted a bagel with some drizzled olive oil and I’m pretty sure I could win Iron Chef with this innovative recipe.  I’m thankful for my culinary genius.

2nd Period

– 5 minutes into this period, and I fear the only chance of the Sabres getting out of this game alive is that Ovechkin is eating hoagies on the bench.   Is Ovechkin eating hoagies on the bench? I am thankful for hoagies regardless.

– Rats.  Vanek really needed that one.  And by “that one” I mean that chance all alone right in front of Varlamov.

– RJ declares that some Cap should get a penalty for slashing Kaleta. I am thankful that Rick is such a homer.  I’ve never understood why homerism is so bad. I mean, I get why a fan of the Caps wouldn’t necessarily enjoy Rick Jeanneret, but is that really his target audience?  I’m a Sabres homer, and I appreciate the same in RJ.

– The Sabres have picked it up a bit and are getting lots of chances (and I am thankful), but they canNOT hit the net.   Sillyheads.

– The Caps are reeeeally trying to let the Sabres score now.  Thanks guys, but you’re going to have to try a little harder.  You are playing the S-A-B-R-E-S.

– I just suggested “Mylers” on Twitter, and it was received with icy silence.  Screw you, Twitter.  Um, I mean, I’m thankful for feedback.  *shifty eyes*

In-depth drunken analysis: The Sabres are never going to score again, which is sad, because I like it when they score.  I’m thankful even.

Intermission report: Kylvester tells us that the Caps have been really sucky in the third period lately.  Hooray!  Let us give thanks!

3rd Period

– VANEK IS SUCH A SLAG-FACED WHORE.  He misses the net for, like, the MILLIONTH time this game.

– Maybe this is just the wine talking, but this game is kind of a hoot.    I can’t believe the Sabres are still in this game.  I thought the Caps were supposed to be good.  The Senators would have had a ten goal lead by now.

– Ovechkin boards the hell out of Kaleta and the Sabres go on a 5 minute power play.  Ovechkin loves hockey SO MUCH on his way to the locker room.  Please, please, please, PLEASE let him get suspended for a hit on Patrick Kaleta. That?  Would be hilarious.

– Rivet trips some Cap.  For fucks sake.  4-on-4.

– Okay Sabres.  Collect yourselves.  The 4-on-4 is over and you still have 2 minutes of power play on the Gr8’s penalty.

– Nevermind.

– Ugh.  This game is bonkers, and I have a very unthankful feeling about it right now.  The Caps SUCK!  But not as much as the Sabres!

– Oh NO!  Another Caps penalty!  The Sabres are doooooomed!

– Some sort of clustereff in front of the net makes it 2-0, Capitals.

– I’m losing the will to blog about this game.  Quick!  I have to find something to be thankful about!  Turkey!  The Nutcracker!  Fizzy water!  Kilz primer!  Sea salt!  Pretty fabric!  Good people!

– That….was rough.  I mean, Varlamov had a nice game, but the Sabres offense is INSANELY BAD right now.

In-depth drunken analysis: Alright, Sabres fans.  SHAKE IT OFF.  That game was total bullhonky!  We’re not going to let the Sabres ruin Thanksgiving, because Thanksgiving is bigger than hockey. We can deal with these non-scoring a-holes later.  Tonight, we must shake it off.

I am thankful that this game is over and I still have a nice buzz and wonderful plans for tomorrow.  All you guys have a safe and delicious Thanksgiving.  We’ll viciously turn on the Sabres in full force on Friday, but for now we have better things to think about.  Like thankfulness.   And turkey.


If you ever want to read a snappy blog about the world of an orchestra musician, you should check out the wonderful Inside the Classics which is written by my friends Sam (that’s CrotchetyOriginal, FYI) and Sarah.  ItC is a friendly and informative blog that covers both the ins and outs of the orchestra biz (in this case the Minnesota Orchestra biz), and whatever fanciful little internet things that captures their attention.  Basically, Inside the Classics is just like The Willful Caboose only instead of hockey, they write about music, and instead of inane nonsense, their blog is full of smart ideas and keen observations.

Today I was visiting Inside the Classics when I was introduced to the Helsinki Complaints Choir.  The Helsinki Complaints choir is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  It’s a choir that sings a laundry list of complaints.  I love them.

Because the song mentions hockey twice I think this clip belongs here, on my hockey blog.

The whole song has a very chipper tone in spite of the subject matter, and it is in this spirit that I would like to submit my own complaint to add to this song.

The last person who painted my house took ZERO care while painting around the windows, and as a result almost all of my windows look like this:


Many of the windows have paint like this on BOTH sides of the pane.  Inside and out.

The good news is that it’s an easy fix (I bought this little scrappy razor blade thingie at Home Despot), but honestly. Is it really THAT hard to paint a window?  I don’t have time for this kind of bullhonky, which is why this window still looks like this a month after moving into my new house.

Tomorrow we’ll resume our usual hockey yammering.  I promise.

From the Hotiary of Hot Hotfford

Dear Hotiary,

Things at work have been very unhotunate recently.  We’ve now lost 3 hots in a hot.  It’s totally unhot to continually lose hotckey games, and all this losing is giving me very low hot esteem.  To make matters even hotrse, I’ve suffered a “bone bruise” which is HOTVIOUSLY a totally fake hotjury.  “Bone bruise” is very funny to say (if you’re twelve, which I am), but it doesn’t hotsist, so who KNOWS when I’ll rehot to the ice.

Today at practice Paul Hotstad was all, “HONK HONK HONK,” so I had to be all, “Look dude.  My bone IS bruised, and I don’t hot what you hot.  Just HOT OFF, hothole.”  I hotally hot being hotjured.

Okay, hotta go.

Hot to you hoter, Hotiary.


Hot Hotfford


Hold the phone.

Do the Sabres totally suck now?


Dear Sabres,

Look, I don’t have time to watch and post about every single game that you play.  I also don’t have the emotional energy to throw myself into a complete tizzy when you look like ass for a few games.

If this is going to work, I need to know I can trust you to keep it together when my non-hockey watching family is in town to help me get my house under control.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m touched that you can only win when I am paying full attention to your games, but it’s too much pressure.  The walls of my house may be increasingly attractive, and the floors may be decreasingly covered in hideous shag carpeting, but there you are, trying to clog my toilets with your craptastic play.  STOP IT. You CAN do this without me.

This “losing games” thing was bound to happen sooner or later, but I’ve had enough now.  Do you know who you have to play tonight?  Do you? That’s right, the SENATORS.  I don’t believe I’ve EVER seen you beat the Senators.  Ev. er.  You ALWAYS lose to the Senators even though by every reasonable method of measuring such things, you are the better team.

So, how about this?- While I’m playing my concert tonight, you go beat the Senators.  Do it with ease.  Beating the Senators seems incredibly easy for every other team in the league, but for some reason it’s the hardest thing in the world for you.  Go do it.  We’ll all feel so much better if you do.

With love,


PS: Private to Drew Stafford: I’m sorry that you are out with a lower body hotjury.  Hurry back soon.


Dick Jauron got fired!

Let’s celebrate by watching the cutest commercial in the world.

I like cute things, and I’m not afraid to say it.


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

Observations 2
I can be reached at: willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com

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