Down the Line

I promised myself that I wouldn’t start analyzing the Sabres until they’d played ten games, but I can’t hold myself back because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I just want to line the Sabres up, and walk down the line, ruffle their hair one-by-one, and tell them each why I love them so. You know what?  That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I doubt the actual Sabres are willing to stand in a line for me, so you’ll just have imagine the hair tussling.


The Sabres, presented in the order in which I think of them, which is probably a pretty good indication of the order of their awesomeness:

Thomas Vanek– Thomas Vanek, I’ve written many, many, many times about how incredible it is to watch you when you’re “on”. You’re just spectacular. But this season feels a little different. You seem so joyful out there. Joy is the one thing that has always been missing from your game. I’ll admit, your visible frustration on the ice has always made me a tad hesitant to really believe in you as “The Guy.” I’ve been joking for YEARS that you need therapy, and I’m starting to believe that maybe this summer you finally got some. (And just FYI, if I were running a professional sports team, sports psychology would be a requirement for every single player on my payroll, so, my insistence that you get therapy is really nothing personal. I only bring up the therapy with you because of all the Sabres, historically you’ve seemed to be the most crazypants. I guess that part is a little personal.) At any rate, as I wrote last night on Twitter, when you’re cool, everything’s cool. So, keep up the good work, and do whatever your therapist says. That guy/lady is a genius.

Jason Pominville– Jason, you’re a Sabre who I’ve always loved unconditionally, so it’s super fun to see you being all captain-ly and top-line-y. I don’t know how you do it, but you are the only hockey player I’ve ever seen who somehow manages to look adorable no matter what you’re doing. That’s a compliment (of course).

Ville Leino- Last night was extremely good for our relationship, Ville. After your pretty pass to Pommers for the goal, I wasn’t just happy for me, I realized I was genuinely happy for you. That doesn’t happen with every goal (for example, I don’t think Derek Roy has ever scored a goal that made think, “Oh, I’m so happy for Roy-Z!” His goals are just the garden-variety, “Hooray! The Sabres just scored and this makes me, Katebits, feel joy in my heart). Ville, I want you to be an awesome Sabre, and I feel extreme confidence that you WILL be an awesome Sabre, so just hang tight, buddy. You’ve got this. (Also, you and McCormick were strangely good together last night. That was weird, thrilling, and totally unexpected.)

Ryan Miller– *fist bump and chin nod of eternal respect*

Drew Stafford– How you doin’?

Tyler Myers– *gets on a step-stool in order to ruffle Tyler’s hair* Hey there big guy! You seem to be either totally awesome or totally terrifying. Last night you were totally awesome and it was really good to see. Just try to be awesome most nights. But don’t worry. The team is better this year. Not everything will go straight to hell if you have a few bad games in a row.

Christian Ehrhoff– I love how you shoot, and I also like how your lips always look like you’re wearing a tinted lip gloss.

Luke Adam– Lu-kie! Lu-kie! Lu-kie! Welcome to Buffalo, kiddo! You’re doing great. Just keep working hard, and when in doubt in the gym or out on the town, do what Goose does. Speaking of Goose…

Paul Gaustad– HONK! Goose, I’d like to encourage you to casually undress in the background of all your teammates’ interviews.

Andrej Sekera– You’re probably my favorite skater on the team. Good job.

Brad Boyes– Um, this is a little awkward. Usually Darcy’s trade deadline acquisitions are gone by now, but… you seem to still be here. Hm…. Oooh, I know! You have a very pleasant-looking face. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise, Brad Boyes.

Derek Roy– I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with you but you haven’t looked like yourself yet this season. Maybe you miss Vanek? I’m not too worried because apparently the Sabres don’t really need you to be awesome in order to win games. I have faith that you’ll pull it together soon. And if you don’t, well… *shrug* We apparently don’t really need you to win games! (That might sound a little harsh. Roy-Z, I think what I’m trying to tell you is: don’t get frustrated. When you suddenly get awesome again, it’s just going to make the Sabres LITERALLY UNSTOPPABLE, but for the time being, your atypical-averageness isn’t really doing any harm.

Cody McCormick– You were surprisingly good with Leino last night! Nice job. Everyone in Buffalo likes to root for you already, but if you can be the catalyst for getting Leino on track, I think we might erect a statue in your honor.

Tyler Ennis– Look, Tyler. I can’t lie. I’m a little worried about you. I’m not like, freaked about you, but I’m concerned. You need to tone down the “dipsy-doodling followed by a blueline turnover.” Just tone it down. Also, could you please clarify something? Is this actually you? That looks a LOT like Ehrhoff’s head on your body to me, but after an in-depth twitter investigation, the consensus seems to be that is IS you. I’m still not convinced. Your thoughts?

Jhonas Enroth– YOU ARE AN ELVISH HERO! Most of the time I forget all about you, but every time I remember you I get an incredible burst of confidence. Seriously. You might change everything this season. That’s how important and awesome you are. You might change everything.

Nathan Gerbe- Rock on, lil Honey Badger. Rock on.

Patrick Kaleta– Hey, Patty. You haven’t provoked my ire at all this season. Good job. Every once in a while, I think you’re Vanek on the ice. That amuses me.

Robyn Regehr– I can’t say I have any strong thoughts or feelings about you, but actually, that’s probably a good thing. You seem cool. Thanks for helping Mylers be less spazzy. I’m not going to ruffle your hair because, a.) you’re pretty much bald, and b.) you seem too dignified for such things. I’ll just shake your hand respectfully, instead.


Ah, that felt great! It’s fun to love the Sabres! I’m a little concerned about the future of this blog (nothing kills The Willful Caboose faster than a complete lack of over-the-top outrage), but we’ll make do.  I’m sure I’ll find something to complain about eventually, but for now, I love these little buggers.

12 Responses to “Down the Line”

  1. 1 patty October 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Great job. I also found myself confusing Kaleta with Vanek last night and agree that it is pretty amusing. As for Goose – well, yes, let’s keep that tradition going ;-)

  2. 2 Jaime October 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I think you’re right in line with my thinking. I’m in that happy honeymoon period where all I want to do is hold the Sabres hands.

    And Goose, I was like Oh look he has his shirt off, oh my and there’s his bum! But I’m ok with that!

  3. 3 SueInVA October 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I missed the video of the Leino interview. Thanks for posting it. I was loving his snark to the reporter about shooting the puck wide of the net but then there is the bonus!! :D

  4. 4 Scott Michalak (@ScottyMCSS) October 21, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I think you owe a P.S. to Jochen, our prodigal veteran.

  5. 5 Katebits October 21, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Sue, it’s true that Ville’s interview is actually quite saucy even without a half naked Goose in the background.

    Scott, I briefly considered adding Jochen, but what the heck was I supposed to say? “Good work in the press box”? Hm. Maybe I should’ve said that. Now that I read it I realize he obviously HAS done good work in the press box.

  6. 6 Gambler October 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm


    Also, I was literally making the o.O eyes all through that Goose video. I don’t even know what those eyes mean, but boy was I making them.

  7. 7 Beth October 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    OMG. I’ve watched that video three times now and have no idea what Ville was saying. Gooooooooose was looking mighty yummy in that video. I wonder if anyone has told him of this…? =]

  8. 8 mallory October 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    When I saw Goose take his shirt off I was OH MY GOODNESS!!! But them his bottom too! I giggled

  9. 9 Mike October 24, 2011 at 8:34 am

    This is why you can never compliment the Sabres again. When you compliment them, the Sabres are like “Oh Kate loves us. We can just go a game or two without scoring and we don’t have to worry about Kate getting upset because she loves us. Let’s just kind of skate around during this game with the Lightning and not score”

  10. 10 Sabres in Seven October 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I died laughing reading all of this, obviously in such a good way.

    How I did not see the Goose video sooner, I have no idea. Or is the Leino’s video… I initially really was interested in what he had to say (and as much as I love Goose, his shirt off doesn’t make me go crazy) but then the pants came off. Do you think somebody noticed and just said, “Eh, it’s still PG-13. We’ll keep it.” I wonder if Goose even knows of his semi-nudity cameo appearance!

    And the Ennis photo? I KNEW something was weird about my Winnipeg tickets but I couldn’t put my finger on it… I just kept going to get food from my fridge (where they are ever so nicely hanging in a magnetic clip) and something made me feel awkward about the ticket.

    I really have a dislike for Vanek (always really have, no reason specifically) but I have to admit, this season he’s a lot more charming on the ice. It’s like he is actually having fun again and that’s nice!

  11. 11 Kitten November 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Did we all click on the video to see semi naked Goose? What does that say about us? :-)

  12. 12 Alex December 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    oh my god this sounds EXACTALLY like me!!! Rock on sabres – especially my fav vanek! (by the way i think his anger managment has improved a lot too ;)

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