Archive for the 'Letters' Category

This Might Be The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Written.

Open letter to the powers-that-be at HSBC arena.


Dear Powers-That-Be At HSBC Arena,

I am writing this email with grave concern in my heart.  GRAVE!  CONCERN!

I attended the Sabres preseason game against the Flyers last night.  Great fun was had by all (except the Flyers) for the majority of the evening, but there was one incident that made me want to curl up on the arena floor in terrible, terrible shame.

The arena played, “Chelsea Dagger”.


Now look.  I know that the Sabres are not necessarily “cool”.  We’re not “hip” and we don’t care what the other kids are doing in their arenas with the fancy “ice girls” and the “arena hosts”.  In Buffalo our best excuse for “in-game entertainment” is the blooper reel, and that’s the way we like it. (Actually, the blooper reel is getting pretty stale, but whatever.  It’s not inherently embarrassing, so I’ll take it.)

I’m not one of these fans that gets all bent out of shape over “Sweet Caroline” (IT’S A RED SOX SONG!), or “Born in the USA” (IT’S A PROTEST SONG!).  For the most part, the rinky-dink nature of the arena entertainment does not bother me in the slightest.  In fact, I prefer it.  After all, I’m a real hockey fan.  I do not require bells and whistles to keep me entertained while at a hockey game.

But Powers-That-Be At HSBC Arena, there is a difference between “rinky-dink” and “totally embarrassing,” and last night you crossed the line.   When you played “Chelsea Dagger” during the game I felt soul-scorching embarrassment.  Deep seated shame.  Utter humiliation.  Even though the Sabres were beating the Flyers 400-2 at the time, I’m willing to bet every SINGLE Sabre in the arena thought to himself, “THEY WOULD NEVER PLAY THIS SHIT IN PHILADELPHIA.  SOMETIMES I WISH I WAS A FLYER.  IN PHILADELPHIA AT LEAST THEY HAVE CLASS AND DIGNITY.”

“Chelsea Dagger” is the Blackhawks song.  It will ALWAYS be the Blackhawks song.  In 50 years, when passionate Blackhawks fans want to reminisce about the good old days, they’re going to take out their Fratellis records, and listen to “Chelsea Dagger”.  The Sabres cannot have that song.  The only way to have a song like that is to play it all season long as the goal celebration, and then WIN THE STANLEY CUP.  You don’t “copy” Chelsea Dagger, you EARN IT.  Unless you’re the Chicago Blackhawks you can’t play “Chelsea Dagger” without looking like a MAJOR TOOL.

When you play “Chelsea Dagger” during the Sabres games you’re not saying, “Go Sabres!” you’re saying, “Go Blackhawks!”  To play it during a Sabres game is nothing short of pathetic.

But let’s take a deep breath, and try to calm down.  Last night was just a preseason game (and a SUPER awesome one at that).  We’re all still shaking off the summer rust.  I’m going to forgive you for last night.  I’m going to assume you just suffered a temporary lapse of judgment and reason.  But, I see that the Blackhawks will be playing in Buffalo very soon, and as God is my witness, if you play that song I will never forgive you.  THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SHRILL IN THE WORLD TO PROPERLY CONVEY MY SHRILL-NESS ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

If you play that song, I’m going to start lobbying for the Sabres to trade Ryan Miller.  No team with a beating heart at its core would play “Chelsea Dagger,” during a Blackhawks game, and no team without a beating heart at its core deserves Ryan Miller.  THAT’S HOW SERIOUS THIS IS.

I am BEGGING YOU, please DO NOT ever play that song in HSBC arena ever again.


H.R.H. Katebits

Dear Lindy Ruff,

Being the coach of an NHL team is a full time job.  So is owning a diner.  I know how passionate you are about grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate malts, and lord knows I know you love the Sabres, but sooner or latter you’re going to have to make a choice.   Hockey, or affordable comfort food.   I think you’re spreading yourself too thin.

With love and thanks for the french fries,


7 Things

1. I’m not sure how many times you guys can stand to hear me say “I can’t believe we’re going to the playoffs,” but for realio…….WOOOOO!   As a relatively new fan, I have no frame of reference for this.  The Sabres clinched a playoff berth and they still have eight games to play?  Whaaa?  I haven’t looked at this site at all this year.  Is spring still going to come even if I’m not obsessively praying that other loathsome NHL teams lose so that the Sabres playoff hopes stay alive?

This is just so WEIRD!  The Sabres are going to the playoffs!  What IS this happy hockey-related feeling in my heart?  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

2.  HOW ABOUT THAT TYLER ENNIS?!  Holy buckets.  I’ll join in with the chorus of people who are vocally praying that he stays up for Buffalo for the duration of the regular season.   I don’t quite understand how the roster works during the playoffs (I think there’s an expanded roster?  Something like that?), and I don’t care.  For the time being, let’s make room for Tyler Ennis.

It’s too bad we didn’t see more of Ennis during the regular season because it’s kind of kooky to suggest he should be on the playoff roster at this stage.  BUT, we’ve got eight games to study him and argue about him.  (Provided at least one of our injured players stays hurt.  I would urge Darcy to personally injure one of them if that’s what it takes to buy the time necessary to figure Ennis out.)  Wouldn’t it be fun if he turned out like Tyler Myers?  A fully functional NHLer, fresh out of the draft-womb, just in time for a playoff run?

3. In addition to being good at hockey, Tyler Ennis already has a KILLER nickname.  “Ennis the Menace” is a GREAT name, especially for a small blond player.   Just think of the fun we can have watching his opponents shaking their fist at him and bellowing “Ennnnissss!”

4. Tyler Ennis, if you need a place to stay while in Buffalo, you can totally stay at my house.  You can have your own room, and I’ll cook you meals, and I’ll mostly stay out of your way except to occasionally veto the skankiest puck bunnies.  The only downside is that you’ll have to park your car on the street, I get to keep control of the television remote, no loud music, and I’m going to need you to do some light handyman work around the house.  (How good are you at roofing?)

5. I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth about writing a detailed post about Patrick Lalime Boo-Gate, but I’m going to do the internet a favor and keep my thoughts to myself.  I wish the Sabres had done the same.  Heh.

6.  You know who I love?  Ryan Miller.  Also, Goose.  And Pommerdoodle.

7. Maybe it’s just because I’m a girl, and math is hard, but I find all the “magic number” talk to be HUGELY confusing.  Way back in the day when I was a baseball fan (and a child), I had my arms all the way around the concept.  I understood it fully.  But with hockey, and with hockey’s system of points, it makes absolutely no sense.  I’m just taking the internet’s word that the Sabres have clinched a playoff berth.  Truthfully, I don’t get it at all.


Dear Katebits,

Um, please stop sending us letters.  We get it, you want us to win blah blah blah blah blah.  Look, we’ve got a plan, okay?  Our plan doesn’t involve taking advice from bloggers, and it doesn’t involve beating Ottawa ever.


The Sabres

PS: Love the car flag.

Part 5

Dear Sabres,

Man, I sure opened a can of worms with this car flag thing. I’ve decided to keep it on. I’m keeping it on because that’s how the readers voted and because that’s my gut instinct, but more important than either of those reasons is this: What kind of person removes a joyful car flag out of fear?  When I put the car flag up I did it without a second thought to superstitious protocol.  I just put the car flag up because I was in a good mood.  I think removing it now would be terribly cowardly.  I made my choice two days ago, and I did so with a spring in my step and joy in my heart.  Surely the Hockey Gods cannot frown upon such enthusiasm.

What I’ve really learned from Car Flag-Gate is that I’m ready to turn the page on the whole “analyze and debate” portion of the season, and get on with the, “Just cross our fingers and hope for the best” phase.  We fans can debate and discuss your chances all we want, but the wheels of the post season are already in motion, so, I’m going to just go with it.

Installing the car flag is very indicative of current mood:  Eff reason and decorum, it’s time to start cheering for the Sabres.

Now, about this game with Ottawa.  Listen guys, I think you need to win this game.  I realize I’ve been saying this about every game for weeks, but…..for real now.  The Ottawa fucking Senators are NOT as good at hockey as you.  YOU ARE BETTER THAN THEM.  Tonight you have the chance to clinch a playoff spot, but even more importantly you have the chance to shake the retarded-monkey-that-is-the-Senators off your back.  Let’s not wait for the post-sesaon.  Let’s beat them into submission now.  Isn’t always losing to them getting irritating?

This is not a must-win.  This is a Holy Shit It Would Feel Good To Win. You should win tonight for the sake of winning.  Because it would feel good, and because the Senators are monumentally less awesome than you.  You should start the post season by ending this dumb “thing” you have with the Sens.

I won’t be at the game.  Me, my viola, and my car flag will be in Williamsville playing a concert tonight.  But, I know you can do it.

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!



Part Four

Dear Sabres,

Two years ago, my aunt Mary (who lives in Minnesota) bought me a car flag for Christmas.  She actually emailed Heather B. in order to figure out which Sabres-related trinket I would like the most, and the two of them nailed it.  I love this car flag.

I think car flags are incredibly charming, but, I think of car flags as a playoff thing.  Car flags are for the spring, when hopes are the highest, and when it’s still sunny as you walk towards the arena for a 7pm game.

I feel so strongly that car flags are a playoff thing that as soon as I opened this gift, I thought to myself, “I’m not using this until the Sabres make the playoffs.  I don’t care how many years it has to sit in a drawer.”

Sabres, I know you haven’t quite made the playoffs yet, and I know I’m a little early on this, but I don’t care. Today I went out in the sunshine, and I put my playoff flag on the car, and it felt like my Sabres fandom came full circle.

I fell in love with the Sabres during their last playoff appearance.  This time, I’ll be well accessorized.

Sabres, you should try very hard to win this game tonight.  I’ll be at the game, and I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy towards you already. A nice pleasant win would absolutely hit the spot.

Let’s celebrate Playoff Car Flag Day in style.



Part 3

Alright, it’s worked twice, so now I feel obligated to keep up with the pre-game letter writing.  The Sabres are NOT losing today.  NOT ON MY WATCH.


Dear Sabres,

I feel that over the last few days we have developed a trust.  I give you some gentle advice, you follow it, and then everyone wins.  You win a hockey game, and I win a greater confidence in your ability to be awesome.  It’s been fun!

It’s because of this trust that I feel I need to come clean with you now.  Remember how I told you not to take the Lightning and the Panthers lightly, because even though it seems like they are stinky, in reality, they’re totally capable of beating you?  Remember that?  Well, I might have been slightly exaggerating their non-stinkyness.  Just a smidge.  The truth is, those teams really ARE pretty stinky. (I saw the Lightning last Sunday, and while they were great in the 1st period, they were TERRIBLE in the third.  They were so terrible that about 15 minutes into the third we all got preoccupied with our iphones in a quest to figure out if the Lightning had taken ANY shots on goal in the period.  [For some reason the arena was not keeping a period-specific shots-on-goal tally anywhere that we could easily see.]  What I’m trying to say is that the Lightning DO kind of suck.)

I’m admitting this to you now so that you know you can trust me.  My slight exaggeration was for your own good, and you can’t argue with the results.  By convincing yourselves that you were going to have to work hard to beat your opponent, you wound up winning easily.  I know it seems paradoxical (Crunchy, will explain what “paradoxical” means to you later), but it’s true.  Play easy, lose hard.  Play hard, win with ease.

So, I hope I have earned your trust.

I hope I have earned your trust because I am about to tell you something, and I really really really need you to listen as hard as you can.

*snaps fingers* Timmeh, stop sneering into thin air.  Look at me.  Right here. *imagine me using two fingers to point to my eyes, and then using those same two fingers to point to Timmeh’s eyes.  Back and forth between us.*  Right here, big guy.  Listen to me.

The Carolina Hurricane really are good at hockey. I know.  It makes no sense.  They sucked ASS at the beginning of the season.  If this were still November I’d probably be all, “Unless you show up drunk (like REALLY drunk), you’re going to beat the Hurricanes,” but sadly, this is NO LONGER THE CASE.  If you were thinking about showing up to the game even slightly buzzed, I URGE you to reconsider.  Carolina’s recent record is something like 24-1-0.*  You MUST play well against them or they will beat you in HUMILIATING fashion.  I’m really really really serious this time.  For rizzle.  The Hurricanes can eff you up, especially that Staal guy.  I HATE that guy.  DO not let him eff you up.  You should eff HIM up.

So, go out there and kick some ass.  I know you can do it.  You’ve been playing well, and organized, and beating a hot team on the road would be SUCH a good way of convincing yourselves and your fans that you plan to make some noise in the playoffs.  Everything is leading to the playoffs now.  Don’t you want to go barreling into the playoffs like an unstoppable juggernaut?  I think you do.




PS- Crunchy might have to explain “paradoxical” to me as well, because I have no idea if my example actually is paradoxical.  Mostly, I just like how that word sounds.

*totally made up “recent record”

Stick to the System

My pep talk on Thursday worked ridiculously well (I mean, Jason Pomiville scored a hat-trick.  Jason. Pominville.) , so, in honor of Lindy’s tried and true “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the line-up, I will stick to the pre-game blog posting routine.

Dear Sabres,

Okay.  That was a pretty good game on Thursday.

I know you’re tempted to phone it in tonight.  I know this because I know you, and because I’m looking at the schedule and I see that you’re playing the Panthers.  “Panthers?!” I can hear you giggling to each other, “They suck!  We can beat them easily!  WOOOO!”

You hosers need to listen to me.  Are you listening?  Everyone?


Okay listen up, gentlemen.

I just looked at the standings, and yes, the Panthers seem to be kind of stinky, but remember last year when you ALWAYS lost to stinky teams?  That was lame, don’t you agree?  If you don’t come out hard, and you don’t play grown-up defense, the Panthers will beat you.  I mean, they’re stinky, but they’re not that stinky.  No team in the league is so stinky that they can’t beat you guys if you’re being Lazy Sabres.  Also, Tomas Vokun can eff you up good if you’re not careful.

So, in closing:

1. Thomas, stop beating yourself up both physically and mentally.

2. Don’t take the Panthers lightly because if you do, you’ll lose and we will be sad.

With love,


PS- Apparently my future husband, Mr. Byron Bitz, is now a Panther.  Please give him a gentle kiss on the forehead from me.

Some Advice

Dear Sabres,

I know I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to you recently, so maybe I’ve lost some authority with you, but I URGE you to listen to me now.

Are you listening?


Pommers?  Are you listening?

Okay, good.

Now listen carefully…..

I cannot help but notice that you are scheduled to play the Lightning Bolts tonight.  Do NOT underestimate the Lightning Bolts.

I was recently in Tampa where I saw the Lightning Bolts play the Penguins, and while the Pens won the game, the Lightning Bolts did not go down without a fight.  They were surprisingly feisty actually.  The Lightning Bolts skated around, and hit the Pens, and generally acted like they intended to win the game.  The Lightning Bolts were especially good in the first period.  Sabres, if the internet is to be believed, the first period recently is when you like to skate around, not hit anyone, and generally act like you do NOT intend to win the game.

If you’re not careful, the Lightning Bolts will be up 10,000-1 in the first period.  That is not a situation that anyone is in the mood to see.

It is my recommendation that you 1. Do NOT take the Lightning Bolts lightly, and 2. Attempt to win from the very beginning of the game.

I know you can do it.

Good luck tonight,


Dear So and So,

Dear Sabres,

Well, that game wasn’t 100% terrible, I suppose. It was about 50% terrible, and 40% decent, and 10% foxy.  Goose getting up in Chara’s grill was foxy, as was the OT penalty kill.  The first period was vomit inducing, the second period was feisty, and the third period was butt-clenchingly stressful.

What’s wrong with you guys?  Is this all because Crunchy came back down to earth? You revert back to middling when Miller plays like a mortal?  That’s kind of gross, you guys.

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty psyched about the Olympic break.

With (possibly grave) Concern,



Dear Darcy,

THEY ARE PRACTICALLY BEGGING YOU TO MAKE A MOVE.  It could NOT be more obvious that it is time to make some adjustments to this team.  They are TANKING right before the TRADE DEADLINE.  FOR THE LOVE OF LINDY RUFF, LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR TEAM IS TRYING TO TELL YOU.

DO YOU HAVE EYES AND EARS?  This team is begging for a shake-up.  THEY ARE BEGGING YOU FOR A SHAKE-UP.


Do something,



Dear Citizens of the United States of America,

Look. You’re going to hear some stuff about Ryan “Crunchy” Miller in the next couple of weeks. Blob Costas on NBC is going to go on and on about how wonderful he is, and how Miller is the man you want between the pipes fighting for the Good Old U-S-of-A. The narrative of Crunchy’s genius is going to be intense.

And you know what? He IS wonderful. He’s interesting, smart and funny. He’s a PERFECTLY adorable weirdo. He’s often brilliant at his job.

But I’ve got some bad news for you, America. Ryan Miller is….not very good lately. I know. It’s a disappointment. The sooner we come to terms with it, the better.

Pray that it doesn’t go to a shootout. Pray hard.




Dear Ryan “Crunchy” Miller,

Just tank it. Play as few games as possible, DON’T GET HURT, and spend the second half of the Olympics sleeping with a variety of exotic athletes in the notoriously raucous Olympic Village.

I’m forgiving you in advance for sucking in the Olympics.

I am begging you, Crunchy, whatever you do, don’t come back more tired/insane/whackadoo than you already are. Just treat this whole experience like a bizarre vacation. Enjoy yourself.

Also, keep your therapist on speed dial.

With love love love,



Dear Tyler Myers,

I’ve been trying to tell you for WEEKS that your neck is too long. I’m surprised you don’t get hit in the neck EVERY game. Skating around with that thing is just asking for trouble.

I’m SUPER glad you’re okay,



Dear Chara,



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