Archive for the 'Tyler Myers' Category

The Only Way Out Is Through

As Sabres fans we are entering strange territory. It feels a bit like we’ve been launched into space. There is no ground beneath our feet, and personally, I have no idea which way is up.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re at rock bottom yet, and that’s both incredibly depressing and oddly exhilarating. How low can this thing go? What does “low” even mean at this point? Should we be rooting for a draft pick? Is down the only way up?

Who knows.

All I know is that this shit is depressing. As recently as a few days ago I thought we would be fighting against anger. I thought Sabres fans were going to rise up in cartoonish mobs of unreasonable crankiness, pitchforks and torches in hand. Now I know that that was just my Buffalo sports fan inexperience talking. No one is angry. We’re depressed.

We wish. If only it were this easy.

Anger is easy to mock, but depression is a slippery beast. Anger is focused. Depression is murky.

Last night Tyler Myers gave an interview where he was very obviously fighting back tears. He said, “This has been a devastating road trip,” and there was detectable and literal devastation in his voice.

I mean, what the eff, Hockey Gods? WHAT THE EFF. We’re supposed to be able to hate the Sabres when they suck. Last night I wanted to make Tyler Myers a grilled cheese sandwich and then cut off the crust in a way that creates a heart-shape. I wanted to rock him back and forth while whispering, “It’s okay, big guy. You’re going to be okay,” until he fell into fitful sleep. Then, this morning I wanted to put an encouraging note in his lunchbox, and promise him that today will be a better day. I can’t hate Tyler Myers. Hell, I can’t even make fun of him.


Hey… look at that. I turned my depression into anger and then turned my anger into a joke and now I feel teeny-tiny bit better. At least my vaguely unhealthy coping mechanisms are still intact.

Last night before the game there was a not-insignificant part of me that was hoping the Sabres would lose. The reality is that the more the Sabres lose, the closer they are to a good draft pick and the higher the possibility that someone will finally get fired. Those are the facts. So, I just thought, “Go for it Sabres. Do your worst.” I thought I could handle it, but no matter how much my brain understands that losses are more valuable than wins at this point, my heart cannot understand. Rooting against the Sabres is fundamentally depressing. In between games, losing seems like a tolerable outcome, but watching it live is brutal and sad, no matter what. It’s not for me.

NOOOOOO! Fight, Sabres! FIGHT, GODDAMN IT! *sob*

I guess this is how it is now. These are confusing times. We’re lost in the Swamp of Sadness, and all we can do is wade through the muck.

We’ll get through it, Sabres fans. WE WILL.

Stupid sports.

The Obligatory Tantrum

There’s losing, and then there’s having-the-guy-who-ran-your-goalie-basically-call-you-a-bunch-of-pansies-while-everyone-in-the-NHL-nods-their-head-in-complete-agreement. The Sabres opted for the latter last night, which is a shame because even good teams get creamed 6-2 every once in a while. A typical 6-2 loss is something we could handle with grace (I mean, not all Sabres fans could handle a 6-2 loss with grace, but most of the sane ones could), but a 6-2 loss AND allowing Milan Lucic to completely emasculate everyone both on and off the ice? NOT COOL, SABRES. NOT COOL AT ALL.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch much last night because I was playing a concert, so I’m not exactly in a position to analyze/throw-overblown-tantrums about this game. For the sake of this post I briefly considered watching the DVR recording this afternoon, but I quickly came to my senses. I mean… no. I watched 3/4th of the Bills game today, and that was quite enough soul-scorching suckiness for one Sunday afternoon. (BTW, thanks for nothing, Bills. Geez.)

But since when has a lack of, “watching the game,” or, “knowing what I’m talking about,” stopped me from loudly proclaiming my opinion? NEVER! That’s when! Why start today? So, here’s what I think, in convenient, easy-to-read bullet points.

  • Seriously Sabres, that was lame.
  • Most people reading this blog know that I’m not a big fan of fighting in the NHL. In fact, if I had my way, fighting would be eliminated and instead of everyone freaking out about how so-and-so should’ve clobbered Lucic (which may or may not have led to success), we’d be freaking out about how HARD the Sabres defense SUCKS ASS.
  • It’s not that I don’t think it would be satisfying to see someone clobber Lucic, but it seems to me that the best way to handle someone like him is to calmly score on the power play, and then WIN THE GAME. Then, after the game you can be all, “Yeah, that guy’s a dick. It’s a good thing we’re so much better at hockey than those clowns.” In my opinion, punching is not the only correct response in a situation like that. Winning convincingly also works. Sadly, instead of turning steely, the Sabres turned spastic, and everything went to hell.
  • Although… I’d like to point out that the game did not immediately go to hell after Lucic’s hit. The Sabres played 14 minutes of decent hockey between the hit and when Boston tied it up, and another 6 minutes after that before the [feces] really hit the fan. There isn’t much evidence to suggest that the hit or the lack of “stepping up” lead directly to a team meltdown. It’s seems to me that playing terrible hockey was the Sabres biggest mistake last night.
  • Last night I was reminded of Game Six of the playoffs when Mike Richards completely boarded Tim Connolly, thus providing the opportunity for the Sabres to SUCK ON THE ENSUING POWER PLAY IN HUMILIATING FASHION. (I think there might’ve even been a 5-on-3 involve with that play if my memory serves me right. [And my memory probably doesn’t serve me right because I was both drunk and extremely desperate to forget after Game Six.]) That play and the ensuing power play was where I think the Sabres lost that Flyers series. Again, I’m no proponent of hockey violence, BUT, in the absence of punching, you sure as hell better not get all scared and emo about your game. If the Sabres are going to get all, “hold me mommy, I’m scared,” every time something hardcore happens, they’re doomed to repeat Game Six forever. (Only, in the future it won’t be Ville Leino scoring against us in OT, because sadly, he plays for us now.)
  • What I’m trying to say is this: You have two choices, Sabres. 1.) Be really good at hockey and make teams pay for being a-holes by winning, or 2.) Punch Milan Lucic into submission. (I’m not going to lie, punching Milan Lucic into submission sounds really hard to me too. I’d go with option #1 if I were you.)
  • I have no idea what’s wrong with Tyler Myers (AGAIN), but now he’s getting his stink on Sekera, and HE MUST BE STOPPED. BENCH HIS SKINNY ASS, LINDY.
  • And since we’re talking about the defense, you know who probably would’ve been willing to get his butt kicked by Lucic in the name of “revenge” last night? MIKE WEBER.
  • We learned last night that the Sabres are a bunch of weenies, but despite the tone of this post, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. The season is still really young. The Sabres are still settling into the New World Pegula Order. Ryan Miller is still all wonky and not right (the hit to the head probably didn’t help with that). This was no ordinary loss. Losses of this magnitude don’t come around every day. Mid-November is the perfect time for a loss like this. If Lindy is really the coach that everyone believes he is, he’ll find a way to turn this loss into an overall win. A loss like this can galvanize a team. I’m not ready to predict that this loss will galvanize the Sabres into positive change, but I do believe it’s possible. This was, if nothing else, a gut-check game. Maybe the Sabres needed this humiliation and maybe (just MAYBE, I’m saying) it will ultimately do them some good. *fingers crossed*

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.

Yearbook Retrospective: Craig Rivet and Tyler Myers

(This post is the second in a series of posts dedicated to studying the roster photos of the Sabres in an effort to figure out why they can’t play hockey anymore.  We must save future generations of Sabres so that they do not have to suffer as these Sabres are suffering now.)

Woe are Sabres fans!  Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Sabres played a game at home against the Bruins.  Oh the horrors these eyes have seen!

All of Buffalo is ablaze trying to figure out what s wrong with this disaster of a team.  At The Willful Caboose Research Laboratories, we understand that careful analysis of roster photos is the fastest and best way to correctly diagnose a hockey team.  Today we take a closer look at two key members of the defense.

Craig Rivet

Craig Rivet is the captain of the Sabres, and we here at The Willful Caboose Research Laboratories have a certain amount of sympathy for his plight.  His job is not easy, but it’s vitally important.  Someone has to talk to the media with a straight face after all these losses, and sadly for Craig Rivet, that job falls to him.  Off the ice, we think he’s performed admirably in the face of trying times.  He sounds intelligent and rational in his interviews, which we find reassuring, because at this point it’s difficult to say who is in charge of this team, and honestly, we think they could do worse than Craig Rivet if they’re looking for leadership.  (pleasedon’tmakeRoy-Zcaptain, pleasedon’tmakeRoy-Zcaptain, pleasedon’tmakeRoy-Zcaptain)

ON the ice, he’s been quite poopy.

What can we learn from Craig Rivet?

As usual, the roster photos paint a picture, clear as day.





















Ah, I think I see what happened here. It appears that in 2008, after the start of what looked like a promising career, Craig Rivet became a Sabre.  He also appears to have gotten old.

Analysis: Becoming a Sabre and getting old at the same time is an absolutely lethal combination of calamities.  Almost no hockey player could survive it.  Such a shame.  Poor Rivet.  Sabres management should take care to make sure this never again happens to an innocent San Jose Shark.

Tyler Myers

Tyler Myers was the rookie of the year for goodness sakes!  And now he’s terrible at hockey!  It is VITALLY important that we figure out what’s wrong with Mylers, because he still has YEARS of hockey ahead of him.  It’s not just future generations that can benefit from Tyler Myers’ story, it’s Tyler Myers himself.

Let’s go to the photos:










Frankly, we don’t get it. Tyler Myers looks almost exactly the same in his roster photo this year as he did last year.  This might be a first for TWC Labratories- we can’t figure out what went wrong!

Analysis: You know, now that we look at these photos again, we are seeing sliiiight indications that Tyler Myers might not be as spiffy this year as he was last year, but we can’t really put our finger on what’s different.   In the end, we can only assume that whatever is preventing Tyler Myers from being awesome will go away on its own. It’s safe to assume things about the Sabres because “assume” makes an ass out of “u and me”, not “the Sabres”.  Assumptions like, “He won’t even notice the loss of Henrik Tallinder,” and, “A 20-year-old-boy can totally carry the weight of the entire defense on his skinny shoulders,” would NEVER come back to bite the Sabres (and the violists who blog about them) in the butt.  No sir.

The Bandwagoner’s Guide to the Sabres, Part Two: The Defense

The concept of “the bandwagon fan” is very controversial, but I have a fondness in my heart for the new fan.  After all, it was at this time of year that I myself hopped on the Sabres bandwagon.  Every fan has to start somewhere, and often fandom is inspired by the playoffs.  The current Sabres may not feel like a bandwagon-y situation to a longtime fan, but I’m writing this series for the “Katebitses of 2007″; the guy or gal who is suddenly drawn to the Sabres, but doesn’t know where to begin.

Begin here, Bandwagoner!


Okay, so yesterday we learned about the goalie.  He’s pretty self explanatory (“NONE SHALL PASS,” says the goalie, especially when your goalie is Crunchy.  If your goalie is Toskala, he’s more like, “Oh sure.  Come on in, pucks.)

But what about all the skaters?  To the untrained eye, it looks like a gobbledy mess out there (actually, it looks like that to the semi-trained eye too), but the skaters do have defined roles.

One of those roles is, “the defenseman,” or, for our Canadian friends, “defenceman”.  (Canadians are weird.)

Part Two: The Defense

It’s the job of the defensemen to help guard the net by actively battling with the other team’s players.   Ideally, the defensemen skate around, hitting the other teams forwards and snatching the puck in order to scoot it out of harm’s way.

At any given time, two out of the five skaters on the ice are defensemen. If you’re having trouble spotting the defensemen, look for the guys skating backwards.  That’s usually them.  They’re also the guys who are hanging back at center ice when all the action is down in one end.  When I first started watching hockey I used to get cranky thinking,”That guy is just standing there at the blueline doing nothing. He should go try to score a goal.  Dumbass.” But then I was always pleasantly surprised when the play turned around and there were still Sabres between the other team and our goal.  “Toni Lydman, that was very clever of you to stay back behind the blueline so that the other team can’t skate right up to Crunchy!  You’re so smart!”

Fun Fact about defensemen and defense in general:  You can just call it “D”.  At first it will feel redonk to say “D” (very similar to the first time you said “redonk,” actually), but after a while it rolls right off the tongue.

Defensemen skate in pairs, so every defenseman has a BFF.  Sometimes Lindy (more on Lindy later) mixes the pairs up, but for the most part, the Sabres defensemen are monogamous and loyal to their BFF/life partner.

The Sabres strongest current pairing is Tallinder and Myers.  Tallinder separated from Lydman last season and at first he seemed to be having a REAL rough time, but now he’s found someone younger and sexier and his broken heart seems to be totally mended.

There are two noteworthy things about the Sabres defense.  1. Everyone thought they would be sucky this year, but they’re totally not,  and 2. They are NOT sucky, primarily because of this guy:

Tyler Myers. He's more than just an insanely long neck. He's also very good at hockey.

Tyler Myers is, like, six-years-old.  He’s a wee little baby.  (“Wee” in years, not in size.  He’s actually humongous.)  He’s a wee little baby who is about to win the Calder Trophy.  “Calder Trophy” is NHL-speak for “rookie of the year.”

In my not-at-ALL humble opinion, Tyler Myers is a big deal.  Last year, the Sabres were poo.  THIS year (Myers’ rookie year), the Sabres are third in the Eastern Conference.  Coincidence?  I think not.  In addition to being good at his job, he’s almost singlehandedly rehabilitated Tallinder, which was no small feat.  I used to worry that Myers would get hurt because he’s so spindly, but he seems to have the super-strength of a toddler.  You could toss him down a flight of stairs and I bet he’d just pop right back up and start skating around, no problem.  Tyler Myers is awesome and he’s changed everything about the Sabres.  Love him without reservation.

Here are the other defensemen:

Henrik Tallinder. Smiley, attractive, NOT a good drinking partner.

Toni, Tone, Tony Lydman. Hilarious. Good at hockey except for when he sucks. My favorite defenseman.

Steve Montador. Shockingly hot for a guy who's not that hot. Seems to not be an idiot. All-around alluring.

Craig Rivet. Got elected captain of the team on his first day as a Sabre, probably because he seems like an adult.

Chris Butler. Poor Butts. There is something wrong with him. Hopefully it's just a sophomore slump.

Andrej Sekera. Looks like a little old man for some reason.

In conclusion, the Sabres defense is pretty good and moderately foxy.  Since you’re a Bandwagoner, I am going to recommend that you focus on Myers.  You canNOT be a Sabres fan this spring without knowing that Tyler Myers is young, awesome, tall, and long-necked.  Myers is the most deserving of your bandwagoning affections, but really, all of these guys have their good qualities.  The defense is relatively safe waters for the new fan.

Have fun watching the D, Bandwagoners!


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment, when we begin to examine the “forwards”.


You know what I almost never do anymore but that I should do more often because I really enjoy it? – putter around the house while the game is on.  I had about ten thousand things on my to-do list tonight, so I never really committed to sitting down and watching the game.  I just wandered in and out of the livingroom all evening and it was deeelightful.

How about that Tyler Myers though, eh?  One part of the game I DID catch was him skating the puck all over tarnation and then nearly scoring by leaping over a sprawled out Turco.  He didn’t score, but he looked so amazing not scoring that Rick was all, “That’s just fun to watch.”  I had to agree.

Thanks Sabres!

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,



3 Things

1. I didn’t see much of the game tonight because I was working, but it turned out to be one of those evenings where being at work enhanced the game experience.  I got word of Staffy’s last second heroics on stage during the applause at the end of the concert.  A handful of us scurried down to the break room to watch the final minutes of overtime and the shootout.  Those kinds of wins are fun in the break room.  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  The Sabres are never going to lose again!

2. Tyler Myers with the shootout win.  Sweet, tall, oddly-foxy, wonderful Tyler Myers.  I hope he never leaves us.  And I hope he never start sucking.  I wish there was a way to extend his trial period so we could watch him try to win this job forever.  We need to enjoy this period of Tyler Myers’ babyhood while we can.  He’ll grow up in an instant.  (Look at me getting all sentimental!  I’m sure I’ll be calling him a slag-faced whore in no time.  Heh.)

3. Have any of you ever sanded your own hardwood floors?  (That question sounds weirdly dirty to me right now for some reason.)  I finally pulled up the (DISGUSTING) carpet in the living room and discovered that my floors….need some work.  I’m tempted to go for it.  How hard can it possibly be?

Cautiously Optimistic

I’m trying really hard to temper my response to the Sabres’ hot start, but they’re making it difficult.  They are so feisty! So scrappy!  So seemingly capable!  Plus, they’ve treated me to two exceptionally fun nights in the arena this week.  Detroit was obviously great because of the overall ass kicking domination, and the Islanders was one of those sloppy games that are enjoyable as long as the home team comes out on top (which they did).   The thrill-seeking fan in me is bursting with joy. “They’re so good!  This time they’ve really changed!  They’re never going to suck both offensively and defensively at the same time again!”  WE’RE GOING ALL THE WAY!”  The cautious realist in me is trying very hard to be stingy with the praise.  “Yeah, yeah, this is what they did last year too.”  I even went so far as to read my archives from last October and November in an attempt to put this all in perspective.  (Seriously, you guys.  This is exactly what they did last year.)

What I’m trying to say is that while I’ve LOVED love love loveloveLOVED watching the team these last few weeks, I’m reserving judgment.  They sure seem different this year, but I’ve been burned by them before.

There is, however, one element of this team that has not yet let me down.  That element is the delightful Tyler Myers.

I will NOT reserve judgment on Tyler Myers.  The book is IN on him, and every single page says “Tyler Myers is fucking awesome.”  I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but Tyler Myers is WONDERFUL to watch out there on the ice.  Last night last there was a moment when he brought the puck in over the blueline, involved himself in a legitimate flurry of offensive chances, swung around the back of the net, and was somehow in place to deal with the rebound.  His efforts didn’t amount to a goal, but as the play was unfolding I actually squawked, “Oh my God, I can’t believe how awesome Tyler Myers is.  I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW AWESOME HE IS,” and everyone sitting around us turned to nod in awe. There is something about his playing (and the fact that he’s eleven feet tall) that demands attention.  I can’t take my eyes off him in the arena.

I’m kidding of course when I say “the book is in” on Tyler Myers.  It’s only been a few games.  He’s so young.  It’s a long season.  There is no conceivable way a nineteen-year-old can just plop down in the NHL without some growing pains and some bumps along the way.  But still.

In the last two years we’ve endured a lot of crappy hockey from this team while being told that they have “potential”.  How many times have we heard things like, “The potential is there, but we’re just not executing.”  We’ve become desensitized to the word “potential,” but it’s a difficult concept to ignore right now because Tyler Myers exudes it.  He’s pure and untouched (heh) by the general suckitude that has surrounded the Sabres for the last two years.  All we know about Tyler Myers is his potential.

I find it difficult to look at this roster and think, “They’ve changed,” but having a kid like Tyler Myers on the ice sure helps.  (Mike Grier helps too.)  I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this good start coming, and as a fan, it’s been a welcome treat.

History has taught me not to lose my head over the Sabres right now, but I am willing to say something I didn’t think I would be saying five games into the season: The potential is definitely there.

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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