Archive for the 'Ottawa Senators' Category

Things Balance Out

I wrote about this on Twitter last night, but I’ve given it some more thought, and I think it bears repeating.  What if, in order to beat Ottawa, the Sabres first had to lose to the Leafs?  Those weird streaks of TOTAL dominance (Ottawa over the Sabres, and the Sabres over the Leafs), are uncannily similar, and personally, I think they’re somehow cosmically connected.

The price we’ve had to pay for the deeeeelightful dominance we’ve enjoyed over the Leafs is that we’ve had to suffer at the hands of the Sens.  The price the Senators have to pay for their dominance over us, is eternal and everlasting ickiness.

That’s my theory.

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!



I Don’t Want To Talk About It

That game hurt my feelings.

Citizens, Do Your Part

Let’s just be honest about the situation.  The Senators are in our heads, BIG TIME.

The first step is admitting you have a problem:  My name is Katebits, and I’m scared shitless of the Senators.  I’m powerless against them.

The SECOND step is to gather your strength, put on your big boy pants (as Buffalo Pundit would say if he cared even remotely about hockey), AND MAN THE EFF UP.

Every man, woman, and Sabretooth in Buffalo has to do their part tonight to propel the Sabres to victory.

I make a lot of jokes about superstitions, but ordinarily, I’m more of a, screw-superstition-the-players-make-their-own-luck kind of fan.  If the Sabres lose, it’s because they played poorly, or worse, it’s because they just suck in first place.

But the Senators are different because they are in my head, and I don’t like having disgusting Sens in my head.  I mean…ew.  The Sens are different because even though I claim I’m not superstitious, I already have that sinking feeling in my stomach like the results are already written- that our destiny is already set.

Fuck that.

Tonight, this ends.  Tonight, we must all do our part.  Tonight, we must all face our personal fear of the Senators, and we must cast that fear aside.  I don’t know why the Sabres have had such trouble with the Senators, but they clearly need our help getting over the hump.  So, tonight we will help.  Everyone in Buffalo must get on board to help defeat the Sens.

The Sabres must win this game.

If you have a lucky jersey, wear it.  If you have a pregame ritual, do it.  If you’re going to the game, leave your grumpiness at home.  Everyone must focus their psychic powers and positive energy on tonight’s game.  We have to root like we’ve never rooted before.  We have to go for it.  We have to practice not being afraid of the Sens, and we have to do it now because this “We always lose to the Sens” shit WILL NOT DO in the playoffs.

There is no more time to waste.  Tonight is the night.

Let’s Go Buff-a-lo!

Dear Sabres,

I would like to thank you for being so good at hockey lately.   It’s been a real treat to watch you play.

I know that you can’t win every game, and this may sound selfish, but I have a request.  Could you pleeeease beat the Senators tonight?  All season we’ve been labeling these games “statement games”.  After each win we say stuff like, “The Sabres took another big step towards separating themselves from the teams of the last few seasons.”  I think that beating the Senators, in Ottawa, is another one of these important steps.  I don’t know why, but the Senators ALWAYS seems to thwart you.

(The Hockey Gods have taken Jason Spezza out of the equation.  This should help….but beWARE of taking the Senators lightly.  That NEVER WORKS.)

You can do it!  BEAT THEM.

And Sabres, if you don’t want to do it for me, do it for one of these fine Sabres blog, new to the TWC blogroll:

Black and Blue and Gold– Written by the frequently hilarious, and presumably foxy Phil.

Letters to the NHL– Kathleen is sassy and brassy and she writes the NHL lots of letters.  She tells it like it is.

Queen City Sabres–  You probably already know about this one- it’s Anne’s (of Sabretooth’s House) new blog.  Anne is TOP EFFING NOTCH.  You know it, I know, and hell, the Sabres themselves probably know it.  Also, if you get sick of the Sabres, Anne writes a lot about the L.A. Kings, which I personally enjoy because they’re my new NHL loves.

Sick Jersey Bro–  If you wear a retarded jersey to the HSBC arena, these guys will nail you for it.  They’ll nail you hard.  And the rest of us will laugh.

Ten Minute Misconduct– She makes you laugh on twitter, now she’ll make you laugh blog-style.

The Coldffalo Train– Shelby and Tamara have joined forces, and as a result the blogosphere, nay, the WORLD, is a better place.

So, dear Sabres, I think I have provided enough motivation.  Please, beat the Senators.  Shake that monkey off your back.  And tomorrow, we shall rejoice!

With love,


PS- I hope it won’t confuse you, but I removed a few blogs from the blogroll.  The very stringent new standards of blogrollership are “You must have posted at least once since training camp started.”  But fear not, dear Sabres, I have kept all these blogs in my Google reader, so if they come back to life, I’ll know it, and they’ll be right back on the blogroll.

PPS: Please welcome Joe From NYC to the blogroll!   Joe’s blog is actually the original inspiration for this post.  For weeks I’ve been thinking “gotta add Joe to the blogroll,” and then I temporarily forgot him because I’m a num-num.  I guess I like to take Joe and his fantabulous Sabres/Bills stylingz for granted.  Sorry, Joe.

Here Come the Storm Troopers!

If you are new to The Willful Caboose, you might not know that the Ottawa Senators = Stormtroopers.  When I first started blogging last year the Ottawa Senators were scary enough to cause even the bravest blogger to poop her pants in fear.  The stormtroppers are slightly less intimidating now…..

I think that’s Jason Smith with the hot sauce in the back.

I had every intention of doing some kind of hockey related post today, but instead of writing I got sucked into Flickr photo streams of toy Senators stormtroopers doing funny things.  I particularly love this guy with the hot sauce.

This is very funny to me for some reason.

Hopefully the Sabres won’t be lulled into complacency by the Senators current (hilarious) record. I mean, sure, they’re cute NOW, but theoretically they could get nasty at any time.  Jason Smith might very well show up and try to check Roy-Z with a giant hot sauce packet.  Then we’d sure be sorry for spending so much time laughing at them, wouldn’t we?

I will be at the game tonight, so you’re on your own tonight!

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!!

No Guarantees

Let us examine the case of the 2007-2008 Buffalo Sabres:

Sabres fans, as you may or may not recall, we went through a bit of a rough patch beginning with encountering the Ottawa Senators in the ECF last spring. The rough patch continued on through July 1st, when (just to remind you) both of our previously beloved captains bolted town amidst cries of managerial incompetence from nearly every corner of the hockey media. Then, the season was up and down (mostly down), and Brian “Soupy” Campbell was traded when it became clear he could not be signed as a Sabre. Again, Buffalo lost another valuable piece of the team that had come so close to the Stanley Cup. Finally, in the season’s dying days, the Sabres were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, ending an all-around depressing year.

Now, let us examine the case of the 2007-2008 Ottawa Senators:

After losing in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Ducks, the Senators management calmly began signing their marquee players to contract extensions. One by one, Spezza, Emery, Fisher, and finally, Dany Heatley were inked to long term deals ensuring that the team would be an EC powerhouse for years to come. The season started out in spectacular fashion, with the Sens playing a record breaking 432-2-1 in their first 20 games. (Okay, I’m too lazy to look up their actual record, but I assure you, it was good.) Then, inexplicably, it all went to hell. For awhile they look merely mortal, but by December they were looking terrible. In the end, only their incredible start saved them from missing the playoffs altogether. They were eventually swept by the Penguins in round one of the 2008 playoffs.


The Sens are essentially the same team now as they were one year ago, and HOLY COW is that scene a disaster. The Sabres essentially lost all of their lockerroom leadership from last season, and the scene is, well, it’s not quite a disaster, but it’s definitely not ideal. There’s plenty of room for improvement, let’s put it that way.  I would argue that the Sabres season was preferable to the Sens season from a fans perspective, but that’s just a matter of opinion.  The fact is, these two teams ended up in basically the same place at the end of the year: zero playoff wins.

I’m not saying that what happened to the Senators would have happened to the Sabres had we locked up all the free agents, I’m just saying it could have happened. It’s worth noting.

There are no guarantees. Ever. That’s all I’m saying.

Sabres vs. Senators, 3/25/08


Mood: Nervie McNerverson
Favorite Sabre: I’m going with the underappreciated Jochen Hecht.
Least Favorite Sabre: Don’t know.
Summary of thoughts: I should be practicing the viola right now, but instead I’m going to watch this hockey game.
Symphonic music representing this game: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Johannes Brahms

Brahms Haydn

This can go one of a few different directions. It can be infinitely enjoyable to play, but it can also feel like that dream where you suddenly realize you aren’t wearing any pants right before you have to give a big presentation at school.

After the 1st (1-0, Senators)

Mood: Fidgety.
Favorite Sabre: Mike Robitaille. You guys, I love Mike Robitaille. I know I’ve hinted at it before, but I want to make myself perfectly clear on this issue: Mike Robitaille is a crusty, cranky, shout-y, desk pounding, STUD MUFFIN, and of all the people we see on a regular basis on the Sabres broadcasts (included the Sabres themselves), I like Mike Robitaille the most.
Least Favorite Sabre: Is Vanek even playing tonight? At least Roy-Z was out there flopping around and hooking Senators right and left.
Summary of thoughts: I wonder if Mike Robitaille reads blogs? I bet he doesn’t even own a computer. He’s old school.
Symphonic music representing this game: Symphony No. 35, Mozart


Be spritely and charming, but whatever you do, don’t fuck up. But have fun! Smile! (Don’t fuck up.)

After the 2nd, (1-1)

Mood: non-suicidal
Favorite Sabre: Okay, fine. That was a pretty nice goal Roy-Z.
Least Favorite Sabre: I’m kind of not hating them right now!
Summary of thoughts: I feel like we should have scored 3 goals that period.
Symphonic music representing this game thus far: Don Juan, Richard Strauss

Don Juan
Dude. I’m working REALLY hard here. It might not sound very good, but you can’t fault my effort.
At the End (6-3, Senators)

Summary of thoughts: Fuck.
Music representing this game:

I do not recommend this piece. At all.


Woe is the Sabres fan. I consider myself a fairly light-hearted person. As far as hockey goes, I try to enjoy the wins and distract myself from the losses. I don’t really see the point in watching sports if they make you miserable, so in general, I accept full responsibility for any bad moods resulting from watching the Sabres. However, this little stretch has been genuinely unpleasant, and at first glance, tonight’s game against the Senators does not appear to offer any hope of relief.

Fear not, though, dear readers. I’m pretty sure that it’s all going to be okay.

Our best chance at a win tonight is to catch the Senators unaware. They should be lulled into a pretty comfy sense of security by our recent lose-iness. Hopefully the Sens will be bloated with ego and overconfidence, and the Sabres can take advantage of the situation. Lindy has activated his mad sly super-coach skillz, and he’s putting T-bone in to start the game. Nothing says, “Don’t mind us. We’re just a struggling team in terrifying free-fall. Nothing to fear here,” like playing your back-up goalie. We’ve got them exactly where we want them!

That’s right, Senators. You just relax. You deserve to take it easy today.

Don’t worry if things start out slowly. I predict that the Sens will score four goals in the first period, and the Sabres will have an extremely tense intermission. The Sabres are going to fight each other at the start of the second period, but then use that frustration to fucking EXPLODE against the Senators. The Sabres are going to win 31-4. (Yeah, that’s right! 31-4!) Staffy is going to score 13 goals. Vanek with a hat-trick. In the third period Lindy will put Crunchy in, and then Crunchy will score a goal. There will be a huge brawl. It’s going to be the greatest game ever.

I, of course, can’t watch the game in Portland, so I leave it for you to enjoy. Have fun, guys!

Wait. Hockey?

It appears that the Ice Bowl was not the end of the season. I know. Weird. Apparently, the Sabres are required to keep playing hockey for several more months. I guess I’m okay with getting to watch more hockey, but I’m a little peeved that our first opponent has to be the terrifying Senators. Why can’t we play the Capitals, or better yet, the Sharks (in San Jose)?

Shut up, Senators.

I may, or may not be watching the game tonight. You see, I’m taking a ridiculous, whirlwind trip to IPB Manor this weekend. I’m throwing caution to the wind, hoping into the car, and driving six hours, basically so that I can sit on the couch tomorrow with the Ookies. (You’re so jealous!)  I will definitely arrive in time for the hockey game, but there is a Devils game on at the same time, and I’m quite sure that the Ookie’s desire to watch the Devils pound the Flyers will far outweigh my desire to watch the Sabres, um, do their very best, against the Senators.  I know they have an extensive tivo system in place there at IPB Manor, but I’ll let you in on a little secret about me: of all the things in the world, the thing I find perhaps the most annoying, is watching a tivoed loss.  I get unreasonably angry if I carefully avoid the internet and the radio and all of the places where I could pick up the score, and then, after all of that extra effort, I have to watch a loss.  Plus, I believe strongly that if I don’t watch in an effort to shield myself from a loss, then the Sabres are going to win in an effort to prove I made a terrible mistake.  (They love to prove me wrong.)  So, I might just watch the Devils game and let the chips fall where they may with the Sabres.

I’m sure that at the very least, I’ll manage to destroy the Devils Game Diary for tonight.  Heh.

…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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

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