Let me get this out of the way right from the start. More than any of the members on our illustrious crew, I’m not smart enough to assess what Robyn Regehr and Christian Ehrhoff mean to this team on the ice, but I certainly know what it means for this franchise. The change that Pegula spoke of is not an illusion. And maybe, just maybe, Darcy Regier really has been shackled for all these years.
Management made it no secret heading into this off season that defenders and centers were their primary focus. But talk has become cheaper than a taco truck for Buffalo recently. These two moves by the Sabres, trades that heaped a considerable yet logical amount of new debt onto the payroll, show that rather than addressing needs by picking up bargain journeyman or overspending irrationally, the Sabres are ready to take drastic but calculated measures in their quest for a Cup. Regehr & Ehrhoff alone won’t get us there, but it’s a great start. Fans were already excited for July 1st. Now they’re planning parties.
The happiest teammate in all this must be ‘Captain America’, Ryan Miller. I’m sure he of all people has been annoyed at how little has been done to ensure that he is properly protected. Drafting Myers and McNabb is great, but to truly assist Miller and the rest of the team’s run at glory, the Sabres’ front office needed to make moves like these.
But not only have these moves improved the Sabres for next season, they also help the Sabres’ chances at signing the free agent of their (and our) dreams. Before the free agent period has even started, Pegula & Co. have made major, bona fide deals, announcing to the NHL (and more importantly, Brad Richards) once and for all that when Terry said he wanted to build a Stanley Cup winner, he meant just that. The leash seems to be off Regier and he has not wasted any time. So if you were a free agent looking for a team on the rise, perhaps Buffalo is worth just as much of a look as anywhere else.
I don’t mean to belittle Buffalo when I say that. But we all know that when headline free agents have hit the market the past few years, we rarely bother holding our breath. By noon tomorrow, people may pass out. Rumors are already starting to trickle out on Twitter that Regier is ready to open the bidding with a 5-year, $50 million offer for Brad Richards, the jewel of 2011 free agency.
A little while back on our one-night-bender, I mean, NYC Sabres Summit, the DGWUS crew took an informal poll asking what Richards could mean for the team. Scizz & Yachter thought Richards could equal a Cup right away, while the Barrister & I believed more talent was needed to break through. But today, it’s hard to argue that signing a top-level center tomorrow wouldn’t be enough to throw our hat in with the other Stanley Cup contenders for next season.
Ok, so maybe it’s a little early to start booking hotel rooms near HSBC Arena next June, but this is about as exciting as Buffalo Sabres hockey can get outside of a rink.
In Terry We Trust.
Season ticket holders at the Aud: Still nursing chronic knee and back injuries.
Due to the popularity of the first "Where Are They Now" post, and the sheer enjoyment I got out of writing it, I have decided to come back for round two. There are plenty more former and current Buffalo Sabres personailities that we all need to catch up on. I have searched far and wide and even enlisted the help of other Buffalo bloggers in order to bring you the whereabouts and actions of these men. You should know how professional I am after listening the latest CrapTastiCast
. Remember, everything in this post is 100% factual because DGWU only reports the TRUTH! If you have any new leads, please fight the good fight and leave them in the comment section.
BUY ME OUT!
J.P. Dumont: Stomping his feet and asking himself how the fuck Kotalik pulled that one off!?!
Dave Hannan: Agonizing wife at the dinner table with 1080th recounting of the goal against NJ -Scotty from BSN
Head server, here I come!
Chris Butler: Arguing with a sales rep at U-Haul on Transit Road over price of a 24 foot truck, one-way to Calgary. The words "what do you mean you don't know who I am" were uttered.
I should have known when the e-mail said ZubrusSucks@gmail.com
Jiri Novotny: Just e-mailed me to ask if he can be in the next "Where Are They Now" post.
Mike Wilson: Slowest windup in the sanitation engineer industry. - Scotty from BSN
Jean Luc Grand-Pierre: Losing his MMA debut. Threw fury of punches that hit no one, fell, and tapped out to a basic arm bar in .3 seconds.
Ted Nolan: Still banging Hasek's wife. -The Yachtsman
I still want him on the fourth line!!!
How YOU doin'?
Ted Black: Shamelessly flirting with female bloggers....and some male ones too.
Rory Fitzpatrick: Currently ranked #3 in voting on Canadian Idol. Bryan Adams and Tom Cochrane are PISSED.
John Rigas: Spending a day in solitary for refusing to eat his prunes. -Scotty from BSN (I also had one written but it was way more inappropriate...use your imagination)
We are on to you Reegs!
Darcy Regier: Posing as @FakeDarcy on twitter to throw us off his trail.
You all can admit it. I am the master of photoshop. Computer GENIUS.
The BarristerHOLY SHIT.This isn't even my night to post, but even though we like to space out our content, I can't take the chance to wait on this. THE METS ARE ABOVE .500. For the first time since the beginning of the season, they get to look themselves in the mirror and see winners. And, boy did they do it in convincing fashion.
Mr. Met celebrates the only way knows how. The original P-I-M-P.
Detroit Tigers, you should be ashamed of yourselves. The only good thing your City has going for itself are the proximity to the Miller family, and being the home of my friend, Rich.
Seriously, his daughter is wicked cute - in a totally non-pervy way, creeps - and he basically kicks ass generally, so Motown gets points for him. But, other than that, seriously Detroit. I'd say kill yourself, if I wasn't actually convinced so many of you would actually do it. TWO GRANDSLAMS?? One by Jason "I'm the third worst Bay behind Michael and Guantanamo" Bay?? COME THE FUCK ON. You are pathetic.
I tried. I can't.
Reyes is now an absurd .349, and went 4-4 tonight.** Dude is locked in lately, and is 2nd in the NL for All-Star voting. Honestly, if the team is still contemplating trading him in favor of keeping David "Thinks He's a Pull Hitter Even Though His Home Field is Built for Pop Flies to Left" Wright, I will be livid. Don't you fucking dare, Sandy. I may like you a lot more than Omar, but that won't stop my sharp uppercut from landing on your chin.
I can only hope that the Mets will keep this up. The Phillies are hitting their stride for real now, having just shut out the BoSox in their own inter-league play, and are 9.5 games up over the Mets in the NL East. That said, the Mets are decidely in the Wild Card mix, only 4.5 back of the Brew Crew, who are embrolied in a beat down series against the Yankees. The Apologist keeps reminding me that baseball doesn't matter until after the All-Star break, but hell if I care right now. The Mets are playing well, we have the best hitter in the National League, and our starting third baseman, first baseman and ace pitcher are still out with injuries.
This could get interesting real fast. Like, in a RUSH! BOOM. That just happened.
** Apologies to Jose and our dear readers for statistical error posted earlier. The stats site I went to last night had Reyes at .341 BA. Great job, Baseball-Reference[dot]com. I won't link to you because you apparently are the worst. Congrats on that. And good job me for not just trusting my gut and relying on the internet. Next time, I'll just take a guess and I'm guaranteed to be just as accurate. - B.
DISCLAIMER: I TYPED A BOAT LOAD OF TEAM NAMES HERE AND SOME MAY HAVE BEEN LOST BECAUSE WE ARE TOO POOR/LAZY TO AFFORD AN EDITOR/PROOFREAD. PLEASE BEAR WITH ME/US. THANK YOU/THEM. I'LL STOP WITH THE SLASHES NOW/FAIL.
Of the many horrors Commissioner No Goal has brought upon the NHL in the last twenty years, the creation of the Eastern and Western Conferences sits steadfastly in the top 5...sandwiched somewhere betwixt The Phoenix Coyotes and the Versus Television Contract.
Hockey In The Desert.......totally worth saving!
I understand the need for Eastern and Western Conferences. With 23 American teams and 7 Canadian teams across four time zones, a geographic split among teams is unavoidable. However, now that No Goal's redistribution strategy is blowing up in his face, I think it's time to examine a) where the teams should be placed b) the nomenclature of said new structure and c) where we should have teams and their placement (not your typical realignment post...fooled you reader).
This picture eerily reminds me of Scizzer. I'll post whatever the hell I goddamn please, thanks.
First, we'll start with the Western Conference and its three divisions - The Pacific, The Northwest, and The Central. I would eliminate the three divisions and split the conference into two superdivisions along geographical lines. I'd rename the Conference the Clarence S. Campbell Conference, and the divisions would be the Gretzky Division and the Norris Division (sorry Conn Smythe, you already have the second most famous trophy named after you, relax). In fairness to everyone else, I would finally rename the Norris Trophy for the Best Defenseman to the Orr Trophy...because it's stupid to have a division AND an EOY trophy at the same time. DIGRESSING.....anyway, they would be comprised as follows:Norris Division:- Vancouver- Edmonton- Calgary- Winnipeg- Detroit- Minnesota- ChicagoGretzky Division:-
San Jose- Los Angeles- Anaheim- Colorado- Phoenix- Dallas- St. LouisAs you can see, I've moved Columbus and Nashville into the eastern super-conference in the interests of keeping hockey viable in those parts (happy, 3rdManIn?!). The idea that most roadies for Columbus fans entail 10 PM starts is as ridiculous as
putting two hockey teams in the State of Florida. So, forthwith...the Eastern Conference.
Ah old time east coast hockey...where they played on sawdust basketball courts in chicken coops, apparently. Tradition!
Appropriately, I've renamed the Eastern Conference the Prince of Wales Conference, as it should always be named. Seriously, why did you pander so hard to the image of the illiterate American, NHL? Did you think the average fan would be so confused by fancy names he or she would immediately click off the television? What the shit did you think was going to happen once said average fan ran into your obfuscated disciplinary policies and the thankfully ousted two-line pass?! ANYWHENCE. I digress. In keeping with the Campbell Conference mega-division idea, I've created two 8 team divisions, appropriately named the Beliveau Division (arguably the greatest player ever behind Gretzky, Lemieux, & Orr...and I'm not giving Lemieux shit while he's alive) & the Arbour Division (Al Arbour coached 1500 games, the Isles for 19 seasons, and won 4 straight cups....that is a ridiculous feat considering they are THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS). Without any further ado:
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- New Jersey
- Tampa Bay
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BUT SOMEHOW THE SAME....
COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!
Here's where it gets tricky as shit. As you all know, I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to teams and where they're placed. I don't particularly believe in the Southern Strategy, and I certainly don't think Canada should be deprived of professional hockey if it demonstrates it can support it consistently. If anything can be learned from MLS, leagues should put teams where they'll thrive, not where owners and commissioners wish they would thrive. ANYWAY. Should the day come when Scotty Bowman manages to slay No Goal and order is restored to the Universe and a 1/2 hour ESPN Hockey Tonight gloriously boots Around The Horn off the airwaves forever, this is what the conferences should look like (I'm sorry, 3rdManIn
- Chicagoland (goodbye forever, Phoenix)
- San Jose
- Los Angeles
- St. LouisI've eliminated the joke of a franchise currently crapping along in Phoenix and replaced it with a second franchise in North America's 4th largest metropolitan center.
I've stayed away from hockey in the desert entirely, because I simply do not agree with the tremendous waste of energy it takes to run an ice hockey arena in 100+ degree heat 250 days a year....Las Vegas is a terrible idea, no matter how badly horny beat writers want to head there on assignment twice a year.
God this picture is just too good. Unfair? Yes. Priceless? Fuck and Yes.
ONWARD. So I've fudged a bit with the Campbell Conference, but I really started to get tricky with the Wales Conference. Here is my ideal version of the Prince of Wales Conference (if we're continuing ideal utopias, I'd also like to eliminate any mentions of Ryan Miller's pallatability, Tim Connolly's viability, and Derek Roy as a 1A...but I just don't have enough time)
Prince of Wales Conference:
- Quebec (goodnight, Tampa...we barely cared)
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Toronto Marlboroughs (fuck you forever, Carolina!)
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- New Jersey
- Kansas City (WHOA SEE WHAT I DID THERE!? MORE HOCKEY IN MIZZOU!??? CRAZY TALK. Also, hockey in Miami? Come on now.)
So there you have it. My realistic realignment and my ridiculous realignment (alliteration fail). In a perfect world, one would happen. However, I'll leave you with one last thought before you hit the video....I think the renaming of the Conferences/Divisions is far more important than where exactly each team ends up. Reaching back into hockey's past is what the majority of fans love about the game, from throwback jerseys to the Cup itself....hockey is about looking back AND looking forward. Somebody needs to slap that into No Goal's midget head. But for now...we wait...
Yachtsman's van was in the shop so we had to get a rental
Disclaimer: What you are about to listen to is an absolute disaster of a podcast and we cannot be held responsible for any physical, mental, or even spiritual trauma you may face as a result. I know we say that the CrapTastiCast is a train wreck almost every week, but this time the DGWU crew took it to a whole new level.
On Saturday, the entire DGWU crew (minus Megsie) set out on a road trip adventure from NYC to lovely East Stroudsburg, PA to watch our beloved FC Buffalo take on the Pocono Snow in some NPSL action. We then ventured onto Main Street to find a bar and watch Team USA take on Mexico in the Gold Cup final. What transpired was pure chaos....and we recorded snippets of it for your listening pleasure(?).
A few items to keep in mind as you listen:
1.) There are four separate segments of the podcast, all recorded at different times throughout the trip. The first was at 5:45 pm before any alcohol was consumed, and the fourth we can only guess was sometime around midnight, after MUCH consumption. Don't worry, each section is short and the entire episode only runs a little over 30 minutes. In between each segment, also listen for quick snippets of songs that we rocked out to during this epic road trip to Hell. THERE WERE HILL PEOPLE!
2.) Speaking of the songs, you may notice that the seamless transitions that you normally hear in the podcast between music and talking are not quite as smooth. That's what happens when Megsie and Mondee are not here to produce the podcast, and instead you have the Scizz with a twelve year old Mac trying to edit it together. He did his best!!! (sidenote: Megsie and Mondee are the greatest people alive for dealing with us toolbags as much as they do)
3.) You may also notice some sound effects during the third and fourth segments. They were obviously placed there to cover up....well, we will let you use your imagination.
What will you actually hear in episode 11? We discuss the glorious 24 hours that preceded our trip in which a basic human right was given to everyone in the state of New York, NuDarcy pulled off a fantastic trade, the NHL draft took place and the Bills revealed their newest cash cow. We also almost die. Seriously. Listen early on, around the 3:50 mark to hear our near-death experience.
The rest of the podcast is also quite exciting. We have an impromptu interview in the parking lot with an FC Buffalo player (sorry for the shitty audio), hide beers from security guards, rip on the AWFUL officiating, lead Buffalo chants throughout a bar, chat with some new and vulgar friends, talk about Zombieland and Johnny Depp, and finally Yachtsman and Scizz fight to the death in the middle of Main Street in downtown East Stroudsburg. We wish we were making that last part up.
Last but not least, listen closely to segment three after the Buffalo chants and the weird interview with a guy who thought Yachtsman was recording for his audio diary (yup, happened). An old friend of the CrapTastiCast joins us live for some soccer talk and hilarious commentary. This was a night for the history books. Download the episode by clicking the itunes button below or going to deargodwhyussports.libsyn.com
. If you are new to the blog/podcast, also check out last week's episode
. Streaming also available. Thanks for listening and all of the support! Cheers!
Some days, you can't help but wake up with a smile on your face.
We interrupt our regularly-scheduled sports-related blogging for a moment of well-intentioned, but perhaps self-indulgent, reflections on the real-world happenings of last night....
Living in New York State, much less New York City, politics are always a frustrating business. The Dear God, Why Us? theme often applies to the choices and squabbles of our democratically-elected leaders. As I said on my Facebook page last night: "My politics are often like my sports: riddled with disappointment and anger over the injustice of it all and little hope for the future." Even with a President who I initially adored, admittedly with too much gusto, I am constantly frustrated with the shortcomings of humanity and our insistence to make everything harder than it needs to be. If you follow me on twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, my liberal leanings - especially when it comes to social issues (rather than economic) - are clear. And, while I am hesitant to express too much joy here at the news coming out of Albany last night, I am nevertheless insistent that we should ALL be happy about what happened. Regardless of one's views on the same-sex marriage debate, last night New York State removed a significant barrier to human joy. These issues are by no means simple, I grant you, and I am sure that churches and other groups will continue to maintain their own view of the sanctity of marriage and will fight for their right to express that view in their own lives and faiths - and they should, honestly. But, the issues of state were separate last night, religious freedom is nevertheless maintained, and I pray that we can all take a deep breath and continue working towards a world where a person's access to happiness and joy is not something that needs to be bargained for.
It shouldn't be this hard.Indeed, throw in the preservation of State employee positions like teachers (
a particular favorite of the DGWU Crew and our own interests in self-preservation) and firefighters, and Albany had a good night. I felt compelled to make some statement about these events here - despite the fact that it may piss the rest of the crew off, and certainly may piss a few of you readers off - because sometimes it bears mentioning that sports are not the most important thing. We love them, and we love to write about them and talk about them, but hell if we don't also know that the drivel we put out here is really just about fun.
And if I can't get on our blog and express some basic thoughts after having been brought to joyful tears by the events of last night, then I'm not entirely convinced the rest of what I do here is worth my time.I also felt compelled because, as the DGWU Crew ventures to Eastern PA to catch the FC Buffalo game tonight, and then to the bar for the USMNT Gold Cup final immediately after, sports may at times be far from our minds. Indeed, even though we'll be talking - and RoadCasting - about the Regehr trade during the two hour (or more) trip out through Northern NJ and the Delaware Water Gap, I know 'll be doing so with a broad smile that will have little to nothing to do with sports. That said, we will be talking a LOT about sports today - about Regehr, about Ales Kotalik (WTF!!), about sending only Butler and Byron in return, about the weirdness of Twitter rumors and the propensity of the Sabres fanbase to believe anything, about how much in love with Pegula we are. We'll also be talking about FC Buffalo, about the USMNT's win on Wednesday night and the delicious craft beer we had at Scizz's place, and our hope for both team's games tonight. Armed with a new phone with new software, be sure to check out @DGWUSports on twitter today for links to my Soundcloud audio posts for our very first RoadCasts. It will be a long trip, and we sure enjoy to talk about things we barely understand, so there should be at least a few. We'll also be giving some in-game audio updates from the FC Buffalo game. So, enjoy your Saturday people. We ALL have a lot to be thankful for.today, in sports and out.
Follow me on Twitter @theycallmedubs
And the whole crew @DGWUSports
This post was inspired by twitter. And thanks to Aps for this lovely image.
Thursday night, amidst the crazy happenings of the NHL, yours truly was becoming extremely bored staring at my twitter feed while awaiting the news that Robyn Regehr may be headed to Buffalo. So in true DGWU fashion, I dropped a Bob Corkum joke. With no news on the NTC being reported I exchanged a couple of more twitter jokes with fellow blogger, Scott Michalak
about the current whereabouts of Mr. Corkum.
Several other Buffalo bloggers that I respect jumped in on the action and what ensued was a litany of hashtags representing a "Where Are They Now?" of former and current Buffalo Sabres personalities. Scotty said I should turn it into a post and I jumped at the opportunity.
I realize we have many readers who don't go on "the twitter", so I have compiled a list for those of you who missed it. If you have been wondering what some players may be up to in their post-hockey careers, or even off-season shenanigans then look no further. I also took the liberty of adding a few more for fuck's sake. Where Are They Now?
I'm sorry, where am I going?
Brian McCutcheon: Drinkin' the brown drinks at the end of the bar at the Adams Mark all week long. -Scotty of BSN
Mika Noronen: Sitting at his PC up-bidding his memorabilia on e-bay
(sidenote: I actually have a goalie stick and several rookie cards signed by Noronen that I got from him personally. That's a story for another day)
Sully's house? Or City Honors senior prom?
Tim Connolly: Sitting silently in his car outside of Sully's house, drinking a 5th of Jack and plotting... - Scotty of BSN
Mark Mancari: Playing as himself on NHL 2011 on a line with Vanek and Roy. Scored 42 goals, 103 points and took the Sabres to the cup. Offsides were set to off.
A young Willem Dafoe
Max Afinogenov: Pleading with NHL GMs in broken English that he's committed to 2way play. - Brian of Buffalo wins
Danny Briere: Kicking puppies. Punching babies. Campaigning for Newt Gingrich. Hitting on your mom. Training with Al-Qaeda. Listening to Air Supply. Defending the Lost series finale. Marrying a Kardashian.
The 2nd handsomest member
Patrick Lalime: The soon-to-be newest member of @DGWUSports!
Ales Kotalik: at home feverishly hitting redial to get ahold of Regehr to cancel their trade to Buffalo -Scotty of BSN
You need back rub?
Dmitri Kalinin: Still sucking at everything. Only this time, in Russia.
Nathan Paetsch: At Borders buying the German version of "Rosetta Stone." - Scotty of BSN (this one literally made me spit-take my beer)
Andrew Peters: Running his own medical equipment sales company - Phil from BBG(This one is apparently real)
Actual Myspace photo
Jim Lorentz: Sleeping in the 300's wearing his old uniform with Batman underoos on the outside, holding an old hockey stick & listening to the dulcet tones of Mr. Ronan Tynan. -Tag team of Scotty & myself
Daniel Paille: Um....never mind.
Dominik Hasek: Shit-Faced on 190 proof vodka while prank calling Ryan Miller
There was plenty more and I have some brewing on my own, but I'll save them for another time. Feel free to add your own "Where Are They Now's" in the comments. And if you are not on twitter, get the fuck on that grandpa and follow me!
Holy shit balls I am excited.
OH MAN! Hockey is coming back! We have the schedule
to prove it!
I know a lot of folks are wrapped up in hopes and dreams for what T-Pegs, Teddy Black and Darcy 2.0 are going to come up with in the NHL Draft this weekend, but the fan in me (i.e. the guy with little to no time or desire to learn about the Muppet Babies I probably won't see on the HSBC ice until 2014 or so) is always more excited about the schedule being released. Calendars are marked, the first seeds of gameday plans are planted, roadtrips contemplated and, for those expats in NYC, six dates become non-negotiable. Each year for the past 6, I've made an effort to make as many of the six local Sabres games (two each against the Devils, Isles and Rangers). A couple years ago I was a perfect six for six, and it was glorious. Last year, I scaled back to 4 out of 6, including one late arrival to the Prudential Center, clad in a pin-striped suit with Miller jersey underneath... never had I been more confident in my own douchebaggery. Many of those games involved great groups of transplanted Sabre fans - the eight of us who met in lower Manhattan to take the PATH out to Newark, only to find another three dozen fans in our section, ready to cheer our boys on to an early-season win against a pathetic Devils team; or the eleven of us who sat in the back row of the upper deck at MSG, right behind a row of 18-22 year old Ranger fans from Long Island who were good-humored when we made fun of their accents and scathingly asked them why they didn't follow the Islanders, and who didn't get bothered by our "We Got a Point" chants, echoed on our way out after the eventual overtime defeat; or the small City Honors crew that drove out to Hempstead armed with nothing more than Four Lokos (the original, dangerous kind! woohoo!) and a dream, and left with a hangover and memories of a disgusting loss to the Islanders in regulation.
As fun as it was, what bothered me a lot about the Sabres schedule last year was that the Tri-State area games were realy jammed into the first half of the season. The Rangers game on March 1st was the latest game in the season, and no other games came after late January. Indeed, both of the Devils games (by far my favorite to go to, given prices and cleanliness of the arena....*cough* *cough* *thecoliseumisashithole*) were within the first twenty games of the season. In hindsight, my annoyance with the situation was really due to the fact that the Sabres turned it on late, and I had no real opportunity to see them during that run. But, more to the point, games late in the season always
matter more, so it's nice to see that this year's schedule is a little kinder to us fans in NYC. Actually, taking a look at the schedule, the Hockey Gods are indeed smiling down upon me and the DGWU Crew.
What immediately jumps out at me, as implied above, is that the sequence of NYC area games does not begin until December 28th when the Sabres visit NJ. The five local games that follow come at a pretty steady clip thereafter, with the biggest gap between games coming between the February 25th and March 23rd tilts against the Rags at MSG. Down the stretch, my wishes have been answered, and I'll have plenty of opportunities to see our boys as they make a push for the playoffs.
Also bringing great joy to me is the fact that all four Rangers and Islanders games are on weekends. This will be particularly helpful for those trips out to the Island since (a) getting there is a HUGE hassle (honestly, how Charles Wang has not figured this out is beyond me...you've got 9 million people in the five boroughs, some of whom like hockey and most of whom have no car...you're an idiot for not arranging more streamlined access to games...though, fuck it, the list of idiot things you do is mind-bogglingly long); and (b) my dream remains to rock a party bus - complete with booze and bumpin 80s rock - to take a crew of Sabres fans out to a game in Uniondale. THIS IS THE YEAR. Now vested with the true force of DGWU, I am confident we make this happen.
You know how Canes fans complain about expats invading RBC? We're taking that as a challenge...the gauntlet has been laid, and The Scizz, Yachter, Aps and me are up to the task. And, as you all know, we can be huge, drunken assholes. This much is clear.
Yeah! Lick a taint Isles fans!
As for non-expat-related musings, there are certain things about the schedule that are both bothersome and intriguing. After the Sabres come back from Europe, they get one home game, then four away, and then five back home. While that road trip is not awful, I imagine that it will be a big test for the team in terms of keeping their fitness up after so much travel. Then again, after the road successes last year, including the sense that the team bonded during those trips, we could be looking at a very cohesive unit after those first few weeks.
Also of note are the west coast teams that the Sabres play twice - Detroit, CBJ and Ducks. We lucked out on these - while two of these teams were in the playoffs, I find that the Sabres generally play to a pretty high level against the Ducks and Wings, and those Ducks games always involve a weird and unexpected amount of bad blood. The Blue Jackets games, we can assume, will be the kind of "easy" games that the Sabres manage to blow, but I'll hold out hope for at least the split.
An absurd part of the schedule looks to be the road trip in January, following a home -and-home (though not back-to-back nights) with the Maple Leafs. Those seven games away from home - starting @ Islanders on 1/14, and then continuing through Detroit, Chicago, Winnipeg (!!!), St. Louis, New Jersey and Montreal - should be a doozy, even if geographically logical with respect to route. Five of those seven games are in the span of eight days, with the sixth coming a mere three nights later. The seventh, a week after that, wilI, I imagine, be broken up by a stop back in the 'Lo before the team heads to meet the Canadiens. We at DGWU look forward to attending two of the games on that roadtrip, so it should be a fun and anxiety-producing time.
Looking further ahead, chronologically as I must with my limited ability to multi-task as I coast through the end of my work day (which doesn't mean I'm leaving any time soon, mind you), February looks to be a great month for home games - 9 out of 12, in fact. With Presidents' Day weekend in the middle of the month, one or both of the games on the weekend of February 17th - either the Friday night vs. the Habs and/or the Sunday afternoon Hockey Day in America game against the Penguins - look to be the prime targets for a DGWU Road Trip to HSBC. I went to the Hockey Day game last year - hooked up with NBC broadcast passes, actually - against the Caps, and it was a fun time. While I doubt I'll have the Harbor Club access I did then, the holiday weekend will be a prime opportunity for us to act like drunken assholes without fear of having some dirtbag stick a shiv into our kidneys.
NYC is rough, yo.
The Yachtsman preparing for a trip to MSG. Make sure to remember to sharpen that blade, buddy.
Finally, it goes without saying that the end of the season scares the crap out of me. Good lord, the NHL really did it with that last stretch. I commend them for seeking out a series of great matchups, but it doesn't make me fear it any less. Consider these, the last 14 games of the season:
Starting with three divisional games in five nights, this stretch of games will end up being one of the keys to the team's success. Indeed, of the last fourteen, six are against divisional opponents. Throw in late-season games @ the Rangers and Lightning, both of whom look to be contenders in the East next year (or at least fighting for playoff position), and then a five game stretch to end the season against three favorites to win the East plus the second home and home of the season against the Leafs...well, you get the point. Frankly, I love that we get so many hated rivals to finish the year - the level of hate I have for the Penguins, Leaves, Flyers, Rangers, Canadies and Bruins is astonishing. Really, I ought to be more focused in my loathing, but I have enough to go around. Believe me.
So, there you have it. The Scizz may add an addendum to this post, since I sort of stole it from him, but I think it's pretty clear that this season is going to be EPIC for the DGWU Crew and all Buffalo Expats in NYC. There's a certain beauty in being the jackass road fan who invased another team's arena, and I am really looking forward to making our mark on the Concrete Jungle yet again.
Follow me on twitter @theycallmedubs, and the whole DGWU crew @DGWUSports
As I admitted earlier in the week on our Father’s Day podcast
, I’ve been hiding from sports over the couple weeks.
I’m fairly certain it happens every year around this time. Basketball and hockey have both ended and I’m not quite ready to start following baseball just yet. For me, nothing in baseball matters until the All-Star break. (Hope you enjoyed the first half of the season, Cleveland!)
But seeing as how I’ve become the resident basketball authority at DGWUS, a title I have sullied again and again, it’s time to take a look at the new class of rookies getting ready to join the professional ranks.
Now, if you’re looking for accurate predictions on who’s going where and in-depth analysis on why they’re a good fit… well… you’re reading the wrong blog. However, if you’re looking for unsubstantiated speculation based solely on opinion, then I’ve got the NBA Draft Preview for you.
The most obvious sentiment right out of the gate is that this draft class is one of the weakest in recent history. Again, I’m not nearly intelligent enough to say whether this is right or wrong. But I understand why people are saying it. The absence of any obvious future star makes it difficult to say whether or not anyone in this draft will make a serious impact in the pro’s. Still, there is potential for tonight’s draft to create some legitimate waves.
Numerous teams have been rumored to be making attempts at trades before the draft. The Lakers tried to ship Lamar Odom to Minnesota for the 2nd overall pick. Oklahoma City, Denver and New York are eager to move up as well. But the most intriguing rumor is Orlando in talks to trade for Atlanta forward Josh Smith.
The worst kept secret in the NBA right now is that Dwight Howard is unhappy in Orlando. To hear him tell it, there’s no jersey he’d rather wear than one with “Magic” on the front. But most of us (see: all of us) suspect that Dwight’s days in Florida are drawing to a close. The Magic made a huge gamble last season, essentially gutting the team to try and reverse their downward spiral that started in 2009. Needless to say, it hasn’t quite paid off. Now they’re left with only a handful of tradeable assets, no cap space and zero help coming in the draft. Not exactly tempting reasons to stay for Mr. Howard. So I’m sure the Orlando management is churning out every trade scenario they can think of to keep him or get something valuable in return. The trade for Josh Smith probably won’t take place, but Orlando needs to think of something or else risk winding up in the same place they were when Shaq left.
But let’s get back to the new rookies. The only player that anyone seems to be supremely confident in is Duke guard Kyrie Irving, who showed flashes of greatness when he was healthy. Coming in a close second is Arizona forward Derrick Williams. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. It seems like people are pretty high on European big men, Enes Kanter (Turkey) and Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania). Still, it’s hard to know whether European players are going to pan out like Dirk or Darko. There could be a hidden gem about to enter the league from an international contributor, but how the hell would I know? Instead, let me stick up for a few guys who I think are getting undervalued in this draft.
First, there’s Duke forward Kyle Singler. Now I know the Yachtsman is rolling his eyes somewhere since both of us have spent most of the last four college basketball seasons making fun of this pale, gangly young man, but the fact of the matter is he’s a proven winner with a great jump-shot and an even better work ethic. He’s definitely going to bulk up a bit, but not many of his fellow draftee’s have an NCAA title on their resume. And these days, it always seems like the players who spent 3-4 years in college have an easier time finding their place in the pro’s.
Then there’s Kemba Walker. Walker won’t blow anyone away with his physical gifts, but his performance in the Big East tournament moved him from the 2nd round to a lottery pick for a reason. His leadership and performance in the clutch has to be tempting for many teams out there. There’s good reason to believe he can have a real positive impact for somebody out there willing to take a chance.
Along the same vein is BYU’s Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer’s speed and size worry most scouts who fear that his talent won’t translate to the NBA. But as with Kemba Walker and even Singler, there’s something to be said for kids who are solid team players with a tendency towards leadership.
Of course, the elephant in the room during all this speculation is the upcoming lockout. I would say the possible upcoming lockout, but I just read that the NBA wants the players to return $161 million from money earned during the 2010-11 season. So enjoy draft night! It’s the only basketball you’ll be getting anytime soon.
Charles Nelson Reilly (CNR) is the unofficial mascot of DGWU
Welcome to the final post of my summer movie preview series. I’ve had some fun comparing the likes of Drew Stafford to bad teachers, and even Nathan Gerbe to bridesmaids, but this month was slightly more difficult. As some of you may know, the biggest films of the summer hit during the months of May, June, and July. August tends to be a spot for big studio films with some question marks, or maybe a little less star power. With that in mind, digging up movies that included a Sabres tie-in was not exactly easy and I definitely had to reach. In fact most of these guys won't even be on the team next season. Plus I have to agree with good ‘ole CNR up above and say that most of these films look pretty effin’ boring. However, I promised a preview for each month and the nerd in me needs to press on. Enjoy the show....
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: - August 5th
Craig Rivet, Steve Montador, and Shoane Morrisonn
"Hey Mr. Pegula! Over Here! Hey we're on the team too! Where's Craig?
There is a good chance chance you may disagree with me when I’m done with this one but I don't give a shit. In fact, Yachtsman and I have been going back and forth via e-mail arguing about the quality of Montador all day (I prefer Weber). These three stooges gave me fits over the past season. As we all know, Rivet has already left the organization, Montador should be closely behind with playoff benchings, and unless the Sabres want to take a cap hit of $2,075,000
,Morrisonn may be around for at least one more awful year. (sidebar: get rid of that stupid extra “n” at the end of your last Shoane! And while you’re at it, change the first name to Shane! Douche.)
All three of the players came in as UFA’s meant to add veteran leadership, and in Rivet’s case immediately become a captain, but each failed to deliver on the ice, leaving the youth to take on the brunt of the workload. I’m not sure how this compares to a new “Apes” film, but the last Tim Burton take had high expectations and was an absolute disaster of a film. I mean it was gouge your eyes out awful. Therefore I am unfairly assuming that this one will be terrible, just like these three veterans who came in with expectations that were never close to being met. I just hope I never have to add Jordan Leopold to this list.
Final Destination 5 - August 12th
Poor Patty Lalime. A truly great guy that has been forced to face mountains of disdain from Sabres fans the past three seasons (including plenty from me). The job of backing up Ryan Miller is not an easy task, and many have failed before him. Just ask Jocelyn Thibault, Ty Conklin, Marty Biron, Mika Noronen, and Mikael Tellqvist. With the emergence of the Demon Swede, this appears to be the end of the road for Lalime.
During his 12 year career in the NHL, Patrick completed full seasons with Pittsburgh, Ottawa, St. Louis, and Chicago; making Buffalo his 5th and FINAL DESTINATION. See what I did there? I amaze myself sometimes. Unless Lalime gets picked up by another team for a one year deal and then this whole paragraph is null and void. Stop judging me.
Conan the Barbarian - August 19th (Not that we are ever SFW, but this red band trailer contains some ridiculous violence & very brief nudity....a DGWU first!)
Stay away ladies. No secret babies needed.
Who else but future captain Thomas Vanek can match up to a wordly conquerer like Conan? Although this new Conan was raised in Iowa and use to star in Baywatch, we all know who the true Conan is. This
Aaaaaahnold was a 'roided up freak for the original Conan, and it is still one of those epic fantasy/action films that I can watch over and over, much like I was able to enjoy the play of Atlas Vanek
this past season. They are both a dominant force who leads their civilization/franchise to better days (Please do not cue up the Goo Goo Dolls right now). The best part has to be that both Arnold and Vanek are native Austrians. Hopefully both will be known for wearing C’s on their chests at points in their career. I’m just hoping that T.V. has no secret babies
Update: I had to throw this up on here after I watch the trailer again and realized that the new Conan is Jason Momoa, aka FUCKING KHAL DROGO FROM GAME OF THRONES
!!! Now I need to see this movie. DROOOOOOOOGOOOOOOOO!!!
My Idiot Brother - August 26th
This is not meant as a potshot at Rob Niedermayer. Despite a forgettable regular season (one in which there were contests to see when he would score his first goa
l), Niedermayer played an admirable playoff series against the Flyers and you could argue that he was the hardest working player on the ice. This has been his MO for years. By no means an idiot, he has always lived in the shadow of younger brother Scott. They both won a cup together, but let’s be honest; when you heard that a Niedermayer was coming to Buffalo, how many of you at least for a split second said to yourself “Oh god I wish it was Scott!” I know I did. Thus is the curse of having a more talented sibling.
From what I have seen of the trailers for My Idiot Brother, Paul Rudd definitely plays a huge screw-up, but he has a heart and always has to live in comparison to his much more accomplished siblings. This is the only "indie" film I tossed in any of these posts, but Rob has a very indie feel about him. I bet he listens to Fleet Foxes when he has a scoring drought.
That’s that. Thanks to everyone for reading my clever little connections between these two major loves of mine. Feedback has been strong to quite strong, so I may continue the series into the fall with Buffalo Bills players...probably not.
Stay tuned for more ramblings and rants from the DGWU crew, including a group road trip this weekend to the Poconos to see FC Buffalo in action. Also check out episode 10 of the CrapTastiCast
if you haven't yet...it's a doozy. Enjoy your summer and if you have any other great summer movie/Sabres connections, leave them in the comments or contact me. Maybe I’ll put 'em up. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or hit me up on twitter @TheScizz.