Our Buffalo Sabres announced that Ron Rolston will be staying on as head coach today. You can hate this move. You can wish the team went another way. You can kick and scream and wish for something better. But you can't for a second believe you know what the fuck you're talking about.
We are fans and,. by definition, amateurs.
I don't care that you study the game and used to play hockey and think that fucking matters. I don't care that you trust the unsourced quotes from other "NHL GMs" that Sully and Bucky like to shove in our faces more than you trust Darcy Regier. You may be a plenty smart, reasonable individual, but YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT.
Neither do I, for the record.
Super big wieners.
super bigger huge wieners
God help me for bothering to do this today. Pretty sure it's that asshole Dan Sterlace's fault, but whatever. I'm in too deep now.
Today, unless you're a Sabres fan living under a rock that doesn't allow for decent wifi, you know there was a press conference with Ted Black and Darcy Regier. Awesome! I seem to remember they didn't have one of those last year! I bet those pros over at the Buffalo News were so excited and put on their nicest Burger King pants for the occasion. I bet they even decided not to be their usual turd burgling selves and act like adults for once.
Oh mannnnnnnn, was this a terrible shit show. Everyone walked away from this looking like a terrible human being - Darcy, Mike Harrington, Jerry Sullivan, Paul Hamilton (though to be fair he waddled away looking like a walrus with terrible grammar, as per usual), Ted Black, some asshole from Channel 2 named Scott Brown and one or two guys named John, one whom I can only assume was Jon Vogl and the other who I learned was John Wawrow. Of course, the key players of Rusty Tromboning were to be expected, but fuck. The dipshittery was flying from every direction. Pretty sure I've interviewed inmates on Rikers facing murder charges evince more of a commitment to civility than I saw on display.
Oh, and they also talked about the terrible hockey team we inexplicably love. Good times.
What's the solution? Oh, I'm going to FJM this motherfucker. It's the only way we get right again.
HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Tomorrow night the longest lockout shortened season in the history of sports is coming to an end. Seriously, it’s only been three months; I have the schedule in front of me and everything. If you want highlights only, this will be a quick read for you: season opener, three Boston wins, comeback against Montreal, snapping Pittsburgh’s win streak. There, you can go back to whatever it was you were doing before you got here; I’m only writing this because the Wild Card is some sort of wunderkind and I’m feeling inadequate. Actually I’ll give you one more highlight: waking up at the gate in JFK at 7:30am after Occupy Newark, surrounded by dozens of people with only hazy recollection of how I got there. Probably should have just taken Scizz’s couch invite instead of taking a cab to the airport at 4am, but I am thankful for whatever TSA agent kindly let me through security.
That still-intoxicated confusion amongst the chaos of a crowded airport terminal is indicative of the season we just watched. What happened? Why was everything so terrible? Why am I still wearing this Vanek jersey? Well, I watched nearly every game and I don’t have the slightest goddamn clue. All I know is this is the first season I didn’t see a win in person since 2003-2004 and I’ve spent nearly all of those seasons in between living hours away. Well that, and that there were many specific things that came together like some sort of horrifying, malevolent Captain Planet to ruin our evenings three times a week.
At first I was just going to list all the things that were horrible about this season but as I got to eleven it struck me that first, with enough time this list could go on perpetually as if I was writing out the decimals in pi, looking for an end, and second, I wanted to identify what was worse than all the others; what, when matched up against the other “worst” things on the list, made the others look better. Think of this like a Bill Simmons' NBA trade value column, except you’ve heard of these names and I don’t get paid for it. To properly settle this, I decided to seed the eight worst entities about this season and match them up in a tournament format to see what exactly would come out on top (bottom?), along with my analysis.
To the seedings: 9 (Honorable Mention): John Scott
- I definitely bitched about his presence on the ice more than some of the things found below, but when compiling this list I felt he may have gotten a bad rap from me. First, we all knew coming in he wasn't skilled at hockey. Two, it wasn't his decision to put him in the lineup constantly, leaving talented- err, less awful
players scratched. However, he would have cracked my top 8 if it wasn't for his photobombing post-game interviews
late in the season. So, thanks to some stellar off-ice moves, Scott does not make the most hated tournament. But seriously, get the fuck off my team now. 8) Jochen Hecht:
I’m not sure what I hate more, his complete ineptitude on offense, the rare moments when that ineptitude disappears, or the fact that everyone involved in making organizational decisions loves this guy for reasons beyond understanding. Ruff, Regier and Rolston have raved about this statue and I haven’t the slightest fucking clue. Giving Hecht top line minutes was effectively hoping for a 1-0 win or a 2-1 overtime loss, and despite this I STILL don’t trust them to cut ties after this season. He’s a fucking 80’s horror villain. Go away. 7) Drew Stafford:
Fuck Drew Stafford. Thanks for those two shootout goals I guess, dickface. 6) The Buffalo News:
This is primarily a credit to their belief that all the teams ills would have been solved if the owner had commented about Regier or the Pominville trade. Watching them slowly melt down during the season into petulant children was pretty funny when I wasn’t annoyed by the pettiness and lack of professionalism by people who actually do get paid to write for a living. Plus they’re fucking creepy. Solid dark horse as a six seed
Guest Contributor: The Wild Card
HOCKEY HEAVEN -- (Trade Deadline minus 25 hours, 8 minutes. Associated Mess) -- With Leopold and Regehr gone it's pretty clear now that Darcy intends to blow this motherfucker up, burn this motherfucker down and otherwise do things to this motherfucker that make it different tomorrow. Cool. They need to look different, but now I'm wondering if they'll be different. And the reason to think they won't be is the common denominator: Darcy.
A lot of people want Darcy gone, and I tentatively count myself among their number. The case against Darcy is easy to make, and it usually comes down to results. No cups. 1 cup appearance a long time ago. Drury, Briere, yada yada. I'm not telling you anything new. My problem is that I can make a pretty strong case in Darcy's favor too. He did have the sense to bring in said Chris and said Danny for next to nothing. He got a 1st for a goose. He just traded two 32-yr old defensemen with 12 games left on their contracts for 3 second round picks and a 4th/5th. Not too shabby. He moves Van/Pom/Mil and we could suddenly picking every 5 minutes in June. And with promising guys like Armia, Grigorenko (yes, shutup you shit-sniffing troll, the kid's going to be fine) and Leggio in the organization, I have to think Darcy's done a pretty decent job assembling some young talent.
But here's why I still think I want Darcy gone: with all that being said, under Darcy's regime these teams have been largely the same - dispassionate, soft, leaderless. The Drury/Briere era was the exception. We had clear leaders, and the other players had clear roles. But the leadership on that team wasn't drafted by Darcy. Drury and Briere were trades. McKee was drafted pre-Darcy. Lydman was a trade... Darcy just doesn't draft leaders. Name a guy Darcy drafted that would be a suitable captain on an NHL team. ... anyone?
I just can't get around it. I think about all the moves that Darcy has made here. I think about what he's tried to do. What the general philosophy of the team is. I have to admit, I agree with all of it. I even like the philosophy of building out from your goaltender, playing good defense and not droppin' cash like Tyrone Biggums in Free Agency.
But for 16 years he has failed to draft a true captain for this team. That's just not acceptable. ALL the good teams have good captains. Let's have a look down the list:
Chi - Toews, Sharpe, Keith (not to mention Kane)
ANA - Getzlaf, Koivu, Selanne (not to mention Perry)
MIN - Koivu, Parise, Suter
LA - Brown, Richards, Kopitar
PIT - Crosby, Malkin, Orpik
MTL - Gionta, Markov, (and Gorges... but fuck that.)
BOS - Chara, Bergeron (not to mention Horton, Marchand, Lucic, Seguin, and Thornton... good god I'm jelly. OK, back to grown-up talk.)
These guys are ALL-STARS, and most of them are gritty, intense, tenacious. Our guys are just good. Them: MEN. Us: Whiney little boners. I mean, do Vanek and Pominville stack up to ANY of these guys? If they were traded to any of these teams, do you think they'd say "shit, we gotta put a letter on this guy" ?
Maybe Darcy can change his stripes, I don't know. I think he's always been pretty good at seeing this team's weaknesses on the X's and O's front. Steve Ott is a good example. We needed to get tougher at the top and he knew it. So we got tougher at the top. But Ott is also a guy I like a lot as a leader. Could it be that Darcy knows we need leadership too?
He might only have 24 hours to prove it.Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @DGW_WildCard
Tonight the Buffalo Sabres take to the ice in the land of meth labs and man-eating sinkholes to attempt to do something they haven’t done once during this mercifully shortened season: win their fourth hockeypucks game in a row. If Winnipeg and Philadelphia win their games in regulation, the Sabres will suddenly find themselves one point removed from the final playoff spot with a game in front of 13,000 empty seats on deck Thursday night in the Everglades. Ten of their final fourteen games will be played at home and, despite all of this, some of you are despondent, downtrodden, terrified that they might win, that they might turn that puncher’s chance into a playoff berth.
Why is this case? Well the prevailing logic seems to be that the team is better served by finishing with a top three draft pick, buttressed by the sweeping assumption that if the Sabres sneak into the playoffs, Darcy Regier will be rewarded with keeping his job and this team will be thrown into some sort of perpetual mediocrity as true as our orbit around the sun. I can’t say I don’t understand this logic; the idea of giving this general manager a second crack under Pegula at assembling a roster would accomplish little more than hemorrhaging the fanbase and leaving us a few more years closer to death without a sniff at a cup. What I don’t understand is how people are willing to assume that this is black and white, that wins equal the general manager staying. Because drive-time radio pronounces it true? Because a WGR beat reporter who spent the entire football season telling you Chan Gailey wasn’t going anywhere is now saying the same about Darcy? Because TBN staff members that haven’t broken a team story since the Ford administration pronounce it true? For shame.
I don’t know what the owner thinks about the general manager’s future. Neither do you and neither do any of the local media. What I do know is management espoused a three-year plan to win a Stanley Cup (that has been shot to shit) and pledged to win multiple Stanley Cups under the new owner. I know the owner allowed or ordered the firing of a coach that had been involved with the team for the better part of three decades. I know that perennial eighth place finishes and first round exits are quite removed from the sixteen wins that it takes to win a championship. I know that no one who builds a business worth more than a billion dollars does so by accepting continuous underachievement and incompetence.
I also know that telling the fans that they’re being neglected, ignored and mistreated sells papers and ad space, and allows fans to wallow in the “woe is us” attitude that gets ingrained into your DNA at conception in this region. I know it’s the safe column to write, the safe position to take. I know Pominville, Vanek and Miller have contracts that expire after next season and the general manager himself has already bucked tradition and stated to local and national outlets that any changes that will be made will be focused on next season.
My point is that there’s at least enough empirical evidence to argue that the general manager is gone no matter what happens short of a conference finals appearance, right? There’s more than enough evidence to support the idea that columnists and radio hosts are trolling the fanbase by using Darcy as a boogeyman to get you to tune in or use one of your ten free page views (I’m not silly enough to assume any of our readers are also TBN subscribers).
Making it harder to accept even a slight run of success is the fact that we had finally embraced, welcomed the idea of hitting rock bottom. After half a decade of mediocrity this was going to be the year we finally said “fuck it,” and took the losses laughing instead of crying. We were ready, and then these, these ASSHOLES had to go and start winning! God can’t they do anything right!?
What an asshole.
El Barristo and Aps
Hey internet friends! The Sabres are mighty terrible, having dropped a snoozer to the East's worst team (actually the Sabres are now that), yet here we are to deconstruct the shit show and drink the beers.
This one, predictably, devolves into a #FireLindy party because, well, that's all we got. Prove us wrong, Sabres. Please prove us wrong. You won't.
As always, our hot takes are set against the noises of New York City and the inevitable guy wearing really nice shoes and looking for change.
Stream and download below, or here
Let's be real here. That was fucking delightful.
The lockout is over, we've had top-level professional hockey for two straight days, and the Buffalo Sabres beat the piss out of the shitheads from Broad Street. What do we have to be sullen about?
/looks at rafters to see meaningless divisional banners and a slew of Bandits championships /kills self
There's certainly plenty of history to support a pessimistic tone today because, well, #becauseitsbuffalo, but sports are fun and yesterday was tons
of it. Is it a sign of things to come? Are we destined for the playoffs after a disappointing end to last season? I don't know and neither do you. Shit like games and goals and saves all still have to actually happen. Let's enjoy it, ok?
No? The Sabres are inevitably going to disappoint us and cause me to retreat to my son's nursery for a week's worth of tears? Well screw you man
For the time being we have the luxury of being all optimism all the time, at least until Yachtsman jumps on here with his "fuck all the things" tone, so join me after the jump for generally delusional and premature observations on Buffalo's early version of HOCKEYPUCKSTIME. (and a gracious tip of the hat to our buddy Frank
for that one)
It's a celebration, bitches.
With Yachtsman covering the bases yesterday with his mouth diarrhea gem of a post,
you'd think I would consider the Deeg's coverage of Derek Roy's departure from the Sabres complete. Nay, good sirs and ladies, for I am hungover at work and can't possibly be trusted with actual responsibilities but want to feel like I accomplished something today. Count yourselves lucky, trust me.
Besides, this is really the only topic I can blab on about, since I can't possibly write about Dickey after Yachtsman threw down the gauntlet on that topic. I'm nothing if not spiteful, even if it does necessitate rehashing a topic that has certainly received enough attention this week. (Sidebar: Yachtsman's joke about me asphyxiating myself while watching Mets' games was both hilarious and accurate in its own way. I'll leave it to you to decide which way that is.
One of my favorite things to do lately is watch the fans of Sabreland trip over themselves in a fury of anger and resentment at Darcy Regier, fueling a prevailing wisdom that tells us that he's simply incapable of making this team better. So when free agency approached and people stomped their feet about the need for a big splash and their assumption that such would not come, it set the stage for another moment of shock as Darcy inevitably did something
. Maybe not the big splash we had hoped for - and that we still hope for - but a move that is terribly satisfying to all but the most homer of Buffalo sports fans. With Derek Roy shipped out, we learned - yet again - to chill the fuck out and let things take their course, and to never trust anything Paul Hamilton says, even if it affirms our belief that Derek Roy is an overvalued hack just like, well, Paul Hamilton.
Entrenched analysts with zero credibility! #becauseitsbuffalo
Roy being traded to Dallas, and the Sabres picking up two - TWO! - players in return is yet another reminder that Darcy Regier is, when he wants to be, a straight up wizard in the player market. Does he drug opposing GMs? Did he replace 2011-12 game tape with archived footage of the point-per-game Derek Roy from 2010-11? Is Darcy actually competent - gasp! - when backed by ownership with the desire and bank roll to make a legitimate bid for a Stanley Cup? Moments like Monday, when our shared desire for change suddenly came to light, prove that Darcy might not be the ineffectual villain we sometimes make him out to be. As a basement-dwelling, venomous blogger, this is a sad realization, as it's certainly more fun and satisfying to throw everyone under the bus as I commiserate over failed season after failed season. So sad that many of our brethren are, after receiving the Roy trade they've so long pined for, right back at the work bench, writing off Darcy's career in Buffalo and calling this move - as is any move post-July 1, 2007 - too little, too late. For me, though, things are not so black and white.
Neither, to be fair, was it black and white that Roy needed to go. As much as we like to rag on him for his white suits and Kangol hats and mandles and propensity for sexual assault (maybe?), the guy was also a key cog in the successful times of the past decade, such as they were. There was a time, probably about a year ago, when I thought we were seeing Derek Roy turn a new leaf. His production in 2010-11 was impressive, even accounting for his limited availability due to injuries, and - unlike the skewed stats of some others on the team who had brief stretches of absurd production in the midst of utter mediocrity (*cough* *stafford* *cough*) - Roy was showing us something night in and night out. History of diving and half-assing it down the ice aside, I was hopeful. Shocker, I know, for the Viceroy of Hyperbole, but it honestly seemed like anything was possible in this new town of Pegulaville, even an apparent prima donna finally earning his fucking paycheck.
Your guess is as good as mine as to where that brief glimpse of quality went. Last year we had what was arguably the worst version of Roy. He wasn't just bad. We was invisible. With an "A" on his chest, he seemed to wilt as the team's #1 center following an off-season where so much hype surrounded whether we even had a #1 center. Speculation - my favorite! - is that he grew tired of Lindy Ruff and maybe tanked his play to ensure that long-rumored trade. If that's true - and who the fuck knows if it is or if Roy had just had enough of the poon down at SoHo - he may be a great player after all, but he's also the worst kind of shit head. Good fucking riddance.
Not our problem no more.
The obvious downside, to the extent I'm forced to concede any downside at losing a guy who seemingly exists only to take idiotic penalties and show off his sweet dangles, bro, is that we just lost our best center. This, as we know, is sad on multiple levels, not the lest of which is that our "best" center licked donkey balls like it was going out style. (Sidebar: donkey ball licking NEVER goes out of style. Just ask Aps. BURN!). Left to fill Roy's underachieving skates, then, are a bunch of centers who are young and/or unproven and/or apparently talent-less and/or already scared of Lindy. Not the greatest back-up plan. Though, if you want to be positive about a roster of players who missed the Stanley Cup playoffs again or who played on an Amerks team that got straight-up owned in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs, I can accept that. I do hope, though, that you think before you open your mouth, because there's a fair chance you're a moron.
Of course, Roy's departure wasn't just about getting rid of our favorite whipping boy. Steve Ott, the returning player in the Roy trade, adds a lot of good things to the roster. He's a decent point producer for a player who fills the role of "grinder" - certainly better than Paul Gaustad for the same price, basically - and if you credit his WGR interview from Tuesday morning, he's pumped to be coming to Buffalo. (Suck on THAT, Dallas, what with your championships and gorgeous cheerleaders and oil money and... FUCK). Of course, no one has any clue whether Ott will perform well in Buffalo or whether we'll have another severe drop-off in play like some of the other recent acquisitions post-Pegula. If nothing else, though, even if he's not the answer to the Sabres dysfunctional roster and even if he never contributes half as much as Roy did, I'd prefer to have someone who actually wants to play as a Sabre than one who consistently demonstrated that he could just as easily quit in favor a long-overdue career as a hand model.
As for the other new faces on the roster (for now) - Adam Pardy, John Scott and, just this afternoon, Kevin Porter - the untrustworthy prevailing wisdom is that none of them are really fit to be a consistent presence on an NHL team. Porter, from what I've read in the 15 minutes since the news of his signing broke, won the Hobey Baker back in 2008 and has had only marginal success since he entered the league. John Scott, to his credit, is rumored to eat children and make Boston Bruins pee their pants, so I can't really see any downside at $600,000. And Adam Pardy, well ... he's pretty big and pretty tall and probably plays defense better than Mike Weber, so I'm ok with that as well. Worst case, they all get to have their pictures taken in the Andrew Peters Memorial Pressbox, right? (Sidebar: "Memorial" in reference to Peters' upside, which perished sometime in 2006; happily, Andy Bear the man is still alive and well).
Fact is, the Sabres probably aren't done, especially since so many people probably suspect that they are, and no matter if they're done or not, the roster is still filled with so many head cases that are being ruined by Lindy Ruff that none of it will matter and the team will flame out to another 10th place finish come April, 2013.
Or, that's at least what we'll keep telling ourselves, right?
Our New Theme Song!!
The Apologist and The Barrister (feat. Megsie & the Yachtsman)
Well folks, we've never claimed to be timely in our posting of audio opinion material here at the Deeg, and this is no different. If you want timeliness of our opinions, start paying us money and we'll get right on that.
Monday night (yes, the Monday night that is nearly a week ago at this point), fresh off my week in Boston for another Bar Exam (Bad Decision #1), I was eager to convince Apologist to join be in a Sabres-Jets rendezbooze at Kelly's Sports Bar of Lower East Side fame (Bad Decision #2). Ever willing to please (aHEM!), Aps got his shift covered at work and we were a go for another night of hockey-related bad decision-making. Along for the ride was Yachter who, while typically unwilling to risk exposure to all sorts of bacteria and viruses at Kelly's, was suddenly down to cheer our Sabres on to that 8th place spot in the East (Bad Decision #3).
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.