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?
When there's something strange....in the neighborhood.....
Guess who's back? Back Again. Guess who's back? TELL A FRIEND!
Due to popular demand and my own sheer boredom, welcome to the third installment of Buffalo Sabres: Where Are They Now?
If you are new to DGWU Sports in the last year, this all started as a dumb hashtag on twitter when I was bored at home on a Sunday night. Well, it's Tuesday morning, work is slow, and I compiled a nice little list with the help of some friends on the tweet machine. Enjoy yourself and start thinking up ideas to tweet me
for "2012 - Part 2." Oh yeah, and you can read the last year's two installments here
Ville Leino: Somewhere in Finland, diving into a pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck, except missing five feet wide and yet still laughing maniacally.
(assist from @JG_1611
Tim Kennedy: Filling out an application to be groundskeeper at Patrick Kane's new house in Hamburg. - from @Boner_Shorts
Dominic Hasek: Working out for his big comeback. This involves vodka, pilates, vodka, 117 cortisone injections, and vodka.
Pat Lafontaine: Staring at a picture of himself staring at a picture of himself staring at himself in a mirror. - from the Barrister
Jason Botterill: Laughing at Sabres fans on twitter who thought a Roy for J. Staal trade would actually ever happen.
Chris Butler: Still being fucking terrible at hockey somewhere.
This smells of the poop triangle.
Robyn Regehr: Staring at the living room wall while chewing a rock. - from @Boner_Shorts
Shaone Morrisonn: Taking his talents to Южная Бич. And by talents I mean the extra n in his last name.
Tom Golisano: Wondering how his bid for the Dodgers didn't win - Free payroll service & a coupon to Quiznos - from @JG_1611
Steve Bernier: Hanging out with his new friends Scott Norwood, Bill Buckner, and Greg Norman.
Somebody needs another.
Jason Pominville: Sitting in an empty locker room, rocking back and forth repeating "You're not Craig Rivet. You're not Craig Rivet" to himself over & over again.
Tyler Ennis: Auditioning for part of Crutchy in the touring production of Newsies. - from the Barrister
Taro Tsujimoto: Whereabouts unknown, but still better than Mike Weber.
Book it. Follow me @TheScizz
and feel free to leave other #WhereAreTheyNow ideas
in the comment section. Go Sabres?
The Barrister and The Scizz
Back with another installment of the Infinite Sadness podcast, the Scizz and I talked through a series of topics - most actually sports-related. Amazing how we can stay on topic when we're not drunk.
We discuss the Kings' Game 6 win and take jabs at their fan base and then have a lengthy discussion about the Sabres offseason as we approach free agency next month. We also discuss the NBA finals briefly, and give thanks to Guatemala for tossing the World Cup Qualifier on pay-per-view last night. Other tidbits include jokes about masturbation, Tim Connolly, our fantasy for Derek Roy's demise, and horse racing. We're classy.
Musical contributions from Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples.
Download and stream the cast, which runs about 30 minutes, below.
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O Captain, my Captain. You. Are. Filthy.
The Barrister and The Apologist
I won't dwell too much on a recap of the glorious evening that we had last night. The Sabres continued their great play and winning streak, and while Aps and I weren't able to meet up until the third period due to some office basketball playoff duty that I had to tend to (Championship game next week, baby!), we took the opportunity to wax poetic about how happy we are to be watching this team make their playoff push.
This episode is, unsurprisingly, ALL SABRES...and, also unsurprisingly, it's all overwhelmingly happy and positive. No basketball or baseball talk seeps in, apart from brief mentions at the end, and we actually avoid the Bills completely. Also, as opposed to other episodes where we've recorded in small segments over the course of a game, Episode 4 was recorded in one big chunk after the game was done. Not to short change you listeners of musical interludes (and with recognition that you very well may need a few breaks from our flawless stream of consciousness analysis), we cut up the segment with some Mos Def and Phoenix, and have Apologist's little Brother Doctor Ooo (@DrOooMD
) and his Buffalo-based project Kinda Like Dreamin
take us out when all is said and done. And, because I couldn't get over how great Jason Pominville's post-game interview was on the NHL Network last night, I threw in a couple of his better quotes over the Phoenix track for good measure. My editing skills may not be good yet (as you can hear from a couple of the rougher cuts towards the end, not to mention how quiet Pommers is), but they are improving. RIGHT? RIGHT?!?
Please love me.
Moving on.... This is turning real, Sabres fans, and there's plenty of room for everyone on this bandwagon. Aps is buying the beer.
Stream and download the .mp3 below, and throw a comment below with some constructive criticism and/or love poems. We love doing these, but also want to please YOU, dear listener, so feedback is always appreciated as we try to keep these going in a good way.
Let's Go Buffalo.
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WARPATH. God bless Google images for reminding me of this awful excuse for a video game.
After looking ahead to last Friday night's game with a certain sense of dread, only to see the Sabres pull out an absurdly uplifting victory over the East's best (well, best for now, at least), I'm yet again scratching my head in equal parts befuddlement, excitement and fear. Remember when I noted that the team's playoff chances were around 22% before Friday night? Well, now - after the glorious win at MSG on Friday, and then the solid 3-1 victory at the FN Center on Saturday - they're at 41%. And, with six games remaining, they only need to go 4-2-0 to kick that percentage up to 84%. (And, as @JeremyWGR tweeted this morning, tonight's outcome amounts to a 47% swing in probabilities for the team... not to freak out TOO much).
THIS SHIT IS FLYING OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST CRAZY BALLS. And, if you're curious, playing the role of Miss Ratched is Bucky Gleason, but only because he likes that sexy white uniform and I promised him I wouldn't give the role to Paul Hamilton.
Meeeeowwww! /worst photoshop job ever?
Nothing is as simple as statistics would have you believe, of course (hear that CV?), and until the team has clinched - a moment that will, in all likelihood, not come until the last game of the season - we'll all be sitting with bated breath, wondering if this team can keep this thing going. If you're like me, you've already looked at the schedule to see just how tough it will be these last two weeks.
We continue this Warpath adventure with Washington tonight in the biggest game of the season since the media and fan-manufactured rematch against the Bruins in the wake of the Lucic incident last fall. The Caps are coming off a convincing 3-0 win against the Wild Sunday, effectively eliminating Minnesota from playoff contention. Much like the Sabres, the Caps have failed to put anything close to consistent hockey together this season, ranging from frightening to pathetic. A couple weeks back, Washington seemed like it might have been dropping off the face of the playoff map, but the team has gone 6-2-2 since then, largely holding off the bottom teams of the conference and gaining some ground on the Southeast leading Florida Panthers. This leaves the Caps in a pretty similar spot to our Sabres, in that they've chosen to ramp up their play for this final playoff push, shaking off the reputation of a season of largely failed expectations.
Speaking of failing to meet expectations - AMERICA!
These similarities leave me and the rest of Sabreland at a complete and utter loss for predicting what kind of result we might see tonight. But, that certainly doesn't stop me from going all in with some classic poorly constructed analysis. HERE WE GOOOOOOOOO....
First, the negatives:
We need WAY more of this.
1. Thomas Vanek.
Conceding that the guy scored a goal on Saturday night (albeit one that relied on luck and hard work by Cody Hodgson), his all-too-frequent absence from the score sheet has been one of the more frustrating parts of the past three and a half months. Sure, the team is playing well despite this, but I tend to be skeptical that this is a good thing. Winning is great and all, but when you're winning even though your best forward is playing like hot garbage, you're still left with your best forward playing like hot garbage. Not. Good.
There are a lot of theories popping around the interwebs about his struggles lately. Some of the most asinine have speculated on his work ethic, aka the "Lazy Thomas" meme - always an absurd opinion lacking any basis in reality, I think - or him being a head case, aka the "Weepy Thomas" meme - again, something I tend to not give too much credence to. Personally, I think the guy is hurt, that Lindy is predictably keeping that information quiet and that TV is playing through a lot of pain during each game. Ribs? Shoulder? Your guess is as good as mine. Of course, my belief in this theory is, in part, dependent on my disbelief in the other possibilities of lazy and/or weepy Vanek, so take it with a grain of salt. But, for the punishment he takes in front of the net, and for his proven desire to bleed himself dry for the team, it certainly seems to be the most likely explanation.
If the Sabres have any real chance at taking this Warpath to the playoffs and beyond, this is a guy who has to get it going. OBVIOUS FACT. Tonight would be a great start. SECOND OBVIOUS FACT. I'm great at this.
2. Lindy's Ever-Baffling Line Shuffles
Has anyone figured out why Lindy seems hell bent on ruining each and every good line combination this year? I get that he's been swimming upstream against a team of underachievers in a season where he has been expected to push the franchise closer to a Stanley Cup, but I really wonder if there's a method to his madness. First we saw the Vanek-Adam-Pominville line deconstructed for the sake of getting other players going. All well and good, but we know how that experiment played out - Ville Leino still shitty and Luke Adam wallowing in the AHL. JACK ADAMS HE IS NOT.
When the team started tanking, the tendency to line shuffles was probably a necessary evil, but now that we're back in great form, the lingering question is whether Lindy will continue to tinker or whether he'll just allow the growing chemistry on these lines to continue that growth. Shit, even during the games this weekend, we saw glimpses of inexplicable line combinations. I'd cite them for you now, but I can't seem to find them on the google and Lord knows I was drunk as shit when I watched the games. No wonder my points are so unassailable. For now, the line of Ennis-Foligno-Stafford is still together and has been nothing sort of magical for the past couple weeks (more on that below). Will it continue with Gerbe's eventual return to the team, or will Lindy yet again sacrifice one of his greatest assets? Or what about the Tropp-Hodgson-Vanek line, which has also found some chemistry over the past week, allowing Hodgson and Vanek to each start making progress? If Kaleta comes back, is Tropp destined to leave that line in some grand reshuffle that makes room for Kaleta on the 3rd or 4th line while likely sending Tropp to play in the KHL? Kaleta ужасен в борющихся русских. Bank it.
In short: this is a team that is winning now, and winning in grand and unexpected fashion. DON'T FUCK IT UP, LINDY.
3. MORE LINDY HATE - WHY ARE OUR BEST PLAYERS PLAYING SHIT MINUTES?
This point is plagiarized from Yachtsman, but I suspect he'll likely (a) never even read this post, or (b) never post on this small issue, so I'm in the clear. Robyn Regehr averages 18:33 TOI for the year. This is less than Ehrhoff and Myers, our top D pairing, by more than 3 minutes. That wouldn't be insane if it weren't for Andrej Sekera, Mike Weber and Jordan Leopold also having more ice time than Regehr. This is monumentally stupid, and another example of how Lindy might not be the guy to lead this particular group of players into battle. Incidentally, if you need more evidence, Derek "Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me, I'll Just Go To Chippewa in My Mandles" Roy averages almost 2 1/2 minutes more than Vanek. Nice tie, Lindy. You're doing it wrong.
There. I feel better. Now on to the good:
1. Ryan Miller
What can't be said about this guy? He turned around an epically bad season to re-find his All-World self, let the team ride his coattails as they finally remembered how to score, then gave a stellar interview to Pierre LeBrun wherein he got the media's and a not-insignifcant part of the fanbase's panties in a bunch when he yet again points out that his job is really hard and that the negativity bred by beat writers in the locker room is not necessarily appreciated. Translation: fat guys who don't no how to play sports should take it easy when tempted to take potshots at pro athletes for shitty performances. Duly noted, Ryan. I'll try to be mindful of that in the future. In the meantime, keep playing well so us fatties can keep our traps shut and enjoy watching your crooked eyebrows track down pucks. We love it when they do that.
With Miller playing better, suddenly anything seems possible for these Sabres (well... not ANYTHING. Baby steps). He's hit career numbers in shutouts this year, despite having a garbage squad in front of him on most nights and despite suffering two concussions this year. His overall averages are still mediocre (though, really at par with his sometimes mediocre career numbers, but that undercuts my general point so I throw it in a parenthetical), which is really an indication of how bad he was earlier this year and how lucky the team is to have survived to this point without imploding. Since the All Star break, his GAA is 1.87 and SV % is .937, with 5 shutouts. Make no mistake about it - the team's fortune is dependent on this guy, and for that we can actually all breathe a little easier about where this all might pan out within the next couple weeks. 2. Foligno-Ennis-Stafford
With all of the injuries this team has had to fight through this season, the most recent spat has brought about perhaps the luckiest bounce of the Sabres season. Marcus Foligno's call-up to the big club led to immediate success for him and the team. As if destiny was playing some part, his arrival coincided with Lindy's use of Tyler Ennis as a center. Add in Drew Stafford and his apparent revival as an actual contributor to the team - I know. WEIRD - and suddenly we have a line that is as explosive as the Vanek-Adam-Pominville that dazzled us at the beginning of the season. Apart from the fact that this suddenly makes me feel much better about this overzealous gem
I dropped about Stafford last summer, this is the line that is making up for the loss of production from Vanek lately (not to mention the continuing shit production from Ville Leino and Brad Boyes. Way to be consistent, lads).
Apart from their production, watching this line is fun as hell. They're buzzing every time they hit the ice, their goal celebrations are unadulterated moments of pure joy, and each of them bring their own unique slice of talent and skills, all of which compliment each other in a way that none of us could have predicted. Ennis suddenly seems like he could be the second line center to replace Roy whenever we're able to find the #1 center we've been looking for and can then ship his dead weight out of town. For this all Sabres fans can fervently rejoice. And finally...3. Two games left against the Leafs.
Listen. I get that the schedule looks rough for the last six - games against Caps, Pens, Flyers, Bruins - but it also includes two against hated rivals and perennial jokes, the Toronto Maple Leafs. For as frustrated as Sabres fans have been this year, we're yet again looking at a possible playoff berth and a Leaf team left holding their hats. Tim Connolly, fragile as ever, has proven all of us right (well, not ALL of us... I won't name names... but boy you look stupid, guy) with this season and his $4.75 million cap hit. He's missed about 15 games, which is actually on the low side, but has only scored 12 goals on the season. Which, incidentally, puts him five back of the aforementioned Drew Stafford and his $4 million cap hit. GLOATING IS FUN.
This may be tempting fate. Hell, having this blog at all may be tempting fate, so fuck it. These are two games that the team should win and has to win to make the playoffs. They are a gift from the hockey gods in the midst of an otherwise troubling last bit of games, and I am looking forward to a couple of nights where I don't sit down for the game with a deep and lingering sense of dread. The little things, folks.
Hoping like hell for a win tonight. Make it happen, boys.
Let's Go Buffalo.
Ryan Miller: arraigned on charges of grand larceny this morning. That French-Canadian justice system is a bitch.
I really should stop drinking so much on nights when I'm on game recap duty. Yet, even with the three shots of Jameson - one, inexplicably, in celebration/mourning for Raphael Diaz' first NHL goal - and four tall boys of Labatt Blue, the message of the Sabres victory over the Canadiens was not hard to see.Ryan Miller is good at hockey.One of the things that we fans often get hung up on after a bad Sabres loss over the past few years is the need for Miller to steal games. Often, after a tight game where the offense struggles to get going and Miller lets in a couple of softies, we hear a chorus of criticisms directed towards #30 as people question whether he is the real deal, whether he''ll ever regain that Olympic form, and whether this team can possibly win a Cup with him playing potentially human - as opposed to superhuman - hockey. While I think there is certainly merit in the discussion that follows some particularly disappointing games - last Friday's against Carolina, for instance - I tend to be pretty frustrated with such rash criticisms of Miller because such arguments appear to blatantly disregard performances like the one we just saw.Like the Carolina game, this was not a game the Sabres deserved to win. However, for whatever reason, Miller's game was elevated to a second gear and the team was able to ride his coattails. His 40 saves on the night, 14 of which were in the first period while the Sabres could only muster 3 shots in response, were the reason why the Sabres won tonight. Where Friday's game saw him exposed by pretty unstoppable scoring chances, t
onight's game saw him in complete and utter control. And, where Friday's game was begging for him to lock it in and create just a little breathing room for the offense to finally find its legs and toss a couple pucks in the net, tonight's game included just that - a Ryan Miller performance that keeps the Sabres in it, despite the fact that they look sluggish and uninspired and outmatched by an arguably weaker opponent. Eventually and perhaps unsurprisingly, with as much talent as this Sabres team has, the tying and go-ahead goals came and Miller's herculean effort was rewarded by the "just enough"
production of the skaters in front of him.Maybe it's the booze, combined with my adoration for Miller generally, but - conceding that we do get maddening and disappointing nights from Miller sometimes - it seems like we get the superhuman, game-stealing (or at least game-preserving)
version of #30 way more often than some fans give him credit for. It's for that reason, particularly as we trudge through these opening weeks of the season, still so far from the games that really matter, that I have a lot of faith in where this team can go...and specifically where Miller can take them.
But, enough about my man crush on the lanky and semi-awkward-looking gentleman from Michigan. Other things I noticed between the Jameo shots and checking in on the progress of the #ParlezVousMyBallsYouFrenchBitches hashtag on Twitter::
- The team looked fucking awful in the first period, and it seemed that many of those mistakes were in execution, rather than decision-making. This may be insignificant in the end - mistakes are mistakes, after all - but I gotta think that mistakes in execution can actually be more frustrating for the players on the ice, since the players are "doing the right things" but are still finding a way to fuck up. Take, for example, Tyler Myers' slip behind Miller's net and subsequent giveaway-leading-to-Habs-scoring-chance (inappropriate hyphenization!). You can't say that Myers made a bad choice or decision...he just fucking fell. Maybe you can call it a mental error in some sense, though I really don't expect Myers to be thinking much at that moment - I only expect him to be skating without falling on his face. Either way, with all of those "oops, we look like a crappy ECHL team" moments from the first period, it was good to see the guys generally keep their wits about them and battle through the bad play.
- I enjoy fighting in hockey because of nights just like this. Cody McCormick's second period spat with Moen was the quintessential momentum-shifter, and was probably the second most important part of the game apart from Miller's play. As I briefly discussed with a few guys on Twitter last night, I concede that there is a side of fighting that makes me pretty conflicted about the larger question of its role in the sport. I also think it goes without saying that there are nights when a hockey fight has no effect on the outcome of a game and when the desired impact on momentum simply isn't felt. Yet, I think the same can be easily said about bone-crushing hits which arguably carry more potential for injury and are often used as a way to get a game's momentum shifting the other way. Hockey is a violent and beautiful sport, and the successful teams find the right balance - a balance that helps them win - between the violence and the beauty. Is fighting sometimes stupid? Sure, but - for me - that doesn't mean it doesn't have a place in the sport. It only means that teams need to pick their spots, as with all facets of their game, to figure out how a well-timed fight can have a positive impact on getting two points.
- Because we need to recognize it even when the Sabres win... that game had some awful, one-sided officiating. At least two of the five Sabres penalties were phantom calls, which were made particularly infuriating by the chippy shit the refs were letting slide from the Habs. With the atmosphere at the Bell Centre, and the apparent effect on the be-striped queefs on skates, I think it's probably fair to say that the Canadiens routinely have a significant home-ice advantage that extends to how their games are called.
- This is not a game note so much as a New York City note... but God Bless Kelly's Sports Bar. For the unacquainted, Kelly's is a Bills & Sabres bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (also catering to Cubs, Gators and Tottenham fans) which offers buckets of tallboy cans of Labatt Blue. I know that Scizz has written about the fan experience in NYC before, and particularly about how the available gameday options make it easier to stay in a city so far removed from Buffalo and its teams, so I won't overstate the theme here. Needless to say, last night was yet another example, and it was nice to see so many supporters make it out to the bar so early in the season.
- We're all agreed that we can stop griping about Thomas Vanek, right? I mean, I personally gave up on it a couple seasons ago, but the rest of you have caught up by now, correct? Good, because the next person I see or hear bash Vanek is getting verbally undressed. For all the pining that fans still do for Drury and the golden age of post-lockout Sabres hockey, Vanek has developed into as consistently dominant player as you can hope for in a Sabres uniform. Before our eyes, this guy is showing us that the real golden age is now. 4 goals, 4 assists in 5 games is simply absurd.
- For the record, you can all gripe about Derek Roy if you so choose. The stats don't really support it - a goal and three assists, with a +4, is just fine I guess - but, with the exception of the Carolina game, he's seemed pretty absent to my untrained and drunken eyes. I'd love to see him step it up a little over the coming weeks. Four shots on goal through five games is not going to get it done.
Next game is Thursday night in Florida as the Sabres play the Panthers. The Cats have been playing some decent hockey this season, including the strong 7 goal showing against Tampa Bay on Monday night, so I really do hope that the Sabres can give Miller a little more goal support in Sunrise. It looks like the Deeg may be out in force again on Thursday night, as Yachtsman will be free of Hanson-related commitments
, so be sure to check back later in the week for more Sabres-related posts from as-of-yet-undetermined members of the DGWU Crew. In the meantime, enjoy my embedding skills (cut & paste, bitches!) and the highlights from last night, in case you missed them and don't know how to type nhl.com in your browser.
Follow me on Twitter
. And check the whole DGWU Sports
Crew as well.
Besides being a well-known critic, I'm pretty sure this guy is required by law to inform you when he moves into your neighborhood.
On Saturday the DGWU crew (and Joe!
) recorded our newest episode of the CrapTastiCast
. We then proceded to drink high alcohol-content beers for several hours. I of course followed this up by returning home, drinking more, and then returning to Manhattan with the Yachtsman for more booze partaking. Needless to say on Sunday I was battling a vicious hangover. With my body destroyed and nothing to, I decided to watch some movie trailers online. After watching seven or eight of the blockbusters that are sure to make this summer both very lucrative and nerd-filled, an idea popped in my head. What if there was away I could combine two of my dearest passions? No, not Cadbury Cream Eggs and flash frying (hint: that has already been done, and it is amazing
). I’m talking about summer movies and the Buffalo Sabres. Both are highly entertaining, force me to fill myself with unhealthy food and drink, and in the end, mostly infuriate me. Thus this un-educated brainchild was born. Each movie’s title and release date will be followed by the trailer, and then the best corresponding Sabres personality. I also decided to split the review into four separate sections; May today, with June, July, and August following in the next couple of weeks. Welcome to the Scizz Summer Movie Preview: Sabres Edition - May 2011
Thor - May 6th
I realize this film has been out for almost two weeks now, but it is still killing it at the box office and I have yet to see it. Thor, of course is based on the Marvel comic and is the story of an Asgardian God that has been exiled from his home to Earth. There, he must help a hot-ass Natalie Portman to save the world. Who else better than Tyler Myers fits the role of a hammer-wielding God of thunder put in charge of saving the day? Psycho T landed on planet Buffalo in 2010 and we immediately saw a guy that could help win the Cup (aka save the world). He is developing before our eyes
and already plays like a superhero. Plus Thor has to battle ugly ice giants and that only led to one thought; Zdeno Chara, anyone?
Bridesmaids - May 13th
I know what you are thinking. “How dare you compare Nathan Gerbe to a movie all about women in dresses!!!”, but please hear me out. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this film. Apparently at the genius direction of Paul Feig and the acting of SNL member Kristen Wiig, they created a piece of work that is not what it seemed to many of us at first sight. It is a wedding movie with a mostly female cast that has the comedy style of Old School and Hangover, even though it appears to be a chick flick on the surface. Now how many of you last season thought Nathan Gerbe was just an undersized player that would never be a fan favorite or emotional team leader? SEE! The little guy may not look like a big, bruising star but when he amps up, fans go nuts and he can the push team to victory (see spin-o-rama on 4/8/2011
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - May 20th
I look to the famous Johnny Depp character of Captain Jack Sparrow for this comparison. Although not a captain (yet), Roysie was an alternate and is definitely considered a team leader. Before he went down this season he was having a career year and was considered by many to be one of the only players on the team that appeared to give a shit. Cap’n Jack also has a certain cockiness and flamboyance that reminds me of Roysie during his now infamous and bizarre nights on Chippewa
. Plus, I have always said that if I could party with a celebrity, it would be Depp, and if I have a choice to hit the town with a Buffalo Sabre, you better believe it will be with this Kangol hat wearing sunovabitch!
The Hangover Part 2 - May 26th
There. I finally said his name again. Much like the first film, Hangover Part 2 involves a group of friends getting hammered and trying to remember the night before? This is exactly how I feel about Butler after watching his playoff performance. I keep trying to remember all the good stuff he did at the end of the regular season, but it has proven to be quite difficult. I am continually searching for clues about what exactly happened that may have turned him into the doorstep of that first round series. Speaking of which, if anyone happens to know if Dmitri Kalinin was seen around Buffalo or Philadelphia from April 14 - 26, please contact @TheScizz
That does it for the May round of the Summer preview. Check back in the next few days for my look at the films of June and the Sabres that best represent them. I'll deal with mutants, cosmic heroes, government secrets, and a comedic woman....and then I'll write about the movies! ZING!
It was either this or a picture of Peter Cetera
Oops. With all of the craziness of this playoff series and the busy work week that everyone in the DGWU Crew have (and the raging hangover I was dealing with yesterday), nobody noticed that yesterday was the two year anniversary of this ludicrous blog. You might be asking yourself, "two years? I thought you just started this scribble page?". False. We actually got together and started this website two years ago with a live NFL draft blog
and went on to post quite regularly. Of course we didn't even have remotely the following we have now and would sometimes go entire weeks without posting if we happened to be on a benderrrrrrrrrrrrr I mean working really hard at our day jobs. Eventually we just stopped altogether. About a year later the three of us were out in a bar for yours truly's birthday when in a drunken haze I said "we should get the blog going again". And BOOM, here we are to help you waste time at work and give you fits from the stupidity that we type.
So alas, we all missed the big day. But after licking my wounds Monday (emotionally and emotionally), I figured I'd jump on here and if give you a little journey into the past before the big game seven tonight. I for one am confident that the Buffalo Sabres are going to pull this out, but am still nervous as hell. So much like my past compilations to keep your mind off of the game, here is a little celebration of some of the crap we've posted. Happy Anniversary!
I've determined that I can in fact reference an episode of The Simpsons in everything I write
-First thing first, read Yachtsman's semi-expose and "discussion" of Larry Quinn
from April 2009. Now that Leisure Suit Larry is out of the organization I enjoyed reading it even more. Note: It is epic-ly long so be prepared to take a bathroom break somewhere around the point he goes on a tirade about the LaFontaine trade.
-Then take a quick stroll over to May 2009 for a quick write-up on Bills fullback Corey McIntyre
. Nothing groundbreaking there, but when it went down we were one of the first blogs/websites to pick it up and got some attention for it, including a shout out from Deadspin.
-Also check out the Apologist's post from May 2009 in which he ties up some loose ends
. Pay most attention to that first loose end because now he is destroying anyone who comes near his goalie.
-This one made me chuckle. Yachtsman on a tear again
in June 2009.
-How about some old Sabres news on our youngsters
to bring back some memories?
-I enjoyed writing this fictional tale of the Buffalo Metro.
It is amazingly stupid and if you don't know the movie it will probably be painful to read, but you know what? I ENJOYED IT!!!!!! WHY CAN'T I BE HAPPY FOR ONCE??????? Sorry about that.
-Finally, we move to February 2011 right after my birthday. Yachtsman on why we get the band back together
. Naturally, we have not stuck to the schedule presented there one bit, but I say fuck it. We're having a good time on this blog and thats all that matters. That and the return of Derek Roy with a Royigame seven victory tonight.
Roysie with a Bills hat on? That can't be a good sign.
Check back later for some pre-game thoughts and possibly some other rambling posts. And I know we have cross-promoted a ton with the guys over at Black & Blue & Gold, but you have to read Phil's post on Richards' hit on Connolly.
According to BuffaloBills.com lead journalist, Chris Brown (there's an excellent metaphor waiting to be written here, but I'm only halfway through my coffee), John DiGiorgio's recovery from a torn ACL is going well. Although he is not at 100% yet and has been unable to perform in mini-camp, he is aiming at being ready to go once training camp starts. The note of interest in the article is that apparently Jauron & Co. are asking DiGiorgio to learn all three linebacker positions...