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 http://lokihockey.tumblr.com/
Dominic Hasek: Working out for his big comeback. This involves vodka, pilates, vodka, 117 cortisone injections, and vodka. Handsome. Man.
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. Der
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 oops
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?
Sad. And adorable.
The Barrister & The Scizz
It was a rainy, misty, shitty day in New York City on Thursday. The perfect setting for our second installment of Infinite Sadness, one of the peripheral cogs in the Deeg Podcast Industries. Scizz, still sitting in the solitude of his sobriety, and I, still sitting in my own sweat and overworked misery, got together via Skype to discuss some of the more recent sports news that makes us infinitely sad.
While the arc of our conversation is often tangential, we touch on the NHL playoffs and how it's been to watch hockey suddenly get big in the big market of NYC, and then have a reflective discussion on how unsurprised we are to see that the Buffalo Sabres have not invited us and our stockpile of dick jokes to attend next month's Blogger Summit. Hint: It's Scizz's fault. Second Hint: It's also Alex Sulzer's fault.
This was a ton of fun to make, as always, and includes musical interludes from Incubus, Ben Folds Five and Biggie Smalls. Enjoy by streaming or downloading below.
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Let me start by saying that I love what dear old Scizz wrote the other night
. I cued this piece of mine up by promising a rebuttal on Twitter
, but really the only thing that guaranteed was that I'd actually write something, and not that I'd sit down with the intention of tearing Scizzer a new asshole. Besides, it was I that started the heckles for Miller the other night; I who have relentlessly criticized similar behavior of other Sabres fans from time to time. Fact is, I was drunk, I had busted my ass to organize a trip out to the Island for this game, and I was pissed. Miller pulled it out in the end, and provided me with another reason to sit down and be honest, just like my compatriot.
Let that hate flow through you.
The BarristerTuesday night, hopped up on a questionable cup of post-11 pm iced coffee, I put together a post about our Bills and Sabres in which I talked about the weirdness of the current state of things. Around 2 am, my laptop froze and I lost yet another post. It's altogether possible - nay, likely - that it was awful. Meh.Well, after a long ass Wednesday, topped off with a CrapTastiCast that is equal parts drivel and dick jokes, as well as a Sabres game that wasn't that much different, I've struggled through my morning with not a little bit of rage and there are a few things I need to unleash here on the Deeg, I just assume hit you all with some bullet points. Needless to say, while I'll do my best to be coherent, this may be all over the place.
- Ryan Miller, I hope you're in there somewhere, because that was a rough outing. To be frank, you reminded me of those afternoons when I'd play goalie and get absolutely lit up in hockey at Gloria J. Parks. I was awful, and so were you. Good news is that you can fix it. Get angry, imagine Bucky Gleason being eaten alive by flesh-eating ants, and find your form. We all like it more when you're great.
- Sabres fan base (myself and my Deeg compatriots included*), STFU about Miller needing to be benched long term and about that interview he gave last night. Take a moment and understand that Miller got embarrassed last night. He is a world-class goaltender, without dispute, and he's a player full of pride. He's also a player who is consistently disinterested with "saying the right things" in an interview when he's really stewing over a loss. That anger and firm desire to get better and do better is, as has been apparent from watching him for a half-dozen years, what motivates him. If you want to sit back and require him to apologize to fans in some moment of penitence, you are asking him to change one of the things that makes him great. We already have Jason Pominville for the perfect soundbite about "the fans deserve better, we can be better" fluff comments. That's why he's the goddamn captain. Seriously Sabre fans, if you love this team at all, stop being so fucking absurd. (*neither me nor the rest of the league need to STFU. We're awesome.)
- It's November 3rd, and the Sabres are 6-5. That is not good. But, with a team still settling into the season with a lot of new faces, there is no credible argument that this team is no good and is destined for failure yet again. I mention this only because there are plenty of Sabres fans and media personalities making this argument, or some absurd version of it, with a straight face and no hint of self-awareness. Not to mention the following facts: (a) The Sabres are in 8th place, with games in hand over many of the teams above them in the East, including two games in hand over the first place Penguins who are only 6 points ahead. (b) Through 11 games last year, the Sabres were 3-6-2. Yeah, I like this version of the team better, too.
- Despite much of my rage being aimed at a seemingly asinine fan base who can't fully utilize the blessings of rational thought, and despite the fact that - as I noted above - it's too fucking early, and the team is still pretty ok, for us all to sound off against the summer signings, this must be said: WHAT THE EFF ARE YOU DOING VILLE? Up against your old team, with a chance to show some fire on the ice and prove that you might just be worth the Scrooge McDuck piles of hydrofracking gold that Terry is dropping off to your home every couple weeks, and you are one of the most invisible guys on the ice. In case you haven't noticed, you have lucked out by being signed by one of the best franchises in the league with one of the best fan bases. You have before you a community of hockey fans who are itching to cheer their asses off for you, and all you need to do is just show us something. We don't even need gaudy numbers, we just need some fucking effort. I know you got used to the shit fanbase in Philly and their tendency towards verbal and physical violence when they don't see championships, but you're playing for a different kind of fan now. We lived for years on a hard-working, Mike Peca-led team with no talent outside of the goaltended position. Try hard, Ville, and you'll be a god to us. SO FUCKING DO IT.
- Pat Kaleta may get suspended for head-butting / head-ramming some tool from the Flyers in the face. The video is here. Suspension or not, I'm pretty sure there should be exceptions written into the NHL Rulebook so that head shots could be excused when the vicitmized player has a midget fetish. Now, I'm not saying that Voracek likes little people. I'm just sayin'.
There, I feel better. To be honest, as angry and frustrated as I am about these, and other, things in Sabreland, there remains plenty to be cautiously happy about, and I hope this team puts a string of wins together so we can go back to talking about how great Vanek-Adam-Pominville are playing, and about how we love watching itty-bitty Nathan Gerbe prove night after night that he deserves to be in the league. With games coming up against the bottom-dwelling Flames and over-achieving Senators, your guess is as good as mine with respect to whether this Sabres team bounces back with a couple of games that help us to turn off our rage. Like what I said? Hate it? Think I'm a sanctimonious pile of shit? (me too!!)Leave a comment below, or tell me I'm an idiot on Twitter. Faceless Internet Potshots FTW.
Enjoy not getting a Cup, dick
This may change. But, for now, Ville Leino - Sabre Killer - will be donning the Blue and Gold next season, and beyond. Brad Richards is a Ranger, the Sabres are right up against the Cap with roster spots left to fill, and we're left in the lurch for a little bit.
I didn't watch Game 6 live. Or, at all. I was listening on WGR at an Easter party, somehow having allowed my wife to win the day. The rest of the crew was in Hoboken, with the Scizz's family, and while I was jealous at the time, the way the game played out made me feel a little better. I didn't piss off my wife and even though I was still deeply entrenched in the heartbreak of that loss, somehow the fact that I didn't actually see it made it a little easier to stomach. Well, that and the absurd amounts of liquor and delicious treats at the Easter party.
For that reason, Ville Leino's signing with the Sabres did not carry as much emotional impact for me. In fact, it wasn't until I heard reporting about the deal yesterday that I actually learned who scored that OT winner in Game 6. As soon as RJ began the goal call that day, I remember immediately closing WGR on my phone and tossing it in my pocket. I wasn't going to live through another second, and somehow I could pretend it didn't happen if it only lasted a split-second.
Such is the neuroses of yours truly. I've gotten better at with years of practice.
As the twitter-followers amongst you may know, the DGWU Crew took to the bar last night, like we do, and were joined by @JoeBuffaloWins and @davekellynyc. Our own little Sabres tweetup, if you will. When we planned this impromptu venture, our spirits were high. The Sabres had just signed Ehrhoff, and after the signings of Regehr and Gerbe and Stafford, my god we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. And with the Brad RIchards sweepstakes about to start the next day, our eyes were getting really big. Pegula had brought this bizarre and, frankly, disconcerting sense of entitlement to this off-season, and we were ready to get the big fish. We convinced ourselves that these deals were setting up the kill of B Rich, and boy did we want to believe it.
Yesterday worked out a little differently after all was said and done. After feeling as joyous and ready to make a Cup run as we were Thursday morning, we fans are now scrambling to justify a new set of emotions by the time evening hit. And, with those emotions shifting and evolving over the course of the day yesterday, a lot of us found ourselves taking positions opposite ones we had held only minutes before.
Such is the neuroses of the Sabres fan base. Again, years of practice.
The good news, after we cut through all the self-serving justifications of our own positions, is that the Sabres are likely not done. Darcy made it clear in the Leino signing presser that there were deals left to make, trades to work out, and that the remaining time this summer will surely be give us fans more news to dissect and dwell upon. In fact, with only $1.3 million in cap space left, and only 19 players under contract, you can all but guarantee that something will happen to shake up the team a little bit more.
But, after all the focus on a 1st line center, and with the Sabres blogosphere making it abundantly clear that this was the priority in the off-season, what if that upgrade isn't out there? What if this is what we got for 2011-12 - Roy, Leino, Hecht, Goose, Adam? Can our dreams of a Cup survive with those bodies centering our lines? Do we even buy that Leino can still play the position after giving it up completely at the NHL level? Sure, Lindy seemed confident in that fact yesterday during the presser, but this is also the same master of obfuscation that gives us half-truth injury reports. I want to believe Lindy, and hell, I actually like Leino a lot. But, after dreaming big for the past week, I think we're all entitled to feel a little down.
Even so, the fact is that so many of the moments of depression over missing out on Richards are largely off-set by the following points: (1) The Sabres are better now than they were last week, (2) The Sabres have established themselves as a destination for top-tier talent in the league, (3) every player in the league is coming to realize how much Pegula cares about making this team better (see comments from Regehr, Ehrhoff and Leino re: how much Terry had learned about each of them before making his pitch), and (4) Brad Richards will NEVER win a Cup in New York. See? Don't you feel better?
So, with deals to still be done - out of necessity, really - we fans can rest easy that this team will keep getting better and keep getting closer to being a Cup contender over the next month or two. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if something happened in the moments that it takes me to finish up this post (I just checked....disappointed I wasn't right on that one...). Maybe they won't get that first line center after all, but maybe that guy will be out there next year, or maybe via trade during the season. But, even though our short-term dreams have been dashed, we're still living in a new reality of possibilities for this team and its future. And, as I often say, we're not in the room when these deals are made, but for the first time in years I am resting easy and have surplus of confidence in the team's front office.
On our walk west down 33rd street from Rattle N Hum last night, Joe from Buffalo Wins and I chatted a little bit about this new-found optimism, and I took the opportunity to StreetCast the conversation. You can check it out here:
Our dreams are still alive and well, just adjusted a little bit. This is going to be a GREAT year for the Sabres and for us fans. Let's Go Buffalo.
In honor of a dear friend who texted me last night, and also in honor of the Friendship Festival (does that still happen?? The google says IT DOES), I'll take us out with some levity from one of my favorite Canadian, Moxy Früvous, who found a second home in Buffalo over the years, and who I also saw play the Festival in 1997 or so. Miss you guys, and miss you Herm. I do not, however, miss '90s fashion. Yikes.