Archive | April 2010

Playoff Post #1: What the Balls, Buffalo?

The last two games of this series have been painful to watch (or if you’re me, painful to watch part of only to get dragged away by a prior commitment). It’s not even like we’re getting outplayed that badly. That is the kicker (at least to me). Last game we actually out shot the Bruins 33-29.

For me, Sabres hockey this season is simple. Hit the corners hard, make a couple passes, throw the puck on net, win the small battles, scrounge for rebounds and put the puck away. The only part of that entire equation that happened on Monday was hitting the corners. It seemed to me we beat the Bruins to the corner every play. Our depth guys are keeping this team alive because, well, they do what they’re supposed to do. They crash the net. The out work the opponent down low, they hit the corners hard, THEY MAKE THE SIMPLE PLAY.

Our only goal last game came on what looked to me like a simple play. Raffi Torres fed Mike Grier the puck on a simple through pass in the offensive zone. Grier threw the puck on net and right past Tukka Rask. Minor celebrations ensued.  That was it for scoring though.  The rest of the night saw the Sabres win puck battles in the offensive zone only to give up the puck later in the play. The Bruins D is collapsing on the puck carrier. What I mean is that two guys on defense are attacking one guy on offense. For those who aren’t so good with math that leaves someone on offense open every play.

Pass the puck to the open man and then shoot it. I know, I know… It’s the age old story. Ya know, that one guy who yells shoot when the puck is in the offensive zone. But on Monday night that really needed to happen. It’s alright to occasionally make the pretty play. Every now and then a forced play that is broken up is acceptable. However, that being said, every play can’t be a forced play. If a pass isn’t there don’t try it. I watched the puck get coughed up by our offense way too much last game. That can’t happen this game. Knowing Lindy, it won’t.

Cody McCormick has been called up from (the now golfing) Portland Pirates to add some beef to this bunch of sissies that call themselves a hockey team. I’m usually not for the offensive power forward but it is needed tonight. Seriously, I’m 6’0 and weigh 135 but I swear to you I could probably throw a better check those that I saw on Monday (I’m being a bit hyperbolic but still, you get the point). McCormick is 27 years old as of 4 days ago and has around 160 games of NHL experience. Needless to say, he is going to be hungry for ice time. Think Matt Ellis but gifted with a large frame and less wind.

Johnny Boychuck better be the first person on the Cody McCormick “To Do” list. The man needs to be dealt with. He can’t go around skating all willy-nilly thinking he can do whatever he wants. Hacking legs, laying massive open ice hits, causing trouble. Who does he think he is, Scott Stevens? Well he isn’t. And McCormick better prove it tonight. Oh and did I mention that McCormick lead Portland in penalty minutes this season? Well, he did. And I’m okay with that.

I got a hold of Cody McCormick's "To Do" List

In conclusion, Tim Kennedy should never be allowed to go into the corners in the defensive zone ever again. I mean, sure I like to see someone backcheck but the poor guy got hung out to dry.

Poor Timmy K, he got destroyed by a guy twice his age. Never again, Sabres, never again.

Alright, that is all for now. The game is on at 7:00 on VS. So, there ya go Katebits, you get HD.

Until next time…

Go Sabres!


Error 404: Playoff Beard Not Found.

I love geek jokes. I hate that I can't grow a beard.

Yes, that’s me. Yes, I can’t grow a beard. Yes, it sucks.

You know what doesn’t suck? THE PLAYOFFS! Seriously, the playoffs rock. I am so ridiculously excited for tonight. Unfortunately I will not be able to watch the game. Shitty, I know. Don’t rub it in. Seriously, stop. I have to sing at a benefit tonight with my a Capella group tonight starting at, you guessed it, 7 PM. Lame. However the gig is a benefit concert so I feel great that I get to be a part of it.

You know what I’ve noticed about this year’s playoffs? Twitter. Twitter has been at the heart of numerous memes and jokes and news and all around awesomeness for this years’ playoffs. ThrowTheSnake started as a hash tag for T
witter and became a sensation for not only Phoenix (the team that it is based around) but also the entire hockey community. Basically, fans were told to throw plastic snakes on the ice in Phoenix in response to Detroit’s tradition of throwing squids on the ice before their games. It was the number one Twitter trend in Canada for a bit. UntrueLindyFacts was another another tag started by Buffalo fans. It’s basically Chuck Norris jokes but with a twist of Lindy Ruff. There are some good ones too. Twitter really took off for me at the start of these playoffs for me too. I’ve began chatting with Phil from Black Blue and Gold and Mike from Roll the Highlight Film about random things. Beards seem to come up more often than not. As of yesterday, Dani from Sabre Kallisions threw herself into the mix.

Twitter has become my favorite source of hockey news and talk. Seriously, if you don’t have a Twitter account, you need one. No hardcore fan will be able to go without one after they get into it. I literally don’t use it for anything but hockey. And that is just fine. Most people my age are all “Nah I don’t need no Twitter, that’s what Facebook is for. Plus I need to express my thoughts in more than 160 words. So, suck it Twitter.” But you don’t even need to say anything, you can just sit back and get news. It’s pretty awesome. Here’s who to follow: @Mirtle @Wyshynski @PhilBBG @mtracz @SabreKallision @Katebits @BanginPanger @TSNBobMcKenzie @HockeyWebcast @FTLT @joefromnycblog @TwoLinePass @BfloBlog @DarrenDreger @HIYLJ @3rdManIn @WGR550 @NicholasMendola OR Go to this page (click) and follow who you feel like.

While we’re on the subject of pimping other people’s stuff, Katebits at the Willful Caboose has the Bandwagoner’s Guide to the Galaxy Guide to the Buffalo Sabres. Basically, she is helping every new Sabres fan get to know the team for the playoffs. IT’S AWESOME. Even if you’re a hardcore fan, you need to check it out. It’s hilarious for any fan. On top of making teh funnys though, Katebits really knocks her facts outta the park. Read it. Now.

Also, Mike at Roll The Highlight Film presents his game preview. Unlike me, Mike isn’t super duper lazy. He actually like posts and stuff. On a consistent basis, too.  He posted a game preview for tonight (remember when I used to do that? Ah, those were the days. I will again soon…). I highly recommend reading it for tonight’s game. It’s goooooooood. And the perfect length.

So yeah. That’s all for now I guess.

I’m really excited for tonight’s game. Playoff hockey is a whole different monster. I’m excited to watch the Sabres come out and romp on the Bruins. Of all of the match-ups in the East for some reason, many people chose this as their “token upset”. Probably because it has the Sabres and even when we are good everyone likes to consider us middle of the pack. Sports writers don’t look at this team as one that can really make an impact. However, I think they are overlooking how mediocre the Bruins are this year. They had the lowest Goals per Game this season in the entire league and they are playing one of the stingiest D’s in the league not only on paper but in reality. Yes, they also had the second best Goals Against per Game in the league but that really only seems like a paper statistic for me. We can bust them open and score goals upon goals against them. That’s just what I think though. And really, who cares what I think? I know I don’t.

To those going to the Game, have fun! Know that everyone who didn’t go is soooo super dooper jealous of you.

To those going to the Plaza, have more fun than the people actually at the Game! Why? Because I said so damn it.

Game is on at 7:00 and I’m not exactly sure what channel it is on to be honest with ya.

Until next time (tomorrow likely)…

Go Sabres!

TRW’s Weekly Rewind Re-find: Northeast? More like North-beast.

Hey Hey Hey! Time for the weekly Rewind Re-find (which is becoming more semi-weekly than weekly). Time to Rewind the events of this past week.

Some of the new Shwag available for purchase at the Sabres Store. Picture taken by WBFO.

This past really wasn’t that eventful, game-wise. Last Thursday the Sabres took on the lousy Toronto Maple Leafs and didn’t exactly look what you and I would call “good”. Tyler Ennis picked up an assist further proving he is something special. The Sabres mustered a measly 22 shots and made JS Gigure look like a superstar. This was nothing, however, compared to what the Sabres did two nights later in Montreal. Jaroslav Halak picked up his second straight shutout in a game that saw the Sabres look sloppy. A friend told me the Sabres opted to take a walk in Montreal instead of practicing because it was a beautiful. I couldn’t find the story he read but I think that this is just god awful. No wonder we looked like shit out there, we were literally out to lunch.

Things changed on Tuesday night when the Sabres took on the New York Rangers. The Sabres manhandled the Rangers 5-2 with a goal and two assists coming from Tyler Ennis the Menace. This victory clinched the Northeast Division title for the Sabres which is pretty awesome. I wrote about it yesterday.

Moral of the rewind: There really isn’t one. Let’s just enjoy the playoffs.

Now time to re-find some articles from the past week. This week’s articles all come from within the past couple days.

  • After Tuesday’s win over the Rangers, Drew Stafford was seen sporting a “new” jacket. The white sport coat has been passed around the locker room to the player of the game for the past three games. It’s akin to the fake Duck that Spacho-3000 (Jaroslav Spacek) used to pass around last year. [The Buffalo News]
  • Keith Tkachuk is one unique player. After 19 long seasons in the NHL, Tkachuk is calling it quits. Here is Puck Daddy’s awesome review thingy of his career. [Puck Daddy]
  • Also in the realm of Puck Daddy, this week’s death watch is really quite interesting. At least in terms of the East where Philly, Boston, Montreal and New York are all fighting to stay alive. What makes it more interesting is the fact that Philly and New York close the season with a home and home series. [Puck Daddy]
  • The Sabres have signed prospect Luke Adam to a three year deal, according to Adam was one of the best players in the World Juniors and has really picked up a knack for goal scoring alongside his already physical play. [Sabres Prospects]
  • ALL HAIL OUR DRAFTING ABILITIES! ENNIS NAMED AHL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR! HOORAY! One year after Nathan Gerbe was named rookie of the year for the AHL, Tyler Ennis has been given the award. It really compliments our drafting team that we have this stellar young talent. Ennis also has 8 points in 7 NHL games. [Sabres]
  • WARNING: NOT HOCKEY: For all you New York Yankee Fans out there, my buddy Brian Sibbitts is trying to get his Yankee blog off the ground. It’s called Burning Bonx and it’s pretty good. Check it out, he’s new to blogging so cut him some slack. [The Burning Bronx]

Contrary to weekends of the past, this weekend is especially important. Why? Because it is the final weekend of the regular season. After this weekend, the stage will be set. We will know if the Rangers are actually going to be in the playoffs. We will know who the Sabres have to romp in the first round. We will know if San Jose is screwed or not. After this weekend, the real fun begins. Tonight brings a game against the Boston Bruins, who are struggling to remain in the playoff picture. A win by the Sabres tonight could really cause some chaos in the playoff picture. The Sabres take on Ottawa on Saturday in an attempt to finally beat them this season. Sunday has us playing the playoff bound Devils in a game that will help decide the fate of who wins 2nd place in the East.

Poll of the Weekend: This weekend’s poll touches upon the first round of the playoffs.

Quote of the Weekend: There has been much discussion about the race for the Calder (Rookie of the Year) as of late. It’s down to pretty much Tyler Myers or Jimmy Howard at this point. Everyone who has brain cells knows that it’s Tyler Myers. Everyone who doesn’t (most of us call them “Red Wings fans”) thinks it’ll be Jimmy Howard. My close friend Zack Steinberg, however, isn’t worried about it.

“I’m not worried about whether or not Myers will win the Calder. I mean, with the amount of Norris (defenseman of the year) trophies he is going to bring in it really doesn’t matter.”

There ya have it. I tend to agree with this statement.

Song of the Weekend: I really wanted to use another Reel Big Fish song this week for two reasons: 1.) They freaking rock. 2.) I’m going to see them this weekend at St. Lawrence University and it is going to be great. But alas, I did not because I gave you guys an RBF song last week. Instead I’ll hit  you guys up with a song by indie garage rockers the Tally Hall. It’s a super catchy song entitled “Good Day”. I hope ya dig it, I know I have been.

Weird but good. Good luck getting it out of your head.

Have an awesome final weekend everyone!

Game tonight against the Bruins is on at 7:00 on MSG. Sabres lead the season series 3-2.

Until next time…

Go Sabres!

It’s Official!

We clinched the Division! Yay us! We’re goin’ to Disney World! Well… Maybe not…

In other non-surprising news, Sabres playoff apparel is flying off the shelves at the Sabres Store. WHY WON’T THE REST OF THE COUNTRY WAKE UP AND REALIZE BUFFALO IS A HUGE HOCKEY MARKET. Anytime anything good happens hockey wise, the entire city freaks out and supports it 110 percent. It’s things like the Party in the Plaza, the record amount of merch we sell and our willingness to pay for tickets no matter how much were are price gauged that show that this town has a heart. And that heart bleeds Blue and Gold.

Speaking of merch, I totally condone a lot of the shirts over at Two Eight Nine Design. The “Tyler Myers towering over downtown Buffalo” shirt may be in my possession fairly soon. We’ll see if I pull the trigger.

In conclusion, Tyler Ennis scored last night and thus proved that he should be on this team in the playoffs. I already have an answer to the “Who should we bench in favor of him?” question. And it’s Adam Mair. But that’s a story for another day, children (a day that will probably come soon if Ennis keeps this up).

See you tomorrow/ Friday for the Rewind, Re-find.

I love you, too.

Until next time…

Go Sabres!