So. Nathan has been returned to Portland, but Timmy made the cut. As much as I love my little Gerbe Derby, TK was better than him in the preseason. Darcy, I approve.
Mike Weber has also been returned, and while I’m sure he’s pissed as hell, his preseason performance makes me think he needs a bit more time getting ready for the NHL. He bugged me.
As I’m writing this Tyler hasn’t been sent back to juniors yet, and I think this is a good thing. I’m not saying he’s ready for full-time NHL duties yet, but he at least needs those nine days to see what he has to do improve on. With Toni and Drew hurt, the least we can do is give him a chance.
Supposedly Jose is starting tomorrow night in Boston. This really angers me. Varly for starter!!!
REAL HOCKEY IS BACK TOMORROW!!!!
Hey man. What’s up? How was your summer? I hope it was nice. I’m not quite sure how it couldn’t be with beautiful children like yours.
So, listen, Lala. You were in net last night against Toronto to prepare for the workload you should expect this season since Ryan’s simply too fragile to play a crapload of games AND the Olympics. But here’s the thing: you weren’t very good. Now, I realize I didn’t watch so I probably shouldn’t comment, but giving up six goals against Toronto is never good. Promise me you’ll work on this since from now on it will actually matter? Thanks bunches.
P.S. Remember, any time you need a babysitter, I’m just a phone call away.
Watch out, Pittsburgh. We’re coming for blood.
(Also, Michael, get your act together; Sasha, for the love of vodka, don’t get hurt; David, I love you unconditionally and can’t wait to see you win EVERY SINGLE FACEOFF you take; Lars, y’all gonna be crazy good this year; Varly, I have faith that you’ll be the starting goalie; Mike Knuble, I’m counting on you to make the top line [Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble] the most insane line evah; the defense, collectively, please play a teeny tiny bit better [read: learn how to play defense]; Alex, score 60 goals, repeat with the Hart and Maurice Richard trophies, and steal that Art Ross away from Geno.)
Let’s go Caps!
Last night the Caveman faced the Sabres, and even though Clarkey and Nathan both scored, it was the Caveman’s team that won in the end.
That makes me sad.
So. The time has come to prepare a post previewing the Sabres. Where to begin? The Sabres were a mess last season, to be perfectly honest. Playoffs two years in a row, then no playoffs two years in a row, then they beat the Red Wings and the Caps in the preseason. Yes, I know we lost Drury and Briere, but seriously, dudes? Get over it. They weren’t the only players on this team.
The thing with these Sabres is that I can never decide if any of them have individual talents, or games like that 10-2 win over Edmonton are just a complete fluke. Yes, Thomas Vanek is good at putting the puck in the net. Yes, Tim Connolly is fabulous when he’s not lying in a hospital bed in a full body cast. Ryan Miller is frustratingly inconsistent, but when he’s on, good grief, is he on. Patrick Kaleta isn’t half-bad at throwing hits. Sir Christopher has a bright future ahead of him.
But I’m not sure if these Sabres are good enough to take the next step. Yes, if Gomez hadn’t taken out Miller we probably would have made the playoffs. But after seeing how the other teams played in the postseason, there’s an excellent chance that the Sabres would have been slaughtered in the first round. It would have painful, and it would have been ugly.
Darcy promised big changes this summer, so he let my Caveman go and signed Steve Montador in his place, and he brought back Mike Grier. Woo. Way to go, Darcy. Grier will (hopefully) be able to keep the whiny brats on this team in line, but that’s about it. He also signed about 27 enforcers and “gritty” players, so, you know, watch out, league. (I actually have a theory that Darcy watched Slapshot one too many times before free agency started and he wanted to be like the Chiefs and just beat up every team. If it’s old time hockey we’re going to be putting up with, I at least want a Killer.)
One thing Darcy didn’t do that we were all expecting was dump some of our dead weight. Yes, Max is gone, but we still have Hank and Jochen. Man, did those two frustrate me last season.
You know who else frustrated me? Jason Pominville. Jason effing Pominville. He was all cute and adorable and point-producing two years ago and then last season he completely sucked. It was awful.
Thomas Vanek was on track for fifty goals last season (remember when I was all freaked out that he would score more goals than Alex? Heh.) and then he broke his jaw. He’s definitely our best goal-scorer and I’d appreciate it if he could keep that up this year. I’m also counting on Derek Roy to be our best point-producer. Come on, Royzie. Do it for Kyle.
I’d really like some of the Portland kids to get a chance up here, but I’m not sure if that’ll happen or not since we don’t exactly have loads of roster space to give away. Gerbe and Kennedy might be ready to make the jump, but it really depends on who plays well in training camp and who else undergoes surgery right before the start of the season. Adam Mair.
Another concern is the Olympic Break. Yes, it will give some of our guys a chance to rest up, but not Ryan Miller. It became rather apparent two seasons ago that our fragile little goalie can’t handle playing a long season. The Olympics are kind of intense, and they’re going to exhaust him if he ends up being named the starting goalie.
I’m not going to make any predictions about this team, because I honestly don’t know where they’ll end up in the conference. What I do know is that they really are quite similar to the team we saw last year, and that team didn’t do a whole heck of a lot. Out of the playoffs is out of the playoffs, no matter what place you’re in.
Just a few personal letters to some of the players:
You just keep doing what you’re doing.
We gave you that contract extension because we believed in you, but you were kind of awful last season. Let’s just put the past in the past and move on. You can play better than you did. I believe in you.
Keep the little bastards in line.
Dear Sir Christopher,
I decided to make you my project this year, which means I love you even more and pay extra special attention to you. Not that there’s any pressure, I promise. I thought you were chivalrous and great player last year, and with even more time to grow and develop, you’ll get even better. Good luck, my young knight. May the force be with you.
Don’t forget your toothbrush on the road trips, sweetie!
I could rage and scream and stomp about and proclaim that Ryan Miller is the WORST GOALIE EVER and that he SUCKS MAJORLY after he let in that penalty shot last night, but I was watching Sabres hockey on TV and they won and Goose was the captain. Really, I have nothing to complain about at all.
I didn’t pay all that much attention to the game since I was reading, but I had it on and saw all the goals. Good job, Sabres. You looked a little questionable in the third, but all in all, you got the win.
Word on the street is that Patches might get moved to forward. Even though we have like six bajillion forwards as it is, I endorse this move. I always thought he made a better forward anyway.
How DARE Cody McCormick try to look good so he could stick around? Where did he get the audacity to do such a thing? We don’t want him!!
Knuble scored twice, Alex scored twice (aaahh my love!!) and Lars added a goal (whee!!), which means I get to use one of the pictures I took at the game last Thursday:
I think I’m finally going to get around to posting my season previews this weekend. (That’s right. I did two. Woo for secondary teams!!) A note of warning: They’re not very good. I wrote them back over Labor Day weekend, and I’ve come to find that when I write a post and save it to use later, they’re always pretty bad. It’s the ones I bang out in about ten minutes that are a bit funnier. So I’ll reread them and decide if I want to show them to the public. I probably will, just for the heck of it.
P.S. Hey, guys, I don’t know if you realized it or not, but THERE WILL BE ACTUAL NHL HOCKEY IN ONE WEEK!! AAAHHH!!! REAL, OH CRAP WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO WIN THESE GAMES HOCKEY!
Right now, I’m sitting on my couch eating cake, studying for a test and watching the Sabres. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Also, Tyler Myers is huge. Absolutely, insanely huge.
Orchard Park’s Homecoming is this weekend, which means this week is Spirit Week. A day that’s always included in Spirit Week is “Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day.” That day was today. I saw way too many Kane jerseys and t-shirts, but props to the girl who wore the Iginla shirt.
When I walked into orchestra sporting my Ovechkin jersey, my friend Christian (who doesn’t follow hockey but listens to me ramble about it) asks me, “Is that the boyfriend or the one you’re cheating on the boyfriend with?” Haha, Christian. You’re funny.
I had previously thought one of my friend’s boyfriends couldn’t talk, but he and I actually had a lovely conversation about how much we dislike Crosby after we saw a girl in a Crosby jersey walking by.
And those are my Jersey Day stories.
The Sabres played the Capitals last night, and since the Hockey Gods are apparently punishing me for some heinous crime I don’t recall committing, I was unable to watch or listen to the game. Anne was kind enough to text me updates, however, so I learned of Staffy and PK’s goals and Goosie’s penalties. (Dear Sasha, Stop hitting crossbars. With Love, Frostee) I’m bummed the Caps lost, but I’m happy that the Sabres were able to win two straight games. How’s THAT for accountability!!
I’m also bummed when I remember that it’s the preseason and doesn’t count and might not even be a decent indicator of what this team will do this year.
So yeah. I fully anticipate watching the game tomorrow night. It’ll be fun.
Oh, by the way, I have MORE PROOF. Watch this at the 8:06 mark. Actually, you can and should watch the whole thing, but the proof occurs after the aforementioned time. Two things:
1.) Dude, he’s got a video camera and he’s taping Alex. That’s beyond adorable. Like, I can’t even begin to describe how much I love that.
2.) He is wearing his shirt. For real. I’m not making this up.
It’s kind of scary how finding as many instances of Papa O wearing the same shirt as I can has become a hobby of mine. But it’s fun. He’s hilarious.
Remember a few weeks back when I discussed how it appears as though Papa Ovechkin only has one shirt?
Well, I was right.