Um, Adam Mair got traded. That came out of nowhere. Darcy, are you up to something? Are there plots being plotted? I sincerely hope so, because I always sort of liked Adam and just waiving him for the sake of waiving him makes me sad. I realize that now that Danny is gone and he didn’t have to babysit him anymore there really wasn’t any point in keeping him around, but still. Best of luck in the world, Adam. I hope you find a loving home somewhere.
In other news:
- The Catwalk for Charity was last night. I’ve already seen lots of pictures, and it looked like a lot of fun. Christopher never fails to make me love him. Tyler looked adorable with the puppy. Paul looked kind of drunk. Maybe he is human after all!
- Butthead that he is, Alex thought he’d be all funny and freak me out and say he’d be 4-5 weeks. So not funny, Alex. And it only reinforced my belief that your sense of humor is lame.
- Everyone I know who was at the games over the weekend said they were even worse in person. That scares me. Sabres, let’s fix things for Wednesday night. Remember when you scored ten goals against the Oilers last year? That was tons of fun.
- Totally unrelated, but that was the same night Chara tried to kill Alex. There’s a freak-out in the post I linked above.
The Sabres played the Bruins tonight. They needed to rebound after a poor showing against the Flyers. They needed to show they can win in front of their backup. They needed to show they can play good teams and not just bad ones. (Although I don’t know if I’d necessarily call the Bruins a “legitimate contender” so far this season.) They needed two points taken in convincing fashion.
Too bad no one told them that.
This game was not fun. The Bruins were last in the league on the power play and Buffalo let them score more than once with the man advantage. Jhonas didn’t get a win. They kept showing Pie and it made me very sad. The Sabres let an “offensively challenged” team score four. It was a mess all around tonight and I’m starting to worry that this is where it all starts to go downhill.
Toronto beat Detroit 5-1. I don’t even know what to say to that. I’m speechless.
The Caps beat the Panthers 7-4. Smiley face! The Caps were winning then they were tied then they were losing then they were winning then they were tied then they won. The Lars-Flash-Mikey line was intense. They were scoring and assisting and being general badasses. Supposedly 13 Caps had points tonight. That’s spectacular, especially considering that Alex is still, alas, wounded. That’s not spectacular is that Semin didn’t have any. You suck, Sasha. I don’t like you.
Michael and Alexander were unable to play tonight, however, we were provided our fix of them thanks to Michael’s Twitter:
They’re too cute.
Michael has his stupid skinny tie on again.
I always liked that pink shirt of Alex’s.
He’s looking a little chunky.
I miss him.
We’ve got a few days off until the Sabres play again, and I’m really hoping they figure things out and decide who they want to be and all that sappy garbage. I don’t want them to fall apart. I like when they’re good. It’s more exciting.
I took the Dan Paille trade very hard. I know he spent almost the entire start of the season here in the press box and I know that Lindy seemed to dislike him or dislike playing him or something like. But I still loved him and I was still devastated when he got traded.
Enter Chris Butler’s interview from last night.
What a wonderful distraction from Danny. In addition to being a great player, Christopher is an attractive, well -spoken, articulate guy. We already knew that; I was blown away by his first game here. He was amazing during it and his postgame interview was 74 different kinds of cute. He was supposed to be an emergency call-up but he went and blew us all away and now he’s permanent. I’ve always had a thing for him, but last night I decided to go and make it official. Christopher Butler, we’re going to try a little experiment in which you’re my new favorite Sabre. Congratulations. Best of luck to you.
(An aside: I checked Wikipedia and while it has his parents’ names and his siblings names and ages, it doesn’t have his middle name. 1.) Gosh darn it. 2.) Why am I so fixated on middle names? It kind of creeps me out.)
(Another aside: Of course I still like you, Ryan! We’ll aways have something special, especially since I have a bobblehead of you. But for now, I’m trying things with Christopher. He seems more my type. And he’s quite a bit closer to my age.)
Last night’s first period was one of the best I’ve ever seen the Sabres play. I was flabbergasted. It was awesome. They just came out and started scoring and didn’t stop for twenty minutes. They weren’t nearly as good in the second and third period, but the first period was so B.A. that I’m willing to forgive them just this once.
I love Matt Ellis.
I love Tyler Myers.
I love the save Ryan Miller made.
I love the chemistry Timmy K and Mike Grier have.
Seriously, who pulls their goalie a minute into a game? And just for the record, I don’t really think the goalie change jump-started the rest of the players the way they had hoped.
I’m going to miss the first period of the Caps game tonight but after that I’ll be able to watch. I’m really excited. We all know how much I love when the Capitals play the Thrashers.
The family I’m selling my soul to babysitting for six hours Saturday night doesn’t have cable. I won’t be able to watch any hockey. At all. It’s going to be awful. Especially since while I won’t be watching hockey I’ll be having an allergy attack. I am allergic to cats, and putting the cat in your bedroom while I watch your children does not change that fact. I’m sorry.
I received very distressing news when I checked my phone after dinner today. Daniel Paille, my beloved, has been traded.
Excuse me while I go slit my wrists.
Like, SERIOUSLY, DARCY? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???!!! I DON’T CARE IF HE HAD A DROP-OFF IN PRODUCTION LAST SEASON. HE IS MY LITTLE DANNY AND I SHALL FOREVER LOVE HIM.
He’s probably going to flourish and have a career year in Boston just to spite us. Even though spite isn’t a word in Danny’s vocabulary. Sob.
I must confess something to you, Dear Readers: I worry for Dan Paille.
The poor dear didn’t play in the opener, and with Adam Mair returning to health and Tim Kennedy being cute and adorable and pretty darn good (bless his heart, he was being gritty and defending himself Saturday night!) I don’t see a roster spot opening up for him any time soon. And this is just me spitting up words without actually fact-checking, but isn’t his contract up after this season?
I know he’s not a crucial part of the team and after his breakout season two years ago he hasn’t done much other than make us coo, but I still love him. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if his time as a Sabre ends soon, but I know he’ll always have a special place in my heart, and I’ll always remember fondly the times we had together at Chef’s.
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 really thought the Sabres were going to lose last night. Well, actually, I thought they were going to win when it was 4-0, and then when it was 4-3 I thought they were going to lose. At the very least, I thought Miller would get a Ryan Miller Shutout. Oh well. They got two points. So did the Capitals. All in all, it was a good night for me last night.
Here’s the thing, though. The Sabres are not going to win tonight. If they beat the Montreal Canadiens tonight I will be more surprised than if they make the playoffs. This year’s edition of the Sabres does NOT win on the second night of back-to-backs. It’s just not something they do. No matter how important the game is, they somehow manage to completely screw it up.
Goosie and Pie scored. It made me really happy. I love when Pie scores. It fills me with such joy.
The amazing thing about the Maple Leafs goaltending last night was how craptastic CuJo managed to be after playing amazingly on Tuesday. He came in cold with less then a minute left in regulation and was a rock until they won in the shootout. I guess some goalies are just inconsistent like that.
Ryan and Paul were giving each other some serious love last night. It was so cute.
Several people at TFF Headquarters have reason to believe the whole, “Teppo Numminen has an ankle infection” thing is a conspiracy. I think that would be kind of mean, but their reasoning is actually pretty good. Poor guy. And poor Frostee’s Mom, for having to see her favorite player scratched every night.
Speaking of Frostee’s Mom, I realized about ten minutes ago that when she goes out of town it’s good luck for the Sabres. Consider this: She left with my grandparents Wednesday morning for South Carolina and the Sabres won. She’s still down there and they beat the Leafs last night. The last time my mother has gone on a vacation without us during the hockey season was in May of 2007 (she usually ends up going to visit my great-aunt in July). She was gone for three days and you know what happened when she was watching a playoff game against the Rangers in the airport and we were at home? Chris Drury scored with seven seconds left and Max won it in overtime before partaking in the famous penguin slide. I just figured that out. We’re going to have to send her on a vacation more often.
The Caps also won 5-3. It was awesome. Alex scored two goals, added two assists, and reached the 100 point mark. The game-winner was Brian Pothier’s first since returning from a concussion. Nicky got two goals and reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. Brooksy should have gotten his first 20th goal ever, but the referee waved it off on incidental contact. It was probably the biggest bullshit call I saw last night. Nylander hardly even bumped Tampa Bay’s goalie, and he did it a good four seconds before Brooks even touched the puck. If the ref had actually blowed the whistle when Nylander bumped him and called goaltender interference it would have been an entirely different story, but Nylander was nowhere near him when the goal was scored. What made it even worse was that a few minutes later some Bolt bowled over Jose and didn’t get called.
After all their talk of retribution, the Lightning did very little to get back at Alex for “embarrassing them.” Does that mean we can FINALLY move on?
As I said earlier in the post, the Sabres will not win tonight. If for some reason they should, there would still be that tiny hope that they could make the playoffs. I still don’t think they will, and if they lose tonight it’s pretty much over.
Now, while everyone enjoys this beautiful weather and gets ready for the games tonight, I would like to invite you all to take place in a little challenge. Today in TBN, there was a fail of epic proportions. I’ll give you a hint about where it is: the Sports section. It has to do with hockey. Pride, glory, and a Reader Award will go to the first person who can correctly find it. I laughed for a good five minutes when I saw it before completely giving up on the writers of The Buffalo News. Good luck!
As today was a conference day and the last thing I wanted to do was study for eight straight hours, the lovely Cari from Sabre Chaser and Clare from All Hawks Hockey and I decided to go to the Sabres practice this morning. We had a wonderful time watching the man child fall, Miller and Jaro play baseball (badly) and discussing the Blackhawks. After we decided to hit Chef’s for lunch, because we were hungry and we thought the Sabres might be there.
Now, Cari was quiet disappointed that neither Timmy nor Derek practiced. When we pulled up to Chef’s we looked for their cars. Timmy’s was already parked there and we saw Patty getting out of his. Excited, we went into the restaurant to see what we would find.
(I should probably mention at this point in the story that I have never seen any hockey players out and about in Buffalo, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.)
We walked into Chef’s, and the very first thing I saw right in front of me was Reggie Sekera in all his bald glory (unfortunately, I could not tell if he had his metallic pants on). To his left was Timmy, in a hat and his douche bag jacket from his contract extension interview. I was puzzled by the man to Reggie’s right, however. He was gorgeous and I couldn’t recall seeing him before.
You know who it was? One Mr. Daniel Paille. He may have had The Look we all love so much, but he also happened to be totally hot. The man child is beautiful in real life. It still blows my mind.
The three of us were led to our table, where we quickly sat down and began frantically giggling and tweeting. We were the picture of subtlety, Dear Readers. Pkaleta walked in behind us and sat down next to Timmy. We all kept looking over there despite the text messages telling us not too, and Cari and I both called our mothers to tell them.
After several minutes, we realized that Timmy, who had finished eating and was leaning back in his chair, was watching us all. Leering would actually be more appropriate. You know that grin he has? Well, he was shooting it our way. We’re pretty sure that he was just waiting for one of us to go over and talk to him.
While we were looking over at Timmy I made another startling discovery. I know I tweeted about it but I have to ask again. Daniel Paille, where have you and your broad shoulders and incredibly muscular back been all my life? Hot damn, boy. That’s crazy.
At that point Kim (also of Sabre Chaser) walked in and we no longer had any excuse for staring over in that direction. Did we stop? No. I was highly amused to discover that Patty had to concentrate on his plate of pasta as he ate, and studied each forkful intently before consuming it. At one point another player walked in, but as he had his hat on and the angle he was sitting at was bad, we assumed it was Patches.
Cari called Anne of Sabretooth’s House, and while we waited for her to arrive we continued to, err, gawk over at the players. Timmy continued to grin back until he, Patty, and (sigh) Danny got up to leave. Reggie had left a few minutes ago. (Mind you, this was very shortly after Patty K had arrived. I thought I was a fast eater, but no. He scarfed that plate of pasta.) After Patches (or so we thought) paid the bill, he got up to leave.
That’s when we realized it was Princess D, and that’s when I made a few jokes about him writing down his calorie in-take in a notebook. We also hoped he hadn’t heard when we (loudly) explained to Kim that Clare had brought cookies to use to taunt Derek on the ice.
Anne showed up then and we hung out for a while. After paying we got up to leave, and as we were walking to the cars we saw several familiar-looking guys walking into the restaurant. It was hard to place them in their beanies and coats, but we were sure they were Flyers. We proceeded to shout, “Let’s go Buffalo!” before getting in the car.
We headed over to Starbucks then (with a brief drive-by of Derek’s house, during which we learned that Kyle was there) and hung out while we waited for Anne. When she came, we all poured over Clare’s iPhone trying to figure out who the Flyers were. We’re pretty sure one was Knuble and one was Parent, but we don’t know who the third was. Maybe a trainer?
So…that was my day. It was a ton of fun, and we’re thinking of making going to the practice and Chef’s a tradition when Clare and I don’t have school (but seriously, Cari, we’re treating next time). I love those Sabres, even the creepy ones who appear to be contemplating having sex with us. What would we do without Timothy?
I feel it is my duty as Alex’s Biggest Fan to touch on the whole celebration thing from last night. Dear Readers, you know how much I love his celebrations. It’s refreshing to see a player get so excited and I was furious when Don Cherry said those things.
All that being said, I still think he took things a tad bit too far last night. I’m psyched that he finally got his fiftieth, but what he did with his stick afterwards was a bit much. Jose, stop suggesting Alex pretend his stick is hot, hot, hot. Michael and Nicklas were kind of right to decide not to do it, and I’m glad Bruce had a talk with Alex. I don’t want him to stop celebrating goals, but I do think he needs to be a little less excessive. That’s all.
So, last night the Sabres lost. They were leading with 3.5 seconds left, and I don’t care if you’re playing the best team in the history of hockey. When you have 3.5 seconds left on the clock and you’re leading, you should win. Especially if Max scored an actual goal. (I know I tweeted about this during the game, but it still blows my mind. I did not know he knew how to score with his stick. I thought he could only score when he’s trying to jump out of the way and deflects the puck in.) I didn’t think the Sabres would win, but when there were 3.5 seconds left I kind of hoped they would. Jason Pominville, you are terrible. I suspected it after I was at the Washington game. Then I watched games at home for two months and became quite sure that you suck. Then I was at the Anaheim game and realized just how awful you are. When my mom came home from the Florida game on Thursday the very first thing she told me was, “Pominville is SO BAD at hockey!” I want Lindy to bench him and put Ellis back in the lineup, but I doubt that is going to happen.
I love Lala and he’s definitely got a lot of great qualities, but he needs to work on rebound control.
When Pie scored I threw up my hands in excitement so quickly I almost knocked a lamp over. I love the man child. I don’t care how bad he plays, if they traded him I would have been heart-broken.
Shootouts make me miss Al.
Even though I’ve accepted that the Sabres will miss the playoffs for the second season in a row and I’m cool with it, I still felt the need for a little Youtube therapy this morning. I have become increasingly aware over the last few weeks that Nicklas Backstrom is incredible. In fact, my whole family seems to have some odd fixation with him. My brother, who doesn’t really like hockey, seems to like him. My mother, who enjoys getting on my case when I profess my love for players with thick accents, said nothing during his interview last night. At the Caps game in December, my father told me I should stop loving Alex and start loving him. My dog stopped barking long enough to watch him last night. Since I was feeling the Nick Backstrom love this morning, I searched him on Youtube. I was rewarded.
There’s the video of them Segwaying around D.C., and if you haven’t already seen that one your life is a little bit empty. It’s classic, especially at the end where Mike Green Segways into an urn. Nick is featured in that one when he complains he’s cold, even though he’s from Sweden and shouldn’t be cold in D.C. weather. “Ladies’ Man” never gets old, because you get to see all the players ragging on Brooks Laich and Alex is hilarious at the end. I never realized in all the other times I watched it, however, that Nick is incredibly innocent when they ask him who is the biggest ladies’ man. I bet he doesn’t even know what a ladies’ man is. He informs the camera that it is Brooks Laich, because “he is a good man for a woman.” Let’s all say it together now, “awwww!!!!!”
But I’ve already seen all of these. I was looking for something new to watch, and that’s when I found these:
First, I think it’s a great idea to have European players teach fans how to speak in their native tongue. I always thought that would be really cool and I wish the Sabres would do something like that.
Second, I wish you could have watched me watch these videos. I alternately covered my face and laughed hysterically the entire time. I can’t explain it. Look at him! Even when he’s dissing them he’s either doing it with a smile on his face or seems stiff and unused to being to being mean to people! He’s adorable! He’s lovable! He’s wonderful and amazing!! Look at him shake his head hopelessly!!!
Nicklas Backstrom has officially entered the race to be Frostee’s Second Favorite Cap. This is so annoying.
Oh, and you’re all invited to root for the Caps in the playoffs. The more, the merrier!
Embarrassing is the only word I can really think of to describe that game. Getting shut out is bad enough, but getting shut out to the Islanders? Really?
It makes me sad that the Sabres can’t get a win for Lala. He’s been really reliable these past few games and has been making great saves, but apparently it’s way too much to ask the Sabres to actually score a freaking goal. I don’t care how many good chances they had in the first period tonight, Harry. Chances mean absolutely nothing when the team can’t actually score.
Trade deadline is Wednesday. I love the trade deadline because GMs can always be counted on to make completely wacky-doodle trades. There’s been a lot of talk surrounding a Connolly trade but I actually don’t think Timmy’ll get traded. He’s too important to this team right now and I get the feeling that Darcy will at least try to resign him. I definitely expect to see Tallinder shipped out (sorry Heather), and even though I tear up just thinking about it I worry about Pie. MacArthur has done absolutely nothing memorable lately and I really want Jochen Hecht to go away. Tallinder, Hecht, and MacArthur might seem like a good package to some of those wacko GMs who go wild on deadline day.
Semin’s OT winner in the Caps/Bruins game today was fantastic. I feel really bad for Timtom but when goals like that are scored you can’t help but laugh.
TV is supposed to be back by Wednesday. If the hockey gods have any mercy at all he will.
Don Cherry seems to think Alex’s goal celebrations make him like Sean Avery. Huh. I really don’t see where he gets that from. I do know that part of what makes the Capitals so fun to watch is their obvious love for the game and their excitement when they score. Watching them get incredibly fired up by goals makes me really happy.
Speaking of the Capitals, uh, there’s still room on the bandwagon. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but I’m just puttin’ it out there…