Over the past few years I’ve come up with a rule for myself. After my favorite teams are eliminated, I don’t wear their apparel until the playoffs are over. I just don’t want to be that guy in the Sabres shirt in the middle of the conference finals, you know? This usually is highly inconvenient, because my weekend attire when I’m hanging around the house is quite frequently a hockey shirt. This year was particularly rough because all of my hockey shirts except one got knocked out in the first round. Now that Stanley has been awarded and I’ve spent the day out and about and sitting finals in a Toews shirt, I can go back to lounging around in my Backstrom shirt. (And thank the hockey gods for that, because it’s the most comfortable tshirt I own)
So, congratulations to the Blackhawks for winning. It’s all quite exciting and it was only a matter of time. I’m of the opinion that they should just not carve Hossa’s name on the Cup to piss him off. I’m also a little sick seeing Campbell and Huet get it, but like the case of swine flu I had last June, it’ll pass eventually. It kind of felt like a now-or-never situation for Chicago since their cap is a mess, and I like enough Hawks fans to be the bigger person and congratulate them. We’ll get Stanley next year! (I hope)
In regards to my prediction, I personally believe that I had a pretty good chance of being right. Philadelphia managed to keep it close in several games and looked great in the games they won. Kane’s goal was a fluke and if Leighton wasn’t so bad he might not have even scored it. So whatever. I have no regrets.
But seriously, guys, it makes for a nice story and all, but sometimes waivers goalies AREN’T the answer.
I figure we’ve got plenty of time so I won’t talking about the Stupid F***ing Ice Bowl that’s being announced later today (typical NHL, so desperate to work Crosby in that they’re announcing an event featuring him [and Alex] the day before the Cup Finals are starting, which don’t include him. But I can’t be too made that the Caps are visitors because as everyone has been pointing out, the visitor goes to the Cup Finals. Fair trade off.), but I would like to present my worthless well thought out predictions. And I would like to talk about the in-studio guest NBC is hosting during the game tomorrow night.
First, the pick. This is hard for me. Everyone is picking Chicago. Chicago is so trendy and they’re so good and everyone just loves them and thinks that even if it takes six or seven games, they’ll win. First of all, I think the problem I have with Chicago is that while I like quite a few of their players on an individual basis (Toews is so good, and, I mean, I own a Toews shirt for a reason), when they’re assessed holistically they make me think of that stuck-up jock at high school who knows he’s all that and knows he’s talented and attractive and somewhat funny and just assumes that everyone will love him. I’m not saying they’re not a really good team, because they are. Don’t get me wrong, I realize they’re talented and they do have a really good chance of winning it all this year. But they’re the star quarterback, and that gets on my nerves a little.
Then there’s Philadelphia. Philadelphia has essentially flipped off the hockey community by winning the Eastern Conference because everyone figured they were done for back in December when they switched coaches and celebrated by getting spanked by the Capitals, specifically one Lars Nicklas Backstrom (10 YEARS!!!!). Then when they finally snuck into the playoffs, everyone wanted to play them because they knew it would be an easy win. I was included in that list as far as the Caps’ first round matchup was concerned. I didn’t want the Sabres to play them because I knew Richards would score at least 16 shorties during the series.
But I digress. All of a sudden the Flyers are playing for the Stanley Cup and aside from the part where they’re on like their eighteenth goalie, they look like the team everyone picked before the season started. I hate the Flyers with a passion, but they’ve got something good going too. And as much as I detest them, I honestly think they have a legitimate chance of winning. That’s why I have a problem just picking the Blackhawks in six, because I think if Philadelphia plays the way they have for the past few rounds I think they could actually win the Cup. And if that happened, I’d have to kill myself and then cancel my subscription to the Buffalo News.
So now I don’t know if I should just pick Chicago anyway, because their goalie isn’t so high risk in the “complete meltdown” category, or pick Philadelphia because I think they could do it and I wanted to be able to say I picked them. I feel like this is one of those things where you have to see how each team plays against each other but that’s a cop out.
I think I’m gonna go with the Flyers because of all of the above reasons and also because Hossa plays for Chicago. I may have made it this far without mentioning him and his curse, but it clearly plays some significance. Don’t ever piss off the hockey gods. So, yeah. Philadelphia. I’m certainly not rooting for them, I just think that they could actually do it. Dare to be different!
I’m going to need a long shower when this is all over with.
NBC must realize, however, how I feel about these teams, because they’ve added some intermission entertainment to the game tomorrow night. None other than Buffalo’s own Ryan Miller will be taking the stage with Pierre and Mike to wear one of his uber trendy suits, discuss the game, and hopefully diffuse the tension that will surely build between Pierre and Mike. Personally, I’d rather just see him in between benches instead, but I realize this won’t happen.
As I would just like to remind everyone, I have an amazingly excellent track record with my favorite players doing intermission reports on NBC.
I actually haven’t watched this interview in quite some time, so I had forgotten how magnificently awkward it was and how deep and insightful it got with the learning stuff. If Ryan Miller’s appearance is half as epic as this one, I will consider it to have been a success.
See, guys? NBC can get it right every once and a while!
Tuesday night, the little I heard of the Sabres game wasn’t very impressive as far as the announcing was concerned. Thursday, I had to listen to FSN and I wanted to put my fist through the TV. I slept through the Sabres game that night but I’ve heard the LA team before and I really like them. Last night we got the Sharks Comcast feed, and it was great. They knew what they were talking about, they had done their research on the Sabres, they were complimentary of Lindy, and they even gave a shootout to the fans watching back here in New York. I only made it through two periods but I hear that when Pommer scored they mentioned the population of Pominville. That’s cute.
I was too tired to form any sort of opinion while I was watching last night, but it seems like the Sabres are sort of falling apart. They haven’t won since Phoenix on Monday and they haven’t been getting the points they needed. Monday night isn’t going to be easy. Vancouver is a great team. I hope this isn’t the hockey gods’ punishment for that whole playoff tickets pricing thing.
The pictures from the Furry Convention are beyond hilarious.
The Caps took down the Coyotes 4-2. Yay!! I figured they’d crap out after the last three games so I’m glad they pulled it together. Phoenix is lucky they could handle Washington’s power play, otherwise they would have been in even more trouble. Washington has been fantastic on the power play lately.
Alex Semin had a really good game. I don’t like him, but four points really isn’t anything to sneeze at.
Everyone has been FREAKING OUT about the Caps/Pens game tonight. Like, OMGOMGOMG SID AND OVIE ARE PLAYING EACH OTHER!! AND THEY’RE BOTH CAPTAINS NOW!! AND HEY, DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PENGUINS BEAT THE CAPITALS IN THE PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR??? I, for one, was shocked to read all about the hype surrounding the game. I was not aware that there was a sort of rivalry and a bit of history between these two teams.
I’m certainly excited about the game tonight, but in a, “Gee, this is going to be a really good game and a good measuring stick and I can’t wait to see what happens.” Sort of like when the Sabres came back against Pittsburgh. It was fun and I looked forward to it, but it was still just a two-point game. A win will not move you on to the next round.
That being said, I’ll probably turn into a raving lunatic during the game. It won’t help that I’m stuck with the FSN feed. (WHY, hockey gods?? WHHHHHHYYYYYY?????)
I would love to see the Sabres play the Kings tonight, but it won’t be happening. I’m a little sad. I just hope the Sabres don’t wet the bed in the first period like they did against Anaheim. That…was a little embarrassing.
I also realized while flipping through my new Sabres calendar the other day that in a few months I’ll have to see Pie, open mouth and everything. It brought back a lot of memories :(.
But first, a few things from the Caps’ locker clean out.
When they were interviewing Jose Theodore the goaltending position came up. Jose was pretty much, “I may have been benched from the second game of the playoffs on, but that #1 job is mine, bitch.” What he actually said when asked about Simeon is “Well, he’s the goalie of the future.”
Dear Hockey Gods,
If you provide us with a major bitch fight between Simeon Varlamov and Jose Theodore during training camp next year, I will never say anything against you ever again.
Alex was wearing the same shirt he wore in Beijing last summer. It says Sochi 2014. I stared at it or a good five minutes before I realized where I had seen it before, and then I hurried to check my archives. Don’t judge me. I have a freaky memory when it comes to clothes. I could probably tell you what you were wearing last time I saw you (if I’ve ever hung out with you before). It’s weird.
And he’s leaving for Moscow tonight?!? SOB! I’m so sad that he’s not going to be on this continent. Can they make him come back and do another intermission report during the Stanley Cup Finals? That was horrific awesome. Why do I love European players so much? They only leave me for Europe in the summer, and I am left alone in this country. What does Russia have that we don’t?
I appreciate your decision to not go to Turkey since it’s “bad for you.” Heh. We wouldn’t want you getting into any trouble.
Dear Sergei Fedorov,
As you’ve stated your desire to play next yera, and the entire Washington Capitals organization seems to have a massive man crush on you, you’ll totally come back next year, right??
Okay, on to the Game Sevens last night.
Detroit won – big surprise – and so did Carolina. Wow. I was definitely rooting for the Hurricanes, but I didn’t think they’d actually come out alive. Cam Ward is now undefeated in Game Sevens in his career. Nice stat, Mr. Ward.
As much as I’d like to think Carolina could beat Pittsburgh, I just don’t know. They’re going to have to be fantastic to beat the Pens.
I really want the Detroit/Chicago series to be like one long string of Winter Classics. That game was highly enjoyable, and I’m hoping for an exciting series.
My picks for the Stanley Cup Finals are….drum roll…Detroit and Pittsburgh. Rematch of last year. I just don’t see anyone beating Detroit, and I think Pittsburgh will come out alive in their series, unless Eric Staal manages to score in four straight games.
Dear Detroit Red Wings,
If you beat Pittsburgh for the second year in a row to win the Stanley Cup, I will love you forever. This is not an exaggeration.
Seriously, Dear Readers? One of the great mysteries to me is why I love Russians so freaking much. I’m 1/3 Russian, but that still doesn’t explain why I love them so much. It’s not even just the Russian hockey players. Today we watched the part in Dr. Strangelove where the Russian ambassador is screaming in Russian on the phone and I was just sitting there laughing to myself. When we talked about Mao getting 94% of the Chinese Communist Party’s funds from Russia, I thought about how nice they were to do that. I can not explain my affection for our Comrades.
Tonight my two favorite Russians are coming together, and while I’ll be able to see most of it I won’t be able to give it my undivided attention. Our teachers decided that the beautiful weather made it a perfect day to give tons of homework so I have to study during the first period. I won’t even see the second period because there are two shows on at eight and our TV can only DVR one show at a time. At nine I have to watch One Tree Hill because something might be wrong with Peyton and I can’t deal with the suspense. Seriously, hockey gods? Are you trying to keep me from my two second favorite teams in the NHL? I must have pissed you off MAJORLY this year. Good grief.
In other, happier news, Miller skated! I’m glad to see he’s taking steps towards recovery, but a part of me almost wants him to just sit the rest of the season out. I’ve already written it off as a lost cause and I don’t want to risk him making his ankle worse because he thought he had to come back before he did. Ryan, do us all a favor and just work out and rehab this spring, and be ready to play next fall.
Guys, what would we do if we didn’t have Ryan Miller and his blog updates? Where would we get our daily chuckles?
Ilya Kovalchuk is not even making the trip to Buffalo. FAIL. Just as with the Capitals in November, I love them all and still enjoy watching them, but come on, Hockey Gods. He’s my favorite Thrasher. What have I done to piss you off?
History suggests that you don’t stand a chance in hell of beating Atlanta tonight. This is a problem. You need these two points more than you needed them back in the fall, so this is what I’m going to do. I’m giving you permission to beat the Thrashers. Yes, I know I like them, but I don’t mind watching them lose if it means you get two points. You are now free to win. You can even beat them by a score of 10-1 like you did last year! That was fun.
I know that you’ve become spoilers and are on a hot tear that must infuriate your diehard fans (because what’s the point of being awesome at the end of the season if you’re going to suck for the first four months?), but here’s the thing. The team you’re playing tonight, the Sabres? Well, I kind of love them. We fight a lot but they were my first hockey love and will probably be my last. I realize it’s kind of embarrassing, but in my defense, their goalie says things like “board shorts” and they have an awesome coach and one of their defensemen is a lovable caveman. So maybe you could, like, lose tonight? I don’t mind if you do it in overtime or a shootout, but if you let the Sabres get the two points I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
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…
Dear Ryan Miller’s Ankle,
Dear Buffalo Sabres,
As you know, tomorrow is my birthday (checks should be made out to Frostee, gift cards should be to either Forever 21 or the iTunes Store, and cold hard cash is always appreciated). It also happens to be the night you play the Anaheim Ducks. I am trying to take a positive attitude about this whole thing, but I’ll be honest. It’s not easy.
First there’s the matter of this whole Miller-having-a-high-ankle-sprain thing. Being raised by hockey fans, there were two things I have been taught my entire life. The first is that the Philadelphia Flyers are bad and should be openly loathed (hey, my dad grew up going to Rangers and Islanders games). The second is that high ankle sprains are probably one of the worst injuries hockey players could get. Groin injuries are also pretty bad. See, Miller is most likely out until the end of the season unless the hockey gods do us a solid and throw a miracle our way. Patrick Lalime is now your starting goaltender and you called up Jhonas Enroth today. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and there are two possible outcomes from this scenario:
1) You, the Buffalo Sabres, band together in an incredible show of team unity and play in front of Patty as you have never played before, guiding yourselves into the playoffs.
2) You completely implode and get an early summer for the second year in a row.
I’m trying to be optimistic about all this, Sabres, I really am. It’s just that the way you depend on Ryan Miller to always save your collective asses and the way you suck in front of Lala has me worried. Who knows. Maybe we dedicated fans will be rewarded with Outcome #1. Maybe we won’t.
Then there’s the matter of your birthday greetings policy. As you know, people put birthday wishes up on the jumbotron at games. Yesterday when we were all preparing lunch, my dad came downstairs and told me that he’s really sorry, but HSBC has a policy that you have to call at least three days in advance to get a birthday greeting. As he called only two days in advance, there would be no special surprise for me. I actually can not tell you how devastated I was to hear this.
So, Sabres, I really need you to win this game tomorrow. I haven’t been to a good game since November 1. I may have had fun at the one at the end of December, but that’s because I liked the other team enough to overlook the fact that you apparently sucked balls. The one in the middle of December was pretty bad too. Then there’s also the matter of the critical two points you could pick up. And, of course, a win on my birthday would be simply marvelous.
- Tom Renney got fired. It was only a matter of time.
- The Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby bitch fight made ESPN this morning. Personally, I thought the wave was amusing. And personally, I’m going to side with Alex and Bruce and the rest of the Washington Capitals. Sid kind of needed to shut his mouth yesterday. Personally, I prefer Alex’s playing style to Sidney’s because I love me a man who can score goals AND throw hits. A friend of mine is a Penguins/Crosby fan and even she admitted to me today that he’s kind of a wuss. Personally, I think it’s really funny how none of the Penguins want to stick up for Crosby. Personally, I’m just glad the Caps won.
- I told my mother that if she went with me to the game tomorrow night we would have to go down during the pre-game skate and shout inappropriate things at Ryan Getzlaf, but since it’s looking like Papa Frostee will be going with me instead, we’ll just heckle Chris Simpson.
- I won’t go into details, because the details are hilarious but time-consuming, but there’s this one kid who’s been in several of my classes for the past few years. He’s a total creeper in addition to being incredibly rude. He does this weird thing where he’ll get a crush on a girl and just follow her around for several days. He back-talks to teachers on a regular basis. He doesn’t like me or any of my friends, and just to prove how nice he is he told us that he would kill us in our sleep. This charming young man also happens to be a Red Wings fan, an insufferable one at that. He thoroughly enjoys trash-talking the Sabres, and when the Wings won the Cup last season we knew he’d be awful to be around. The next day he wore his signed Pavel Datsyuk jersey (I was so jealous) to school, and I informed him that while Candy Corn Head is a great player, I still prefer Mr. Henrik Zetterberg. The kid started screaming at me about how Henrik is probably the most overrated player in the league and he’s not any good and Pavel is easily the best player on the team and the best in the NHL. It was really funny. Now, last week I started getting Facebook Mobile texts informing me that he was trying to add me as a friend on Facebook. Since I, well, don’t like him, I rejected him. Four times. I finally just gave up and added him. Today he commented on a picture I have. Not only does this prove he was Facebook stalking me, but it also confuses me slightly. See, he commented on the picture of me with Mini Alex that I took last year during the playoffs. His comment read, “seriously ovechkin? jk jk jk he’s clearly the best russian player in the league.” Hmm. This is the same kid that informed me in no uncertain terms that Pavel Datsyuk is the best player in the world. I kind of want to shake him and shout, “But what about PAVEL?!??! You told me PAVEL! was the BEST PLAYER in the WORLD!”
- Speaking of Alex, I’m choosing to ignore that picture of him over at Puck Daddy.
- Alexander Semin is following me on Twitter. This is kind of awesome.
- TV is back skating with the team. Woo!
- COMPLETELY unrelated to hockey, but what do you think the chances are of my teacher figuring out I made up 100% of what I wrote about the North Korean economy? There was nothing on the websites she told us to use. I bullshit on projects regularly, but this is just plan making stuff up. Thank goodness we only have give the website.
Last night’s Sabres game was AWESOME. I can’t even come up with enough adjectives to describe how much fun I had watching it. The Sabres scored TEN GOALS, and it wasn’t even against a bottom-feeder like Atlanta. Staffy with the tour du chapeau (ever since I watched the French feed of a Montreal game back in December, I have called hat tricks by their french name because it’s funny), Royzie and TV with three point nights, Timmy with two goals, Patches with a goal (!), Spacek with a goal, Hecht with a goal. (And did everyone notice how after Hecht scored last night, they showed Roy sitting on the bench? My theory is that they have absolutely no idea who Hecht is and just showed a random Sabre.) The commentators were all, “We love Buffalo!” the whole night, which was quite nice. I was amused by how even when the score was 6-1 Sabres, they still thought the Oilers could make a comeback. That was cute.
The Sabres game last night was definitely one of my favorite of the season, but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to forgive the hockey gods and forget what happened. You see, as the Sabres game didn’t start until nine, I decided to tune into another game at seven. The Caps/Bruins game last night looked to be a pretty good one, so I thought I’d check in and see what happened. Greenie started the scoring, both teams looked good, it was a fun time. Then, in the second period, Alex came roaring down the wing with Chara right behind him. As Chara could think of nothing else to do to prevent Alex from scoring, he hooked him. Alex then lost his balance and FLEW SHOULDER FIRST INTO THE BOARDS. HE THEN STAYED ON HIS BACK WITH HIS EYES CLOSED FOR A REALLY LONG TIME. Dear Readers, saying I freaked out would be a complete understatement. See, as a hockey fan I realize that getting hurt is part of the job. Injuries to the Sabres may or may not have cost them a Stanley Cup a few years ago, and right now defensemen are dropping like flies. Still, I expect injuries. That doesn’t mean I don’t worry when they happen, because last week when Teppo was lying face-first on the ice I had a panic attack, but it’s not like I’m taken completely by surprise. Um, Tim Connolly plays on my favorite team. I’m used to injuries. See, the thing is, Alex doesn’t do injuries. There’s a long list of games where he got hurt and bounced right back up and kept playing. Seeing him lie on the ice with his eyes closed was really scary. Then, when he slammed both of his gloves on the ground and threw away his helmet – with his left hand! – I got really worried. I was all set to change the pink sheets on my bed to a more masculine, er, purple so that I could tuck him in and give him the ice pack I used after my Gardasil shots and make him cookies and let him flip through old Seventeen magazines and nurse him back to health when he came skating back out in the third period. Alex, if you were fine, then WHY DID YOU SCARE ME LIKE THAT?!?! Good grief.
And in the post-game interview, Alex claims that he forgives Chara. They showed him talking to Chara in the third and Alex just shrugged, but I couldn’t figure out if he was saying, “Hey, that’s hockey, no hard feelings,” or “Yeah, I called the Russian Mafia, but they haven’t called me back yet. I’d lock your door tonight if I was you.”
The hockey gods realized how insanely furious at them I was, so they sent me a good Sabres game. I haven’t forgiven them, but at least the Sabres got two important points and an even more important confidence boost. These Western Conference road trips usually give me nightmares, but the Sabres look like they might actually do good this time around. Woo, Sabres! Just keep this positive mindset going into tonight’s game, and you’ll be fine.
What’s that? Zetterberg signed a 12-year contract? Worth $72 million? Yikes.