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When I got home today I was excited to see that the Masterton Trophy nominees had been announced because I thought for sure that I would see Teppo’s name among them. But what did I see? HUH? You really want to know? THIS, THIS IS WHAT I SAW.

Chelios, Sullivan, Zednik named Masterton Trophy finalists

I’m sorry WHAT!?!?!?!

Chris Chelios? Re-he-heally?

Dear Hockey Gods,

Do you hate Buffalo that much?

Love,

Kim

Because I’m pretty sure that fracturing your tibia (the larger bone in the lower leg) is nowhere equal to having your chest cracked open and having your still beating heart poked and prodded by a lot of sharp instruments.  

I know Chelio is 47 and yeah it’s great that he’s still playing all the power to the old guys but seriously shouldn’t he be using his hockey stick as a cane by now? He played 28 games this year and didn’t register a point but APPARENTLY he played a big role behind the scenes which was obviously enough to warrant his nomination for an award that is given to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey”. Just because the guy is old doesn’t mean that he deserves to be recognized for it. Let me know when I can come at his beating heart with a scalpel I’ll be first in line.

The other finalists were Steven Sullivan who suffered a back injury in 2007 and had two back surgeries to correct the problem. He is one of three players to have played for a team, missed 600 consecutive days and return to the same team. The other is Richard Zednik who’s life was almost tragically cut short here in Buffalo when his former teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate hit him in the throat, severing his carotid artery. (Scariest moment of my life right there)

It’s not like I expected Teppo to win being up against the guy who had his throat cut open and almost bleed to death on the ice and another who broke his back and after almost two years returned to active duty. But Teppo deserves every ounce of respect that he gets from his teammates, the coaches and his fans. He could have hung up his skates after last season and no one would have blamed him. But he chose to come back for the last game of the season to prove that he still had what it takes to be a player in the National Hockey League.

I’m predicting, to no ones surprise, that Richard Zednik will walk away with the trophy and if he doesn’t it’s a great disservice to him and to the doctors and medical staff that made it possible for him to even play again.

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Happy New Year everyone, I hope you have all sufficiently recovered from your post party hangovers and if you haven’t well at least you have a fun time last night I’m assuming. If you’re like me, as in under 21, I’m going to go out on a limb here that you at least had champagne at midnight so therefore do not have a hangover and didn’t wake up this morning wishing that you hadn’t, woken up that is.

I of course watched the Winter Classic like every other self respecting hockey fan and no matter how much you try to convince me I still believe the one in Buffalo was better. I know I’m probably biased but come on what can beat 80,000 people screaming their heads off in the freezing cold while it snowed and snowed and snowed? And it wasn’t just that sleet-snow it was that snow-globe snow the big fluffy flakes that made me want to lie down in the aisle making my best snow angel.

It was an overall good game both teams played well and the game wasn’t interrupted ten times by the zamboni which meant that the game didn’t last 4 hours. I for one wasn’t surprised by the outcome because overall Detroit is the better team better defense (sorry Soupy), better offense (sorry Patrick) and as much as it pains me to say this better goaltending by Ty.

The game play I thought was more interesting this year more goals (9), one bone crushing hit with Dan Cleary ending up in the Chicago bench in retaliation for his hit Tuesday night on Patrick Kane and a dog pile? with most of the players on the ice ending up on top of each other. However, I’m more inclined to believe that the closer a game is the more interesting it is, then there’s also the fact that our game went to overtime and then to a shoot out which is sure to get the fans’ blood going.

I liked our jerseys for the Ice Bowl better, I thought Chicago’s were too dark and that the numbers on the back were hard to see especially when the players were skating I also thought they were ugly with the big white stripe through the middle. Detroit’s were cool with the Old English D on the front a throwback to their first year in the NHL the numbers on the back were at least easy to see. If they’re going to have an outdoor game where the fans aren’t going to be that close to the players they need to make the jerseys and the numbers contrasting colors so that people can see who they’re looking at.

I can understand the significance of having the game in Wrigley field I actually think it’s cool but it stands to reason that when having the game in a baseball stadium half the fans aren’t going to be able to see the puck or the players very well as was the case today. The people who got seats in the outfield probably had no clue what was going on because let’s see a small piece of galvanized rubber viewed from approximately 50 yards away…yeah that’s not going to happen unless you happen to have the eyesight of a hawk or really really strong binoculars. At least at Ralph Wilson even the people who had the 10 dollar seats or those in the 300 deck could see the puck because they were sitting right on top of the ice almost. The people at Wrigley were in what could be considered the 200 deck and were at least 50 yards offering them little or no chance to follow the game except to look at the large video screens that were set up just for them.

But anyways I still think ours was better no bones about it and I don’t care if I’m biased I will always believe that.

Does anybody else think this is a bit ironic?  I mean, I know the Pirates play in the AHL, and the AHL isn’t nearly as difficult as the NHL, but come on.
I mean, ALL of these guys were HERE, and the guys that ARE here can’t do it, but the guys that are THERE can???  Now I’m not saying we would’ve won last night if Jhonas Enroth was in net and if we had Marek Zagrapan centering the second line (notice I left Derek his rightful place on the first).**  Whatever though.  I’m still pissed that they took Derek’s goal away from him.
Lindy Ruff pretty much sums it up in the TBN:
“It’s tough.  Ty Conklin has been tough on us, we get one and it doesn’t count.”
It just drives me nuts because every time we’ve played him since he took off the blue and gold, we’ve lost.  Ice Bowl?  Lost.  The game Kim and I drove down to Pittsburgh for?  Lost.  Last night?  Lost.  Sound familiar?
I’ve worked myself up enough about a preseason game, so I’m not going to talk about it anymore.
In other news, neither Kim or I mentioned that MARK MANCARI CLEARED WAIVERS!!  I guess it was pretty obvious because neither of us have stopped paying attention to the world, and if he had, trust me, YOU’D KNOW.
**Stats for the Portland Pirates/Albany River Rats preseason game:
Marek Zagrapan:  2 goals, 1 assist
Nathan Gerbe:  1 assist
Jhonas Enroth:  30 minutes (approx.), 1 goal against
Adam Dennis:  30 minutes (approx.), 2 goals against
By Cari and Kim
Why do you build us up, Buffalo Sabres, just to let us down, and mess us around?  And then worst of all, you never score, baby, when you say you will, but we love you still.  We need you more than anyone darlings, you know that we have from the start.  So build us up, buttercups, and don’t break our hearts.
Anyways, back to real blogging; THAT GAME BLEW.
(1)  We couldn’t listen to Rick and Harry because they were delayed about ten seconds and I have ADD, so I made Kim suffer through the FSN Detroit guys.
(2)  Derek Roy totally scored and because THAY DON’T USE VIDEO REPLAY IN THE PRESEASON they couldn’t review it.  What the hell kind of policy is that?
(3)  The FNS Detroit guys are idiots:  (a) they claimed that one of the Detroit players was “humping that a guy a little bit,” (b) they couldn’t pronounce Rivet correctly, and (c) they couldn’t pronounce Sekera either.
(4)  Ty Conklin sucks.  End of story.
(5)  Our power play sucks.  10 man-advantages and no conversions.  Pathetic.
(6)  Andrew Peters didn’t fight.  Oh, wait, that was good because he drew a penalty.  But then again, our power play sucked, so that didn’t matter.
(7)  Derek Roy got elbowed in the face and I almost died.
(8)  Ryan Miller almost died when his mask came off, and the refs almost didn’t notice.
(9)  We lost.
And to top it all off, the Bills got KILLED, and Trent Edwards should shack up with Tim Connolly.
Let’s take a look at what went right tonight:
(1)  Maxim Afinogenov laid someone out–INTENTIONALLY–and didn’t hurt himself in the process.
(2)  Lindy Ruff swore.  That’s always good for entertainment.
(3)  Derek Roy somehow managed to get the Third Star.  Probably something to do with that goal he didn’t score.
(4)  No one got seriously hurt.
(5)  Oh, wait, that’s it.
So we’re really glad the Sabres ended up with a preseason record of 1-3-1.  That’s pretty spectacular.  And by that, I mean spectacularly atrocious.
Hopefully, this won’t be a sign of things to come, and that there will be good news in the next few days.
Oh, and by the way, we’re now watching Ryan Miller’s favorite movie, the classic Super Troopers.
I’m so excited because the game tonight/this afternoon is on TV!!!  That means Kim and I can begin our little Sabres Soirees!  I love them so much.  Usually, we’ll hit up Wegmans, get some Dr. Pepper and Sunkist, and either cheese, cheese spread, pepperoni, and crackers for delicious cheese-cracker-sandwiches, or chips and Bison French Onion dip.  Yummm!!  But since the game’s at 5, we’re going shopping first, and I’m not sure what the snacks will entail.  Maybe some subs or pizza?  idk.
But since everyone is talking about the captaincy, let me touch base on that too.
I’ll start by saying that I really dislike the rotating thing.  I realize that Lindy uses it as a reward for playing well, or good consistent effort, or good leadership, or whatever, but just effing pick a guy and stick with it already!!  No one else in the league does a rotating captaincy.
I do, however, like the idea of a co-captaincy.  It seemed to work really well with The Unmentionables, so I’d give it a go.
As far as candidates are concerned, my thoughts are as follows:
Paul Gaustad:  I definitely believe that one day he will be Captain material, but right now, I think that he needs to just put himself out there more, and he’ll be it.  It’s obvious that he’s a presence on the ice, and the guys certainly look to him for leadership, as he has had great experiences in the AHL, and was with the Sabes for both deep pushes.  But definitely A material.
Jochen Hecht:  Definitely Captain material.  He seemed to thrive when he had the C last October, and the team did vote him in, so there had to be a reason for that.  The guys obviously look up to him, and although he seems quiet, I’m writing that off due to his German accent.  Germans are intimidating, and I love them for that.  So go, YoYo, go.
Toni Lydman:  Again, experience is on his side, but complete presence is not, so I’m alright with an A.
Adam Mair:  Mair’s a tough one, because even though he is one of the oldest guys on the team, he doesn’t have quite the offensive prominance or even presence that I would want in a captain.  Yeah, he kicks ass and gives 122% every night, but I wouldn’t push him to C level yet; give him an A.
Ryan Miller:  Yes, he said he doesn’t want it, but if he did, he’s the obvious face of the team, so yeah, I wouldn’t mind Miller having The C.
Teppo Numminen:  Experience is most definitely on Teppo’s side, and the guys love and respect him, so he’s a worthy candidate.
Jason Pominville:  Because Jason is always there to talk to the media, and because he never, ever makes excuses for the team and calls them out in the press, AND includes himself in there, putting his 27 goals and 80 points solidify his chance at The C.
Derek Roy:  Derek’s the defending Sabres Point Champ, so couple that with his progressing potential and his PR capabilities that aren’t quite up to Pommer’s standards but are damn good enough, he’s got a shot at being Captain as well.  Plus, I love him, so even more reason I want him to have it.
Craig Rivet:  A noteworthy candidate due to past experience in the league, including donning an A in Montreal.  I also have to give him props for the fights he’s been in and the way he sticks up for his teammates that he’s known for only a couple of weeks (I call it the Steve Bernier syndrome…  Oh, Steve =[ ).  At least an A here.
Jaroslav Spacek:  See, Toni Lydman.
Henrik Tallinder:  Again, see, Toni Lydman.  Also, his shootout goal ranks as one of my favorites, so definite points there.
Thomas Vanek:  I cannot recall if Tommy had an A at all last year, but I’d be willing to give it to him.  Yeah, I know he’s the money man, and he had a rough time in the first half last year, but look at how the man bounced back!  I don’t think he has enough leadership qualities to give him The C, but it could be good for him.  If the rotation comes back, I’m all for TV getting a chance.
But what would I do, and who would I pick, if I were Lindy Ruff??  Well, I think I’d probably go with a co-captaincy, and rotate it between the two, probably weekly, or every 5 games, or something like that.  As far as naming them, I’d definitely have to go with Pominville, and I think his partner would be Hecht.  I wouldn’t have them wear A’s when not the captain, so as to get more guys involved.  I’d give the two A’s to Roy and Rivet.  Provided anyone miss a game, or get hurt, Numminen would be the replacement; oh, and in the event that Pommer or Jochen were out for some reason when wearing The C, the other would put in on.
Yeah, I think that’s about how I would do it…
But anyways, I feel it necessary to point out the the picture of Tim Connolly in the TBN today is most definitely Adam Mair.
And I wonder if Detroit will put Ty Conklin in net?  If they do, they just might win, since Conkin (Yes, I know it’s spelled wrong.  Intentional.  Inside joke.) seems to have our number since we let him go.
Go Sabres!!

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