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Okay.

I seriously feel terrible calling myself a blogger when I only write meaningless run-on, swooning sentences about the Sabres, or hockey in general, but even more so when I do it on the random occasion.

But this evening (or this past evening… whatever, it was Friday night) I had a bunch of the blogger girls over to my house for a little dinner party, which was quite lovely.

And boy, oh boy, do we have some good stuff in store for you this summer.

That’s all I’m going to say about that now, but just wait.  Sabre Chaser will be back with a vengeance soon enough.

The playoffs are intriguing me greatly, however.

I honestly cannot believe that we’ve already seen three–COUNT ‘EM, THREE–sweeps thus far.  That’s pretty amazing.

Also, the Chicago-Calgary series is quite feisty and intense.  It’s really killing me.  The odd part of it is, though, that whichever team scores first in the game has lost the game, without fail.  So I’m just hoping that the Hawks hold off and wait for the (F)Lames to score first, and then pile the goals on.  Hopefully, though, Iggy and Co. will decide to net their first sometime during the first, and not with 0.2 seconds on the clock in the third.

Because if they make the second round, I’m driving to Chicago for a game.  For serious.  Kim, Clare, and I are going.  No lie.  I’ve been trying desperately to win tickets to any game, any way that I can.

It obviously hasn’t worked.

But really people, as I was explaining to Kim and Anne earlier, I truly feel terrible that I’ve neglected my little baby of a blog recently.  So if you miss my updates and pointless posts and whining about the Sabres and gushing about Derek Roy, follow me on Twitter, because I’ve picked it up there.

Although, I haven’t been tweeting so much in the past few days because I’m still trying to get the hang of my new phone.  I’ll tell you, as pretty as it is, the BlackBerry Storm definitely takes some getting used to.

So anyways, my Twitter can be found here.

Be back soon!  (I hope.)

PS:  On a sad note, my poor Portland Pirates have been eliminated from the Calder Cup Playoffs in the first round by the Providence Bruins, four games to one.  😦

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So I’m absolutely sure that, by now, you’ve all heard about the trials and tribulations of the Sabres in net, which are absolutely atrocious at the moment.

Here’s our depth chart for netminders:

Ryan Miller (ankle sprain)
Patrick Lalime (flu)
Adam Dennis (hip, surgery)
Jhonas Enroth
John DeCaro (broken collarbone)

Oh, and there are two others (Bradley Eidsness, who is playing for the University of North Dakota, and Nick Eno, who plays for Bowling Green), but since neither of the two have pro contracts, I don’t know what it would take to get the co-eds up here (Eno just turned 20, by the way, and Eidsness is only 19).

But that provides us with quite the quandary of who might end up in net this evening, if Lalime cannot play, and if (God, please, no) should Enroth go down.

There are three situations that would happen to the Sabres tonight if I were Lindy Ruff:

(1) Lalime is miraculously better, and suits up, 100%, and Enroth backs him up. (Best possible scenario.)

(2) Since Lalime is good enough to play, but not 100%, start Enroth, but have Lalime assume his usual position on the bench as team cheerleader.

(3) If Lalime is a no-go, put Enroth in net.

Who would play second-string in Number 3, you ask?? No one.

That’s right; I said no one.

Think about this for a minute: Each team is allowed to dress 20 players, goalies included, right? Well, what if we only dressed one goalie? Then we could dress 19 skaters.

I specifically remember asking questions about this scenario to my parents many, many times when I was younger. In fact, I can hear myself up in Section 325, looking down at Dominik Hasek in net, Martin Biron on the bench, turning to my father and asking, “What happens if Dom and Marty get hurt in the same game?”

His answer? “One of the other guys would have to play goalie.”

So that’s why I say that. Hey, for all we know, Enroth could steal the show. I honestly think that could be the most interesting thing to happen in a hockey game in a while. I mean, who plays with only one goalie?

Because I don’t necessarily trust any of our defensemen to play goal all that well, so why waste them as a benchwarmer?

Seriously, would you want Lydman, Tallinder, Paetsch, or anyone, for that matter, between the pipes with the way they’ve been playing lately? I sure as Hell wouldn’t.

But if it came down to it, I say put the biggest body in the net, if necessary. None of these guys really have experience playing goal, let alone against Eric Staal and the Hurricanes. (Is Mike Ryan still with them? I’m too lazy to look right now…) So put the guy with the most meat in there and more net is covered.

My, my, my, this could become quite comical. I think I’m kind of glad I won’t be home to see anything until the third period…

(Anne, that title is for you, by the way.)

So I had this whole big spiel I was going to go through about how much a Sabres’ win would mean to this city, but right now, I’m ecstatic.

My emotions have been running on low for the past 24 hours, and to be honest, I didn’t think I could feel much worse after learning about the crash of Flight 3407.

But, wow. Just, wow.

This game was absolutely fantastic!!!

I don’t really have a ton of coherant thoughts for the game, but, rather, just some quips:

– Derek Roy is incredibly attractive when he’s being all feisty and starting trouble with the other players and mouthing off. idk why, but he is.

– Derek also scored his 100th career goal, on the same goal that Drew Stafford notched his 100th career point. Who gets to keep the puck? I think Roy should get it… Goals are cooler than points.

– It’s about time Jason Pominville nets a goal! I really think this is where he’ll turn it around… And that shootout goal he had was mighty fine.

– Nathan Gerbe’s play has been nothing short of foxy since he stepped foot on the ice at HSBC Arena, the Portland game included. I’m so glad he’s in the blue and gold. I can’t tell you how many times tonight I was wowed by his effort, his determination, and his heart. And when he had that knee-on-knee scare in overtime, I think I almost died a bit.

– Craig Rivet is my new hero. I don’t care what Derek says, and I don’t care about the age difference; I love him. He was just way too cute when he and the other guys were jumping around after Pommer’s goal. I just love him.

– Roy had an adorable little fist pump… thing… after his shootout goal.

– I honestly thought Danny Paille scored Spacek’s goal, and I really wish that he had. He did play very well, though, in his first game back, in my opinion at least.

– Did I mention that we beat the San Jose Sharks, arguably the best team in the league?

– Did I also mention that we, who are in 8th place in the East, are 2 points behind the Rangers, who are in 4th place in the East? Oh, and also that we’ve played them twice thus far this season, and we won both of those games?

– Looks like Lindy’s method of working the power play all practice long yesterday payed off, as we went 3-for-6? As in 50%?? Let’s do that more often, okay boys?

– I seem to like to refer to the Sabres as “we.” Like I’m part of the team. Sweet.

– I saw Caroline (of Hockey Night in Buffalo) on TV after Pominville’s game-tying goal!!

– I’m really, really, really happy about this win.

Okay. I’m going to watch Friday Night Lights (don’t judge me), and go to bed, as I’m working alllll day tomorrow, 7 am to 11:30 pm. Woo. Exciting stuff.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends, and same to the Sabres. =]

xoxo

So I’m assuming that you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for my next update. At that point though, you’d be dead, seeing as you wouldn’t have breathed for a week now. So, short of death, I’m positive that each and every one of you have been worried sick that I got in a car accident, I possibly got clobbered over the head with a cane at the nursing home, maybe I got a look inside of Derek Roy’s closet and passed out, or maybe I encountered Tim Connolly on Chippewa (enough said).

Well, my friends, my life is not always that exciting, and as much as it saddens me to say this, none of that happened, and I know you all have lives, so you weren’t really worried. It doesn’t hurt that I talked to at least a few of you on Facebook or through texts or emails.

But really, I had probably the shittiest week known to man. Not only did school start, but I think I’m going to resort to rearranging my ethics professor’s teacher’s face with my fist. I cannot stand the woman. Not only that, but there was a death in my family, which was extremely shocking, and now I’m sick, and there was whole bunch of other crap, but I can’t even think of it right now because the Sudafed is going to my head, which feels like it weighs about 25 pounds right now.

Whatever.

I have to say, I’m in love with the photographers from this weekend. A while back, when the Sabres started taking those ultrasexy black and white pictures of the guys and throwing them up all over the arena, I was in love. But, at the same time, I was thinking, “Ummmm, no. These guys are not the most photogenic (coughTimConnnollycoughBrianCampbellcough), so why am I gushing over these pictures?”

But I’ve taken it all back, because they’re really cool. They’re artsy and they show the guys a little bit differently. I still like going by Connolly’s because you can see his terribly receeding hairline, and Kaleta’s because his face is mangled. Oh, and Mair’s and Lydman’s are pretty good, too, because the shadows allow you to see all of their scars. They’re actually pretty neat.

So you can imagine my glee when I saw all of the ridiculous pictures they were taking this weekend.

Like this one:


But then you get true winners like these ones:




But I’m sorry, because Vinny takes the cake for the best looking boy of the night:


Niiiiiice!!

So the SuperSkills Competition was pretty entertaining. I can’t stand Versus, so I watched on CBC. I figured some of the guys were mic’ed up when I saw the CIA-esque wires sticking out of their jerseys, but I didn’t equate them with the Versus broadcast, so I missed out on that fun. Oh well. I was pretty amused by Ovie’s antics with the sunglasses, and I just love his use of my ancestor’s flag in his hat. Adorable. And I totally called Vanek using the Around The World. I didn’t know he’d use it twice though. Cool deal.

I’m still undecided if I really will give the All*Star game my full attention this evening. I might. Really. As much as I am disgusted with the whole voting process and all, it could be entertaining. But if it starts to look anything like the YoungStars game was last night, I’ll leave it on, but I’m moving on to the endless hours of psychology reading I have. Not that that is any more fun or anything. I just want Vanek to do well.

What’s more, though, is my excitement that next week’s games actually will be televised after all. When it was made known to me that no one in WNY could watch it at all, I was almost tempted to get into my car and drive somewhere–anywhere–that didn’t have an ip address that I do, just so I could watch it. But I’m glad I don’t have to do that, because it saves me a bunch of money, and a whole lot of sleep.

Seriously, though, I hate west coast trips. The guys never seem to have their feet under them during the first couple games, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do. I think it would have been beneficial to get them out there a day or two early, but that can’t happen because of the break. They should be quite rested, although that doesn’t always seem to help, either. Vanek, in my opinion, is the only guy with an excuse to not play well.

Well, maybe he and Marc-Andre Gragnani. Yes, we called him up last night. Last time he put on the blue and gold, he skated with the forwards. This time, he’s filling in for Henrik Tallinder, who injured his shoulder and is out indefinitely. Cool. Should be interesting, to say the least.

Even though I was one of those ones, complaining that we had too many defensemen up here a couple weeks ago, I knew something like this would happen. I really think Regier needs to make some sort of move to get an established d-man here, because we can’t afford to throw our prospects in the lineup, especially with this roadtrip. Chris Butler has been exceptional thus far, and we’ve received much more than we could have imagined from him. But that’s not going to hold true to everyone, so I’m just praying that Gragnani can at least keep it simple and not screw things up. The Sabres can’t afford to do poorly on this trip because Carolina is only two points behind us; Pittsburgh and Florida only three behind.

These next four games will be vital to kicking off the playoff push. I just hope we can pull at least 5, but more ideally at least 6 points, out of this trip.

Seriously. Maria Genero has totally won my heart over…

…for Henrik Tallinder. (Don’t even get me started on Genero. I’ve said it before, I want her job, and I’d stop at nothing short of lumping her up to get it. That is, if I weren’t afraid of the ensuing arrest.)

Really, though, I’ve always liked Hank and thought he was a decent enough defenseman. And it didn’t hurt that during practices or whatever he always, always is smiling, and you can often her him shouting in celebration or just because they’re having fun. And that’s what I want from the Sabres. I want them to play well, but I want them to have fun.

Everyone knows that when you’re having fun and you’re getting satisfaction from your job or task at hand, than you’ll perform better while doing it. So if the Sabres are having fun, then they’ll most likely be playing a hell of a lot better than we’ve seen out of them this season.

Anyways, I just thought it was adorable during the Sabres Show, when Henrik was talking about sledding with this wife Ann(e) and their children Nathan and Amelie. He smiled and went all cute and sentimental on us when he said he loves to hear the kids giggle.


Come on, now. Big collective AWWW. =]

But that’s only the first part of my conviction.

The rest has to do with the long-term injuries suffered by Teppo Numminen (fractured jaw) and Andrej Sekera (ankle).

I’ve been saying it for weeks: The Sabres somehow needed to devise a defensemen rotation of sorts. Yes, before you even say it, I know it would screw up the pairings and the chemistry, blah blah blah, but we all know that our defense corps tend to break down and fall apart (i.e. every single one gets hurt) from the middle of the season, down through the stretch, and into the playoffs.

(I honestly believe that, had Jay McKee not contracted a ridiculous staph infection in his leg, due to a laceration from his pads, we would have a Stanley Cup banner in the rafters at the HSBC Arena.)

But now Chris Butler is really going to know what it’s like to be a regular NHL player. Teppo Numminen is not going to be there to show him the ropes now, and he’s going to have to step up even more than he has already to carry this team. Yes, I said carry this team. Out of the six defensemen that are going to be dressing now, I believe that Butler is the most consistent and most reliable. At least he has been since he was called up before Christmas.

And Nathan Paetsch?

I’ve been saying all along that Lindy Ruff needs to change the ways he deals with his seventh defenseman and his back-up goalies. If they have one bad game, they never again see playing time. You can’t expect a guy who sits about 10 games or more to come back to the lineup and play better than your starter(s). It just won’t happen. They either have to be played more often, or given a string of two, maybe three, games, depending on who it is (i.e. position).

Lindy did it last year with Thibault, and he’s doing it this year with Lalime.

The sad thing is, this thinking and method has seeped it’s way up to the press box, which has become much like a prison for Paetsch, I’m sure.

No matter how many bag skates this guy does, no matter how many extra minutes he logs with James Patrick, no matter how many times he hits the stationary bikes, he is not going to be used to game-play. It just won’t happen.

I can only hope that Nathan has a good game tonight. Well, actually, whether he does or not is slightly irrelevant, because no one is going to be getting a flight from Portland to Buffalo any time soon. Not a defenseman, at least. Mike Weber has been injured for some time now, and Mike Funk is recuperating in his hometown of Abbotsford, BC while he recovers from his second concussion since training camp of this year. (The first was suffered during camp, I believe the opening day. He returned from that on November 7, 2008, which just so happened to be the night I was there. The second concussion was suffered from a vicious hit from behind into the boards (which I still can’t find video of), mid-December. Funk has only played in 13 of Portland’s 37 games.) Out of the other d-men there, only two have seen any time up in Buffalo (Mike Card and Marc-Andre Gragnani, the latter used to play as a winger).

So like I said, hopefully Paetsch will have been worked in practice hard enough to be near game speed. I really hope he does well, because I’d hate to see him go. And the likely scenario is that he will if he doesn’t play well.

Die By The Blade has already furthered the trade rumor that could be bringing in veteran Mathieu Schneider to bolster the blue line in exchange for the mostly unwanted Maxim Afinogenov.

Could something along these lines happen? It will be interesting to see which rumors turn out to be actual moves once the trade deadline passes. But if this one does go through, the Sabres will be in a rut as far as bodies go. We’ve got too many defensemen, but most of them are very young. I’m anxious to see what Darcy and the management will do, come February and March.

Anyways, Go Sabres! (And Derek? Remember what I said about no friends on the ice. You shouldn’t even be friends with Greg Campbell off the ice, so definitely no niceties on the ice.)

Oh, and I just feel the need to tell you that Thomas Vanek giggles like a girl, and he and Drew Stafford stuck Butler with the bill at Chef’s on Saturday. He laughed it off when asked about it, but still. Way to treat the rookies like that.

So Cari and I were discussing this with Anne outside JJ’s last night after we had bid adieu to the rest of the bloggers. We were talking about how guys (not any guys in particular) seem to think that because we’re girls that we somehow know less then they do about sports. Now from the time i was very young I was raised on hockey if there was a Sabres game it was on my living room TV and no one was allowed to change the channel. In my family my mom and my brother love it as does my grandmother, my dad watches it but doesn’t get emotionally invested like the other members of my family.

But still I’ve been going to hockey games since I was little and now my family splits season tickets with my uncle so I go to at least 20 games a year and watch all the other games on TV. I know the hand motions for penalties and I know all the players, I’ve had guys behind me at the games ask what a certain call means or what icing is or off-sides is I am in no way a PUCK BUNNY. Most guys assume that because I like hockey I’m in it for the men and while yes the good looking players are an added bonus the fact that I like hockey has very little to do with that fact. I like hockey for its intensity and its ability to make me forget about everything except grown men pushing a disc of galvanized rubber around a big sheet of ice while occasionally getting it into a big netted contraption which means that team gets a point.

While Mark Mancari was up from Portland there were two guys sitting behind my mom and me discussing him. They were saying that they knew he had the fastest shot in the AHL but they weren’t sure how fast it actually was, being me I turned around and told him matter of factly that the slapshot registered at 102.8 mph which was .4 mph less then Zdeno Chara. The guy looked at me like I had grown three heads and said “wow you know a lot about hockey for a girl.” And there they are the magic words I would have been fine if he had just said that I knew a lot about hockey but then he had to go and add the words ‘for a girl’ I hate that stereotype and that’s exactly what it is a stereotype that because I have boobs and ovaries that I somehow should know less about sports then they do.

So guys if you ever meet me anywhere and want to know anything about hockey please for the love of all that is holy don’t add the words ‘for a girl’ on the end of a sentence. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure that any of my fellow girl bloggers would appreciate it if you would refrain from using the words ‘for a girl’ and ‘Puck Bunny’ in their presence.

No one is happier than this girl to not only see this face again, but to see it bearing a grin.


Alright. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way… Seeing as how Timmmmaaaay is returning tomorrow night, I thought it might be interesting to examine his case.

If you asked me if I could sum up Connolly’s career in one word, I’d chose unfortunate, the definition of which states that it is something marked or accompanied by or resulting in ill fortune. Tim Connolly is incredibly gifted and is a fantastic hockey player, but the poor guy has had more injuries that I can count.

The serious ones began back in his junior year, while playing down the 90 in Erie, with the Otters. In the 1998-99 season, Connolly broke his leg during a game, resulting in a rod being placed in his tibia.

This injury hardly affected his draft status, as the New York Islanders took him fifth overall that year. Despite just coming off of his broken leg, Connolly made the team out of camp. He played 81 games in his rookie season, recording only 10 goals, but snagging 20 assists for 34 points on the year. Not too shabby for a rookie, especially in the Old NHL, but more would definitely be expected of a first-round pick.

In his sophomore season, Connolly appeared in all 82 games, this time posting 10 goals, but 31 assists, improving his points total to a high 41.

The summer after that season, Tim was attending the high school graduation of his younger twin sisters, Caitlin and Shannon. Their graduation coincided with the second day of the NHL Entry Draft. Connolly admitted being excited, due to NYI’s acquisition of Alexei Yashin and Chris Osgood, and since the first day is usually when the wheeling and dealing occurs, he was completely shocked when GM Mike Milbury called–during the ceremony–to tell him that he and Taylor Pyatt had been sent packing to Buffalo, in exchange for Mike Peca.

So, Connolly suited up in the red and black. In his first season for the Sabres, Connolly again played all 82 games, but struggled to produce, improving on his previous totals, but hardly significantly. He scored 10 goals again, and tallied 35 assists, heightening his points total by four to 45.

In his fourth career season–second with the Sabres–Connolly severly underachieved, only netting 12 goals and 13 assists, for 25 points. Tim appeared in 80 games, and only missed the last two of the season due to a suspension, warranted due to swinging a stick at an opponent.

At this point in time, Tim looked reliable, at least health-wise. He was one of the leading Iron Men in the league, playing over 300 straight games (I believe he had a run of over 320, but I can’t find the exact number, and I think that put him at third in the rank).

But it all went downhill from there.

In the preseason of the 2003-2004 season, the Sabres were playing an exhibition game against the Chicago Blackhawks. This is what Tim had to say:

I took a mid-ice, shoulder-to-head hit with Scott Nichol from the Blackhawks. It was a clean hit, but I had just taken a shot, so I was in a vulnerable position where I couldn’t really brace myself. I didn’t get knocked out, I skated to the bench, but I was out of it. My legs gave out a little bit. I had never suffered a concussion before, but it was one of those situations where it wouldn’t go away. It took more than six months before my head was clear and I was able to work out and get back in the swing of things. (From ESPN.com)

Needless to say, as I’m sure you’re all well aware, Tim missed that entire season.

Cue the lockout. Tim opted to play in Switzerland, with HC Lugano. There, he played 16 games, had seven goals and three assists. His stay in Europe was cut short, though, due to a knee injury.

So Tim returned to New York, and rehabbed his knee to be sure that it would be ready for the upcoming NHL season.

In 2005-2006, Connolly was limited to 63 games in the regular season, due to a controversial knee injury. This happened when Darius Kasparaitis, then of the New York Rangers, checked Connolly low, causing him to miss time. In this season, though, Connolly recorded 16 goals and 39 assists, combining for 55 points, career highs across the board. At this point in time, he was registering .87 points per game. Hardly anything to sneeze at.

In his first playoff appearance, Connolly only played in 8 games, but registered five goals and six assists for 11 points, which would be 1.375 points per game. He did not conclude the Sabres’ playoff push with them, though, because he suffered a second concussion, thanks to a vicious, but clean, hit, from the Ottawa Senators’ Peter Schaefer, now with the Boston Bruins.

Because of problems thought to be related to his second concussion, Connolly sat out all but the last two games of the 2006-2007 season. In those last two games, he recorded one goal.

In the playoffs that year, though, Tim played 16 games, recording nine assists.

On to the 2007-2008 season. Connolly struggled throughout the year with bone spurs in his hip, which eventually required surgery. He suited up for only 48 games, scoring only seven goals, adding 33 helpers, but in the end only posted 40 points. Obviously more is needed from Connolly, whose points per game total for the season then sat at .83.

Thus far this season, Connolly has had fractured vertebrae and a broken rib, limiting him to only six of the the Sabres’ 40 games. In those six games, though, Connolly has put up two goals and five assists, for a points per game average of 1.167.

None of this goes to show how skilled Connolly is, though. He has long been Ruff’s PP QB, and always sees ice time on the PK. His teammates will always say how gifted he is, and how difficult he can be to play against.

But what do his numbers really mean to us? Why is he valuable to this team?

Let’s allow his career totals to do the talking, shall we? In the nine seasons Connolly was with an NHL team (the season he missed due to concussion symptoms and the current season included), he’s only played 444 of a possible 696 games (only 63.8%). In those games, he’s recorded 72 goals and 176 assists, for a total of 248 points. That’s only an average of .558 points per game, which would equate to 45.8 points on a season.

Like I said, I love Tim Connolly more than the next Sabres fan. I have since we acquired him, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. My point is, his numbers suck. They definitely do not portray the player we all know Connolly has the potential to be. The problem is, he is so injury-plagued that he probably will never live up to his own expectations, let alone ours.

But I’m glad to see he’ll be back tomorrow. Our power play sure as hell needs him, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a center who can really see the ice and find good passing lanes out there.

The question remains, how much longer will Timmy be wearing blue and gold? Will he be gone by the trade deadline? Is he going to leave that day? Over the summer? Or will he stay with us? Your guess is as good as mine, seeing as how Afinogenov is a bigger problem, and Kotalik would probably garner the most interest from other teams. It doesn’t hurt that the coaching staff loves Connolly. If he does stay, though, he’d better be willing to take a sizeable pay cut, because there is no way, talent aside, that a guy that injury-riddled deserves a salary of $2.9 million per season.

*****

Speaking of trades, there are rumors spreading up in Portland. They’ve hit a snag this season with goaltending, as Adam Dennis recently required season-ending hip surgery. That means Jhonas Enroth has been shouldering all of the duties, now coming up on his (I believe) 11th game in a row.

Their need of a goalie, combined with the Sabres’ supposed interest in keeping Chris Butler (we’ll see about that one) and Matt Ellis up in Buffalo, would obviously present the Sabres with a predicament. In order to keep extra bodies up in the NHL, they’d have to clear roster space. The obvious bodies to move would be Afinogenov and Paetsch, Max for obvious reasons, and Paetsch because he’s the odd man out. Kotalik and Connolly could also be moved due to contract years, but that’s hardly likely; Kotalik is a force on this team, and Connolly has virtually no stock.

Maine Hockey Journal reported that Kevin Dineen, the coach of the Portland Pirates, had some interesting sound bytes one the subject, suggesting the Buffalo brass have something in the works:

“(Goalie search) has been put off for a reason and won’t be clarified til Friday at the earliest,” said Dineen.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens, that’s for sure.

*****

And seeing as Derek Roy actually called up Kiss 98.5 this morning, I can tell you what he had to say. Honestly, though, I think this is the first actual D.R.R. in about a month, mostly due to the holidays falling on Thursdays…

– Andrew Peters’ thumb is bruised, was bleeding yesterday, and it still hurts.
– Derek suggested that Andy’s fingers taste like chicken wings.
– He says you shouldn’t bite people unless your life is in danger. Nick added, “Unless you’re on Chippewa.”
– He’s excited to play against Chris Drury.
– Is he doing anything differently? No. He’s sticking with his system.
– VitaminWater flavor? Endurance/Mango.
– Sometimes works out after games.
– January has a ridiculous travel schedule. He may just leave his suitcase packed.
– Doesn’t have any pets.
– Did he send a baby gift to Rob Ray? No.
– He was 3 when he first skated. His brothers were about that age as well. He was awful, falling everywhere. Couldn’t stop until he was “like 10 years old.”

Finally, he called them, and finally some oddball information.

Well, kids, it snowed again. Big surprise. I’m off to shovel, and the hopefully I’ll feel spry enough to head to the gym. That’s my plan, at least. I’ll be back if I hear any juicy information.

So, is Paul really coming back tonight?? I’m not entirely sure. Yes, I’d like to think so, but since I didn’t get to morning skate like I had hoped (Kim, it’s not your fault), I have no idea if he was even skating, because no reports have come back yet.

Sad.

Whatever, though. I’m sure we’re going to have a difficult enough time with Ovie and the Caps tonight anyways, with or without Goose. Not that I don’t want him to come back tonight or anything, because I do. I really, really do. But I’m not sure throwing him into the lineup instead of Matt Ellis is really going to make that much of a difference tonight.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! WHYYYYYYYY!!!!???!?!?!??! I mean, I’m super duper excited that Paul and Gerbe Derby! are going to be back, BUT PATTY K???? SERIOUSLY??? WAAAAAA. Totally ruins my somewhat-decent mood.

And as I’m sure you’ve all noticed, I’ve really, really, REALLY gotten away from constructive, objective, and even smart hockey blogging. I’m hoping I can change that tonight, as I will be home with my mother, watching the game, with absolutely NO DISTRACTIONS, except for my cat, meowing for more food, which she will not get. So I’d like to liveblog tonight, but we’ll see how that goes, since I have this tendency lately to not do what I set out to do…

But let me get to the point that I’ve been meaning to for days. (See what I mean?)

DREW STAFFORD. (But really, when is my point something other than he or Derek Roy? BTW, has anyone noticed that there has not been one inkling of juicy Sabres news since those pictures surfaced? Boooooooo!!)


So remember when I was explaining my love for Drew, and how he almost beat out Derek to be my favorite? Yeah, well this explains it all:

As I stated yesterday, I purchased the 2008-2009 Buffalo Sabres Yearbook. Now, I thoroughly enjoyed reading most of the players “Off The Ice” profiles, but some of them were just plain boring and useless.

Drew’s, on the other hand, was a masterpiece. A masterpiece which Monet, Picasso, van Gogh, da Vinci, and Michelangelo would become teary-eyed in front of, and would worship for the rest of their now meaningless lives.

Let’s read:

Nickname: Staff

What did you do this summer? Took power skating class

Favorite vacation spot: Minnesota

Ehh, nothing too, too interesting, but it says that he’s a responsible, home-town boy. I can respect that.

Let’s continue:

Pet’s name: Dog (Gonzo), frog (Butters)

Ummmmmm… WHAT? Okay, Gonzo is cute and all, but why? And BUTTERS? I don’t even want to know the story behind that one… But I think it’s cute that he has a frog. I remember when I was little, my mom’s friend Penny and her husband Al (who everyone calls Jake… weird) lived out in Arcade, and we used to go out there for bonfires and stuff, and I used to run around and fill these gigantic buckets with frogs and toads. And now that I think about that, that’s kind of gross, and I’m sorry, I’m rambling again, and I’ll get back to the point. Those names are just…. odd.

Favorite athlete: Brett Farve before his attempt at a comeback

YES!! Cynicism and witt!! My favorites!

Favorite food: Chipotle

Favorite band: Invisible Children

Okay, cocky, conceited, and self-centered? Sure, but at least he’s consistent.

Favorite actor/actress: Brad Pitt, Mila Kunis

Favorite TV show: Tim and Eric

AHHHHHHH Adult Swim. Drew, ily.

Favorite movie: Gladiator

First car: 1999 Ford Explorer

Hobbies: Shredding, cooking, calculating breakdowns, hunting and gathering

Um, Drew? Have I ever told you that I love very strange and obscure senses of humor? Oh, I didn’t? Well I do. And did I mention that I find those senses of humor to be extremely attractive? NO? Oh… Well

If I wasn’t a hockey player I’d be: an orthopedic surgeon

Okay, as much as I adore you–which is a lot, I don’t think I’d be very comfortable with you operating on me… Yeah, no.

Best friend in the NHL: Zach Parise

Favorite book: James Patterson novels

Pet peeves: Toadies, weasels, gremlins, and bad drivers

Oh, Drew… What are we going to do with you?

Most influential person in your life: Myself

Alright, that’s either super existential, or you’re extremely cocky and arrogant. I’m going to believe the former, because I think that’s definitely more interesting and becoming of you.

Best way to describe me: Normal

Yeah…. Right.

Drew, Drew, Drew… Can I dump Derek and marry you instead? Please? You know where to find me…

Anyways… Go Sabres!! xoxo

Somebody please make sure that there is defibrillator on hand if Paul plays tonight because I’m pretty sure that my heart’s going to stop beating as soon as I see him in the good old blue and yellow. Word came down that Paul would be evaluated today, after skating on an actual line in practice yesterday, to determine if he would play tonight so everyone please cross your fingers because I could do with a little good news.

Why may you ask am I literally dying for some good news? One we play Washington tonight which means Ovie which is never a good thing (sorry Frostee). Two I’m getting sick which stinks by itself but add to the fact that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I’m going to start off the New Year sick doesn’t make me very happy. Three I just got my book list for next semester and because I have to buy a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff and a whole ton of books for my nursing and regular classes the grand total comes out to be around 700 dollars not really something I’m looking forward to. But enough about my stinky life back to hockey:

To Jay McKee’s finger: Hi finger Jay needs you and probably wishes that you would stay attached to his body so please do because we love Jay and want him to continue to be able to play hockey.

To Paul Gaustad’s upper-body injury/face injury: Hi injury you know by now that I love Paul and your being around has caused me to not see him play for the last 5 games and therefore undeniable pain. So while I can appreciate that Paul got you while in practice and therefore doing his joby I and mostly everyone else that I know would really like it if you would go away so that Paul could play tonight. Oh and if you have messed up Paul’s face in anyway know that I will hunt you down and gut you like a fish. (although it may seem impossible there are ways and just let me have my delusions its usually better this way because if not there are all kinds of medications and maybe some institutionalization in my future)

To Patrick Kaleta’s eyes: Hi eyes I know that you took a hit from stupid Denis Gauthier and I know your causing Patrick some problems and while I know none of it is your fault because we all blame that overgrown nancy boy Gauthier it would be really nice if you would allow Patty to see again so that he could play.

To Nathan Gerbe’s shoulder? upper body? whatever?: Gerbe Derby I miss you terribly and I want you BAAAAAACCCCCKKKKK. *goes to cry in the corner and curse out injuries*

To Craig Rivet’s shoulder: Hi shoulder you suck that’s all I have to say. You took away our captain and if how we’ve been playing lately is any indication we would really like him back so that he can use his amazing captain’s powers (which I’m sure he has) to make our guys play well again. These powers include the ability to write inspirational speeches powererful enough to make the manliest man cry, Jaro I’m sure would be blubbering like a baby all the while saying “Jaro sad” over and over and then because no other player wants to see another player cry or they’re just embarrassed for him they go out and play the best game of their lives….SEE, see what you have taken from us injury, damn you.

To Tim Connolly’s broken rib: Well it seems that you have been but one injury in a long line of injuries and when I heard about you all I could do was sit back and laugh because let’s face it you weren’t unexpected. Actually I had a countdown on my wall as to how long after Timmy came back it would take for an injury to appear well congratulations you’re the winner. I think that because of this latest injury Timmy needs to start being wrapped in bubble wrap before he goes out to play hockey and while this may not seem like the best solution who doesn’t love bubble wrap? Seriously I’m sure Man Child I and II (Danny and Clarke) would get the biggest kick out of poking Timmy just to hear the bubbles pop at least it would give them something to do while sitting on the bench. Anyways injury I don’t blame you at all Timmy is just very fragile and I believe that we should steal a bunch of those FRAGILE stickers that people but on boxes when they’re moving and stick them all over his jersey so that people will have warning that before they hit him they are most likely to cause serious injury.

New Year’s Resolution:

To stop swearing so much everyday, but during Sabres game make an exception.

I swear like a trucker most of the time and I really want to stop relying so much on curse words and start expressing myself using my big girl words. I can’t hold to that during the Sabres’ games though because it’s almost impossible not to swear at them repeatedly throughout a game.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and that you spend it with the people you love.

SEE YOU IN 2009!!!!!

I’m going to take the time this gloomy, windy Sunday afternoon in “wild Western New York” to write thank you notes while watching the Bills game, as well as write a few needed letters to deserving ones across the NHL.

Dear Derek,

I don’t know what has gotten into you, but it has got to stop. I mean, it’s bad enough that you didn’t score on Monday for my birthday, but then you completely forgot to get me a present either for my 20th or Christmas, you don’t make up for it against Washington, and then you play as terribly as you did last night to top it off? Puh-lease. Derek, I don’t know what to do about you. I figured when Kim saw you across the street from the mall on Tuesday that you were, for sure, going shopping for me, but I guess you were just indulging yourself. But just let me say this: If I find out that you were eating lots and lots of Christmas cookies and turkey, instead of tofu brownies and tofurkey, you’re in trouble Mister. And truly, if you refuse to shoot the puck–especially on a two-on-one–on Tuesday, I’m breaking up with you again. And believe me, I’ll do it.

Love, Cari

*****

Dear Tommy,

So I see you’re now on the third line… That upsets me. Not because you’re on the third line due to injury, but because you’re hurt. And it’s obvious. You weren’t taking strides if it wasn’t necessary, and you don’t seem to have that burst of intensity that you had a couple weeks ago. I’ll make you some cookies and leave them on your doorstep. Maybe that will help. But, on second thought, Ashley might not appreciate some random girl baking cookies for her man. I’ll leave that up to her, then. But seriously, though, get well soon, Tommy. The Sabres need Atlas.

xoxo, Cari

*****

To Paul and Patty K:

I saw you two last night. Paul, you looked positively smashing in your black suit. Very nice. But Pat? What was with the beanie? I mean, I know that it’s cold in the arena, and yeah, you looked cute, but still… It kind of defeats the purpose of wearing a suit and tie if you’re going to put a winter hat on indoors. Whatever, though. I still enjoyed knowing that you were sitting directly behind me.

Hoping for you speedy return, Cari

*****

Dear Portland Pirates,

I apologize that the Sabres’ injury woes have hurt your position in the standings. Because once we took Mark Mancari from you, I believe in his absence, you only won two games. Sorry. And to make it worse, we now have Nate and Tim, which is only making a difficult situation worse.

Again, sorry. ❤ Cari

*****

Dear Timmykins,

To Timmy C, I love and miss you. What’s happening? Are you still hurt? Are you dead? Have you taken up residence in Childrens’ Hospital, drawing with the children? Because that would be cute. But you could also have taken up residence at the bar at SoHo, drowning your sorrows in bottles of Skyy Vodka or Southern Comfort, and then going home with a different girl each night to disguise the pain… But I’d like to think of you as a really good human being, so I’m going to believe the former. Yeah.

To Timmy K, YAYYY!! I was so excited to read, as Kim pulled into my driveway last night, that you had been called up! And then you were in the starting lineup? Ahhhhh-mazing! I’m so proud of you, Shirley Temple! You played well last night, so we’ll see how the rest of your stay with the Sabes goes.

Fondly, Cari

*****

Dear Sidney,

You’re an asshole.

Love, Cari

*****

Dear Jay McKee,

I hope your finger can be saved. I don’t like to think of amputations, in general, but especially not when they jeopardize the career of one of my all-time favorite hockey players, let alone Sabres. I just can’t imagine a McKee-less NHL. And I don’t want to see it anytime soon.

Best wishes, Cari

*****

Taylor Pyatt,

Maybe breaking your foot will teach you to not block shots from your teammates. I’ll miss you, Bedroom Eyes.

–Cari

*****

To all hockey players,

You’d think you’d learned from Maxim Afinogenov’s mishaps… HOCKEY PLAYERS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WARMUP BY PLAYING SOCCER. It should be banned.

Regards, Cari

I had other letters to write, but I just can’t remember them at the moment. I keep getting distracted by the sounds of tree branches snapping and the Bills game. So I’m going to go watch the game, and I’ll come back, possibly with a few more letters, tomorrow. Love…

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