Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

Since we have a few days off, I figured I'd take this opportunity to answer some questions about myself and my feelings about hockey and the Sabres so anyone who stumbles across this knows what they're dealing with.

Should the Sabres keep Daniel Briere or Chris Drury?
I'm so not having this discussion right now. We're still playing! We're heading into the playoffs! This team is awesome, totally capable of bringing Buffalo its first professional sports championship! I'm not interested in discussing the best way to break up the team right now. Can we please, please just enjoy le petit Briere AND Drury while we definitely have them both? Please?

No thoughts on the matter at all?


Okay, fine. Who are your favorite Sabres?

I'm happy to say that there's no one on the team I really dislike. There are a few guys I'm a little indifferent to - I don't mind them being around, I wouldn't be heart-broken if they weren't - but there's no one player I wish was elsewhere. (But you're on probation, Mair.) That said, I do have my favorites. I'll spare you a breakdown of the entire team and give you my personal top 5. Please keep in mind that I'm not saying these guys are the most talented or the most valuable. They're just my favorites.

1. Henrik Tallinder - I simply adore Hank. He's so steady and so dependable. He never panics and almost always does exactly the right thing with the puck. He goes one-on-one with the league's best offensive players as well as anyone in the NHL. And in addition to that, he's just a beautiful skater. I could watch that long, lean frame move effortlessly up and down the ice all night.

2. Tim Connolly - Watching Tim Connolly blossom last season was one of the most fun things I've seen since becoming a hockey fan. I'm afraid some fans are going a little overboard with the "Timmy will fix everything about our special teams!" stuff, but I'll take what he can give us, that's for sure. I've missed watching him this year and hope he comes back with a vengeance.

3. Brian Campbell - I just like him, plain and simple. There doesn't really seem to be any divas on the team, but Soupy comes across as particularly good-humored and down to earth. He's another guy I love to watch skate even in warm-ups and he always looks like he's having fun out there. Almost every game there's atleast one shot of him with a huge "Holy crap I can't get believe I get PAID for this" grin on his face.

4. Derek Roy - Little D, as he's known in my house, isn't perfect. While I'm glad to see he's cut down on the diving, I could do without the whining after every non-call. He's also prone to taking bad penalties when frustrated. That said, the kid is a dynamo. He plays as hard as anyone on the ice and he's turned into a really solid 2-way player. I love watching him kill 20 seconds off a penalty all by himself and I really love watching him mix it up with guys twice his size. Some fans are disappointed with his offensive output, but he has centered the most consistent line all season, even when his wings changed. Gotta give him some credit for that.

5. Chris Drury - Heart and soul of the team, no doubt in my mind. I think his value to the team was perfectly demonstrated by the response to Chris Neil's hit on him a couple weeks ago. Chris does all the little things night in and night out. You might have to watch him regularly to really appreciate how much he means in a game, but trust me, he means a ton.

Wait a second. Chris Drury is on your list of favorite players and Daniel Briere isn't. So you'd keep Chris, right?
Again with this?

What do you think of the Sabres' new unis?
They're godawful ugly. They were ugly when they were introduced, they're ugly now. The fact that the Sabres have sold a bajillion dollars of merchandise with that logo on it doesn't make it any less ugly. When the logo first started showing up on merchandise I half joked that I was boycotting it, but I still haven't bought anything with it for myself and now I'm going to see how long I can hold out. I did buy my husband the new blue Drury jersey he wanted but the only things I've purchased for myself this season are a t-shirt with the vintage logo and a vintage 3rd Tallinder jersey. After getting an up-close view of my husband's jersey, I don't hate the colors although I do think the bright vintage blue is much more distinctive. Half the teams in pro sports wear some variation of navy blue now it seems. But I don't like the design and the logo... well, it is just not pretty. And to the idiot who tried to tell me that my lack of support for the logo means I'm not a true fan, hey, you can bite me.

Dmitri Kalinin sucks, doesn't he?

Honestly, I think 'Tri has been one of the most consistent d-men this season. He does have the occasional horrible turn-over but he's hardly alone there. And chances are good that if a puck deflected off of someone and into our own net, it probably went off 'Tri but what are you gonna do? It happens. He's mostly solid and he's definitely been the best thing about our power play lately. He does still seem to struggle with his confidence, something that isn't new, but maybe it has something to do with every single game resulting in a "Kalinin SUCKS" thread on Sabres' message boards. I admit, I've developed a bit of a maternal protectiveness toward him. Ignore the haters, 'Tri and keep plugging away.

What are some of your favorite things about being a Sabres fan?
- sitting in a sold out arena even on a Wednesday night
- 18,000 fans yelling, "Chris! DRUUUUUUUUURYYYYYYYYY!" along with the PA announcer
- getting to watch a team grow up and mature together
- cheering for a team whose ownership appears to really understand and appreciate its fanbase
- Rick Jeanneret and the way he can make a pretty dull game seem a little more exciting
- all the great calls Paul Gaustad's nickname of Goose has led to, namely, "The Goose is really honking now" and "If you're out and about, give a honk for the Goose!"
- seeing one of the best young goalies in the league develop
- looking at the team and organization now, realizing how close Buffalo came to losing the Sabres as recently as three years ago, and feeling overwhelming relief and amazement
- screaming "LET'S GO BUFF-A-LO!" It has a good flow and it even rhymes for crying out loud! Seriously, try it. It's fun.

I hate Sabres fans! They're obnoxious and they probably eat babies.
Some of us might but I assure you that most of us are normal, excited, enthusiastic fans. I know many of you have had very poor experiences with Sabres fans in your cities and buildings over the past year and a half but try not to paint us all with the same brush. Trust me, it bothers me to hear stories of obnoxious behavior as much as it bothers you. Probably more since I'm the one getting lumped in with these losers. My devotion is to my team first and foremost but I love watching a lot of other teams and players as well.

Yeah? Like who?
Just to name a few, Dany Heatley, Vincent Lecavalier, Jarome Iginla, and while I don't see him as much as I'd like because he's in the Western Conference/not on a Candadian team, Scott Niedermayer.

You're a girl, you write for HLoG, and you're starting your own hockey blog. You're a puck bunny, aren't you?
Oh, yay, the one question I hate more than the Drury vs. Briere debate. Listen, I'm a red-blooded female and I'm not going to pretend I don't notice when a guy is good-looking. But I also understand what's going on the ice and appreciate the athletic ability and dedication required to play professional hockey. As a former athlete of decent talent, I'm in awe of the variety of skills necessary to play in the NHL. (Of course, it also helps that I don't really see the appeal of any of the Buffalo puck bunny favorites. Miller? No, sorry. Pominville? Eh. Totally average. Roy? Well, we're getting a little closer atleast. Henrik Tallinder and Paul Gaustad are the only Sabres I would consider above average, especially now that Jay and Marty are elsewhere.)

As for HLoG... If you've never checked it out, you should. You might be surprised.

Okay, you're not a puck bunny. But you MUST have an opinion on the Drury/Briere issue.
Okay, fine! Sign me up for Team Drury. Geez.


CapsChick said...

Wait...so you mean you don't eat babies?? Well there goes my whole belief system!

OMG, I'm going to chip in all the money I have in the world for the Capitals to go buy Drury. You think he'll come here for $5.32 in pennies?

(As I'm now hated by all Sabres fans who read this...meh, what else is new...)

Congrats on the blog! Looks good so far :)

jerthebear said...

Hey Heather! On behalf of all of the newbie bloggers, I'd like to welcome you and your blog. I've only been blogging for a VERY short time, but I love it! I'd go with Drury too! :)

Heather B. said...

CC: I don't make much but I think I can scrape together $5.50 so there! I'm keeping Chris! Thanks for dropping by!

JTB: Thanks for the welcome! I love blogging and I love hockey so I figured I'd love blogging about hockey. Go Team Drury!

Paige said...

Hey, don't be so pessimistic! I'm still rooting that we can keep Dru AND my Danny Boy!

And for the record, I can't decide. Chris is the heart and soul of the team, and if we want to win games, he's the best choice. But Danny, o Danny Danny. I love him so, and he is amazing and like a second heart and soul of the team. Amazing scorer, All-Star MVP, best hands in the NHL, great guy.

I'm just glad that making the decision isn't my job.

Heather B. said...

Paige, I'm still hoping the team manages to lock in both guys as well, and I sure wouldn't want to be the one who has to make the choice if it comes to that (though I think it's ultimately going to come down to what Danny and Chris want to do)... but if I HAD to choose I'd give Chris a little bit of an edge. Not a huge one but a little one.