Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This, That and The Other

Wow, so it turns out going to work all day is really, really hard. It's been two days now but I feel like I've worked two weeks in that 16 hours. I figured it would take me some time to get back in the swing of things but man, I'm beat. I collapsed before the late games even started last night (which turned out to be okay since I woke up this morning and discovered that the gross team won every game).

Random thoughts:

- I need to punch Pierre McGuire in the head. He's dreadful. He talks way too much for a guy standing between the benches (I miss you, Rob!). He's practically a second color man which is the last thing Versus/NBC needs since they barely do any play-by-play as it is. He talks like the players are Timbits he's coaching and his sentences get increasingly shrill and screechy until he's screaming about nothing. "Arnott isn't hustling after the puck, he can't do that, HE CAN'T DO THAT, WHY IS HE DOOOOOOOIIIIING THAAAAAT?!" He's also a creepy close talker as can be seen in this video. Dude, back up off of that guy. You're making me uncomfortable and I'm just a bystander. Also, the exchange from the 1:45 mark to 2:00 is... awkward.



- I think McGuire and Mike Milbury make for a dreadful intermission - I want my Ray Ferraro! - but I don't really have a problem with Milbury calling the Capitals the "Crapitals." First of all, these guys are getting paid to stay stupid stuff that winds people up. Mission accomplished. Second of all, it's kind of true. If you don't want people implying that you're crap, maybe you should play better. If they hadn't played well in the third period of the first game, this series could easily be 3-0 instead of 2-1. I certainly don't see why Milbury needed to apologize to Ted Leonsis. If these guys had to apologize for every stupid insulting thing they've ever said, we could be here forever.

- Despite my big talk about wishing postseason ill on all former Sabres except JP Dumont, I'm discovering a lot of residual affection for Danny Briere. Don't get me wrong, I don't want the Flyers to win it all or anything. They're the Flyers. But I would be perfectly fine with them beating the Caps before getting destroyed in the next round and I'm not going to lie, the Caps refuser in me is enjoying that Danny has been hands-down more noticeable and dynamic than Alexander Ovechkin in this series (so far). I was really not anticipating this but it's undeniable. When the Flyers advance largely because of Danny, I'll just block out Bucky Gleason. I can't let him control the way I feel anyway :P (But this will never, ever carry over to Chris Drury or Brian Campbell.)

- Speaking of Brian Campbell... Campbell Says Something Stupid Part 1,018. I'll let Kevin Sylvester handle this one.

I was surprised to read this quote from former Sabres captain Brian Campbell in the Toronto Globe and Mail on the difference between the Sabres and Sharks.

"The accountability inside the dressing room. It's probably the first team I've been on where guys will speak up and say something and you take it to heart. It's a big change that way, probably the biggest thing." -- Brian Campbell

Huh?

I can't imagine there wasn't accountability and guys speaking up with the two teams he played on in Buffalo that reached the Eastern Conference Finals in back-to-back seasons.

And as for this past season, wasn't he one of the leaders who's job it was to hold others accountable?

I don't mean to go hard at Brian, but I'm surprised these comments came from a classy guy such as him. I think his former teammates would be surprised too.


A few weeks ago I might have been surprised. Now? I am not surprised in the slightest.

(This is from Kevin's blog on Sabres.com but I'm posting it here because you can't read it without an Insider account and I didn't want to give people a link they might not be able to access. I hate how everything on Sabres.com is Sabres Insider only. It's not that hard to plug in my email address but I haven't noticed this on any other team's website. I don't want emails and text messages and I don't want your stupid prizes. I just want to read the website.)

- I kept meaning to respond to this comment from Vanek's Hair - in fact, I thought I did but I can't find it so I think I just wrote it in my head - so I'm going to do it here. He said, "May I confess I would probably like him (Sean Avery) on the Sabres?"

Well, Van, you may confess it but I'm going to have to give that a big fat negatory. I have no problem with pests. One of the first Sabres I really liked was Matt Barnaby. I would take Darcy Tucker. I would take Corey Perry and Steve Ott (and especially Steve Ott's kickin' playoff facial hair). On a very weak day, I might even take Chris Neil. (Very weak.) Avery has too much of a history of causing problems in his locker room for me to think it would be a good idea to ever bring him to Buffalo. His poor behavior on the ice is bad enough but it seems to follow him around off the ice too and I'm not into that.

That said, IF the Rangers can handle his personality they should absolutely make re-signing him this summer a priority. He changed that team the second he showed up there and from what I've seen of the Devils series (which is admittedly not a lot), he's been one of their most effective players. Better them than us.

- I picked Detroit to win it all in two pools so I'm pretty screwed if they lose. But I'm finding the Nashville team that I thought I hated kind of endearing. I appreciate them battling even though everyone thinks they're going to lose. And let's face it, the world is a better place with a fully blossoming JP Dumont playoff beard. For that beautiful sight, I might be willing to take a playoff pool hit. Go Preds go!

- I love, love, love Kelly Hrudey. He's not spectacularly handsome but there's something very pleasant about the looks of him. And even if I don't agree with him, he's just very soothing. He has opinions and he expresses them but he never yells, he never talks over the other people with him, and he seems to realize at all times that he's talking about hockey. Yes, it's awesome. No, it's not life and death. Now that I think about it, I think that's why I really liked - and miss - Ray Ferraro too. I like my sports guys chill, yo.

- Forget the Caps, people. The feel good story of the year is the Ottawa Senators. Charging off to a 15-2 start, completely blowing up around New Year's, plummeting for the remainder of the season, squeaking into the playoffs and then getting swept in the first round by a spunky little Pens team? That's so beautiful I could cry.

18 comments:

KMS2 said...

And Danny Briere is so much cuter than Ovechkin!

Kate said...

Maybe it's because you and I sit around talking about hockey all day every day, but I couldn't agree more....with this entire post. Especially about the Preds. I'm all for them now.

Ebscer said...

I would want Avery on the team before Neil... that said, if either of them get signed by Buffalo I may have to become a full time Calgary fan...

Vanek's Hair said...

I did not like Avery's antics with Bordeur. And that they needed to make a Sean Avery Rule. Maybe I like the idea of Sean Avery more than the actual Sean Avery. The Sabres NEED a player that makes the opposition mad.

As far as Neil, I'll pass. He is a gutless puke to me. He has no problem taking himself out of position to charge Crosby or Malkin, but when Laraque is on the ice, Neil won't even so much as get in his zip code. I also remember a game in Buffalo when Neil took out (I forget the Sabre)'s knees. Gaustad came over the bench and Neil skated as fast as I've ever seen someone skate to his bench. I have no use for him, and even less respect.

Anne said...

if we signed Neil or Avery, I think we'd need an intensive multi-day therapy session to convince Sabres fans that we love them. It would be involved and require a lot of commitment, but we Sabres fans are nothing if not committed (or is that we should BE committed?)

I feel the same way about Danny. I'm not over him. Haha, I've decided I have to switch him from "dirty rats who abandoned us" to "players whose time in Buffalo came to an untimely end" that way I can still love him a little bit.

Mark B said...

Vanek's Hair, I think we have that type of player. The Kaleta! I know he still has to develop his overall game some, but he sure drives the opposition crazy. That said, I would welcome the once hated Darcy Tucker in a second. I find my hate for him gone as incompetent as the Leafs have become.

On the Pierre Mcguire front. He seems to bring Ed Olcyk down right with him. The two of them are the same when together. They get on my nerves so much with their berating of players like they're family members. And why do they call Eddy Edzo when there's no Z in his name?? Help me here! Add in Mike Emrick, who I think is terrible on Versus, and that is why I turn to HNIC as much as possible.

k.m.stiles said...

There's a 'Z' in his last name: Olczyk.

But I think it's down right stupid to nickname him Edzo. Eddie sounds so much better and flows off the tongue easier.

ElmaGolf said...

"The accountability inside the dressing room. It's probably the first team I've been on where guys will speak up and say something and you take it to heart. It's a big change that way, probably the biggest thing." -- Brian Campbell

Aren't we getting into "Tiki Barber" territory with that type of crap? "There was no leadership when I was there?" - This year, I couldn't agree more Soupy. Took quite a leader to negotiate through the press and become a massive distraction (as well as fall apart in your own play). All these subsequent Soupy statements are making that final Press Conference seem more & more Crocodile-tear-filled. Do you suppose it's just Grier getting him fired up? "I was right to leave, wasn't I?"


I was with Vanek's Hair on Avery, but I think the "idea of Avery" is a better clarification. The last set of antics is too embarassing to support. Kaleta is in a totally different mold than guys like Neil & Avery. As Ruff says, he's not a verbal agitator, he just gets under people's skin by taking good runs at them and laughing at them when they retaliate. Avery is just a class 1 jerk who starts fights in warm-ups and Neil has no respect for other players (plus he was pretty well exposed when Laroque was on the ice).

On Briere, I felt bad that he was booed - I think the Sabres decided to part ways rather than he "abandoned us." It's just the incessant diatribes by Bucky & Sully that made me want to see him fail miserably.

Vanek's Hair said...

The more Campbell talks, the more I am glad he is no longer on the Sabres. He continually comes off as the kind of guy who would take his ball and go home if he doesn't get his.

Elma - I am in total agreement that his constant negotiation through the media was a major distraction to the team all year. Maybe somewhere in there are the four points they needed to get in. Remember that the Sabres swept a home and away with Philly and were sitting nicely in the standings. Shortly thereafter was when Campbell started pouting publically. And the winless streak hit 10.

Heather B. said...

kms2, Danny doesn't really do it for me but I will certainly agree that he's more attractive than Ovechkin. (That's what I call damning with faint praise.)

Kate, we are definitely undergoing some kind of weird mind meld.

I can go along with the idea of an Avery. And I will also agree that Neil has been exposed as not being as effective as I think he thinks he is. And I did quantify my acceptance of him. Twice. I really only put him above Avery because his teammates seem to actually like him unlike Avery. I get very confused when I hear Mike Fisher talk about what good friends they are because I love Mike Fisher and he seems like such a good guy. I can't make the two of them fit together in my brain.

I forget about the "Z" in Edzo's last name but I do really like the nickname "Edzo." It's different.

Elma, my favorite part of Kevin's blog was him saying, "Uh... Weren't you supposed to provide some of the accountability this year, Brian?" Which is funny because in retrospect, whenever he didn't play well he almost always talked about the system or the team needing to play as a group of five instead of, "Yeah, I stunk and I need to play better."

Tessa said...

I agree about Briere. I can't blame him for leaving after the team decided they didn't want him, and I definitely still have a soft spot for him. The Flyers have never been my most hated team either (that honor belongs solely to the Rangers), so I like seeing him do well.

Plus, with everyone jumping on the Caps/Ovechkin bandwagon, I feel the need to be contrary.

As for Campbell...I don't think he has quite mastered the "think" portion of "think before you speak." At least fans who were hoping he would be signed and be captain next year should be placated by this; he inadvertently called himself a completely inadequate leader.

Katie said...

Great post, Heather!

I totally agree with you about Danny...There's something about him that makes it impossible to really hate him - even if he does play for the dark side. As a shortie myself, I think I'll always have a soft spot for him. But I think for me it all comes down to his attitude. Both he and Marty have said nothing but good things about Buffalo and their time here, and they continue their charity work here, too.

Which brings us to the latest chapter in "How Brian Campbell Ruined All the Good Standing He Had Left in Buffalo." I agree with Elma, he just sounds like an even more petulant Tiki Barber. Hopefully the Sabres will respond like the Giants did after they got rid of him =)

Patty (in Dallas) said...

Dittles on Nashville and Kelly Hrudey. I started rooting for Nashville just because I wanted Detroit to lose. Now I also want the Preds to win. Don't tell anybody I said that, though. We're still mad at Tootoo for cold-cocking Stephane Robidas.

ElmaGolf said...

At least fans who were hoping he would be signed and be captain next year should be placated by this; he inadvertently called himself a completely inadequate leader.

Great line Tessa!

ElmaGolf said...

Sad to see that Briere's goal last night was for the hated Flyers (and gave Bucky some puck-bunnyesque ecstasy).

That was a great game to watch and the Caps deserved better. They did a great job along the boards and really outplayed the Flyers (IMO). I love OT celebrations, but watching it happen for Philly fans was too much.

Heather B. said...

I could probably agree that the Caps should have won but I have to admit, I was really happy the Flyers won and really happy Danny came up with the big game-tying goal. (I chalk the Flyers thing up to being contrary about the Caps though. I'm in no way endorsing them winning after this round.)

Bowl of Pork said...

3 quick items in this hit-and-run...

I hate how everything on Sabres.com is Sabres Insider only. It's not that hard to plug in my email address but I haven't noticed this on any other team's website. I don't want emails and text messages and I don't want your stupid prizes. I just want to read the website.)

I'm pretty certain this is a big push from the league, rather than the team, because I have seen it elsewhere. Granted, not with the ferocity of the Sabres site, but it does exist.

That said, I would welcome the once hated Darcy Tucker in a second.

Yeah, I'd take Tucker too... so he could be Timmy Ho #2 and die in another horrific car crash. I hateHATEhate Tucker.

he just sounds like an even more petulant Tiki Barber. Hopefully the Sabres will respond like the Giants did after they got rid of him =)

Seconded! Motion to vote!!

S.A.M. said...

yuck. I dont like Danny, he's a traitor! But I do like Biron so he's still cool in my books.

and I like Ovie. I can't help it, he's just cool. Though he is invisible so far this series. Wake up, yo!

I haaaaate Avery and I would pay not to have him on my team. I would take Barnaby back though! He was great.

why is Emrick so bad on VS? I can't explain why but he just falls apart. It's like the strugglin-ness of the whole broadcast makes Emrick, who is in his right a good commentator, worse. Strange.

Ditto on the Kelly Hrudy comments. I was just saying to my sis how great it is that he can still rock his hairdo from when he was playing hockey.. and not look silly! ;) Long live goalie mulletts. He is smart and casual and he's been an analyst for at least 10 years now I think so he seems to have it down. I would take him any day of the week. And I too enjoy Ray Ferraro- I thought he was quality in the studio with the fellas.

I seem to always miss Pierre MacGuire. I think that is okay, since he's totally strugglin.