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).
- 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
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.