Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random Thoughts

Some off-night thoughts:

- Now that it's been two games I can officially say that I am not a fan of the new road game TV presentation. I miss the postgame Shoot-Out. I need my postgame Shoot-Out. Because we went to the home opener I've yet to even see Rob Ray and Mike Robitaille. I'm going through withdrawls. It almost doesn't feel like the season has fully started yet. I will be so, so happy to see them tomorrow night.

My biggest problem with the new set-up is that the road games now contain way, way too much Kevin Sylvester. Don't get me wrong, I like Kevin. But his happy earnestness is a little overwhelming for me by itself. It needs to be mixed in with a little crankiness from Robie and a little exasperation from Rob.

- I'm also not a huge fan of the intermission interviews with opposing players. I'm not against getting to know more about non-Sabres - I'm all for it! - but come on, I'm not learning anything interesting in that fifteen seconds. If I have to sit on my couch and listen to a sweaty, out-of-breath player talk about sticking to the system and waiting for the chances to come, I want it to be one of my guys. If you're gonna hit me with an opponent let's at least make it an entertaining little fluff piece.

- The first episode of "The Sabres Show" is up on If you haven't seen it yet, you should check it out although the best parts seemed to have aired during intermissions. I liked the idea of the Ales Kotalik interview better than the outcome but I'm really happy to see them start the one-on-one sit-downs with someone not named Pominville, Miller, Roy or Gaustad. I like those guys and they're usually good interviews but they're the interviews we get over and over and over. The old Morning Skate podcast - whatever happened to that? - suffered from that too. Same guys over and over and rarely any of the Europeans. Seeing Al makes me optimistic about the chances of seeing Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman before too long both of whom I love seeing interviewed.

I've really enjoyed the sit-down with Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier a lot. So far it's mostly been stuff I've read or heard over the years but I really like seeing those two interact with each other because we don't get to see them together very often. I like that they're obviously friends and clearly have a lot of respect for each other. I thought it was really interesting when Darcy pointed out that they partly became such a good team because they really needed that from each other. They were both walking into a very tough situation, dealing with all the John Muckler-Ted Nolan fallout. No one was super excited about either of them being there so they found support in each other. Any time I read a story about a GM and a head coach sniping at each other and going behind each other's back it takes me aback. I have to remind myself that that's probably more the norm while relationships like Lindy and Darcy's are the exception. In case I haven't made it clear in the past, I really love both of these guys. With all due respect to the players who've signed over the last couple of years, Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff are the core of the Sabres.


- I think my least favorite rule in hockey is the automatic four minutes for drawn blood on a high stick. It's completely arbitrary and doesn't have anything to do with the severity of the contact. I guess I understand wanting to remove as much subjectivity as possible from calls but I still don't like it.

- Note to Rangers fans: I'm not a Patrick Kaleta apologist - I've taken issue with some of his hits in the past and I'm not a fan of the injury-related taunting if that did take place - but you can't call a penalty on a guy who fails to make contact with his intended target. It's not boarding, charging or roughing when your guy evades the hit.

- I'm an avid reader and writer so I sometimes see symbolism where there probably isn't any. That said, there has to be something symbolic about Thomas Vanek blowing by Chris Drury for two of his goals last night, right? I think so.


Lee Andrew said...

The sideline interviews in sports are the most useless thing ever. I think they should ask something that isn't even about the game. "Coach Meyer, Pepsi or Coke?" "Obviously Cherry Coke rules." "Back to you Bob." That would a lot more interesting than "What are you going to tell your players during half time." "I'm going to tell them to play better." Wow. What a gem.

It especially bothers me with ESPN's (who else?) baseball coverage. Why is Peter Gammons a sideline reporter? We get to hear the best mind in baseball talk once a game. Why isn't he doing regular commentary and if he can't do that why isn't he on Baseball Tonight? Baseball Tonight used to be my favorite sports show but it's horrible without Harold Reynolds and Peter Gammons.

Heather B. said...

Lee, I totally agree about the downfall of Baseball Tonight. For a long time it was one of the few shows on ESPN that still featured quiet, intelligent conversation - it was like the network totally forgot it existed and it was beautiful. Now it's just like everything else on ESPN. John Kruk is the bane of my existence.

Vanek's Hair said...

Yes, but Chris Drury was clutch when he let Vanek blow by him. Everything he does is clutch.

I am going to have to take exception to your comments about Kruk. How can you dislike a guy who once said "Am in shape? To run a marathon, no. But to play baseball, yes. The bases are only 90 feet apart."

Jaime said...

I think they should ask something that isn't even about the game. "Coach Meyer, Pepsi or Coke?" "Obviously Cherry Coke rules." "Back to you Bob."

OMG that's hilarious! I would much rather hear that than sticking to the system, working hard, and staying calm in the face of adversity.

twoeightnine said...

Most awkward Kiss Cam moment EVER!

Mark B said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the road game TV format. When Quinn announced no real post game show for the road games along with no Robie and Rob, I thought it was a bad idea.

Now I think it's a terrible idea. I am so missing the give and take of the three guys along with Robie's analysis of certain plays.

Plus they made a big deal about the road post game content being on the website. Well, Sabres, if that's your solution please have it on there before midnight! Monday afternoon, I checked hours after the game and no interviews.

I guess the ratings were down for the road post game shows, but I could care less. This format does not work.

Mark B said...

I just thought of something else. Watching the DVR'd version of last Friday's home game, there was very little interaction between Rob and the other two. He was behind the bench during the game like usual and then after the game sat in on Lindy's press conference and was not there to hassle Robie. Boo!

Heather B. said...

Vanek's Hair, I love John Kruk the baseball player. My favorite quote is the classic, "Lady, I'm not an athlete, I'm a baseball player." John Kruk the baseball analyst makes my head hurt.

289, I always knew there was something funny about that picture but I couldn't figure out what it was. You nailed it!

Evan J said...

I'm with you on the intermission interviews thing. Those are a complete waste - first time I saw one I was a bit confused.

Sometimes things like this grow on you a little but these interviews really do not give you any info.