Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Catching Up

Odds and ends:

- Who do we petition to make the rest of our games road games? The Sabres should never, ever play in HSBC again. I remember when everyone was all, "They have so many roads on the game in January! Whatever will they do!" What were we thinking? We suck at home! I hope we don't get home ice advantage in the playoffs. And then I hope we offer to play all the games at the other team's arena you know, just to be nice.

- I wasn't really looking forward to hearing other team's broadcasts on this trip but I have to admit, for the most part they've been pretty okay. A few head-scratchers here and there - I'm wondering what Buffalo defense these guys have been watching - but no one was completely unlistenable. I particularly enjoyed Phoenix's team of Dave Strader and Darren Pang. Knowledgeable, nice chemistry and very easy to listen to. When Rick retires (many, many, many years from now), I think we should just steal them. Surely they don't actually enjoy talking about the Coyotes for 82 games?

- That said, I cannot listen to this guy say "Coat-a-lick" too many more times before I lose it.

- There was a lot of stunned disbelief regarding the crazy throwbacks Montreal wore a couple nights ago but I kind of love them. I wouldn't want to look at them every night or anything but as far as one-time throwbacks go, I thought they were kind of fun. I don't think they're any worse than those gross powder blue Penguins throwbacks that everyone seems to love.

- Oddly enough, a couple of days after we were debating Maria Genero, there was little interview with her in the Buffalo News. Nothing earth-shattering there but if, like me, you're not familiar with her, there is a little background information. As far as I can tell she has more experience with weather than sports. Which makes her perfect as the co-host of the Sabres Show, doesn't it? Note to Maria: If you think you come across as a real person, well, just read the comments on the previous blog entry.

- That same day the Buffalo News had a big feature story on Ryan Miller and the online version included a video. As Jill pointed out in the comments on the Sabres Show entry, the video was miles better than anything the Sabres Show has put together. It goes over some familiar territory - Steadfast, Matt, photography - and it probably helps that Ryan Miller is, in my opinion, one of the best interviews on the Sabres team. He's interesting and he's always been very open to sharing his thought process and feelings on various things but it's still an interesting interview involving a subject who looks very relaxed and sounds very conversational. There were some serious questions but there was also a dose of light-hearted questions especially with the lightning round (tacos or fish? etc.) which is exactly the kind of little fun thing I'd love to see more of.

The interview also did two things I forgot to mention in my many comments about what I'd do differently if I were in charge of the Sabres Show. One, it gave Ryan a chance to talk about Michigan and what he loves about it. I'd love to hear some of the European players elaborate more on their home countries. Something more than, "Yeah, it was really hard to leave there." I've never been to Sweden or Finland or the Czech Republic. Give me a little something about those places, what the players loved most about growing up there, what they still miss the most about it. Something. (Personally, I'd also make them say something in their native tongue but that might just be me. I love hearing foreign languages.

Second, the interview gets past the generic, "I love Buffalo, the fans are great" and gets Ryan to elaborate on what he loves about Buffalo, not just as a hockey city, but as a home. Ask these guys what their favorite non-hockey thing about this area is. Where do they like to eat? Where do they go for fun? If they have kids, what do their kids love to do? The only other time I can recall hearing a player talk about specifics is a video that was on the website a couple seasons ago in which Henrik Tallinder talked about taking his kids to Delaware Park. I love hearing that kind of stuff.

I have a few more thoughts on this I'll get to later but for now I'll just say, I thought the story was very well-done in both the print and video presentations.

- Would've been nice to go 4-2 on that trip but I'll take 3-3. The Sabres seemed to suddenly lose steam in the middle of the game tonight and I'll give them a little bit of credit for not just falling apart completely. But note to the d-men: I get that you're rough and tumble hockey players and all that but perhaps it's not the best time to be taking numerous 5 minute penalties. We're just about ready to pull people out of the stands to play defense, you know?

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