Friday, February 13, 2009

Deep Breathing

After the Ottawa game I was feeling pretty bummed but after reading some blogs and other reports today, I think everyone might need to take a chill pill. Don't get me wrong, that was definitely one of the worst games I've ever paid money to see. It's right up there with the dreadful Canadiens game I saw earlier this year (although that might have seemed worse since it was followed the next day by an afternoon at Ralph Wilson stadium for the absolutely abysmal Bills-49ers game). Yes, the Sabres miss and will continue to miss Thomas Vanek. Yes, it would be nice if someone else :::coughpominvillecough::: would pick up some of the slack while Van is out. No, the Sabres are probably not winning the Stanley Cup this season.

But missing the playoffs? Come on, they're not missing the playoffs. The Eastern Conference is way too bad for that. I'd be more concerned if I was a Canadiens or Rangers fan because from what I've seen of them lately, they're a friggin' mess and they're getting worse in the stretch. The Sabres have played really well for a month and lost one game while missing numerous players, some of them pretty important. It's one game. If the team plays like that for the next couple of games, then maybe I'll worry. For now it's one game. It's a little too early to sound the alarms.

A few things:

-- I think I would've preferred it if Lindy had tried just dropping Nathan Gerbe in Thomas Vanek's spot with Drew Stafford and Tim Connolly. Then he's with the best set-up man on the team in Timmy and if it works, Lindy doesn't have to monkey with any of the other lines. I'm far too lazy to look this up right now - it's 2:08 a.m. and I'm a blogger not a journalist - but the only acceptable explanation is if Gerbe doesn't play on the same side as Vanek. As smart as I like to pretend I am about hockey, I can never remember who plays on what side and often willfully ignore that information.

-- Note to the Sabres: If someone touches your goalie, punch him in the head immediately. It's not hard and I really think everyone in the arena would applaud you taking that penalty. Also, people not named Tim Connolly are allowed to shoot the puck.

-- Note to the goalie: Dude, what the heck. That Daniel Alfredsson shot that trickled in between your legs? That puck was moving so slowly that I'm sure I could've run down from my seat and stopped it before it crossed the goal line. Look alive there, pal.

-- I wore my Tim Connolly jersey to the Ottawa game. I had retired it after his brief fling as my favorite ended but since Hank is hurt and Timmy has been playing so well, I dug it out of the depths of my closet. Even though it's a size larger, I spent the entire night pulling at it and readjusting it and just being generally uncomfortable. It felt all wrong. I think that was partly because it's a goat head so I felt weird in a sea of blue and gold but I'm pretty sure it's also because I really should've been wearing my Hank jersey, injured or no. (Speaking of Hank, I had a great view of him in the box where scratched players sit. He spent the entire evening with 3 blonde women sitting on one side of him and three different blonde women sitting on the other side of him. He did not seem particularly broken up about not being on the ice.) Anyway, tonight it's back to #10 for me.

-- I've written many, many times before about how watching and blogging about the Sabres really helped me feel settled in Buffalo, leading me a lot of the people I now consider really good friends. The girls I went to the game with last night definitely fall into that category. Monica and I worked in the same classroom for a few years - she was the teacher, I was the aide - so we would've been friends anyway but I was more or less just acquaintances with Sue and Kathy until we realized we were all Sabres fans. This is the third season we've bought a few games together and we always have a blast regardless of the game's outcome. Sue and Monica in particular really held my hand through the worst of the infertility trial a few years ago and in a weird kind of way, I can thank the Sabres for having that support system in my life.

This is not Monica, Sue or Kathy but the only picture I could find of them didn't include me and gosh darn it, I want to be on my own blog. Sorry, ladies.

-- Not a huge fan of the new opening video. I would agree that City of Blinding Lights isn't a particularly good fit for Buffalo but I love the song and I love the big, sweeping joyous sound to it. I think that makes it a good fit for a video like this. I couldn't quite put my finger on what I didn't like about the new video but I think Kevin nailed it. While it's a good idea, it comes across as very, very stagey. The more candid shots of fans really are a lot more fun.

-- Here's to hoping we don't get killed by the Sharks tonight. I don't know why but I have a pretty decent feeling about it. For all the complaints that can be made about the current Sabres team, they do seem to get up pretty well for tough opponents.


amy said...

If someone touches your goalie, punch him in the head immediately.

So much word to this entire sentence. No one will stick up for Miller all of the time. He's on his own back there. But judging from his comments after Wednesday's game, it sounds like he might be taking things into his own hands defense-wise.

While it's a good idea, it comes across as very, very stagey.

True. But I think that the idea and tone of the video had to change once Goose (and later Vanek) got hurt, as they were supposed to be the main stars of the video. I would love to see the original storyboard and pitch for the video, just to see what changes had to be made to account for the different players that were recruited.

Jill said...

I am so agreeing with the whole punching in the head thing... (Miller did knock Foligno in the back of the head and nearly took of his helmet at one point when he was standing in front of him WTG Millsie!) seriously when is someone going to stand up for Miller? I was so pleased when Butler took Foligno out. I have feeling Miller is going to be aggressive tonight. That is his game when he gets angry. He was flustered and lost his focus. I have a feeling today he is all business and focused.

I don't have too many issues with the video... I get the idea they are trying to portray... BUT they need to polish it a bit. It's worthwhile.

Erin said...

Hate the new opener. It's a let down and it did not get me all pumped up and excited like the 'City of Blinding Lights' did. FAIL.

On the subject of openers, I went to the Sabres/Blackhawks game in Chicago. They showed THE WORLDS LONGEST into. It went on and on and on. I'm pretty sure it had and intermission and then restarted. It was obnoxious. I'm not just saying this because I was there supporting the Sabres. I actually had kind of a soft spot for the Blackhawks but that pompous, overproduced, way to long intro basically made me hate the entire team.

The point is, the into counts. Bring back the old one. It's about the whole city, not just little boys.

Erin said...

I guess proof-reading also counts.

Heather B. said...

Amy, I didn't realize changes had been made. That's interesting. Might've changed things.

I'm assuming all the shots of the kid at the game are genuine but I feel like the staginess of the opening almost makes the whole thing feel staged.

The point is, the intro counts. Bring back the old one. It's about the whole city, not just little boys.

Also, it's 2009, Sabres. Can we get a little girl up in here somewhere? At the pond hockey game? In the stands? Hockey has the largest female fan base of any pro sport so how about a little representation?

Again, just for the record, I don't think the video is TERRIBLE. But really it just made me go back and watch the "Better Days" video again.

Mark B said...

I was a little disappointed that Rivet didn't absolutely destroy some of those Senators for running Miller. He's been doing that pretty well this season even though his teammates have not followed suit.

Vanek's Hair said...

I am not too hopeful about the results in a game against San Jose. They are damn good. Though I have no record watching them, since I cannot even recall their last visit here. I hope I am not a bad luck charm. And to hell with you Jeremy Roenick for being on IR. The reason I am going to this game was to see an all time favorite one last time.

In any event, it will be nice to be at the game tonight. WNY needs to exhale.

amy said...

I didn't realize changes had been made.

Yeah, Goose was supposed to play a significant role in the video (at least that's how the News put it). Then when Goose was hurt, Vanek was supposed to play the Goose role. Then when Vanek got hurt, the ensemble cast stepped in.

And I agree, seeing a girl playing hockey would be appropriate. This is 2009, and the fight to get girls hockey added to the roster of high school sports in WNY is in the news a lot.

I am not too hopeful about the results in a game against San Jose.

I would love if the Sabres came out and played a solid, consistent 60 minutes of hockey that ended up in a win. WNY can use the pick-me-up. I'm not asking for a spirit-lifting blowout like they did during the October Surprise storm. I just want a good, clean game that ends in a win. I'm not asking for much, right?