Monday, March 29, 2010

Introducting Captain Fuck This Shit

Two of the dearest friends I've made through hockey blogging are Pookie and Schnookie of Interchangeable Parts.  Once upon a time they wrote about Jamie Langenbrunner, and how they used to call him - and excuse my language for a moment - "Captain Fuck This Shit" in honor of a couple of clutch goals he scored.  They've tied that name forever with Langenbrunner - Zach Parise, for example, can't take over the title - but as a non-Devils fan I've always found the concept of Captain Fuck This Shit pretty interesting.  I mean, when you hear that name don't you just automatically know who that guy is?

I don't think the Sabres have had a CFTS since Danny Briere left town.  For all the talk about the Sabres missing Chris Drury, I think on the ice, the team has really missed Briere.  They've missed that guy who will decide, "I'm sick of this.  I'm scoring," and then swagger down the ice and do just that.  Vanek has showed flashes of that, especially last season, but he hasn't done it consistently, and honestly I'm not sure he's that kind of player.  For the most part I'm down with Sabres management's idea of building more of a team, a group of players that works well together, but sometimes you just need that guy who can say, "Fuck this shit," and take over the game.

The reason I bring this up now is because Tyler Ennis had shades of that Saturday night.  Now I know, he's played in exactly two NHL games.  And I know it's waaaaay too early to be thinking long-term.  But seriously, there is talent bouncing off that kid.  I don't think it's a coincidence that he was in the middle of almost every scoring opportunity.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the power play looked better than it has in months if not all season.  I don't think it's coincidence that players who haven't looked good consistently suddenly looked really, really good.

The most impressive thing to me was that Ennis was showing absolutely no fear.  He carried and shot the puck like someone who's been in the league for years.  He was going to the net no matter who was in front of him.  He was making cross-ice passes that some guys on our team wouldn't even attempt.  Yes, we were playing a bad team and yes, it was a blow-out, but I don't know, I don't have a hard time see that fearlessness coming through in pressure situations either.  I mean, if a kid is ever going to be nervous and tentative, isn't he going to be nervous and tentative when he first comes up to the NHL?  Ennis looked ready and willing to take over the game and he looked capable of doing so.

Honestly, I'm pretty relieved.  I've been telling everyone around me for months that Tyler Ennis was going to be special and while that was partly based on his AHL numbers, it was partly just a weird gut feeling too.  I don't know about anyone else but when I hear Darcy Regier talk about the talent in Portland and some of it being close to playing at the NHL level and then I see Ennis?  I feel pretty good about the future.  In his case, let's hope the future is now.  I mean, fuck this shit.  Let's keep that kid up here.

6 comments:

James W said...

It will be interesting to see how much of a finisher that Ennis turns out to be.

Right now, I see him more as a set up guy that a CFTS that is putting the puck in the net by himself.

I do think that Vanek & Pominville should be fighting over being on a line with Ennis next season, though.

Mark B said...

I know whose white vintage jersey I'm buying next year. That's all I got to say about Mr. Ennis.

Actually I have more to say. He made EVERYONE around him look better Saturday, even freaking Adam Mair.

Once the whole team is healthy, there better just be a formality to make him a regular call up or I'm visiting Darcy and Lindy myself. I'll have a good talk with them.

I think James W. is right, though. Ennis appears to mostly be a playmaker. So let's hope Gerbe discovers an NHL scoring touch and we'll be good to go!

Pookie said...

Maybe putting the term "captain something or other" on a not-yet-NHLer, maybe you should ease him into slowly. Ennis can be "Boy Fuck This Shit". :D

(Great post, by the way!)

Vanek's Hair said...

I will be interested to see if Ennis continues to play with the same reckless abandon after a full season with Lindy Ruff's "system." I hope he does. I like players with a such a mindset, and agree that the Sabres totally lack such a player, and always have under Lindy Ruff, with a brief hiatus with Briere. Makes me wonder if it is an inability to identify/unwillingness to keep such players. Or in the alternative, if such players have been on the Sabres and had such reckless abandon pounded out of their heads with Lindy Ruff's defensive and conservative to a fault "system"

Heather B. said...

James, I see what you're saying. I suppose most of his work really was setting up others. Still, he was setting them up pretty fiercely. And he has been a goal scorer in Portland, hasn't he? I don't know even know honestly, but that's the impression I was getting.

Pookie, I did think of that but didn't feel like clarifying. I'm certainly not promoting Ennis for Captain. (Just mayor. :P) BFTS works for now.

Vanek's Hair, that's a good point. I asked Mike Harrington about Ennis earlier this season and he said the biggest concern about bringing him seemed to be that he didn't play much defense. I love two-way players and I don't want guys to be completely irresponsible but jeez, if you have a really special talent like that, slap him in a line with some defensively responsible partners (like Briere with Hecht and Pominville) and let him go, go, go. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

The kid needs a chance at the big time. The team needs new energy. I don't dislike Lindy Ruff and I don't dislike his "system" per se but take a look on "You Tube" and see "Derek Sanderson Tribute". A wonderful example of just bringing the puck down the ice and shooting it AT the goal and VOILA! INTO the goal. No waiting at the blue line for your winger or dumping the puck into the corner then having to go in, get crunched and fight to bring it back to the front of the net all the time. Let the kid play his game and see what he can do.