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Sabres vs. Devils 3/26/11 Postmortem March 26, 2011

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Well, I tried to blog the game last night but my DD (dear daughter) had other plans. Let’s hope she behaves better tonight.

Liked:

  • Wow – what a play be Gerbe. There’s a kid who never gives up on a play.
  • The Sabres are all over the Devils here in the first period.
  • Hee hee hee – with around six minutes left in the first shots are 11-3 Sabres.
  • And the monkey has left the building. Oh, and Vanek scored. It appeared to be a set play from a faceoff.
  • Hee hee hee, part 2 – after the first period Kovalchuk is a -2 with no shots on goal.
  • Ryan Miller doesn’t look tired right now…
  • I’m surprised Henrik Tallinder went to the correct penalty box.
  • The score doesn’t show it but the Sabres overall are dominating.

Didn’t like:

  • Tyler Myers just had to dive onto the bench to prevent a “too many men” penalty.
  • Brodeur appears to want to know WTH happened to his team.
  • So the ref decided to call a penalty. It appeared totally arbitrary. The Sabres stood tall on the penalty kill though.
  • The power play doesn’t look so good.
  • Whoa – Clarkson takes a run at Gerbe. Pick on someone your own size.

An excellent weekend. Winning the games they need to win – Amanda approves.

Final score: Buffalo 2, New Jersey 0

Sabres vs. Devils 11/10/10 Postmortem November 10, 2010

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It’s Lindy Ruff’s 1000th game, boys. Let’s try not to suck.

Lovingly,

Amanda

Liked:

  • Aw, cute Hank sighting! I suppose I could’ve put that under “Didn’t like” but it’s Hank. How can you not like Hank?
  • Nice¬† pass by Kaleta out of the corner to Ellis. It resulted in a scoring chance. If Gaustad didn’t have hands of cement that might’ve turned into something.
  • Roy submarines Kovalchuk and comes out with the puck. Alrighty then!
  • Every game Cody McCormick does something that makes me fall in love with him just a little bit more. This time: a key shot block. Le sigh. Defense.
  • Yay! Good Pommer! And Connolly, I’ve give you credit for stickhandling on your knees. I give credit where credit’s due.
  • Double yay! Roy scores from the blue line with a bomb!
  • Two goals in 13 seconds makes me giddy. We want three!
  • Hey, Niedermayer did something! Nice goal by Tyler Myers, sneaking in from the point. How a guy who’s 6’8″ can sneak anywhere is beyond me but he seems to do it with regularity.
  • The Two Ty’s strike again!
  • Pominville ties up the puck nicely on the penalty kill. Remember when he and Roy used to play “Keep Away” when they were paired on the penalty kill? I miss those days.

Didn’t like:

  • Whoa. That was almost some very, very bad luck for Shaone Morrisonn. Luckily it wasn’t. HAHAHA
  • Vanek: you are FIRED. FIRED for passing that puck. You hear me? FIRED
  • Does Marty Brodeur even fit in that chair? Eesh.
  • I just noticed Mike Grier played tonight. There’s 10 seconds left in the game.

And the guys got a win for Lindy, with a biggggggggg assist to Ilya Kovalchuk for his HILARIOUS blooper at the end to seal the game. Well played, Mr. 100 million dollar man!

Five reasons not to push the panic button October 18, 2010

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We are now, what, six games into an 82-game season, right? The team has won only one game. I get that. However, here’s why I don’t think it’s time to PANIC:

  1. There are a fair number of new players on this team, especially defensemen. I think it takes longer for new defensemen and defense pairings to mesh than it does for forwards.
  2. Ryan Miller hasn’t been at his best at times, but he’ll come around. You can pretty much bank on that.
  3. The forwards not named Derek Roy will score. They will. Seriously.
  4. Tyler Myers will not slump for the entire season. He may not have the season he did last year, and yes, he may miss Hank Tallinder, but his play will improve.
  5. There are bright spots already, such as the overall play of Drew Stafford, the improvement over Adam Mair that is Cody McCormick, and the play of Derek Roy.

See, don’t you feel better now? If you still want to be a crankypants and argue with me about why I should be panicking go ahead and leave me a comment. Of course, if you agree I’ll take those comments as well!

A guide to watching the Sabres September 24, 2010

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Since there’s a lot of new personnel, and a new season starting, and there’s also the possibility that you’re a new fan (gasp!) I thought I would provide this handy guide to how to watch Sabres hockey this season. Without further ado…

  1. Get the largest TV you can. Life-sized Sabres are awesome.
  2. Gather snacks. Hockey games can last up to three hours, and I don’t know about you, but I work up an appetite cheering on my favorite team.
  3. Put on your comfy clothes. Jumping off the couch after a great goal is much harder when your waistband is cutting into your gut.
  4. Tell everyone around you to leave you alone. Until June. At least.
  5. Secure something soft that you can throw at the television if a player/the team/the ref does something stupid. After all, you don’t want to hurt that nice, big TV, right?

Now that your preliminary prep work is done, here’s what you need to know about the personnel:

  1. That big guy on the blue line? No, not Tyler Myers – you know him, silly! The other guy. His name is Shaone Morrisonn. Yes, I realize there are a few too many letters in his name. Take it up with his parents. Anyhoo, here’s the skinny on him: he’s large, he’s a stay-at-home defenseman, and he doesn’t seem to mind dropping the gloves. Any questions? Didn’t think so.
  2. That smaller guy on the blue line? That’s Jordan Leopold. Let’s call him Hank, part deux. He’s more of an offensive defenseman than Morrisonn. I’ve heard he’ll play with Montador. He doesn’t have Hank’s size, but that’s ok. He’s a good skater, has a good shot, and seems to be capable of carrying the puck up ice. (Yay!) He will almost definitely see time on the power play.
  3. The old guy on the third line? That’s Rob Niedermeyer. No, not Scott. Rob, his brother. Rob’s a forward. Yes, I know it’s confusing because Scott was a defenseman, but Rob is a forward. And a pretty decent one at that. I know I shouldn’t be calling him an old guy since he’s two years younger than me, but hey, he looks way older than me, so HA! He’s a grinder, a wily veteran, a guy in the sunset of his career. Sound familiar? See Grier, Mike.

I think you’ve seen all the other guys at least once, but here are a few refreshers: if you notice just the top of a helmet skate by, that’s Nathan Gerbe. If a player turns to the side and disappears, that’s probably Tyler Ennis. The rest of the cast of characters should be well-known to most of you, but if not, hey, check out the handy-dandy Media Guide. But remember, everyone has a bad hair day every now and then, and apparently the entire team had one on picture-taking day. Don’t judge them.

Hockey is back!

Sabres Preview #1 – The Defensemen September 3, 2010

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I’m starting my Sabres season preview with the defensemen. Why? Because I like defensemen. I’ve just taken a look at the roster posted at Sabres.com, and there are a million names on it. I won’t cover all of them, because, frankly, I’m not familiar with all of them since some are still prospects. Without further ado, here are the others:

TJ Brennan: I went to prospect camp for about 20 minutes this summer. Don’t ask why it was only 20 minutes. Anyway, what I saw of Brennan in that 20 minutes looked pretty good to me, and I heard he did well. I’ve got high hopes for him but he will need more seasoning. Maybe one more year will serve him well and he’ll be ready for prime time.

Chris Butler: Butler was much-maligned last year, and to tell you the truth, I’m not sure why. Craig Rivet struggled for much of the season, and Butler was his partner for most of it, so was he covering for Rivet’s mistakes? Maybe, maybe not, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Remember, folks, he’s still only turning 24 this fall – plenty of time to mature as a defenseman.

Jordan Leopold: I’ve been watching Leopold’s career from afar and I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far. I’m curious to see what he can do within “The System”. I’ve heard they may pair him with Myers, which would be interesting. I’m not sure who shoots right and who shoots left, so I don’t know who else they could pair him with, but considering Rivet’s going to be out for a while w/ the shoulder surgery, why not try him w/Butler or Sekera? After all, he’s a veteran. Give him a chance to mentor one of the younger guys. Let me clarify that: let him mentor one of the younger guys who may be struggling more than Myers is.

Steve Montador: I’ve been a Steve Montador fan for years. No, he’s not a great d-man, but he’s a WYSIWYG, and that’s fine with me. The other day I caught wind of a potential Shaone Morrisonn/Montador d-man pairing and all I could think was “It’ll be like bowling out there! Opponents will be flying off the ice like pins! It’ll be great!” It was the most excited I’ve been about hockey in weeks.

Shaone Morrisonn: Now that I’ve got the spelling and pronunciation of his name right (I think), let’s get down to brass tacks: any d-man who can make Mike Green look AT ALL COMPETENT deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, in my opinion. I am not worried about Morrisonn’s defensive skill, and I’m certainly not worried about his size. In fact, his size makes me a little giddy.¬† I don’t think he’s particularly fleet of foot, but not all defensemen need to be, especially if they stay in their own zone while other offensive-minded guys rush the puck up the ice like it’s on fire (I’m looking at you, Myers, Butler, and Sekera – get your asses moving!).

Tyler Myers: I know his nickname is “The Big Easy” (that’s what she said – ba-da-bump), but my nickname for him – besides The Jolly Blue Giant, is The Revelation. HOWEVER, let’s not put too much pressure on the kid. He looks like he can handle it, but remember – he’s only 20. Kid can’t even drink – legally – until February first of next year. So before you throw the mantle of franchise player on the guy, let him breathe a little. Let’s see how he handles the loss of his surrogate father, Hank, before we get too excited.

Craig Rivet: This pains me to say, because I think he’s a great guy and a good leader, and because I could be wrong, but I think it’s time for Rivet to hang up the skates. I fear that trying to come back from this major shoulder surgery may put him in the category of “staying too long at the party”. We’ll see what happens. Maybe that’s one reason Darcy stocked up on d-men. Who knows? Feel free to throw (hopefully not rotten) fruit at me if you disagree. Or just leave a comment.

Drew Schiestel: I am inordinately proud of myself for spelling that right on the first try. Schiestel is another player who I think will benefit greatly from a year in the AHL, logging a ton of minutes and learning from Kevin Dineen and his staff. He’s got a ton of talent and a ton of time to harvest it. Maybe we’ll see him in a call-up situation this year, though judging by the 37 d-men on the current roster that seems unlikely.

Andrej Sekera: Another guy who got ridden pretty hard last year, and again, I’m not sure why. He’s a little older than Butler, so maybe he should know better than to make some of the mistakes he’s making, but really, compared to some of the defensive performances I saw last year from opponents, the dude was practically rock-solid. I fear that the “Lindy Treatment” might have permanently eroded his self-confidence, but I hope not. I think he’s still got a lot of upward potential in his game.

So there you have it. I’ll deal with the forwards and the goaltenders in upcoming posts. Feel free to disagree with my assessments in the comments section. I can’t promise I’ll agree with your disagreement but I’ll listen to reason. If you’re a jerk, though, I’ll dismiss you and assume I’m right. Fair warning.

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