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Sabres vs. Leafs 11/30/09 Postmortem November 30, 2009

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It’s like deja vu all over again. The Sabres look quite a lot like they looked during the Carolina game. Let’s hope that doesn’t last.

What a crazy night in the NHL. WTH was Ballard thinking swinging his stick like that? And I’d be willing to bet the leftover Thanksgiving stuffing I’m about to cram into my mouth as quickly as possible (I loooovvvveeeeee stuffing) that Ovie won’t be suspended.


  • Kennedy’s goal was pure dumb luck. I’m a big fan of dumb luck, when it’s going the Sabres’ way.
  • Ryan Miller was huge again tonight. Perhaps putting on a performance for Brian Burke? If he is that’s a-ok with me.
  • Stafford is winning faceoffs again tonight. I like it. As I just checked out ESPN.com’s box score, I can also tell you that through two periods Clarke MacArthur is at 80% on faceoffs. Stafford is at 71%. Kennedy is at 0%. Goose, come back soon. Tim Kennedy needs you. At the end of the game Stafford was at 70% and MacArthur was at 67%. Kennedy ended with 0%.
  • Steve Montador driving to the net. Tallinder scoring a goal. The defensemen are becoming offensive. Heh.

Didn’t like:

  • The Sabres couldn’t get the puck out of the defensive zone AGAIN. What happened to that really good defense? And why, when they finally get it out, is there absolutely no rhyme or reason to where they put it?
  • It was mentioned in the Buffalo News that Pominville has been playing on the perimeter 5-on-5 too much. If you read this blog or know me at all you realize how much I like Pommer, but after reading that observation and watching Pommer tonight I have to agree. Get involved, Pommer! Watch Tim “Terrier” Kennedy if you want some tips.

This postmortem isn’t as detailed as usual – I have a headache. It finally started to ease around halfway through the third finally. I can’t wait for another massage.

Well, the cycle of Wed/Fri/Sat games is broken. This week they’re playing the Canadiens and the Rangers. The schedule is not going to be easy for quite a while – I hope the guys are up to it.


Sabres vs Hurricanes 11/28/09 Postmortem November 28, 2009

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One player played 60 minutes. 22 players played 19 minutes. But because the Canes are laughingly bad at hockey, the Sabres still managed to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat. It wasn’t pretty, but it was two points. I was at this game, and though everyone around me was all over the guys, I was cautiously optimistic. Turns out I was right. Yay!

So who thinks Ryan Miller kicked some teammate butt in between the 2nd and the 3rd?


  • Mike Grier. When he put a big hit on a guy I yelled “Fear the Grier” before I could stop myself. It got a laugh in my section. 😉
  • Jochen Hecht. I love watching Hecht when he’s fired up. He dropped that one guy in the slot and then gave him an extra shot. I wanted to stand up and clap but no one else was, so I didn’t.
  • Ryan Miller. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
  • Tyler Myers AFTER the horrible giveaway. For a 19-year-old kid he was remarkably composed after committing that horrendous offense. Three assists, two on the power play. Really not a bad game despite the gaffe.
  • Derek Roy. He and Tim Kennedy were their usual annoying selves, and that’s why we love them.
  • Chris Butler’s stick sweeping away the puck at the very last minute after it got behind Miller.
  • Adam Mair doing a swan dive to prevent a too many men penalty. Unintentionally hilarious.

Didn’t like:

  • How Ryan Miller was forced to skate up and down the ice for two periods straight by himself playing goal, offense, and defense because he was the only freaking Sabre who showed up for the first 40 minutes.
  • The total lack of effectiveness of clearing the puck out of the defensive zone. My baby could’ve put a stronger clearing pass on than those guys did.
  • The rest of Chris Butler’s game. Dude couldn’t even stay on his feet. He looked like a baby giraffe fresh out of the womb.
  • The lazy passes, oh, the lazy passes.
  • The number of wide open nets Thomas Vanek missed. I was glad when he scored. I was afraid he was going to go home and commit hari-kari.

Well, the Hurricanes are now 0-10-3 on the year for road games. Aside: are the Hurricanes the oldest average team in the league? I can’t think of one who has as many old fellows as the Canes: Brind’amour, Gleason, Cullen, Corvo, Ward (Aaron)…

Next up – Toronto! If I’m not mistaken they suck too, so my prediction is 40 minutes of total crap and 20 minutes of competent hockey should earn the Sabres another victory.

Sabres vs Flyers 11/27/09 Postmortem November 27, 2009

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As we all know, the Sabres are on a 4-game losing streak. Darcy Regier, according to the article in the Buffalo News, doesn’t seem concerned. Are you all worried? I can’t say I am. Why? Because defense and goaltending are far harder to straighten out than scoring is. We all know there are guys who can score on this team. It’s only a matter of time before the puck starts going in.


  • What a move by Stafford on the first goal. I am often down on Stafford because I think he could be a truly great player if he tried a little harder. But I give credit where it’s due, and that was a great move.
  • Through a little more than one period, Stafford is 83% on faceoffs. For some reason he’s taken six faceoffs. Huh. Through two periods, he’s still at 63%. Do you think Goose is making all the forwards practice faceoffs with him? Pommer’s been pretty good on faceoffs too. Maybe Goose should spend more time with Kennedy, though – he’s sucking out. UPDATE: Stafford was 74% for the day, which is a good thing considering Gaustad got injured.
  • Papa Rivet should be proud of how his son performed during that first fight. It didn’t look like Carcillo landed too many. Hmmm, the second fight was a little more even. But Carcillo’s a Flyer, so I think Rivet won the fight.
  • Awww, loved the features in between periods about the Sabredaddies trip. Man, Goose looked sooooo uncomfortable. Was Myers slouching? His dad is like 4-5 inches shorter than him. Papa Pominville is a looker. Papa Montador is a nice-looking man too. What do they call those guys? Silver foxes or something. I could do without the silly hats the boys were wearing. Why do people wear winter hats indoors? I’ll never understand it. Moving on…
  • The Hank Tallinder we knew and loved is back. I think I can say that definitively after what, 25 games or so…
  • What a deflection by Gaustad.
  • I really liked seeing Tallinder defending himself. Maybe he finally figured out he’s a big guy.
  • MacArthur made a really nice pass to Connolly for that goal. Funny enough, I thought that was Connolly doing the passing…
  • Let’s all say a prayer of thanks Tim Connolly has been healthy thus far this season.

Didn’t like:

  • Kaleta didn’t deserve a 5-minute boarding penalty for that hit. Part of the reason the guy went down so hard was because he got hit by more than one guy at once. Kaleta didn’t accelerate into him, his stick was down, his elbow was down. I am surely not advocating dirty hits, but that was not a hit that should’ve taken Kaleta out of the game.
  • So wait, that hit on Myers wasn’t worth five minutes? Your stick has to be pretty high to hit Myers in the face. As the rules say, you’re responsible for your stick at all times. And do we really think that was purely unintentional? Y’all have met Richards, right? Not exactly a Boy Scout, that one.
  • Scott Hartnell is one ugggly dude. What is it about playing for Philly that makes guys ugly?
  • Where was the clock/score at the top of the screen? It was gone for at least half of the game. It’s pretty annoying not to know how much penalty time is left, etc.
  • I’m sorry to say Vanek doesn’t seem good for much if he’s not scoring.
  • What were the refs talking about after the second Rivet fight? China patterns or a nice set of candlesticks for the outfielder who’s marrying the town slut because she let him give her his testimony?
  • Huh. Carcillo doesn’t get tossed out of the game for screaming obscenities at the officials but Kaleta does for that hit? I don’t get it, I just don’t.
  • You know, I heard Myers used to fight all the time until his coaches told him to stop. That mentality might come in handy since guys are roughing him up more and more these days.

I think Laperriere can attest to the fact that a guy can have a heavy shot even if he’s not big. Teach him to get his face in the way…

Let’s face it – this was a big win.

Ok, so who wants to text me tomorrow night to remind me to use our Sabrebucks card for food at the arena? TOTALLY forgot last time. Sigh. Staal is coming back for the Hurricanes tomorrow night. Fabulous. Let’s hope they still suck.

Sabres vs Capitals 11/25/09 Postmortem November 25, 2009

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I have a love/hate relationship with Alexander Ovechkin. I will readily admit being heartily entertained by his play when he’s not playing the Sabres. Then I want to beat the little bastard.

The Sabredads all looked very dad-like and proud. I heard them mention Tyler Myers’ dad was on the trip and I’m pretty sure they said both he and Tyler’s mom are tall, but I kinda wanted to see Papa Myers towering over all the other Sabredaddies.


  • For the most part, the Sabres played AO exactly like they should. Well, as long as he remained in the game, anyway.
  • Mike Green, despite making one good defensive play in the first period, still cannot play defense. If he wins the Norris I’m going to be bent.
  • Seeing Tim Connolly hack the crap out of that Cap at the end of the 2nd period. Go fragile Timmy, go! Staffy came over to show the guy that he eats brains and the crisis was averted.
  • The amount of shots the Sabres blocked. It wasn’t readily apparent but it was definitely there, you know?
  • Ryan Miller covered up for his team’s mistakes. Again.

Didn’t like:

  • Kennedy and Kaleta getting hacked w/no penalties called.
  • The Sabres missing so many easy shots. This is becoming a disturbing trend.
  • Too. Many. Passes. Too. Many. Passes.
  • Tyler Myers appears to be completely unable to one-time a puck.
  • The Sabres looked like crap on their extended power play. Where is the spunky team we saw in the beginning of the season?

The temptation to say “Man, you guys suck” is getting overwhelming, but I try to keep a positive outlook. We’ll see how long that lasts… Off to Philly. Blech. Freaking Flyers.

The mental aspect of the game November 24, 2009

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So we hear athletes talk about their confidence level, how their bad play is because of problems in their head rather than something physical…

Is it a cop-out, or does an athlete’s mental makeup really have that much to do with their performance?

My opinion is – for some athletes, yes. For others, not as much. For example, Thomas Vanek. He is really hard on himself, as anyone who has watched a Sabres game on TV can attest since the camera zooms in on him swearing at himself on the bench. When he’s frustrated, he doesn’t play well. He tries to do too much, he clutches his stick too tightly. He misses shots that go in when he’s on a roll.

Jason Pominville is an example of a player who doesn’t seem to let the mental aspect of the game overwhelm him. He’s never too high – he’s never too low. He doesn’t have many bad games, horrendous giveaways, etc (I’m looking at you, Derek Roy). He’s rarely out of position. He can be counted on to not make many mistakes in crucial situations.

Vanek expects so much of himself, but I’m sure Pommer does too. You’re not a very successful professional athlete if you don’t expect the best from your performance. So does Pommer have a stronger mental constitution than Vanek? Maybe. That doesn’t necessarily make Pommer better than Vanek, it just makes them different. Obviously Vanek has more raw talent than Pommer does, so Pommer has to work harder to achieve results. Maybe one athlete has more “mental ability” than another does. It would make sense, wouldn’t it, that ability is a combination of physical and mental talent?

I feel much better now that I’ve used my four-year college degree in Psychology for something.

The Sabres are in DC. They brought their daddies with them, and today they took a tour around the Capital. Hopefully tomorrow they’ll take a tour around the Capitals. Heh. I kill myself. Oh, and fear the Grier. He’s expected to play. Andrej Sekera can breathe easy and go back to defense. He didn’t look very comfortable on the forward line.

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