30 December, 2008

Well that SUCKED!

Let me start with the positives from today:
    I my niece turned one today, and I got to go to her birthday party before the game.

    I got to watch the game with my sister, which was great. She had fun.

    I sat 4th row! Oh the advantages of procrastinating. Had I bought the tickets in, say, October, rather than the beginning of December then I'd probably have sat in the 300s. This leads to my next point.

    I got some great pictures. (at least I like them)

    Paul Gaustad had some great hits and was fun to watch.

Now for the bad:
    The Sabres didn't feel like showing up with one exception (see above)

    Derek Roy decided to take a penalty in the first minute. Come on!

    The power play still sucks. I've been away from hockey for most of the season (due to circumstances beyond my control), and I had hoped that the power play would improve. Instead I saw lazier skating than at even strength.

    Even the Caps looked a bit bored. Instead of seeing one lazy team I had to watch 2. It sucked seeing my lazy team beaten by another lazy team.

    This is the only game I'll get to see in person this season. I feel very let down. Buffalo Sabres players, you owe me an apology, except for The Goose.

I'll post some pictures in a bit.

27 December, 2008

Well it's been a while. It really wasn't my fault. (Ok, so an arguement could be made that the past week has been my fault) I didn't have any internet connection for a while and before that it was very limited. It has made following the Sabres extremely difficult, but I'm working on getting caught up with them. The good news is that now I will have a decent internet connection for a least a little bit each day.

From what I've seen the Sabres haven't been doing too well. I'm not sure if it's the injuries (it seems like there's quite a few of them now) or what, but I hope they can snap out of it by Tuesday because I'll be attending the game then. I hope to post more hockey content once I have more of a feel for this season, which has been difficult. I mean seriously, how sad is it that it will be easier for me to follow the Sabres in Iraq than right here in the US?

On a completely unrelated note while I was down south they had the first snow in four years. Yeah, that sucked when the heat in the refugee type tent I was living in didn't really work.

22 October, 2008

First of all I'd like to take this opportunity to give you all a public service announcement. Don't get pepper sprayed. EVER. It sucks, it burns, and you want to gouge your eyes out but know tha it will only make things worse. I can now speak from experience.

So I now have a bit of a Sabres info connection. One of the other guys in my company is from Rochester and gets the scores on his phone. (I can't afford such luxuries). Also, I have been able to call my brother for some info. The best news of all is that when I'm in Iraq I WILL have high speed internet. It will be good to hear RJ's voice again.

12 October, 2008

Once again I failed as a blogger

So I said I would have something up by last night and I didn't. I don't think too many of you should blame me after my last entry though.

I did manage to see the second half of the second period on against Montreal. I have to say, I loved the physical play and thought the defense looked pretty good. The power play still sucks, but the PK looked pretty good, and Miller was once again solid in goal from what I saw.

I COULD have seen most of the first and all the second except that I didn't have a car so I had to ride with my brother who decided to stop at the mall to eat instead of just going to Mighty Taco, which would have been more in my budget. But I'll take what I can get, especially since I won't be able to see much until December. (though I do plan on going to 2 games during my Christmas leave)

Although the Sabres did win in a shoot-out I still don't like the shoot-out system. My brother is all for games that end in a skills competition, but then he says that the Sabres will suck this year because they "did nothing to improve this off season after they let Briere and Drury walk away." (I had to walk away about a minute later when he wouldn't listen to reason -- 4th most scoring offense last season and we DID improve by beefing up our defense. But then this if from the kid who thinks that we need someone better than Miller in goal if we want to make the play-offs. Or maybe he said first round of the playoffs. This from the same guy who's been saying the Bills will make the post season for the past 6 or 7 years.)

Speaking of the Bills although I don't really follow football I do think that they could stand a chance this year. If Edwards comes back soon then I'd guess they will definitely make the post-season this year -- I haven't written them off completely.

10 October, 2008

Genuine Hockey Content Coming!

So I should have my thoughts on tonight's game posted tonight or tomorrow night. That's right, I am actually going to post hockey content within a reasonable time frame. I ended up in WNY for a few days do to my grandmother's death, and I'm sure after this evening I'm going to need a mental and emotional break, so I intend on watching at least half the game tonight.

Another plus side is that I have begun to introduce my oldest nephew to Hockey. He's lived most of his life in an area deprived on any hockey, but this morning I put on the NHL network for a bit at my parents' house and started talking to him about the game. I hope to increase his interest in the game around Christmas. My nieces were very cute as they watched the highlights and asked questions like "What do they wear on their feet because they're on ice?"

-- Sharpie

03 October, 2008

Still no reliable internet, and thus little hockey news for Sharpie

I'm down here in the South for some good Army training, like how not to be blown up. (I already took the MPFC couse on How Not To Be Seen) But this leaves me with a problem since I don't have internet access in the barracks and I have very little hockey news. But this MIGHT be fixed in a few weeks with the help of the chaplains here who are working to get an MWR (Moral, Welfare, and Recreation) building up and running.

So if you expected meaningful insight I'll have to have you look elsewhere for now, perhaps Bfloblog, or Top Shelf will do, or maybe you like the group input of The Goose's Roost, or the whimsical stylings of the Willful Caboose.

25 September, 2008

I'm a week late to the party

It took me a week to find out that Stafford has been signed to the mythical "5 for $25" deal. In the mean time I've been firing many rounds from my rifle and the M-2, and I was even rolled over in a (mock up) Humvee. But next week I should have something resembling consistent internet access.

I've read that the rest of you have experienced the Sabres the way I have for the past few years -- via RJ's voice. (Oh, and I had to wait a week to find out that I get to continue hearing him call the games for another 2 years)

Well, that's all because I need to update friends on my life.

17 September, 2008

Fare thee well (for now)...

These last few days have been busy for me. I've been packing and trying to get rid of my van (I'm about to call the volunteer fire department where I live to see if they want to use the jaws of life on it and burn it), and tie up a few other loose ends. In just about 25 hours and 45 minutes I report for duty. I will probably not be on for the rest of this week, and perhaps not the week after, but once I am I should be able to comment regularly on games and videos that are posted online with the new exclusive Sabres webcast content.

Oh, and I hope to buy tickets to a game or two soon (only two dates will really work for me though)

09 September, 2008

So I suck at updating

At least 4 times in the past week or so I had this window open to post a new entry, but I just didn't have it in me. I plan on finishing my "100 things about me" soon, but not today. Turns out getting ready to leave all your friends and family for a year to go someplace hot and sandy just kind of pushes other things to the back burner. As I've mentioned before I'm in the army (National Guard), and I'm deploying soon. I report for my mobilization training late next week, and right now I'm trying to visit family and friends and get my stuff cleaned up and organized so if my roommate needs to move us while I'm gone he can be sure he has all my stuff. And to ward of all the questions no, I'm not nervous or anything like that yet (I have a really laid back "whatever happens will happen, my God is in control" attitude that comes from my faith.)

As for Sabres related stuff, well, most things have been said. My very quick analysis of the team this year is as follows:
  • Last year we were something like 4th (I think I read it, but I'm not positive at the moment), so offense isn't too much of a problem. Defense is.
  • We needed to get some solid defensemen.
  • We needed to stock our now empty AHL team since we don't share that job with another team anymore
  • We traded away a forward for a solid veteran D-man with grit -- good move.
  • We locked in our goalie and got him some relief that (hopefully) won't be a carboard cut-out in goal.
  • We extended our veteran D-Man for another year, which will bring more experience and other "intangibles" to the defense. This also quelled rumors about how no one wants to play for Buffalo and how much Buffalo management suck, etc.
  • We now have a team with a strong offense and a defense that's stronger than last year. This SHOULD lead to a play-off run.
  • What ever happened to Tim Connolly? Does anyone really care if he just leaves?

Yes, I am very hopeful for this season, though I will have to watch most of it from afar. But I plan on getting in at least one game during my Christmas leave (Maybe 2 or 3!)

28 August, 2008

In Memorial Aud

I sit here yearning for the start of hockey so I have something to discuss. As I perused my daily readings of Sabres blogs I found I missed an entry from The Goose's Roost with a link to pics of The Aud. This in turn sent me looking for some You Tube videos. So here you go.


21 August, 2008

I Men's Field Hockey semifinal game between Germany and The Netherlands came down to a shootout penalty shots. This is the semi-finals in the Olympics, and they can't come up with anything better? At least the NHL knows enough to ditch the shoot-out for sudden death overtimes in the play-offs. (For the record I agree with the notion that the NHL should make 10 minute sudden-death OTs with a tie given if no goal is scored. I know that at least Heather agrees with me on this one, and many others agree, but she's the only one where I can easily find the URL for the link)
Well, I missed a week. I was going to give my thoughts on Teppo's contract once they were released, but I got busy then figured most people had expressed my opinion (in a nutshell it's a good deal for a veteran with a lot of experience to pass along.) Then I was visiting friends in WNY, and proceeded to visit the Philly area for a while. I figure I owe you all something about why I love hockey and a few things about myself.

I love how quickly a game can swing. You can go 2 periods of being ahead, even be up by 2 or 3 goals, then suddenly in five minutes it's tied or you're losing. It's a game where no one can afford to let their guard down. One missed assignment can lead to a devastating goal (as we Sabres fans have seen many, many times this past season). It's a game where even with 10 or 7 seconds left you are never safe if you're only ahead by one. In baseball there's a measure of safety and comfort when you're ahead. Sure there can be an inning where the other team rallies, but you know that you'll have your chance next. Basketball often has run-away scores. I've tuned into the end of enough basketball games to know that the momentum shifts take longer in basketball. Football just takes too long with its constant pauses in the action. But in hockey you have such a fluid game that can change in less than five seconds. One missed assignment and someone has a shot to catch the goalie out of position. One quick poke check and you have a breakaway. And one stupid move and you have a powerplay opportunity.

Now a few things about myself. (1-25)

1. I'm the 3rd of 5 kids, and the first 4 of us are boys.

2. Both my older brothers are married and have kids. My oldest brother has 4 kids, and the next has 2 kids.

3. I lived in the same house until I moved to college. My parents have lived there for almost 28 years.

4. I am in the National Guard.

5. My maternal grandpa is 92 years old, and my maternal grandma is 84

6. Growing up we had a dog, a duck (well, more than one, just one at a time), a parakeet, a quaker parrot, hermit crabs, fish, a turtle, and cats.

7. I'm a Christian.

8. I'm working towards becoming a chaplain. I still need to get my master's degree, then I plan on going active duty.

9. I'm going to be deploying soon. I start my stateside training before the pre-season starts, but I should still be able to go to at least one game this year.

10. Since I live outside of WNY I have to listen to most games on WGR's website.

11. I'm currently single but not really looking.

12. I usually weigh about 8 pound more in the winter than the summer since I'm far less active.

13. I don't own a TV right now.

14. My favorite foods are Beef on Weck, REAL Buffalo Wings, and Steak and Potatoes.

15. I have seen an open heart surgery. It was really neat, and I was staring over the sheet into the chest cavity when the patient's heart started beating again.

16. My favorite color is green.

17. My favorite holiday is Easter.

18. I call the day after Halloween "Candy Day" because I usually buy a lot of candy when it's half-off.

20. One of my hobbies is running sound stuff. I'm running sound for a friend's wedding next week.

21. My favorite thing to order from Burger King is the Rodeo Cheezburger.

22. I hate tomatoes and ketchup, but love BBQ sause.

23. I still try to see the falls at least once a year. I've been very successful the past few years.

24. I took 2 semester of Biblical Hebrew, which is slightly different from Modern Hebrew.

25. I own an antique rifle. It's a Russian M-44 from 1944, and my unit has one of the exact same model they captured in WWII in a display case in our armory. It's the first and only firearm I own.

08 August, 2008

No Hard Feelings...

Welcome Back, Teppo!

The defense man has signed with the Sabres for another season. I'm looking forward to what he brings to the team in terms of veteran experience (all those "intangibles," as much as I have come to loathe that buzzword), though we all know it will be an adjustment after missing almost all of last season. But hey, now we have a feel-good story!

EDIT: Well, of the Sabres blog I read I am apparently the first to mention this, proving that I need to get off my butt and go do something else.

06 August, 2008

Well, I'm around for now with regular internet access! That means you get to read my ramblings on a more regular basis. I knew when I started this blog that I wouldn't have great access during the summer. But I figured if I could post relatively regularly through the summer then the season shouldn't be any problem at all. My summer plans did get changed, but I did an almost decent job.

Now onto some hockey related ramblings. As of right now both Teppo Numinem and Nolan Pratt are unsigned UFAs. Earlier this summer there was talk that Teppo was still interested in another season with the Sabres. I'd love to see him play as I think his veteran leadership will help the defense out quite a bit. Of course the is a bit of a question as to whether or not he'll be able to keep up since he missed all of the last season recovering from open heart surgery, but there are still the intangibles he brings -- after years of play he's got great instincts. As for Pratt I'm more ambivalent since I didn't actually get to watch a lot of games last season. (Although I did listen to many of them thanks to WGR's webfeed).

One of the many things I love about hockey are the goalies. Here in Buffalo we have been spoiled with great goalies for almost as long as I can remember. When I was in upper elementary and middle school, and even my freshman year of college one name was synonymous with the the Sabres -- Dominick Hasek. Even those of us who sucked at sports still would go outside in the winter and pretend to copy his moves. Although I have since learned that his style is not the norm, for those of us who grew up as Sabres fans the Dominator's style was the only style.

After he left Buffalo, causing many of us to hate him in process, Buffalo wondered who could replace his big skates. Marty Biron stepped up, though we still sucked. Yet not every year with Hasek was a play-off year as many of us remembered. After the lockout a young star decided to buck the trend, and we got to see the stylings of on Ryan Miller. For a while we even enjoyed two co-starters sharing the goal. Now we have pinned our hopes for the next 6 seasons on Miller.

So here's to Buffalo's goalies, past and present. I have omitted other great Buffalo goalies since they were really before my time.

Here's a little something else about me. I enjoy running sound. It's become a hobby of mine. I started my freshman year of college helping another guy run sound for a youth ministry, and eventually took over that position and I ran sound for my church in Scranton for a couple years. I'm even running sound for a friend's wedding later this month. (no pressure there, haha) I'm starting to buy my own sound equipment now, though I only have a mixer and some odd cables. I'd like to eventually own my a small sound system.

23 July, 2008

Everywhere I go...

So I'm in the deep south where the temps have been in the upper 90s with very high humidity. (Last week the heat index was around 120 down here) Yet even here I can find someone to talk to about hockey! One guy down here with me is from Erie, PA, and after he heard my ringtone he informed me that RJ's son, Mark, is the announcer for the Erie Otters. I then learned that he too was at the Ice Bowl Amp/NHL Winter Classic. He also said he can get me tickets to a Sabres game, so come this December I'll get to cheer my team on in person. Due to circumstances outside my control it will most likely be the only game I can attend this season.

But on to other things. I know I'm several days late and probably about $30 short, but I'm going to put my 2 cents in on the Ryan Miller contract extension anyway. First off I'd like to address Bucky and the gang down at TBN sports section. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Turns out that Ryan Miller doesn't hate Buffalo, nor does he have a burning desire to move to Detroit or Chicago or anywhere else. I am typing this before reading the comments of others, so I have no clue if the hypothetical (and very possibly non-existent) 5/25 deal has finally happened, but I do rejoice that I won't have to hear anyone crying about how we let Miller go without any effort at all. It turns out that Darcy Regier and Larry Quinn MIGHT know something about running a hockey team after all.

I will also say that I have already heard a complaint about this situation. This next comment is for my younger brother and others like him. Ryan Miller is a great goalie. Signing him was a good move on the part of the Sabres. That's right, my own brother said that this was a bad deal. Let's review Miller's last season -- a franchise high number of games played, 3 shut-outs (a career high), and a 9.02 (or .03, I don't remember exactly) save percentage, despite being physically worn down. Yeah, sounds like a real loser to me. Give me a break.

On Saturday I will continue my series on why I love the Sabres in particular and hockey in general.

-- Sharpie

17 July, 2008

For Love of the Game, part I

Well, I'm down in the deep south where it's hot and humid. I also don't have a steady internet connection. (As I type this I'm in a nice air conditioned internet cafe type place) This makes it diffucult to follow anything having to do with hockey. Don't worry, that won't stop me from bloviating about something hockey related. I'm going to TRY and start a series to get me through the rest of the off-season. So, without further ado I present "Reasons Sharpie Loves Hockey, Part I."

I love the physical side of hockey. Sure, footbal is a very physical game as well, but after they hit each other they stand around for 5 minutes. In hockey after you get hit you're expected to get up and chase after the puck. Even when goals aren't being scored there's plenty of action for all. Furthermore, hockey has some nice solid boundries to smack one's opponent into. One of the reasons I enjoy (occasionally, when I can afford it) sitting in the 100 section is the satisfying sound of a bone-crunching crash off the boards. And who could forget the RJ Umburger hit in the Easter Conference Round I of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs? I would go on about this, but I don't have much time remaining.

-- Sharpie

06 July, 2008

So I'm working at a camp in PA in the Delaware river. You may think that at a camp like that I wouldn't come across many hockey-related tidbits. Sure, I had to wait 'til the weekend to find out that Bernier's gone but the Goose is here to stay. And sure, I had no clue about the back-up goalie until late yesterday afternoon. (By the way, is it just me or do we seem to be taking California's leftovers?) But I did come across someone who was associated with the NHL, or at least who WAS associated with the NHL, as well as the NFL.

To say the least our camp nurse this past week, a volunteer, was overqualified. Turns out he's a nurse practitioner who's worked on Flyers players as well as Eagles players. Yes, I know, I'm not a bit fan of either team, mostly because of the fans, but it was interesting to talk with him. He worked with them for quite a while now, as he remembers Hasek, Steve Shields, and other Sabres. We started talking about hockey because of my Sabres hat. He saw me wearing it and mentioned that he wasn't much of a Sabres fan because of working with the Flyers. He's moving to Ohio, so perhaps he'll end up working with Patrick Kane.

29 June, 2008

This entry has nothing to do with hockey.

Hello my loyal reader(s). I am sorry, but I don't have the time to process hockey related thoughts this weekend and I am unavailable during the weeks as I am working at a camp. Part of the reason for my thoughts is the fact that a very dear teacher of mine passed away suddenly last Sunday. I had the privilege of studying under Dr. Colin Smith for a few semesters. Colin, as he insisted we all call him, was one of the top Bible scholars that I will probably ever meet. He knew many different languages, including Hebrew, which I took from him for 2 semesters, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics. He is also probably the only person who ever preached his own memorial service. (A message he preached in 1996 was played. At the beginning of it he even said "This is the message I want preached at my funeral.") Colin never took himself too seriously, and he often told us, "If at my funeral someone gets up and talks about how great I was don't believe them. You know me too well." Although he was a brilliant Bible scholar he could talk to you about anything on your level. If you didn't understand he felt it was his fault. Although I'm sad at his death I can rejoice that he is at home and at rest in the presence of his Savior.

21 June, 2008

I haven't dropped of the face of the Earth...

... yet. But I have been at camp. This summer I'm working at a camp and I started counselor training. This weekend I'm doing military stuff. I will still try to update once a week. I was going to put a post up about Portland as the Sabres' new AHL affiliate, but since the Sabres have no means of keeping any secrets that subject has been beat to death. Then I was going to do a bit of research and comment on Portland's player's names, but I just got too busy. In short once again I have failed at blogging.

The Sabres have drafted 2 guys named Tyler so far. Apparently they cut a deal with the Kings to take the first Tyler a round sooner. But lest you think they thought he was important I feel the need to remind you that we only gave up a 3rd round pick next year and a bucket of Buffalo wings.

-- Sharpie

09 June, 2008

Dominik Hasek really means it this time...

So Dominik "Iron Groin" Hasek is retiring again. I just realized he's become the Michael Jordon of hockey. But with his third time he means it, and I really don't see him coming back again. 

Sure, The Dominator really meant it when he said he wanted to move back to the Czeck Republic to finish raising his son in 2001 so his son would appreciate his homeland (His son went to college in the US by the way), but he felt he had to come back a year after retirement. And yes, he really really meant he was done the second time he said he would retire last summer, but he felt he had one more season. This time he really really really means it, perhaps because although he had one more season his groin didn't have one more post-season.

It's about time, Dom, and I do hope that WGR keeps playing your "Haseoke" tapes, but I can't say I'll miss you. You are way past your prime and I'm ready to dislike Detroit for no other reasons except the facts that they are a dynasty team and they think they're "hockeytown." Everyone's a fan when you're winning, but Buffalo is the real hockeytown, and this season proved it. 

05 June, 2008

Cue the fat lady

Well, the off season has officially begun. No more hockey until September. Congratulations to the Red Wings on winning the cup, and I'd tell Pittsburgh better luck next year, but I really don't wan to see them go that far. I'm looking forward to the madness of the free agency. How about some gritty defensemen!

 Defense changes area a-coming -- goodbye Dmitri, and better luck elsewhere. I do thank you for your years as a Sabre, however, and I truly wish you (almost) all the best. (will 90% of the best acceptable?) 

Something about me: I have 6 nieces and nephews so far. If I had more money they would be very spoiled.

01 June, 2008


Ok, so it's been over a week. I'm back in WNY now to visit my parents and I ended up helping my dad re-roof the house (well half of it at least) which included building a peak on a dormer. (Although I did put a whole in a ceiling I didn't fall all the way through)

So my predictions hopes fantasy about the Penguins winning the cup isn't coming true. I'm over it. I find it's really easy to get over things that never really had a chance to begin with.

I saw on WGR's website that the Sabres have signed 2 more prospects, including local boy Kennedy who won the Frozen Four championship with Michigan State (I think -- the green ones that Miller played for. I don't really follow college sports since no one broadcasts college hockey). I also voted in the web poll there that the Sabre's priority for this free agency is to re-sign Miller. I think that with a competent back up goalie (or at least one who can win games without divine intervention leading to shut-outs) he's our solid anchor. There have been several articles on this which I am too lazy to look for now.

I really enjoyed the game I went to last week. It cost me $30 for a 3rd row ticket near the blue line. Lots of good hard hitting, though the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins' power play really sucks. The Pirates were up 3-0 with 2 minutes left in the second, but the Pens managed to score in the second the put 2 away in the 3rd to take it to overtime where they won 4-3. I also learned that the Portland Pirates have a Miller, a Ryan, and a Peters on their team. Now they have to become the Sabres' farm team -- it must be destiny or something... (probably "or something" like the bad pizza I had last night)

As promised (well, almost as promised -- it's a few days late) I'm going to do an about me thingy here for the rest of the summer. I have alluded to the fact that I am in the National Guard before and I have a commemorative coin from former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace. (USMC retired). I received the coin from him at a NASCAR race last year when I met him while wandering around in the pits waiting for a flag detail to start. (For the record he was still the chariman at the time)

23 May, 2008

I'm not in Buffalo anymore...

$30 for a 3rd row ticket to a play-off game? For the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins that's all it costs for a good seat to a conference final game!

By the way, here's my pick for the Stanley Cup finals -- Penguins in 6. This is based more on the fact that I kind of like the Penguins (in the "my team missed the play-offs so I'll jump on the bandwagon of a team I don't hate" kind of way. In my defense I did pick them during the first round as my temporary play-off team) and I hate the Red Wings because they're a dynasty team and "Iron Groin" Hasek's broken promise after joining them. (Remember that "oh, it's just one more year so I can get the Cup then I'm going back to the Czech Republic to raise my son" comment? Yeah, how many years ago was that?)

Next week I plan on doing an about me series combined with things I like about hockey like what Heather did last summer.

13 May, 2008

This post may offend some sports fans...

WGR's current web poll asks i you would trade our Sabres for a MLB or NBA franchise. As of about 9:30 on 13 May 08, 83% say no and 17% of the people who responded are complete morons. Personally I find baseball dull and boring.

IF some good friends are going to a baseball game then I might go more to hang out than anything else. People say that hockey is boring, but I find that far from true. Even in a very low scoring game each shift players are constantly sprinting up and down the ice and getting slammed around. In baseball I see players standing around for at least half the time they're on the field. Then they might make a short sprint, only to stand around again. When was the last time you saw a runner get leveled? Furthermore, baseball has no right to complain about low scoring games. 22 innings for a final score of 2-1? Please, I don't know how people managed to stay awake through that snore-fest. Remember '99 or '94? Triple sudden-death OT, yet at the same we saw some very intense displays of athleticism. Sure, one of those games ended with a horrible call, but at the same time it was a great game.

Basketball is a sport that I cant' seem to get into. Basketball has the problem of over-inflated scores. A basket just isn't much when you have scores in the 90s to 100s. A game where a team wins 70 to 50 is low scoring? That being said I'd MUCH rather watch a basketball game than a baseball game.

Buffalo has a baseball team, so if that's your thing then go to a Bison's game. Buffalo had an NBA team, and it failed and moved out of town. Besides, I'd rather watch a college hoops game than an NBA game, and Buffalo is privileged with several college teams. Didn't the Arena play host to early rounds of March Madness a few years ago? (Ok, so maybe it was 6 or 7 because I think I was in high school at the time)

All this to say that I wouldn't trade the Sabres for any other sports franchise. I'd rather they be re-named and give an even more hideous logo and be filled with players like Ray Emery and Sean Avery than have the Sabres move away in exchange for a MLB or NBA team. (But please don't ever let it come to that! Fortunately Golisano seems committed to keeping the Sabres in Buffalo, and Buffalo continues to have some of the highest ratings in the country for hockey even without our team in the playoffs.

On an unrelated note (and to make the this entry a bit longer and more useless) I'll relate a story to you. But first I'm going to give you a little something about me. I'm in the Pa National Guard. Currently I am going through a readiness processing program. Last night we had to do a long boring medical briefing with paperwork. Right now we have a soldiers from all over the state here. During the briefing the sergeant in charge (NCOIC) asked if there were any Flyers fans. After a few people cheered he asked "What's the series at now? 2-0? Funny how the Flyers said they'd sweep the Pens." I just started laughing. Throughout the briefing he made fun of the Flyers fans, who tried to make fun of him back (kind of hard to do when your team is losing the series). It made an otherwise excruciatingly long and boring briefing bearable.

11 May, 2008

NHL on Hulu

So recently a friend of mine sent me to a website where one can enjoy TV shows with limited commercials for free (basically 4 commercial breaks in what would be an hour show, each with only 1 commercial). I was able to enjoy a show from when I was younger. (It got the ax in 2000) Recently on that site I found that the NHL posts some full games on there! Unfortunately when I went to watch the Derek Roy highlight (he was the only Sabres player I saw on there with a highlight) there was no audio. The website is hulu.com, and you can also watch some games on there, include a game from the '60s! Or perhaps you'd like to watch the Nordiques play the Candadiens from 1985. For those masochists out there you can also watch the agonizing shoot-out from the Ice Bowl! (I was there, and these pictures prove it!)

Oh yeah, one more thing -- Shootouts suck and should be eliminated.
(And since Ryan Miller must have enough time to read every Sabres blog out there and he's a member of the competition committee I'm officially tasking him with eliminating it from games.

06 May, 2008

Let's all welcome The Hobbit!

The Hobbit, aka Nather Gerbe has signed a 3 year contract with Buffalo! Now if this is news to you then you are really coming to the wrong site to get your Sabres information.  But congratulations, and we look forward to seeing (or in my case, hearing) you play in Buffalo soon. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Hobbit, he lead Boston College to victory in this year's NCAA Men's ice hockey tournament, beating Notre Dame in the finals. He seems to be a dynamic player, racking up a hat trick in the semi-finals, yet he's only 5'5". My theory is that he's so short the other teams look right over his head and don't notice him. But as J.R.R. Tolkien told us in his wonderful tales of Middle Earth, sometimes the fate of many rests upon small, remarkable creatures. 

Or perhaps Master Yoda's words would be more appropriate for The Hobbit:

 "Size matters not."

 (Hmm, maybe I should have called him Yoda, but I already referred to him as The Hobbit and I'm not changing his nickname now, even if I'm the only one who calls him that.)

It's been a while...

Ok, so it has been a while since I updated this. Blame life for keeping me busy. At any rate I was able to watch the Penguins defeat the Rangers in OT on Sunday! Ha, take that Dury. Also, I'm glad that Brian Campbell lost (again, sorry San Jose, but Campbell's mouth ruined it for all of you. But if you simply dump him on July 1 then I'll return to my regular apathy towards you.) 

It was nice to see half of my side of the D-FAC (Dining FACility) stand up and cheer when the Pens won. Go Pens -- you are my adopted team for the play-offs. (In the west although I have MOSTLY forgiven Dallas for 1999 I still would love to see them get eliminated on a controversial call, and I don't like Detroit on principle for several reasons, including the fact that they are a dynasty team, they think they're better than Buffalo when it comes to fans [they're not even close], and Dominick Haseck's "Oh after I win the cup this year I'm returning to the Czech Republic to raise my son" lie. How many years ago was that?)

In the East I'm officially calling for the Penguins to beat the Flyers in 6, and in the West I'm hoping that Dallas beats Detroit in six or seven. I'm going with the Pens to win the cup, although that's partially (ok, mostly) based on the fact that I really don't want to see the other 3 teams win the cup. (Sorry Marty Biron)

So we shall see how things progress from here.

24 April, 2008

I've come to a realization recently. I have mostly forgiven the Stars organization for stealing the Cup from us. Or, to put it another way, although I still acknowledge that the cup was stolen (Hull's foot was CLEARLY in the crease, and yes, we WOULD have won game 7), I do not hold the current players or coaches responsible. While they are not my first pick to win the Cup, I wouldn't mind it if Dallas won legitimately. I do, however, still blame Brett Hull, and if I never see him do color commentary again I won't be sad at all.

23 April, 2008


So I went to a hockey game tonight. Since I'm currently near Hershey, PA, I went to see the Hershey Bears (AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals) play the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins (AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, just in case you couldn't figure the out from their name). The power plays were, well, horrible. A few time the Penguins didn't look like they realized they had one more man that the Bears, and the first few Bears power plays looked like the Penguins had the advantage with how many shots they had. It kind of reminded me of a certain NHL team's power play at the end of the season. (At least it looked like how the Sabres power play sounded. If you don't understand that it's OK. Just remember that I had to listen to Sabres games, when the network was fast enough. Oh the trials and tribulations of being a long-distance fan without NHL Center Ice. I think I'm going to spring for that next year.)''

The Bears were up by one when we hit the 1 minute left in regulation mark, but the Pens had pulled their goalie. The first 10 seconds of the last minute were solid, and the then the Bears must have decided that they had the game wrapped up. Having seen many a Sabres game I knew they they weren't safe yet, and with about 18 seconds to go the Pens tied it up. But 20 seconds into OT the Bears won it. 

It was interesting going to a game without rooting for or against either team. I was able to cheer for every goal and just enjoy the game. Yet now I am hoping the Hershey wins the next game so that I can go to another game here. I kind of doubt that this will happen since the bears are down 3-1 in the series.

One more fun thing -- I wore my Sabres t-shirt and hat to the game. As I was walking to the car someone stopped me to say that they liked the Sabres as well. I love who where ever I go when I wear my Sabres gear I can run into someone who's a Sabres fan. This has happened in times Square, Hilton Head, and downtown Scranton, and now in Hershey. Yep, Buffalo is the real hockeytown USA!

What a series!

Wow, not only did the Flyers/Caps series go to 7 games, but it had to go to overtime! I wish I could have watched some of the series, but instead I was reduced to following it online. But fortunately for me I'm somewhat used to this by now, though I was a bit hampered by not having a game thread to follow. (yeah, I really like blfloblog for that.) I was too tired to follow the Calgary/San Jose series finale, and I was kind of hoping for a Soupy total meltdown leading to a turnover that would cost San Jose the game. 

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to the entire San Jose organization with the exception of Brian Campbell. I really wouldn't care at all how you did, and depending on how the Eastern Conference shaped up I might have even rooted for you if you make it to the Cup finals if Brian Campbell hadn't knocked Buffalo. But since he did you must all pay the price. Again, I'm sorry, but that's the way it is. If you dump him in the off season then I promise to going back to being completely apathetic about you save when you're playing a team I hate or when you play the Sabres, which is only once every 3 years or so under the current scheduling method

You'd think that living in PA close enough to Philly to have a lot of their fans in the area AND being 15 minutes from the Cap's AHL team that I would be able to watch a game from this series, but no such luck. The post where I'm staying changed their cable in the barracks since last year so the only sports channel I get is ESPN.  Not to fear though, I do get to watch some hockey tonight! That's right, I'm going to try and watch the Hershey Bears battle to stay alive against the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Penguins tonight. The Pens are up 3 games to none in the series, and I really don't care who wins, but I will be wearing my Sabres hat and t-shirt to the game! (with the good logo of course -- I am still slug free)

Oh, and according to this tracker thingy I  have there were 7 people who visited my site today. I do have readers, wow!

21 April, 2008

I've got (almost) nothing

So things are shaping up for the conference semi-finals. I'm kind of bummed that I haven't been able to watch any of the games. Perhaps I'll cough up the money for Center Ice next season.

I'm not sure who I want to win the Habs/Bruins series anymore. Out west the only series I feel strongly about is San Jose. I really want to see them lose. I'll be honest about the only reason for this is Brian Campbell's attitude towards the Sabres.  I hear he's melting down again during the playoffs showing how inconsistent he can be.

I suppose I'll say a bit about myself just to stretch this out some. In high school I used to love to ride my bike. I would just get up in the mornings and ride during the summer. I would ride around and get some ice cream while I was out, just having a bit of fun. This week I've read on some blogs about summer in Buffalo -- things like Mississippi Mudd's across from Niawanda Park and the numerous festivals in Buffalo. (there's pretty much a different festival every weekend in WNY during the summer) Combined with the very nice weather we've been having I really can't wait for the summer.

Well, that's about all I have right now.

-- Sharpie

17 April, 2008


Oh, Ottawa, you crack me up. You went from "Look at us we're so great" to a mid-season implosion yet you just barely made the play-offs, then you go on to get swept off the stage. 

Special thanks to Pittsburgh for making my day.

(So this entry would have come sooner, but I don't have internet at my temporary abode right now. I hope this is remedied soon, but it's really outside of my control.)

14 April, 2008

Odds 'n Ends from the weekend

Ok, so first off, Sean Avery is an idiot. Gary Roberts even said so. I'm sorry, but waving your hands to taunt another player, let alone Martin Brodeur, a very talented and classy (at least in my mind, even if I do hate it when the Sabres can't score against him) goalie, got old when I was about 9 years old. Heather linked to a video of the idiot on YouTube. No adult should have to have a rule made for doing this, especially at the professional level. And of course Chris Neal has no problem with Avery.

Next, congratulations to Boston College and Nathan Gerbe on winning the NCAA Frozen Four. Rumor has it that The Hobbit will forgo his senior year for a contract, following fellow Sabres' prospect Chris Butler, who signed this past weekend. WGR speculates that The Hobbit will be able to get the league max for a rookie. 

I must give major props, yo, (or whatever) to Flyers defenseman Patrick Thoresen. Talk about taking one for the team, he went to block a shot and blocked it with his groin, denting his cup. Although the doctors were worried about damage, well, down there, nothing was ruptured. Let me know when Brian Campbell does something like that. (Although if he did block a shot and say he'd do it again I'd think that maybe he should be paid Bucky's 5/25 mantra).

Also, congratulations to Marty Biron and his wife on the birth of their 3rd kid, a girl. Details at the bottom of that last link.

Oh, for the record I think I'd like to see Montreal vs. Pittsburgh in the ECF this year, with maybe Pittsburgh going on. I'm pretty ambivalent (I hope that's the right word) towards both teams, but I really respect them.  On a [slightly] related note (at least it's related in my thought process), I find that one or two players can ruin a team that I might otherwise respect. This is why I can't stand the Rangers.

That's all for now,
-- Sharpie

12 April, 2008

Sabres fight on (sort of)

So, you thought that all Sabres hockey is over 'til next season. (or at least 'til the world tournament. Oh, and all you crazy Canadians need to chill out about Pomminville. Just because he chose not to play for you doesn't mean he doesn't love you.) "The Sabres are out of the play offs" you say. And yes, that is true. "So are the Ameriks, thus ending our long affiliation with their organization." Again, also true. (On an unrelated note, I'm still wondering who our new affiliate will be.) "The Sabres and all their prospects are done 'til next season," you say. NOT TRUE!

Boston College and Notre Dame are duking it out as we speak to earn the honor of being the NCAA Men's hockey champions. And Boston College has not one, but TWO Sabres prospects playing for them! Nathan Gerber had a hat trick for Boston in the semi-finals, and the other Sabres prospect, Andrew Orpik had the opening goal. So if you have cable the turn on ESPN and enjoy for one last night! After that enjoy the play-offs. (On a side note the Pens had their way with the Sens last night, hahaha!)

-- Sharpie

09 April, 2008

If Chuck Norris was a hockey team...

So I stumbled across a group on facebook called "If Chuck Norris was a hockey team then he'd be the Buffalo Sabres." If anyone reads this and has facebook then you can check it out here. 

Perhaps I'll have something more meaningful to say soon, like my picks for the playoffs.

-- Sharpie

04 April, 2008

Only in Buffalo...

will an American NHL team be the headline story for missing the play-offs. Say what you will, Buffalo is still hockeytown. I logged onto WBEN.com today only to find that their top story is about the Sabres. For someone who now lives where people don't care about hockey it made me smile.

EDIT: I'm now listening to Tom Baurle talk about the Sabres, making fun of Peters, calling out Vanek, and talking about the Sabres' fundamental problems, and saying which player have been doing well (Gaustad, Mair, Roysie). Let me know when a Detroit talk radio host on a news station talks about the Red Wings for half his show.

03 April, 2008

It's over...

The rice has been thrown, the wheat has been passed, and the fat lady has sung on the 2007-2008 Sabres. Our play-off hopes bought the farm and went to the big play-off slot in the sky. They kicked the bucket. 

I think you get the idea. Let's have a moment of silence then start preparing for our 2008-2009 Stanley Cup run! Lets go, Buffalo!

(and yes, I will be wearing my Sabres t-shirt and hat tomorrow.)

-- Sharpie

I lied (sort of)

Ok, so I haven't completely given up on the Sabres making the playoffs. Deep down I really want them to make it, but at the same time I'm trying to be rational and protect my (not so) fragile mental state. After last night's Flyers defeat I am once again filled with (hopefully not futile) hope.

02 April, 2008

The Hurricanes' jacked-up e-mail system.

Could someone please explain to me how I got on a the Carolina Hurricanes e-mail list? I went to ONE game down there, and it was an awesome game (though it would have been better if the Sabres had won), but it was an ECF game (game 5, 2006). So why is it that almost 2 years later I randomly get 2 e-mails in a week's time about how the 'Canes are doing? 

01 April, 2008

Looking forward...

At least we didn't lose. I'm going to do as many other Sabres bloggers have done over the past week or two and explain my feelings on the season. We've had an up and down season, from high scoring games to pathetic losses. "Inconsistent" is how the season can best be summed up. But at the same time we have seen the emergence of you very talented young players. The Kaleta! has had a great year, as well as the defense "kids." Sure they have a ways to go, but they've done really well, even getting good playing time and, perhaps best of all, bumped Peters off the roster. 

Earlier this season (I think it was the end of February) WGR had a web poll on the Sabres greatest problem -- offense, defense, or goaltending. At the time I said it was defense, but that seems to have been partly solved. We still need to cut some dead weight (*coughkotalikcoughcough*), but we have some great talent in the pipe. Signing Pratt at the end of October helped beef them up for this season. Now I'd say their greatest need is for a backup goalie. Miller has done a great job for the number of games he's played, but he's obviously worn out. I don't blame Lindy for not putting T-Bo in. I don't think anyone will be shocked to learn the Sabres traded him or put him on waivers this off-season. It's not really the management's fault on that one. No one could have known that Ty Conklin would have a career-reviving season.

Although I'm disappointed that the sabres missed the playoffs (ok, so mathematically there's still a chance, but I'm not keeping my hopes up at all), but I have to say, I'm ok with it. I really am. First off, I think they need time to focus on re-building. I plan on seeing them in the play-offs next year.  Secondly, I hate dynasty teams. That may be the biggest reason why I hate the Yankees. No team "deserves" to make the playoffs. (See "2007 NY Mets.") It's OK to have a bad year. It makes victory years even better. No team should fire their coach (or at least say they will fire their coach) just for missing the championships. Lindy has seen his ups and downs as the Sabres coach, but he knows both how and when to push his players. I think missing the playoffs will be good for the fans. I know someone might read this (if I have more than one reader) who will say "No it's not. Missing the playoffs just alienates fans. They just get our hopes up and then crush them. Woe to us for we are Buffalo sports fans." But hear me out. Next year when the pre-season predictions come out and people write the Sabres off, the faithful will have more to celebrate. Perhaps Vanek will lose some of the pressure he feels to perform. The fans can appreciate the growth of our young players more. I'd try and say this more eloquently, but it's late. 

At any rate just because the Sabres will (almost definitely) miss the play-offs this year doesn't mean it's the end of the world. Plus we beat the Leafs tonight, so hurray.

Game Night

Well, tonight we play the team that can't even come up with a grammatically correct name. That's right we play one of the teams I dislike the most, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Could someone please explain to my when they are not called the Maple Leaves? I know its not a Canadian thing, as my Canadian friends (some of whom are soon to be US citizens) use the correct word for the plural of "Leafs." Toronto is the one team that is always on my "If we have to lose, please, please, please don't let it be to them" list. 

EDIT: I did something wrong and this didn't post earlier like it was supposed to. I'm still getting used to this format.

30 March, 2008

My first post.

Well, I have decided to start a Sabres blog. I decided to try this a few months ago but decided to wait until I got a catchy name. (I've given up on the catch name. I'm just not creative enough). My goal here is just to spew "vomitous mass" as one of English teachers used to say, about the Sabres. I don't live in WNY anymore, nor do I have NHL Center Ice, and I am often busy during the actual games, so that rules out meaningful commentary. Instead I will share my thoughts and opinions, no matter how wacked-out and/or wrong, from my limited perspective.

Now for a bit about me, mostly from a hockey perspective. I grew up in WNY, but never really got attached to the Bills. I find hockey to be a much more entertaining game. I grew up near Sabreland (now hockey outlet or whatever), and I remember my dad taking me to watch the Sabres practice when I was 4 or 5 years old. I think I was in Middle school when I went to my first Sabres game. I remember the playoffs in '98, rushing home to watch the finals in '99 after being out with my brother. We were re-finishing the living room floor at the time, but we made sure the TV was still on. Oh, the heartbreak of "No Goal."

I remember when Hasek left the ice after the Penguins game, knowing he was done with the Sabres, then being angry when he signed with Detroit. (But he wanted one more year, "just one Cup" before going back to the Czech Republic to raise his son  there. How many years ago was that?) I remember the Regis years, the collapse, and in '05 saying that the Sabres wouldn't be as bad as everyone said. They were even better than I though they'd be.

I was in Carolina for game 5 of the ECF in '06 -- I flew down for the game after church, then rode back with my brother and my cousin. Last year I remember watching part of the Rangers series at my buddy's house. (he was a Rangers fan) I remember when they won the last game how I walked across campus to find the 2 or 3 other Sabres fans to let them know. And I remember after they lost saying (and even saying on facebook) that they'd win the cup in '09. (claim to which I still hold) And thanks to my brother, I was at the Ice Bowl when the NHL's script played out to make their marketing golden boy (Sidney Crosby) the hero.

On a more personal note I grew up in WNY, the 3rd of 5 kids. My family is pretty close, though not geographically, so expect to hear about them once in a while on here. I went to college in PA, originally to become a Youth Pastor, then ran out of money and joined the Army, which in turn caused me to change my major to pre-chapliancy. I'm working to become a chaplain (still a few years off). 

Perhaps in a couple days I'll post some thoughts on the season. Oh, and my goal is to post a couple times a week, which may or may not happen.

-- Sharpie