03 January, 2009

Advice for Lindy Ruff and other random thoughts

I watched my last Sabres game I'll see for a while on Thursday night. My brothers and their families were at my parents for a good-bye dinner for me. (We had ham, sweet potato pie, [My mom makes and AMAZING sweet potato pie] pumpkin and apple pies, and some other assorted junk food. I put on the Sabres game and got to see them show up and play, and what do you know, they won. From what I've read about them this season I'm expecting them to start to slack off again soon, but I'm hoping that they shock us all and show they still care about hockey after all.

Changing the locker assignments, is that the best you can do, Lindy? I've got some ideas for you to pull out next time the Sabres play like crap.
  • After the game have them wait until everyone leaves then have them do skating drills for about a half hour. If they ask why tell them that if they didn't want to work during the game they can work now.
  • Have a long practice where for the first half they spend time changing into their uniforms, getting to the ice, then send them back to change. Once again you can feel free to remind them that it's because they didn't want to work during the game. Remind them that they have to earn those contracts and the people of Buffalo deserve to get their money's worth out of them. (Yes, technically it's Tom Golisano getting his money, but telling them the people of Buffalo will make them feel like they're helping more than just one really rich guy, plus the people of Buffalo do buy the tickets and merchandise, so it is true from a certain point of view.)
  • Run the next practice like they are a high school travel team. (or younger) Have them do pointless drills that are far below what they would use in an NHL game. Don't let them wear official practice jerseys during this either. As the practice begins tell them that since they don't feel like playing at the NHL level you are going to treat them like the high school (or younger) team they act like. (I would love to see them practicing with the cages on their helmets with over-sized Timbits jerseys.)
  • Have a day of practice where you have them show up for 20 minutes, then release them but have them report back an hour later. Do this all day. I'm sure they'll remember this and will try to avoid it again.

These are just a few quick ideas. If you want some more just try and contact any Army or Marine drill sergeants. You'll learn plenty of creative ideas.

While watching the game the other night my 2 1/2 year old nice climbed up next to me on the couch to watch. That's right, Uncle Sharpie is getting them hooked young. I'd post the picture, but it's on my sister-in-law's camera, not mine. I also got my older nephew to watch with me. He's lived in SC for most of his life, so he's new to hockey.

I watched about half of the Winter Classic. I don't feel bad about calling it the Winter Classic when it's not in Buffalo. Here's a few quick thoughts on the game.

  • Man, this is nice -- a real hockey game.
  • Did the announcer just say Ty Conklin's in goal? Wow, that guys's been in every outdoor NHL game! I bet he tries to get traded to a team that plays in next year's Winter Classic. It's probably part of his contract.
  • Wow, the seating really sucks at this game. Unless you're at the corner you're pretty far from ice even in the front row. What was the NHL thinking? Please let them stick with a football stadium in the future.
  • Ah, pond hockey. I remember going out and skating on the frozen yard out back, but lets be honest, how do people who live any farther south that the Mason-Dixon line identify iwth that? Apparently the NHL plans on attracting new fans by not identifying with them.
  • How do you make and outdoor rink at home anyway? I always thought it was a 3 step process. 1) Find a lake or pond or something that can be skated on when frozen. 2) Pray for freezing weather 3) Skate on it until it gets warm and melts. Now I find out that people's dads made outdoor rinks in the back yard. Do they have the power to conjure up subzero temperatures or something?

Here's some pictures I took before (and I think a couple during) that horrible excuse for a game on Tuesday night. At least the seats were good.

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