An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feeling Nostalgic

The Teflon Captain

I've been very lax with this blog for a good year or so. It's not that I don't care less about Buffalo Sports. But just much busier with everything. Life changes, so things get sacrificed. Like blogging. The best thing with a blog is that you can dust it off and really nothing has changed. No Rust, batteries don't need to be changed, or tune up needed. Just pick up and go.

I still follow blogs quite religiously, just don't contribute to my own. Which has made me think why did I start this in the first place, over 3 years ago? I wanted to for a year prior, but never got the energy to do it. Then I did, and put a lot of effort and time in putting content on, but then I stopped doing it everyday, then every week, now its been months since my last post.

I read the local blogs all the time. But there is something missing. I miss Bfloblog. Yes I know Kevin is on twitter. But since WNYmedia took it over, it fell apart, and what I feel was the launchpad for all the main Buffalo Sports blogs is gone. Back 3 to 4 years ago, it was the place to be for all blog fans. The chats during games were great. Sure there are great sites now. The Gooses Roost, Die by the Blade, Top Shelf and Willful Caboose. They all tend to talk more about the Sabres then anything. But the Buffalo blog explosion, came from the Sabre resurgence. Nothing the Bills did led to a Buffalo Bills Blog explosion. Buffalo Rumblings is probably the best, but nothing else is really worth a daily read in town.

With the Sabres mired in a stall at the moment. They are just plain boring most of the time. We try to find excitement, but the same players, lead to the same results. That passion and fun that was there once, is all but gone. Its super evident in the building, and evident online. Game chats that were once so popular, are probably barren. I use to do game previews, now you couldn't pay me to care that much to put together a post for Sabres Panthers on Friday. It seems the crew at HSBC is either waiting for the axe to drop or praying that they get much better. And it is felt though out Sabre Nation.

It seems for the first time in a while the Bills are more interesting then the Sabres. Call it a cycle, but the Bills have guys that you can care about. The games are fun. Like the Sabres use to be, minus the losing instead of winning. Its a rare occasion that you can call a Sabre game "fun". A couple years ago a Drew Stafford hat trick would be celebrated. Today, Meh, probably won't score for another 10 games.

The most exciting time of the year so far, is when we thought there was a new owner. It almost breathed life into the fanbase. But that talk has died down. I don't doubt it was floated to see the fan reaction to it. It seems lots of things are floated by the Sabres to gauge fan reaction, business things, not player things. But the hockey world will be here next week for the World Juniors. So maybe they will save some news for then. But I doubt it.

Also, I think someone should create a tribute to Sabre Rattling. It really was one of the first Sabre blogs out there, a really good one at that. But it along with the Sabres rise, has faded away. I guess we are in what I call the post blog boom. What is out there, is what probably will stay. If people can blog through the crap over the past 3.5 years, then they can stay for what's next.

But as my life changes, getting married, having a son, working part time from home. I will always thing back of how things were, before all that got started. Missing the connection I felt from strangers on a screen, reading things about The Teflon Captain Chris Drury. Or Getting excited about every game. Do you remember how things were around here during the Playoff runs? I do, there was nothing like it. I think only till the next Bills playoff game, will that feeling be matched.

Lets just hope that the Bills are building to be better, like the Sabres pre lockout. (Hey the NFL might be locked out next year) If not, it won't be pretty and apathy will do its thing. And the Buffalo Blog community will suffer from the lack of passion.

Because all we have now is Hope and Nostalgia. And if that runs out. There won't be anything to write home about.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Can you feel it?

Ahhh that chill in the air, the overcast skies and school buses on the street.

It must mean Football is back!

I have been on blog hiatus, due to lack of creativity, passion, being busy at work and getting ready for a baby. But watching the preseason has gotten me back in the football mood. As well as some College games this weekend. I don't think the Bills will be good this year, but they have a chance to be entertaining while losing, and if you're gonna lose, might as well put up some points.

The defense is going to be a problem, switching to the 3-4 with not the right personnel. The secondary will help in making things close, since teams won't put up points quickly, they will have to grind them out. Whats better getting killed on a ground assault or Air assault? Everyone assumes QB next year, but I wouldn't be surprised at a stud LB in round 1 next year. A high quality LB can be just as important as a QB. And I'm not totally sold on the big hyped guys.

Well my Son and I will watch the team closely this year, he won't remember any of this, but he'll hear about CJ Spiller and his rookie season. The Bills have a special offensive talent, and they will use him anyway possible. The Preseason was just a glimpse of his talents. Imagine screen passes that WORK! Play action passes to Evans that the corners bite on, because Spiller is in.

Well, I should stop before I get ahead of myself.

Its week 1, the Dolphins are good, kinda. They scream 7-9 or 8-8 to me. Nothing too spectacular, but they can win some games. Week 1 is always a toss up, since teams haven't played a full game, getting used to the situations, and for the Bills the new players and Coaches. But Chan Gailey has been around long enough to know what to do.

I'm not into making predictions, but I don't think the Bills will be the 3-13 team that everyone is saying. They don't seem too much different then the 7-9 teams of years past. With better coaching.

But its great to see Football is back.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Built to Spiller

With CJ Spiller under contract now, the Bills have everyone at camp. Until guys start getting cut.

The question is, how is CJ used? Is he the number 1 back? He is the 2nd back, but they split him wide, ie the Marshall Faulk type weapon? They drafted this kid, high even with 2 decent backs on the team. And you don't draft a kid #9 to be Marshawn Lynch insurance.

You draft a guy 9, to build around.

The QB's aren't that great, the O Line is better at Run blocking then Pass. So you get a stable of workhorses and you run the ball. And hope you draft the QB of the future next year, and if the CBA works out, not pay him a ton of money, or be able to trade up in the draft, because it makes sense to with a reworked CBA.

They are going to build around this kid, this year. Fred Jackson is great, but he will be nor never was the talent that Spiller is. And when they need to slowly work in the Rookie QB, it will be Spiller who will be the safety valve for this kid. This is a guy you want to throw to in the flat, so he can create and make plays. (Trent Edwards is very excited) And with the Oline still a work in progess, they won't have time to look downfield. (insert sad Lee Evans face)

Yes, I know Fred Jackson will probably get more touches. But Spiller's touches could result in much longer players and gamebreaking plays. I imagine him as what everyone thought Reggie Bush would do with the Saints. Bush is a good player, but he isn't what people thought he could be. Unlike Bush, there won't be media pressure to produce, since he's in Buffalo, which is basically the CFL to the Media. If he wants to be a superstar he'll have to be great. Being in Buffalo has it upsides if you don't want media attention and its downsides, people don't know you're in the NFL.

If everything goes as I suspect. We'll see the debut of a very exciting new player in the NFL. The team might not win that much, but as long as they are exciting we'll take that. Especially if they are bad enough to take of the big QB's next year.

So CJ I'm glad you got a week in late, because he'll see alot of action this year and need all the rest you can get.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Its not fun being the poor kid.

We aren't the Rangers.

The Sabres have a budget. A self imposed cap in a salary capped league.

I can except that.

Yesterday wasn't a great PR day for the Sabres, they bought out a local kid and told everyone we won't spend to the cap. A big bucket of cold water over the Sabre fan base. Of course people are breaking it down to $200k. But that is not it. Its making a roster for a certain dollar amount. Darcy believed another defensemen as worth more then a 3rd line player. Who no one thought worth 1 million dollars. And with teams scrambling to make the salary floor, you would think someone would jump at that.

Are we overvaluing Tim Kennedy? We'll see where he lands. And what the deal will be.

Darcy has one of the hardest jobs in the league. Yes, I am a Darcy apologist. He has a big fanbase, that thinks it deserves a cup. A owner who makes sure they are a business and not a charity. Plus he gets no respect for trying to build a winner in a market where the FA's don't come, unless its their last option. For the most part, he's done a pretty good job. Has he made mistakes? Of course. The last few deadline deals have blown up, but were treated as good trades at the time.

This move has nothing to do with Tim Kennedy, in a perfect world, Darcy would have kept him and then acquired a couple other guys. But guess what the Sabres have a budget where they can successfully operate a business. Do you see the Sabres laying people off? No.

What if the Sabres kept Kennedy, but they had to lose $200,000 worth of salary from operating staff? Lay off a couple ticket sales people. Lay off game day operations staff. Would that be worth Tim Kennedy, a guy that just got $333,000 to get another job where he'll make double? The Sabres payroll is much more then the 22 guys on the roster. Its management, sales, scouts, the kids that work in the Sabre store.

Look at this list.

Lay off 10 of these people, so you can Tim Kennedy.

Darcy has the budget for the face of the organization, the team. But there lots of others dependent on the organization. People love spending others money, Darcy spends other peoples money, but must do it in the most efficient way. In a market that can't afford high raise in ticket prices. The Sabres have to operate at a lower cap then other teams, whose revenue is much higher and with a bigger pool to operate in.

Do not blame Darcy for this, his hands are tied. Blame him for the wrong person to keep, or not making a move if it was there, but operating within the parameters set for him? He's just like every other operation manager who has to answer to the board, where profits matter and losing money is a sin. (Also keeps said business IN business)

Tim Kennedy was sacrificed because he was the last one in and the cheapest to get out. Could they have traded someone? Maybe, who knows.

But as Buffalo Sports fans, we have to understand where we are, and our market. If not, then we will always be disapointed.

When we will get it, that Daddy Darcy won't get us that fancy toy, because we just don't have the money for it. And Grandpa Tom, ain't getting it either.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Football is back!!!!!

Nothing is more exciting then when Training camps start opening. Baseball takes its backseat till October because honestly there are only 1 or 2 playoff races these days, half the teams never have a shot anyway so its quite boring come August. But the NFL 20 teams have a shot at the Playoffs any year. (The Bills not one of them, but whatever) Training camp always gets me excited, gets me back to to watch videos of practice. And interviews that say the same thing every day.

We're working hard.

We're getting better.

We don't know the QB yet.

People are down on the Bills, as they should be, they probably won't be that good. But its an optimistic bad outlook. You see, it feels like there's a new vision. That hasn't been there the past few years. The Donohoe years gave some upbeat feelings with the guys they brought in, but they failed. Here we're going with young guys, that are hungry. Guys that want to get paid. Not guys that have gotten paid.

Plus I'm helping bringing in a new Bills fan into this world, my wife is doing the hard work. By the end of this month, there should be another little one into this world. Just in time for the season. Oh yes, there will be a Bills onesie to purchase, once I know how big the little guy is. Hopefully by the time he's aware of what Football is, the Bills will be decent again. (crosses fingers, hopes hes a good luck charm) Also hopes there will be a Buffalo Bills team to root for.

I don't want the Bills be to him, what the Buffalo Braves are to me. Thats a depressing thought and don't want to think about it.

So I can't wait to here about the QB battle, watch the preseason games, and wait for the cuts. And trades that might happen with teams in need due to injury or realizing their LT isn't very good, or have an extra one they don't need. (wink wink)

I don't care how good the Bills are, Buffalo Bills football is better then no Football at all. And really winning would hurt their draft status, especially if they need a QB in 2011. Just be entertaining while losing. That's all we can hope for.

In Chan and Buddy I trust.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What about Kurtis Foster?

Seriously, how do you pronounce your last name?

With all the talk of Tomas Kaberle and needing a power play QB in the defensive corp. We have kind of got stuck on one player, and we shouldn't have. Tomas Kaberle makes zero sense for the Sabres. Why?

1 year left on a decent contract.

UFA next year and they won't be able to afford him next year, so why would they trade assets for a player who they are going to lose the following year?

That should sound off the "Darcy will not do that alarm".

Today I saw a tweet about Kurtis Foster and his production. Right, Who?

The man most known for snapping his leg against the boards. Had a very nice season last year in Tampa. And is UFA who only made 600k last year. (Darcy's ears just perked up)

Lets look at his numbers

2009-2010 8 goals and 42 points, a -5, but being a minus on the Lightning isn't very hard. With the atrocious goaltending they usually get.

But the most important part is he was 7th in Power play points of all defenseman. Ahead of who?

That's right Tomas Kaberle.

He has the same amount of points as Chris Pronger and he did that in 11 less games.

Here we have a guy coming back from a seriously leg injury and being productive on a bad team. Who even if he gets a raise won't be that much and will provide instant offense for the Power Play. And hes a Ontario kid. So its closer to home.

Plus he's big at 6'5

Well just someone out there, that makes a lot of sense for the Sabres, and the type of signing that Darcy would do.

I have no idea what his value is, or his interest in actually coming here. Just someone that we should talk about instead of Tomas Kaberle who makes zero sense. The Sabres don't need a time eating D man, they need a guy who can get the puck around. They can resign Toni Lydman for a steady D man.

Free agency should be interesting, since there aren't many big names, but full of middle tier guys, that the Sabres love to go after. (see Steve Montador)

Monday, June 28, 2010

People you've never heard of.

Already gave Tallinder's number away

Yes I know everybody wore Number 10, this weekend, but it's a timely joke.

Well the NHL draft is over with, and um, the Sabres picked some guys I've never heard of, but lets hope I will by 2015. That's really all the draft is about, hoping you'll see these guys wear actual Sabre uniforms. I won't post the names because they don't matter for the time being. Like US Soccer until 2014.

And see anyone, grade the NHL draft the day after is ridiculous, who knows? Who has seen 10 of these guys regularly? Unless you follow Junior hockey closely. Like a beat writer for the Sarnia Sting. Those guys I might listen to, but they don't know about kids in the US, WHL or The Q. Forget about the European guys. At least Sabres stick to North America where they have a proven track record of late. Grades should wait til least 5 years down the road. Hey! Good idea lets take a look at the Sabres draft of 2005, to see how well they did.

1st Marek Zagrapan

Yikes, big time bust. In the KHL and not wanting to play for the Sabres, and the Sabres most likely not wanting him to play for them. Probably the worst pick of the decade.

Though looking right after him, there wasn't much there, maybe TJ Oshie at 23, but horrible draft outside the Top 10. .

2nd Philip Gogulla

Showed promise, but going back to Germany. I can see why they are avoiding Europeans.

3rd Marc Andre Gragnani

Someone who has actual time with the big club, but has gotten better, as a offensive defensemen and possible future power play QB. Can play both offense and defense. Could be a starter or even the 7th or 8th defensemen next year. Has actual promise.

4th Chris Butler

Great rookie year, bad sophmore year, but to have a starting D Man in the fourth round. Is great value for the pick. I'm sure he'll learn from this year, or he'll be gone. Has shown steady play he just has to play more consistently and play like a Vet. Will be one of the starting 6.

5th Nathan Gerbe

Very small, plays hard, will get into the dirty parts of the rink. He's Danny Briere. Everyone is forgeting about Nathan Gerbe, but I think he finally got it during the playoffs and showed what a good player he can be. He and Ennis could be two players that make a huge difference for the team in '10-11

6th Adam Dennis


7th Vyacheslav Buravchickov


7th Matt Generous

Played well for Portland last year, but has not been resigned yet, probably will be. Part of the glut of Defensemen in Portland. With only more on the way. Don't know if he has any NHL potential but its always good to have depth.

7th Andrew Orpik

The bad Orpik, already released and in the ECHL.

A solid "C" on this draft, mainly for the huge time bust in Zagrapan. Otherwise there is quality depth and potential mined in the middle part of this draft. Solid value picks. They missed high and Low. It seems the hit it with the North Americans and missed widely on the Europeans. Notice this year no Europeans. They haven't drafted a European in 2006.

I don't know if they have gone with the Don Cherry school of hockey. But can't argue with this strategy if all their quality picks are North Americans.

I always look at the NHL draft as the hope to actually know these guys years down the road. Otherwise they are just names on a screen.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I hate the Offseason

As demonstrated by me not posting in a month. I also have been busy, a baby on the way and work has picked up has made my blogging time diminish dramatically. Along with the offseason.

Oh man I hate this downtime. There really isn't anything interesting for me to blog about.

Yes I know I could blog about the Blackhawks winning the Cup, and Bills at OTA's. But other teams fans excited and glorified practice isn't what gets me writing or wanting to write.

But with the Cup over with, that means the Draft is right around the corner and that means trades and signings are soon to come. July 1st could be fun, but I think June 25th will be the more important date. That is when Trades can start happening. The Sabres are more likely to be involved in the trade market then in the free agency market, because Darcy is more into a value addition by subtraction type guy. And the Sabres don't need to create buzz, by overpaying some guy. A good trade will do the same.

The Bills on the other hand, keep in the news with their OTA's and the saga of Marshawn Lynch. I could care less if he shows up. Its up to him, and the coach doesn't have to do anything. This is professional sports. The coach is here to lead the players that are there, not baby someone who doesn't care or want to be there. The Bills are in no position with Schobel or Lynch, because its hard to get value for someone, that everyone knows wants to leave. They will probably get 5th round picks for the both of them.

Yes there is the World Cup, but it seems everyone plays not to lose, that it makes it more of a drag then it could be. There is so much at stake for the players and the coaches, that its not more a attack style game and it could be, and it would be awesome.

And I really don't care about the Bisons. Sorry. But its hard to care, when a team is in constant flux. The players change all the time, they win, they lose. But its not like they can committ to winning, when the best players will be called up, because they are good. So, you are left with average players or guys who are caught in a loaded postition.

I guess I'm just got in a blah sports mood. But one nice trade next week and my sports energy tank will be full again.

So its up to you Darcy, no pressure.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What do you pay for?

Watching the NHL playoffs, after the Sabres are eliminated, always gets me to thinking about next year. About trades, signings and the general direction of where the Sabres are going. And naturally this gets me to salaries and performance.

In a perfect world, you'd pay for Regular season play and Playoff play. But what if that person plays better during one part of the year, versus the playoff part of the year? Which would want to paymore for? To reward someone for a great playoff run or a great regular season?

Look at Nicklas Backstrom. He just got a new deal. A 10 year deal. He is the perfect world scenario. A great regular season performer with great playoff numbers. But how many Backstroms are there in this league? Not many. So you have to choose.

Lets look at our old Friend Danny Briere.

This season he had 53 points in 75 games and last year he only played in 29 games with 25 points. W0uld you want to pay that player 8 million dollars a year for those seasons? No of course not, that GM would look like an idiot. But what if I said he'd give you over a point a game in the playoffs during those same two seasons?


And what if I told you were paying someone 3.5 Million a year for someone that over the past 4 seasons gave you on average 70 points a year. You'd say that's a deal. But...... only 9 points in his last 22 postseason games. And only 2 goals in that 9 points. (Its Derek Roy by the way)


You still might take it, because he gives you so much in the regular season that helps you get you into the playoffs. But you still need those players who are proven playoff performers once you are there, to get your ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup. And that's where things get tricky if you are a General Manager in the NHL. Building the right kind of team, for both parts of the season. The dreaded "Built for the Playoffs"

But how much do you pay for that playoff performance, when in reality none of their contract applies to that part of the season? Do you overpay for those intangibles, such as compete, leadership and toughness? Like a Chris Pronger?

The Sabres no doubt need a real number 1 center. Tim Connolly is a nice player. But he isn't that Number 1 Center, you need to win a cup these days. He is a dazzling playmaker, but he was best when Drury and Briere were in front of him.

So do you trade for Joe Thornton or try to reel in a Patrick Marleau, both 29, both very skilled. Both very scrutinized for their Playoff performances. Marleau is almost a point per game player, as he should be playing with Thornton and Heatley. Putting him with Vanek and maybe Ennis. Would create a very nice number 1 line for the Sabres. Leaving Roy or Connolly as a dependable number 2 center. (one of those players will be shipped off this offseason, my opinion is, its Connolly) Leaving Hecht and Goose to center the final 2 lines.

But what would you offer Marleau? Overpay just to lure him here and possible ruin chances to sign another role player that will help in the postseason? Its gotta be at least 8 million a year, to get in the door. Right? 5 years, 6 years? 7 years. All this talk seems to go against what Darcy usually does. But modus operandi, ain't working at this moment. He changed his style by signing more players to longer term deals. So maybe he will make a big signing. Or most likely a trade to acquire a big name player. That way seems more likely, since its hard for Buffalo to attract free agents. Unless Grier and Rivet can brainwash Marleau into "what a great community Buffalo is!

Oh hes married with a kid. That helps.

Single guy would NEVER come here.

The Sabres know what they have to do, but no here comes the hard part. Who do you go after and what do you pay for. The regular season or Playoff performance?

Because those are good during both, don't get away too easily. They usually sign those 10 year deals.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Last night at the South Buffalo Professional Hockey Players Club....

(sitting at a bar, watching the Blackhawks Canucks game)

Bartender: Patty is having a good game tonight.

Pat Kaleta and Tim Kennedy: Yep he sure is.

Bartender: That Dustin kid would look good in Blue and Gold. Buff in Buff!

Kaleta and Kennedy don't say anything, just stare at the TV.

Bartender: Come on guys you had a good season. No reason to look down. There's promise for the future.

Pat Kaleta: Its just tough, I hate losing, and going down like that is awful. Now I have all summer to think about it.

Tim Kennedy: I thought we had a chance to do something.

(door opens, Lee Stempniak walks in)

Everybody: Hey Lee!

Lee Stempniak: Hello Everybody.

Bartender: Tough end to the season. Phoenix was doing great.

Lee: Yeah, well I got there late, but it was a great team, just ran into a great Wings team. But now I can relax enjoy the summer, and wait for my agent to call me to see where I go.

Bartender: Maybe you'll play here with Timmy and Patty.

Lee: Yeah, sure. It would be great, but I'm going to look out whats best for my family.

Pat Kaleta: What Crap, you don't have a family. You just want to get paid, Dartmouth boy.

Lee: I wanna roll in cash like Mike Commodore.

Tim: Darcy, ain't gonna make that happen.

(they all laugh)

Lee: Hey, Hows Kaner doing?

Bartender: He's gotta a couple points tonight. They are lethal on the Power play.

Lee: Kaner has great hands, wish he was on my line, I'd have 40 goals a year, playing with Kaner.

Pat Kaleta: Too bad the coach would realize you suck too much, and put you on the 3rd line.

Lee: Ha Ha, Hands of stone.

Tim Kennedy: How many goals did you score in the playoffs?

Lee: Shut up.

Pat Kaleta: We're gonna call you Raffi Torres, for how you show up in the Playoffs.

(Lee mimics throwing off the gloves and ready to fight)

Bartender: HEY HEY HEY! Not in here.

(Lee sits down and gets a beer)

Bartender: We are all gonna sit down here and be civil.

(Kevyn Adams walks in)

Pat Kaleta: What is he doing here? He's not from South Buffalo, he's one of those hoity toity Northtown kids.

Tim Kennedy: I invitied him, since he lives south of the city now. I thought he could qualify. You are from Angola, Pat.

Pat Kaleta: Great, who is invited next, Todd Marchant? Ugh.

Kevyn: Um, Tim, aren't you supposed to be in Germany for the IIHF Championships?

Tim: Uh Oh. I totally forgot.

Pat: Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. You're on the US Team?

Tim: Yeah, it is quite an honor, plus your hurt Pat.

Pat: I could totally play, its not like the playoffs.

Tim: Yeah, but theres another Buffalo kid on the Roster, David Leggio.

Pat and Lee: Who?

Tim: He's some guy that plays in Finland and hes from Amherst.


(Pat and Lee start fighting for no reason, Kevyn Adams and Tim Kennedy try to break them up)

Bartender: Ugh, not again. I can't wait for Patty to come back, he's the sensible one around here.

Bartender: Alright, everybody out, Club is over. Go home.

Everybody: Awwww.

Lee Stempniak: Anybody wanna get a cab?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dealing with "The System"

The key to the System.

The current post at The Gooses Roost, about the system, inspired me to write my own take on the system.

We all think the System is some random scheme the Sabres talk about. But its not there is a total organization philosophy, that the team is built around. And its been in place since the Regier Ruff era took over.

Build from the Goal Out.

When they got here, there was a rough and tumble mentality that was influenced by Ted Nolan and the crumbling of the Muckler era. Nolan and Hasek didn't get along, and Hasek being the true star of the team, got his way, with Nolan getting the heave ho, when Regier was hired. They knew they had a great goalie and they could build the team around him. Go through hockeydb from the late 90's for the leading scorers, its shocking how low they are.

97-98 Miroslav Satan with 46 points!
98-99 Miroslav Satan with 66 points and and only 2 others with 50.
99-00 Miroslav Satan with 67 points and only Curtis Brown had about 50
00-01 Miroslav Satan with 62 Points and JP Dumont with 51

Then Hasek left. And the Bankruptcy. And they missed the Playoffs for 3 straight years. Yet Miro, had higher point totals and in 03-04 the Sabres 5 guys in 50 or more points, the first time in 10 years! When Dale Hawerchuk was in the lineup.

They had the higher scoring player, but since their goalie left, the system fell apart. Steps in Ryan Miller.

Ryan Miller wasn't as elite level yet, so they tweeked the system, to be more offensive to cover up that Miller wasn't at the level they needed to work the system. But come playoff time, that comes back to bite you. The scoring goes down, and the defensive lapses kill you, plus injuries. The Presidents Trophy year, they had 6 guys above 60 points. Max had 61 points in only 56 games. Not since the French Connection hey days did the Sabres have that offensive firepower. And just like then, they couldn't get the job done.

Then the summer of '07 hit.

The loss of all that offense took its toll. They had two guys with 80 points, but that's not good enough when Miller has a 2.64 Sv%.

They needed to get back to "The System", but Miller had to get better.

Next year Miller's numbers got better, offense went down a little, but when Miller got hurt things fell apart again.

We get to this year, and Miller turns into Hasek.

2009-2010 Miller Sv% of .929 and GAA of 2.22
1996-1997 Hasek Sv% of .930 and GAA of 2.27

Yes I know Haseks numbers in the Hart years, were eye popping, but he was in his prime. Miller is entering his prime. Trying to get a a similar spot in their careers.

With Miller entering his prime, this is the time for the system to really work. But it needs tweeks. I don't feel a overhaul of the management will do much good. The prospects all kinda fit the mold of what the team will be in 2 years. Guys like Ennis, Gerbe, Adam and Kassian. You put in new people, those prospects are probably shipped out for vets the new administration wants. And who knows how that works, and the drawer is bare again, after years of stocking it up again. People forget how bare things were in the minors after the Bankruptcy. Now the Sabres seemed to filled with nice new acquisitions.

Here come some of my suggestions.


Derek Roy reminds me of another frustrating Derek, Plante. Leading scorer, but never seems to produce when you want. Derek Roy has value and I think could be traded for a nice veteran. Or packaged with a Tim Connolly and other players or picks. For my target.

Jarome Iginla.

Yes I know why would the Flames want to get rid of him. But he is the exact player the Sabres need. Talented, tough, a leader. And by packaging the right young talent, offense to replace what they are losing. Maybe you could convince Calgary to trade him.

Of course, this leaves a hole at Center. And if that trade doesn't pan out, which it probably won't. Sure people might say Vincent Lecavalier. But his contract is such a non starting point, I wouldn't even entertain the idea. Martin St Louis would be interesting, I wonder if a Roy for St Louis straight up deal could happen. He is in the last year of his deal at only 4 million. Had 90 points. And with Vanek and Connelly, could lead to a very dangerous number 1 line.

Joe Thornton? He of terrible playoffs and what not. I'd rather they do something interesting like put in a offer for Pavelski or maybe a Nicklas Backstrom. But both the Sharks and Caps are very under the Cap next year, that its not even worth going after.

The trouble is, it might be impossible to really go after a big time center, without really damaging you team in the long run. Which means you fall into the hope your young guys pan out cycle. And Darcy will not sacrifice the future for anything.

Doug Weight might be a nice option.

But as we have seen, attracting free agents to Buffalo is hard to do. That's why any real major acquisition will be in the trade market, lucky for Buffalo they have some assets. And plenty of teams who would love to dump some salary.

Keeping Grier is essential. The guy is solid and can contribute. Other then that, Kennedy and Kaleta get offers. I can live without Mair, Ellis and McCormick. If I could choose, I'd bring back McCormick.

Drew Stafford. I am done with him, I have been done with him. And Lindy Ruff is done with him. He is the new version of Chris Gratton. Lots of potential, but nothing substantial. The upside, you could fool someone in giving you a nice player for this "potential".

Young guys. We all love Ennis. Gerbe looks to finally have reached NHL level. Luke Adam could crack the lineup, and the wild card of Zach Kassian. He is having a excellent playoffs for the Spitfires and is the big physical force the Sabres need. Though another year in Juniors probably won't hurt.


Tyler Myers sure helps things here. He has solved a bunch of issues on the backend, the Sabres have never had this type of guy since Regier and Ruff have been here. He makes me happy and want to buy a new sabres white 57 jersey.

Henrik Tallinder has had a nice year, since, wait oh his last contract year. Mmmm. Was pretty decent in the playoffs. If he's not too expensive, resign for another 3 years and build this partnership up.

Toni Lydman, was Toni Lydman. I could see a resign, but if they wanted to look else where for a more nasty defensemen. That would be ok.

We assume Mike Weber makes the team next year, but Butler, Sekera and Weber, don't make me that happy. That's why they need another defenseman. I would love Anton Volchenkov, he wants 5 for 25, and that's probably too rich for Darcy. Andy Sutton, maybe more in the price range. He's nasty, he's dirty. We'd love him.

No I'm not an expert either. He looks like he could kill someone.

I'd rather add another vet, then just bringing up Weber. Make Weber, Butler and Sekera fight for spots.


Starter is set, now we gotta sign a quality backup. Hate to say it, but Marty Biron makes too much sense here.

Solid, plays well with a decent defense, and wouldn't be expensive. It makes too much sense and still would be surprised if it happened.


"The System" is not some marketing thing, the Sabres use to sell tickets or hope. Its an actual playing style, and its a start from the Goalie out system. Detroit has a different system. Pittsburgh another. Which one works best? Well it depends on the players. Pittsburgh has all star forwards, ok defense and a decent goalie. The best thing about having an established system. Is you can tweek it, to make it better. The Sabres have some very nice parts, but need a replacement here and a replacement there, to be one of the top 8 teams.

While the newspaper guys call for heads (while they wait for their buyouts) and the callers on the radio rail against everyone without thinking. The brass at HSBC Arena will plan on how to improve the team, and thus improve "the system."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Unreachable Expectations

Vanek is back tonight.

While, thats awesome news, I think we are all expecting him to come back and score 3 goals tonight and then 4 more in game 7 to lead the team to victory.

That probably won't happen. He'll come back, give the guys a offensive weapon, but he's still hurt and trying to get in. Might he score? Maybe. But we are probably more inclined to see offense from the guys who have been playing.

Vanek can put a team on his back, he works hard, but even he will probably expect too much from himself. A ankle sprain isn't fun, it takes a while to get back from. The only reason he is playing is because its the playoffs. He'd probably be out 2 more weeks if this were January. Yet people still call him soft.

So Sabres fans don't expect the best player ever, when Vanek is back in the lineup tonight. Just expect someone who will work hard, try to score, and be a lot more noticeable then the player he's replacing, Drew Stafford.

Lets bring it home for game 7.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hi There CJ

Woah Football Players graduate?

Well the Bills surprised a lot of people, thought some people thought the Bills would take Spiller. But I will be happy to welcome in CJ Spiller to the Bills Family. He of high character, college graduate, and some great numbers. He's the anti Lynch. Or the faster Fred Jackson. Its no doubt that the Bills are looking to a more running attack this year on offense. Anything to keep the QB from throwing the ball sounds good. Hey didn't a run first offense help the Jets? You bet it did.

Would I have liked a tackle here? Probably. But if theres a player thats dynamic and can help you right now, you take him. I'm not a scout nor do I know what I'm talking about most times. So I'm not gonna call it a bad pick or a great pick. I like the player, and as a Bills fan hope for the best. He looks like a class guy and says the right things.

Oh and he's also a excellent football player.

He's a weapon, and a great checkdown option, which any Bills QB will need. A lot. Trent Edwards must love this pick. Well up until, they choose a QB, then he'll get depressed again.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

That sucked.


Oh boy, that felt awful. I just thought they were gonna win that game, especially going up 2-0 after 2 periods. Now down 3 to 1, almost evaporates all hope. Of course the optimist in me goes, there's a chance. And I should just let things play themselves out. But seriously, the series should be the other way around. But its not, and that's how things are. And I can't wait if the Sabres lose, to hear the comments starting the offseason. Who should go, what should change. My opinion?

I have no idea what they should do.

But I know last night sucked, and reminded me why the downside of playoff hockey is worse, then just watching and enjoying the other games, like I did last year. The highs are very few in between the tension and the frustration. But if things keep on going, I won't have to worry about that much longer, and I can go back enjoying my nights. And get to the home improvement projects I need to start.

No matter how many times I tell myself that I won't watch friday. I will and I will care. And if they win, I'll watch Monday. If they stretch this out to 7 games and break my heart. It will suck even more. And thats where most Sabre fans are. They just want it over, so it won't hurt anymore. If we were impartial, 7 game series would be awesome.

I figured out the negative feeling around this team. They just don't trust it, don't want to believe, and don't want to go all in, like 3 years ago. Most Sabre fans are still reeling from the bad breakup and aren't ready for that committment. Lucky for them, it looks like theres nothing to commit to.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear Cody,


Tonight's a big game for you. Last night you thought your season was done. But no, Matt Ellis got run over by Public Enemy #1 Boychuk. The Sabres have been not as physical as you would like a playoff team to be. Well the 3rd and 4th lines are physical, but anyway, you have one mission.

Take Out Chara.

I don't care if you get suspended. Portland is done, we can call up whoever. Go after the Captain. I don't care about Boychuk, they can live without Boychuk. I'm not usually one for retribution. But I can't stand how no one seems to stick up for anyone on the team. And I bet Lindy Ruff thinks the same, that is why, when they need offense, they call up you Mr McCormick, and not the midget Gerbe or Lifetime AHL player Mark Mancari.

I wouldn't wait either, first shift. You hit him. Don't let up on hitting him. Make that big tree fall. You know why Chara wears his cage? He broke his nose. Its hard to play with a broken nose. Especially if its rebroke. (How to get through the cage? Be creative)

You may think this is cruel and not becoming of me, but I don't care. Boston through all of that out and everything is fair game. You don't shrug off, someone trying to hurt a star player. But don't go after Boychuk, that doesn't send the message. Going after their best player, sends a message.

Tonight the Sabres must release everything they have. And Cody, I don't care if you have a shot on goal. But if you don't have 4 hits at least. This is the last game you play as a Sabre. You come out hard and are a force. You can bet that you'll be replacing Adam Mair and Matt Ellis for the rest of the series.

Cody time to engergize the team and put some passion into the first two lines. Make them believe they can be physical. Be the hitter not the hittee.

Lets win this game.

Do you like 1pm games?

The 2010 Schedule came out and we all look for the matchups, when the Bills play who and what game would you like to go to. But does it all really matter? The Bills are going to bad this year. No ifs and buts about it. They aren't hiding it. They are installing new systems, new players are going to be in starting roles. They might even have a rookie starting at QB.

But the best part of the schedule, all Sunday 1pm games. Thats gorgeous. No late games, no 4pm games. I can watch and be done with it and go on with my day. No Monday Night Heartbreak, no Sunday night blowouts. Play at One and be done.

For those who care I should probably post the schedule and comment on the specifics. To me it doesn't matter, because if your gonna be bad, what does it matter who you play and when.

Week 1 - Sun. Sep. 12 Dolphins at Bills
Week 2 - Sun. Sep. 19 Bills at Packers
Week 3 - Sun. Sep. 26 Bills at Patriots
Week 4 - Sun. Oct. 03 Jets at Bills
Week 5 - Sun. Oct. 10 Jaguars at Bills
Week 6 - Bye
Week 7 - Sun. Oct. 24 Bills at Ravens
Week 8 - Sun. Oct. 31 Bills at Chiefs
Week 9 - Sun. Nov. 07 Bears at Bills (In Toronto)
Week 10 - Sun. Nov. 14 Lions at Bills
Week 11 - Sun. Nov. 21 Bills at Bengals
Week 12 - Sun. Nov. 28 Steelers at Bills
Week 13 - Sun. Dec. 05 Bills at Vikings
Week 14 - Sun. Dec. 12 Browns at Bills
Week 15 - Sun. Dec. 19 Bills at Dolphins
Week 16 - Sun. Dec. 26 Patriots at Bills
Week 17 - Sun. Jan. 02 Bills at Jets

So They open and close with division games. I like that format. Not that it matters, the Pats and Jets will have their way with this team. The Dolphins I don't think will be that great. The Bills hosting the Lions could be a garbage fest. And the Browns at Bills could be another matchup of bad bad teams. I can only imagine what Aaron Rogers does in week 2. Good thing the secondary is the only strength.

This will be a good development year and get the young guys will be the starters in 2011 experience against some good teams. The better teams they play the better they will be in the next couple years.

I am excited for the Draft, because those are the players who will hopefully bring the Bills back to the Playoffs.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Clash of the Titans.

Well I don't mean the teams as Titans.

I mean the announcers.

Rick Jeanneret vs Jack Edwards.

Two of the biggest homers in the league, and that's not a bad thing. Your audience is rooting for the team, so why not call it like the fans would. It may annoy the general fan and those who root for the other team. But thats the point, the Team feed should never be partial, its a waste of time. The Playoffs started so things will be only amped up and I'm sure Jack Edwards is pumped up, we all know how Rick is.

Lets listen to a few Jack Edward calls.

Oh my, who will he laugh at on the Sabres?

Wow, I can only imagine the monologue if they win game 1 tonight.

Ooo the old take that.

If I were a Bruin fan I think I would enjoy Jack. But I'm not. So lets clean up this post with the greatness of Mr Jeanneret.

For game 1 sake, and also how much I miss Jim Lorenz.

Why are all the goals scored by guys not on the team anymore?

Wait, here's one that still is.

awwww Sad Emery. Jack Edwards would have laughed at him.

But anyway the Sabres playoffs start tonight. Hopefully yesterday, put them on alert with all the road teams that won yesterday. A lot of people are downplaying this series as a potential snoozefest. I would never put anything down till play starts. All I know it will be a great series to listen too. With two of the more entertaining announcers on the mic.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What if I told....

You could get Drew Stafford production for 8 Million a year?

You would look at me crazy. Who would want that?

But what if I said he has some "intangibles"?

You would still say, they aren't worth that much money.

Well Chris Drury and Drew Stafford have almost identical stats for the season. What if Darcy actually ponied up that deal to Chris Drury? Sabre fans would be calling for the team to trade him everyday. But we all lament his loss, but what if losing Drury, resulted in the Sabres profiting in the long term, rather then in the short term. No doubt he would have put them in the playoffs last year. They wouldn't have gone far. But would have made the playoffs, maybe even the year before as well too.

Making the playoffs would have resulted in higher draft positions, meaning that drafting a Tyler Myers and Zach Kassian, might not have happened. Are the Sabres better off, in the upcoming years with young guys like that at entry level contracts, where they can spend extra money on vets, that can help? I think so.

Having 8 Million tied into a player on the downside, who maybe can give you 20 goals. Is insane in the Salary cap world of the NHL. Fans have lamented in what they have lost, rather what they have gained. Ryan Miller under contract for years to come, young talented players (like Tyler Ennis, who was gained in the Campbell trade), money not tied up in a couple players suffocating the team, like in Tampa. The Sabres have slowly restocked and retooled, letting their superstar, who is paid correctly, lead the team.

Call me a Darcy apologist, but no one gives him the respect he deserves. He operates with a budget. He doesn't bow to public pressure. He does things his way, no matter the criticism. Especially people on the video scouting procedure. Looks like its working by the way. Everyone is too quick to jump on him for screwing up, but slow to praise him. (the Moore trade was a bad one, but oh well)

I know they wanted to keep Drury, but it didn't work out. So instead of crying why me. They moved on with the guys they had, and kept on updating the roster when players were needed. Now they are 1 win away from a division championship and a run in the playoffs. Nobody had them winning the Northeast, especially after Montreal's spending spree. And no one credits Darcy for getting them back on track.

So would you still like a player with Drew Stafford Production but some intangibles, that might or might not help you win, for 13 million over the next two years?

I know I wouldn't. But I love young hungry players who are cheap and you add leaders at cheaper salaries.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Secret Meeting held before the Montreal game

(inside sabres locker room at the Bell Centre)

Derek Roy: Hey guys I got a plan.

Drew Stafford: What is it Roysie?

Jason Pominville: Yeah spill it.

Derek Roy: Wasn't that walk yesterday awesome?

Drew and Jason: Yeah it was gorgeous outside.

Derek Roy: Well with the weather getting better, I thought since we played bad against Toronto and the result was, we got to skip practice and take a walk instead. We should totally suck against the Habs tonight.

Jason: I don't know about that. We can wrap up the division tonight.

Drew: Yeah, If I don't play well, I might get benched for two midgets.

Derek Roy: Let me convince you. If we were kinda bad, and we got to skip practice and take a walk. Imagine if we're REALLY bad. We might get all that AND go out for Ice Cream later.

Jason Pominville: (eyes light up) OOOOOOO Pommers loves Ice cream.

Drew Stafford: Oh yeah, sign me up for some Panda paws.

Derek Roy: Well this is how we do it, shhhh Millers Coming.

Ryan Miller: Hey what are you guys talking about?

Jason Pominville: How we were going throw the...(gets kicked by Roy) I mean Thrash the Habs tonight.

Ryan Miller: Alright guys, I'm ready. Gotta put this division thing away.

Derek Roy: POMMERS! You almost blew up. If he knew our plan, he'd might do something. I think he's borderline psycho. Its like he cares about winning too much.

Drew Stafford: Totally. Its like take it easy, we get millions of dollars to play a game. Don't take it serious. Its not a real job. You really don't have to work that hard. Look at me.

Jason Pominville: I've been playing kinda hard lately.

Derek Roy. That's whats she said.

(they all laugh like 12 year olds)

Craig Rivet: What you dorks laughing about.

Drew Stafford: Your mom!

Craig Rivet: I'm going to pretend you just didn't say that. I really want to beat Montreal tonight.

Derek Roy: Ai Ai Captain.

Jason Pominville: Who can we get on this? Myers? Butler?

Derek Roy: I think its just the three of us. Plus Montador will probably screw something up on his own.

Drew Stafford: Yeah, and Mair is always good for a dumb penalty or two.

Derek Roy: Ok lets suck on three. Real quiet. One, Two, Three


Jason Pominville: We're totally gonna get ice cream.


The Sabres practiced on Monday, and there was no ice cream.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is it just me, or is there a general lack of enthusiasm for the Playoffs?

At least Versus didn't call him Tim Myers.

Well the Sabres regular season is winding down pretty rapidly. And the Sabres are pretty much entrenched as the Northeast leader. (knock on wood) There are only 7 games left and the last game is on April 11th. So 7 games in 11 days. A bit of a grind left. I would imagine Lalime starting a couple more games this year. They only need 3 wins to win the division, or if Ottawa loses tonight, 2 wins. With games vs Florida, @ Toronto, @ Montreal, Vs NY Rangers, @ Boston, @ Ottawa @ New Jersey, there are some tough ones left and some winnable games left. The last game could really be important since it could determine if New Jersey could finish, 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

This is what I call a playoff test. Play playoff hockey to end the season, so when you go into the first round, you are playing at an optimal level. Of course the last 3 games against playoff teams on the road, should really show their character.

But my question is, how are Sabres fans not really that excited? Or in my opinion not that excited. We are 2 weeks away from the start of the Playoffs. The Sabres are in the playoffs. They will probably have a home ice advantage. They probably will play Montreal or Philadelphia. Who they are a combined 7-1-1 against this year. It seems Ottawa is going to find themselves stuck at that 5th position. Being 6 points out of 4th, and 5 points ahead of 6th. Which means the Sabres fans will probably dodge the one opponent they fear in the 1st round. I'm more if they are good, they will beat whoever. You don't win the Stanley cup, playing cupcakes. You earn the Stanley Cup.

I just don't read or hear any excitement, no one expects this team to do anything in the playoffs, even with Ryan Miller. Everyone is down on the players, the coach, management, the owner, even Sabretooth. The playoffs are supposed to be fun, and when you go into them as a fan with not just low expectations, but expect them to fail. Wheres the fun in that? Sure I guess you can't be disappointed, but I'd rather be disappointed, then be right in my low expectations.

The team has a lot of players from the previous playoff teams. There are 11 players from the 05-06 playoff team still on the roster. Sure 4 of the top 5 scorers are gone from that team. But you know who is still on this team from that team.

He is pretty clutch and pretty hot right now. With 7 goals and 15 points in the last 11 games. The Sabres need him to score. Derek Roy has 5 goals and 15 points in the last 11 games as well. So two of the Sabres top scorers are starting to produce when they need them too. Even secondary guys like Tim Kennedy and Paul Gaustad are starting to produce.

So Sabre fans, lets get excited. Lets get ready for the Playoffs to come back to HSBC Arena. We got a great goaltender, pretty decent defense. And a lot of forwards who have done this thing before. Have some faith, get some positive attitude. And most of all lets have some fun. The playoffs are meaningless if you don't have any fun during them.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thomas Vanek Appreciation Society

I am a fan of Thomas Vanek. I think he's a great player, that gets a ton of grief for a contract that some idiot GM gave him. Not one he held out for, or demanded, but was given. So now he has to play up to that contract. He is in a no win situation, unless he produces like Alex Ovechkin. And Thomas Vanek isn't Alexander Ovechkin and never will be.

He is a quality player, who is a goal scorer and having a down year. He isn't lazy, like most of his critics call him. He sits in front of the net, takes a pounding and goes to corners and works for the puck. Derrick Roy is lazy, Thomas Vanek is not. People aren't fans of many players on this team,Connelly, Roy, Pominville, Stafford and unfortuntely Vanek gets lumped into this group. I remember being excited when Vanek was drafted, because he just came off of carrying the Gophers to another National Title. (In Buffalo btw) I thought he would a top guy the Sabres could use and a winner. And I have been somewhat proven right. He puts the puck into the net and the Sabres have been in the Playoffs, 3 of the 5 years of him being the team. And also 1 season in the playoffs with the Amerks. Lets look at the stats for Mr Vanek over the past five seasons.

2005-2006 25 goals and 48 points in 81 games

2006-2007 43 goals and 84 points in 82 games

2007-2008 36 goals and 64 points in 82 games

2008-2009 40 goals and 64 points in 73 games

2009-2010 23 goals and 47 points in 66 games.

Thats 167 goals over 5 years.

Lets look at players drafted right around Thomas Vanek. Forwards that is. Goalies and Defensemen don't count

Eric Staal (2nd overall) 176 Goals

Nathan Horton (3rd overall) 126 Goals

Nikolai Zherdev (4th overall) 86 Goals

Milan Michaek (6th overall) 112 Goals

Andrei Kostitsyn (10th Overall) 64 goals

Jeff Carter (11th Overall) 145 Goals

Dustin Brown (13th Overall) 105 Goals

I think we get the picture, but now lets rank those players, by goals scored and their salaries for next year.

Eric Staal 7.5 Million

Thomas Vanek 6.4 Million

Jeff Carter 5.5 Million (RFA after next year) And his price will Skyrocket

Nathan Horton 4.0 Million (Good deal)

Milan Michalek 4.25 Million

Dustin Brown 3.5 Million (for the next 4 years) Look out for the Kings.

Nikolai Zherdev Out of the league

Andrei Kostitsyn 3.250 Million (RFA)

As you can see Thomas Vanek Salary fits right in line with production. Yes he's having a down year. But most of the Sabre forwards are having a down year. I expect him back in the 30 goals to 40 goals next year.

Production is only one of the reasons why I like Thomas Vanek. Its the person. When he struggles its obvious. I like that. I don't want a superstar when in a slump to accept it and just not take it seriously. (ie Derek Roy) You can see when he finally scores, its important to him, you can see the weight come off his shoulders. The guy is a team player, he doesn't complain if he isn't getting ice time, he knows why. He doesn't get into trouble, hes a family guy. He represents the team very well.

Also he came to this county when he was 14! To pursue hockey. Can you imagine moving from Buffalo to say Paris when you were 14 to pursue your dream? I couldn't. But yet here he is a successful NHL Player, who is well adjusted and a role model for any young hockey player.

But what does he get? Grief and ridicule from the Sabre fanbase. I don't get it. Just see how bad this team would be offensively if they traded him. And you always hear, they should have taken the draft picks for losing him. Well maybe the Sabres would be better years down the road. But I never take a chance on a draft pick. Plus the Sabres would not be in the position they are this year without Thomas Vanek.

Maybe I'm one man who appreciated Thomas Vanek. But I'm proud to let everyone know that I do.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Orange Crush

Carrier Dome West

Downtown Buffalo will be awash in Orange this weekend, with 'Cuse in town. And in order to fit in and blend in, I am wearing Orange today. Not a big Syracuse fan, but I'd like them to win. The arena will be loud even if its a blowout tonight. And really loud on Sunday, because whoever they get, it will be tough game.

There will be plenty of blue and gold in town too, with West Virginia, my colors. Having gone to Sweet Home and Canisius. Cheering for the blue and gold, is ingrained in me, so I'll be rooting for the Mountaineers.

It will be interesting walking around downtown today, to see all the colors and the visitors. It's what makes the tournament special, you get all these out of towners, plus people coming home to see their folks and friends checking out the tourney. Some people get frustrated and annoyed with visitors, I am not. The more people the better. But I love to people watch.

Its a fun time to be downtown, and I'll try to get out of the office to experience all the goings on. I can't wait for the World Juniors, when you have people from the world invading downtown.

But for now I'll help with directions when asked, and avoided places that maybe where all the visitors are. Like Pearl Street. That place must be raking in the cash this weekend, but wait till the playoffs.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Look who is coming to Buffalo sportsfans.


Everyone's favorite NCAA play by play man, Gus Johnson, will be doing to the Buffalo games, thanks to the guys at awful announcing for letting me know that. If any of the games get exciting, and the Gonzaga FSU game should be tight or if Syracuse and Vermont gets close, the whole arena will hear Gus Johnson.

I love Gus Johnson, some find him annoying, but I like my play by play guys, to be into the game. Feeling the same excitement I am. Not some dull robot like Jim Nantz or Joe Buck. Does he go a little over the top? Yeah, probably, but who cares, its exciting baby. Scream all you want Gus, plus you can hang out with your buddy Steve Tasker while you're in town.

Lets listen to some past highlights.

And something for the Orange fans. Lets hope theres not a repeat.

Including my favorite Gus Johnson clip

I know its football, but he made this sound like it won the Superbowl. And not a meaningless game. (btw they beat Revis on that play)

So Rise and Fire Gus Johnson. We welcome you to the Queen city. Hopefully the basketball is good enough for you to do your magic.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wow, I'm a lazy blogger

Well, I haven't posted in a while, not because I'm lazy, but I am busy. Don't have the time to blog at work, and when I'm at home, I don't hang out on the computer. Not like the old days, when it wasn't as busy at work and was always on the computer at home. Then I could blog like it was a second job. So what didn't I cover.

The entire Olympics
Trade Deadline
Bills signing a guy
Bills letting TO walk
MAAC Conference play.
All Basketball conference play

Well with the Tourney in town, and the City of Buffalo about to turn the color Orange from the influx of 'Cuse Fans. I should probably start blogging a little more this week, and with the NHL Playoffs on the way, and the NFL Draft lingering in the future. There is plenty of stuff to cover this month and the upcoming months. Hey maybe I'll throw in some baseball talk. Not a huge baseball guy, but I like baseball. If the weather gets nice maybe a trip to the old ballpark to see the Bisons play would be nice.

I like to blog, I just have to be more dedicated to it. And I complain there is hardly anything good to read on buffalo blogs, yet I do nothing about. Time to change that attitude again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Time

A real defense? We are totally winning the Gold

Its day 5 of the Olympics and I sure have watched my share of the games. They are usually fun. Skiing and shooting, going 90mph down a ice track on a sled, and flying down a mountain with no fear.

But now the real hockey starts, (I'm sorry ladies, there are two teams) Ryan Miller and the no name Americans kick off their medal run against the Swiss. And the fact NBC is live streaming it, is a joy to me, because their online stuff is downright awful. For the summer Olympics they have 5 channels with stuff, yes I know there isn't the programming for the Winter games. But seriously you can't show the live snowboard cross final? (Ctv had it and it was awesome)

Minus the CTV Olympic morning program, CTV is winning on the coverage. Live stuff, coverage of all athletes. And none of that jumping around from one thing to another. STICK TO ONE THING!

My Beautiful wife loves the crashes. Which is perfect for the Winter games. Minus the Cross Country skiing, there is potential for crashing in every sport. Even the Pairs figure skating had people crashing onto the ice all night. But nothing is better then a good bone crunching body check. And with the NHL size rink, the Hockey is gonna get physical. Don't tell me Ovechkin isn't gonna crunch someone. The American team is probably going to be the most physical. (because they don't have the firepower of the Canadians, and have to hit and hit)

So we get a week and half of some really good hockey, before the stretch run of the NHL season. Its perfect. Playoff hockey, then pseduo playoff hockey, then real playoff hockey. We're looking forward to months of great hockey ahead. Who can hate that?

Brooks Orpik is totally going to put some Swiss guy through a pane of Plexi Glass today.

Lets go USA!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Drew Stafford makes RJ Umberger Bleed his own blood.

Since I didn't watch much if any of the Columbus game. I have better things to do then watch the Sabres Blue Jackets, which are never good games. One of those bad matchups for the Sabres. I was surprised yesterday when I saw Drew Stafford got into a fight. And even more surprising partner, in RJ Umberger. But all in all a decent scrap.

The best part the shedding of the helmets. Looked like a real fight and not one of those staged Peters fights. Which can be eliminated as soon as possible please. Don't know who came out on top, but Stafford got Umberger to bleed, so thats a winner in my book. I've been critical of Stafford late, but I like to see him stand up and take someone on.

And you know who would love wingers who scrap? Brian Burke or the Ducks.

(wink wink nod nod)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Saints

Another good Super Bowl game, whats the deal?

Maybe two weeks is the way to go. I always hate it, because its too much hype and I just want the game. The game flew by, there weren't many stoppages, and a quality game you'd expect from the Super Bowl. I kinda wanted the Colts to win, since I usually root for the AFC. But totally happy with the Saints winning the game. The Mrs. was rooting for the Saints, so she was happy. Clapping when Porter was running back the Pick. To channel TMQ, I wrote Game Over. Haven't seen game clinching INT Peyton in a little bit. Gregg Williams game plan. What did Bill Belichick do in the mid 2000's? Do that. Repeat.

The officials let them play, there was stuff they could have called, but didn't. You know like they do in the NHL playoffs. No ticky tack pass interference. Garcon, mugged Greer to get the one they called. The bad call on the 2 point, but in regular speed, its a tough call. But thats why Instant Replay is around to make things right. It's awesome when things work they way they should.

But all you'll hear from Bills fans, its one more team that has won the Super Bowl before the Bills. Ugh. Who cares. This self loathing of late is tiresome. The Saints won. Thats great, good for New Orleans and who can't be happy for them? That team was nowhere and now they are Champs. Can't that be an inspiration for Bills fans? Sure they need a QB. And a whole lot. But they are going into a uncapped year, they can spend what they want. (be that good or bad, you decide) People are jumping ship saying they are done with the team. and we all know if they are good again, people will jump right back on. Typical people, getting out when things are bad.

But me, I'm staying on. I'm a go down with the ship type guy. I'll wait and see what the new regime does. I know theres lots of work ahead, but in today's NFL, turnarounds can be quick. And I'll wait for the media to praise the Bills again, when they win, and see the fanbase surge. I'll watch Jerry Sullivan flip flop till he throws out his back. Because I know the Buffalo News will be nothing more then a blog in a few years. They have the same access and inside information as I do. And you know it influences their opinion. When covering something, you should be as far removed as possible. And look at the big picture, not the day to day triviality. That is just my view.

I'll just wait till its my time to hang off a lightpole and celebrate.

Friday, February 5, 2010

How to wade through the trade deadine rumors as a Sabre fan

The NHL trade deadline is a month away, with a 2 week freeze for the Olympics, or as I call it secret trade time. And the rumor boards and messageboards will be blowing up with what the Sabres should do, who they are linked to and what not. But for the smart Sabre fan, you can make the time a little less stressful and worrisome, by following the typical modus operandi of one Darcy Regier.

1. Darcy will not overpay, in value or dollar wise.

The Sabres aren't cheap, to counteract the typical opinion of dumb average Sabre fan who couldn't budget out of a paper bag, in fact they are near the cap and don't have a lot of wiggle room. So any trade will have to be dollar for dollar, or a value player that fits the "system". Darcy would never go after a Kovolchuk or Souray. Players that don't pull their contract. Briere and Drury are perfect examples. Guys he got great value from, till they were overpriced now burdens to their respective teams. In the Stock market you would be called a genius, for buying low and selling high, but in Sports you're called Cheap.

2. Darcy will not Panic

Just because others are making deals, doesn't mean you have to. Right now big deals are happening. Great, good for the Leafs and Devils. The Sabres don't need to do anything right now. They could, but it's not necessary. They made a cap room deal already in shipping out Dan Paille. Right now is the time to see what you need to make a run to the Cup. During the break, do some analysis, make some calls and go from there. If you can't get what you want, just go with what you have. But do not panic and make a deal that could hurt the organization in the long run.

3. If you hear anything it will not happen

If you read something about a Sabre going somewhere for something, you can GUARANTEE it won't happen. He wants total secrecy and zero leaks. Notice no one in the Buffalo media has any idea EVER about what the Sabres will do. Darcy is very close to the vest and if any GM wants something from the Sabres, they have to keep their trap shut. So forget rumor sites, only if you want to find out who maybe out there. Otherwise they are no good for Sabre fans.

4. Any player from Buffalo or who played here will be linked to the Sabres.

With the Leafs purge, you'll see Stempniak linked to the Sabres about 40 times. He's not coming here. (goes to Makes 3.5 million this year and a UFA. And has 13 goals. Umm no. The only player that came back after playing here recently was Mike Grier, who was the last person, we'd thought come back. Buffalo fans like to get back what we know, because we're too lazy to do any research. Raffi Torres? Who's that? Columbus? They have a team? How many times have we heard the name Michael Peca and the Sabres at the deadline over the years.

Andrew Ladd, now we are talking. 11 goals, making 1.65 Million and a RFA. Playoff experience, was on a Cup winner.

5. Darcy will not settle.

Here's where Darcy gets criticised a lot. The old not getting anything for them routine. Darcy won't just trade a player to get something because they are leaving. I'm sure he tried his best to dump Max and Kalinin over the years, but nobody would offer something decent in return. So he kept them and got what he could out of them. Its like a car, you can't get a good trade in value so you just run it into ground.

He got a 2nd round pick for Alex Kotalik! Which was turned over to get Dominic Moore. Yikes. Well at the time it looked good. Who knew he was hurt?

Hasek and maybe Campbell are the few trades you can say he settled or got nothing for something. But really what did the Sharks get out of that Campbell trade?

6. Don't expect anything big

The trade deadline isn't the time where Darcy makes his big moves, he saves that for the offseason. Here he tinkers, acquires the Danius Zubrus' of the world (ZUBAZ!!!) He has the team he wants in place, now is the time to make tiny adjustments. He won't be putting in a new engine, he'll just be changing the oil. And of course gets roundly criticized every year for it.

Darcy has his method, you can debate whether it works or not. But just a few pointers on how to survive the trade deadline period, without getting too high or too down.

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Buffalo, NY, United States
A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.