This hasn’t been the best of seasons for Derek Roy and the Buffalo Sabres. It was summed up brilliantly bu Nick Mendola in his latest piece – I highly advise you go over and give it a gander.
– When Roy records a point, the Sabres are 12-2-3.
– When Roy fails to mark the scoresheet, the Sabres are 5-15-0.
Roy showed up on the scoresheet last night, recording the gaudy marks of -1, 1 shot, 5/10 on the faceoff dot. Roysie, I’m not sure what ails ya this season, but I do know that the Sabres are sinking. Quickly. And we need you to right this.
Dark days, Roysie. Dark days.
Remember the good old days? Pre-injury, 2010:
Currently, the Sabres have 37 points in 37 games, and are idling and injured in 11th place in the East. Yes, the injuries have taken a big toll on the squad this year, but a healthy statsheet by Derek Roy would make a big difference. (Again, read up on the evidence.)
0Posted by Scott Michalak on December 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm
While we all wait to see which version of the Sabres and Caps show up against each other for this one, let’s take a moment to relish a moment from their last meeting.
I'd pay a few bucks to hear his evil laugh.
And… here… we… GO!
Full credit to “girl in pink hat” and company for barely flinching as the glass in front of them mercifully did not explode. We’ll see if Ovie tries to return the favor tonight with a little Russian roughing of his own.
2Posted by Scott Michalak on December 29, 2011 at 9:00 am
(Please visit “Airedale Rescue,” and learn more, or donate some, to one of many dog rescue associations after you read this post. Or just spread the word that these missions exist.)
RIP, Dunnigan, the dog.
We’ve got a motley crew of a few dogs in our household – actually, this morning, we woke up to discover that one of those three had moved on to the Great Hunting Ground.
I know what some of you are already thinking: “This is a sports blog.” Well, it is exactly that. We don’t talk about dogs on BSN much, but believe me, there is a grand champion measure of sport in all of them.
Animals are a part of the emotional fabric that we weave around our daily lives. They inhabit our homes, protect us, make us laugh. They are our friends, our mascots. We spend but a brief time with those animals we keep as pets. As they come and go so quickly through our lives, we are reminded how to attack each day with the ferocity and joy of a mutt, and that life, no matter what or who you are, is never long enough.
For that daily reminder, I am very thankful.
Dunnigan, the dog, you will be missed.
No one messes with an Airedale Terrier.
However solemn or somber I may feel this morning, that abounding joy that leaps out of the eyes and feet of the Airedale Terrier is still inescapable. It’s something that I wrote upon before, this certain verve and passion that made these dogs so useful in war – and as it turns out, sport.
Walter Lingo, owner of the Oorang Airedale Kennels, organized the NFL’s Oorang Indians in 1922, mainly to advertise his kennel, where he bred his choice breed of dog, the Airedale terrier. Lingo hired Jim Thorpe to put together an all-American football spectacle of men and dogs – a truly unforgettable mark of NFL history.
With the soul of a true marketer, Lingo would lure audiences to his games with the promise of an outrageous halftime show, instead of the promise of good football – the Indians won only three games in two years. Indeed, it was the halftime activities that were more important than the results of the game for the crowds of football fans and those just plain curious.
Lingo used his own Airedale terrier magazine, “Oorang Comments,” to get dog and football enthusiasts buzzing about his product and his team, writing “Let me tell you about my big publicity stunt. You know Jim Thorpe, don’t you, the Sac and Fox Indian, the world’s greatest athlete, who won the all-around championship at the Olympic Games in Sweden in 1912?” Well, Thorpe is in our organization.”
Thorpe was paid 500 bucks a week to organize the team, a great sum for the time for a great undertaking – one might call it “The Greatest Show on Turf,” (pre-dating, of course, the St. Louis Rams).
Lingo and Thorpe’s team consisted of 50 Native Americans, including such names as War Eagle, and Big Bear – the kind of football names that would make an opponent sweat. Heck, the name Big Bear could have made a bear sweat, especially since one of the halftime events was bear wrestling.
But bear wrestling? That was just a sideshow.
“The climax was an exhibition of what the United States Indian scouts did during the war (WWI) against German troops,” Lingo recollected. “Airedale Red Cross dogs giving first aid…Many of the scouts and Red Cross dogs taking part in the event were real veterans of the war…German troops were impersonated by local American Legion men who wore German uniforms furnished by my organization. What do you think of that for a publicity stunt for advertising dogs raised in a little Ohio town (LaRue) of a thousand population?”
Lingo would go on to make a million dollars selling Airedales in just one year, during the height of popularity of the Oorang Indians. His team, or at least Jim Thorpe and the Airedales, set the precedent for all NFL halftime shows to be measured from there on.
Greatest Show on Turf. And trust me, having a dog like this in your own house will keep it packed to the rafters with entertainment each and every day.
So to all of our dogs – our animals, our mascots, our helpers in war and sport: today I send out a heavy-hearted salute:
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about this season that is allotting Sabres fans (or just me) to be more interested in what exactly our farm team is up to.
Maybe it’s because they’re closer, maybe it’s the whole ‘ reunited’ era.
Kassian on the front lines of Tamara's fascination with the call ups
Maybe it’s because they’re in Buffalo.
I don’t know what it is about rookies, perhaps its the whole ‘ fresh meat’ thing, like the first day of freshman year. Watching a young guy play his first game. These are not the Thomas Vaneks and Jason Pominvilles, with iron clad contracts. These are the ones who have to fight for a spot on next years team this year, and they’re doing a fine job of such.
On Monday night, Brayden McNabb scored his first NHL goal, and had Robyn Regehr not pancaked Ovie, that would have been the loudest celebration of the night. It’s exciting, or maybe that’s just me, sitting in the stands going ‘ oh, I bet his mom is so proud!’
This week, I have discovered that Zack Kassian…will never play in the AHL again. When Brad Boyes returned, it wasn’t the usual moaning and groaning of his lack of playing of the hockey, but sadness over the idea of Kassian returning to Rochester, though has remained in the line up.
All the signs are pointing to Kassian spending the rest of the year in the Buff. He went to Catwalk for Charity, he played with little children at the Christmas visit to the hospital, there’s even a shersey out there with his name. Drew Stafford didn’t even get a shersey until last year when he was producing hat tricks like the Duggars produce babies.
In early November, the 20 year old signed a multi- year entry level contract with the Sabres, and by the time December came around, he had played his first NHL game, which included his first NHL point, and recording his first NHL goal.
Oh, and his first NHL fight, of course.
While attending an Amerks game last week, they had stats during intermission regarding the players who were in Buffalo, which probably lasted the entire time I was waiting in line for a drink. Based on my basic college math course, should Kassian stay up here for at least five more games, he will have played more games as a Sabre than an Amerk.
Other than the raging jealousy he causes for his Amerks teammates, there seems to be no need to send him back. If anything, we’re sticking a veteran in a Kassian jersey (picture it: ” whatttt? That’s not Derek Roy! Read the jersey!)
The old saying goes if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Everything else is broken, keep the guy who looks like he could sometimes pass as a plumber, he’ll fix it.
I hereby declare Kassian’s New Years resolution to be spending his 21st (January 24th, mark your calendars) on Chippewa Street, and not at the Dinosaur BBQ.
If anything, the ECHL call up replacing Kassian in Rochester is backing me up.
2Posted by Scott Michalak on December 27, 2011 at 8:01 am
But it didn’t destroy mine!
Because I took the trophy home this year – again. While last year’s “Schlitz Bombers” took a gigantic dump all over my league to claim the ultimate victory, so did this year’s “Honkin’ Harquebuses” unleash an ancient fury of slowly loaded and more calculated blasts.
Meanwhile, on the Twitter, I am seeing tweet after tweet lamenting a lost championship “by 3 points,” “by 6 points,” by 1 point,” etc. And to these unfortunates I say – no one cares about your loss any more than anyone cares about my win.
But win, I did.
And queue the Queen!
As a Bills fan, I can’t help but love how this season played out – 5 straight wins, followed by 5 straight losses, followed by 6 straight wins. Bills: that’s how you do it. Take note, Chan.
The fury was unleashed, one ball at a time. Just like in football!
If you’re stopping by here today for a Sabres update, I apologize – but hey – they won, too. The score was 4 to something, and Regehr destroyed Ovechkin at some point. I highly advise checking out some highlights on NHL’s Game Channel. Until you do:
Revel with me.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bottle of champagne to pour all over myself.