Archive for December, 2011:

Sabres Twitter BINGO: What Team would You like to See?

I hope we really make some grease out of Bobrovsky tonite.

It would help us in the standings. (In the nomenclature of the X-mas season, it would also bring tidings of some sort to our PA hockey-neighbors, who are always looking for a new “greasy” kind of thing to spill on their cheese “steak” “sandwiches.”)

Cheezsteak1 300x225 Sabres Twitter BINGO: What Team would You like to See?buffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Cheezsteak1.jpg 663w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

Looking at this thing makes me wish I owned a defibrillator. So I could relive to eat another.

Good lord that looks absolutely nauseating delicious. Still, it’s probably full of pin worms.

Philly, you disgust us.

Digression aside, there is sadly no Sabres Twitter BINGO for tonight’s matchup against the hated Flyers. Feel free to insert your own Briere jokes on the Twit, but in the meantime, is there a particular team that you’d like to see roasted on BSN’s Sabres BINGO?

If so, let us know. Hit the “contact” button above, or just send me a tweet at @ScottyMCSS. Heck, if you have a jab insult good enough for the rallying BINGO experience, then send that too, and we’ll credit it and link to you. We’re all in this together, after all.

It’s a Brave New Internet World.

Full of Cheez-“Steaks.”

And the universal hatred for all things Philadelphia. (“It’s Always Sunny” gets a pass.)

Go Sabres.

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Sabres Officially Request Fan Support

I love these quotes from Jason Pominville and Drew Stafford.

From the Buffalo News:

“Obviously you hear the fans,” said captain Jason Pominville. “I don’t know if they realize it, but sometimes they have a huge impact on the way we feel, the way we work and compete. We feed off the energy they bring to us.”

“We know we have one of the best fanbases in the league,” added Stafford. “They support us every game and we want to put on a good performance for them. At the same time, we need them to have our backs.

“When we’re not doing well on the power play or getting outshot bad, they’ll start booing us and we deserve some of that. At the same time, it’s nice to have them cheering.”

Buffalo fans aren’t renowned for berating their Sabres. We certainly gripe about sloppy play when sloppy play spills out on the ice in front of us, but we don’t boo at the slightest impulse. We’re a hockey savvy town, and I like to think that we’re boo savvy, too.  Still, this is the third time I’ve been compelled to touch on the subject of fan noise in the arena in the last year.

It just keeps coming up. This time, the issue was brought up by none other than the team captain. So just what is going on here? Who’s to blame for this latest mention of fan complacency/irritation?

SabresFans 300x220 Sabres Officially Request Fan Supportbuffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/SabresFans.jpg 677w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

This guy.

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Radical NHL Realignment

Stop the presses! Er, um… stop pushing publish on those blog posts. The NHL’s Board of Governors has approved a huge change to it’s alignment structure.

There are tons of other stories in Sabreland, i.e, the wheels literally falling off for Matthew Barnaby, theft of jerseys at First Niagara Arena, how Nathan Gerbe is doing after getting a nasty skate to the grill, and later today finding out what Jordin Tootoo’s penalty is (if anything) for his hit on Miller. But mentioning them just gave me a chance to hip you to them and now we can focus on the biggie.

So the realignment of the NHL is a complete overhaul and not just moving around a couple of teams like it was thought to be by many. The new NHL will have four conferences (as yet unnamed):

  • New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington and Carolina
  • Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay
  • Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg
  • Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado

The changes group teams geographically for the most part and appear to alleviate the problems a lot of teams in the Western Conference currently have with traveling two or three time zones.

The Sabres retain their divisional rivals and add a couple new ones in Florida and Tampa Bay.

Here’s how the playoffs would work (from the NHL.com article):

The top four teams in each Conference will qualify for the playoffs. The first-place team in each conference would play the fourth-place team in the same conference; the second-place team would play the third-place team.

The four respective Conference champions would meet in the third round, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.

A decision on how the League will seed the remaining teams for the semifinals will likely not come until the general managers meet in March.

Now, some conferences have seven teams, some have eight. It’s unclear yet how this will be made “fair”, although the Sabres appear to benefit here by only having seven teams in their conference.

Another nice note is that now all teams will play every other team in the league at least twice a year, with a home & away game for each.

The Huffington Post reports that it’s a little murky whether or not the NHLPA has to ratify the realignment. Bettman says the NHL doesn’t need the union’s approval but the NHLPA says otherwise.

Assuming this does go through,  what would the conferences be named? Perhaps we could go back to the old NHL division names: Patrick, Adams, Smythe and Norris. They wouldn’t be the same makeup of teams or regions of course, but it would be unique and a callback to one of the many storied traditions of hockey. Or Atlantic, Northeast+Florida (Or NorFlo), Midwest and West?

Very interesting, to say the least.

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Sabres GIFs: Gaustad Spins a Beauty to Pominville

OK, we’re a bit late with this one.

Still, I thought a little afternoon distraction might be good medicine while we all sit and simmer, awaiting word on whether or not Jordin Tootoo will receive a Shanban for barreling over Ryan Miller.

AggressiveGoose 300x236 Sabres GIFs: Gaustad Spins a Beauty to Pominvillebuffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/AggressiveGoose.jpg 640w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

This would look appropriate near the Sabres' net since the Lucic Incident.

When it went down against Nashville, Gaustad was quite a force on Tootoo. Before being removed from the ice, he even chirped honked Pred’s goalie Anders Lindback a warning. I am sure whatever he said was something along the lines of “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” filled with some juicy expletives. Or something like that.

In honor of Gaustad’s battle cry, here’s our latest GIF for the 2011-12 season. In this instance, Paul uses his hands to help the good ol’ population of Pominville. From a November 8th contest against the Winnipeg Jets:
 Sabres GIFs: Gaustad Spins a Beauty to Pominville

In a manner of speaking, there’s nothing worse for a jet than seeing a goose bearing down on the wings. (You know, because geese screw up planes when they slam into the engines. Too much of a reach?)

Nice goal, boys!

Go Sabres.

 

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Sabres GIFs: Ryan Miller Unleashes the Thundersticks

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Thundersticks.

If there is a positive side to the Sabres’ philosophy of not protecting their netminders, it’s that it sure keeps Miller on his toes. He might be run over during any given shift. That fight bell could be rung at any time.

Well, Miller has adjusted to this part of the Sabres’ “System” well. How embarrassing was it when he simply flopped to the ice in the Lucic incident? The best retaliation he could muster was a clumsy swing of his goalie stick.  After that whiff,  all of his teammates were pretty much forced to mosey around Lucic and say “Heeey” to him.

Maybe they should have said “Ni.”

Indeed, a message was sent to the entirety of the worst jackasses of the NHL, and that message was: “If you want to beat the Sabres, just run Ryan Miller.”

MillerBear 300x204 Sabres GIFs: Ryan Miller Unleashes the Thundersticksbuffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/MillerBear.jpg 628w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />

“In case of Bruin (bear) attack, make yourself look as big as possible.” Keep practicing, Ryan.

Lindy Ruff calls it “open season,” and he gets pretty ruffled when he says that. But frankly, if Buffalo is facing off against the Bruins and they know that running Tim Thomas will send the team into a spiral of losing and self-identification issues, then “getting in Thomas’ face” is waaay high up the list of  “keys to the game.”

Thankfully for Miller’s teammates, he got his own message. If you are going to run Ryan Miller from now on, forget the flop and whiff reaction. From now on, he’s going to unleash the thundersticks all over your face. Jordin Tootoo was the first example of Miller’s new hard-nosed style of play that Sabres fans have been clamoring for, for years.
 Sabres GIFs: Ryan Miller Unleashes the Thundersticks

Not quite sure when Miller’s teammates think they are doing getting in his way. Ryan was about to waffle board Tootoo into a pulpy yellow stain on the ice.

Still, at least he had a decent response this time.

So to those jackasses of the NHL who are lining up to take a run at the Sabres’ goaltender, you’ve been warned. Unless you want a mouthful of waffle-board, steer clear of the blue paint.

And maybe, the guys who are protecting Miller will finally learn how to send that message for him, game after game, and season after season. Until then, NHL jackasses, it’s open season on your faces with that waffle board.

Go Sabres.

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