Archive for March, 2012:

It’s Time To Get FNLoud, Buffalo!

This: https://twitter.com/#!/FNLoudBUF… is a great idea.

It’s a new Twitter account that popped up yesterday with the tagline:

Our city’s passion for the Sabres is unquestioned. We’re just trying to add a bit of leadership and coordination. #CloseTheLibrary Get F’n LOUD!

Anyone that’s gone to the FN Centre knows it’s a relatively quiet place. (And yes, I know it’s FN Center, but I swap the letters to pay a bit of homage to hockey’s heritage. It’s sort of like the feeling I have that EVERY arena should sing the Canadian anthem.)

It’s a standard-size arena and we as Buffalonians like to get loud rowdy. We love to drink and drinking exacerbates cheering, no? Then why does it seem like people sit on their hands at Sabres games when the Sabres have a shot at making the playoffs and are playing pretty good hockey overall?

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Exhibit A: This is a sporting event people - look lively! Those hands aren't for sitting on, they're for clapping. Loosen up with a beer if you need to.

I’m not throwing blame out at people – hey, I’m as guilty of it as well. A few years back I happened upon tickets just 10 or 15 rows up from the blue line. Before that I had only sat in the upper sections and it was a huge difference in atmosphere. The people around me were less… well, less drunk I guess. They had a more white-collar vibe all around and were less apt to make noise, start a cheer, what have you. This affected me too ad I didn’t cheer nearly as much.

It can be tough to break the ice and be the only one in your section cheering. There’s a certain social element to it: a lot of people might want to start a cheer but don’t want to be the first one. You may not want to be rude and somehow “upset” other people’s enjoyment of the game. Maybe part of it is that in the upper deck people view the game as more of a party and are therefore more apt to cheer. (Those are my people, by the way.)

What I’m saying is be brave and start a cheer and others will follow. Be just a tiny bit rude but still respectful of others. Maybe have one more beer than usual. Most importantly, have fun and #BeBuffalo.

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Exhibit B: Whoops, a couple too many beers and a lot of passion. Not what we're going for.

We can make the FN Center (ok, I’ll switch back to the propre proper spelling) an extremely fun place that opponents hate playing in. We can make it an energizing atmosphere – both for the Sabres themselves and us.

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Exhibit C: Ahhh, just right! Let your freak flag fly plus be respectful of others. If your voice isn't shot by the end of the game, you haven't given your all.

If you agree, please do what you can to promote https://twitter.com/#!/FNLoudBUF – on Twitter, Facebook, etc. BRING THE NOISE!


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A Sabres TGIF Tip-o-the-Hat to Neale and Housley

Just try to forget that loss last night.

If you’re still struggling with your Sabres hangover, (as many of you on my Twitter feed have indeed proclaimed) then take a break here with me. We’re putting aside stats, records, #SeedsOfGreatness and the #Crapshoot today to celebrate a couple Sabres personalities, who are themselves celebrating birthdays today.

  • Harry Neale, born in 1937.

One of Sabres Commentator Harry Neale’s most famous quotes from his coaching career came after coaching the Canucks to a loss during the 1981–82 season:

“Last season we couldn’t win at home. This season we can’t win on the road. My failure as a coach is I can’t think of any place else to play.”

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Someone get this guy a party hat!

Also:

“Our system of fore checking is to shoot the puck and leave it there.”

“I know my players don’t like my practices, but that’s okay because I don’t like their games.”

Once, he put a 24-pack of beer at center ice at the end of a practice.

“I told ‘em, ‘The winning team gets the beer.’ Honest to God, I was sorry I did it. I thought those guys were going to kill each other in that scrimmage.”

Ah, old time hockey.  You just can’t get away with that kind of stuff anymore.  Still, it hasn’t stopped Neale from trying:

 

 

  • Phil Housley, born in 1964.

We all know his stats. Instead of going off about all of his points, let’s just sit back and enjoy this:

 

 

Times are tough for the Sabres right now. I hope this post helped some of you remember the simple joy of the good ol’ hockey game. Take us to the weekend, Stompin’ Tom Connors, and Conan O’brian:

 

 

Go Sabres.


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Sabres Continue on Warpath, Staal Murdered on the Score Sheet, Good Times had by All

So much for putting CoHo between Vanek and Pommers.

Their points last night may have been solely on the powerplay, but seeing both Vanek and Pominville on the goal side of the scoresheet today will relieve many Sabres fans who have been stressed out about that top 26-9-29 line.

Welcome back, guys.

“I didn’t see it,” Pominville said. “I just blanked out.”

Yup. That’s how it feels to wake up.

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Game winner in OT! Hockey hugs: on the way.

How about some random Canes hate to go with your coffee today? Eric Staal was on the ice for all three of the Sabres’ goals last night. TKO’d on the score board.

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Murderous Glare Staal was murdered on the ice last night. Good job, Sabres!

Meanwhile, the (suddenly injury-plagued) Maple Leafs fell to the Pens last night, 3-2 in regulation. They are falling out of the race for 8th, as the Sabres keep finding the ways and the players to keep their surge alive.

So many good things to breathe in today. Like the standings:

buffalosabresnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ECS2812-156x300.jpg 156w" sizes="(max-width: 163px) 100vw, 163px" />The Sabres are now on a 12-4-3 roll, reminiscent of the 16-4-4 streak of last season, after Pegula took over this town. Can the Sabres do it again? That question has become the storyline of many NHL reports. We’ll see what happens. So far, the Blue and Gold have answered that question 12 times.

15 games to go.

Today’s #SeedsOfGreatness nod goes to Pommers. And Vanek.

Welcome back.

Go Sabres.

PS – Hey, Sabres – thanks for getting my note to 26 and 29! Biscuits are tasty, aren’t they? Have fun against the Bruins. They are 4-5-1 in their last ten. You are 7-1-2. You can do this. You will do this.

 


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Open Letter to the Buffalo Sabres, Part 2

Dear Sabres:

I wrote you this note on February 3rd. Perhaps you did not get my message. You have only 16 games left in the regular season, and you’ve only managed to score 163 goals. Your worst season total is 190, which was set in 2002-03. Remember 2002-03?

2002-03 was not a fun season.

You know what is fun? Goals. Goals are fun. Please remind Thomas Vanek of that, so he’ll stop dropping the f-bomb all over himself and rediscover the simple joy of blasting the puck at the net.

Feel free, in fact, to paste this on his locker room stall.

Anyway, like I said on February 3rd:

Dear Sabres:

Biscuits go in here.

Just a friendly reminder.

C’mon Thomas and friends – give those fans at the FN Center something fun to cheer about. Remember when you got cheers at home? Yea, me too. Remember how to score goals? Yea.

I hate to be the “‘SHOOOOOT!’ Guy,” but seriously: SHOOOOOT.

Very Sincerely,

Scotty

Go Sabres.


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Sabres wrap up Heroic Road Trip by Exploding into Tiny Bits

2

Things were going so well.

The Sabres were doing their playoff climb thing, roasting Western Conference opponents, while we sat back, sipping our White Russians and feeling quite cool about everything Blue and Gold.

Then Winnipeg slapped that drink out of our hands.

Our fan reaction hits around the 30 second mark of this video (NSFW). At least, this was the explosive reaction on the Twitter last night, as the Sabres fell to the Jets, who were apparently a team composed completely of  Brieres last night. (Seriously, even Chris Thorburn.)

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This, apparently, is the only way to stop "Superstar Blake Wheeler," according to the heavily doped-up-on-Canadian-donuts NBCNHL broadcast last night. Oh, and did you know Hodgson is from Vancouver? If you weren't sure we got him from that fair Canadian city, you learned it last night. Thanks for the Canadian fluff party, NBC!

Credit where credit is due: the Jets came out, well, flying, and never slowed down. They played every shift like their very playoff lives depended on it (which may turn out to be very true come seasons’ end) and their hard work and focus paid off for them.

As for the Sabres hard work and focus, well, it just wasn’t good enough. Say what you want about their gas tank at the end of a long Western Conference road swing, but they could not match the simple intensity of the Peggers in this one.

Focus. Intensity. Those are a couple things the Vanek-Roy-Pominville line completely lacked last night. Again, this line could not generate anything – even on a 3 on 2, with Ehrhoff pinching, the best this hapless trio could produce was a breakaway for the other team. Blake Wheeler took their 3 on 2 chance and took it back down the ice and roofed the puck over Miller for the game winner. Nice job, A-A-C line!

At least the godawfulness of this line was somewhat lost upon the pro-Canadian broadcasters. When Vanek put a pass a good ten feet and 3 seconds late behind a streaking Leino, the broadcast team broke from their discourse over how great the Winnipeg fans are to blame Leino for the errant puck. “Leino’s gotta’ skate harder.”

I think we’re all for blaming Leino for a lot of stuff this season, but c’mon Thomas, you’re getting your ‘mates thrown under the creepy Pierre McGuire bus now. FIGURE IT OUT.

A video synopsis of the A-A-C line. You choose which player is which. They are interchangeable in their comical crapshow right now:

 

A lot of us on the Twitter were hoping to see Lindy put Hodgson in between Vanek and Pommers for the thrid period – you know, because to win this game in regulation, we would need goals, and Vanek and Pommers have to be our go-to guys for that.

I had a strong hunch before that final frame that our famous line-juggling coach would do it. Strangely enough, Lindy sat pat, and the Sabres were destroyed.

Some fault might lie with Lindy there, but the most credit for this incredibly successful roadie goes to Lindy as well. His message of positivity and confidence has definitely reached the team. They accomplished a lot in this road trip, and are a relevant team fighting for a playoff berth right now.

Overall, good job, Lindy. Good job, Sabres.

If we can now get Vanek and Pommers going (COUGH-COHO-COUGH), we should be in good shape down the stretch.

Go Sabres.


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