Archive for March, 2012:

Sabres vs Jets BINGO: Special “Relevant Hockey” Edition!

Hold onto your hockey socks, Sabres fans.

Lest they get blown off by tonite’s game – a game which features the return of relevant hockey. This is just fair warning, folks – it’s been a while since the Sabres have played a game of such magnitude, so be ready for a heavy dose of excitement and late period panic attacks. Goodtimes!

The Sabres and Jets will be fighting over 8th in the East. This is going to be huge. Tyler-Myers’-neck-huge.

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Somewhere under that neck is a collar.

Tonite’s winner receives an autographed stick from Derek Roy! Nevermind, I used it as a torch when I was about to march on the FN Center when 3pm hit on Deadline Day.

Oopsy.

(As usual, click to re-size the image, and click again to re-size again.) 

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#SeedsOfGreatness

#Crapshoot

#MyNervesAreShotAlreadyAndItsOnly8AM

Good luck folks, and have fun!

Go Sabres.


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Tim Connolly: a Surprising Season

Quick thoughts:

Remember when we lost TC?

Day of infamy! Ryan Miller complained.

Then time moved on, and Connolly shocked us all by continuing to play hockey. What we did not expect, though, was this:

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Why are Sabres always better as Sabres?

The Leafs are falling apart. Their coach has been fired. The Sabres have Roy-Hodgson-Ennis up the middle. And Leino.

TC was a big part of our hearts a short while ago. Now, he’s just a part of the riddle up the QEW. Good luck with that, Burke.

Go Sabres.

Posted in: Sabres

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The Shutout Jinx: Buffalo Vs. San Jose Media Discuss (Sorta)

“…”

I am not going to say it, let alone type it.

Before Ryan Miller secured his, um, win, against the San Jose Sharks, John Vogl of the Buffalo News tweeted this irresponsible thought, well and safe within, he thought, of the strength of the Buffalo News’ “One Newspaper Town Professional Media Impunity Rules and other Constitutional Stuff We will Change as we go along” catalogue:

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Which was surprisingly followed up by:

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Ha! Indeed! You funny lark, you.

Yea, it’s “quite the surprise” that a NHL legion of fans (or players, for that matter), would follow such esoteric superstitions. No, it’s just those of us who have followed this game since the inception of trees that begat hockey sticks.

Hence:

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Goaltender's Helm +2

Whether it be the team broadcast or the team/news Twitter, reporters just need to hush the shh up about shh-outs. Are they going to influence the outcome of the game, by uttering/typing the word “shoutout” (or shh-out)?

No.

Or yes? The Vancouver broadcasting crew was all over this jinx:

Count the jinxes. I counted TEN.

Still, they were all haplessly unsuccessful: weird!

Hmm.

What to make of this classic jinx? Dang, there was even this first period backstab – from the Sabres themselves:

I am guessing that they all somehow cancelled each other out – that the hockey gods were so embarrassed by the repeated offenses, that they just walked away from this one, and left the game, with the Sabres sucking for life and wind, and the Sharks shooting blind and wide.

And I am not going to say, let alone type, what this team might do from this point on.

We’ll leave that up to the hockey gods, right, Mr. Vogl?

Let’s all just enjoy the ride.

No jinxes.

Go Sabres.

Posted in: Sabres

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Ryan Miller: Where Pucks Fear to Tread (#SeedsOfGreatness Update!)

Ryan Miller is back to being, well, Ryan Miller.

Miller was pretty dang upset when his friend and man-at-arms on ice, Paul Gaustad, was dealt at the trade deadline.

No matter the way you view hockey, you have to understand how important players like Paul can be and how long it takes to develop a guy that plays that way at such a high level. Winning those faceoffs is not easy. Killing those penalties is not easy. Not a lot of guys are willing to do that job every night, and he was.

Oh, and he also said that if he was GM, that trade would not have gone down. A lot of folks in this town took Miller’s comments as a coup on Darcy Regier, but really, it was just Ryan Miller being Ryan Miller – exactly where/who the Sabres need him to be.

You might remember that Miller reacted much the same when Tim Connolly was lost up the QEW to the rival Maple Leafs. Connolly was no Gaustad, but he was a piece of the core – he was one of Miller’s guys.

And Miller stands up for his own.

Lately, Miller has been doing the same standing up for his own, just not so much in the locker room, but between the pipes. Nothing is upsetting him there, not these days. Lindy Ruff has finally been able to “ride Miller down the stretch” as he promised to do, and Ryan is putting in the best performances of the year – right in line with the best of his career.

He’s now got 82 saves in two consecutive shutouts – some of them routine, a good bunch of them brilliant, and many of them simply stupefying.

And he’s brought the Sabres along with him, as usual, into legitimate playoff contention. Today they sit just four points – just two games – out of 8th in the East.

His focus is the Sabres’ focus: win the moment. Win every moment. Every shift. Every period. Every game. It’s been a long road back to legitimacy, from the first mention of #SeedsOfGreatness, which then became the #Crapshoot, and now seems to be moving back into #SeedsOfGreatness territory again. The way the Sabres are playing, it sure looks like those seeds were indeed planted a few weeks back, and here they are finally, actually sprouting. And what better place to see them bloom, than in Ryan Miller?

He’s the backbone of the team afterall, and now that he’s willing and more than able to carry it along with him, the top 8, and everything else, is possible.

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What you don't see is the rest of the Sabres roster, which has climbed onto Ryan Miller's shoulders. Don't worry. He's never slouched even one inch under that kind of weight.

Strip away all the commentary, all the analysis, all the playoff statistical probabilities, all the quotes, the articles, and the blog posts, and you’ve got here has now become pretty clear: a pretty darn strong team, peaking at just the right time, holding fast together during their upwards climb over their Eastern Conference rivals.

It would seem desperate times, and it is. But for Miller and the Sabres, desperation has given way to an heroic focus on winning the moment. A focus whose ultimate moment of convergence – hopefully – will exact itself in the playoffs.

Pretty dramatic stuff. Pretty unbelievable, really, seeing how most of this season has gone.

But none of this should be surprising.

It’s just Miller being Miller, after all.

#SeedsOfGreatness

Let’s keep this thing going, boys.

Go Sabres.

Be sure to check in with Store716 today – their “Miller ‘Verse 30′” shirt is on sale for 15 bucks until he gives up a goal. Goodtimes.


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Sabres GIFs: Miller goes “Under the Fridge”

2

OK, so this GIF is “under construction.”

There aren’t many highlights on Youtube this morning, which makes GIF construction very difficult. There’s only one Youtube highlight actually – Miller’s stretch-pad save on Corey Perry’s wrap-around (unless you count all the fight videos from last night – I don’t count ’em as hockey highlights these days).

Still, there was one save of Miller’s that I did not want to see slip away into ungiffed oblivion.

At 17:29 of the 2nd period, there was a scrum in front of the net as Bobby Ryan tried to lift the puck up over a sprawling Miller. Ryan was foiled by Miller’s “reach under the fridge with a ruler to retrieve the cat toy” save. It’s a patented Miller save, actually. At least it is, now:

Heck, all he needed in his glove hand was a flashlight.

We’ll try to transform this into a GIF as soon as possible (Youtube hacks, get to work on that uploading)!

Go Sabres.


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