nathan gerbe:

Pseudo-Live Tweet Coverage Of Buffalo Vs. Montreal

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Here’s a sort of “live tweet coverage” of the Sabres/Canadiens game last night. Some of these are actual tweets I managed to send out, but most of it is random observations. While watching the game there just isn’t time to tweet everything, but I wouldn’t want to flood people’s timelines with a brain dump like that anyway. What follows is a more vetted and edited list of thoughts.

Hope you enjoy the format, but let us know!

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There is no better professional at anthem singing than Doug Allen. We are so lucky to have great surrounding talent outside the team like him, RJ, etc. Well, I don’t LOVE Harry Neale, but it could be much worse.

I hate people that hold up signs for the TV cameras rather than, y’know, WATCH THE GAME.

Neale called Nathan Gerbe, “Ger-bay”, as has Rob Ray in the past. Is he of French Canadian descent or something? Because last I knew he was from Michigan and attended Boston College. (RJ pronounces it “Gerb-eee” so I’m sticking with that.)

Fun Gerbe fact #1: at 5’5″, he is the shortest player in the NHL.

Fun Gerbe fact #2: The dictionary describes a gerbe as “a kind of ornamental firework”. Yes he is.

Horrible Commercial Watch
TV Commercial note: Healthy change #11, Blue Cross Blue Shield – I have a crush on the hot blonde that dances first. But the rest of it leaves me needing eye bleach.

Vanek/Ennis/Foligno line looking good early.

Horrible Commercial Watch
The Geico commercial where the guy karaoke’s to promote himself to other singles made us chuckle. The bar has been set pretty low.

Vanek/Ennis/Foligno – a great shift around 5:00, Foligno looking good.

Horrible Commercial Watch

  •  The Tim Horton’s commercial wasn’t horrible and made me really want a coffee. Good advertising.
  • VeinsVeinsVeins – call me old school, but all I think about is Motley Crue’s Girls Girls Girls.

Thinking that the arena is really quiet right now.

Stafford just seems to be a liability – he touches the puck for a moment and loses it or gets off a weak shot.

Horrible Commercial Watch

  • Loud commercials are loud. They’re cranking the volume way up for some of these, especially the Verizon FIOS commercial.
  • I hate MSG. I really, really hate watching NYC-based crap that I don’t care about. Basketball and old Yankees players I’ve never heard of does nothing for me (I’m looking at you “Fran Healey”, if that is your real name). I’m hoping that Terry Pegula is working on something like an Empire Sports Network.
  • Ok the Sabres app commercial was really neat and creative! (Sabres logo thought bubbles above people’s heads) Also, it’s very subtle but the ballons pop up in a “Let’s go Buffalo” cadence at the end.

Is there anyone who DOESN’T sing the Bad Boys song when Brad Boyes does something nifty?

Horrible Commercial Watch
That damn pig from the Geico commercials is truly annoying, but in a lovable way. How is that possible?

Awesome tweet: @mintyp69 twitpic’d this twitpic.com/8vk4i2 RJ jersey.

2nd PERIOD

Hard work by the Gerbe/Roy/Stafford line to draw a penalty early on. (Moreso the 9 and 42 of that line. Yes, I’m down on Stafford still.)

Top PP line not moving the puck well, looked awkward trying to just get onside. 2nd line of Boyes/Ennis/Stafford looked much better and got a great scoring chance with Myers in front of the net.

There are too many damn Canadiens jerseys in the stands. Sabres fans, WHY YOU SELL YOUR TICKETS? Oh yeah, you can make a boatload of cash. *sigh* I guess I might do the same if I had season tix.

Roy with an excellent chance. It seems like he should convert much more than he does. It feels like his shooting % is like 1.2%. [Post Game Update – it’s 9.6%]

Isn’t “Canadien” the feminine version of Canadian? Like Comedienne? Just sayin’.

15:50 Roy with another penalty. Surprising. </sarcasm>

This arena is quiet. Too quiet. I can hear Canadiens fans cheering though, so what does that say?

Someone please punch those Canadiens fans holding up TSN signs to the camera.

Getting really sick of the Refs not calling things consistently from night to night. Can you hook a guy or not? Can you hit a guy w/o the puck or not? I don’t care if it’s minor, there shouldn’t be degrees of a penalty like holding in football. Call it or don’t. #OldMantRantyMcGee

When Leino makes a nifty move that actually results in a goal, I will eat my hat. (Also, I’m not wearing a hat.)

That Ennis goal was a complete and utter thing of beauty. Very un-Leino-like.

A very fast, fun pace to the end of the 2nd.

Leino with a halfassed scoring chance. I know he was on the ice for a long time, but still, the great players dig deep.

I like how the Sabres are finishing their checks all over the ice.

Horrible Commercial Watch

  • Paul William Beltz – y’know, not really a bad commercial, just too many damn lawyer commercials.
  • Mike Rowe is all over my TV. He’s slowly hypnotizing me with his voice to buy a Ford.

RJ “Another sell out crowd. I’m saying that because I know it to be true.” No idea why he said it like that, but I loved it.

Intermission Horrible Commercial Watch
GAHHHH! Cellino & Barnes! If I’m ever in a car accident their theme song will start playing in my head. At least I’ll know who to call.

3RD PERIOD

Ok, Leino is kind of a bull on the puck lately, but I have yet to see him do much creative with it. When he touches the puck it rarely leads to a scoring chance.

Ennis’ 2nd goal: some hard work and some luck, but it’s nice to see the breaks go his way finally. Great pass across the crease that got redirected by the D-man’s skate.

Pretty good pressure in the offensive zone and nice movement by the Sabres D-men to maintain puck possession. They’re playing well and with a 2-1 lead I feel confident. (Not cocky … *confident*)

Immigrant Song playing in the arena: the most-played hockey song. (I have no stats to back this up, but I hear it all the time.)

Horrible Commercial Watch
Independent Health – it’s all health commercials and lawyers. That’s where the money is. #TheSystemIsBroken

“It’s amazing how much better looking Nick is than Larry” – Neale talking about another Foligno brother. Ummm yeah.

Is it me or does Harry Neale just say the most obvious things? He doesn’t seem to add a whole lot of insightful color commentary. My vote is for Danny Gare.

With all of Pegula’s money, there has to be a way to makes clones with a mixture of Gerbe & Ennis’ DNA with some gene sequences of Meyers’ height.

2 on 1 chance by Montreal but Regher took the passing lane and Miller shut down the shooter. #textbook

Miller cool as a cucumber and making his saves look easy. (Does anyone still say “cool as a cucumber”? I guess I do.)

Gander Mountain is a sponsor of the Sabres? Huh. I will recommend it to all my friends over Bass Pro Shops.

RJ on the Canadiens penalty that negated their powerplay: “I’m sorry guys, I didn’t think it was a penalty” One of the many reasons we love him.

Ennis clearly ate his spinach/wheaties today. He’s quicker than anyone on the ice.

Horrible Commercial Watch
Chevy Truck Month – pounding “truck month” into our heads by playing it over and over will never work and it’s an annoying commercial. Hmm… I really need a truck…but now I don’t know whether to go Ford or Chevy!

5:00 left and it’s the first time I really noticed the crowd (other than Montreal fans).

It’s funny how we used to think Stafford could be a power forward.

After Montreal flipped a puck into the Sabres bench, Neale quipped: “I think Enroth made the save on it” Ok, well played, Neale, I liked that one!

Under 1:00 – Empty net excitement and Miller with a nice glove save.

Ugh. Montreal scored with 3 seconds left. That really hurts to give up a goal that late.

Gotta admire Montreal fans though – they’re last in the East and they still show up in force in another teams arena. Good on ya. But couldn’t you allow us the two points in regulation!?

Errrgh, my Gamecenter feed crapped out for OT! Twitter informed me that Myers scored the game winner – woot! It’s the one disadvantage of watching online, every once in a while you’ll miss something – but you can always rewatch it later.

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Why are you still reading this? It’s time to go home. The post is over. Go on.

 

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Us Lucky Buffalo Sabres Fans

Are we lucky as fans or what? After one of the worst slides in Sabres history, they go on a 4-0-1 tear – against good teams even. I feel sorry for anyone who left the First Niagara Center early last night, as they missed a great show.

When it went to a shootout, I felt confident in Miller. He let in a few, but he was solid overall. When Gerbe’s shootout chance came, I knew he would sink it. Hell, the whole game I wasn’t worried about their play. The team is playing tough, confident hockey, with smarts to boot. They’re making crisp, quick passes and working hard in the corners. If they lost, they lost, but they were playing hard most of the way.

I don’t do much “real” analysis about the Sabres, as that’s not really my mindset (or forte). I’m more of a fan who just loves the game and makes bad jokes – but even I can see how much better this team is than just a few short weeks ago.

Perhaps part of it is the German bump, although the Sabres were playing well before the contingent of Mannheim Eagles fans came to Western New York. For more on that go here, it’s a feel good read.  And we could take some notes from their cheering playbook. They were rambunctious, perhaps annoyingly so to some, and even tried to get the wave going.

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European hockey fan enthusiasm is a little different than our brand, but we could certainly up the energy a little bit.

Or maybe it was Lindy Ruff. Perhaps his ego overshadowed the players and now that he’s injured they can finally play their best hockey. Now, I don’t believe this, but I’m sure there are detractors out there saying that. But the Sabres started this run well before Lindy fell and busted up some ribs.

Whatever the case, the Sabres are playing tough and are now eight points back in the East. I don’t think I need to say “buckle up”, we’re all pretty aware that this will go down to the wire, much like last year. But you couldn’t write a better script: a billionaire owner takes over the team, spends gazillions picking up all-star talent. The team flounders and all hope seems lost. Then, in Act 3 they get it together and miraculously make a huge comeback.

The only question is how does the story end – do they win it all, or is it just a feel-good drama where the team takes 2nd place but that was further than they ever should have expected to get to?

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Maybe James Patrick is using his time at the helm to teach the Sabres the Flying V.

Whatever the case may be, it’ll be damn exciting to be a part of. The Sabres are eight points back now with the Tampa Bay Lightning coming into our barn. We’ve got a lot of good hockey to watch ahead of us the rest of the year.

Go Sabres.

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Gerbe’s Birthday: “24” Reminders Why He is so Important to the Sabres

You gotta’ get that damn puck.

It doesn’t matter how fast on your skates you are. It doesn’t matter if you can stickhandle like you’ve got the puck on a string. It don’t mean a thing if you can wire a shot through an invisible hole through the armpit of a goaltender who has all the holes covered. None of this matters, if you don’t have that damn puck.

In a skate race, or in a fight a long the boards – when that pill squirts free, the guy with that extra “oomph” to get ahead by that desperate half-inch will always come up with possession. Nathan Gerbe, all 5 foot 4 of him, is very, very good at reaching that extra half-inch first.

Today the “Honey Badger” turns 24, so let’s celebrate his tenacity with a little reminder of what he gives us on the ice every game.

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"I'm not afraid!" is one of Gerbe's purportedly most charming quotes from the 2010-11 season, in response to a challenge to the bench from Lindy Ruff.

Gerbe’s ability to get that puck isn’t a hockey thing – it’s an heart thing. The stuff of a real, do-or-die-hard athlete. It’s something that carries across all sports. In football, once that ball is tossed into the corner of the endzone above a receiver and a cornerback, well, it doesn’t matter when you were drafted or how big your name is on fantasy boards – you gotta’ go up and get that damn ball – or smack it down. That’s the only part of the play that matters. In soccer, you can race down the sidelines leaving the midfielders flying out of their shoes trying to catch up, but if the defender pokes that ball away, the whole game is heading back in the other direction.

You gotta’ go get it, and you gotta’ hang onto it like your life depends on it (something that comes quite natural to honey badgers).

“Mellivora Puck Capensis:” entomology speak. Translates to “Honey, I devour; Pucks; Belonging to.” The puck is honey to this wild thing on the ice, and it belongs to him.

Hit the 5:10 portion on the video:

This is Gerbe at his best. He’s not the most sweetly talented forward on the team, but his sheer will and determination changes the course of a play, and the course of games.

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"Wanna race to the corner, Shaone? C'mon! Let's race to the corner!"

 

Nathan, happy birthday. I hope Rip Simonick made sure your cake was slathered up in honey. That’s the way you see the puck – as something to feed your crazed appetite on.

Eat up, and come back to us rabid.

There will be a feast for you all season long in the corners.

Go Sabres.

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