rick jeanneret:

I’m Thankful For Sabres Nation

I am thankful for a great many things, not just today, but every day. Of course today is the traditional day to really take the time to think about what we’re thankful for. Health, relative wealth (or at least not impoverishment), great family and friends – these are the things we truly have to be thankful for.

But sometimes it’s about the “little things”, the things that help get us through a hard day. The Buffalo Sabres are a source of entertainment and inspiration for a great many of us.

For instance, last night, a battle royale with the Boston Bruins. We didn’t get the full two points, but it was an amazing contest to kick off the holiday weekend.  A spirited game by the Sabres, Gaustad taking on Lucic, Regeher versus Chara, tons of heart and entertaining hockey throughout most of the game. Not to mention some bonus four on four hockey and a shootout that went into extra innings.

In the end, it’s just a game and shouldn’t really change any of our lives, but it does. We cheer, we applaud, we cringe, we scream … and many of of cuss up a storm. We may startle our pets when a goal is scored or a Carruba Collision candidate happens.

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I'm thankful for hockey games breaking out at fights.

I still feel lucky that the team is around after the Rigas bankruptcy. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost ten years since we came close to losing the Sabres, but I never take them for granted. Perhaps I’m just scarred by the potential loss of the team.

I’m thankful for the new Terry Pegula era and what his ownership has brought to the team and the city. It’s been truly an amazing story that’s still unfolding and perhaps the greatest reason for this site’s existence.

I’m thankful for Rick Jeanneret’s calls, the way his voice cracks a bit  sometimes when he says, “SHO-TTTT”, and continually amusing me with his homer wisecracks. A bit of love for Harry Neale and Roby Ray as well, but mostly for their comedic antics, intended or otherwise.

I’m thankful for my partner @slackin who will watch any and every hockey game with me. I’m thankful she’s a Sabres fan as well and for one of the best gifts I ever got many moons ago – a Sabres goathead jersey. (I forgive the fact that she didn’t know who Don Cherry was until last night. After all, she grew up here in the cornfields of Ohio where hockey has been unknown until recently.)

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I'd be remiss not to point out being thankful for chicken wings and other Buffalo cuisine.

I’m thankful for other Sabres fans, because it wouldn’t be much fun if it was just two people rooting for the team in their living room. It’s the shared experience that makes it really special. The chatter on Twitter is always a blast, perhaps even moreso than going to a game for me. And of course there’s the most awesome @scottyMCSS, without whose witty and insightful prose this site wouldn’t exist.

I’m thankful that the Sabres goal is to win the Stanley Cup, that they have a spot reserved for it and are doing everything they can to attain it.

I could go on and on about individual Sabres, the Sabres management or a number of other things, but I think that’s enough from me. What about you? What are you most thankful for as a Sabres fan?

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On the Rick Jeanneret and Hawerchuk HoF Induction

What an amazing induction to the Sabres Hall of Fame for RJ and Hawerchuk. Hawerchuk was always one of my favorites, but I think my fondest memories of him are for how good he was in NHL ’93 and ’94. Sad? But true.

Who didn’t tear up just a little for Rick Jeanneret’s video clip and speech? How lucky have we been to have him? I think more than any one person he is the franchise. It will be sad when he retires, but we need to count our blessings as fans.

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Best idea for a Hall of Fame induction ever.

Watching the clip of RJs calls was awesome, but the Steve Shields fight made me realize something: we have the rootenest, tootenist, fightingest goalies ever. Check it: Steve Shields vs. Sean Burke, Steve Shields vs. Garth Snow and then Marty Biron vs. Ray Emery. I know goalie fights are very infrequent and while I can’t find a stat, it seems like we’ve had the most out of all teams. Might be a good way to determine our Goalie Controversy: see who’s the better fighter. My money’s on Enroth.

The shots of Jeanneret’s family were sweet. His Mom at 91 cheering for him and kind of dancing was awesome. Also cool that the whole Jeanneret  family wore white jerseys with the number 40 on them – for the 40 years of calling games. I couldn’t figure out what the “PxP” stood for though  –  @slackin pointed out to me it was for “Play by Play”, duh! And the hand-crafted real steel sabres that Hawerchuk and RJ got, combined with the display of crossing the swords? A simple idea yet brilliant.

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Last but not least is the new Book of RJ shirt that Hockey Heaven came out with. Today only they’re putting it on sale for $15. I know, they’re a sponsor and yes I am panning for them. But I’m proud to do so, as we loved Hockey Heaven before they were a sponsor will continue to pimp them even after they are (well, hopefully they stay a sponsor forever!). Heck, I’m a proud owner of one of these myself. How better to honor the voice of the organization? This shirt is good… scary good.  

Thanks to Rick for all the work over the years, all the laughs and all the memories. Hopefully there will still be many more to come!

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Dale Hawerchuk & Rick Jeanneret Sabres Hall Of Fame Induction (Video)

In case you missed it:

Congratulations to Dale and Rick on their long-due inductions. And fans, remember to soak up every call by RJ this season.

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Every call.

Go Sabres.

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Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa Senators Game Notes

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This wasn’t a complete game by either team, but for stretches it was one of the most entertaining of the year for the Sabres. Derek Roy’s shootout goal gave the Sabres the 3-2 victory.

Now just some quick hits of thoughts about the game.

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Gerbe doing his honey badger thing and creating the play that led to a goal. TENACIOUS G!

———–

I’d heard earlier in the day that Miller was getting the start, then about 15 minutes before game time Enroth got the nod.  Not sure if this was planned or Ruff was just going with the hot hand here.

A group of about 15 or 20 Sabres fans in Buffalo hats with horns were at the game. Think they just showed up randomly like that?  Also, how cool would it be if we had thousands of fans at FN Center with those things? You can get your own here.

Eric Karlsson has a gorgeous mullet that Patrick Kane should be jealous of. Not sure which is better, his mullet or the Zubaz that Gerbe and McCormick were sporting during their trip to the hospital that showed during intermission.

Speaking of sweet hair, Sens’ coach Paul MacLean has a monster walrus ‘stache. And does remind one of Zoidberg.   As @brianbund’s wife pointed out, Lindy Ruff’s mustache is nowhere near as noticable.  Two different men with two very different staches. I want to see an NHL coach mustache competition.

I am much more leery about breakaway / 1 on 1 situations with Enroth than with Miller. With Miller in net I have no worries for that, but more worry lately on the easy goals. Enroth stops the easy ones but isn’t as skilled with 1 on 1’s.

Maybe it was just me, but it didn’t seem like there was a lot of Sens apparel in the arena. As  @ScottyMCSS said, there was a guy in the front row wearing a Billabong shirt. Are you a fan of either team? If so, why not show it? If you like another team that’s not playing, wear stuff from that team. Show your loyalty, dammit!

Early on, we still looked horrible at giving away shorthanded chances. Meh.

Rick Jeanneret is an amazing personality with a unique voice and we love him – but I really had no problem with Kevin Sylvester as play-by-play guy and Danny Gare as color.

I did sort of miss Rob Ray’s interjections. Sometimes he’s thought of as a goonish athlete and RJ has even ripped on him, but he often provides nuggets that make you think. He’s not polished at communications, but that endears him to me. Kind of like a puppy behind the glass. He’s really cute and makes you smile sometimes.

Gragnani may not be nearly as NHL-ready as we’d thought after last year’s playoffs. A good reminder to really think about the sample size we had to go on.

Gerbe is so awesome that I think he’s got the most hockey talent per cubic inch. That goal he created was all about his tenacity. I saw @JoeBuffaloWins call him Taz and I loved it. Add that to the growing nickname list for Gerbs.

Man, Regehr can HIT. Nice to see him smash a couple of guys with perfect timing. How come he didn’t get the Carubba Collision? I thought his were more devastating, but the one they chose had two guys performing a double smack and looked better on the surface. #RegehrSmash

Derek Roy is looking great and perhaps close to back to 100%. He stole the puck away several times and controlled it for quite a while with some slick moves.

The Leino/Roy/Stafford line is looking good, with Leino creating some nice chances.

Win or lose, the shootout is THE most exciting part of a hockey game. However it still seems a little unfair to me that it can decide who gets a point. It takes away the team aspect. If we win, I’m ok with it but if we lose, I’m bitching. I’m guess I’m ok with it so long as it never makes it into playoff hockey.

This game is going to do very little to douse the flames of the Miller versus Enroth controversy by some of the Sabres faithful. Me, I think Enroth is fine … for a BACKUP. He’s still nowhere close to Millsie. That much was evident on breakaways and during the shootout, although Enroth *did* get better as the shootout went on.

That’s it and that’s all. (The whistles go whoo-whoo.) Any thoughts as to this format? Something we should continue? Did it make you chuckle, chortle or interested at all? Please comment below and let us know whether it should be continued.

 

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Mark Jeanneret: A Sabres Sampling

It’s going to be a sad day in the B-lo when Rick Jeanneret finally retires.

Until then, his potential replacements are being groomed.  While we already covered the likelihood of Kevin Sylvester taking over the booth, not everyone is sold on his voice talent.

I’m a fan of Kevin’s, but we like to remain objective here on Buffalo Sabres Nation.

MarkAndRJ Mark Jeanneret: A Sabres Sampling

"The Next One?"

In that spirit, here’s a couple samplings of Mark Jeanneret.  While his style is very similar to his father’s, his voice is a bit higher on the octave scale.  He’s been plying his trade down on the farm in Portland, after breaking into the scene with the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Here’s a call from his Erie days. You might want to ensure that all of your crystal and any skittish cats are in the other room before you hit the play button.

Since then, his style has certainly matured, but that Jeanneret passion simply cannot be tamed. Here’s his play-by-play for the Sabres, when they took on the Flames on December 27, 2010.

Despite who I might prefer, it’s hard to root against either Sylvester or Jeanneret – I’d be happy with either making the calls.  Also, it sure would be a real heart-warmer if Mark was able to continue a family legacy.

We’d like to hear what our readers think about these two candidates, so we’re sticking a poll in this post.  Vote away!

Who would you rather hear from the booth?

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Go Sabres.

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