Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2 legit

Well so much for my playoff predictions.

It was a crazy goal anyway but hey, as fans, we can believe whatever we want to. And if the Sabres had bothered to play more than 2.5 inspired games in the series and considered scoring a power play goal, things may have been quite different. It reminds me of the old cheer my brother's baseball team used to do:

"you've got to want it, to win it, and WE WANT IT MORE!"

Clearly, Boston was the team with that attitude and I have idea what the Sabres were thinking.

But I guess they'll have a lot of time to figure it out.

Get rid of Tim Connolly, stat. I'm sick of his soft play.

Aside from him, I don't have much to say about the rest of the fellas at this juncture. I may come up with something down the line.

Luckily for me, I have some backups. I rather enjoy the Blackhawks (and Patrick Sharp and his super foxy playoff beard) and the Canucks and it looks like those two teams are primed for a rematch so things could get really interesting out west. Speaking of, even though I'm a Red Wings fan, I picked Phoenix to win that series and they are going to a game seven. It could be really something..

Montreal.. what the? Halak was pretty ridiculous tonight, eh?

Enough for now. Goodnight Sabres. Sorry that only half of you wanted to play only half the time. The rest of those suckers dragged you down too much. I hope the guys who did show up really give it to the dead weight. They need to hear it. UGH.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

the kids are alright

Helllllooo Tyler Ennis. I don't know if I've said it here or not but man I like that kid. He is the real deal and he is so fun to watch. Lots of moxie, and tons of speeeeeed. :) Tennis the Menace indeed.

And Nathan Gerbe looked great in his playoff debut. I love him, every time he plays I just want to grab him and squish him. He's SO LITTLE!

I've also been very impressed with McCormick. He's not as flashy and Gerbe and Ennis but he's a tough kid who hits everything that moves and he's got some quick feet himself.

What a fun game tonight. The building was rocking again, of course and the boys finally gave us a proper effort. (FOR THE WHOLE GAME!) I must say though, I felt much better with a 3 goal lead than the dreaded 2 goal lead. No real meltdowns, though they let Boston have a ton of chances in the 3rd, they also kept the pressure on themselves.

Lots of hitting, lots of blocked shots, lots of hustle and calm, smart play. Ennis's move to snag the puck and pass it to Roy who set up Pommers for the 2nd goal was just SICK. There were a couple of moves like that tonight. The Sabres finally showed that they can play hard and solid for 60 minutes and it totally paid off for them. Good job, boys. :)

A few notes:

-What do we have to do to get Tim Connolly to HIT SOMEBODY? He shies away from contact more than any hockey player I've ever seen. It's absurd. I'm sorry dude, but if Tyler Ennis and Derek Roy can hit Chara (and they both did, separately and together), then you can frickin lay a hit on someone.. anyone. You're a big enough dude. Quit being a wuss.

-I'm seeing shades of the old sparkplug Royzie that I miss so dearly. He really seems to thrive playing with Ennis and Gerbe. (maybe cuz they're all the same size.. lol) Whatever it is, he needs to keep doing it. He played hard tonight and had an assist on the scoreboard but was good all around.

-GOOOOOOOSE! He was very much a leader on the ice tonight, by example. He and Grier were going hard all night and the rest of the boys too their cue from those two and actually got involved physically as well. I usually like Goose, but I thought he was looking a bit rough in the last few games. Glad to see him back in form.

-I hate Chara. 'Nuff said. He was a -2 tonight! YAY!

-In the post-game interviews, Paul Hamilton asked Gaustad if he slashed Chara to start that scrum at the end of the game and Goose said "I don't know. Did I?" It cracked me up. I was literally in my car laughing. Just his tone of voice.. so innocent. awesome.

The mood tonight was crazy after the game. People were cheering and dancing in the streets and just acting wild. It made me laugh because this wasn't even a deciding game. But it does mean that the Sabres have at least one more game.. and if we're lucky, at least 2 more...

Let's Go Buffalo!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I don't even know what to say about the Sabres. It's all been said, it's all been done. I could spout some platitudes about hey they are the better team and they have the firepower and WHY IN THE HELL HAVE TIM CONNOLLY AND DEREK ROY DECIDED TO DISAPPEAR NOW? but I think we've all exhausted that line to death.

I'm sick of being disappointed, but then again, I chose to be a Sabres fan. It wasn't thrust upon me by some old family traditions or ingrained sense of hometown pride. I'm not from here, I've only lived here for 6 years (and "here" is actually 40 miles south of Buffalo proper) and really been a Sabres fan for about 4 of those years. I chose this, knowing that the Sabres inevitably let us down. So I guess I brought it upon myself. I want to think that THIS is the year that they will manage to put together all those pieces and make them into something sweet. I doubt it but... anything can happen.

I feel like Fox Mulder from "X-Files"-- I WANT TO BELIEVE.

But wanting is not always doing and the rational part of myself is preparing for the (almost) inevitable let down. I will be at the game tonight, cheering my little heart out because playoff hockey LIVE is amazing. I've dealt with much worse heartache than a first round exit but I'm tired of being let down by my hockey teams. I'm ready for some vindication. Wanna play, Sabres?

I guess that's all part and parcel of the sports experience. We want to hope and believe even in the most adverse circumstances and if things go well we rejoice and party like there's nothing better in the world. Luckily, if things go downhill, it IS only a game and we can recover and try again next year. There is always next year. (I just don't want to be 'next year' already.)

Let's Go Buffalo!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

'Bout that time, eh chap?

I know I've been neglecting it lately (my last one was JANUARY? Goodness sakes, I'm a bit of a failure in this department, eh?) but this Hockey SAB hit me so hard I couldn't let it bide. Luckily, it's already Wednesday (clock-wise) so it even fits into the grand scheme of things quite nicely.

As much as i don't like to even think the name of this fellow, the resemblance is uncanny and must be discussed. So without further ado (or confusing comments), I give you this week's Hockey Separated at Birth:

-Random actor Sean Marquette (seen most recently by me on "In Plain Sight" but has had bit parts in several CSI and other such shows)


-He Who Must No Be Named (a.k.a. Danny Briere- remember, the fear of a name only increases the fear of the thing itself!)

Separated at Birth? YOU be the judge! It's kind of uncanny, non? And in the show I was watching, he had this scraggly beard thing going on, much as Danny often does, 'specially in the playoffs. Can't say as I would know if he has such going on at this time, SINCE VERSUS DECIDED NOT TO CARRY ANY GAMES FROM THAT SERIES! And no, I'm not over it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A side of beef

I don't know what to say or think about the Sabres.

They are missing Thomas Vanek. It can't matter. It can't be ALLOWED to matter. Ditto Jochen Hecht.


P.S. Timmay Connolly is on my last nerve. I don't have much patience for Timmay and think he rarely plays to his potential. There is something about him that just bugs me to no end. I think it's because he always strikes me as SO effing lazy. I am a total Derek Roy apologist, but at least Royzie is usually trying something. It's not always the best thing to be trying and sometimes he tries too much, but usually he's making an effort. Tim is just a lazy piece of crap most of the time.

Meanwhile, there is other hockey going on and I've seen a bit of it. Ryan Kesler already owns me but I must say his playoff beard is mucho foxy. Ditto Patrick Sharp. MMmhmm. I may watch the 'Hawks game tonight, we'll see if I make it back downstairs. I'm feeling a bit lazy tonight and like I might decide to read and then turn in early.

Oh yes and here it the reference to my title- WHAT is up with Versus NOT playing a single game from the Devils/Flyers series? everyone else gets airtime but not them. Is there some sort of weird dealio going on that I don't know about? I think that is HIGHLY rude.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

it had to be done

Today I read a very amusing article about the Vancouver Canucks and sex the night before a game. It's not bad, I promise. You should read the article, but basically it was a question of what kind of habits the players have during the playoffs and how they differ from regular season and such. "Coach, what are your expectations, and in fact your advice to players, with respect to daily health routines, whether it is sleep, eating habits, training, recovery, diet, sex? You know, all the normal things people do every day?" was the question posed to Vigneault."

He deflected the question with a 'you'll have the ask the players, I can't control that' response and so she asked the players. Their responses were quite amusing. So, naturally it got me wondering how our dear Sabres would handle such a query. I think we can all imagine the scene. I think it might go something like this:

(female) Reporter: "So, Sabres, what do you think about sex on the night before a game? Good idea? Bad idea?"

Timmay Connolly: I'm undressing you with my eyes. Want to do it right here and now?

Jason Pominville: (clearly uncomfortable) Um.. well, every night I go home and eat dinner and then after dinner I clean the kitchen and walk the dogs and then after that I come home and take a bubble bath then we read stories and I go to bed.

Patrick Kaleta: (giggles) Sex? Yeah! Good idea! *high-fives Timmay*

Ryan Miller: I can't change any of my habits. Don't want to mess with the mojo. But it is an interesting study. I look forward to hearing the results.

Derek Roy: I know a place on Chippewa..

Patrick Lalime: Have you SEEN my wife? *grin* Besides, I'm not likely to play, am I?

Craig Rivet: No comment.

Adam Mair: Ya know ladies, 31 is the new 21.. *wink*

Tyler Myers: *looks around confusedly*

Paul Gaustad: I am much too much of a gentleman to even consider the question.

Thomas Vanek: I think that would have to be no, ya know, because if I played poorly the next day, I'd never be able to have sex again!


Yeah, I think it'd be something like that. I can't add much more, player-wise because the rest of the boys just don't lend themselves to responses in my mind the way those guys did. If any of you wonderful readers want to add to the discussion, feel free to leave a comment. ;)

I don't know if there are words

Guys, I've been a hockey fan for 16 years. I have watched more hockey games on tv that I can count. I have watched the Stanley Cup finals (at least a few games) every year since 1994 except 2007- I was on a cruise and couldn't get the games. I have seen live games in 8 different NHL arenas (and one baseball stadium), 6 AHL arenas, and 9 ECHL arenas. I have been to many ECHL playoff games- even seen the Kelly Cup awarded (to the other team on my ice) twice but before today, had not been to an NHL playoff game.

Today I went to the Sabres game.

It was UNreal. The atmosphere in the arena exceeded my expectations. There was so much energy and feeling in the place that words fail me trying to describe it. It was just a rush of pure adrenaline and magic and I wanted it to go on forever. Sabretooth rappelled down from the rafters to a chorus of cheering and whistles. Doug Allen's (always stirring) renditions of the Anthems almost brought me to tears. The first few minutes of the game felt like a dream, with the chanting of 'Let's Go Buffalo' floating down all around me. (Usually I'm the one trying (in vain) to incite the citizens of section 116 *a rather quiet lot* to cheer on our boys. Then when the Sabres scored, I thought the roof might actually blow off the building.

Things quieted down a bit later, when the game got kinda rough, but wow.

It was moments like today that remind me why I love going to hockey games so much. There is a magical quality about 18,690 people (minus the few Bruins fans in attendance) whose minds are melded to the same purpose. It wasn't enough to propel the boys to a win today, but that did not diminish the incredible feeling that I found at the game. My love of hockey is rooted in THE GAME, but my love of being a hockey fan is rooted in days like today. Imagine if we could harness that feeling and power. We could save the world.

I will break down my actual thoughts on the play later but for tonight I just want to savor the feelings I had today. I love this city and I love this team. Is THIS the year? In a lot of the ways that matter, it already has been for me. Now let's make it even better.


P.S. Speaking of 'dreams'- The Buffalo News had a really great article about Patrick Kaleta and Tim Kennedy, two Buffalo boys who made it to the Show. It's worth a read if you haven't already. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm sure everyone has read about all the angles of the matchup, and I don't really have anything constructive to offer. I'm just excited for post-season hockey that I really care about with MY team in the running. (not to say that the Red Wings and Devils aren't MY team as well, but the Sabres are different because I live here and watch them all year, not just when they are on VS or during the playoffs.)

I think I'm going to Saturday's game.. wooooo!

I will be watching tonight- but on a bit of a delay since I have a commitment this evening. SOOO excited though- I'm wearing my Sabres jersey- in April! (*and not just for fun, which I do, but this time it has a purpose. hehehe*)

To all my buddies going to the game- have fun! :)

And the only tidbit about the matchup that really caught my eye was this:
Coaching Experience: The longest active tenured coach with one franchise (and 3rd all-time behind Al Arbour and Billy Reay), Lindy Ruff will step behind the Sabres' bench in the post-season for the seventh time. Ruff's.591 playoff winning percentage ranks third among active coaches behind Dan Bylsma (.667) and Mike Babcock (.644). In the six years that Ruff has guided his teams into the post-season, they have reached the Conference Finals three times and the Stanley Cup Final once.

WOW is all I have to say. WOW.

Let's Go Buffalo! :)

Bring on the Cup!!

I wrote a little ditty (well it's my version of a very popular song) in honor of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Enjoy! :)

It's the most wonderful time of the year
When flowers are blooming
And playoffs are looming
The games will begin
It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the best and most fun season of all
With the super overtimes and hard fought uphill climbs
When the winner stands tall
It's the best and most fun season of all

There will be short four game sweeps
Series that go for weeks
And everything in between
There will be goalie sensations
And standing ovations for
The boys on our hometown teams

It's the most wonderful time of the year
There will be lots of rejoicing
And champagne for toasting
When Stanley is here
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Let's Go Buffalo!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Preview Time

Please keep in mind that my playoff predictions are based less on fact and numbers and more on gut feelings and randomness- (but I have been randomly right in the past with nothing to back it up..) so, with that in mind, I bring you:
Stanley Cup Playoffs, 2010

East Siiiiiide:
1. Washington Capitals
8. Montreal Canadiens
*Washington in 6 games. The Habs just don't have it this year and the Caps are too strong up front.

2. New Jersey Devils
7. Philadelphia Flyers
*New Jersey in 5. The Flyers have weak goaltending and the Devils are ready to rumble. And I just love them and hate the Flyers.

3. Buffalo Sabres
6. Boston Bruins
*Sabres in 6. The Bruins don't scare me. Vanek remembers he's a goal scorer. Roy has been playing more like that scrappy kid who came into the league back in 2003 and made me love him. Miller OWNS them all.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins
5. Ottawa Senateurs (of DOOM!)
*Pittsburgh in 6. Ottawa has too many injuries to compete with the Penguins at top speed. I don't particularly like either team so I'd be fine with whichever way this one goes.

1. Washington Capitals
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
*Washington in 7. The Caps are going to take it this time. I think they are a deeper team than a lot of people give them credit for and if the goaltending can hold up they'll be fine.

2. New Jersey Devils
3. Buffalo Sabres
*It hurts me but I have the Sabres winning in 7. The Devils are tough (and the Sabres have not played well against them this year) but the Sabres want it (NEED IT) more.

Eastern Conference Final
1. Washington Capitals
3. Buffalo Sabres
*Sabres in 7. Just 'cause I said so. Theodore/Varlamov are no match for Miller/Lalime.

West Siiiiiide:

1. San Jose Sharks
8. Colorado Avalanche
*I don't like either team but I just want to see San Jose continue their choking ways with a loss here, so Avs in 6.

2. Chicago Blackhawks
7. Nashville Predators
*Chicago will have an easy go with a sweep. The Preds don't have it and the 'Hawks are too powerful.

3. Vancouver Canucks
6. Los Angeles Kings
*I like the Kings as an underdog but I think the Canucks have the better team, just a bit. The Kings are young and that might hurt them here. 'Nucks in 7.(I sense OT)

4. Phoenix Coyotes
5. Detroit Red Wings
*I am a Red Wings fan but I see a strange series here. The Coyotes have been surprisingly good this year (and the Wings surprisingly bad) and Phx has a lot to prove. I see them winning in 6.


2. Chicago Blackhawks
8. Colorado Avalanche
*The Avs have their surprise, then they are done. Chicago takes this one in 5.

3. Vancouver Canucks
4. Phoenix Coyotes
*They are done after the series with the Wings. There might be some nice goalie battles in this series but the Canucks have it in 6 games... setting the stage for..

Western Conference Finals
A nice rematch from last year:
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Vancouver Canucks
*Chicago will triumph again in a hard-fought series. These teams are really well-matched and it will be fun to watch. Chicago in 7.

Stanley Cup Finals:

Buffalo Sabres
Chicago Blackhawks

*Yes, I like to dream big. But really, if the Sabres can keep it going on all cylinders, then they have something special. The wild card for the 'Hawks is the goaltending but they have some serious firepower up front and can hold their own on D which can make up for that... to a point. The Sabres have a nice core of D and a committee of goal-scorers so you never know where the threats will come from night to night. The Sabres won the only match-up this season-- one of their most well-played games all year, I thought. And Lalime was in net. He finished the season strong so we should feel good about our goalie situation.

I could see the Sabres winning it in 6 games.

You heard it here, folks. My hard-hitting analysis. (or something like that) Hey, it's my blog, I can dream if I want to, right? right. And just think of the Sabres and the Blackhawks (2 teams full of some fine looking gentlemen) with full-on playoff beards. I might swoon at the thought..

Let's GO BUFFALO!!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

playoff schedule whaaaat?

Game 1: Thursday, April 15, Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 17, Boston at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, April 19, Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 21, Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
*Game 5: Friday, April 23, Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
*Game 6: Monday, April 26, Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
*Game 7: Wednesday, April 28, Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
*If necessary

Note the 1 p.m. start on Saturday for Game 2 and the two days off between a potential Game 5 and Game 6.

Saturday's game at 1pm? WEIRD. I will most likely be going to one of those games... wooooot!

:) I'm not scared of the Bruins. The Sabres have played well against them and if Vanek is really back (and Royzie too, he is suddenly a scoring MACHINE) then we have nothing to worry about.

Bring it on!

I will do some other predictions and whatnot at a later time.. just excited that the season is done and it's time for the dance. (for the first time in blog-form.. whee!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

5 things

This post is inspired by the lovely and talented Diana Laurence, author extraordinaire and the partial inspiration for this blog. (she is the author of the former e-zine "Hockey Snacks", which I think I've referenced before) She recently wrote an entry listing 5 things that she is happy to have done and I think it's a brilliant idea. So brilliant, in fact, that I am going to emulate it- both here (hockey related things), and on my personal blog (livejournal), with a range of things I've done in my life that are not necessarily hockey related. :)

So, without further ado- 5 hockey-related things I'm glad I got to do: (in no particular order)

1. Skate on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa "The World's Largest Skating Rink".
My sis and I took a trip to Canada's capital back in March of 2007 for the sole purpose of skating the canal. We picked the perfect time to go, the weather was great and it was the last weekend the canal was open that season. We skated the full length (15.6 KM total) in one evening. It was a crazy workout and it was very cold but I'm quite happy to say that I have done it. I have since returned to the canal- the same sister and a friend and I competed in a Winterlude Triathlon there in 2009- we competed as a team, I skated 8km on the canal, Renee' (sis), ran 5km on the canal and Brenda (friend) did a 3km cross-country ski. We didn't exactly own the race, but none of us finished last in our category and we had fun. :)

2. Creating my own ice surface in my front yard.
I don't know how many of y'all follow me on facebook (if you don't, feel free to add me!) but if you do, then you will know of the trial it was to make this happen. A little bit of history is in order here. I moved to WNY in the late summer of 2003. I moved in with my sis and her family, who had just purchased a place out in the sticks- a tiny town called Delevan (about halfway between Buffalo and Olean, on Rt. 16) We've got a nice house and a decent bit of land- and a pond! I was very excited about the pond, because it gets and stays cold here for long periods of the winter. I was sure it would freeze and we could skate.. right? WRONG! The darn thing refuses to freeze properly and has been a thorn in my side for years. To make a long story short, I've given up on the pond. I tried a "jiffy rink" kit that I bought a Canadian Tire a couple of winters ago, but it never worked right. This year I decided to take matters into my own hands. I did tons of research and formulated a plan. It was January (typically the coldest part of the winter) and we had over a foot of snow on the ground. No problem. I cleared away the top layer of a huge section of the yard and prepared to work- the job was wetting down the snow that was left with the hose, then stomping it down into packed ice until I had a nice base. Then it was a matter of smoothing that out with misted on water in the cold of night. I worked on this for several freezing nights and it was coming along nicely (though hard hard work, especially since I had to drag the hose inside every night so it wouldn't freeze) Then I went to Dallas for the weekend, and it was in the 40s while I was away. I was a bit stressed but the snow was still here so I kept working on it the following week. THEN it rained for 3 days and ALL THE SNOW MELTED! I wanted to cry from frustration. But I had one more idea.
I had saved some old 4x4 pieces of wood from a fence with the idea of useing them to create a mini-rink. Then I tried the other plan but since that was done, and we were down to bare grass, I figured I'd try this one last plan and if it didn't work, I'd concede that it wasn't going to happen. So I bought a tarp from the hardware store (20x25') and laid out my boards, stapled the tarp to them to make a frame, then started filling it with water. Basically, after several days of filling and then having to add snow to level it out, I had ice. It was super bumpy and I had to go out with hot water and a shovel and do a bit of manual zamboni work, but I was able to create an ice surface in my yard. It was very small but still skateable. And now I know that this method can actually work here so next year I will make it bigger! I am still immensely proud of this accomplishment.

3. Attending the Winter Classic II in Chicago.
Sure, it wasn't Buffalo (couldn't make that one) but it was an incredible game between 2 teams I like with a fantastic rivalry. I went with my sister (who is my best friend and hockey buddy) and a great friend and we had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect, the game was intense, the fans were loud and crazy and it was everything I could have asked for. And the best part was that it was a surprise. I didn't know about it until 3 days before when my sis told me we were going. I will never forget that day. It was truly a special experience.

4. Teaching myself about hockey and how to ice skate.
I am a huge proponent of learning by doing. When I started to watch hockey, I didn't have a mentor guiding my every step, I didn't have anyone to ask, or even the internet to research things. I did it the old fashioned way- I went to the bookstore and bought every scrap of hockey literature (which wasn't much in Dayton, OH in the summer of 1994) I could get my hands on and started reading. I memorized players and stats and trying to soak up everything I could and counting the days till October. This zest for hockeyness has not left me. I still regularly read books about hockey- trying to learn as much as possible about what happened before my time, and I try to keep up with current news of the game. (it's much easier now, in Buffalo and with the internet, though I have less time to devote) Pretty much everything I know about hockey (and that's quite a bit, if I do say so), I learned on my own- by watching, and listening, and reading, and talking. I love the game, I couldn't live without it and I certainly wouldn't want to try. And I have an ownership in my fandom that I earned through lots of time and energy.
Along with the learning came a desire to DO. I knew that actually playing hockey wasn't really an option (not many teams in the area and whatnot) so I did the next best thing. I taught myself how to ice skate. I'm sure it was funny to watch. I was a very good rollerskater back in the day, but it had been some time since I had been on skates at all. I was 13 years old and I'm sure quite awkward, but I didn't care. My sister and I used to go to the open skate on Saturday nights and just have fun. I basically flailed around until I figured it out. It took awhile, but I was patient and I loved it. I watched the other kids (the hockey players of course) and tried to do what they did. I fell all the time but I didn't care. I used to race my sister's boyfriend from blueline to blueline. We went all the time and I got pretty decent at it. Eventually I moved on from awkward to an okay skater. I fell less and felt less out of control. But it never stopped being fun. I got figure skates for my 14th birthday (but I should have just asked for hockey skates, I dunno what I was thinking..) and finally got hockey skates for my 16th birthday. (still the best birthday gift I ever got and I still have those skates, they fit me like a glove) We still skated almost every weekend, all through high school. Soometimes friends would come and sometimes not, but it was always 'Nee and I. We had fun and it was a time to just exist and occasionally pretend that I was someone who could actually play hockey.
In college, I took a hockey skills class. It was awesome- counted for credit even. We did a lot of skating drills then actually got into the hockey. There wasn't much I didn't know already, though I was able to refine my skills in turning around and such, and I finally learned how to do a hockey stop. I took the class again the next year, and 'Nee joined me (even though she went to a different school) It was better the second time because the class as a whole was more advanced with the skating to start. We got into some strategy and did faceoffs and a few line changes even. (over the boards, I fell down on my first try jumping over. It was hilarious.)

I still skate whenever I can. I take my 4-yr old nephew skating about once a week, trying to share with him what I learned. I have rollerblades and try to get out on them fairly often when the weather is nice, but nothing is as great as the feel (and the sound) of blades on ice.
(phew, that got long)

5. Visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame
This may sound a bit lame, but the HHOF is super cool. I have been a few times, but could go a few more, there is something special about that place. And the neatest thing is how small the hockey world really is. I went to the HHOF in 2007 with my sister (of course, do you notice a trend here?) and as we looked around at all the displays, I kept running into names of players that I was familiar with. They change the displays often, but have equipment and jerseys and whatnot from minor leaguers of all levels and jr. hockey players as well. I found several items from players that I had met and known through my minor league hockey jobs and watching games at that level. It was kind of uncanny, actually.
And then there was the Kelly Cup (trophy for the ECHL) I worked for the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL in 2005-06. We got to host the Kelly Cup one night as part of a tour. Unlike Lord Stanley, Kelly came unaccompanied, in a plain box with scant literature or a lengthy history. (he was only about 5 years old at the time.) So the task fell to me to be the 'keeper of the Cup" for the night. I embraced it with relish, being the hockey nut that I am. I found a bit of info about it and made up some little fliers. I did not wear the nasty gloves (not clean and crisp like Phil Pritchard's) that came with it, instead letting my fingers leave marks. LOL Our coach and one of our players had won the Kelly Cup back in 2003 so their names were on there and that was kinda cool for our fans. It was a bit cheezy but I enjoyed my night with the Cup. I had some bittersweet memories about it, having seen the Greenville Grrrowl win it on MY ice in Dayton back in 2002 but that was just another story to tell.
Anyway so that was in the HHOF and I thought it was cool cuz I had touched it and knew some folks whose names were on it.. and then of course THE STANLEY CUP is there as well. You can get pictures with it and touch it and hear some history if you want to. Totally worth the trip right there.
I highly suggest you make the trip to Toronto and check out the Hockey Hall of Fame, if you haven't done so.

So there it is.. my rambling trek through memory lane, hockey style. There are many other hockey-related things that I am glad to have done or taken part in, but I think I've written enough for now. What about you?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

writer's block

I have things I want to say about the Sabres but I can't seem to form them into coherent thoughts for some reason.

I was at the Ottawa (Senateurs of DOOM) game last week and it wasn't the best. The Sabres DID have 42 shots though and played decently for most of the game. At times they looked totally unorganized and Ottawa did not, but it certainly was not the worst game I've seen from them this year. The Pominville/Montador 2-on-0 breakaway goal was particularly sweet.

I want to talk about the playoffs and how exciting they are and how it always brings me back to my first hockey season, which started during the playoffs.. but I just don't know how to say all of it.. yet. It will come. I can't force it and I just post when the mood strikes. I am going to try and watch the last few games just to remember what the Sabres look like-- I was AT the game Friday but haven't watched any others in quite a while- I always seem to be busy when they are playing.. Missed Saturday's romp because I was seeing Our Lady Peace (BEST BAND EVER!) in North Tonawanda, and last night's drubbing of the Panters because I had play practice. I won't see tonight or Saturday's games due to Holy Thursday and then the Easter Vigil church-ing, but GO SABRES and I hope to see the last 4 to get ready for the playoffs. WOOHOO!

So that's all I've got. I do still care about the Sabres, very much, just have been very busy and not able to watch or comment on the games of late. Be sure I will be checking some playoff hockey and following the hunt for seedings because this is when it really gets fun. It really is a relief not to be fighting for a spot till the 13th hour this year. :)