Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Standing Tall?

I haven't shared any Sabres' scores with you since March 12, when Pittsburgh overpowered us. Buffalo followed that up with three key wins in convincing fashion: 7-1 over Carolina, 6-2 against Toronto and an incredible comeback versus Tampa Bay with 6 goals in the third period resulting in a 7-4 win. Unfortunately, the tables were reversed tonight when Ottawa paid a visit to Buffalo. They scored five straight in the third to pretty well eliminate us from the playoff picture.
Final score: Senators 6, Sabres 3. We have stalled in the standings and sit five points behind Boston in the eighth and final playoff spot with six games left. The Bruins beat Toronto tonight 6-2. Buffalo does meet Boston twice more before the season wraps up but it is not looking good for us.

Montreal is the number one seed in the Eastern Conference right now and we also play them twice more before this season is done - including this Friday, March 28. If you can't beat 'em , join 'em.
Here is the link to my YouTube site and 4 openings on MSG-TV featuring the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

Here is a local newspaper article from two days ago promoting a Kelowna kid who is contributing to Montreal's success.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

St. Patrick's Day f/up & amazing Minnesota!

Just two games in the NHL on St. Paddy's Day. Minnesota, with quite a bit o' green on their uniforms, beat Colorado
3-1. Joe Sakic scored the Avalanche's only goal - number 621 in his illustrious career and his 8th on St. Patrick's Day. His next assist will give him an even 1, 000 as he's stuck on 999 right now....Number 99, "The Great One," and his Phoenix Coyotes lost 3-1 yesterday to the Vancouver Canucks, who are 12-5-1 all-time on St. Paddy's Day. Famous hockey nicknames was an article on NHL.com yesterday so besides Gretzky, you can read about who is known as Grease, Grumpy (he's on Minnesota), Gronk and Gator.

Who is the NHL's best skater? Marian Gaborik of Minnesota finished first at 32%. Scott Niedermayer in Anaheim was second at 21% while Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh Penguins checked in at 11%. It was a recent Sports Illustrated NHL players poll. Bret Hedican of the Carolina Hurricanes was 6th on the list. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I will root for Bret's wife, Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic champion figure skater, on the new season of "Dancing With The Stars." The ladies get their first turn tonight! Hopefully this prediction of mine works out as well as the one I did for "The Amazing Race."

Which team has the best fans in the NHL? This player's poll was in last week's Sports Illustrated. Montreal was on top at 35% and Minnesota came in second at 13%. A bunch more Canadian teams followed.

Over the weekend my blog was included on this extensive list from the crew at Voices.com. They have a LOT of fans (like myself!) in the voiceover world and those numbers will
increase based on excellent resources like this one.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

California or bust?

My kids' school ended up on top at the Provincial basketball tournament recently! Way to go guys! The senior girls also had a strong showing. My daughter, Ashley, is the sign changer at school. At our house today we got our new basketball hoop up and running! But Ashley was not around to enjoy it. She is part of the team of 70+ youth who headed off to Los Angeles on Friday for 10 days at spring break. The ministry Willow Park Church youth are partnering with is called "The Dreamcenter." Details here: http://www.dreamcenter.org/
It will be a life changing experience for her!

Going to California and the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline on February 26 has worked out well for former Sabre, Brian Campbell. He had an assist in his first game against Columbus, which San Jose won 4-2. The Sharks won their next 8 before finally losing tonight in a shootout to Edmonton, 2-1. Campbell had a chance to win it late in overtime but the goalie gloved it and Campbell flipped his stick away in disgust.

Couple of California basketball coaching legends shared page 20 in the March 10 Sports Illustrated. The news was positive for UCLA's John Wooden after breaking his left wrist and collarbone in a fall at home. He is 97. Amazing guy! He also received two blood transfusions at the hospital because doctors discovered that he was anemic. John Wooden's website is filled with many inspiring quotes. Check 'em out! Pat Riley guided the LA Lakers to NBA championships in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Two years ago he led the Miami Heat to the title but this year they are a miserable 11-54 - prompting this quote: "I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I know what to do; I just don't know where to start."

Happy 63rd birthday coming up on March 20 Pat!
Yesterday, "Mr. Hockey" Gordie Howe had a big 80th birthday bash thrown in Vancouver. His actual birthday is March 31.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nearly St. Patrick's Day

Tonight's Sabres opener went like this on MSG-TV:

(RYAN MILLER interview clip: "Stage is set...I guess we'll find out")

I'm sorry to report Pittsburgh prevailed 7-3. Not much has changed in the playoff hunt since I last blogged ten days ago: The Sabres are in ninth place right now, 3 points back of Philadelphia, who hold down the eighth and final playoff spot. As of right now, Buffalo is 4 points behind Philly and the final playoff spot. Sabres fans can give a BIG thank you to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who beat Philadelphia tonight, 3-2. Even bigger was yesterday's comeback for the Leafs against the Flyers, winning 4-3 in overtime. Toronto was down 3-0 before their "miracle on ice."

As St. Patrick's Day approaches in five days, here are some more Pats that have left a mark in the NHL:
Pat Hughes (50 games with the Sabres in '85/'86 among his 573 career games)
Pat Falloon (575 NHL games)
Pat Verbeek (1, 424 NHL games)
Pat Boutette (a former Maple Leaf and Penguin)
Pat Hickey (another former Maple Leaf and New York Ranger)
Pat Conacher
Pat Flatley

The following 3 all played for the Washington Capitals at some point.
Pat Peake
Pat Elynuik
Pat Riggin
My voiceover friend, Gary Kriebel, is known as Gustafsson at the On Frozen Blog site. It is focused on the Washington Capitals, who are just one point behind the Sabres and also shooting for the playoffs. Any other Pats you can think of Gary? Or YOU reading this blog? The Sabres will try to help both our playoff dreams by beating Carolina Friday night - and I'm confident the Caps can beat Atlanta too:)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Early St. Patrick's Day?

Today's Sabres opener went like this on MSG-TV:
The red-hot Canadiens poured on the power Friday night sending a chill through HSBC Arena. Cold is the only way to describe Detroit in February...And we're not talking weather. The Red Wings enter March in a slump as the rest of the West closes the gap. Will the Sabres keep 'em cool...and keep pace in the race for a playoff spot?
Find out...next on MSG!
Unfortunately, Detroit beat us 4-2. They remain the top team overall in the NHL with 92 points. The top gun in the East now is Montreal, who also beat us on home ice on Friday, 6-2. The Canadiens have 81 points after 66 games. Pittsburgh has 81 points after 67 games while New Jersey and Ottawa have 80 points after 66 games apiece.

The Sabres are in ninth place right now, 3 points back of Philadelphia, who hold down the eighth and final playoff spot. In two days we tangle with them again...deja vu? Just a week ago I blogged: The Sabres hold down the eighth and final playoff spot with 68 points. Tomorrow we tango with the ninth place team, Philadelphia, who are only one point behind us. Buffalo lost that one in a shootout, 4-3. We NEED both points in Philly Tuesday so, YES, it is the biggest game of the year!

Buffalo-born Patrick Kaleta got his second goal of the season today and was the third star of the game for the Sabres. Another Buffalo-born Patrick who had an even better day was Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. He scored two against Vancouver giving him 16 for the season and assisted on his 39th. It was Chicago 4, Vancouver 1. Other Patricks powering up for the Hawks were Patrick Sharp with his 32nd goal of the season and Patrick Lalime in net. Besides Patrick Kane, there is one other Chicago player who should be in Buffalo. Not so much because of his skill like Kane, but his name is a perfect fit: Dustin Byfuglien (pronounced "Bufflin"). Check out this article on NHL.com called: A buffer Byfuglien is a better Byfuglien.

Other Patricks that have left a mark in the NHL include these former Sabres:
Pat LaFontaine (Hall of Famer)
James Patrick (currently an Assistant Coach for Buffalo)
Patrick Roy (another Hall of Famer)
Pat Quinn
Pat Price (Big Bry, that one is for you in Saskatoon!)
Lester Patrick
Patrik Elias
Patrick Marleau (born in Aneroid, Saskatchewan.
Bryan, Is that near Steroid, Saskatchewan?)
Patrick Rissmiller (a San Jose Shark - just like Marleau)
Patrick Eaves
Patrick O'Sullivan
Patrik Stefan
Patrick Thoresen
Glenn Patrick
Craig Patrick
Patrick Poulin
Patrick Leahy