Buffalo: Our Finest American City


OK, maybe not. But even after all my subtle (and not so subtle) pokes at this gray lakeside city, I have to give them this: They absolutely love hockey. And for those of us whose passion for the game are occasionally met with quizzical looks downstate, that’s actually reason to be envious.

To wit: while out again last night with our Buffalo correspondent, I heard one conversation after another that followed the same pattern.

“You go to the game last night?”

“Yeah, it was awesome.”

“You going tonight?”

“Yeah, should be a good one. By the way, let’s get another basket of wings.”

(OK, I made up that last part).

This is to say nothing of constant talk on radio and TV, and of course, at various watering holes. Last night, Sully and I sat at the bar at a charming spot called Toro while watching the end of the Devils-Senators game. Next to us was an attractive blonde waitress who cheered for the Devils as if her life depended on it.

“Oh, so you’re from New Jersey?” we asked.

“No,” she said. “I just don’t want to play Ottawa.”

And that’s the other part to consider. You get the sense here that people in Buffalo are already counting on the Sabres moving on. A headline in the Buffalo News referred — misleadingly in my eyes — to the “depressed” state of the Rangers.

One Rangers team official couldn’t resist. “The only people depressed are the people who live in this city,” he said.


Meanwhile, more importantly: Michal Rozsival is on the ice for the morning skate.

More later…

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  1. yah that whole rozsival thing is important wouldn’t you say?


  2. SaratogaRanger/Forechecker on

    30% of all households watched game 1 on VS on Wednesday night. The Bills don’t do that well. Game 7 of the ECF last year, 40% of all households watched the game.

  3. Sam – any thought to dressing 7 d. If Rozy is hurting even if he starts he might not be able to finish. Hollweg only played 5 minutes anyway.

  4. Depressed state of the Rangers? Are you kidding me?

    Hey Buffalo, we’ll talk to you on July 1st after you lose your top 2 centers in Briere and Drury. Then lets see who’s in a worse state, regardless of the outcome of this series.

  5. Agree, they should play 7 D. Pock on D, Rachunek 4th line wing. I like Pock on D better less rust and he played well down the stretch. Still not sure why Renney chose to sit him for Rachunek considering the circumstances.

    Renney needs to roll the first 3 lines equally tonight. Cally and Co need more ice time than they got on Wednesday. Hopefully the team can stay disciplined for 60 mins tonight.

  6. Please sit Rachunek.

    The guy is not in game shape, much less Playoff Shape.
    It would also be smart tonite for Renney to distribute ice team a bit more logically and fair.

    For starters Callahan and Prucha should be getting more than 10 minutes of ice; especially against a team that is faster than us. Not playing that line and overplaying guys like Shanahan leads to more goals against and more dumb penalties taken. (Shanny was a -4, even when he scored that game. He was on the ice for all 5 goals against-)

    Shanny should be used mostly on the power play for his one-timer. Prucha and Cally should definitely get PP time as well.

    I don’t know what Renney was thinking playing Avery on the 5 on 3 late in the game while sitting a rested more effective Callahan.

  7. Forgot to add this after reading NJMark’s post…anyone else want to see the Blueshirts sign Drury in the off season in place of Straka or Shanny? He’s a hometown guy (sort of) which could have pull, and would probably pair off well with Callahan.

    If I’m not mistaken Ozo’s contract is done and that will clear cap room for what will likely be a big contract requested by Drury, along with cutting out some other useless parts, and older vets.

  8. I agree with BlueClue. Sit Rachunek. The guy is not in game shape and even if he were, I say don’t let him back in unless we need him. Go with what has gotten here, and that’s certainly not Rachunek.

    Maybe sign Drury in the offseason, but only if:

    1. He doesn’t want ridiculous money.
    2. We can clear some room for him.
    3. It doesn’t stop a Callahan, a Dawes, or a Dubinsky type rookie from having an impact.

  9. Staalisthefuture on

    According to WFAN Rozy is out for the game tonight. Hopefully they have been mis-informed.

  10. Sam, as much as the papers not just in Buffalo but in the overall media were going on and on about Renney providing “Bulletin Board” material for the Sabres when he didn’t anoint them the cream of the crop …. will the cockiness of Buffalo fans and add Chico Resch, broadcaster for the Devils, who said last night during the Senators/Devils game “Whichever of these two teams advance to the Conference Finals will feel extremely confident that they can beat the Sabres” …. I am sorry but I didnt’ realize that we had already been eliminated and that the Sabres were already in the Conference Finals … Quick, someone tell the team that apparently it doesnt’ matter what they do … *rolls eyes*

  11. Chico said that?! What an a$$. I can’t stand listening to that guy’s voice, it’s no different than someone scraping a chalkboard.

    Not to mention he’s a complete moron who has an IQ equivalent to an M&M.

  12. TIRF (Typical Idiot Rangers Fan) on

    Matty, maybe Chico meant that either team would be extremely confident, kind of like our boys were before this series started.

    But let’s look at those teams. NJ – Brodeur is looking pretty old now, and it’s not just for a game. His poor play from the TB has not ended. It looks like he can’t bring it every night anymore. NJ is monkeyspank (technical term) if he can’t carry them on their shoulders. As for Ottawa, they are choker’s chokers, and loser’s losers. Regular season warriors. Nothing is changing for them until proven otherwise. They just don’t have the mojo. They match up decently with Buffalo on paper, but until it happens, don’t invest your paycheck. Buffalo is 3-0 in the playoffs against them, and each time, IIRC, they were the lower seed.

  13. TIRF (Typical Idiot Rangers Fan) on

    Apon further reflection, Buffalo was the higher seed the first time around. But they were the much lower seed both other times.

  14. “The only people depressed are the people who live in this city,�

    haha, funny because it is true!

  15. TIRF (Typical Idiot Rangers Fan) on

    Ever been to Buffalo, nich? I went to school there. It is utter bullshit.

  16. Renney just can’t leave well enough alone. Why bench Pock? Why play Hollyweg? Why play Racooneck he’s a terrible defenseman? Renney always reverts back to his losing ways he will double shift Jagrs line and keep Prucha line on the bench because its safe and it doesnt take any coaching skill to depend (and overuse) your best player.

  17. Look for Drury to be looking for about $6MM next year. Briere is currently making $5MM – early reads from the Buffalo front office have Drury getting signed, and Briere being let go. Briere is the currently the face of the Sabres – Drury is the heart. I guess the heart is more important – and in this case i agree.

    Rangers could try and get Briere – but word on the street is Briere is number one on the Flyers list (with money to spend).

  18. Buffalo Bandwagon Fan on

    Is this the ‘Crap on Buffalo’ blog? You can’t think of any reason our team sucks so you have to find something to make you feel better? My city is small, you got me. It also has a fraction of the problems you have. There were not any stories about a Latin King getting shot in the face in our paper, and we prefer our rats varment size, not the horses I have stepped over in the Big Dirty Apple.

  19. Buffalo Bandwagon Fan:

    Moodiness is a sign of depression. Take it easy. People are only poking fun just as much Buffalo fans make fun of NYC (like you did).

    And don’t see Ranger fans started it because it’s gone both ways pretty evenly around the Interweb.

  20. *TIRF (Typical Idiot Rangers Fan)* No,Chico specifically said “Whichever of these two teams advance to the Conference Finals will feel extremely confident that they can beat the Sabresâ€? … He didn’t say “If the Sabres are in there” or “If the Sabres defeat the Rangers” or anything like that … he is assuming that the Sabres will be in the Conference Finals and that in order for either the Senators or the Devils to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals that they will have to go through the Sabres …

    I take a big issue with that, but I am glad that the team is pissed about being dismissed … I would like nothing better than to see how the Sabres fans react if they lose tonight … they will probably still feel very confident but the Rangers are not the Islanders and you can’t compare going to the Garden for games 3 and 4 to the Sabres going to the Mauselum for games 3 and 4 of their series there

  21. Regarding the misleading headline bit, these are Renney’s words:

    “There was big disappointment in our room this morning before our meeting,â€? Rangers coach Tom Renney said. “You could really sense the disappointment there. Again, with all due respect to Buffalo, I just think that our guys felt we really needed to be better, and we weren’t. We, as much as anything, cost ourselves the hockey game. I think there was major disappointment to that end.”

    Regarding the subtle and not so subtle jabs at the city of Buffalo, please promise we’ll get to see the “at least we don’t have to live in Buffalo” comments if/when the Rangers get eliminated.

  22. It’s amazing to me that just because your New York Rangers aren’t the talk of of the NHL, lost a play-off game (now 2 games) and all you can come up with is to make fun of the city of Buffalo. It’s pretty sad when you just can’t take your losses like a man and not look at bad mouthing a city especially when New York is not as pretty a place as you all would like to think. I’ve been there and it’s a nice place to visit but wouldn’t want to live there. As far as Drury and Briere, I guess you haven’t noticed but they aren’t the only guys who can score on this team. We have guys in Rochester who can play in the NHL but there is no room for them. They showed that while we had 7 injured players. If either one of them leave, the money they make which is $8 million between them will just buy someeone else.

  23. of course they’re gonna be excited about the sabres. what else is there to do in buffalo? it’s not football season and the bills suck, anyway. it’s a dull, boring city that has horrible weather and a huge inferiority complex. at least now they’re not buried under 10 feet of snow.

  24. April Buffalo Precip. 2.75 inches
    April NYC precip 13.49 inches

    And our weather is worse than yours?!?!? NOT!

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