Monday, April 20, 2009

Thoughts from the Most Vocal Blogger in the Room

by Anne

In reference to the title, I talk a damn lot.

John Vogl wrote an article that ran in the Buffalo News today about the oppressively quiet Buffalo Sabres locker room these past two seasons.

This is a problem, but not a problem we should be shocked to discover.

Remember our never-ending turnstile of captains? How many of them DIDN'T describe themselves as being "not the most vocal guy in the room?" Let me answer that, I'm pretty sure none of them. Perhaps this is one of those new roles that needs to be filled.

Craig Rivet came in and tried to liven things up, but he was stepping into a culture of silence that already existed, how is one person going to change everything? For years we had Marty Biron keeping the conversation going in the dressing room and now? Crickets.

I am not a Buffalo Sabre so I clearly can't say for sure that this is the case, having never been in the locker room when the Sabres were getting ready for a game.

However, you'd think that this "core" group of players we've been hearing so much about, these guys who claim to be such good friends, would be a little more talkative with each other and be able to joke around with each other. Do they normally just sit around and stare at each other when they hang out? I certainly hope not.

From the tone of the article, Vogl seems to be implying that the Sabres need that guy again, the guy to rally the troops, and it has to come from the players, this doesn't seem to be a coaching situation. And Lindy apparently didn't do so well at picking "lead-by-on-ice-play" guys as his captains last year.

I'm not going to rundown a list of players like that because, once again, its not the kind of thing that we as outsiders can really speak on with authority. We don't know what it takes to get yourself ready to play in the NHL, we can speculate but we just don't know. However, the people that DO know are the ones that need to address the situation, ie, coaching, management and players.

These are the kind of intangibles that make good hockey teams. What worked before? What works for other teams? Its not like this is a total crap shoot and you either get personality or you don't and can't forsee it.

What we saw this year was an emotionless team that was devoid of personality and chemistry. The team doesn't have fun. I think it was Cari who mentioned it before that the team doesn't seem to want the players to have personalities. Yes we got a handful of player interviews but we didn't get much else, and even those interviews were pretty dull. Not that player features make a team good, but giving the players a chance to let loose a little doesn't seem to have hurt the Sharks, Caps, Ducks, Blackhawks, Canucks or Bruins, just to name the teams in the playoffs that seem to have some kind of personality based on the kind of content you can find on their website.

Its a catch-22 for sure, its hard to keep it light when you're losing, and its hard to be a confident, swaggery team if you're not enjoying it.

This is the team that Darcy built, Vogl referenced the players dissatisfaction at the tone in the room. Who's the locker room cancer? Is there more than one? Will Darcy listen to these issues and move out the players who drag things down in favor of those who might bring things up? We have to wait until at least July 1 to find out.


  1. Cari is right about the team not wanting the players to have some sort of personality, it seems. I watch these other things on team websites where a player's personality really shines through...I mean, the other week I watched the Penguins correspondent go to Evgeni Malkin's house to make some Russian dishes. It would be a miracle if we saw something like that on the Sabres Show.

    The Sabres might have been ahead in other areas two years ago, but they better get ahead in showing the fans that they have pretty damn good personalities.

  2. We should have a sit in... LOL... we want fun Sabre stuff... or maybe the Sabres don't want to expose themselves like that?


Glossary... Sort of

  • "Ryan Miller" Shutout - A 58 minute multi-goal shutout lead that is blown by Miller allowing one meaningless goal
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  • Craigory - Craig Rivet
  • Full Monty - Steve Montador
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  • Little Foot - Drew Stafford
  • MK - Anne's sister; often leaves nonsensical comments under her Twitter name Mmmkizzle
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  • Oscar - Anne's cat and STH's unofficial mascot
  • Parsley - Jimmy Bonneau
  • Sir Christopher - Chris Butler
  • Sissy - Jaroslav Spacek
  • Telly Monster - Mikael Tellqvist

Because It's Never not Funny

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