Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oh, to be in Buffalo, now that New Years' Day is here

I imagine hockey fans of all stripes (or, given the new RbK Edge uniforms, "piping") will be saying this come January 1, 2008, as the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins face off in an outdoor affair at Ralph Wilson Stadium -- the game now being official. What are some of the joys of outdoor hockey on New Years' Day on the shores of Lake Erie?

-- shoveling out your seat

-- your backside spot welded to the frost on the seat when you do sit down

-- 75,000 clouds of breath in rhythm

-- instead of applause that goes, "clap-clap-clap," you get the "thud-thud-thud" of mittens

-- beersicles

-- players wearing lampblack under their eyes (Ryan Miller did it when he participated in the outdoor game between Michigan and Michigan State in East Lansing in October 2001)

-- probability of precipitation ... 100% (hey, it's Buffalo in January...even if the sun's out, it snows)

-- sticks shattering like crystal

-- Marc-Andre Fleury in a toque

-- Lindy Ruff whining about something (ok, he does that indoors, too)

-- Michel Therrien wearing only his suit (he's a tough guy)

And The Peerless guarantees, the weather will not look like this:

No surprises

Tarik El-Bashir notes in the Capitals Insider that the Caps have made some cuts...

Nineteen players were assigned to Hershey, where the Bears' training camp opens on Thursday.

Here's the list: Dean Arsene, Scott Barney, Jay Beagle, Sean Collins, Andrew Gordon, Marty Guerin, Jamie Hunt, Andrew Joudrey, Quintin Laing, Sami Lepisto, Tommy Maxwell, Chris McAllister, Grant McNeill, Patrick McNeill, Jason Morgan, Travis Morin, Steve Pinizzotto, Grant Potulny, Steve Werner. The Caps also released Dan Kronick.

He's right -- there aren't any surprises there. Which leaves, by my reckoning...


Alex Ovechkin
Alexander Semin
Viktor Kozlov
Michael Nylander
Chris Clark
Brian Sutherby
Matt Pettinger
Boyd Gordon
Matt Bradley
Ben Clymer
Chris Bourque
Tomas Fleischmann
Jakub Klepis
Joe Motzko
Dave Steckel
Kyle Wilson
Nicklas Backstrom
Eric Fehr
Donald Brashear
Brooks Laich


Shaone Morrisonn
Tom Poti
Milan Jurcina
Steve Eminger
Mike Green
Jeff Schultz
John Erskine
Brian Pothier
Josef Boumedienne
Sasha Pokulok
Jame Pollock
Tyler Sloan


Olaf Kolzig
Brent Johnson
Frederic Cassivi
Daren Machesney
Michal Neuvirth

It's early, and we might not be entirely accurate here...corrections are welcome.

If you look at that list, it seems pretty to get down to 13 forwards and 6 defensemen, plus the goalies. But getting there leaves the matter of where Tomas Fleischmann and Jakub Klepis go (they're not in my 13 forwards; Ben Clymer -- who is the subject of Tarik's feature this morning in the Post, is in that group), and where Mike Green and Jeff Schultz end up (they're not in my six defensemen). That might end up being the longest running drama of camp.

Interesting that there are fewer players here this morning, but it feels more crowded.