I've been thinking about Derek Roy a lot the past few days.
As most of you are aware of, I'm not a particularly huge fan of the 5'9" center straight out of Ottawa, Ontario. I nitpick everything he does on the ice and don't give him enough credit, which most people don't seem to be doing anymore. Roy was on a career pace last season in every category across the board before he went down with his injury. It was also Roy who came back for Game 7 of the Flyers/Sabres series last year - not at 100% - because he wanted to try and help his teammates. I was actually extremely excited when he came back and was hoping maybe he could get a point or anything to help the team but to no avail. This year, he is the center of discussion when trade is brought up and hasn't played up to par this year.
Why am I thinking about this so much?
My brother Corey and I had a discussion with Nick Mendola on Saturday evening about the Sabres (mainly general thoughts) and Roy came up. Nick mentioned several of the points I made note of above, and that's when my brain really began churning. Perhaps I tried too hard to look for flaws in his gameplay because I don't respect the type of person he is. My big issue with athletes is that I judge them first on personality, and secondly on hockey skills. I got lucky with my favorite player being kind of good at hockey and from multiple things I've read, he has a good heart too. If you peruse through Roy's Twitter, he kind of comes off as a douchebag for the lack of a better term. I've heard several stories from female friends about how he acts towards women in public. He is clearly a womanizer. We've all seen the drunk photos that are plastered all over Google. I just have no respect for the type of person he comes off as and that's probably why I've disregarded how well he can play for so long.
This season isn't going well for a lot of guys who aren't named Thomas Vanek or Jason Pominville. Roy is third on the team in points with 25 in 49 games. 9 of those points are goals. Last year, he had 10 in 35 games before his season ended shortly. Actually, he was on a point-per-game pace last season. How much of the Sabres disastrous season's blame can you place on him? Not all of it - or at least, he doesn't deserve all of it. As a whole, the team really fell apart after the Lucic hit on Miller which has been discussed a million times by vast amounts of media outlets and even just blogs. Roy is one of the top guns who we should be looking at to score the big goals but he hasn't been doing it. Drew Stafford hasn't been doing much of it either. Before Vanek's injury, he had one goal in ten games. Pominville has been particularly the steadiest out of every player on the team but he's also played every game. We shouldn't be going around pointing fingers because I think everyone on the team has a part to play in this season going down the drain. It's not over yet, though. I have a good feeling that the core players are really going to step into their roles in this post-All Star break if their recent play has anything to show for it. Last night's game, while they lost, was a sign of hope that maybe they believe this season isn't over yet. We have to believe that, too.
So Derek, I'm sorry about being so hard on you these past few years. Go out there and help give this team something to believe in again.
Last night, my eldest brother Jason and his wife Kathryn gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last night by the name of Morgan Theresa Margeret Griswold.
It's weird, seeing myself as an aunt now. I've been planning out for a few weeks now how I would react with a little niece (and soon to be nephew when my other sister-in-law has her first child along with Corey). I want to be that aunt that gets my little nieces and nephews into sports right from the start, buy them plenty of gifts that are the norm for children (Morgan already has a little Sabres jersey ready for her when she fits in it).
In fact, Corey asked me yesterday as we were watching her squirm around during testing 'so what jersey is she getting?' I had it planned out from the start after finding out we would have two babies in this family that one would receive a Myers jersey and the other a Gerbe jersey. Morgan popped out at nine pounds and four ounces so if the little guy is born smaller than that, then she gets the Myers jersey. Of course, she was born on the 26th of January so there may be a Vanek jersey in her future if he's still around when she's old enough...
I truly think sports has taken sort of a step back now so I can fulfill my duties as 'Weird Aunt Shelby' as I have been dubbed. It's even my new Twitter handle. A child can really change how you look at things even if it's not your own but a part of the family now. I'm excited to enter this new stage in my life.
Oh, and go Sabres.
Yeah, it's been awhile for me.
I don't know what brought me back to my personal blog to write about the Sabres, but I feel like I know how to write about them best here when it comes to raw heart and emotion. Maybe that's it. I haven't written anything here in almost a year because of the other two blogs I write for but I've truly been thinking that I should try maintaining where I came from a little more. I used to post so much when I first got on the blogging scene. I've dwindled a lot recently possibly because of school and work taking up much of my time. I feel like with the recent happenings in Sabreland, I couldn't avoid my own blog anymore. I just have way too many emotions about this team where I don't want to clog up other websites with my ramblings or unconditional love for this team. I swear to God I just torture myself watching them play but I can't look away. I can't stop watching.
No, not even this Time Warner fiasco is keeping me from trying to find all the feeds possible to watch the Sabres. Considering their piss poor efforts in recent games, I don't see why I give them the time of day anymore. Watching this team had become a huge part of my life and I'll always be connected to the team in some way or form. Even if it kills me. At this rate, it probably could. Thanks, Sabres.
But really, what the hell is wrong with this team? We're all asking the same questions over and over again. Not even the players can answer what is going on. The fact is that we might never know what is going on in there until something changes. As fans, we have no idea what goes on in that locker room behind closed doors and we can speculate all we want to, to no avail. We've speculated that Derek Roy is really a cancer on this team but we don't know how the other players feel about him. Hell, Thomas Vanek could be the cancer and we don't know it. God forbid he is because that will ruin my picture perfect of image of him but you get what I'm saying. None of the bloggers, none of the media, none of the outsiders that aren't involved with the team can possibly know what is going on.
Ryan Miller says that a trade won't change this team because it'll be mostly the same group of guys. Does he feel this way because he's been with the same four or five guys his entire career or he truly believes that one person does not change a team? I feel like for most of the season the team has been led by three different guys all at different points, and that's probably not a good thing. Jason Pominville is leading this team on the ice but what effect does he have in the locker room? Can Vanek psychologically lock it down and get back into his torrid point-per-game pace from the first half of the season? If Stafford or Roy are in trade talks, what kind of value can we get back and can THEY make a difference? It's a bunch of questions that make my head hurt and make me wonder if this team can get in the right direction at all this year.
I refuse to give up on the Sabres, though. A friend of mine started a small but effective movement with the hashtag #BuffaloStillBelieves on Twitter and I believe Jhonas Enroth and Marc-Andre Gragnani have at least noticed it. Compared to the Tweets they probably receive, I'm sure they appreciate the support even with the recent losing streaks popping up all over the place. I'm going to keep using it even until the end of the season because I refuse to give up now.