Off Topic: Thoughts on the New Ghostbusters Flick

Never in my life can I think of the lead up to a movie being so divisive than the lead up to this year’s Ghostbusters release. Even before the trailer release fiasco there were scores of complaints over the movie’s choice to reboot with a female cast which ultimately took a great deal of focus away from the movie itself.

I saw the movie this past weekend and it really wasn’t enjoyable. There were some nice pieces to it but in the end a vast majority of the jokes fell flat and the story itself was a tangled mess that didn’t carry any sort of real connection from the beginning to the end.

Perhaps the biggest challenge Paul Feig faced was simply taking on the task of rebooting Ghostbusters in the first place. It’s a property anchored by a movie that’s truly a cultural icon – it’s on AFI’s Top 100 comedies and was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. So Feig was going to be fighting an uphill battle with those who were, by default simply going to compare it to the original.

I thought of it almost like if someone wanted to reboot The Godfather by keeping the title, poster art and mob ties but altering the story otherwise. It would be incredibly difficult to evaluate the new property on its own when the specter of the original hung in your mind.

I really did my best to look at it from the scope of a separate movie than that of a story which connects directly to the first two. To Feig’s credit the story itself does a fair bit to distance itself from the originals. Some pieces simply force a comparison (Ecto-1, for example) while plenty of the script keeps this story original, which was key. However, the overall execution that was lacking, in my opinion. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 5.7 – Breaking Down Okposo and the Sabres Remaining Offseason Moves

We’re back to break down the Buffalo Sabres’ signing of Kyle Okposo, acquiring Anders Nilsson and the trio of AHL deals made by Tim Murray. We also take a look at the next steps Murray will be taking as the summer progresses. You can find The Instigator Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher by following the links.

Which Defensemen Should Tim Murray Target This Offseason

By John Barrett

It’s a very interesting time to be a Buffalo Sabres fan. With the NHL Draft in spitting distance, and perhaps the most interesting free agency period in two decades, the Sabres have positioned themselves well for both regards eleven picks and loads of cap space.

The biggest hole on the Sabres roster is, as Tim Murray puts it “a power play quarterback,” defenseman that can be paired with budding star Rasmus Ristolainen and be a big-time point producer with the man advantage. There have been a few defensemen around the NHL whose names have been linked to the Sabres, via restricted free agency, unrestricted free agency and cap motivated trades.

I examined the stats of a handful of these potential targets, that focus on two major areas; puck possession and power play production. I focused on these two areas because they were two key focus points that came right from the horses mouth when Murray discussed his blueline. I plotted the two year averages for players on a matrix of 5v5 Corsi For % Relative to the team and points per 60 minutes on the power play.targets Continue reading

Stamkos and the Sabres; Is it a fit?

Steven Stamkos and his pending free agency have been in the news since last July, when he was first eligible to sign an extension with the Lightning. Despite Steve Yzerman’s decision to hang on to their talisman at the deadline in favor of a playoff run it seems that the days of Stamkos in Tampa Bay are coming to an end.

It had always been widely believed that Stamkos would head closer to home and join the Toronto Maple Leafs, but recently that opinion has started to change a bit. Bob McKenzie, Nick Kypreos, and Darren Dreger have all discussed possible destinations for the Tampa Bay captain, and all three have Buffalo in assorted positions on the list of potential suitors. As recently as this week the Sabres were given the highest odds outside of Tampa Bay to sign the former 60 goal man. Stamkos to Buffalo talk dominated local sports talk both through main stream media and the Twitterverse for a solid period of time, and it is sure to heat up again as we inch closer to the draft and July 1. While measuring the likelihood of a player to sign with odds may be strange, I don’t think that Stamkos to Buffalo is a slam dunk. There are a number of pros and cons to consider as it pertains to the Sabres and this summer’s biggest free agent fish. Continue reading

Roadtrip Recap: Columbus and Nationwide Arena

When I penciled in a trip to Columbus to catch the Sabres-Blue Jackets game I had no idea the implications that night would hold.

At the time I decided to add Nationwide Arena as my next NHL road trip, the Sabres were wallowing through a franchise-record losing streak and April 10 looked like a great chance to see the Sabres in a new building in a cool arena district when the weather was nice. I figured any concerns about 30th place would have been locked up and the game would be easy to enjoy.

Obviously that wasn’t the case, as the Sabres put up a strong fight but ultimately succumbed to the Jackets in regulation, locking up a top two pick for June’s draft. That didn’t make Friday’s game less enjoyable, however. While the final period was nerve racking, I loved the arena district, arena and the atmosphere inside Nationwide Arena.

Our trip to Columbus was enjoyable. I took a road trip to Nashville last spring and took in the sights of the city along with a Predators game. I was very impressed by Bridgestone Arena, Preds fans and the overall atmosphere of the building. Nashville, as a city, is loads of fun and I can’t wait to return. Nationwide landed on my list for this season thanks to its proximity and the potential for a warm-weather game in a different locale than Buffalo. It certainly didn’t disappoint. Continue reading