I hate games like the one tonight. The Sabres didn't really play that terribly - some things were much improved actually - but they just couldn't pull it together. A few notes, some about the game, some about other things:
- Ryan Miller was not good tonight. I think Buffalo fans are sometimes too hard on him, but Boston's second goal was terrible and a shot that has to be stopped if we're going to win. It's just as well that we lost in overtime because I wasn't feeling very confident that Ryan was going to shut down anyone in a shoot-out tonight. Hopefully he looks better tomorrow night. Last season I always felt great about his chances on breakaways and in shoot-outs and I'm kind of missing that feeling, Ryan. It'd be nice to see him and the defense play well at the same time.
- Three cheers for Toni Lydman taking a puck off the face and then coming back in the game. That was the best save by anyone in a Buffalo jersey tonight and Toni had a great game overall. I thought he was an oddball choice as November's captain since he got off to such a slow start but it's that kind of play that Lindy probably had in mind when he chose Toni. Perhaps a subtle message that talking don't mean nothing if your play ain't backing it up? I'll take a bunch of quiet guys who play tough like that over a bunch of talkers any day of the week and I imagine Lindy would too.
- Speaking of Toni (Tony Tone), there's a great interview with him up on Sabres TV right now but once again the local media missed an obvious question: Toni, are you going to abuse your position and commandeer the dressing room CD player for the month? Or maybe force the teammates who aren't playing well to listen to your favorite thrash metal albums at full volume all night? Paul Hamilton, these are the things I want to know!
- Toni had this to say in the Buffalo News today: Me and Jochen are kind of the same when it comes to being vocal in the room,” Lydman said. “We’re quiet. It’s more Hank and Millsie doing the talking, and Spacho the yelling. First of all, it's nice to get confirmation that Hank is indeed one of the more vocal leaders on the team. Paul Hamilton seemed really surprised when he found out that Hank was one of the players who spoke in the closed meeting the team had last week and quite frankly, I was too. I'm shocked to learn that the media and fans might not know everything about the inner workings of the team. Shocked, I tell you! Second of all, another obvious follow-up question missed: Just how hilarious is a screaming Spacek? Amy brought this up over at Shots Off the Crossbar and it's so true. I can barely understand Spacek when he's carefully speaking during plain ol' interviews. Does anyone on the team really get what he's saying when he starts yelling because I'm imagining a lot of loud, fast, booming gibberish. Seriously, Toni, do you all just sit around and giggle while Spacho goes off? And what do I need to do to get him to yell at me?
- For the record, I really thought Tim Connolly should have gotten a letter this month. He showed up almost every night, he's playing at a point per game pace, his line has been the most consistent and the hardest working, and his power play unit is looking very strong even when it's not scoring. But one little note to Timmy: You can shoot the puck, you know. It's okay!
- Jason Pominville also put together a very good first month, in my opinion. I was really hard on him during the playoffs last year, but he's busted his butt almost every night so far and he's one of the few forwards who's played well at both ends of the ice. He gummed up a defensive play a bit tonight and I found myself completely startled. Evidently Mark shared my feelings because he said, "Wow, you don't see that from Jason very often" and while I'd never thought about it, you really don't. Some games he, Timmy, and Jochen were the only signs of life out there. Also, I think we can officially put the "Pominville is nothing without Briere" argument to rest, people. Does he need a strong center? I don't know, maybe. (And seriously, a winger needs a good center? Whoa, hit me with some more earth shattering knowledge!) Was Briere the only good center on the team? Evidently not.
- This schedule is a travesty. We play what feels like five games in three days and then have a week off. We play nine straight division games with three or four different teams. I usually enjoy the Montreal and Ottawa games but having six of them in one month is overkill. I understand that scheduling thirty teams is probably a complicated process but I'm pretty confident I could do a better job. Are everybody's schedules this screwy?
- I'm not a big fan of Independent Health calling their workers "Red Shirts." First of all, it's stupid. I wear a red shirt to the grocery store. I'd really like to think the person answering my health related questions is a little more educated than the average grocery store cashier. Second of all, doesn't anyone at the company watch Star Trek? I don't really like my health insurance conjuring up thoughts of pointless death.
- After contributing nothing for far too long, I recently posted something at HLog regarding my one hockey related superstition. Want to know what it is? Ha! You'll have to read it there.