The Sabres are seriously driving me crazy right now. Listen, I'm glad they finally woke up and beat San Jose and I'm glad it was a fairly convincing win. It was nice to see Max and Derek and Al and Vanek on the score sheet. It was nice to see Ryan playing a very solid game (I'm agreeing with Gambler and giving you a moral shutout, Ryan since San Jose's goal was totally ridiculous). But this back and forth thing is giving me a headache. The team works pretty hard for six games and they win them all. They slack off against St. Louis and lose. They put in a better effort against Carolina and they win. Now... I'm seeing a pattern here. You're probably seeing a pattern here. The Sabres? Not so much. They decide the second period of the Anaheim game is optional and that's enough for the Ducks. And then they decide the entire L.A. game is optional and they get embarrassed. And finally they decide hey, maybe we should, you know, try and what happens? They win! Guys, do you need some mood stabilizers? Because this up and down, back and forth isn't healthy for any of us.
I think the Sabres have established that they have enough talent to compete with many - if not all - of the teams in the league on most nights. But they have to be playing hard, forechecking, fighting for the puck, and they're still not doing that on a consistent basis. I thought maybe they'd finally broken through during the six game winning streak but the L.A. game was so bad - and I didn't even watch half of it. Maybe it was just a blip. We'll see, I guess.
- The games under Brian Campbell's captaincy have been from one extreme to the other. An 8-1 victory, a 4-1 loss, an 8-2 loss, and a 7-1 victory. We're either all in or barely there which is very reminiscent (to me and Meg who actually pointed it out to me) of Brian's play. That's... a little disturbing.
- Just give Goose a letter already. Seriously, Lindy. I could understand some reluctance when Goose wasn't getting much ice-time but it seems like he's always out there now. And speaking of Goose...
- ... Tell me again why Andrew Peters is on the team? I'm assuming he was in last night in case the game was physical but even with that he barely touched the ice. Goose did all the fighting and defending that Andrew is allegedly there for and he can actually play hockey. Seriously, this is beyond funny now. The only thing I noticed Andrew doing last night was holding the door open so his teammates could get on and off the ice. We're sitting Danny Paille for that?
- I don't like Harry Neale. He says one thing a night that totally cracks me up but is otherwise totally useless. At this point in the season he should really be able to differentiate between Vanek, Pominville, and Gaustad. They don't look alike, they don't play alike. Harry, let me help you out. If you're looking at a large man throwing his body at other large men, it's probably not Jason Pominville. If you're watching a fairly small man carry the puck up the ice and through two defenders, it's probably not Paul Gaustad. And Harry is even worse on the radio. It doesn't translate at all. I miss Jim Lorentz breaking down plays and showing me how goals developed. I miss Jim chiding the team when they play badly and I miss him occasionally taking a moment to genuinely "oooooh!" over a great play. Jim, what do you want to come back? Because whatever it is, I'll give it to you.
- I'm glad Jaroslav Spacek wasn't seriously hurt and yes, someone probably should have stepped in and helped him out, but Joe Thornton's flip-out was hilarious. Man! I was totally giggling. That was an inappropriate response, wasn't it? Sorry, Jaro! Also funny? The second intermission interview with Tim Connolly that took place right after he stepped off the ice. He was totally gasping by the time he got to the end of each sentence. Hee!
- I can't believe that we got an interview with Mother Goose (also funny!) but we didn't get an interview with the Millers during the Anaheim game. That seems like a no-brainer to me. According to IPB, the Millers were interviewed on the Anaheim broadcast and asked who they'd cheer for in a Drew vs. Ryan shoot-out. Mr. Miller waffled and said he'd be happy and sad with either outcome but Mrs. Miller unhesitatingly said she'd cheer for a goal. No wonder Ryan has struggled with his mental fragility over the years. He grew up with a woman who loves goals!
- I've heard an awful lot of fans saying they don't know if there's room for Dmitri Kalinin once he's healthy. Now I know I like Tri and I have a weird affection for him, but am I really the only person who would much rather see him playing than Nathan Paetsch? Really?