Not a ton to say about tonight's game. While the Sabres went into a lull after jumping out to a lead, the overall effort was much better than most of the California trip. Still, I'm at the point now where I have to see that a few games in a row before getting too excited and things were still a little sloppy. Some hit and run observations before I go to bed:
- One of the funniest things I've ever heard at the arena took place after Toni Lydman scored his goal.
P.A. Announcer: Scoring Buffalo's SECOND goal of the night, his FIRST of the season, NUMBER... ... ... (silence)
P.A. ANNOUNCER: ... NUMBER FIIIIIIVE! TONI LYYYYYDMAAAAAN
- On the way home we listened to a few minutes of the post-game show on WGR and caught a classic Toni Lydman interview. "Yeah, I just closed my eyes and shot the puck. I really just wanted to keep my goal scoring streak alive, one per season and now I've taken care of that." And he, of course, said it in that laid-back, deadpan way he has of talking. I love it when he and Henrik Tallinder score because they always seem just a touch tickled with themselves.
- Tonight was one of those nights where extending Brian Campbell makes me a little nervous. He couldn't stay on his feet, he couldn't hold onto the puck, and I think he hit the net once. He wasn't glaringly bad, but he sure wasn't five million plus a year good.
- With rumors that Tallinder and Dmitri Kalinin will be back in the line-up this weekend, there's a lot of discussion going on about who should sit. I vote Nathan Paetsch and Andrej Sekera. While Paetsch has been better lately, I haven't been impressed with him overall. I think Sekera is doing pretty well playing with Toni against the top lines but he's not ready to replace Hank or Dmitri. Nolan Pratt has totally earned his spot. He'll throw his body around, he's very good at clearing pucks from the crease and most importantly, he takes care of his goaltender. I think he and Tri could make a very good pairing.
- I thought the Islanders were crazy for making such a huge commitment to Rick DiPietro but he's maturing into a very good goalie. I don't know how good he'll be 10 years from now when he's still under contract, but for now he's very solid. Speaking of Rick DiPietro...
- It drives me batty that any time we play a team with a good puck-handling goalie, Ryan Miller decides, "Hey, I can do that too!" Ryan... No, you can't. DiPietro is an excellent puck-handling goalie. You are not. You're just not! Ignore that trapezoid behind the net because it does not apply to you. You have your own personal trapezoid. You're more than welcome to play the puck anywhere in it.
- Kudos to the girls with the "Jochen Is Smokin'" and "Mair-y Me, Adam" signs. First of all, they're both pretty cute. Second of all, it's nice to see some love being spread to some non-Pominville/Roy/Miller guys. Seriously, Jochen is - puckbunny alert! - totally smokin' for sure and Mairsy reminds me of my high school crush.
- And hey, I think this could be the year Jochen finally gets twenty goals. I didn't realize he was at ten already!