Hey, guess what? The Sabres are on and I'm not watching or listening to the game. A friend of mine dropped by for a visit - human companionship during the day! - and for some reason I had it in my head that the Sabres game started at 5 so it was already under way when she left. I turned the TV on, saw 3 straight Phoenix goals, two of them on Hank and Toni, two of the Sabres I couldn't work up TOO much hate for in my "I Hate" post so I thought I'd better turn the TV off before it was too late.
Even in light of today's ugly loss however, I am going to be positive! That's right! I took a couple of days, got all the hate out of my system, and I'm ready to move on. To combat all the (much deserved) negativity floating around here, I'm going to write about the one player on the team who I actually still feel pretty good about.
SOME REASONS WHY I, HEATHER B, STILL MOSTLY LOVE JOCHEN "Yo-Yo" HECHT
- He quietly re-signed with the Sabres toward the beginning of the season. Not a word from him about it until it was a done deal.
- Despite signing a long-term deal, he's still continued to play really well. Whether purposely or subconsciously, there's something to the idea of players working extra hard in a contract year and then letting up a little once they're locked up. Too many players have had career years in contract years for the idea to be totally dismissed. I think you could almost argue that Jochen has played better since signing which is awesome.
- He's one of the few Sabres who seems to understand the idea of working hard for 60 minutes. Jochen obviously isn't as skilled as some of his teammates but he rarely, rarely coasts.
- He's the only Sabres who's on track to have a career season. Now I'll grant you that Jochen doesn't have the career numbers that some of the others have to match, but still... goal-scoring is not really Jochen's game and he's doing more than his share. Bonus points for his understanding of how important it is to sometimes just throw the puck on the net instead of trying to be all pretty about it.
- He's done very little excuse making. I remember the occasional, "We're not getting the bounces," but for the most part Jochen's line has been, "We have to be better." Which is pretty true, you know?
- He has a swoon-worthy backhand.
God bless you, Jochen Hecht. Even if the remainder of this season completely bites, I'll be really happy to see you get to twenty goals. At this point, I'm totally willing to grab on to the little things.