Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Think There Was a Game Tonight?

I slept through parts of the Tampa Bay game - I went through a week or so where I hardly slept at all and have now entered a period where I can hardly stay awake - so please take all game-related thoughts with a grain of salt.

- It's hard to say how well we played because Tampa Bay is a bad team. Still, it's nice that we pretty handily beat a bad team instead of floundering against them and it's nice that we made a bad goalie look like a bad goalie instead of a future Hall-of-Famer.

- Is there any way we can trade the whole team to the Southeast division at the trade deadline? Wow, they are not good. I think it's a little unfair that any of them get to be in the playoffs at this point.

- It's goals like the first goal that make me miss Jim Lorentz. If he'd been doing the game he would've rolled back the video tape and made it a point to applaud Jochen Hecht for keeping possession of the puck long enough to get the pass off to Jason Pominville even while being sandwiched between two opposing players. (Lightnings?) No one pointed that out tonight. Of course, I was watching the Versus feed so I'm probably lucky they were looking at the ice at all and not giving me an update on Sidney Crosby's injury status instead.

- I do like to watch the occasional game on Versus just because I like to hear what people who aren't watching every Sabres game think about the team. Obviously I think we see some things that people who are only watching the scoreboard miss, but I think we're also sometimes too close to the team and get mired in all of the off-ice stuff, some of which affects the team but some of which is just noise. I would agree with Versus' assessment that our defense has been inconsistent and I would definitely agree with Keith Jones's observation that a lot of the defensive lapses have really been due to forwards not getting back and doing their part. But I think the offensive stats he cited are deceiving. I was originally stunned that we have the 6th rated offense in the league - geez, goals really are down - but after I thought about it I decided that stat is seriously knocked out of whack by the handful of games we have where the team just went crazy: 6 goals here, 8 goals there, 10 goals here. If I'm doing my addition right - a questionable thing at any time of day much less this late - the Sabres have scored 2 goals or less in 23 games and what do you know, almost all of them were losses. Most nights in the NHL, you aren't going to win with only 2 goals unless the rest of your game is absolutely stellar which, as we've established, the Sabres' game has not been.

- Tonight was good though. Four goals, good goaltending, and no glaring mistakes... That'll win you some games.

- Tim Conolly has bone spurs, huh? At this point I'm not going to be the least bit surprised when his head just pops off his body and rolls into traffic. Pretty mean of God to put that much talent in a body that's so freakin' fragile.

This came up in the comment thread a few days ago so I just want to make it very clear that I have no problem with anyone out there disagreeing with my opinions and I certainly have no problem with people letting me know that. I think the interaction and back-and-forth is one of the most fun parts of blogging. I like that despite my established Tallinder blinders, brian s. came right out and said, "Hey, you know what, I think Hank is overrated," and I appreciate that he felt comfortable saying that despite knowing that I'm never, ever going to publicly agree. All I ask is that you disagree without personally insulting the person you're disagreeing with and if you're up for it, tell me why you're disagreeing, not because you have to defend yourself but because I just really like knowing how other fans are feeling and thinking and why they're thinking and feeling that way. And just fyi, in my world, "I just hate that guy" is a perfectly good argument :-) I haven't really had any problems with any of this - so far all my commenters have been great - but I wanted to put this out there for the record.

In closing, check this out. It made me laugh.


Meg said...

Is there any way we can trade the whole team to the Southeast division at the trade deadline? Wow, they are not good. I think it's a little unfair that any of them get to be in the playoffs at this point.

Right now Carolina has the most points in the Southeast and if it weren't for the whole division-leaders-on-top thing they would be in 9th place. Even that's deceiving because they've played more games than any other team in the conference. The team with the best winning % is Washington at .510--which is also good for only 9th in the conference. And this is despite the fact that they get each get 32 games against the equally weak Southeastern teams. So unless that situation changes, I'd say it's definitely unfair that a team from the division will be in the playoffs.

And hey, intelligent disagreement is good for the brain. Although Tallinder's really not overrated and I could put together a solid, statbitty as all get out argument for that. ;)

Heather B. said...

Meg, thanks for all the Southeast stats. I love when you bust out that kind of stuff. I guess the fact that they all play each other so much and still can't really get ahead is what surprises me the most. They stink!

Although Tallinder's really not overrated and I could put together a solid, statbitty as all get out argument for that. ;)

Don't tell the others, Meg, but you're my favorite ;-)

Amanda said...

Tallinder is not overrated, but I do wish he'd use his rather "Lanky Hanky" body more. It would seem to me, though I am not a hockey player, that playing defense is easier when you can physically overwhelm your opponents.

Hank is very good at basically sitting on smaller opponents until Toni "I'm a serial killer, don't mess with me" Lydman clears the puck, but hitting looks fun! Try it, Hank!

I think it's about time Hank went apeshit on someone. It's good for the ole' rep around the league when people aren't sure if you're sane.

The Southeast sucks. I can't believe that two Cup winners have come from that lousy division in the past 10 years or so.

Funny comment: Don Lever, coach of the AHL All-Star team (don't remember which side), when asked how much coaching he did before the game "None. We gave out some raw meat on the locker room."

I have often thought that raw meat was what made Max go - now I have confirmation that this is a time-tested method of coaching.

Sam said...

Yeah I know the SE sucks, and TB in particular, but that was a pretty solid effort, start to finish last night by the boys. It was very good to see, especially after the few days off. And tonight was good too. A tight game they manged NOT to give away in the last seconds! Amazing.


and I'll stop profusely disclaimering, I just wasn't sure when I first started posting because I have been the victim of a flame or 2 and it's not fun. ;) Plus.. ya never really can tell with just words on a page. But yay!

And just for the record, I hate Joe Thornton. Just cuz. No reason, but he BUGS the heck out of me. Except for his VS commercial with the toast, that's kinda funny. ;)