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.