I know game diaries are a long slog and they're not everyone's cup o' tea so let me sum up my feelings about last night's game:
- This team is exasperating. They seem to know they need to play for sixty minutes - they keep saying it over and over - but they also seem to be incapable of actually doing it. Why? What's so difficult about this? It's sixty minutes. I know hockey is a tough grind but it's sixty minutes! If you break it down individually it's more like twenty minutes per night! As a fan, it's extremely frustrating to listen to players say all the right things (we need to work harder, we need to earn every point etc.) and then play like they don't really believe what they're saying.
- I covet Anton Volchenkov. I want him and I want him badly. I'm not as hard on our defense as some people are but man, watching Ottawa's defense last night was pretty mind-boggling. They do such a great job of clearing pucks and bodies out from the front of the net. Ryan Miller wasn't playing in "I'm going to steal this game" mode last night but he wasn't bad. It'd be nice if a Sabre player would pick up the occasional rebound or move the opposition out of the crease. The Sens made a shaky goalie look okay in the end. The Sabres made a good goalie look bad.
-The Sabres desperately need someone to kick ass in the dressing room. I'm not going to say the seeming lack of leadership is all because of the loss of Danny Briere and Chris Drury because if you'll recall the team played like this for huge stretches of last season, including the playoffs, but those losses do mean they don't have the talent to pull wins out of their asses in the last five minutes anymore. I love Jochen Hecht's quiet, lead by example attitude and I know Jaroslav Spacek is supposedly quite the screamer, but it's time for one of the young guys - Derek Roy, Brian Campbell, Paul Gaustad - to raise some hell. I think Ryan has grown into a good leader but one of the skaters needs to step up.
- One plus is that Thomas Vanek looked better last night. He didn't score but he was going to the net much harder than he has been lately. If he can keep that up, good things will happen eventually.
And on a totally different note, Lea, the teacher I work with stopped by yesterday with some stuff for me, including some cards from my boys who were evidently extremely upset when they discovered I'd injured myself. I missed the last two days before break and Lea said they were in a panic when I missed the second day. ("She never misses two days IN A ROW!") The cards were all adorable in that haphazard 6th grade boy way, but I'd like to share my favorite.
Here's the front:
Here's the back:
I love that all of the buffaloes have smoke coming out of their noses. A little disappointed they went with the "Let's go Sabres" chant over "Let's go Buff-a-lo!" but I'll work on that with them when I get back.
Finally, the inside of the card:
Even 12-year-old boys are capable of being sweet sometimes.