First a few comments on the Tom Golisano interview:
1. Tom, don't think we're impressed that you're showing your face during a win streak while avoiding us during the ten game losing streak.
2. That interview was clearly very carefully planned. Have you seen the commercial Roby does for the back healing guy? The one where's he's obviously reading cue cards? Yeah, that's what he sounded like tonight.
3. If Buffalo is such a great place to be, Tom, then why are you being beamed in via satellite? If the team is so much fun to watch why no TV shots of you grinning in your box at HSBC Arena? At least Darcy Regier shows his face in public.
4. Dude, I get what you're saying about it creating cap relief but you might want to avoid expressing sentiments that sound anything like, "Boy, we're really lucky ol' Teppo had to have that heart surgery, huh?"
5. Buffalo owners suck. No wonder we think God hates us.
That said, I don't really care to dredge up the Drury/Briere fiasco yet again. Could management have done something different to keep one or both of them here? Maybe. Probably. Would it be nice to hear Golisano take some blame? Sure. Should he be called out for his garbage? Absolutely. Is anything going to change what happened last summer now? No. Seriously, how long are we going to hammer the same people for the same mistakes over and over and over? We're more than halfway through the season. At some point don't you have to step back and see if management learned from the mistakes? Jochen Hecht was signed during the season. Not liking the player or the contract doesn't make that any less true. They've been negotiating with Brian Campbell during the season. The fact that a contract hasn't been signed is not management's fault since it is ultimately Campbell who has to sign the thing. Don't complain about the team a) not trading Campbell or b) not re-signing Campbell until we see what actually happens. They have another huge free agent coming up in Ryan Miller. Instead of talking about Miller going to the Red Wings, let's see WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS.
And please, for the love of all that is holy and right in this world, stop calling Thomas Vanek lazy! He's not lazy! Hesitant? Yes! Lacking in confidence? Possibly! Lazy? NO! He's not converting consistently but he's working hard. His goal tonight was created by his own work. His backchecking has been miles better. He's generally in good position on the ice. You wanna know why he looks slow? Do you?! BECAUSE HE'S SLOW! BECAUSE HE'S NOT FAST!
Oh, man, I'm doing that "make a point by asking yourself a question then answering it" thing which I hate. There's someone at my place of employment who does that and I find it to be annoying and a little condescending. I apologize. I'll take a deep breath before we move on to the game.
- I hate shootouts. I really do. They have nothing to do with who has the better team/shooters/goalies or who played the best that night. (Which is not to say that I think we deserved to win tonight because we did not.) The NHL keeps saying shootouts are for the fans but I wonder what kind of result they would find if they polled fans at games. I kind of feel like this was a change they made in an attempt to appeal to the mythological casual fan while ignoring what traditional fans would prefer but that might just be my bias showing.
I hate ties though. I hate them. Maybe it's because I grew up watching baseball and not hockey but I feel very strongly that there should be a winner and a loser at the end of a sporting event. I'd like to see the NHL increase the overtime period to ten minutes of 4 on 4. As it is now, OTs are always the same. Four minutes of teams trying not to lose followed by one minute of pretty intense back and forth. By the time anyone creates any pressure, the period is over. I think if we went ten minutes, more often than not we'd end up with a winnder.
- That said, nice try, Hank. Couldn't quite get it over Auld's leg but it was a good move nonetheless. (The fact that one of our best defensive d-men looks better than any of our forwards in the shootout shows you that either a) shootouts are a stupid way to decide a game or b) our forwards are really, really bad.)
- Thank you, Dmitri Kalinin for taking a penalty to protect your goalie. Wow, I didn't think any of them had that in them.
- Listen, I know I'm beating a dead horse at this point but Brian Campbell was brutal in this game. Completely brutal. We really want to pay him six million dollars? I had to laugh at Pierre McGuire's "he's a better true defensemen than Sheldon Souray" because that is seriously damning with faint praise.
- I'm not into booing your team. I understand why other people do it, I'm certainly not going to tell someone else they shouldn't. They can do whatever they want as far as I'm concerned. Booing just isn't my thing. (I prefer writing hate letters on my blog.) But I adore Bronx cheers. I'm fascinated by how the sound of a crowd cheering can shift enough that you can't mistake it for the real thing. The loathing and sarcasm within it is impossible to miss. How you could get that deep into the third period - with multiple power plays - and not get a shot on goal is mind-boggling. The team earned that sarcastic cheering.
- It was not a pretty loss but the team was eventually going to lose again. I'm not ready to toss them overboard yet. We'll see how they respond on Sunday. I'm at least encouraged that there were no excuses floating around as far as I heard. Jason Pominville and Jaroslav Spacek both admitted the team choked the game away by not playing a full sixty minutes and Lindy Ruff said, "We didn't deserve a point, Ryan earned it for us."
Since I know you're all dying to know how my doctor's appointment went today, I'll fill you in. The good news: I got the cast off and the bones look good. The bad news: The joint is still weak and I have to remain non-weight bearing for another month. I'm now rocking a snazzy moon boot.
A couple people have asked to see my scar so if you're interested, you can check it out here. It's under a link for the squeamish. I think it's awesome but I'm weird like that. As a kid I always wanted my uniform to be dirty (which partially explains my love for Craig Biggio) and I loved injuries that bled and scarred (which partially explains my love for Jay McKee). Earlier I was watching an interview on the Bills website with Paul Posluszny and he talked about the plates in his arm and I admit, as dumb as it is, I felt pretty cool about the fact that I have hardware in my body too. It's weird because if you feel along the scar in the right spot, you can feel the outline of the plate.
Anyway, yeah. I hate the Bruins.