So this is why I can't totally jump on the "management screwed this team!" bandwagon. The Sabres that played the first half of the game looked terrible but the Sabres of the second half are a playoff team. This team probably does not have enough talent to win the Stanley Cup - not without a lot of hard work and good fortune - but they do have enough talent to make the playoffs and I think win a round (maybe two), especially in the Eastern Conference. The team that got beat tonight didn't get beat because Carolina is more talented than them. They got beat because Carolina outworked them for half of the game. The Sabres are underachieving and at some point some of the onus of that has to be put on the guys who actually play the games. Larry Quinn isn't getting out-battled in the corners, Darcy Regier isn't failing to tie up his man in front of the net, and Tom Golisano isn't making lazy passes to the other team. And you can talk all you want about management creating a poor environment. I think that's a bullhonky excuse for a team battling for a playoff spot to play the way they did the first half of the game tonight. The roster definitely needs some tweaking in the off-season (and currently needs Henrik Tallinder to return so Paetsch can have a seat) but they should not be on the outside looking in. That's what I say at least.
The first half of this game was pretty brutal though. Mark and I were actually discussing who we were going to cheer for when the Sabres failed to make the playoffs. If and when the Sabres officially miss the playoffs, I'll share those choices with you. For now, the Sabres live to fight another day. One point is not as good as two but it's certainly better than nothing. And I'd much rather lose in overtime than lose in another freakin' shootout.
Okay, well that's it for me for now. I have to finish packing. I'm sure I'll be poking in here and there. If you really believe I'm going to go completely silent for ten days, you don't know me very well. I'm perfectly capable of writing 1,000 words on a game I listened to over the computer for fourteen minutes. And if I get stuck in an airport somewhere along the way, well, there's no telling what I'll end up writing here to pass the time.
For your amusement, here's a snowstorm Birmingham style. This is what was at my mom's house today. This snowfall is enough to have everyone scrambling for milk and bread, scare people off the roads, and close down nonessential businesses. And if it was a school day, there probably would've been no school. In fairness to Alabama, they have no salt trucks or snow plows - there's no need since this kind of snow is generally a once a year thing - and they have totally different kinds of trees so any accumulation or ice build-up breaks branches and wreaks havoc on power lines. Still, after living in Buffalo for almost seven years, it's pretty funny to think back on the snow of my childhood. Somewhere I have a great picture of me and my little brother with the snowman we built using every drop of snow in the yard during the biggest snowfall of our lives. I'll have to see if I can dig it up somewhere. The snowman is about a foot tall and has grass and dirt all over it because the snow was so thin.
All right, see you guys later. Don't burn the place down while I'm gone.
(P.S. Ryan Miller was great tonight. I love when a guy has clearly started to celebrate a goal and then has to stop. I especially love when that guy is Eric Staal. Also, that goalie interference call on Goose was b.s. He might have been going hard to the net but when another player puts a stick in his back to help him get there, you can't make that call.)