(Side note: I love that that's now the lame way to watch a game from afar. If you went back in time and told my 14-year-old self that some day I'd be able to sit at a computer in Birmingham and watch a pitch-by-pitch account of a Pirates game as it was happening I never would've believed you. If you'd told me that the Pirates had just enjoyed their last winning season for at least the next fifteen years - we're still counting! - I wouldn't have believed that either. But at least they got the most beautiful park in the country out of the deal. But I digress...)
Anyway, it was kind of fun. It's totally absurd but I really enjoyed watching the Boston-NJ game go to a shootout - just like I said it would - and then trying to figure out if Boston getting that loser point was going to kill us or not. (If I have it figured out correctly, we can still catch them if they lose out and we win out because we'd have the second tie-breaker over them.) And it was totally fun watching Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin take on the Flyers. Granted, I'm sure part of the reason I enjoyed it is because nothing happened to eliminate us which means there's still a chance! It's a small and preposterous chance, but it's a chance nonetheless.
I don't care though. I'm delusional. I know we still have to beat Montreal which is dicey (although we totally had them over the barrel before we gave up 18 goals in 30 seconds) and I know the Capitals or the Canes, both of whom seem to be playing really well right now, have to bottom out. (Maybe. I'm actually not real clear on that part.) I know Ottawa has to pull themselves together and beat Boston which seems unlikely. It's a long, endless string of events, most of which we have no control over. But I don't care.
I don't listen to a ton of WGR but I happened to catch a bit of a conversation Schopp and the Bulldog were having a couple of days ago about how there are a lot of sports fans who throw in the towel on their teams because it's easier and they have this notion that it's cooler to sneer and say, "They're never going to pull it out" then to be hopeful and then have it not work out. They compared it to the kids in school who don't study that hard because they think it's cooler to not care about their grades.
Well, in case you guys haven't noticed, I am decidedly not one of those people. I would much, much rather hope the Sabres win and end up being wrong than expect them to lose and end up being right. I try to be all reasonable and intelligent but I'm not. I'm really not. I haven't been able to make myself write anything that even suggests the Sabres are going to be done playing in a few days because I just can't do it. I cannot make my fingers type the words "Here's who I'm cheering for in the playoffs" (um, except for that time) because I can't think about it until the final nail is in the coffin. For now, we live to fight another day. As frustrating at this whole "let's drag this out until the last day of the season" thing is, it sure beats watching games that don't matter at all.
I kept meaning to mention this and I'd forget but I'm going to throw it out there now. A few games ago - I think it was the last Boston game - MSG showed a stat that amazed me. Since the All-Star break Derek Roy and Jason Pominville have been outscored only by Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. Ovechkin and Malkin, in case you haven't noticed, have been tearing it up in the second half but there are little Roy-Z and Pommerdoodle nipping at their heels. I love that stat. I love it. If it were possible to marry a stat and have its baby, I would choose that stat. I've always liked Derek Roy a lot but I've especially enjoyed watching him the last few games. I was really tickled to see him get his own little video feature during the other night.
(My favorite part is when he says, "That's one of my strong suits. Making plays and scoring goals and getting points and doing that and playing defense." Derek, man, that's way more than one thing. But you're good at all of them so we'll let your math skills slide.)
(Dude, that video is trying to eat my blog!)