"To have the referee decide the series like that, with two teams battling like that, is tough to swallow. I definitely didn't think it was a penalty."
That's Tom Poti who was called for tripping in overtime of last night's Washington-Philly game. To him I say, dude, whatever. You tripped a guy. I don't care how long it's been since the last penalty was called, you tripped a guy. The rule still exists and you should still know better than to do it in overtime of Game 7 of the playoffs. The refs didn't have anything to do with the fact that your team failed to kill the penalty, didn't score more goals during regulation, or didn't wrap up the series before a seventh game was necessary. All of those things were options. A couple of years ago the Sabres were in the penalty box in overtime of a playoff game against the Senators and you know what they did? They scored a goal. There's no rule that says you can't still score even though you have fewer players on the ice. If you're angry, fine, I can understand that especially regarding Philly's second goal which was total b.s. I would've been apoplectic if that call had gone against the Sabres. But don't pretend like you and your team had nothing to do with the outcome of the game or the series. That's ridiculous.
And all season long it seems like I've been listening to Caps fans complain about how obnoxious and classless Sabres fans are (some day I'm going to write a post about words I never want to hear again in sports and "classless" will be there) and while I'm sure there are obnoxious Sabres fans spread across the country the thing I kept hearing brought up over and over was something about Sabres fans wiping their feet on the Ovechkin photos that were given out at a game which... doesn't really seem that bad to me. After the display of garbage throwing last night I can at least rest in the knowledge that it turns out there are at least a few classless Caps fans in the world too. Sabres fans had to watch the Senators celebrate the Eastern Conference championship on our ice last year but I don't recall anyone throwing beer bottles at opposing players.
When someone who plays in Philly can justifiably question your level of class, you might be in trouble.
As for all the former Sabres advancing, a big fat whatever to that too. First of all, there's the fact that you never know what's going to happen. The Senators had almost exactly the same team this year as they had last year and they went from playing in the Stanley Cup Finals to winning exactly the same number of playoff games as the Sabres did - zero. Chris Drury was fine in the Rangers series but I think their wins had more to do with Scott Gomez and loathe as I am to admit it, Sean Avery. And please. The Sharks advanced in spite of Brian Campbell. They might have won quicker without him. Danny Briere was legitimately great though, I'll give you that. But that's all I'm giving you.
Second round thoughts later.