I'm trying something new tonight called "going to bed at a decent hour" but I just want to point out that Thomas Vanek has three goals in two games. You know how long it took him to get three goals last season? The entire month of October. Yeah, I'm enjoying this pace a little more.
I'm really curious to see how the Sabres handle the Rangers. New Jersey continues to get a lot of crap about being boringly defensive* but the Rangers have turned into a pretty trappy trappy defensive team and those kinds of teams gave the Sabres fits last year. They just seemed completely unable to deal with them. I know you can't carry the puck through five guys, you know you can't carry the puck through five guys and yet the Sabres seemed insistent that yes, you definitely can carry the puck through five guys if you try it enough times. Monday afternoon featured at a least a couple of good dump and chases so hopefully we remember that (including the chase part which also seemed to give the boys a hard time last season which was unforunate because it's kind of the most important part of the dump and chase.)
There are players who are arguably more important to the team but there are only two guys whose injuries bum me out on a personal level: Henrik Tallinder (of course) and Jochen Hecht. I'm not completely panicked yet but we'll see how I feel after the Rangers game. On the plus side, Clarke MacArthur and Danny Paille showed some really nice chemistry on Monday including that lovely tic-tac-toe goal. On the minus side, Clarke was lining up against whatever nincompoop was on the Islander's second line which is a little different than lining up against Chris Drury or Scott Gomez. I'll get back to you on this one.
* I'm gonna break with the pack and say that NJ has been pretty fun to play the past couple of years even though we did go to a shootout at least 18 times with them last season. They're certainly no Boston.