So since I didn't join Heather in Pittsburgh, she relented after some incessant begging and allowed me to sub in for this weekend's games. I'm kind of surprised that she gave me her password after I leaked the last one to her brother. Now I know I am not a Buffalo News published blogger, but I thought we could at least have some dialogue about our team in our beloved Hank lover's absence. I'm going to post some random thoughts after each period. I used to have a blog named Sabre Dance and I do find this kind of fun; I just couldn't keep it up all the time. So on to Sabres vs Atlanta:
End of First Period (Sabres 2 Atlanta 1):
- Rob Ray blamed the goal against Tim Connolly and he was definitely lagging behind, but I think Pommers was actually the third man back. Poor play by both of them, considering they are out there to shut down the Kovulchuk line.
- Heather is going to be sad that she missed a nice Hank assist. Love seeing Clark around the net, as he has a real nose for rebounds. He earned his spot on the top three lines. I always thought he could make it and it's great to see him finally finding his place.
- Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Drew Stafford was benched tonight. Most of you probably know that he's my favorite player. I was a little sad, but Drew needs a kick in the pants. He's lost something since the end of 06-07 and I'm not sure what the problem is. I think he's lost a little of his passion. Should Lindy ground him and take away his guitar?
- A second before Al scored, I said out loud (maybe pretending Heather was home) that they should get him off the ice after he almost mishandled the puck twice. Shows what I know.
- Derek still seems to be missing something out there. He appears to be a little behind the play every time Van makes a good move. Weird. He almost appears injured or missing his instincts.
- It might be jumping the gun but I want Nathan Gerbe in Max's spot. Max hasn't played poorly but I think we really need to end this relationship, and Nathan is tearing it up down in Portland.
Not sure if anyone is going to check the blog with Heather gone but feel free to comment and get a quasi game day thread going. I will update again after the 2nd.
- End of the Second Period (Sabres 4 Atlanta 3)
- We've let in 3 goals but I don't think any of the goals have been terrible. Just seems like a bunch of wacky bounces, especially the last two. As Rob said, it's nice to see us answering each time Atlanta makes a push.
- Max. Oh, Max. You must have read my comments from the first, huh? Well, I stick by what I said, but #61 is absolutely awesome tonight. Heather always talks about Good Derek/Bad Derek, well tonight we are definitely seeing good Max. Atlanta can't handle him.
- Goose looks like he's playing more physical than he has since he got back. Maybe he's feeling more comfortable and confident out there. I love the Goose, Kaleta, Paille line, a true energy combination.
- Thomas Vanek is working harder than I've ever seen him. It just puts a smile on my face seeing him become an elite player after the struggles he faced last year. I still remember people comparing him to the ultimate Sabres underachiever, Miro Satan. Some people shouldn't be allowed opinions. Okay, just kidding about that, but there's no comparing the two. Vanek is a beast now and he must strike fear into opposing D men.
- Timmy shot the puck! And we scored!! Weird coincidence. SHOOT THE PUCK, TIMMY!
- While I was typing,I could hear Rob interviewing Jaro. I wasn't paying attention to what he was saying, but it probably wouldn't have made a difference anyway. Gotta love that "pigeon".
- Not game related, but has anyone read OR taken part in Bucky's game day chats on the Sabres Edge blog? I'm convinced it's not really Bucky. He's pleasant, humorous and self depreciating. Who kidnapped enemy number one of Top Shelf??
- Rob is going to make a great color analyst when Harry retires. I kind of wish he could start now.
I guess that's it for the 2nd. Hopefully we tighten it up and finish them off.
After 3rd Period and OT (Atlanta 5 Sabres 4...No way!)
- James Patrick told Rob (I'm talking about Rob a lot tonight) that the team was playing poorly and too loose the first two periods. Then the players decided to play scared and stop skating. Thanks, Jeep!
- I think Thomas' wrap around shot was a goal but there's no humanly way to prove it. Too bad Superman couldn't be a goal judge. You know, x-ray vision and all that? Anyone? Bueller? Oh come on, I'm a comic book nerd at heart.
- On the tying goal Pommers got outmuscled by Todd White. Not a good game for Jason.
- Ryan gave up a lot of rebounds and that cost us the game in the end. BUT, Derek took a stupid penalty that put us in awful spot in the extra period. You just can't put your stick there, little fella. Plus that whole line was running around in their own end there.
- I hate when we play down to the competition, which was definitely the case in the 3rd period and OT. Very disappointing. Atlanta should have been tired after playing last night, but we didn't show much heart and grit in the end. Boo!
- What's our record against backup goalies? Has to be the worst in the league the last few years.
- I think I just overheard Derek Roy insinuate that the Atlanta player took a dive. Interesting. Now, I know DRoy's propensity for the flopping has gotten better, but with his reputation that's a little humorous.
Oh well, at least we got a point and stayed ahead of Montreal who also lost, in a shootout to Columbus.
This was cool - maybe I'll do it again tomorrow before handing the blog back to the little lady. I'm a little worried about playing in a back to back game vs. trap happy Boston. The sporting gods won't subject us to two losses for our sports teams against Boston area teams will they? Oh yeah, it's Buffalo - of course they will! But I'll be hopeful anyway.