This was a weird game. The Sabres weren't terrible - at least not for the whole game although they did pack a whole lot of terrible into those last few minutes - but they weren't great either. I can't really come up with one overriding theme here so I'm just gonna hit you with some random thoughts.
- It turns out I really don't like this Penguins team. I'm not sure when that happened but man, what a bunch of little brats. Definitely still talented though. I could watch Evgeni Malkin all night every night.
- I can't even tell you how furious I was that Sideny Crosby didn't get a penalty for shooting the puck at Ryan Miller after the whistle. I'll give him a pass on tapping the puck into the net after the play was stopped, especially since that was a pretty quick whistle, but shooting it right at the goalie? Gimme a break. Maxim Afinogenov got penalized for that a few games back and he could at least argue that he was already in the motion of shooting when the whistle blew. Crosby could not make that argument. I complained about the no-call there for the rest of the game. BS.
- Rick Jeanneret flipping out on the goal horn guy for blowing the horn on that shot that was clearly not a goal was very entertaining. Man, he was completely fired up about that. Of all the things in this game to get upset about you take that one?
Settle down there, Rick, it's really not that big of a deal.
- Is it really THAT hard to stay focused for 60 minutes? Really? Actually, not even that long. 23:37 was the most time any Sabre player spent on the ice. You can't concentrate on playing solid two-way hockey for that long or less? I realize that it's pretty easy for me to say this while sitting on my couch but I really feel that fully concentrating on the task at hand for 20 minutes a night, three nights a week is not asking too much. I would love to get through my day having to only really work for 20 minutes.
- I'm not always a fan of Lindy Ruff's line shuffling but I loved Thomas Vanek being moved from the Derek Roy line. I was not entirely sure how it was going to work but I was just very relieved to see him playing with someone else. In my mind's eye Vanek stormed into Lindy's office last night and declared, "I'm not playing with that punk ass bitch one more night!" I'm sure that's how it went down. And you know what? That line looked pretty good, I think. Jochen Hecht is obviously not the skilled center that Roy can be when he so chooses but he's a no-nonsense hard worker. Right now that's a lot more productive than Roy. It also helps that Jochen is finally starting to look a little more comfortable after coming back from his injury.
- Do not even tell me the Sabres were tired after playing back-to-back nights because I'm certainly not counting Friday night's game as having played. Standing around while guys who play for a team that barely exists skate around you is not the same thing as playing hockey.
- This bipolar thing the Sabres have going on is going to drive me crazy. When they're good they're very, very good, but when they're bad they're horrid.
Thank goodness I get Sunday off from listening to Mark complain about the Bills falling apart. I don't think I could handle that after these last two games.