Monday, December 8, 2008

Quick Hits

I had a long day today and will surely have another long day tomorrow so I'm just throwing a couple of quick thoughts up. Sorry to rob you of my sparkling wit and amazing insight. (That's code for "lame jokes" and "long-windedness.")

- Not the prettiest game but one that was hard fought. And you know what? I'll take hard fought over pretty any day of the week since that'll get you more than your share of wins.

- How happy am I that after all the endless "Evgeni Malkin is soooooooo good but Thomas Vanek is trying waaaaaaay too hard" it was Vanek that scored the game-winner? Very.

- Seriously, usually I can just roll my eyes at Versus and move on but they were bad tonight even for them. Sidney Crosby brings the puck down the ice, shoots and misses because of a great stop by Ryan Miller and the announcer is flipping out about THE CROSBY SHOW!!!! even though hello, he didn't score. He didn't because the goalie - you know, that guy on the other team, made a really nice play. It was stupid for Vanek to take a penalty that put his team down two men but when Malkin did it it was a sign of leadership? Versus, I'm not impressed that Malkin skated by Paul Gaustad and went after Clarke MacArthur. Roy is a better player when he just focuses on playing hockey (true) but it's okay for Crosby to flop like a fish when 5'6" Roy-Z bumps his leg with one skate? Just. awful. Does Versus think we're incapable of watching the game and recognizing for ourselves that yes, Malkin is crazy talented?

- I like how Nathan Gerbe, two games into his NHL career, has already grown an inch from where he was listed last season. I knew that would happen.

- Our PK is unreal. The penalty killers kept us in the game tonight and they all deserve a very generous round of applause.

- All hail Thomas Vanek, first 20 goal scorer in the NHL. Last season he didn't get his 1oth goal until December 15th and he didn't get his 20th goal until February 12th. I like this season better. (Stat courtesy of John Vogl.)

- Toni Lydman on Malkin and Crosby: "As long as we win, they can have all the highlights they want. We'll take the two points." Word. Like I said, hard-working over pretty any day of the week. (Also courtesy of John Vogl at the above link.)

P.S. Even if Tom Golisano does sell the team, the NHL is not going to move the Sabres from Buffalo. We're one of the few genuine hockey markets in the States. Relocating Nashville or Atlanta is one thing, relocating Buffalo is another. If nothing else, the league would miss our crazy TV ratings. But I do love how most of Buffalo is all, "WE HATE GOLISANO! HE'S A CHEAP, STUPID JACKASS! GET US A REAL OWNER WHO WANTS TO WIN NOW!" until there are rumors that he's looking to sell the team and then Buffalo is suddenly all, "I HATE GOLISANO! I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT JACKASS WOULD EVEN THINK ABOUT SELLING OUR TEAM!" Buffalo, you crazy.


Jennifer said...

I like how Nathan Gerbe, two games into his NHL career, has already grown an inch from where he was listed last season. I knew that would happen.

Ah, so I need to play in the NHL to cure my vertical short-comings. Wonder what my chances are?

That was NOT a pretty game, but I loved it.

Why is it that I hate Sidney Crosby more and more every time I see him play or hear mention of his name?

Vanek's Hair said...

I missed Saturday's game, so last night was the first I saw of Gerbe. It looks like the NHL permitted one of the players to bring his son on the ice. But he seems to have a nose for the net, so that's good.

I picture Lindy Ruff giving the Lou Brown (from "Major League") pregame pep talk to the team. "We won a game yesterday. We win today, that's two in a row. We win tommorrow, that's called a winning streak. It has happened before."

I still have hope.

Mark B said...

Pittsburgh is officially my most hated team in the league now passing Toronto, Ottawa and Philadelphia. They're a bunch of whiny babies and I'll never even put up with Sidney Crosby again much less like him. And Versus sickens me with their Crosby/Malkin love.

This all being said, that win was SWEET! He hasn't done much yet, but I LOVE Nathan Gerbe. Unabashedly and like a brother. Staffy you might be done as my fave.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with the Versus guys. Malkin is a hero and Vanek was a goat all night. And the Crosby flop was awful, but god forbid you call out the golden child.

brian s. said...

I thought the Vs. guys were better last night than they usually are. You have to expect them to gush over two of the best players in the league. As for Malkin going past Goose towards Clarke, it was the latter who started up with him behind the net, so it makes sense that he would go after him.

Jonathan said...

Now I didn't see the game last night. But I have seen a few youtube clips of what passes as a Sidney Crosby "dive."

People, ice is slippery. People tend to fall while skating on ice--especially if they are on edge or if they are off balance to begin with. It's not like they are standing on a basketball court.

Heather B. said...

Jonathan, lord knows, as a relentless defender of Derek Roy, I hear what you're saying. But this was a dive, the end, no room for debate. IMO.

Brian, I thought they were way worse than usual. (I know, I already said that.) Yes, they should gush over two of the best players in the league. They shouldn't gush when there's no reason to do so however and they shouldn't do it to the point where they're ignoring the player on the other end of the play who did something terrific as well. That was my primary complaint. I also thought they were holding Vanek to a different standard and as a Sabres fan that bugged me big time.

brian s. said...

Heather, I understand what you're saying, but the only time I heard that last night was when they used the term "presence of mind" when Sid threw the puck at the net from the corner after getting stoned by Miller. The two assists Malkin had were pretty sweet and deserved to be gushed over. I don't know if they were holding Vanek to a different standard, but it should be the same as those two with the way he's playing. And when he hasn't nary a shot on goal through the first two periods, things will be said. Though I will say he wasn't playing poorly, as evidenced by his all-star defenseman like hustle/strip of the puck during, I think, the first period.

Heather B. said...

brian, I get what you're saying. I agree that Malkin's assists were both beautiful and I really enjoy watching him play. I just wish they would just... let me watch him play sometimes minus all the hype.

And you're right about Vanek too. I'm just very defensive. He's been our shining bright spot! Don't take that away from me! :)

Jonathan said...

Just to be clear, I didn't see the diving play in question. So maybe he did dive against the Sabres last night. I tend to think that Crosby's reputation is more hype than substance (and that includes his status as "Chosen One." Yes he's a tremendous player, but there isn't an athlete on the planet that's capable of living up to that level of hype.)

In other news, why is diving only a 2 minute matching penalty? Shouldn't the dive more than simply cancel out the other penalty? Or did that rule change since I last complained about it 2 years ago? If the penalty for a dive is that your team goes four on four, that offers zero deterrent from diving. It should either be a four minute minor, or it should be a two minute minor, while your opponent's penalty never happened.

So if a guy hooks you and you embellish, you go to the box and he gets off scot free. Am I crazy? Is that just an insane idea?

Heather B. said...

So if a guy hooks you and you embellish, you go to the box and he gets off scot free. Am I crazy? Is that just an insane idea?

No, I'm totally with you there. I've never understood the diving penalty. It's a dive OR it's a penalty. It's not both.

Jonathan said...

While we're bashing vs...

I miss ESPN. I miss that ESPN music. I miss Gary Thorne and Bill Clement. I even sort of miss Darren Pang's squeaky high voice.

Versus truly does not hold a candle.

Lee Andrew said...

I miss ESPN.

Oh wow. Versus has caused Jonathan to go crazy.