- I'm not a huge Andrew Peters fan. Obviously he's a bit of a mess on the ice. Not a ton of skill and questionably effective as an enforcer. And while he seems like a nice enough person off the ice, he's always struck me as that guy who tries just a little too hard. He's not quite as funny as he thinks he is. But considering how much everyone seems to love him, maybe that's just me. At any rate, I think he's been pretty endearing during the whole biting incident. Making cracks about that being his texting thumb, seeming kind of sheepish that he had to talk endlessly about a grown man biting him, confessing that he wouldn't admit it if he bit someone either... I liked it all. Well played, Andrew Peters.
- It was kind of a no-brainer for Thomas Vanek to make the All-Star team but I'll offer him my congratulations anyway. As I've written before, I have a very specific kind of affection for Vanek that isn't like the affection I feel for any of the other Sabres players. It's kind of sort of like the way I felt about Dmitri Kalinin only instead of, "Awwww, leave him alone, you guys!" It's, "Awwww, isn't he so good, you guys?" I don't know, I'm just so very happy for him and the season he's having. He's definitely worked for and earned it.
As for the rest of the Sabres, I'm glad none of them made it. They didn't deserve it. Not that All-Star games have anything to do with merit anyway.
- All these extra days off are really making me miss the Sabres. Between the time between games and how (mostly) well they've played recently, I'm moving back around to liking them. I don't love 'em though. Not yet. I'm not that easy.
I am really interested to see how the next few games go though. The Rangers strike me as a team that isn't quite as good as their record indicates. I'd tell you actual statistics but I can't remember where I read them at the moment and I need to be walking out the front door in 20 minutes but I know the Rangers have been better in OT and in the shootout then they have been in regulation. If we come out and play really strong 5-on-5 hockey from the start, we should definitely be in the game. (I'll get on a source for the above stat after work.)
I'm even more interested in the next handful of games. I've said before that I think the Eastern Conference, with the exception of maybe a couple of very good teams, is fairly average. I think the Sabres should be competing in every game against every EC opponent. The Western Conference is a little different. I know I'm not the only person who watched Winter Classic II in the midst of the Sabres doldrums and thought, "Ah. Hockey. Right, I remember what it looks like now." Both Detroit and Chicago are very good with Detroit particularly being machine-like. They are so efficient, it's amazing and they don't get rattled when an opponent comes charging out of the gates and takes a lead against them. I hope we play with them but that's definitely a taller order than playing with the Rangers. If the good Sabres show up, the next few games should be some really good hockey.
- Ugh. I'm gonna be late! Please don't tell my employer I was blogging instead of getting dressed.