Well, that was promising. After an impressive win against a very good Boston team I really did expect the Sabres to let up and lose against the Senators tonight. While they let Ottawa back in the game in the second period after completely dominating them in the first, they seemed to regroup. Ryan Miller pulled himself back together and made some big saves in the third and they held on for the win. And the game was at home! If the Sabres are going to doing anything this season, they have to start winning at home. Some random thoughts:
- Andrew Peters got bit! I still can't believe it. His reaction got a little criticism amongst some of the people on the blog I was chatting on during the game but as someone who occasionally gets bitten at work, it hurts big time even if the skin isn't broken. If it drew blood, woo boy, that's some serious pain. I've gotten some pretty good bruising from little teeth over the last few years. And while Peters' reaction was a little over the top I can also attest that there's definitely a shock/surprise factor involved. Some of that reaction was "Ouch!" but a good amount of it was probably "Did he just BITE ME?!" I'm always surprised and it happens in my line of work. Considering that biting isn't traditionally used on the ice, the surprise factor would be even higher here.
- Derian Hatcher bit New Jersey's Travis Zajac last season and Zajac immediately went on such a scoring streak that he decided the stitches he had to receive were good luck. I can't wait for Peters to score four goals in the next three games. I think the team will really take off then.
- It's so good to see hustling, punky little Derek Roy again. I thought we'd lost him there for a while. Very solid game from him again tonight.
- I admit, the first time I saw the names Gaustad, Ellis and Pominville together I wondered if maybe Lindy Ruff was finally losing it but dang, if that line hasn't been a total trip. I don't know what Matt Ellis has been eating lately but he needs to share it with his teammates. I don't expect it to last but it's kind of nice seeing the hard-working journeyman outshine the younger, more talented rich boys.
- I think it's hard to judge how Craig Rivet's captaincy is going because he's been out of the line-up so much - only so much a guy can do from the press box - but his attitude clearly made a difference tonight. I thought he was going to beat up every Senator on the ice after they were buzzing in Ryan's crease. I was really surprised to see how much better our home record is with him in the line-up.
- January is going to make or break the season. Normally I might be worried about having so few home games but this team really seems to keep its collective head better on the road so we'll see. At any rate, I am slightly encouraged after last night. It wasn't the prettiest win in the end but it's a win against a team they've often seemed to have a mental block about on a night when all the teams around them won. I'll take it.
- Can we lay off on the "Fire Lindy" chatter now?
- Re: Zdeno Chara. I've never thought of him as a cheap, after the whistle player. It appears I might have a Chara blind spot. Interesting.