I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I'm still a little concerned about Myers making it through the regular season much less the playoffs without running down especially since he's playing so much time every night. That's a lot of hockey to hang on a still undeveloped body. But everything else? No worries.
One of my favorite things about him is how, as mature and calm as he is on the ice, there are moments when he's still clearly a kid. I love that he had a huge grin on his face after his second goal against Toronto. I love that in his postgame interview he stood there, hair standing on edge, smiled sheepishly and admitted he was really going hard for the hat trick. A lot of young hockey players don't seem to be very young. I'm sure for some it's just personality coming into play, but I think part of it is that hockey becomes a job for a lot of these boys so young. They leave home when they're babies and hockey is their world. While that maturity comes in handy when it comes to playing, as a fan I somtimes find it disconcerting how polished and professional they are at 19, 20, 21. So I like that Tyler Myers is sometimes just a big gawky 19-year-old who's having the time of his life. He's having an impressive season and he's clearly going to be something special, but I'm really happy about the fact that I just like him so much.
This picture makes me happy. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
I'm obviously not the only one feeling that way. One of my favorite things to do when we go to games is check out everyone's jerseys. I said to Mark at dinner, "I just saw a Jochen jersey!" because that's one I don't see very often. Anyone who's ever been to a game can name the most popular jerseys: Miller and Vanek with some Pominvilles, Roys, and a growing number of Gaustads mixed in. But tonight I saw an awful lot of 57s wandering around HSBC. An awful lot. And they were on everyone, men and women, boys and girls. And that affection carried over into the game. The crowd was already jacked up by the third period comeback and the neverending shootout, but when everyone realized Myers was stepping over the boards as the next shooter, the place hit a whole new level. We went bonkers. We wanted to win the game, of course, but we really wanted Myers to be the hero. It was the sound of a city falling in love with a player and a moment I think I'll remember for a long time.
I really want Myers to win the Calder. I've spent the last couple of days running all over the internet, promising to burn a building somewhere to the ground if he doesn't. I want the d-man to beat the forwards, I want the project to beat the sure things, I want Buffalo to beat the larger markets. But mostly I want Myers to do what he's doing right now in a Sabres jersey for a very long time.