Thursday, April 22, 2010

Incoherent Thoughts

Odds and ends because I cannot be coherent right now:

-- That goaltender interference call on Cody McCormick was straight up BS.  The officiating in general has been horribly inconsistent.  How can a hit be a penalty in one game and not in a another?  How are players supposed to get any kind of bearings when rules are constantly changing, especially in the playoffs when things tend to get more physical?  It's ridiculous.

That said, the officiating is no excuse for the Sabres losing tonight.  They could have kept the game at 2-1.  They could have put it away in overtime when they were controlling play and Ryan Miller was showing everyone why he's a Vezina finalist and a should-be Hart finalist.  But they didn't.  They were the victims of a bad call, they gave up a goal, and then they crumbled and gave up another one.  I was really disappointed to hear Lindy let the team off the hook in his postgame interview.  I know it was the heat of the moment, I know he's not necessarily going to ream his players in public, but it does make me worry that players aren't be held accountable.  At some point, the players have to play.  Too many of them coasted after winning the first game.  It's crazy that they had to be down 2-1 in the series before they decided to play hard enough to win battles and fight back.  I'm not going to get into what should be done in the off-season because it's not the off-season yet, but the core, it is rotten.  Can a team win three games in a row?  Sure.  Teams do it all the time.  Can this team win three playoff games in a row?  I want them too, and I'll cheer for them like they will, but I'm not convinced.

-- Speaking of Lindy's postgame interview, it is CRAZY that the Sabres are not giving us a postgame show in the playoffs.  I guess I just got used to it during the regular season, but I really wanted to see and hear how the player reacted to this one.  I know some people probably don't like to watch stuff after losses especially heart-breaking ones like that, but I think some of our guys are really entertaining and interesting to listen to in those situations, particularly Ryan Miller and Lindy Ruff.  I don't give the Buffalo News props very often but kudos to them for getting audio up on Sabres Edge within a couple of hours of the end of the game, especially considering that the overtimes probably threw them into some deadline chaos.

-- Big ups to Toni Lydman and Steve Montador.  A few small issues aside, they've been great, the best defensive pairing of the playoffs, I think.  There was a short Tallinder vs. Lydman discussion on WGR the other day, and while I love Hank and think he's been fine in the playoffs, they made a pretty good case for re-signing Lydman instead.  And he's made a good case for himself against Boston.  (This is, of course, assuming that the Sabres re-sign one of them which is not necessarily a given.)

-- Poor, poor Ryan.  He deserves better.

-- This probably goes without saying but overtime playoff hockey is both the most exhilirating and the most devastating thing in all of sports.

-- Okay, it's the next morning now and the anger at pretty much everything has dissipated.  Now I'm mostly just disappointed.  I think it's true that Sabres management wasn't expecting the team to make much noise this year, that they think their best team is a year or two off yet, but I admit, I thought with some breaks in the other series the Sabres had a chance to go deep.  At the very, very least I thought they'd get out of the first round.  Even down 2-1 I didn't think we were going out in the first round.  Now?  Ugh.


Vanek's Hair said...

Good point on the goaltender interference call on McCormick. I agree that officiating isn't to blame for the result of the series. I actually never blame the refs for wins and losses. That said, NHL officiating (both on and off the ice) is the biggest joke in sports. While watching the game with a buddy of mine who isn't much of hockey fan, he spent the whole game asking me the following question: "Why isn't that a penalty?" My response: "Well, according to the rules it is" The team that really got jobbed by the NHL officiating machine is Vancouver. What a BS call on Sedin "kicking" the puck in a few nights ago. The NHL really needs to get its act together in the officiating department.

That said, this Sabres team is the most disappointing Sabres team I have followed in some time.

wood wall shelf said...

so good.


Tim said...

I didn't like Lindy giving the team an out either... but if he felt like they really gave it everything they had, it wouldn't have done any good to throw them under the bus after the game. Even if they deserved it. There would be nothing left to give for game 5.

Jaime said...

That is the perfect summation to what I assume most Sabres fans are feeling this morning, disappointment.

Anne M said...

I agree with everything you say. The NHL has to get its act together as far as how things are called in all games (including the playoffs). Penalties are way too dependent on the officials, the player(s) in question, the team(s) in question, the phase of the moon. My Vancouver friend is pretty peeved about the officiating in that series, not just that kicked in puck, but overall. He's not one to raise a big stink about that stuff, so I believe him. The league shouldn't want this to be the main playoff discussion. And yet, here we are.

The only other thing I have to say right now is Drew Stafford better not be wearing a Sabres jersey next season.

Ebscer said...

Were you watching the same game as me? Lydman played awful the entire game, and was on the ice for almost every goal against. At this point I would be more than happy to see him go...

brian s. said...

This wasn't a heartbreaking loss. Game 7 vs. Carolina in 2006 was. And Game 6 vs. Dallas in 1999 was. When the 2nd OT started the guys on the bench looked defeated already and it was only a matter of time until Boston scored. At this point I don't expect much out of this team, which has a rotten core as you said, but will still be cheering as hard as I can for them to pull some sort of run together starting tomorrow.

Heather B. said...

Vanek's Hair and Anne, the officiating is terrible for all the reasons you mentioned. The inconsistency is frustrating for me. As much as I've been saying I wanted Lindy and co. to respond better to the McCormick call, I can't imagine how frustrating those inconsistencies are for those actually trying to play the game.

Tim, I mentioned your comment in the post that I just wrote but that's a good point and one I hadn't really thought of. Thanks!

Ebscer, I admit, I didn't actually see a lot of last night's game. I missed the first period and listened to most of the second on the radio. So I might concede the point on last night's game. But in the first three games I thought Lydman was very good. I probably shouldn't have included last night.

brian s., I'm still cheering for them too! Just with a slight bit more annoyance. :P