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.