In retrospect, the last post might be one of the most tragic things I've ever written here. Jeez, Thomas Vanek cannot catch a break. Even if he does come back, you know whatever that injury is, it's going to nag him and probably affect his skating. Boo hiss to that. Theoretically yes, the Sabres should be able to move on to the second round without him. He struggled all season and the team still did fine. But what a bummer. In addition to being really sad for us and the team, I'm really sad for him.
I actually originally wrote about this on yesterday's post but ended up taking it out because I didn't really feel like complaining too much after the first game, but I'll mention it now. I hate, hate, HATE the way penalties are tossed out during the playoffs. I don't mind the increased intensity of the postseason - I love that the hits get harder, and the players get mouthier, and I don't have a problem even with there being more fighting - but I do think the officials have a responsibility to keep things under control. I'm not sure they did that in the first game of the series. They let too much go for my taste and that's on both sides, from them and from us. I love that we got Toni Lydman taking swings at and from Milan Lucic, but I don't like players giving out bad hits and other cheap stuff. And don't give me that old line about the officials not wanting to affect the outcome of the game because that's a flawed argument. By not calling penalties, they're still affecting the outcome of the game, they're just doing it in a different way. If something would be called in game 1 or game 41 or game 81 of the regular season, it should be called in the playoffs. We play by one rule book for 82 games and then toss it out when we get to the important part? I don't understand that. I've never understood that. I think it's one of the most stupid things about hockey.
In other news, Mark and I stopped in at the Sabres Store before the game because he wanted to look at the playoff shirts. I wasn't planning on buying anything and then I saw this:
Not only is that Hank on a t-shirt, Toni and Jochen are there too! Like that's ever going to happen again. Even though one or two of those guys will most likely be gone next season, I had to buy it. I had to! It was practically made just for me. They almost could have titled it "HEATHER B.'S FAVORITE SABRES." Honestly, this t-shirt might have ended up being the highlight of my day.
Okay, I promise more coherent thoughts tomorrow when it's not 2:09 a.m.