Well, well, well. 2008 came and went and it's now time to welcome 2009. I hope everyone had a fun New Year's Eve. Mine was pretty low-key. Nothing special. The NHL has a new tradition to help welcome the New Year and that's the Winter Classic.
It's crazy to think about that last year the Winter Classic - or what Buffalonians like to call it, the Ice Bowl was held in our humble city of Buffalo. Right in our own backyard (it seriously was almost in my backyard, considering it was in Orchard Park and I live in the Village of OP). What a special day. Everything was just so great. Watching the game this afternoon brought back memories of that day. It would have been nice if we would have won the game, but just being there was so amazing for me that it didn't even matter. I was so proud of our fans that day. A football stadium full of 70,000 hockey fans chanting, "Lets Go Buffalo!" was amazing. I thought the game today was very entertaining. Although I was pulling for Detroit, I did feel bad for Huet for getting pulled. I guess I just feel sorry for him that his memories of the Winter Classic is him getting pulled. But it was a very good game I thought. Datsyuk's goal was simply beautiful...he's one of my favorite players in the league.
Now onto the Sabres...they may have said goodbye to 2008 in a bitter fashion, but they greeted the New Year with a nice 4-1 win against Toronto. Maybe it had something to do with Lindy playing musical chairs in the locker room. Probably not, considering they were on the road. When I first read that he was switching up the stalls I didn't really know what to think. It can look like a move from a desperate coach, or maybe it's just no big deal at all. You do whatever you need to do to win. I was glad to see the team play more physical and it was nice to see the players who are supposed to be our top scorers net two each tonight. Roy and Pommers have both been in the doghouse at some point this season, so it was good to see. The special teams was definitely a factor, scoring on 2 of the 4 power plays and killing off all 5 of Toronto's power plays. Miller was also very good, stopping a penalty shot and making 27 saves.
BUT UM, speaking of Mr. Miller...you've got some 'splainin to do. I noticed that his face looked um...smoother than I had anticipated. I can't believe he shaved. What a letdown. After working so hard from your facial hair being mere scruff all the way up to a nice beard and you're just going to shave it? Do you not enjoy looking like Jesus Christ himself? Whatever, I guess you can't say anything bad about his performance tonight. You do what you gotta do, Ryan. If shaving means you're going to play strong, then fine. I'll get over it.
Well the Sabres take on the Bruins on Saturday at 1 pm. The dreaded 1 pm puck drop. For whatever reason, the Sabres don't seem to like playing afternoon games and they always have a tough time winning. What can you do. We've beaten Boston twice already this season, even though they're the "Beast of the East", the Sabres still know how to beat them, which is obviously a positive.