So right now the Sabres have me feeling pretty good. Since the New Year rolled around, they've been playing some solid hockey. They started off the 08-09 season pretty well, then they got themselves in a bit of a hole, but they have been playing a lot better. Here's hoping to a better second half. If they can play the way the have been as of late, I think the postseason is imminent.
During the Florida game I thought for a portion of the game the Sabres lacked intensity and they let Florida creep in and take control of the game for a bit. But Miller was ready for the task, as he always is lately. It's good to see him take control and be the goalie that we need him to be. I thought Jochen Hecht had a bad night...what's going on with him? Last year he was pretty solid but this year he's been very disappointing. He looks slow and his passes are sometimes terrible. Could it just be one bad year? I was hoping that after he'd score a few goals he'd start rolling, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I guess we'll see. Another player who had a bad night was Kotalik. But as we all know, he was there in the shootout so I guess I can't be too harsh on him. Wish he'd show up more than in just the shootout though. Roy had some bad giveaways and one lead to Florida's tying goal. But again, he did score in the shootout...even though he kind of got lucky since he lost the puck. I'll take the goals any way they are given to us...including our first one "scored" by Tim Connolly.
All in all I thought it was a solid win. It's so nice to see Miller in the shootout this year. He just seems so much more focused and confident than last year. I'm glad he's back to himself again. There could have been a lot of things affecting his game (especially in the shootout) last year. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the personal things he was going through with the death of his cousin, and along with the fact that the team had to find a new identity after the departure of their co-captains. It's probably just a mental thing too. Miller's game has improved so much this season and it's just refreshing because it's what we all hoped for during the offseason especially when he signed his extension. The shootout was one of the main issues of his last season, and to see how he's responded is great. I liked that he stopped Booth in the shootout after he had scored on him on a penalty shot earlier in the game. It shows mental toughness. Miller had been perfect in his career in penalty shots before that, and that could have thrown him off during the shootout when he was up against Booth, but it didn't. I also liked what he said in his post-game interview about how he never watches the shooters on our team in the shootout. He just wants to focus on himself and what he has to do. I think that's a real wise approach.
So the Sabres sit in 7th place in the East and they have one more game before the league takes a break for the All-Star Games. If they can beat Tampa then they will be in a very good position going into the All-Star break and they'll be able to enjoy themselves and just relax before getting back to business. Here's hoping we beat Tampa and that Vanek has a bundle of fun in Montréal.
I uploaded my photos from the Carolina game. Here's the link to my Flickr with the photos... here's a little preview:
That's the goofy fan that I was talking about in my previous post...haha
I saw Revolutionary Road tonight...it was kind of depressing. But Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet both had great performances I thought. It was really neat for me to see them back together again in another movie.