Sunday, March 29, 2009
Hard Earned Win
I have stated before on this blog that at this point I am just going to try and enjoy the games that I watch, because if the Sabres go out there and play an honest game then I can't get too angry over the outcome. Of course I want them to win every night and make the playoffs, and I'm sure the online sports betting people do also. That's just a given and I don't think I need to mention that. Last night was a very entertaining game to watch. Even when the team gave up their two goal lead and let the Habs score 3 straight goals to take the lead, I liked what I saw from the team. There was determination and they sure as hell weren't going to give up without a fight. They didn't develop a defeatist attitude and let the Habs have their way with them. After we gave the Habs life in their own building, they continued to pour on the pressure, but the Sabres didn't back down.
The statistics weren't on the Sabres side that night. I believe the Habs were 7-1-1 with the Sabres when playing in their own building. And the Sabres had only won 5 games this whole season after trailing in the third. But at this point you have to throw all those stats out the window and forget about them. They're meaningless. The Sabres started off the third period shorthanded but they kept pressing and they got rewarded when MacArthur scored the equalizer. Both teams played hard, and for me, it seemed inevitable that this game was going to overtime. Not the most ideal situation for the Sabres, but we'll take the wins any way they come. So while they couldn't get the job done in regulation as hoped, they took care of business in the shootout (well, Miller and Lydman did at least) and left Montreal with 2 points. That's all I really could ask for right now. A well deserved win.
I was a little disappointed seeing Max out of the lineup. I have no problem with Mair returning, I just think that Max has been playing pretty well ever since he's been inserted back into the lineup and he's not the one who deserves a benching. But having Mair back proved to pay dividens as he scored our first goal. I thought Sekera played very poorly. All night. No surprise that he was benched in the third. Another player that I have to comment on is Jochen Hecht. Just when I start to compliment his game, he takes a stupid retaliatory penalty when we were already down a man to put the Habs on a 5-on-3 and they shortly score to put them in the lead. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Some argue that it was a weak call, and the Habs were getting away with stuff like that all night, but it still was a penalty that he didn't need to take. Then he took another penalty on a routine clearing attempt when he shot the puck over the glass. Jochen, Jochen, Jochen. Other than those mistakes, I liked his game. Rivet was also impressive when he took on Kostopoulos. I love Rivet. This team needs more players like him. In my opinion, he is just the quintessential hockey player. Hell, he even looks like a hockey player. Connolly had another great game and it's good to see him come back to life these past few games.
I thought both Miller and Carey Price played very good games. Miller was busy all night and he had two huge saves that stick out for me. The one where the puck bounced off the glass and right in the crease by the goal line and he had to be quick to be the first person to get to the puck or else it would have been an easy tap in for Montreal. The second save was when he was out of the crease but dove in a sprawling effort to stop the puck. Very acrobatic. Then he came up huge in the shootout, stopping all six of Montreal's players. Price looked good, too...only surrendering one goal in that extended shootout. But we were better. After our big guns couldn't get it done in the shootout, I wasn't surprised to see an interesting selection like Lydman. I had a good feeling he was going to score, just because I kept getting flashbacks to Henrik Tallinder's wicked move to beat Brouder. Lydman's post-game interview was pretty hilarious. Sylvester was like, "So Toni...what was the move?" to which Lydman responded, "Well the trick was...there was no move." Lydman seems to be a bit shy on camera, but his sense of humor doesn't go unnoticed on me. He seems to be a funny guy.
So while the Sabres still need to climb a bit more to make a playoff push, last night's win was very satisfying and it's nice to see this team play some good hockey. It's extremely reassuring to see Miller on his game like this. Looks like he hasn't missed a beat, and it's just what we need right now. He was so sharp in the shootout and I was just like, "For the love of god, score a goal for Ryan, PLEASE." Thank youuuu, Toni.
So today is my last day of spring break. I used this break to recharge and relax. Now I have to write a few papers and I have a midterm to study for. Ugh...I am trying my best to enjoy myself before the semester ends. I just keep saying to myself that after my midterm on Tuesday I'll be able to relax. And then I have a Sabres game on Wednesday to look forward to. So until then...
OH, by the way...I have to post this video. It's of Rob Ray's reaction to something during Ryan Miller's post-game interview the other night. I don't know what the hell he saw but his reaction is priceless.