...And the Sabres did not answer. What a damn shame. The task was a difficult one, but it was simple enough. Win the five remaining games of the season and they're in the playoffs. No help needed from other teams, their destiny was in their own hands. But as we've seen countless times this season, the Sabres just find ways to make it harder on themselves. So now they're in a position where they do have to get help from other teams in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
I didn't think the Sabres played terrible last night, just two unfortunate goals and it's a whole new game. The Devils are probably the last team in the league you'd want to be down 2 goals by, because they've turned protecting a lead into an artform. They have a frustrating defense and the best goalie (maybe ever?) in the league on their side. The second period was certainly a frustrating one, as they only registered 4 shots on goal...but you have to give credit to a good Devils team for that as well. I believe at one point Harry Neale said the Sabres had only registered 13 shots on goal during the whole game so far, while 13 shots were blocked by the Devils or something like that.
Couldn't believe that Parise took down Miller like that. Looked like he slashed him first and then took his feet out from under him. Looked frightenly familiar to the Gomez collison that injured Ryan in the first place. But I was really proud of Timmy to come in and flatten Parise after the hit. Connolly isn't the player you'd expect to do something like that, but he earned a lot of respect from me to see him act uncharacteristicly to protect our goalie. And of course, it was awesome to see Ryan get involved and go after Parise and Langenbrunner. I think anyone who has read my blog before is already aware of how much I enjoy seeing Ryan when he's all fired up and not his usual calm, level-headed self.
The Sabres made things interesting by coming out strong in the third and registering 23 shots and cutting their goal deficit to just one. But deep down I knew it was just going to be too little, too late. Things brightened up when New Jersey took a penalty to give us a 6-on-4 power play with the goalie pulled...but the clock was our enemy as there was only 34 seconds left to play. Shame.
Part of me is screaming that they could not get the task done, but the other part of me is just apathetic about it. I don't know... The biggest thing for me is that this season just went by way too fast and I'm really going to miss our boys once it comes to a close. I don't know why I care so much about a group of guys who I don't even know personally. But I do. I mean, of course I know why...they represent our city and they play on our beloved hockey team. So I get it. It's just strange to think about how devoted I am to these guys. I always hear people say, "I wish I didn't care so much." but I know that they really don't mean it. It's fun to be a fan. Even through the bad times. It's nice knowing that we've got a sports team to devote ourselves to and how following them can take our minds off the more "serious" things going on in our lives. It gives us a sense of togetherness and a sense of pride. I like it.
So tomorrow is my final game of the season. I'll be there wearing my Miller MSU jersey (speaking of Michigan State, the Spartans advanced to the NCAA Championship last night!) and hoping for a win. The Red Wings are always a tough opponent but I think they're a fun one. They can be frustrating just because they're such a good team. You just have to respect an organization like them. Plus Datsyuk is one of my favorite players in the league. Hopefully he doesn't have any highlight-reel goals tomorrow, though. When they interviewed Miller last night I could see his new mask behind him. I wonder if he'll wear it tomorrow? They are wearing their thirds. I couldn't see much of it but the colors looked vibrant. I'm interested to see it. It sounds neat.
Today I took a walk in the Elmwood Village with my mom and two of my dogs (I have three). It's always nice to walk around there because when the weather is nice everyone is always out and about with their friends, family, and dogs of course. There is this new candy shop that I wanted to go in but since I had my dogs I didn't go in. I've been really in the mood for those shark gummies lately. You know which ones I'm talking about? They are blue ontop and white on the bottom. Anyways, I've been in the mood for them lately for some unknown reason and I checked the bulk section at both Wegmans and Tops but to no avail. My quest continues. Hopefully everyone had a good weekend. Now quit reading this blog and go out and enjoy the lovely weather while it lasts.