I'm going to be honest, yesterday was pretty devastating. For some reason I had a real good feeling going into last night's game, and I felt pretty good through the entire game... Until, well you know.
I've never really been one to blame the officiating for a loss... Yes, there are times when the officiating is questionable and your team gets the short end of the stick. There are inconsistencies in every league and there is no fool proof way to ensure that every single game is evenly officiated. But you know what? Those two calls on us in the 3rd period were utter garbage and downright disgraceful. Forgive me if this sounds like I'm a biased homer, but I don't care. I'm too upset at those calls to think otherwise. Can anyone honestly say that those two calls were good? McCormick driving to the net, gets hooked by a Bruin, which causes him and the other player to crash Tuukka Rask's net. When you watch the replay you can even see that McCormick never even made contact with Rask, it was Rask's teammate. I mean, if I can sit at home and see that McCormick got hooked, then a god damn official who is paid by the league to officiate the games should see it too.
You guys know the end of this story. Kaleta gets a bogus charging penalty because of his hit on Lucic, nevermind the fact that his hit looked no different than any other hit that was laid this series. So the Sabres got jobbed... It's unfortunate, because I thought they looked real good last night.
But despite the fact that the officiating was pathetic and embarrassing, the Sabres had chances to put the game away earlier by going up 3-0, but they failed. Double overtime was pretty insane, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't for the penalties assessed to the Sabres earlier that made the momentum shift which was a big part as to why it was in overtime in the first place. But regardless of that, it happened and the Sabres should have found a way to battle through that. Ryan Miller made some spectacular highlight reel saves, but in the end they came up short.
So right now I'm sitting here pretty heartbroken and I'm in that "funk" you get it in when things are looking pretty grim for your team. But I'm optimist at heart, and I'm just going to try and look forward to Game 5. Remember, this is a best-of-7 series and it's not over yet. Odds aren't in our favor, but stats and odds are thrown out the window during the playoffs, as we have all seen. When you just break it down, the Sabres have to win 3 games in a row. It's not impossible. It just starts with one win. If the Sabres can battle through the adveristy that the past few games have given them and just win on Friday, then they've got something going. Vanek may be back for Game 5, and I'm sure he is just jonesin' to get some goals. Ryan Miller showed in overtime why he's a finalist for the Vezina. I just want them to win on Friday and go from there. When your team is in a hole like this, you have to think of smaller goals. Forget about the series in its entirety for a moment, and just hope for a win on Friday. That's all.
My head is saying that it's not going to happen, but my heart is telling me otherwise. I just can't get myself wrapped around the fact that the Sabres are going to take a first round exit. Not yet. It's easy to just give up, but I can't give up on my team... For better or for worse, the Sabres are my team. You can give up and bitch and moan about them, or you can try and believe and be positive and upbeat until the end. Whatever you choose, it's still not going to change the final outcome. The Sabres aren't going to win or lose on Friday night because you decided to either give up on them or believe in them. It's not going to hurt any less if they get eliminated if you decided to give up on them. So, why not believe? What else is there?