I'm trying really hard to take this loss in stride. It's all apart of the playoffs, right? There's nothing like a Game 7...but damn, Sabres. I REALLY believed we were going to be witnessing a handshake at center ice last night, not a bunch of jerks in orange hooting and hollering and celebrating their comeback win.
I still believe in this team. I know the Flyers are one of the best teams in the league, but I also think the Sabres are too. When they play "their game", they can compete with the best. It will certainly be interesting to see how our mixture of veterans and our young guys will rise up to the task.
I also wanted to touch on Mike Richards's hit on Tim Connolly and the NHL's response...
I don't think anyone is surprised with this outcome. The league doesn't care about the safety of its players and they certainly don't care about looking like an objective organization because the double-standards and inconsistency would almost be comical if it didn't involve players getting seriously injured. No, that just makes it sad.
But like others have echoed, it's time to move on from this and look forward to Game 7. I know Miller and Ruff were extremely upset about the hit, and I'm sure the rest of the guys are too. Hopefully they can use that in their favor, while playing smart. Then they can advance to the second round and leave Richards and the rest of the team thinking about what could have been.
Having Derek Roy back doesn't come at a better time, with both Connolly and Pominville injured. It will be interesting to see how he plays, considering he hasn't played in several months. I don't know if he will be able to pick up where he left off, but I think he will be a great addition to the lineup nonetheless. The possible returns of Jochen Hecht and Andrej Sekera would be big too.
Last night was a gut-wrenching loss, but it's all part of the ride... I will be nervous and anxious for the rest of the day today and all day tomorrow following up to the game. I have to keep stopping myself from looking back at last night's game and thinking about all that went wrong and what the Sabres could have done to win. It's frustrating, but right now it's time to focus on winning Game 7. It's time to stop being upset about losing Game 6.
I believe that Lindy Ruff is one of the best coaches in the league and will do what he has to do to refocus his troops again. I believe that Ryan Miller is one of the best goalie and competitor in the league and will do what needs to be done in Philadelphia. I believe that Nathan Gerbe will do everything in his power to provide the spark and energy that the Sabres will need to take on the Flyers. I believe that Thomas Vanek has what it takes to be this team's captain and he realizes what he has to do to carry his team to victory. I believe that this team, despite their inability to hold a 2-goal lead last night, knows how to play with their backs against the wall and have thrived on that for the last half of the regular season. I believe that the Buffalo Sabres will win Game 7 and the series, which I have believed all along.