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Sabres vs Rangers 3/7/10 Postmortem March 7, 2010

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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Sunday night games are strange. They’d be great if I was ever home to see one of them live, but I married into a Big Fat Italian family, so I’m not. Watching my favorite team play my favorite game on my 60″ TV with a roaring fire and a mug of hot cocoa is pretty much nirvana to me. Sad but true. Anyway, it’s after 8pm now, but I doubt I’ll finish watching the game on DVR much later than the actual finish. Did I mention I LOVE my DVR?

Marc Mancari replaces Drew Stafford in the lineup for the foreseeable future. As Tim “The Toolman” Taylor would say, Drew hurt his happy muscle. Ouch. Sorry to hear that, man. Here’s my feeling on Marc Mancari, as anyone who followed my conversation with Mike Harrington on Twitter can tell you: he’s not good enough to play in the NHL, and he’s too good to play in the AHL. It’s strange, because he’s got the size to play in the NHL, he’s got the shot to play in the NHL, and appears to be a decent two-way player.

So what’s the problem? I don’t know this for sure, but I am leaning toward effort. Usually if guys have the skills but still don’t stick in the NHL it’s because of effort. If you know of a different reason he hasn’t been able to crack the Sabres lineup (besides the sheer # of forwards between the two clubs), please leave a comment and enlighten me. I’d hate to continue to malign the kid if there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for why he continues to labor down in the minors.

I’ve often wondered if he would have a shot to stay on an NHL roster if he didn’t play for the Sabres/Pirates. Frankly, I’m surprised they haven’t traded him. Anyway, I figure this is his last shot to show the Sabres brass that he can hack it with the big boys.

On to the show…


  • Ryan Miller gets another nice ovation. I wonder if he’s going to get one at every away game for the rest of the season? Well, at least until the playoffs start…
  • I like the hustle hustle of Torres so far.
  • Just watched Myers effortlessly break up an offensive rush. His reach makes it look ridiculously easy sometimes.
  • The puck is sticking to Miller so far tonight. Here’s hoping that continues.
  • I want to give credit where it’s due: Derek Roy has been very good on faceoffs in the past several weeks. He’s currently 53rd in the league overall with a win percentage just under 50%. That’s pretty decent. For those of you playing at home, our faceoff hero, Paul Gaustad, is in 5th place at 59.5%. Come back, Goose! Broken wings suck.
  • Now, I know Vanek hasn’t been the player he can be this season, but geez, shouldn’t the Rangers have some inkling of where he is on the ice? I’m not surprised Girardi took a penalty for hooking. Vanek had him beat.
  • I LOVE Torres screening the goaltender. As Doc Emrick would say, he’s a “large human”. (He was originally referring to Paul Gaustad, who is also a large human, despite his nickname.)
  • Montador just had his thigh shoved so far in between the legs of a Ranger I thought he was going to hump him right against the glass. Oh my. I guess that’s one way to play defense.
  • Derek Roy can be a zippy little dude when he puts his mind to it.
  • Hecht crashes the net and gets into a little scuffle. Every time he does that I figure he’s saying, “I am Gerrrmannn. Do not make me mad.”
  • I hope the Sabres re-sign Tallinder. Lydman I can do without, but I’d like to keep the wily veteran with the new kid.
  • Good hustle on the Mair goal. Nice to see a guy who tries so hard get rewarded.
  • Nice action in overtime!
  • Woooo! Pat Kaleta is a hero for something other than hitting! Yay!

Didn’t like:

  • Ugh, I hope I don’t have to listen the Rangers announcers all night. Oh thank God, they switched to RJ.
  • I freeging hate Sean Avery. That is all.
  • Marc Staal appears to be the funniest-looking Staal. Not that they’re all romance cover models or anything, but Marc seems particularly… shall we say… awkward.
  • Is that a Chase logo ON THE GLASS? Geez, is that really necessary? The ads on the boards and under the ice are  bad enough. UPDATE: The Chase logo is now a Subway logo. What a crock.
  • So Olli Jokinen is quickly becoming the focus of his own joke these days, huh? You know, “Oh, that guy? He’s a Jokinen.” (Definition: a player who, once they were traded once, never fit in anywhere else.)
  • Tim Connolly’s lackadaisical play in the defensive zone is really starting to get on my nerves.
  • Did I just hear RJ right? “Knocked over by Boyle?” Really? Oh wait, that’s not Dan Boyle, it’s Brian Boyle. Now it makes sense. Never mind… *whistling*
  • So the ‘Canes just got their first shutout? Hee.
  • I just can’t warm up to Mike Grier. I can’t put my finger on why, but I wasn’t impressed with him last time he was a Sabre and I’m still not. I’m open to hearing arguments about why I should like him.
  • I hate games that are 0-0 for a long time. It makes me feel like whatever lucky bastard finally gets through is going to be a hero. Plus, when the goaltender lets one in to make it a 1-0 game and they bend over and look so sad it makes me feel sorry for them. Unless they’re Ray Emery, in which case I giggle with glee.
  • Kennedy needs to gain around 30 pounds before I’ll feel good about his chances of having a long and prosperous career in the NHL. I just think he’s going to get his ass kicked if he doesn’t bulk up some.
  • Montador and Rivet are playing together? Oy. That could be a problem – neither one of them are particularly fleet of feet.
  • So apparently no one listened to me when I suggested some shooting practice. This is why I should be a coach, or at least a highly-compensated consultant.
  • Why on EARTH did Vanek just pass to Mancari rather than taking a shot? Memo to Thomas Vanek: You are a goal scorer. I know you’ve had a difficult season, but you really are a goal scorer. Mancari is a bubble player. Don’t pass to him when you have the opportunity to shoot. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
  • The Sabres are getting out-hit at about a two-to-one ratio. That doesn’t make me happy. While I’m aware that physical play doesn’t guarantee a win, it does make your opponent less comfortable, and I’m all for that. I know the Sabres are not a physical team, but they CAN be. That’s what annoys me, I guess. They can be but they aren’t.
  • Whoa, Pominville just totally blew a tire. Easy there, son.
  • Memo to Harry Neale: It’s time to retire. Seriously.

I’m in the market for a new Favorite Sabre. Pominville’s play is disappointing me. See, there are a lot of things about Pominville besides his points that I like, so it’s hard to find another player with these attributes. Pominville is a good two-way player, he’s versatile and can play defense if need be, he’s a good teammate, he’s not flashy – he just does his job and keeps his mouth shut. Therefore, I’m not sure who is going to win the sweepstakes now. My heart is telling me to go with Tyler Myers, but it’s still too early to see if he’s going to be worth pouring my heart and soul into.

The Sabres are playing pretty much every other day for the rest of the month. Enjoy it, and here’s hoping our boys can finish in the top four and get some home-ice advantage for the playoffs!



1. Cynthia - March 8, 2010

Where to start…

First off, I don’t care for Mike Greer either and I don’t know why either.
I don’t know what to feel about Vanek– I’m frustrated by his lack of confidence and this his failure to score like he should and am tired of making excuses for him, but I can’t help but get excited when he starts scoring and sparks the team. Then he might even smile.
I’m afraid my heart is already lost to Tyler Meyers– hope he doesn’t tromp all over it.
Pommer is a heart-breaker too this year.

2. Kathleen - March 7, 2010

Why on EARTH did Vanek just pass to Mancari rather than taking a shot? Memo to Thomas Vanek: You are a goal scorer. I know you’ve had a difficult season, but you really are a goal scorer.

That made me sad for Vanek. Maybe I’m wrong, but it just seemed like another situation where his lack of confidence got the better of him. Happy as I am for Mair, I was more excited when they first thought the goal was Vanek’s. He needs every little bit of positive reinforcement he can get.

Montador just had his thigh shoved so far in between the legs of a Ranger I thought he was going to hump him right against the glass. Oh my. I guess that’s one way to play defense.

I missed that, but :^::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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