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Sabres vs. Stars 10/30/10 Postmortem October 30, 2010

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Well, I’m finally home for a hockey game. Let’s hope the Sabres don’t disappoint. The Captain is a healthy scratch. That’s not good……..

Liked:

  • The Sabres appear to be in a bad mood tonight. As long as they don’t take dumb penalties, the bad mood is A-ok with me. They shouldn’t be in a good mood.
  • Should I make it a “Liked” that they’re only down by one after the first period? Sadly, yes.

Didn’t like:

  • Remember what I said about penalties? Yeah, that.
  • My head is going to explode if they don’t stop taking stupid penalties. Seriously. Blood, guts, brains – everywhere.
  • Oh, the Rick Jeanneret skit. Why, why? For the love of God, why?
  • There’s just not much to say about this game. I’d to be able to insert some sparkling commentary, but the team is just not… doing… anything. It’s very frustrating.
  • A three-on-one and they can’t even get a good shot off. Ugh.
  • And now it’s 4-0. What a way to let Dallas regain their home confidence. Harry says the fourth goal puts Buffalo in an uncomfortable position. That’s laughable. This team was in an uncomfortable position as soon as they stepped onto the ice.

Ok, now I’m ready to admit that this team is in trouble. I haven’t been able to watch many of the games lately so it’s been hard to get a good handle on what they were playing like. But this team looks lost, listless. The captain is a healthy scratch. Something needs to change. This is very, very bad.

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Sabres vs. Flyers 10/26/10 Postmortem October 27, 2010

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I can’t do a Liked/Didn’t Like post for this because I fast-forwarded through parts of the game in disgust (it was on DVR since I wasn’t home when it started) when it became obvious the Sabres were melting down faster than the snowman some energy drink company built in Niagara Square this morning. Memo to companies who come to Buffalo thinking it’s a shoo-in to be cold: it’s not.

So the Sabres had a bad call go against them and a goal counted that shouldn’t have. Last night wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time this will happen. It worries me that the team STILL seems so mentally fragile that something like that makes them completely lose their cool and blow a game. Didn’t Darcy Regier go out and get guys like Leopold, Niedermayer, Grier, etc so this WOULDN’T happen?

Where was the veteran leadership when the young guys were taking stupid penalties in the second period (or even in the first)? I know where Craig Rivet was – he was taking a stupid penalty himself for cross-checking Danny Briere that led to a Philly goal on the power play in the beginning of the third period.

For that matter, where has the veteran leadership been all month? I’ll excuse Leopold from this discussion because I think he’s playing pretty well but Rivet, Grier and Niedermayer have been total wastes of roster spots so far from what I can see.

It drives me crazy that this team has no mental fortitude, and even more so that I can’t figure WHY they don’t. As a team they’ve had a lot of success over their professional careers, so why are their little egos so fragile? Buck it up, buttercups.

The Curious Case of the Perplexing Players October 25, 2010

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I know I haven’t been blogging as often as I should be this season – life has been, shall we say, a little crazy. I’ve been trying to write my book every chance I get, including during hockey games *gasp*, because my child is usually in bed by then and one of the only times I have free to write. During the day I stay home with her and it’s hard to get anything done with a two-year-old running around. 😉 Nonetheless, I shall soldier as best I can…

What to say about these Sabres? Are they a good hockey team? Do they suck? I suspect they are a good hockey team, but not as good as they looked Saturday night. CLEARLY something very, very bad is going on in New Jersey *coughIlyaKovalchukitiscough*, but I don’t think they’re as bad as they’ve looked at times either.

Even if Ryan Miller struggles all season he’s still a better goaltender than at least two-thirds to three-quarters of the goaltenders out there. Even if the power play struggles all season (and let’s face it, it probably will) – the penalty killing should be in the top ten. Even if Tyler Myers has a sophomore slump, he’s still got more natural talent and will still play better than most of the other youngsters around the league.

You may think this is a regurgitation of my “Five Reasons Not to Hit the Panic Button” post, and maybe it is, but dammit, I still believe in this team! There are just too many good players for them to continue to wallow in the dank, dark basement of the NHL.

Sabres vs. Senators 10/22/10 Postmortem October 22, 2010

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I’ve been writing through most of this game so this post might be a little more general than some of my other postmortems. But when the writing zone hits, my friends, you’ve got to go with it.

Liked:

  • I fell in love with Gaustad just a little when he walked the kid from Carly’s Club out for the faceoff. Then I fell in love with Rivet a little when I saw the look on his face.
  • Steve Montador is a gamer. Dude gets his nose broken the other night and doesn’t even put a full face mask on. Like Harry, I hope he keeps the shield on. His face is too nice to be further victimized.
  • Apparently Tim Connolly should just keep shooting from Plano, Texas if he wants to score goals.
  • I like the fact that Buffalo is answering Ottawa’s goals quickly.
  • Despite his size, it appears to be very difficult to take the puck away from Ennis.
  • I like the Butler/Montador pairing. It seems like they’re everywhere tonight.
  • Mike Grier better be a GREAT influence in the locker room but he doesn’t appear to be very good at hockey.
  • Heh. Two Ottawa players collide. Heh heh.

Didn’t like:

  • The Sabres are running around in their own zone a little too much for my comfort.
  • Myers had an elbow up in a guy’s face. I know it was probably because Myers is freakishly tall but he’s got to be careful about that. I was surprised he didn’t get penalized for it.
  • Sometimes it seems like Vanek has a short fuse, but when you think about it, he gets his ass kicked in front of the net day after day. That would make me irritable too.
  • How many gimmes is Stafford going to get before he pots one? Eesh.
  • What was up with that third goal? Man, I haaate Daniel Alfredsson.
  • Blind passes to nobody annoy me. They don’t serve a purpose usually.
  • Derek Roy, you know better than that. You’re a speedy dude – you shouldn’t have to hook somebody. And if you do, you shouldn’t have to make it that obvious. Sit and feel shame.
  • In contrast to Ennis, it appears to be too easy to take the puck away from Vanek.
  • And isn’t it fitting that Sabre Killer Daniel Alfredsson gets his 1,000th career point in Buffalo?

Well, they didn’t get it done again. This losing at home thing has got to stop.

Sabres vs. Thrashers 10/20/10 Postmortem October 21, 2010

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I already know the score of this game (thanks for spoiling it, hubs!), but I’m going to watch it from the beginning and blog it because it sounds like it was a kick-ass game.

Liked:

  • Early on the Sabres are buzzing the net. The D got the shot through, too.
  • In the first couple of minutes the Thrashers have nothing really going on. They’re chasing the Sabres around. I like it.
  • T-ennis The Mennis almost had two there. Speedy little dude!
  • Ryan Miller just ordered some cognac and a copy of The Tale of Two Cities delivered to his crease.
  • One of the things that might’ve gotten lost in the hubbub about Myers’ goal on the power play is the great faceoff win by Derek Roy that started that play. Another good assist by Butler.
  • McCormick’s becoming a player you’ve just got to love. That goal was just too easy.
  • Butler keeps his wits about him on that 3-on-1 and keeps the guy from making the pass he wanted to. Good boy! And now he defends Myers when Ladd hits him from behind. *swoon*
  • I know it probably sounds silly, but I was incredibly relieved to see the interview with Pominville. He looked… well, he looked like the Pominville we know and love. I’ve watched interviews with guys who are suffering from concussions, and it can be scary to watch (see Savard, Marc et al). I’m betting we’ll see him Tuesday or next Friday. Come back soon, Pommer!
  • After two periods the shots are 27-12 in favor of the Sabres. I like it.
  • The power play looked much better in this game, even though they only scored once.

Didn’t like:

  • Ok, thirteen minutes in and here’s my first boo. Tyler Myers, you’ve got to stop being so big and mean. 😉 Slashing is a penalty.
  • I have to say, it doesn’t seem like a smart idea to push Tyler Myers around. Sure, Lindy’s told him not to fight, but if you piss him off enough he’s not going to let you just take liberties. And really, all he’s got to do is push you a little and you’ll be in Kansas wondering where your kitten is.
  • I agree with Rick and Harry – I think Thomas Vanek got screwed – I think that was a goal. Poor Van.
  • I’d like to see a little more out of Niedermayer than I’m seeing so far.
  • Memo to Jochen Hecht: it’s not very assistant-captain-y to take multiple penalties in a game.

Well, that was a very good game! Chris Butler was a stud tonight. He needs to have a few more games like that and he won’t have to worry quite so much about staying in the lineup. We’ll see if the team carries this play into Friday night.

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