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Sabres vs. Thrashers 3/19/11 Postmortem March 19, 2011

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Twelve games remaining and we’re tied with Carolina. Now you’re up to date. On to the show:

Liked:

  • The Sabres start VERY quickly and Pominville pots one about a minute into the game after a beauty of a pass by Connolly.
  • So far the Sabres are all over the Thrashers. Let’s hope that continues.
  • Miller stopped the penalty shot after the Sabres take what I thought was a weak hooking call.
  • Mancari redirects a Myers point shot for his first goal this year. Enthusiastic celebration!
  • Pominville is having a HUGE period. Amanda approves.
  • A beautiful spin-o-rama by Gerbe.
  • Chris Butler gets his first of the year. Yep, “The butler did it!”. NOTE: they changed the goal to Niedermayer, so the butler is innocent. And scoreless.
  • Was finally paying attention enough to hear the goal song after Butler’s goal. I like it. I like it a lot!
  • After one period, the Sabres have a 15-6 edge in faceoffs. Brad Boyes and Paul Gaustad are both at 100% and no regular center is below 60%.
  • Pominville takes a hit AND keeps the puck. Hee hee hee.
  • Miller makes a great save to keep the Sabres in the lead. Yay!
  • I totally remember Rob Ray scoring that goal in the 98-99 playoffs. And little Stuey guy – awww!
  • Gerbe refuses to be denied. On the fifth try he puts it in.
  • Ennis gets a pretty clear breakaway. That goal’s gonna be on Sportscenter.
  • If Vanek keeps shooting one will go in. Keep the faith, Van.
  • Nice play to break up a good offensive chance, Butler.
  • Excellent job on the PSA, Cody McCormick.
  • Wow! Boyes just moved quick like a bunny! It’s 6-2 Buffalo. I hope they save some goals for tomorrow when I’ll be at the game.
  • Niedermayer gets his second of the night. What is going ON?
  • ANNNNDDDD Connolly scores as I was typing the above. Alrighty then.

Didn’t like:

  • Whoa. I didn’t even see what happened, but it’s tied.
  • Ennis is cut and blood drips out of somewhere. Blech.
  • Connolly hits the pipe as the 5-on-3 ends.
  • Vanek is stopped on a breakaway. The d-man was whacking him on the wrists. But apparently THAT’S not a penalty. Good to know.
  • I’m okay with using the goal horn, but is 15-20 seconds of it really necessary?
  • Pretty disorganized power play here at the end of the first period.
  • I do not approve of the bad angle goals, Ryan Miller.
  • Hey guys – how about you DON’T let Byfuglien just walk on into your d-zone without anyone so much as sneezing on him?
  • Vanek’s getting pretty frustrated. He takes bad penalties when he does that.
  • If Thorburn hurts my Pommerdoodle I’m going to be very upset!

Congrats to Ryan Miller on six straight seasons with 30 wins or more. Final score: Sabres 8 Thrashers 2

I’ll be at the game tomorrow night. See you then!

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Sabres vs. Hurricanes 3/15/11 Postmortem March 15, 2011

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Terry Pegula is putting a further stamp on his team – he’s added speakers to the 300 level, a new goal song, rally towels… Sabres fans are falling fast and hard for this man.

Liked:

  • WHAT a move by Tyler Ennis. Wow. Didn’t score, but still. Wow.
  • Good kill. Sekera is really stepping up his game.
  • I watched Montador covering Skinner and all I could think of was “Old age and treachery overcome youth and skill!”
  • If they keep taking 22 shots a period on Cam Ward, they WILL score. I guess they should take comfort in that.
  • The Versus guys just mentioned there hasn’t been much anger/animosity in this game. Thank you, Captains Obvious.
  • Marc Mancari negates an icing by winning the foot race. Nice.

Didn’t like:

  • And Gaustad gets called for hooking AGAIN. I’d like to see how many hooking penalties he’s taken this year.
  • Well, that’s a backbreaker in the last minute of the period. Poo.
  • Not much in that power play, guys. Need to do better than that.
  • Penalty trouble will kill you every time.

RIP Rick Martin. I never saw him play in person but the video I’ve seen looked amazing.

Final score: Buffalo 0 Carolina 1

Ugh. That’s not gonna help the playoff standings.

What is it like to be Marc Mancari? December 8, 2010

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I’ve often wondered, as I’ve watched Marc Mancari, whether in training camp, preseason, or in a call-up situation – what is it like to be Marc Mancari? To my mind, he’s too good for the AHL and not good enough for the NHL (side note: sometimes I hope players don’t read my blog). So does it suck to be him because he’ll never realize his dream of playing full-time in the NHL, or is he happy becauseĀ  he still gets to play the game he loves and makes decent-enough money?

In Portland, and in Rochester before that, he’s an integral part of the team. He’s a veteran player and one of the leaders on and off the ice. He logs big minutes and is counted on to help his team win every night. He’s got a good chance of making the AHL All-Star team each year. These are all things he wouldn’t experience as part of an NHL team. Logic dictates that he would be happy.

But he’s a professional athlete, and professional athletes (so they tell us) strive to the best. If that’s the case, is he dissatisfied with his life?

I’d hate to think so, because if someone goes through their entire career never accepting what they are when it doesn’t appear there’s any way to change their circumstances, they’re doomed to a lot of miserable days. For his sake, I hope he’s happy. I hope he tries to be the best he can be, but if that means being one of the best players in the AHL, then that’s what it means.

Your thoughts?

Sabres vs Bruins 3/29/10 Postmortem March 29, 2010

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Yeah, so I’ll admit I didn’t even know the Sabres were playing tonight until around 10:30am. For some reason I had it in my head they weren’t playing again until Wednesday (and yes, I know that’s their next home game, I just thought it was their next anything game)… but I guess they have to make up those games-in-hand at some point, eh?

Liked:

  • While I’m not happy Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek are hurt, I’m curious to see how the kids do. UPDATE: And Mancari takes the first penalty of the game. That’s not the way to get the coach to notice you, big guy.
  • I love it when the puck glances off opposing d-men and into the net.
  • And Ryan Miller stands tall on the penalty shot. I was a little worried when he started to go down before Sturm made his move, but he was ok.
  • I can’t decide if this should be under “Liked” or “Didn’t like”: Thomas is pulled in favor of Rask after letting in three goals on 13 shots. See, here’s the thing – I really like Tim Thomas. I think he’s a righteous dude and I’m sorry to see when he doesn’t play well. That being said, yay! The Sabres chased another goaltender. Say what you want about how the Sabres totally rely on their defense and Miller, blah blah blah… but they’ve chased their fair share of goaltenders.
  • Here’s our puck-moving defenseman, Toni Lydman…
  • Heh. Gerbe just tried to pull Chara off a guy during a scrumb in front of the net. He came up to about Chara’s waist.
  • On a completely unrelated to hockey note, I bought some strawberries at Tops and they’re surprisingly delicious for this time of year.
  • Upon hearing Thomas got pulled, my hubby said, “It wasn’t his fault – if they’re going to pull anyone it should’ve been Wideman.” Good point. Not gonna happen, but good point. I hope Wideman buys Thomas a nice a steak tonight.
  • For a little guy, Ennis has got some mad puck control skillz.
  • WHAT a save on Recchi. And that’s good, because I really hate Recchi.

Didn’t like:

  • Pat Kaleta hurt his thumb and had surgery. He’s done until at least the playoffs. Boooooo. My theory is that he broke his thumb when he repeatedly punched that rookie in the head in the game last week.
  • Craig Rivet has gotten noticeably slower this season. I wouldn’t be broken-hearted if he didn’t play for us next year. The only question is: who will take the captaincy? *insert scary music here*
  • Pommer takes a shot off his foot. I swear that kid’s like the Energizer Bunny – you just can’t stop him. Tim Connolly blocks a shot and goes down like he’s in the middle of a hail of gunfire; Jason Pominville winces, finishes his shift, and skates back to the bench.
  • Geez, Ennis was 145 pounds when he was drafted and is only 160 now? No wonder he looks bite-sized! As I tell my hubby, “I could fit him in my pocket!” (and probably have room for Tim Kennedy and Nathan Gerbe in there…)
  • Derek Roy gets pulled down a lot. I understand that, but he’s got to stop bitching at the refs when he doesn’t get a call.
  • It doesn’t seem like Stafford should be so easy to take down…
  • Well that was a fluky second goal for the Bruins. Let’s not give this game away, boys.

They held on, and that’s good. Up next: Florida. Let’s keep climbing!

Pirates vs. Americans 11/12/09 Postmortem November 12, 2009

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Since I don’t know the team as well this is going to be an abbreviated post. Plus, I think I’m getting sick, so I’m going to bed soon. A decent amount/quality of sleep is nearly impossible when you have an 11-month-old child, so I need all the help I can get. Moving on…

This was a huge win for the Pirates – the Amerks are a much better team with a much better record. Too bad more fans weren’t on hand to see it. Announced attendance was 4,600. Didn’t look like that many to me, but what do I know?

Liked:

  • The top line of Mancari, Ennis, and Gogulla – created chances all night.
  • Tyler Ennis – he’s little, but he’s feisty. He’s kind of like what Gerbe has looked like when I’ve watched him at the AHL level, not so much the NHL level where he seemed to disappear.
  • TJ Brennan – played a simple game, but was pretty effective.
  • Paul Byron – scored a beauty of a shorthanded goal.
  • Kyle Vanwig – the Amerks repeatedly tried to get him to fight. He didn’t take the bait. To make things even worse, he scored the last goal (into an empty net, but still).
  • Drew Schiestel – another d-man who played within himself.

Didn’t like:

  • Nathan Gerbe didn’t play. I don’t know why, but I’d guess he was injured. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
  • The Pirates’ energy level in the first period. They got better in the second and played the third about even with the Amerks. Where have we heard that before?
  • Mike Weber – he didn’t do anything specific to deserve this, but he also doesn’t look like a player who should be making the jump to the NHL.
  • The goal horn. Did it have to be that loud? Were they compensating for the lack of fans in the building?

Sabres play Calgary tomorrow night. I hope they all live through it – Dion Phaneuf is a badass.

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