Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Super Mega-Post

A couple of things to cover in this post, let's see how I do it.

First... the Sabres won last night in a commanding performance. The 7-2 win was the most goals we've scored in any game this season, and it was great to see some *other* guys score - Myers, Butler (first of the season). Great to see Thomas score again too, as I know he's been beating himself up over it lately.

We haven't lost in regulation since December 23rd! That's almost a month! :D

The Sabres are tied for FIRST PLACE in the Eastern Conference. Well-deserved, I say.

Tim Connolly is on a twelve-game point streak.

Tyler Myers leads rookies in assists, plus-minus, and ice time!

Things are going well. Anaheim will be a challenge, and so will Los Angeles, and San Jose, and Vancouver. This West Coast road trip won't be easy, that's for sure. We'll have to get used to the time change, and play the full sixty minutes, and stay disciplined like we pretty much managed to do last night.

It won't be easy, but we can do it. I'm confident in these boys.

Last, but certainly not least, today is a certain someone's birthday... a certain Austrian, perhaps? ;)

Happy 26th birthday, #26! <3

Monday, January 18, 2010

Preview: Sabres vs. Coyotes

First published at InsideHockey.com

2010 has been good to the Buffalo Sabres so far, as the team has yet to suffer a regulation loss in the new year.

In fact, the team has gained at least a point in each of its last ten games. Their last regulation loss was a 5-2 contest against the Washington Capitals on December 23rd.

In that ten game stretch, the team is 7-0-3.

The Sabres look to continue this bout as they play the third of a seven-game road trip tonight in Phoenix before hitting the West Coast for several late-night starts.

The lineup will remain the same, with Patrick Kaleta back in. Matt Ellis, Nathan Paetsch, and Andrej Sekera will most likely be healthy scratches for the Sabres.

Ilya Bryzgalov will be in net for the Coyotes, who are second in the Pacific Division with 61 points. The team is also on a two-game winning streak.

Taylor Pyatt, who was a member of the Sabres organization from 2001 to 2006, has eight goals and four assists in 42 games this season.

In their first match-up of the season, the Sabres beat the Coyotes 2-1 on a Thomas Vanek power play goal (October 8, 2009).

Key to the Win: If the Sabres want to continue this streak, they'll need to stay out of the penalty box. Although their penalty killing has been excellent as of late, taking too many consecutive penalties doesn't help the team. They saw this in Atlanta on Thursday, when their sixth penalty of the game finally cost them a goal. If they can stay out of the box, the team won't have to worry as much about killing penalties and can instead focus on their offense.

Tim Connolly will look to extend his point streak to 12 games.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good way to start a road trip.....

All I can say is.... finally! The four days between Sabres games seemed like an eternity, even with the other hockey games on Versus and NHL Network. It's just not the same, and last night was such a relief to see the boys again.

It was a good game, albeit a little boring at times. It was very exciting to see Patrick Kaleta score in his first game back! He's been injured so much lately, on and off, and I think hadn't played a full game since before December 16th. So to see him score and do his adorable little goal celebration was very nice. Good to see him make an impact, not just in hits but also on the score sheet.

The one major problem I saw with the game was that we took too many penalties. Granted, we were able to kill almost all of them, but they need to stop. Discipline and less penalties would make things significantly easier on them!

Can I just put this on the record? I HATE OVERTIMES. They are so nerve-wracking.

Yet, for the second straight time against Atlanta this season, Derek Roy came through and clinched the win in overtime. Thanks, Derek!

(Oh, and a special thank you to Zach Bogosian for getting that penalty in overtime.)

Now, the Sabres are in Long Island! According to the Buffalo News, they have a practice at Nassau Coliseum today at 2 p.m., before the game tomorrow night.

It's a good way to start this seven-game road trip; let's hope it continues!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

You Can't Win if You Don't Play....

I literally cried after we lost tonight. I wanted Patty to get his 200th win SO badly, and I wanted us to have a seven-game winning streak. Not that six games in a row is bad, and at least we got a point - one we didn't really even earn - but I would've loved seven. And especially for Lalime.

So, basically, tonight didn't go too well.

I can't be mad at Matt Duchene. He's my favorite Avalanche player (and one of the few Avalanche I actually follow) and I've loved him since the draft. He's been doing really well, and with the two goals tonight, he's now leading in rookie scoring.

So, who CAN I be mad at?

Ugh. I don't even know. The shootout was terrible. I was a wreck, and I wasn't even at the game. I hate shootouts, and this one was way too long. I was praying, praying, praying.... and all for nothing. It didn't work.

We played terribly through most of the game. As Harry Neale & Rick Jeanneret said, for a good portion of the game it was like the Gaustad-Ellis-Mair like was the ONLY line doing anything. But it wasn't enough. It's never enough. The quick two-goal deficit wasn't good, and it was all downhill from there.

It looked good, for a while. We started to actually PLAY (which we tend to not do in front of Patty sometimes!) and scored the two goals and then tied it up and I went "OMG OMG OMG OMG YAYYYYYYYYYYY!~~~"

When Monty got the penalty late in the third, I flipped out. I love, love, love him... but getting a penalty that late in the game/carrying over into overtime when we JUST battled back to tie it is not the ideal situation. Thankfully, we were able to kill the penalty once again, but it was a nervewracking two minutes.

I don't even want to talk about the shootout. 11 shooters. Patty did an amazing job, and I'm very proud of him (and Matt Duchene!) :D

Oh, and I'd just like to include this picture because I think it's funny. MATTY, the net is not a playground!

Tyler Myers is Amazing.

Yep, the title pretty much says it all.

Tyler had 2 goals and an assist in last night's game - his first multigoal game in the NHL! I am so proud of him. He leads rookie defenseman in points, and is up there in rookies overall.

Maybe part of my love for him comes from the fact that he's only a few months older than I am, but either way... he's amazing. Just imagine how he'll be in a few years with more experience.

Ryan Miller had 48 saves - a career high - and earned first star on NHL.com! I didn't realize the shot count was that high, but... wow. Great job in that department. Overall, we had a good start to finish game, though panic hit when the Leafs scored their two goals. They had some good chances in the last few minutes to tie it up (heart attack city!) but, alas, the Sabres were able to hang on for the win.

That makes six wins in a row :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fast Start is Key...

A fast start proved to be just what the Sabres needed Wednesday night.

Three goals in 1:48 – the fastest such lead in franchise history – combined with a stellar thirty-six save performance by Ryan Miller for a hard-fought 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Before many fans had even settled into their seats, rookie defenseman Tyler Myers opened up the scoring just 23 seconds in, on a slapshot from the point.

Jochen Hecht and Clarke MacArthur followed up with two goals just a minute apart to give the Sabres an early 3 goal lead before Tampa Bay had notched even one shot.

The Lightning took their timeout, and goaltender Mike Smith remained in net after allowing three goals on six shots.

The lead didn’t last long, however, as Tampa Bay’s elite rose to the challenge. Martin St. Louis and Victor Hedman scored to make it 3-2 at the end of the first period.

“We’ve got to learn from those mistakes, and today was a good start,” Hecht said. “We came out good and dominated the first ten minutes and got rewarded with goals.”

In their past five games at home, the Sabres had been outshot 54-20 in the first period.

1:19 into the second period, the Sabres increased their lead once again as Drew Stafford notched his tenth goal of the season, on the remnants of a Lecavalier penalty that carried over from the first period.

Tampa Bay came back once again, as Lecavalier scored to close the gap to 4-3.

Just under two minutes later, Jason Pominville notched his eleventh goal of the season. The goal was put under review, as it was debated whether or not Pominville kicked the puck into the net. The lengthy review, which had both fans and coaches growing impatient, eventually ruled it a good goal, and Buffalo took a 5-3 lead into the third period.

The Sabres managed to hold off the Lightning during the third period and secure the win.

“It was nice to see us get pucks back in places where we could battle on them,” Sabres coach Lindy Russ said. “When you get 30-plus shots, it’s a better place for us.”

The Sabres had thirty-five shots and went 1-3 on the power play. In addition, they were perfect on the penalty kill, as Tampa Bay failed to score on their three power play opportunities.

There is now a four-way tie for the team lead in goals: Connolly, Pominville, Vanek and MacArthur all have eleven goals each.

Tyler Myers led the team with 23:57 minutes played, and Paul Gaustad went 12-11 on faceoffs in the game.

Gaustad (61.2%) is now second in the league in faceoff percentage, behind Washington’s David Steckel (62.0%).

The Sabres are now on a five-game winning streak, and hope to make it six when they host Toronto on Friday (7:30 pm) before the Colorado Avalanche come to town on Saturday.

(The old franchise record for the fastest three-goal lead was set in 1980, where the team scored three goals in 2:17. Ruff scored the second goal of that game.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Both teams played great. I got concerned when USA blew the 2-goal lead with just a few minutes to spare, but I'm glad we were able to get the win. I love Canada, and I'm sad they lost, but five gold medals in a row is enough (for now.)

USA! ♥