6-0 Final. Not much to criticize this time around…
– This game should keep quiet anyone who says we are ruined without Danny and Dru. Although it was a tired Thrashers team, the Sabres went out and dominated the entire game, finally getting their first win of the year.
– Puck possession, the power play, and overall speed were strengths for Buffalo tonight. The power play looked great, converting on the first three attempts and finishing 4 for 7 on the night. Pominville and Roy combined to score on a 2 on 1 shorthanded, capping off a stellar special teams night overall. The team appeared to be much more disciplined, only taking a few matching penalties and goaltender interference calls. A huge 5-3 PK helped take the wind completely out of Atlanta early.
– Connolly looked good tonight, especially on the power play. I loved him and Kotalik moving the puck around with Campbell, and Goose was a beast in front. We’ve all heard the stories of Gaustad on the power play in Rochester, and if he can do what he did tonight we won’t have any problems converting shots from the point.
– Overall the Sabres looked sharp, with crisp passes and played the majority of the game in Atlanta’s end. Either the Thrashers rely on Hossa more than they should, or they are just awful. Judging by their anemic power play and overall disoriented play, I’d say it’s the latter.
-Is it possible the Rangers have “killed” Atlanta much like we “killed” Philly two years ago? By that I mean an absolute playoff dismantling that sets the entire franchise back a year or two. I know it’s early, but goaltending is already killing the Thrashers, and their best player, Kovalchuk, has been out of sorts since Sean Avery got into his head. He was all over the place tonight, and not in a good way.
With not much else to say about the game, let’s talk a bit about “The Wave.”
I. Hate. The Wave. It has no place in hockey, distracts fans from the actual game going on, and in reality is the stupidest way to get fans “involved in the game.” If you want to get fans involved, make sure they are smart enough that they can do it on their own and make an actual impact on game. Preferably a rooting act of some sort that actually has something to do with the hockey going on below.
Montreal is a perfect example of this. Anytime the Habs start a rush, their fans go bonkers. The roar of the crowd as they cross the neutral zone is both impressive and intimidating, something that shows they are both into the game and actually impacting it. I know the adrenaline rush I would get leading a rush down the ice with a wave of sound following, and I’m sure the players feel it too. Every year the Habs have a significant home field advantage, something that is becoming very rare in the NHL.
Football fans don’t need to be told to make noise. (Anyone at the Ralph on Monday can attest to that) They understand what crowd noise can do to an opposing team and try to make an impact. Hockey doesn’t work with that same characteristic, but home crowd enthusiasm can help keep a team’s momentum going, whether it be a roar when Afinogenov takes the puck in open space, or even a “Let’s Go Buff-a-lo” chant during a lull in the action.
Standing up and going “whoooooo!” in rhythm does jack squat.
I mean if you want to look like an emotionless, moon influenced body of water, by all means. Just please don’t scream at me to follow when I’m trying to actually watch the game while you look like a fool. I think if we are going to be self crowned as the “New Hockeytown” we should be able to get up for Thursday night games, no matter who the opponent. The Wave shouldn’t be necessary, no matter how much gosh darn fun it is to see stuff move in a circular pattern.
If there is a logical explanation for doing the wave at a hockey game, well, that’s what we have comments for…