What a way to start off November with an “eh.” 4-3 OT Final.
A few things worth noting:
– I am absolutely terrified of Phil Kessel. The One Testicle Wonderboy is getting near Sabre-killer status, and is off to a great start overall. I remember him scoring his first NHL goal against us last year when he literally took the puck off a teammate’s stick and gunned it by Biron.
– However, the real Sabre-killer has to be Marc Savard. 24 points in 25 games prior, and he picked up two more points tonight. A great shot on Miller in the third, even though I think Miller went down a bit early.
– I also enjoyed Glen Metropolit’s game tonight. I’ve always liked him (possibly because his name is just sick), and I was pretty surprised the Thrashers were willing to let him go just to rent out Keith Tkachuk for two months. Then again, he stole Goose’s third star. Screw him.
– If I were the GM of the Bruins, I would try pretty hard to avoid having a guy named “Thornton” on my team. Especially if he sucks.
– The ice looked just awful in overtime. The puck was already skipping around a bit throughout, but within the first minute of overtime a puckcarrier for both teams fell with no one around. There was a Van Halen concert there on Tuesday, but I doubt that affected the ice much. However, the forecast shows temperatures in the mid 50s in Boston tonight, and that may explain the bad ice at game’s end. One thing’s for sure, the Sabres certainly have had bad luck with bad ice recently.
– Goose has been a beast so far this year. He already has four goals, and was involved on all three goals tonight. How Gaustad didn’t get at least the third star is beyond me. Maybe Wally was picking them tonight.
– Even though Vanek continues to struggle, you have to appreciate his game tonight. He actually tried to hit the Unfrozen Cave-Defenseman that is Zedeno Chara, and showed some great vision with that pass to Max for the first goal. He still looks a bit tentative, and I miss that arrogance he played with last year. Something happened after Opening Night. He had it then (slap shot on a breakaway), but its been nothing but cute passes and shots wide since. I thought the OT winner on Saturday would break him out of it, but it may take a bit more than that.
– You have to hand it to Love Potion Lydman for that shot block sequence tonight. He may not say much, uh, ever; but coming back from a puck to the face point blank does show some on ice leadership. Also, watching him take that ceremonial faceoff was just great comedy.
– I guess the Sabres did play a pretty decent road game, and a bad bounce cost them an extra point. Special teams looked great, killing off 4/5 (including two back to back thanks to Fat Crosby) and going 2/3 on their man advantages. Puck movement continues to be excellent, but tonight they actually got the puck into shooting lanes on the point.
The Sabres will be back at it tomorrow night against Florida, a team they played less than a week ago. Hopefully being back on home ice will get them in gear a bit quicker than usual. We may have our first look at our new toy as well.