RoosTV: Soho to SoCal

By Chris

We know these West Coast games are late. So we here at the Goose’s Roost are going to make sure you don’t miss any action, just in case you happen to doze off in the middle of it all. I’ll be live blogging tonight’s game, trying to capture what exactly is going on and how I’m feeling (aggravated or elated) as Wednesday night’s game slowly becomes Thursday’s.

Pregame

-Did Kevin Sylvester have to pay for his own airfare to the West Coast? Because there’s no real reason for him to be there. Players could very well throw on a headset and talk to Rick or Harry if they want to do an interview.

-Nice to see some Sabres fans behind the Ducks net. Buffalo representin’.

-As a part of Larry Quinn’s brilliant marketing plan, Anaheim will wear white at home tonight to exaggerate the fact that the Sabres are, in fact, in the Eastern Conference.

-Puck drops, let’s go.

-15:53 of the first period. Pominville feeds Hecht a perfect one-timer to put the Sabres up 1-0 early on. Amazingly, Hecht did not hit Giggy on that shot. A great lead pass from Connolly set that one up. Great play all around. Sounds like there’s a strong Buffalo cheering section there too.

-Nice to have Mair back in the lineup. Guy’s been a real presence all season. Interesting too that Ruff chose to go with Peters over Ryan tonight.

-Sabres playing a nice perimeter defense so far. Not giving the Ducks a chance to skate into the lanes on a direct path to the net, where they can use their size to be very physical.

-Harry Neale said something about moving the urinals up in reference to the Ducks’ Stanley Cup hangover. I wasn’t completely listening. If anyone wants to reiterate, it would be greatly appreciated and you’ll get two Goose Egg Points.

-Sekera is in the words of Ryan, balls. He fell down and almost caused an odd-man rush. Luckily Parros had the puck. Wait–Parros? Now I’m glad they dressed Peters. Maybe Snoop’s in attendance with his Parros paraphanalia.

-Connolly moving up with Vanek and Stafford with about 8 minutes left in the first. I wonder if we’ll see more of this line tonight.

-7:10 to go. Not a lot of flow so far. Some sloppy play for the most part. Both teams are getting quick chances but aren’t able to hold consistent pressure in either end. This period will probably end up just being a “feeler,”

-I hate Rachel Ray. I’m tempted to boycott Dunkin’ Donuts because of her.

-Great points by Harry Neale. Ducks are struggling not only because they’ve been without Niedermayer and Selanne, but Penner too. That’s like 200 points gone betweent he three of them.

-Almost had Parros-Peters round one.

-Now they go. Peters gets the first couple jabs in, lots of clutching and grabbing. Not a terrible fight at all, but not as great as it could have been. Mainly because Peters is overrated as a fighter. Parros really looks like the one dude from Old Country For No Men, doesn’t he?

-5:10 to go. Vanek should have cashed that one. He picked his head up after the shot, too. He knew it. If Vanek plays the way he has been lately, he’ll make sure he leaves SoCal with a goal.

-Deflected goal past Miller with 4:27 left in the first. Would have been nice to have that Vanek goal. Anaheim’s going to have some nice momentum now. Sabres need to just continue what they’ve been doing by playing a tight physical road game. MacDonald gets credit for the goal. I love that guy–much more than Sekera and Rachel Ray.

-Sure as hell wasn’t the most exciting of periods. Ducks really don’t play a run and gun style like the Sabres like to, so it’s going to be interesting to see which style prevails in the second period.

-Interesting. Can’t fly into San Jose past 11:00 for the game on Saturday according to Rick.

-Sylvester interviewing Drew Miller. Sylvester totally doesn’t need to be there. “They look just alike don’t they?” Great analysis, Sly. Enjoy the warm weather and the California hotties. No, I’m not jealous. Nope. Not at all.

-Kind of upset there will be no Lexus Shootout tonight. Wait, no, not really.

-2nd Period Time

-Perry kind of running into Miller early in the second period.

-Seems like the Ducks strategy to beat Miller will be to get shots from the point on net with traffic in front. The Sabres aren’t letting them carry the puck through so it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of Ducks shots comign in from the outside barring any major Sabres defensicve breakdown.

-Great pressure by the Ducks early on. They’ve flat out dominated the first five minutes of the period. They’re keeping a good forecheck up and any Sabres pass up over their own blue line is easily picked off by collapsing Ducks defensemen.

-14:40 Picture just went out. Awesome MSG+Time Warner

-14:38 Picture’s back. Thank the Hockey Gods.

-Miller keeping the Sabres in this one so far. Sabres can get zero pressure. 9-0 in shots in the period according to Harry. Lindy better change something.

-Gaustad and Bertuzzi chirping. Hope that continues to develop into something.

-Whew. Puck almost sneaks past Miller but he’s able to recover, get his stick down behind him and recover. A great save, should end up being the save of the night.

-Ducks going on the powerplay. Spacek going for tripping. Sekera-Lydman-Gaustad-Paille to start the PK for Buffalo.

-Roy-Connolly-Pratt-Lydman for the second unit. Lydman couldn’t get off the ice.

-Hecht and Campbell out there for the final twenty seconds. Penalty killed off. Nice to see the penalty kill clicking; this is one of the better defensive teams we’ve seen in Buffalo in a couple of years so for them to be able to effectively kill penalties is a big plus. Miller the #1 star tonight so far.

-Come onnnnn. It’s Saturday.

-Harry echoes my sentiments: “If we had the three stars now Miller would be number one, eh?” Rick: “And two and three.”

-Another penalty coming up to Buffalo. Amazing that the Ducks haven’t taken one yet. Spacek going to the sin bin yet again, this time for hooking.

-So much for praising the penalty kill. I think I’m going to keep my mouth shut from now on. Another shot from the point beats Miller. Schneider ripped it. Bertuzzi with a very nice screen there, maybe he bumped Miller, maybe not, but Sekera has to do something to get him out of the way.

-Does Buffalo even have a real shot on goal yet this period? It’s been allll Anaheim.

-5:40 Ducks are getting in front of Miller and while there might be interference, the Sabres D isn’t doing a damn thing about it. It was Paetsch and Pratt on that specific play. Give them a bump and let the Ducks know you’re there and not going to tolerate them standing in your goalie’s crease. The D played very well in the first period, so it’s weird to see them kind of passionless here in the last little stretch.

-I liked it better when the deer swore.

-Sabres forecheck is nonexistent. They need a serious kick in the arse to get them moving.

-First real opportunity for the Sabres comes seconds later. Hecht tried to jam at a semi-loose puck and guess what–he got a cross check in the back for it. Sabres need a spark.

-Wahoo! Sekera tripped by Getzlaf and the potential for a momentum shift makes itself available with a Sabres power play.

-3:42 Shots during the Poweplay: Sabres 0 Ducks 1. Not off to a flying start.

-A minute down in the penalty. No offense from the Sabres.

-Sabres are finally able to set up with about :45 seconds left on the penalty and Connolly finds Spacek for a onetime for the Sabres best opportunity of the period.

-3-1. Miller is frustrated. No help in front of him this period. MacDonald sends a great pass to Bertuzzi who just cruised in front of the net to tip it in. A perfect goal.

-More awesomeness. Sabres get some momentum out of their own end and Stafford just loses it at center ice. Comes right back down into the Buffalo end. Sabres are seriously struggling on offense. Looks like Randy Carlyle outcoached Ruff this period and the Ducks flat out outplayed the Sabres.

-Another Sabres powerplay on the way with 11 seconds to go in the period. Will have to find a way to score on it as the third period begins.

-Buffalo is lucky to only be down two goals.

-Kings are down 3-1 to Phoenix in the third. Coyotes have been re-energized since claiming Ilya Bryzgalov off of waivers from the Ducks. Sabres play Los Angeles tomorrow night.

-Third period underway. The powerplay didn’t score on that first opportunity but they moved the puck well and looked like the Sabres from the first period, not the second. And that’s a very good thing.

-Mair and Parros chatting. Nice to see the Sabres have a little bit of fire in them. Hope it carries through.

-Goose and Peters fighting! Pinned to the Buffalo bench. Gaustad got one decent shot in but ended up sort of dumping himself. Not so much a fight than a struggle of wills. Parros and Peters out there now. Hopefully this can spark the Sabres. Still waiting for Parros-Peters Round II.

-There we go. Parros-Peters. Couple good haymakers in that one. Great fight. Mair tried to start something but that broke up. Maybe this is the spark the Sabres need. Peters still chirping at Parros. Sabres are also still down 3-1.

-Vanek actually hit Pronger. Wow. Impressive.

-Game’s really heating up. You can feel the rise in intensity. Good thing the schedule changed so these teams will play more than twice every eight years. Paetsch and Kunitz yapping, Pratt restrained by officials. This is totally going to be worth staying up for.

-Kunitz took a penalty in that last scrum. Sabres with the, in the words of Joe Beniati, the man power advantage. Rob Neidermayer stickless but it doesn’t matter. Puck cleared.

-Vanek getting right up in the crease on the power play. Great to see. Again, another powerless play but it’s helping switch the momentum.

-Anaheim’s looking like Anaheim. Pronger goes to the box for interference. Just as one expires, another one begins.

-Kotalik just unable to fire it into a wide open net off a rebound. Tried to kick it onto his stick. I thought maybe Kotalik was skating away, Great puck movement by the Sabres. They need a goal right here with 10:30 to go.

-TV goes out again.

-Back moments later.

-Kotalik going to the box. Paaulsen did his job and drew it. Anaheim on the PP in about ten seconds.

-And just like that. Another deflected goal from the point. Off of Pominville’s stick (snapped it right in half) and right to Corey Perry for an easy tap in. 4-1 Ducks. Sabres not getting any real bounces. Refs get on the phone with Toronto, looking for a kick. From the replays, it could go either way. Definitely goes off the skate, but is there enough of a kicking motion there to overturn the original call of a goal? Anaheim playing from Tommy Twotone while refs are on the phone. Very nice.

-On the “X-Mo” it went from Baeuchman to Pominville, off of Sekera and to Perry for the goal.

-Goal stands. 4-1 Ducks. Would have been nice to have that Kotalik goal, huh?

-Vanek-Roy-Stafford come right back on the next shift. Strong play, great opportunities, just can’t get it in. Giggy’s been tough to beat though, can’t take that away from him.

-Miller stops a breakaway. Sure he let in four goals, but he’s been pretty damn good tonight.

-Just four minutes to go now. Unless there’s some sort of miracle it looks like the Sabres are leaving Anaheim without any points to show for their effort. A game like this though can only make the team better. Anaheim is a tough, physical team and while the Sabres won’t face many other teams with their size and intensity, the experience may make them better against other teams.

-2:39 to go. Miller with another great stop. This one on Getzlaf.

-Wait…Max dressed tonight?

-One minute left. Almost time for bed…since there’s no postgame show, of course.

-No time left. 4-1 final. And now Getzlaf goes after Pratt. The duck call/fog horn going off as the teams battle in the Buffalo corner. Even Timmy’s got his helmet off. Pratt is showing that he can be the physical presence the Sabres need. Even at 32, he’s still got a lot of gas left in him.

-Awwww…the Millers give a hug at center ice. Cute. Good to see. Drew’s got even more bragging rights now.

-Well that was fun. So when are these teams scheduled to play again? Oh in ten years? Really? I thought they changed that scheduling thing….

-The night is young. Good night, everybody. Thanks for stopping in.