I’ve been examining the work of Bill Wippert for hours, searching for photographic evidence of the train wreck I saw tonight. There are many ways in which to look back at a hockey game, and oftentimes the most effective method is a picture. While your memory may shift and fade over time, and a final score can be deceiving, a photograph gives indisputable evidence of what actually happened. Pure, unaltered, professional; pictures tell the story in a way only the most vivid of writers can replicate.
The problem is that I keep looking for the smoking gun in all these and I’ve yet to find it. Sure there’s one where Derek Roy looks lazy, and one where Teppo is outworked in another; but where is the concrete proof that a 4-2 final score is completely deceiving? Where is the picture with the “I don’t give a crap” look on someone’s face?
These pictures don’t exist, and unless Derek Roy snuck in a break for tea somewhere I’m not going to find them. What I do know is that what we saw tonight was laughable, and no matter what frame of mind you watched this in we all saw the same thing: the Sabres didn’t come to play hockey, and the scoreboard didn’t reflect the performance at all. It was much worse.
The closest representation of tonight’s game is not a smoking gun but rather a simple comparison.
Alexander Ovechkin and Adam Mair. Is that really what we want to see? I know Ovechkin didn’t put one in tonight, but who actually disrupted what he was trying to do? Mair and Gaustad. When the Capitals did score, what line was relied upon as the counter-punch? Mair and Gaustad. Lindy’s right, when Mair, Gaustad, and Ellis are your best forwards you will not win hockey games.
The truth is that there is no smoking gun that encapsulates everything that went wrong tonight. No picture, no recap, and no single highlight is going to capture the problems the Sabres have. In a season that has given us the same results over and over again, the Sabres dropped the ball once again. Another home loss, and another set of excuses for the same problem.
There was no smoking gun tonight, but I think we all know better.
A few other things while you ponder where those 33 shots were hidden last night:
– If I ever get a press pass I’m going to ask Teppo what the dinosaurs were like. I’m only half kidding.
– A note to the gameday production people: no one cares what Matt Ellis’ favorite movie is. Nor do we care what Patrick Kaleta’s favorite movie is, or Derek Roy’s favorite food, or even Ryan Miller’s favorite hooded sweatshirt. These things do not matter and never will.
– Alexander Ovechkin absolutely owns Hank Tallinder at this point. The poor guy is going to have nightmares of red bald eagles with little eights chasing after him for weeks.
– The NHL video portal is annoying, but I just want to show you the difference between how Paul Gaustad and Jason Pominville reacted to the loss. Here’s Goose:
And here’s Jason:
Is it just me or is the difference between the two absolutely phenomenal? I mean at least Gaustad has a vague idea of what the problem is. Even Vanek used the term “embarrassing” and put blame on himself. Is Jason’s inner dialogue only filled with thoughts of rainbows and getting pucks deep, or does he actually realize that Clarke MacArthur is winning the scoring race between the two?
– Are any of our defenseman aware that contracts expire? Like, when is the last time we’ve gotten the obligatory contract year out of a defenseman? Even Campbell struggled for an extended period. Kalinin was terrible last season, and this year Jaro and Teppo have been freaking awful.
I mean, what the hell was Spacek doing on the second goal? I know Miller’s not supposed to give up a ten foot rebound, but I’m pretty sure Jaro shouldn’t be circumambulating Chris Bourque like a Buddhist stupa. It would be really nice if he even pretended to care about picking up the extra guy, no matter how bad a save Miller made.
– For the record, the “Goose’s Roost” sign that was up in section 315 was not us. Our sign is all but retired at this point, so feel free to take up the cause. Just do us justice, that’s all we ask.