I’m glad some people have been discussing the Gauthier Incident from Friday night. It’s nice to see some conversation about this, but whenever the topic of Pat Kaleta comes up I feel like I give the wrong impression of my feelings towards him. I don’t hate Pat Kaleta. In fact, I like him a lot. However, I disagree with the way he is being used by the coaching staff, and I think that unless that implementation changes he could have a very short hockey career.
Put it this way: in his current role, it is Pat Kaleta’s job to take that punch to the face. The same goes with the beating he took in his last meeting with Montreal. Both games he came away from with significant injuries, and we all know what a concussion can do to an athlete. Pat Kaleta can be more than just a guy who hits hard and draws penalties. We’ve seen flashes of it, but if this keeps up we will never get to see more.
On a sidenote, what happened to the defensive aspect of his game? His CORSI is terrible, his +/- is forgettable, and we haven’t seen him on those token penalty kills in months. I’ve understand the theory that the coaches will know when his style should change, but it doesn’t mean I don’t actively worry about his career direction and impact down the road. I may be wrong about all this, but I’d rather see it get discussed then have it forgotten.
– That said, I really enjoyed Saturday night’s game, and only the final score keeps me from saying I loved it. It really is a shame poor officiating determined the end result. I’m not saying it was biased or one-sided *coughcough*, but it completely killed the flow of the game in the second period and outright ended overtime. I was going to post a montage of officials screwing up on Saturday night but I resisted. Now I kind of regret it.
– As far as the Sabres’ play on Saturday… it was pretty solid. Miller was quite good once again, and the defense wasn’t all that fantastic either, but it was one of those rare games in which Buffalo had more than one or two players skating extremely well. Roy and Stafford have been great these past few games, but Pominville and MacArthur were very good as well. Even Vanek had his usual five shots. Atlas has carried the load all year, but this team craves balanced scoring and it’s starting to get it.
– I’ve been asked by two different readers about my due date, so I should probably clarify that I’m not pregnant. In fact, I’m a boy. A real boy. It’s not even that “Ryan can be a girl’s name, too” kind of thing. I suppose my thoughts on games over the past few weeks has been up and down, but that’s the kind of hockey we’ve seen. This is also a rough time of year, but I’ll explain that later.
– At first glance, Silver pricing on a Monday night game is rough, but given the opponent and the proximity to Christmas it does feel right. There are single seats left for tonight, so I guess they did get this one right. By the way, on Friday did you see the graphic that showed how many tickets were left for the next three home games? I wish they showed that all the time. I like knowing these things.
– Pray for Robbie Gould tonight. Don’t ask why, just do it.