Archive for the ‘Current Sabres’ Category

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Post Hoc…

December 21, 2011

…ergo propter hoc.

The above line is the title of the second West Wing episode of the first season and translates roughly to “after it, therefore because of it.” This line keeps running through my head when people bring up one specific reason for Miller’s streak of average play.

Some of those “in the know” are theorizing that Miller’s marriage is the cause of his less than spectacular play of late; that his thoughts are with his sweetums back in California instead of focused on the ice in Buffalo. The “after the wedding, therefore because of the wedding” explanation for his poor play is a joke.  I mean, unless his wedding ring is somehow giving him flesh eating disease or he’s indebted to Russian gangsters as a result of the festivities, what happens in his personal life shouldn’t be used as a justification for poor play UNLESS MILLER CHOOSES TO MAKE THAT EXCUSE. And, he hasn’t. The “woman equals bad” argument also becomes even more ridiculous when those “in the know” point out that he was playing so well in the 2010 Olympics. Well guess what, he was dating his now-wife while playing some fantastic hockey.

Call Miller out for his hockey performance (or lack thereof), but leave his wife out of it until she’s done something to deserve the press. The end.

Before I fall off my soapbox, in case you want to see the “post hoc ergo proper hoc” scene from The West Wing, you can watch it here. It’s worth the viewing, just for Richard Schiff’s impish little grin.

 

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They Shouldn’t Give Up Their Day Job

December 8, 2011

So while perusing the internets, I stumbled across two of the newest commercials from the fine folks at Dave & Adams Card World.

Sad Pommers and Sad Tyler are just too much. Also, a jpg of players holding a “sale” sign should be included with every single Darcy Regier trade proposal. How could a GM say no to a hockey player holding a for sale sign?

This one is just noteworthy because of Pominville’s barely restrained laughter and Myers exuberance at having a whole two lines to say.

This is what the Sabres have driven me to; critiquing their commercials.

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That New Season Smell

October 9, 2011

1. Yay! Hockey’s back! The Sabres are safely back home in Buffalo, tuckered out & jet lagged, but victorious over the Kings & Ducks. I was pleasantly surprised by Luke Adam’s play while in Europe. He seemed to click well with Vanek and Pominville. I know Lindy likes to muck with his lines the same way someone mucks with a Rubix cube, but I hope he leaves this line alone for the time being. 

2. I was pleasantly surprised that Pominville was named the Sabres new, permanent captain. I know most people were hoping for Vanek or Gaustad; but when you think about it, Pominville has that steady, dependable quality that is needed in someone that carries the leadership mantle. It’s also a big deal that the new captain (and the assorted assistants) are the guys that came up through the organization together. The last time the Sabres named a captain, they picked the new guy to the organization, just because he seemed to be the most grown-up  guy in the room. Now, Pominville and the assistants are the grown-ups. It’s their job to keep the team on an even keel. It begins and ends with them, there’s no one else to pull their butts out of the fire. It’s going to be fun to watch how this group develops, that’s for sure.  

And thus ends the cliche festival regarding leadership. 

3. If you haven’t looked at the Sabres.com photo galleries from the Griswolds’ European Adventure, then I suggest you do. Highlights of the many galleries include: 

  • Tyler Myers reading a newspaper. Granted, it’s a copy of USA Today, but it’s still an actual hard copy newspaper. (Gallery: Tuesday Morning Practice)
  • Lindy Ruff’s BAMF-y expression while wearing a pair of sunglasses. This photo feels like it has future internet meme written all over it. (Gallery: Off the Plane & On The Way)
  • A Disney movie (of all things) on the in-flight movie. Someone help a girl out with what the movie is. (Gallery: Leaving Heidelburg)
  • Sabres working out with weights. I know every player has their own specialized workout regimen, but it’s kind of comical to see Pominville and Myers working out with the hardcore weightlifter weights while Miller & Leino are using the “lady-sized” dumbbells. (Gallery: Monday Practice at SAP Arena)

Thank you to the Sabres staffers who took these photos and worked hard on the team’s media coverage while on this trip. Your hard work is really appreciated by those of us here in the cheap seats at home. 

4. The October issue of Buffalo Spree magazine focuses on the Buffalo sports scene, with articles on Ryan Miller, Pat Kaleta, Buffalo mascots, the WNY Flash, Buffalo Soccer Club and more. There is a lot of quality writing in this issue, so I do recommend that you pick up a copy. However, what was most intriguing was the article on Ryan Miller. One paragraph had two bits of info that jumped out at me. First…

Several members of the local sports media told me off the record that they admire Miller’s charity work, and that this makes it harder, at least on a subconscious level, to criticize the guy for letting in the occasional bad goal.

Oh really? The (supposedly) impartial media admits (off-the-record) that they’re soft on Miller because he’s such a good guy off the ice? If this is the case, by making this sort of statement, these media members are admitting that they would have no problem calling out Miller if he was a complete and total bastard off the ice. (On the other hand, that might explain a lot of the Timmy hate. But that’s another story for another time.) 

Secondly, Miller claims that the media by trade are designed to be pot-stirrers and focus too much on one point that they know nothing about. He might have a tiny, bitterness-coated point here. And I’m not saying that just because 5 for 25 is still a local joke. How many times have some media members gone to the same well for commentary topics? However, that doesn’t mean that players have to be hostile to the media in the locker room. All the players have to do is smile & nod, answer the questions, wish the media a nice evening and then go about their business. If players are getting this out of sorts about media coverage, perhaps they should stop reading/listening/watch said coverage. It is entirely possible to watch the news and read a newspaper without hearing/seeing/reading sports stories. I work with people who prove this fact true every single day.

5. Finally, I cannot stop watching this clip of bear cubs in a hammock. Enjoy and catch you back here later in the week for the “official” home opener. 

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Roy-Z

August 4, 2011

If it wasn’t for Derek Roy joining Twitter, I would never have seen this video.

Where do I even begin?

- I stopped counting the number of times he mentioned that he had plenty of places for people to crash. Between the basement mattress farm, the beds in the boathouse and the little shack out back, Roy-Z must have 25-30 available beds at any one time. Does he really have that many people over at any one time that would need to crash?” And if there are that many crashers, just how relaxing is this summer home for Mama and Papa Roy-Z? I do however, commend him for providing ample crashing space so that no one that’s been indulging would actually go out on the road and crash into something or someone. Good boy, Derek!

- I did think it was incredibly sweet that he built a master bedroom suite for his parents so they would have their own space. And I would kill for that claw foot tub in his parents’ bathroom. Then again, it wouldn’t fit in the bathroom of my apartment, but a girl can dream, right?

- Any time I see a house with a pool table in the dining room/living room area, I’m immediately reminded of General Hospital. Two of the show’s leading men – Jason Morgan and Lucky Spencer – both have pool tables in their dining rooms instead of regular tables. I don’t like when my hockey players remind me of blinky mob hitmen or weepy cops. Then again, Roy could learn a few acting tips from these two in order to more convincingly sell his “dives.” Err…penalty drawing attempts. Right. That’s what we’re calling them now.

- I’m not even sure I want to ask why one would have a steam room/shower in full view of the bedroom. On the other hand, it does show that one is completely free with one’s body to be able to be showering/steaming in full view of whomever might walk into the bedroom. (Or whomever is crashing, to use the phrase of the day.)

- I understand that Roy wanted his bed to match his decor (words I’d never thought I’d write on this blog), but speaking as someone who’s quite the klutz, that bed just screams “injury waiting to happen.” And if any co-ed naked wrestling happens there, it really could be all fun and games until someone loses an eye. (And yes, thanks to seeing that episode of “The Nanny” where Fran redecorates the kitchen, I am aware that a deer antler motif can be considered an aphrodisiac. If he is subtly trying for the aphrodisiac affect, I’m not falling for it.)

- I loved the kitchen. I guess I’m mainly jealous of the counter space & the island. My tiny kitchen just has four square feet of counter space (I measured!) and a kitchen table . It gets crazy at times when I’m trying to cook. I’d love to have all the room & space that Roy does.

- I understand that boys will need to have their toys (Exhibit A: the Ferrari and Exhibit B: the boat), but I really hope Roy is saving for his post-hockey life. Sure, his salary is a lot of money, and more than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes, but look at the increasing number of stories that we are hearing about current & former athletes who have spent through all their money. I know it’s silly for me to be concerned about a professional athlete in light of the fact that the stock market took my 401k for a ride today, but it is worth noting.

- The view of the lake and the surrounding area was gorgeous. I’d like nothing more than to curl up in one of those Adirondack chairs with a good book and a cold beverage and just relax. That area looks so peaceful.

I do have to say that this home tour was much nicer and decidedly less snarkable than the last home tour Roy-Z did. Our little star is growing up.

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Dear Sabres – Game 2 Edition

April 16, 2011

Dear Sabres,

Stop taking stupid penalties. I mean it. It is easier to play hockey with five skaters, not four. You had six penalties in the second period alone. When you take penalties, you keep your scorers off the ice. As much as I adore a good penalty kill, I do not adore having six penalty kill attempts in one period. Please keep that in mind on Monday.

Frustratingly yours,

- Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Goose,

Your straight arm of Danny Briere in the first period was a thing of beauty. You became the talk of Twitter and I’m pretty sure you made Buffalo smile. Your ass kicking of Hartnall also was admirable. You beat the snot spewing grin right off his face. And you didn’t break your hand on his hard head. Kudos to that.

Honkingly honky honk,

- Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Nathan Gerbe,

Outstanding work in body-slamming Claude Giroux. Way to show him that just because you are fun-sized doesn’t mean you’re a pushover.

Your fellow height-challenged person,

-Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Andrej Sekera,

I was quite worried about you when Mike Richards came and poked you in the face while you were writhing on the ice in what appeared to be “man pain.” He broke all rules of good sportmanship by doing so. But I should expect nothing less from a Flyer.

Way to suck it up and come back on the ice.

Respectfully yours,

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Crunchy,

What. The. Hell? Was tonight’s game needed to average out your outstanding performance in Game 1? While I will admit that you did have some great saves tonight, there were quite a few moments when I wondered what was going through your head. I’m also surprised that Lindy didn’t park your rump on the bench for the third period. Not only would a benching have sparked the team, but also prevented you from getting killed by an overzealous Flyer.You did take quite a few checks, whacks and smacks tonight.

On the plus side, I did enjoy your yammering at Mike Richards after he poked at a wounded Sekera. I’m sure you had a pithy, witty and well-though out retort to his actions. I would expect nothing less from you.

Get some sleep and come back strong for Game 3.

Respectfully yours,

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Tyler Myers,

Stop pushing players into your goalie! It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and 99% of the time, it will be your goalie that gets hurt. Do we understand each other? Good.

Thanks,

Shots Off the Crossbar

*~*~*~*

Dear Internet Gods,

Please take pity on the poor reporters and let them have at least one game with a dependable internet connection. I know that asking for constant connectivity is a wild and crazy request, but the role of the reporter in the 21st century requires the use of the internet. I missed reading Sabres Edge this game and want it back for Game 3.

Sincerely,

Shots Off the Crossbar

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Laying Down the Law

March 28, 2011

I guess that as a non-hockey player, I will never fully understand the logic behind putting the logo of your team on the carpet in the middle of the room. I mean, on the surface level, I do get it. The logo indicates that this is your room, your team, your space. You take pride in the space and the team, and you don’t dishonor either by stepping on the symbol of the organization. But on some other common sense level, if the logo is so sacred, then why is it on the floor where anyone can/will step on it unless they are threatened with monetary penalties?

At least the laying down of the law regarding the carpet was done with a nice, pleasant reminder from Mike Grier.

Warning: this video contains a word that rhymes with “ducking,” so please be warned if you are in an office environment or other place where such language is not appreciated.

I love Grier’s “dad” tone of voice when speaking to the team and assorted media. You can tell he’s used the same tone with his kids before. (“I warned you about flushing daddy’s keys down the toilet. $20 fine goes into your college fund right now!”) While I wouldn’t necessarily want to hear about any more profanity induced freak outs from the team regarding the new policy, I would genuinely be curious as to the amount of money donated to charity at the end of the season (playoffs) because of the new rule.

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Sabres vs. Canes: Live and In Person

March 15, 2011

I was at tonight’s Sabres/Canes game. Because I don’t have one of those smartyphones (tm Dan Stark on The Good Guys), I was not able to live blog tonight’s game from the arena. I do however have a few comments on the night.

- First, Montador was blessedly brutal in the third period. I’m still not sure whether the falling down without a Hurricane in spitting distance of him or the penalty in the last four minutes of the game was the worse offense.

- Montador was not the only Sabre to randomly fall down tonight. I know Myers fell and there was at least one other stumble. Carolina had no problems, so I think we can rule out cruddy ice as a factor. Do they all need skating refreshers or aids of some sort to prevent from falling down? Speaking of skating and falling down, the little Timbits shooting on Sabretooth during the first intermission were adorable. I also thought that the Timbits animation on the scoreboard was a nice touch.

- I really liked that Pegula was sitting amongst the people tonight. Being named Mayor of Pegulaville while sitting in that section was really cute.

- I was keeping an eye out for Jersey Fouls tonight. At first, I thought my only contender would be a Zach Parise Devils vintage red and green sweater, but then I saw the following on the walk out to the parking lot. There was a nice young gentleman wearing a sweater with the name/number combination of “Jizzbot 13.” What does it mean and why does this sweater exist? (Or do I really not want to know?)

- I can honestly say that tonight was the first time that I heard “Centerfold” played on the pipe organ. (And was “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” slipped in there as well? I definitely noticed a difference in the music tonight versus the game that I attended back in December. Although I do have to ask, who slipped the “We Like to Party” song in there?

- I’m pretty sure that tomorrow we will be hearing an announcement from the Sabres that Sabretooth has been put on the disabled list with a torn rotator cuff. That cat was really working his shoulder while leading the crowd in the towel waves. (Note to the Sabres: the animated Sabretooth on the scoreboard for birthday announcements still wears a slug on his sweater.)

- Speaking of towels, the first synchronized towel wave of the night looked really cool.

- I might have missed the announcement, but was there no serviceman/servicewoman attending tonight’s game courtesy of the Sabres?

- The water in the ladies room by Section 110 was a coldish version of lukewarm, but not the ice cold that has been reported in other areas of the arena by other lady bloggers.

- Can someone get Pominville some non-breaking sticks? Or at least ensure that the Pommerdoodle has some other chew toy available in the locker room? This stick breaking nonsense is for the birds.

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Sad Goalies Not Always So Sad

March 7, 2011

Yesterday, the awesome Carole Browne shared a link to the very creative Sad Goalies Tumblr. While there are some legitimately sad goalie photos posted on the site, there are a few that a borderline sad or not sad at all.

For reference purposes, this is a sad goalie. Heck, this is a “make sure the goalie doesn’t have any sharp implements or shoelaces or bedsheets in the immediate vicinity for the next twenty four hours”, sad goalie.

This is not a sad goalie. This is a pissed off, in need of a clean pair of jammies, a nap and a juicebox goalie. (I may or may not have wanted to act like this sad goalie this afternoon due to events out of my control at the office. But I did not, because that is not appropriate office behavior.)

This is not a sad goalie, either. This is a dead goalie. Or one that’s just resting. Or one that’s contemplating the end of his career, which might actually make him legitimately sad. Then he remembers that he is getting paid a lot of money to be a glorified assistant coach/doorman. Then he is happy again.

Finally, this might not actually be a sad goalie in the traditional sense of the word, but sad in that he’s become nothing more than a punchline.

And it’s not on the site, but a sad goalie stick tap definitely has to go to Jose Theodore of the Minnesota Wild for his valiant performance in giving up Rob Niedermayer’s first goal of the year. Buck up sport, you’ll go down in history on that one.

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What’s Next?

February 24, 2011

- If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am a fan of The West Wing. One of Josiah Bartlet’s favorite things to ask on the show is “what’s next?” Terry Pegula answered that question for us on Tuesday: what’s next is winning a Stanley Cup. Before that (or to aid in that), the immediate “what’s next?” is to attract players to Buffalo. We all know that players fall in love with Buffalo once they get here, it’s the getting them here that’s been the hard part. Gossip about how previous management treated the players ran rampant throughout the league, and no matter how much current players talked up the organization, players were reluctant to come here. I have a feeling that Pegula’s true enthusiasm for the team, the sport and the city is going to shine through and that we may be seeing free agents start wanting to come here during free agent season.

- I said on Twitter last night that Pegula must be feeling like a kid in a candy store. He’s met his hero Perreault, was surprised at center ice by the French Connection, and had an entire arena full of fans chanting his name. Where else can you go from there?

- According to Thomas Vanek’s official blog, Pegula is throwing a party at the arena for not only the Sabres players & staffers, but also their families. I really do think that is a nice touch, as the families are just as important as the players themselves. And if you continue reading Vanek’s blog, it seems that his mini backyard rink is the site of quite the ruckus when Leopold & Lalime bring their kids over. I really like hearing warm and fuzzy anecdotes like this one, as it stresses how close some of them are off the ice. We rarely hear stories like this from the media because warm and fuzzy generally doesn’t sell papers or gross ratings points. I’m not saying I want an entire sports report or sports section full of warm and fuzzy, but the occasional bit would be nice. And can someone tell me how the Sabres can have a no-Twitter policy, but yet Vanek can still blog? A blog is still social media. Just saying…

- The decision to waive Rivet was shocking on one hand because he’s the team captain, but yet not shocking because the guy has had his rear permanently glued to a seat in the press box for a good chunk of this season. It’s going to be fascinating to see whether another team picks him up on the re-entry wire, or whether he just fades back into the press box for the remainder of the season if Darcy can’t pull a trade out of his hat.

- I’m decidedly not a fan of Pegula calling out local sportswriters for being tough on players. By their play – or lack thereof – players help sportswriters make the case that they are soft, fragile, clumsy, lazy and whatever other adjective has been used to describe some players lately. Writers write what they see. They aren’t paid to be the team’s spin doctors (that’s what PR guys are for*). Sports writers are meant to be objective news reporters, or in the case of commentary, present their arguments in a logical and hopefully fair manner. It’s not the owner’s job to plead the case for his players. The players should be able to handle a little criticism from the media. They’re professional athletes and grown ups. They shouldn’t be running to PR/management every time the media has a negative thing to say about them.

*I know PR isn’t spin. Put your rotten tomatoes down.

That’s not to say that the media is blameless in its somewhat contentious relationship with the team. There are times that issues have been hashed and rehashed until they’ve just turned into a talking point that seems to be included because it’s expected. I think that both sides need to move on and just start with a fresh slate now that there’s a new man in town. What’s in the past is in the past. Move on.

- Finally, and this is completely not hockey related, I watched the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery before I left the office today. There’s always something exciting and awesome about a space shuttle launch. I mean, it’s 6 very brave men and women sitting on top of a rocket getting hurtled into the great unknown. There’s a lot that can go wrong (and has).  The fact that the shuttle program is winding down and there is no viable replacement in sight makes me kind of sad for what this current generation of kids is going to miss. My parents, as most baby boomers, grew up in the midst of the Cold War and the space race. As kids, they lived through JFK promising a moon landing and the growth of the Apollo program. They encouraged their kids – my peers – to study math and science so that they could be astronauts some day. Game shows targeted to kids regularly gave away trips to space camp. The way things are going, my generation is going to be the last one to grow up with space travel as a “regular” thing. What’s next after there’s no shuttle to hurtle people into outer space? Do we not strive for the moon or further exploration because there’s budget difficulties and cuts have to be made somewhere? Who knows. I feel like this scene from the West Wing encapsulates why space is still so important:

What’s next, indeed.

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Notes and Thoughts

February 5, 2011

I know, I know, I haven’t written a lot around here lately. I’ve been alternately sleepy & grumpy when I’ve come home from the office, and there are times I feel like I’ve said all I have to say during the day on Twitter. But then, a big news week happens and you just feel the need to blog.

- Thursday’s press conference was quite entertaining once I got the sound on my work computer figured out. The bittercakes expressed by Golisano and Quinn were off the charts. I can understand how they might be frustrated with the fans and media, since public opinion of them changed so radically after The Day that Hockey Died Drury & Briere left town. Up until that point, they were still operating under the perception that they were seen as the saviors of hockey in Buffalo and could do no wrong. Once Briere & Drury changed sweaters, the fans saw Golisano and Quinn for what they really were: shrewd businessmen focused on the bottom line, who may have been hockey fans on their down time. It might be a horrible reality check, but it happened. We – both fans and Golisano/Quinn – just need to move on. And hopefully, Pegula moving into the owner’s suite will all allow us to do so.

- I know injuries are never funny, but only Rick DiPietro could manage to injure his knee while getting punched in the face.

- Did anyone else notice the comedic awkwardness of Gaustad’s postgame interview last night? First, K-Syl needs to have a box or a stool to stand on when interviewing the really tall guys. It would make the shot look so much better. Second, Goose’s high beams were quite obvious in the neutral colored UnderArmour shirt he was wearing. It made for an awkward camera positioning, as the camera guy was trying to avoid the high beams and yet keep Goose and K-Syl in the shot, which was made all the more difficult due to K-Syl and Goose being on two different height planes! It’s a vicious cycle, and I don’t blame K-Syl for being short (lord knows, I live in heels to compensate for my lack of height), but when the interviewer is “yay high”, and the players are “yay-yay high”, there has to be a way to level the playing field.

- I enjoyed seeing Gaustad/Grier/Niedermayer as the dominant scoring line last night. These guys have all kind of faded into the woodwork from time to time , so seeing them step up and lead the team was a nice change of pace. Now if only the Sabres can get their muckers and grinders firing at the same time as their top lines. Then they might be a dangerous team.

- I can attest that there are plenty of Toronto & other Canadian residents in town for tonight’s game. They were all over the Galleria mall earlier today. They way they were carrying on at Lord & Taylor, you would have thought they had never seen shoes on sale before, LOL.

- Conan O’Brien has come up with what may quite possibly be the most adorably disturbing concept ever: the Lingerie Puppy Bowl.

- The pre-game spiel contained the title of “Leafblower” in regards to Ryan Miller. For the love of everything holy,why does no one run these things past a 12-year-old to avoid any innuendo or awkwardness? Why not call him “The Rake?” Oh wait, that might be awkward too. (See: here.)

- K-Syl dissed canned spaghetti during the first intermission break. I know what he meant, but there is nothing wrong with the occasional can of Spaghetti-O’s. Nothing wrong at all.

- I’m never, ever one to criticize ads (stop laughing!), but I’m confused as to why Ellen Pompeo was chosen as the spokeswoman for the Huggies/NHL PSA.? Google tells me she’s a member of their “Diaper for Every Bottom” campaign, but why not choose a “real” hockey mom? You could really have some fun with it. Imagine Mama Crunchy or Mama Niedermayer or Mama Staal giving that speech. It would add an aura of realism to the commercial. And I’m not saying this just because it’s a good idea, but also because I can’t look at Ellen Pompeo and not see Meredith Grey. The idea behind the PSA is a good one, it’s the talent I’m having a problem with.

- Goose’s goal tonight was scored off a nifty drop pass from Grier. This is the second consecutive game where the Goose/Grier/Niedermayer line has been one of the best for the Sabres.

- I may be one of the few people out there who doesn’t “get” Tumblr. I don’t mean to be all fuddy-duddy-ish, but I’ve never found it very user/reader/audience friendly.

- I know a lot of people mentioned it on Twitter, but it takes a real tough hockey player to pick fights with and target the littlest guys on the ice. The Leafs were especially guilty of it tonight, going after Gerbe, Ennis & Byron. The only problem with that strategy is that these guys have fire and will fight back if provoked hard enough.

- I’m sorry, but Rob Niedermayer giving Rob Ray a love tap with his stick during the third period was funny. I know Ray was kvetching about it messing up his suit, but it’s still fun to see the guys on the ice interacting and having fun with the broadcasters.

- Speaking of fun times, RJ informed us during the game that the upcoming Florida roadtrip is the Sabres annual trip with their fathers. Altogether now, awwww. I love that NHL teams promote these family bonding moments.

- I know it’s the Leafs, and the Leafs haven’t won in Buffalo in dogs years, but a win is a win. I will take the two points and go about my business.

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