- The night doesn’t get off to a good start for the Sabres. First there was the announcement that Rivet is playing. Then, it’s announced that Miller will be out and is day-to-day with a lower body injury. I really hate the phrase day-to-day. It adds nothing of value to the discussion, because as human beings, by definition, we are all day to day. But I digress. Sitting out tonight means that Miller’s lower body will be scrutinized for a whole different reason at tomorrow night’s Catwalk for Charity. If he so much as winces, or has a wonky gait, it will be discussed ad nauseum. Hopefully some rest and therapy will help Miller’s lower body heal.
- Vanek’s first period goal was incredibly hot. He just smoked it past Smith. I’m so glad to see that Vanek has gotten the proverbial monkey off his back. It’s great to see him not look so unpleasant and despondent after every game. Next up on the “getting his game back” list is Pommers.
- I can understand WHY Connolly’s second period goal was waived off, but at the same time, it’s not like Pominville intentionally tried to whack the puck to Connolly. He and the Tampa player both swatted at the puck like it was a jump ball and Pommers won. If the Tampa player would have won the jump ball (for lack of a better phrase) and gotten the puck to a teammate who got away on a break toward Lalime and scored, would they have waived that off as well? I would think that standards would be consistently applied. Oh, wait. I forgot what league I was dealing with.
- What in the name of French-speaking goalies was Lalime thinking when he made that ass-backwards backhand right to the Tampa player for the second Lightning goal? Good lord, that was horrible and unneeded. And unjustified. And a whole lot of other “un” words that I can’t think of right now. Patty, nothing personal, but you’re fired. If Miller is unable to go next game, I want Enroth.
- When Rob Ray is making sense and being a valuable, contributing, less-blowhardy member of the broadcast, you know it’s a freaking strange night. He was cracking jokes that made sense, and had a concise analysis of just how many passes Lalime could have potentially made on his gaffe other than the one he chose. Wow. I don’t know where this Rob Ray came from tonight, but can we keep him, please?
- I’m beginning to think there’s a new edition of “Honkers Illustrated” in the penalty box and that’s why Goose has been in there so much tonight. I mean, there is no excuse to have 6 penalty minutes with 24 minutes left to play in the game. You cannot have your number one face off guy in the box for long stretches of the game when you are down a goal. It’s like a rule or something.
- Off topic for a second, while I know they’re a Buffalo holiday tradition, the figurines in the old AM&As holiday windows are TERRIFYING. I understand the nostalgia that those of my parents generation have for these decorations (see: my mother’s 10 minute monologue on going to see the windows and then having dinner at AM&As and then getting candy for the ride home), but they are still terrifying.
- Moving on. What a beautiful tribute from the Canadiens tonight for Pat Burns.
- There were quite a few BS non-calls during the final two minutes of play. I do love the broadcast crew quickly pointing out that Vanek, Ennis & Myers were all clearly tripped by Tampa players with no call made by the refs. (It’s reminiscent of those reality show moments where a contestant is running around like a chicken with their head cut off screaming about missing an object, and the cameraman is clearly focusing on said object that is right in plain sight.) However, you know that if it had been Goose as the tripper and Stamkos as the trippee, that play would have been called six ways to Sunday and Goose would again have been sent to the box to continue reading “Honkers Illustrated.”
Since we’re heading into the holidays, I’m going to end this post with one of my favorite Thanksgiving related video clips. Friends always did fantastic Turkey Day episodes, but this is probably my favorite moment. You’ll have to go direct to YouTube to watch it, as the video is not able to be embedded.