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Keep Your Enemies Close – Buffalo v. Philly Round 1

December 21, 2007

So tonight was the heralded return of Marty and Danny to Buffalo. I have to admit, they – along with their teammates – did put on a heck of a show.

– I will admit to being concerned at the start of the game when Lindy said he was encouraging the team to physically start with the Flyers. That usually doesn’t end well, as sometimes the Sabres have the reputation of playing like a bunch of panty-waisted doilymakers. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised tonight. A graphic put up with about 5 minutes left showed the Sabres and Flyers were pretty much dead even in hits.

I was also surprised by the play of Spacek. Yes, he did take a couple of penalties (which were questionable), but if it wore orange and black, he was hitting it. He had a great hit on Briere, igniting the crowd. And his hit on Upshaw, led to the funny moment of the night: Briere taking on Spacek. It was a bit like Henery Hawk taking on Foghorn Leghorn. Except Foghorn has a Czech accent in this case.

I say boy, I say…

– Poor Thiebault. Not only does he take a puck to the bits earlier this season, the poor dear manages to get injured sitting on the bench. One of the Philly players was shoved into the bench and Thiebault caught the guy’s stick in the snout. He was taken to the dressing room, and was available if Miller got hurt, but RJ said he was “resting comfortably” for the remainder of the game, and did not return to the bench.

– Miller again played a great game. I’m not really sure what else I can say about Crunchy’s play. I’m running out of adjectives.

– Harry Neale must be reading IPB and their thoughts on the one true Marty. At the end of the third period, he called Biron “Brodeur.” While both Marty’s are loveable, the tall, lanky Marty with the amazing blue eyes plays for Philly. The roly-poly Marty plays for the Devils. They are not interchangeable!

– Andrew Peters TOI watch: 20 seconds. Second lowest forward was Adam Mair with just over four minutes. Then again, I hope after that disaster of a fight in the first period, Peters was hiding under the bench, getting Lindy coffee or filling water bottles, necessitating the low ice time. Peters got his ass handed to him because he was too busy trying to get his equipment off to evade the punches. It’s frustrating to watch some nights.

And finally, its not Sabres related, but it’s cool. Sidney Crosby got his first Gordie Howe hat trick last night. Roby pointed out during the Sabres broadcast that today’s star players don’t really have to put up their dukes and fight anymore, that teams make sure they have one or two guys to handle the rough stuff. However, Roby also did say that sometimes a leader needs to step up and take a fist to the nose and drop the gloves to light a spark under the team. I think Sid’s trying to do that right now.

And now, the fighting styles of Sidney Crosby:

ETA: go check out Brad Riter’s blog Buffalo Main Event for photos of Miller’s mask for the Ice Bowl. Its pretty frickin sweet! You have to blow up the pictures to get the full detail, but the artwork is beautiful.

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