– I thought it was interesting that Lindy threw Crunchy and Vanek under the bus with Kotalik regarding the Rangers game-winning goal.
“The first part of the play is going down ice and [Vanek] not shooting the puck, which led to the turnover in offensive zone when we could have a great scoring chance,” Ruff said. “The second part was our goaltender could have froze the puck [when Brandon Dubinsky dumped it on net to enter the zone]. We didn’t have to throw it away against that line. And the third part was Al’s turnover.
Sure, it might’ve been a misguided attempt to make Kotalik feel better, since up until that point, he was having a great night. But on the replay of the goal, you can really see the entire play break down. As we say at work, when our double checks fail, they fail spectacularly. This goal was a multiple spectacular failure.
– Which leads into the key problem for both teams during last night’s game: turnovers. Both teams were incredibly lazy with the puck, looking to make the flashy pass instead of making the solid, dependable pass (or, more radically, shooting the puck). I almost felt like checking both teams for color blindness, it was getting that out of control.
– Props to Kaleta for finally dropping the gloves and fighting someone this season. He did reasonably well against Avery. And if Kaleta grows up into an Avery-esque player, I’ll be glad he’s on our team and not on another.
– What was with Roby calling Rob Ray “Robby” all night? Is it the latest round of the Ray/Roby battle? However, I do like Roby in the booth with RJ. He brings a different perspective and great hockey knowledge to the analyst position. Not to mention, he doesn’t mix up Pommerdoodle and Goose on a regular basis. I also think its pretty funny that the cameraman in the little ice level box with Ray wears a helmet, while Ray’s coconut goes unprotected.
– I’m not even going to mention Bucky’s bj of Drury, because it’s a total been there, read that column. However, Bucky did do a really nice write up about Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey. Lou’s done a pretty good job keeping his team afloat and responding to the changes in the new NHL (despite trying to kill hockey by running the trap). And, unlike other teams, Lou has no player hitting UFA status this year. So he can just sit back and watch the craziness ensue in July.
– I’m a little worried about Monday’s game with Philly. They’re currently working on a 10-game losing streak. They’ll be more keyed up than usual, and Buffalo / Philly games are usually pretty intense to begin with. Philly’s also reeling from the losses of Lupul, Hatcher, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. They’re a desperate team, and so are the Sabres. Look here tomorrow night for a live and in person report once I get home from the game.
– Speaking of Gagne, I was saddened to read that one of the reasons he’s out for the season is that his first concussion earlier this year never fully healed. He took the ice despite having symptoms. Where does the fault lie in that situation: Gagne (rushing to get back) or the Philly medical staff (clearing him to play)?