Sabres v. Leafs: The Return of the CrunchyMarch 27, 2009
– Glad to see ya back, Ryan! (Seriously, this is a nice shot of him. Lot of emotions running across his face.)
– CuJo looked rough tonight. Four goals on nine shots is not a good stat for any goaltender. On the other hand, Buffalo had four goals on only nine shots. How many nights have they struggled to get 2 goals on 40+ shots? Having such a high goal/shot percentage has to be morale inducing for the Sabres.
– Tonight’s interesting stat is courtesy of Greg W. at Puck Daddy: Ryan Miller was 10 years old during Cujo’s rookie season. I can’t believe that CuJo’s been in the league for 18 years already. Crikey. I’m feeling old, and I’m a year nine months younger than Ryan Miller. I can only imagine how CuJo feels.
– The first Toronto goal looked like it bounced off of Spacek’s knee. No wonder Miller looked so befuddled after it went in the net. He thought he had it.
– I spent a good chunk of the first period explaining to my mother that his name is Luke Schenn. Not Lou Chen.
– I hope the Rivet family has already gone to Sears Portrait Studio to have their Easter photos taken, as Mr. Rivet took a puck off the snout early in the third period. Even though it wasn’t bleeding too badly, he looked a little rough when he came back to the game with 8:00 left in the game.
– I think the Sabres got their bits out of storage tonight, especially where defending their goalie is concerned. Every time a Leaf so much as looked at Miller the wrong way, a Sabre was there to throw his two cents in. The biggest example was in the third period when Lori Peckorovsky Alexei Ponikarovsky stumbled over Miller. While Miller got a whack or two in with his goalie stick, Gaustad went after Ponikarovsky and eventually fought Kubina at center ice. I wonder if Lindy put a “do not let them touch Miller” edict into place for the remainder of the season?
-Tonight’s Sabres Trivia Question dealt with which Sabres have won the Masterton Trophy (Don Luce and Pat LaFontaine). The Sabres nominee will be announced Tuesday, and unlike last year where Teppo was a virtual lock to be nominated, I have absolutely no clear idea as to who would make a good nominee. Any thoughts?
– The Leafs made it a close game through sheer dumb luck (their second goal bounced in off Miller’s back and derriere) and mistakes by the Sabres (their third goal was a result of Miller making some great saves and his teammates not being able to clear the puck while he was down). They certainly kept the game interesting, that’s for sure.
– So Gaustad responds to his call out from Lindy the other night about being a -3 by picking up a Gordie Howe hat trick. Nice. Very nice. And once again, Gaustad and Kaleta continue to hit everything in an opposing sweater that so much as moved.
– And continuing with the “responding to a call out” theme, it seems that Stafford has removed his head from his sphincter and has started to play hockey again. Stafford was more physical tonight than we’ve seen in awhile, and he wasn’t hesitating to drop down and block shots. Where the heck has this Stafford been all season?
– I’m distracted from Ryan Miller’s postgame interview by Rob Ray’s antics in the background. First, he starts off by leaning nonchalantly against Peters’ locker. Then he starts fidgeting around like a five-year-old that needs to find a potty and quickly. I don’t know if Ray didn’t realize that he was on camera or what, but it was pretty comical. I did put the listening ears back on in time to hear Miller share some pretty positive thoughts about Gaustad, that Goose has been playing pretty well all season and is developing into a leader on the ice. Lindy also seconded these comments during his postgame press conference.
– Lindy also said during his press conference that Miller will play tomorrow, the only exception being if Miller is dying of death. Contrast this with Miller himself who said that Lindy still had to make the decision tomorrow morning. Memo to Crunchy: the decision’s been made. Get a good night’s sleep, some Tylenol and a healthy meal or two tomorrow and come out fighting.
– It’s not hockey related, but I’m really amused by the instafriendship that’s developed between Steve Wozniak and Steve-O on the Dancing With the Stars set. Talk about two polar opposites: the Jackass and the Techie.