Sabres vs. Canadiens – 3.29.09March 28, 2009
– Like the Sabres, I spent today in Canada. I went to Ikea in Burlington, and then on the way home, did the touristy thing and walked around Niagara Falls, ON. I’ve said it before, but the Canadian side of the Falls is so much cooler than the American side. It has the better view and the totally cheesy tourist attractions that make it so much fun. I walked up Clifton Hill (which, between the Hill and the 7 flights of stairs walk to my car, means that my legs are screaming at me now) and walked along the Falls. The weather is still cold enough that the water coming over the Falls has caused ginormous blocks of ice to form at the base of both the Horseshoe and American Falls. The ice formations were absolutely gorgeous, and the ones at the base of the Horseshoe Falls were home to a number of seagulls. Also, why are the Timbits so much better in Canada than they are here?
– I’m liking that the Sabres crease has again become a no-touch zone for the opposition. Gaustad and Kaleta prove on the first Montreal shift that they will not tolerate any liberties in or around the crease. What made the situation funnier was that Miller was trying to sneak out of the crease and away from the fists of fury.
– The two minute penalty on Lapierre was bullshit. That was a nasty hit that could have seriously injured Kaleta. Lapierre should have been given a minumum four minutes, if not thrown out of the game.
– Holy hell, the Rivet / Kostopolous fight was hot. Remind me to cross the street if I see an angry Craig Rivet heading my way. Kevin Sylvester interrupts to tell us that Rivet was screaming at Kostopolous that ‘this was Round One.’ Oh lord, this game is going to get out of control quickly.
– There was a shot of three Sabres lined up in the penalty box after the Rivet fight. With Rivet, Kaleta and Moore in there, things were kind of tight. But we were at least treated to shirtless Rivet, so thank the broadcast gods for that.
– Hank takes a deflected shot off of his forehead, so while he’s off getting checked out and Rivet is in the box, the Sabres play with only four defensemen.
Ryan: “Oh shit, he’s bleeding. What do we do?”
Toni: “Usually with the kids, I kiss it and make it all better. I ain’t kissing Hank.”
Ryan: “Don’t look at me. I don’t do owies.”
– WHOOO! Mair tips a shot past Carey Price to make it 1-0, Buffalo. Someone forgot to cover Mair, as he was wide open to the left of Price. Memo to the Habs: just because he’s not a scorer doesn’t mean he should be ignored.
– I often wonder if Harry Neale’s repeated use of “the Buffalo player” during a call is him honestly not knowing who is involved in the play or if he’s just trying to be generic and leave the details to RJ?
– WHOO! Timmy rips a bullet past Price for the Sabres second goal of the night. And a power play goal, no less.
– RJ: “These guys have got to get off, but they can’t do it.” I think they have medicine for that now.
– Harry Neale mentions that Timmy’s goal earlier tonight gives Timmy 17 for the season, which is a career high. It’s kind of sad that he’s such a talented player and has only ever had 16 goals in a season. I know the concussions and crap have hindered him in the production department, but I had no idea his numbers were that low. I want to see him get 20 by the end of the year.
– Higgins rips a shot from the dot past Miller to make it 2-1, Buffalo.
– Rivet somehow gets hurt during a flurry in the Buffalo zone. He skates off the ice, doubled over, and we’re treated to several shots of him on the bench shaking out his right hand and applying ice to it. In addition, RJ notes that Kaleta has not reappeared on the Buffalo bench for the second period. I wonder if he got his bell rung after that hit in the first and his better angels talked him out of returning for the rest of the game,.
– In the dirty play department, Butler was cross checked in the back of the head, and Roy got a stick tap in the face. It’s all fun and games until someone gets seriously hurt, boys.
– RJ tries to inject a little levity into the game, as the Sabres and Habs tussle after yet again another stop by Price leads to a tussle in front of the net. RJ wonders how many times he’s said “and here we go’ during the game. Not that the chippy is getting out of control or anything.
– The Bell Centre PA System is playing “99 Luftballoons” during a stoppage in play. Awesome.
– Shit. Montreal ties it at two on a wraparound by Koivu.
– Double shit, Montreal takes a lead on a Kovalev power play goal. Stupid fucking Hecht takes a retaliatory cross checking penalty as he was removed from the puck on a breakaway. Meanwhile, Derek Roy is off for repairs after taking a stick to someplace where sticks should not go.
– I knew I should have picked up some alcohol at the Duty Free on my way home from Canuckistan. I’m not liking where this game is headed.
– During the intermission, Timmy kind of gives Kevin Sylvester an “are you fucking kidding me” look during their intermission conversation. Kevin Sylvester brought up the fact that tonight Timmy scored his career high in goals, and will he think about that now or after the game. Timmy pissily (and rightly so) replies that all he’s thinking about is the next 20 minutes, and how it’s the most important 20 minutes of the season. I liked seeing the fire coming out of Timmy, but do want to point out that we wouldn’t be hinging an entire season on one fucking period if the earlier parts of the season hadn’t been such a hot mess.
– “Ambition without determination has no destination.’ – Reportedly Lindy’s game quote for the day.I’m surprised that perspiration or some other -ation didn’t appear in the quote as well.
– WHOO! Clarke MacArthur scores his 15th goal of the season to tie the game at 3. If he would have missed the wide open net, I might have thrown my shoe at the TV.
– Sweet German on a bratwurst, Hecht continues his suckitude tonight by flipping the puck out of play. Real good, Jochen. Real good. Well, at least this penalty didn’t cost the Sabres as the PK performs admirably, including a nice shorthanded chance by Timmy.
– Whoever decided that the song with the annoying “put your hands up in the air” lyrics needed to be a part of any arena rotation should be taken out back and shot. Thank you.
– Harry reports that Sekera hasn’t played a shift in the third period, but doesn’t know if he’s hurt or just in the doghouse. My vote is for doghouse. Sekera was brutal earlier tonight.
– RJ shares the comforting stat that the home team has won every game in this series so far. Great, just great.
– Bob Gainey looks like he’s in need of an enema or something. Dude looks uptight.
– Four-on-four blahblahblah. The game will be decided in the skills competition.
– Timmy’s the first Buffalo shooter and there’s a brief delay while the refs sort out the paperwork. Timmy looks like his pissed at the delay. The mom unit cracks that every minute this game is delayed is one less minute the boys can spend at a bar when they get back to Buffalo.
– Miller stops Kovalev and Price stops Staffy.
– Next up Tanguay is biffed by Miller, who deflects it over top of the net. Pommers whiffs his shot off the fucking crossbar.
– Miller stops Koivu point blank on the final regulation shootout.
– And I beg to differ with Harry Neale. The shootout is not exciting. Hockey is a team sport and should not be decided on an individual effort.
– Price stops Roy and Miller stops Markov to complete Round 4.
– Price stops Vanek’s attempt for the top corner and Miller stops Plekanec to finalize Round 5.
– Holy flirkin schnitt. Toni Lydman scores in the shootout. Turns out its the game winner as Miller makes the save on the Montreal player. I was kind of having flashbacks to Hank scoring on Marty Brodeur last year. It’s amazing what happens when you put the less conventional players out in the shootout, eh?
– So, as it stands right now, the Sabres are four points behind Montreal for eighth. Things just got a heck of a lot more interesting. Never a dull moment in the Buff, right?
– Ooh, commercial for a free chicken wrap snacker at Timmy Ho’s on 4/1 between 1130-2. Sweet. And Wednesday is also free medium coffee day at Dunkin Donuts.