– No Stafford tonight, as he apparently has some sort of hip injury. No word on if its due to his scuffle with Pocohontas and some buffalo. Tyler Ennis – that would be the short Tyler of the 2008 draft – has been called up from Portland to replace Stafford. Anyone want to make bets as to how many Ellis/Ennis mixups Neale will have tonight? I’m thinking at least three, as Neale was mixing up MacArthur/McKinley/McIntire during last night’s game. So what if one’s a hockey player/general, one’s a president and one’s a New Kid. They’re all interchangeable for dear Harry.
– Anyway, thanks to the wonder that is The Google, I found this article regarding Stafford’s expectations for this season, including a comment from Lindy regarding Stafford’s potential:
If his career keeps progressing, Stafford could become the Sabres’ supreme leader one day. Ruff believes Stafford is a “captain-type person.”
I hope that the era of Supreme Leader Staffy does come after the eras of Supreme Leader Rivet and Supreme Leader Goose. As I re-read that sentence, I realize that it makes them sound like they’re leading their own little versions of the communist party and not leading a hockey team. But I’m not the one that used that phrase first, I just picked up the ball and ran with it. Heh.
– There’s a kerfluffle in front of Miller and Myers and Carcillo start going at it. If anyone is going to try and take on Myers, they’d have to hit up rather than across in order to land any punches. When the bodies are sorted out, Carcillo is in the box for cross checking Myers.
– The Sabres get crotchety (well, most of the time) when one of their opponents tumbles into Miller. Chris Pronger, on the other hand, shoves Sabres into Emery. That makes no sense.
– WHOO! Vanek takes a MacArthur pass and ships it past Emery. 1-0, Sabres.
– Can I still refer to Briere as a slag-faced whore or has that statute of limitations expired? Either way, he gets a shot past Miller, but it clanks with a thud off the post. That goalpost was Miller’s best friend and gets a cookie from this blogger for it’s heroic effort in preventing that goal.
– Gaustad and Pronger decide to go after each other as a result of Pronger shoved Gaustad into the crossbar. RJ takes this opportunity to make a Mrs. Lauren Pronger joke, which while kind of low, is still funny. Gaustad was all hepped up over the hit and honked mightly at Pronger while trying to chase him around the ice. Apparently, HONKHONKHONKHONK HONK HOOOOOOONK translates into “don’t effing touch me again, you dirty rotten arsehole.”
– Roy deflects a beautiful pass from Vanek off the goalpost. That’s the second Sabres shot in the past five minutes that went off the post and/or crossbar. Emery’s posts and crossbars do not get cookies from this blogger.
– On intermission, we’re treated to a recap of Ryan Miller’s visit to the Grand-Am race at the Glen this past summer. I give him credit for doing a gently understated version of “Gentlemen, start your engines.” I’ve seen entirely too many versions of it that are just so ridiculously over the top. When Miller mentions that he had previously been to the Detroit Grand Prix when it was on Belle Isle, my mother and I then try to figure out whether Miller was there when it was a CART/Champcar event or an IRL event, as both series raced at Belle Isle.Why is this important? Because the IRL represents the downfall of American open-wheel racing, and I’d really like to not think of my beloved goalie attending an IRL race…even if he was comped admission or a member of the red hat brigade. I realize that statement makes sense to only about three of you in the audience, but Tony George’s egocentric asshat-ness ruined the greatness that was American open-wheel racing.
– What’s the hit count from Kaleta tonight? We hear RJ talking about them, but we don’t seem to be seeing them.
– Something happened to Rivet and he’s bent over in two on the Sabres bench. His body language is screaming “fuck…..owwww…mommmmmmmyyyyyyy.” Or words to that effect.
– Emery gets caught out of the net but scoots back in time to stop Timmy from firing the puck into a wide open net.
– And now it’s Miller’s turn to get caught out of the net as Richards tries a wraparound, but luckily the Sabres skaters team up to force Richards to go wide and give Miller enough time to get back in the crease.
– Oh dear, Tallinder gets leveled by Laperriere and heads off to the bench. I hope that hit doesn’t cause Feisty, Competent Hank to retreat and cause Shy Scared Hank to come back out.
– Holy hell, that was an ugly shift by the Sabres. There’s shots flying, bodies tumbling and Miller remaining the lone line of defense against the Flyers. Luckily, the Flyers do not score.
– WHOOOO! Tyler Ennis gets his first NHL goal as he’s in the right corner of the crease at the right time to put the puck past Emery. Not bad for a kid who got off the plane an hour before the puck dropped. 2-0, Sabres.
– The period ends with a flurry in the Sabres end, as Miller does everything but a Rockette kick line to keep the puck out of the net.
– In person, Gaustad is a solid, yet skinny, guy. When he’s in his full hockey gear and standing next to K-Syl, he’s a freaking giant. And again, Sabres broadcast people, can’t K-Syl have a box to stand on so that interviews aren’t so awkward?
– Pronger lets a shot go from the point and it gets past Miller. 2-1, Sabres.
– I’m feeling the wingnuts slowly coming loose on this wagon. Vanek gets a slashing penalty for chopping Richards stick out of his hands from behind in the neutral zone. That kinds of sounds like the solution to a game of Clue, heh.
– Way to be classy there, Philly fans, booing Chris Butler as he hauls himself up off the ice after a hit from the slag faced hobbit whore. When all is said and done, Butler is in the box for cross-checking and Briere gets a 4-minute penalty.
– Gaustad is a one man wrecking crew, as he not only wins the face off, but tips a Myers shot past a clueless Emery. 3-1, Sabres.
– Carter scores a shorthanded goal as the Sabres power play turns into one giant fustercluck. Four Sabres could not handle two Flyers. Unbelievable. 3-2, Sabres.
– Kaleta manages to catch up to Carcillo and back check the puck away from him. What’s so surprising about that? Kaleta was two strides behind and appears to be the only guy with some vim and vigor left in him at this point in the game.
– Miller’s gotten run over a few times in this period. Are his teammates blaming distraction by low flying pelicans for their inability to keep the Flyers out of the damn crease and away from their goalie?
– That was an ugly third period, and the boys may be tired and/or in need of a refresher on the “hockey games are 60 minutes long” lecture. But that should be overshadowed by Miller’s good night, Gaustad’s one man band on the game winning goal, and Ennis’ first career goal in his first career NHL game.
– Also, the Sabres and the Devils remain tied for the league lead in least number of goals allowed. Is this a product of their systems or because of their stellar goalie talent? Discuss.