– Before tonight’s game, I want to express some WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! and Congratulations to the USA u20 Junior team that beat Canada last night in Saskatoon. The game was wide open and well played by both sides. When the final goal went in the net, you could almost hear the arena deflate. I got a kick out of seeing the joy and happiness on the USA players faces, and the group sing-a-long to the Star Spangled Banner was such a treat. The game got me so excited for next month’s Olympics and for the WJC’s here next year.
I know this video has been making the rounds on the web today, but it’s absolutely fantastic.
I want to hear this chant coming out of the US locker room next month in Vancouver. Can the US team beat the world to win the Olympic gold? They may be underdogs compared to Russia, Canada and Sweden, but 30 years ago a group of underdogs won gold, so it is possible. And they would be completing the US gold trifecta. The U-17 kiddos did it earlier this month. The U-20 kiddos did it. I’d hate to see a bunch of pros get shown up by a bunch of kids. When it comes to the team in Vancouver, all I have to say is that “In Miller we trust.” (Although, what if it’s some fiendish plan by Wilson to ride Miller like Secretariat during the Olympics so that he’s run down during the remainder of the season; which benefits the Leafs?)
– While the broadcast was comparing rookies Hedman and Myers, I realized that the Lightning might need to do some further photoshopping on Hedman’s roster photo. Those aren’t bags under his eyes, those are suitcases. Myers looked glowing and healthy, while Hedman looks pale and sickly.
– While I’m waxing poetic about the above, Timmy wins the draw and Myers rips a shot top shelf over Smith’s shoulder and everyone stands around all confused because the puck zipped out of the net *that* fast. 1-0, Sabres.
– I’m reading Sully’s thoughts on Roberto Alomar when Jochen Hecht gets a stick on a Rivet point shot and redirects it past Smith. 2-0, Sabres just shy of 1:15 into the game. I wonder if the key to tonight’s game is going to be that I need to be distracted?
– Sweet merciful hockey playing baby Jesus, Smith is just outside the blue paint, makes a chest save on a point shot and the rebound unfortunately (for Smith, at least) falls directly in front of MacArthur, who puts it in the open net. 3-0, Sabres.
– These Sabres must have had their Wheaties before tonight’s game (or they’re all tired of hearing the fans and media bitch), as they haven’t gotten off to a quick start like this in a good long while.
– I miss the Tampa goal while getting my laundry out. 3-1, Sabres.
– Alrighty then, Hedman gets one over Miller’s shoulder. 3-2, Sabres.
– Holy crap! According to Sully, Timmy has played in 84 consecutive games without getting hurt. Without wanting to jinx things, does this mean we have to retire any and all jokes regarding to Timmy residing in a plastic bubble or being held together with spit, bubble gum, duct tape and the grace of god? What else will we have to snark about when it comes to Timmy. Oh, wait…
– Gaustad and Malone exchange some belated holiday wishes in front of the Sabres bench. How nice.
– Staffy scores on the power play to make it 4-2, Sabres. I’m a little bumfuzzled by the camera dudes decision to show during this goal celebration a group of girls holding a “Smile for me, Roysie.” sign. These girls were all of 12, mind you. I suppose it’s a good thing they were only requesting a smile and not a meeting behind the Zamboni after the final horn.
– While I’m trying not to sound like a heinous bitch in response to something posted on my Facebook page, Lecavalier scores on an out of position Miller to make it 4-3, Sabres.
– WHOOO! The population of Pominville increases again! Lydman’s backhand is lost in the crease and Pommers taps the puck past Smith. The play is reviewed because there is some debate as to whether it went in off a skate or Pommers stick (and it’s amazing how crotchety the crowd sounds when it’s announced that the play is under review). We’re treated to many zoom ins on the crease and as the play is shown on the Jumbotron, Lindy starts gesticulating from behind the bench. After a ridiculously long review, the play stands. 5-3, Sabres.
– Dear Ryan: please do not do this thing called “puck handling.” It never ends well. You were lucky that bad turnover didn’t lead to a Tampa goal. Thank you from the management here at Shots Off the Crossbar.
– Myers falls down just inside the Tampa zone, which leads to a Tampa 3-0n-1, with Lydman as the one. Lydman manages to get his stick down and stop the rush as Tampa tried to make one pass too many. Where have we seen the one pass-too-many schtick before?
– I would love to have a purse made from the fabric that is Kevin Sylvester’s tie. The color and the print is kind of a one-color Vera Bradley type style.
– I miss a good chunk of the early part of the period as I’m on the phone with my grandmother. So sorry for the lack of detail, but family comes first.
– For what I think might be one of the few times this season, Gaustad is not leading the league in face off percentage. He is 0.3 percentage points behind David Steckel (61.9% to 61.6%).
– Aww, the fans do the count up cheer. I love hearing that cheer. And let me also add my voice to the chorus that “we want six!”
– Ohlund clanks one off the post behind Miller. I think Miller owes that post a nice shiny buffing after the game as a thank you for that one. And…that sounds kind of dirty now that I think about it, but I don’t mean it that way.
– Montador is prevented from getting an empty net goal by Foster with minimal time left on the clock.
– The win tonight is the Sabres 5th consecutive. Can they make it six in a row on Friday against the Leafs?