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Wow.

April 21, 2011

Creative title, right? But still it pretty much sums up my feelings regarding the past 48 hours in Sabre Nation. It’s been a wild & crazy ride so far, hasn’t it?

– If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know I’m a huge fan of The West Wing. There’s a line from the show about how victories are sweetened and defeats are softened because they were done together by a team. Last night’s win was that sweet victory that was a result of total team effort. Miller played an outstanding game in net, coming up big when needed. Kaleta was his usual punchy, twerpy self. Gaustad was solid on faceoffs again. Connolly was a dependable penalty killer. Gerbe was a tempest in a very small teapot. Myers was a beast on defense and Pommers scored the lone goal. I’d call that a good, balanced team effort.

– The Sabres have definitely stepped up their game in the video presentation department. The playoff open is incredibly well done. Excellent work to link the 16 end of the regular season wins with the 16 wins needed to win the Cup. I’ll admit that I hadn’t made that connection at all. And I also hadn’t noticed that win number 7 came on the day that Rick Martin passed. The music is also perfectly paced and works well with the hockey footage. Bravo, Sabres staff, bravo.

– While I could write an entire post about how the Sabres skaters too often appear to be looking for that “perfect” shot rather than just taking the shot that’s available to them, I won’t. There’s far better writers out there that are able to be much more eloquent than I would be about the topic. However, the power play needs to stop being a neverending bunch of passes that ultimately culminates in a blocked shot. We know slapshots haven’t worked. Try a wrister or a lucky bounce. Don’t just hoopedty-do around in the zone looking for that perfect pass. Take the shot and roll with it.

– Where the heck has Rob Niedermayer come from? He’s been a solid presence in each of the games so far. I’m fairly confident that he would have had a goal last night, but again, he skated too far in on the goalie and was left with no room to shoot. If he just would have whoa’d up, he would have been fine. I almost want to tell these guys to stop thinking and just do, but that might open up a whole new box of problems. So maybe the Sabres should stop thinking so much and just do. That might work.

– I love that the Mustaches for Martin effort has gotten national attention. And it might just be me, but Stafford and Miller actually look fairly decent. I know it’s not the traditional playoff beard, but it is a fitting tribute. Also, and maybe I’m reading more into it than I should, but Miller’s participation appears to be a late addition. He was fully bearded after Game 3, and then came out for Game 4 freshly shorn. Is he trying to shake up the juju?

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