Not-So Almost Immediate Reactions- Game 6
Oh the highs and lows of postseason hockey.
Just this morning, the possibility of playing Washington was a mere 60 minutes of hockey away. All the Sabres needed to do was beat the Flyers at home in game 6. At home. In front of fans at HSBC, in the Plaza (where I was), and on national television. And for the second straight game, we would play overtime. However, Ville Leino scored the game winner, and with a 5-4 defeat, the Sabres head back to the City of Brotherly Hate tied at 3 for game 7 on Tuesday. This is it, folks. Win or go golfing. It took 16 wins to get us in the playoffs, and it could only take us one more loss to get out of ’em.
-If you’ve never been to a Party in The Plaza, your mission for whenever the next party takes place is to go. It’s a great atmosphere. There’s a live band up until 15 minutes before puck drop, and you get to see a bunch of celebrities (in my case, Terry Pegula, his daughters, sons and their friends, and Ted Black (who is sporting a Rick Martin moustache)). The buzz in the crowd is amazing, and it’s nothing like you see on television. And after the band leaves, two or three people begin passing out pom-poms. The way to deliver them is to throw them back behind you. It’s like a sea of white. Until you go to one, you’ll half understand this description. It’s not even like being inside, because these are the fans that can’t afford to go to the game, so they go to hang out with a bunch of fans. THAT is what being a Sabres fan…nay, a Buffalo sports fan, is all about.
-Now, onto the game. Ryan Miller made 44 saves in an iffy performance by my estimation. He seemed to be overworked and/or unlucky on some of the goals. This day off tomorrow should help him get more focused, and hopefully he won’t give up 3+ goals for the third straight game.
-Thomas Vanek is FINALLY living up to the $7.1 million price tag. His two goals were anything but pretty, but at least he’s scoring them. It was definitely missed last year and it’s paying off somewhat for us this year.
-I hope Tim Connolly is okay. As much as I dislike him as a player, it’s never good to see someone like that go into the glass face-first. If there’s a consolation, Derek Roy could replace him on Tuesday.
-Nathan Gerbe’s goal was a laser. He’s gonna be a good player for many years to come.
-There was a Matt Ellis sighting in this game, as he was called up for Jason Pominville. I would have preferred to see Mark Mancari, but I’m not Lindy Ruff. Ellis only played a little over 11 minutes and was a virtual non-factor on the scoresheet. Oh well, at least my co-worker Andy Meyer will be happy. Yay.
-I still hate he-who-will-not-be-spoken-of-in-this-blog. His two goals really wrecked my Easter Sunday.
-Marc-Andre Gragnani netted two more points today and finished second with 26:03 time on ice. The man is a beast.
Stat I Liked: Thomas Vanek- 2 goals.
Stat I Disliked: Ville Leino- GW Goal. I wanted to celebrate a clinching at home, not in Philly.
Game Puck: Tyler Myers for 3 assists and being a beast.
Lindy’s Doghouse: Paul Gaustad. This will be temporary, however he whiffed on Kris Versteeg’s initial passing-shot (or whatever you’d call it) to Mike Richards which led to the Leino tip-in goal in OT. He’ll bounce back for sure.
Lastly, GO TO THE PLAZA if/when we have another home playoff game!
Game 7 is Tuesday at 7:30pm on MSG. The future beyond that is unknown.
Don’t stop believing, Sabres fans. LET’S GO BUFFALO!!!!