Friday, January 16, 2009

Just When You Write Them Off...

...they find a way to make you believe again.

Besides the dismal start, there were so many things to love about that game:
  • Winning a game that we had no real business winning even before the puck was dropped - road trip, back-to-back games, etc.
  • Getting two points while Carolina got none (I never thought I'd say this, but thanks, Toronto!), giving us sole possession of the 7th spot for the moment
  • The passion the guys brought to the game after the aforementioned shaky start. It seemed like once they got their legs under them (which unfortunately took a few goals too many to do) they were winning all the battles they needed to in order to win the game.
  • All four lines having a ferocious forecheck. They really embodied Lindy's call to be hard to play against.
  • My Unsung Hero of the Game, Derek Roy. While Pommer will get the praise for his shot, it was Derek who kept us in the shootout with his very pretty goal.
  • Clarke MacArthur's happy dance:
Most importantly, this was a game that proved just how essential the three pillars that I call "The Trio" really are for this team:

Ryan Miller came up big once again in the shootout. After seeing him struggle through these so painfully last season, I can't help but pinch myself whenever I see him make a strong save in this situation; it seems to good to be true. Once again, he was there when we needed him the most, and I love that I'm beginning to feel once again that I can depend on him to step up in the clutch.

Jason Pominville will obviously be remembered as the hero of this game. My father was talking the whole night about how poor Pommer is just not doing much of anything this season, and I so desperately hoped that he would be proven wrong. That shootout goal was a beautiful thing, and I love when people who are due for success finally find some. He deserved all of the congratulatory facewashes and noogies that he was being showered with, especially by his one and only roommate.

Paul Gaustad had the kind of game that makes me proud to say he's my favorite player. Not only did he score two goals, he got the momentum going in his team's direction with that little fight and his unending physical play. I love it when you can see him get fed up with the direction a game is going in because you know that some great hits will be coming not long after. My father thought he would be getting his first NHL hat trick tonight, but I think being named first star is good enough! Plus, he gets to share the joy with his roomie - that must have been some power nap today with the way they both came up big tonight!

Games like this are so fantastic to me because they provide moments like this:

Sabre-love huddle!

In this picture alone, we find Teppo laughing like a kid, genuinely sweet goalie-love, and Pommer lost somewhere in the middle of all the love. It was great to see them this happy again, to see the joy I felt mirrored in their celebration.

It was a close one, but I for one will take the heart palpitations if it means finishes like this one.


dani said...

Hooooo I love the Sabres when they huddle happily after wins.

Katie said...

I love the Sabres when they huddle happily after wins.

Besides seeing Paul Gaustad score, nothing makes me happier as a Sabres fan!