Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Musings

Did you ever just have one of those days, a day when you wish the Sabres were playing because you can't wait to see the next game?

Today is one of those days for me. There's been no hockey since Saturday's demolition of Boston's winning streak, and it's been too long for me. When the Sabres are winning, I want to see them continue winning. I want to see their heart and effort on display once again, and I can only hope that they have decided (finally) that they like playing this way as much as we like watching them play this way.

I'll admit that I'm a little nervous for tomorrow's game against the Senators. Yes, I know that Ottawa is 1-4-1 on their current road trip. Yes, I know that they are in the basement of the Northeast Division. Yes, I know that this Sabres team I'm nervous about is the same team that just beat up on the leaders of the Eastern Conference in their arena.

However, I also know that this Ottawa team has already embarrassed us once at home this season when we thought we were playing well. I know that this Sabres team has a tendency to play down to their opponents rather than crushing them as they should. I know that this Sabres team likes to get complacent after a few victories, forgetting the hard work that led to them.

With those points in mind, I was very happy to read Paul Hamilton's report on WGR's website today. To summarize his points:

*Captain Craig is set to return to the ice tomorrow. I can only hope that means he's ready to join Goose in a beat-down of Chis Neil because I've been waiting for the day his fist meets Neil's face since we signed him. Seriously, though, having their Captain back should give them an added incentive to play all-out tomorrow (even though they should be playing this way all the time).

*With Teppo battling an illness, Chris Butler has been kept up with the team. I don't want Teppo to be sick, but I really want Butler to stay up with the big club. Even if he is feeling better, give the veteran a rest tomorrow and keep the youngster in. I like everything about Butler's game right now, and I don't want him to see Portland ever again (even though it's pretty much a given at some point).

*Max is out for a stretch, but Timmy is coming back. I never wish for anyone to be hurt, but letting Max rest for a while may be the best thing for this team. Plus, with Timmy coming back, our offense should be riding high soon (hopefully). We are in desperate need of another center (no offense, Jochen), and Timmy provides play-making opportunities that should lead to even more scoring chances for other guys and an even stronger powerplay.

*The best thing about Hamilton's report, though, is what he said about the nature of the practice today:

"Ruff put the troops through a hard hour today in the Marina. He wants to make sure he stays on top of them after two very good efforts in Toronto and Boston"

This is exactly what I wanted to hear. This team needs constant reminding that they cannot rest on their laurels. I understand that this shouldn't be necessary, but it is. This is a group of hockey players who know that they are talented and think that should be enough. They need to be force-fed one of my favorite quotes: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." Two wins do not signify a turnaround, and I'm so glad to hear that Lindy is pushing them the same way as before; hopefully it will have the same results.

This is Lindy's happy handshake. I want to see more happy handshakes in the future, please.

I would be remiss if I closed this post without mentioning that the Bandits won their home opener in impressive fashion, beating the Philadelphia Wings 15-11. The view from our season ticket seats is amazing - seven rows up from the penalty boxes. If any of you ever go to a game this season, stop by Section 117, Row 7, Seat 10 and find me!


Shelby Rose said...

I would like to get the chance to go to a Bandits game sometime. I'll have to have someone hook me up with tickets, haha.

Great to hear how Lindy went about practice today. We can't let these boys get big egos after beating the top team in the conference. Have to keep them sharp!

dani said...

Could you believe Lindy actually SMILED after that game?! haha

Katie said...

I would like to get the chance to go to a Bandits game sometime. I'll have to have someone hook me up with tickets, haha.

You definitely need to go to a Bandits game, Shelby! They are so much fun because there's much less emotional investment. Plus, the crowd is CRAZY! haha Tickets are only like $15, too.

Katie said...

Could you believe Lindy actually SMILED after that game?!

Great minds think alike, Sabre Sister - when they showed him after the game, that's exactly what I said to my mom! I was shocked - the world needs more Lindy smiles!

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