Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Rare Occurrence

The title of this post isn't just in reference to the score of last night's Sabres-Oilers game. Yes, putting a 10-2 hurting on a playoff team on their home ice is something we hardly ever see from any team, much less this Sabres team.

It's also not in reference to the fact that the Sabres were actually one of the lead stories on ESPN last night and this morning. I was actually going to take a picture of the crawler because we know that's not going to happen too often.

No, the title of this post is in reference to the fact that the Sabres played so well last night and made me feel so comfortable that I actually fell asleep in the middle of the third period. I'm sure some of it had to do with the book I was reading for class today, but I genuinely liked the feeling of not thinking that I had to stay on the edge of my seat the whole game. I liked the idea that when I opened my eyes, we would still have a commanding lead, and maybe a few more goals to boot (which we did).

Let me put one thing out there: I am an extremely nervous hockey spectator. Ask anyone who has ever watched a game with me; I am biting my nails and twirling my hair until the final horn sounds, maybe even hyperventilating at points. So thank you, Sabres, because tonight I was able to watch a hockey game and truly enjoy it. Sometimes I forget how nice it is to see a game start out good and finish even better.

Drew looks ready for a nap...I guess scoring a hat trick takes a lot out of you.

I guess I can't decide what really happened last night. Were the Sabres really that good or were the Oilers really that pathetic? At this point, I honestly don't care because I think that the Sabres were good enough - maybe not "10 goals good," but good enough.

The team played with fire and passion from the first 10 seconds on. What was most impressive about that fact was that this was the type of game that we used to lose and lose badly. Coming off a five-day break, flying across the continent, enduring the time-change...we've heard those excuses before. I think the thing that made me happiest about last night's game was that we didn't have to use those excuses, and that is real sign of maturity coming from a group that we all thought would never really grow up.

Another thing that I liked about last night was the fact that the team didn't really go back into old habits once the score started going up. Sure, there were pretty plays, but they weren't at the expense of sound hockey and playing as a unit. The forwards covered for the defensemen when they were pinching, and the forecheck was relentless (I was especially impressed with Clarke MacArhur in this area last night).

My unsung hero of the game goes to Ryan Miller. In a blowout like that, goalies often get forgotten, and in the moments when the Oilers put on the pressure, Miller stood tall. In a game that will be remembered for its offensive fireworks, I'll remember some excellent goaltending as well.

The only bad thing about last night was the lack of close-ups on my new favorite Oiler, Andrew Cogliano. I developed a serious crush on this boy after an interview a few weeks ago on Hockey Night in Canada, where he was extremely well-spoken and surprisingly funny. The fact that he was the fastest skater at the All-Star Skills Competition certainly helped him stay in my mind:

Tonight, the Sabres face the Calgary Flames, one of my favorite teams in the West because of how hard they play every night. It also bears repeating that the man I consider the ultimate NHL Captain will be out there against us tonight:
If I was a guy, Jarome Iginla would be my man-crush.

I don't know how I feel about the outcome for this one, but I guess if last night taught me anything, it's that I shouldn't count these boys out.

PS: If anyone knows where I can find the picture they showed on the broadcast of baby Staffy in his Oilers jersey, please let me know; that was too cute not to have on my computer!

I also heard this morning from Paul Hamilton on WGR that Stafford was awarded the Pigeon of the Game, and he was doing postgame interviews with it on his shoulder. Is it just me, or is that image hilarious?


Beth said...

It's not the baby pic but Staffy did wear the pigeon proudly on his shoulder. It gets funnier when an Oiler interviewer says, "What is that?"

Katie said...

Thank you so much, Beth! I was wondering where the pigeon had gone; I'm so glad to see that he's found a home on Staffy's shoulder.

I can't imagine any reporter being able to take him seriously in that interview. haha

Shelby Rose said...

I loved seeing Staffy with the pigeon on his shoulders. What a riot!

Katie said...

What a riot!

I especially love when he says that he's going to sleep with the pigeon for the night. Too funny!

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