Great things about tonight's 5-3 win over Toronto:
* Goose picking up the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. One assist, one very timely goal, and two fights made me a very happy girl tonight. That goal was the definition of clutch, coming exactly when the Sabres needed some life. Both of those fights proved exactly why Goose has grown into a leader on this team - he sets the tone for how the game will be handled, and tonight he showed that it would be handled with hard work and pride in their ability to defend Ryan Miller.
* The whole team finding its collective "man parts" to make sure nobody so much as looked at Miller the wrong way without being dealt with. Everyone was stepping up physically tonight, from Butler and Lydman to Moore and Hecht. I, personally, was extremely worried about how this aspect of Miller's return would shake out tonight, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the passion and grit displayed on the ice tonight.
* The heat slowly creeping back into the games of Tim Connolly, Jochen Hecht, and Jason Pominville. This had to happen for the team to pick things up in these final weeks, and I can only hope that tonight is a springboard rather than a fluke (though Pommer does have a nice point-streak going now).
* Patrick Kaleta. I love everything about his game, and tonight he was exceptional at what he does. He was hitting everything that moved, aggressively killing penalties, and working hard on the forecheck. I especially loved when the camera went to him during the third period after an especially hard body check - even by Kaleta's standards. There he was, laughing and smiling like he has the best job in the world. That's what I love about him; he's just a Buffalo boy getting to live the dream.
Oh, and I love this gem of a quote by Kaleta, courtesy of sabres.com, about tomorrow's game in Montreal:
"I guess call Fuccillo Chevrolet... It’s huge! "
There is no better way to describe it. Tonight was big, but tomorrow is..."HUGE, Buffalo...HUGE!"