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