Dear Buffalo Sabres,
Now that is how you play a hockey game! I think I speak for all Sabres fans when I say thank you for showing us that you do have the heart, grit, and character to keep us believing. Thank you for giving us a lot to cheer (and cheer loudly about) last night, and thanks for showing the Bruins that they can't push us around as easily as they would like to think. Keep it up on Monday, and I can't imagine the excitement you'd be coming home to for Game Seven. One win at a time, though - just go out and play in Beantown like you did last night, and it would be tough for anyone to stop you.
Dear Paul Gaustad,
Thanks for setting the tone early and reminding the Bruins often of that physical, relentless tone. I have to admit, my beloved Goose, I was worried about your game before last night. Kudos to you for showing all of us that you hadn't disappeared and showing it with authority. From each hit to the face-off win on Grier's goal to taking on Chara at the end, you made a huge impact last night, and made me proud again to call you my favorite.
Dear Tyler Ennis,
I have a feeling Tyler Myers better get used to having you as a roommate next year - you're never seeing Portland again if you keep playing like this. You remind me of a young Danny Briere, with a heart and enthusiasm twice your size. I've always liked you because us tiny people have to stick together, but I forget how small you are when I watch you play. Your hustle, skill, and love for hockey has impressed not only the fans but Lindy as well, which is no small feat. You deserved everyone of those noogies and facewashes you got last night - that goal was a thing of hard-hustling beauty.
Dear Mike Grier,
What else can be said about you? The team turned around the day you were signed, and your calm, veteran presence has truly led the Sabres to where they are right now. The news of your signing came out on my birthday, and it was honestly my favorite present this year. Blocking that shot with your head is the kind of thing that just shows what a dedicated example you are for all of these young kids on the team. All I can say thank you for today is just for being you - playing hard and with heart.
Dear Ryan Miller,
First of all, long live the "Millerstache!" Thank you for giving us something to talk about with merely your facial hair. Now, onto actual hockey matters, thank you for giving me the biggest thrill of the night when you jumped into that scrum. It wasn't just that you did it - it was that you were grabbing Satan, which made it even better. In that one moment, you showed what has been different about the team this year - it's ability to stand up for itself as a whole and for each other.
Dear Patrick Lalime,
Thanks for the best ice dancing I've seen since the Olympics! I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time, and I wish there was a video of it to share with everyone.
Dear Zdeno Chara,
I really don't like you. I have nothing to thank you for but for being beaten down by three Sabres last night, giving me the most pleasure from this series since I went to Game One.
Dear Sabres fans,
Thank you for showing that we still have faith. The shots of the Plaza last night were amazing, and I could barely hear RJ on my radio because the crowd was so loud. Down 3-1, the fanbase could have easily become less passionate, but the reverse seemed true. Being a Buffalo sports fan is something special, and I love putting myself in a category with all of you.