First period thoughts: Passing is squirrelly at best. Miller made some solid saves. McCormick/Ellis/Boyes did some good work out there but they can’t be the best line. Sekera had some good plays, Gragnani needs to learn how to receive a pass. Myers is still having a rough go, with the penalty and some tough plays around his own net. I’m fine with the goal not counting, could’ve gone either way but when the foot moves forward, and the refs started discussing it right off. Personal note: I almost cheered in the pressbox. Bad Tick.
Second period thoughts: Vanek went Atlas on his goal, but the D is still just slinging pucks all over the pace and hoping the right guys get them. They are lucky this is the Panthers and not the Capitals. The Sabres seemed to pick up their play and operate a bit more coherently after Vanek’s goal, so hopefully that can continue on into the third. Theodore has looked beatable, but they’ve gotta get more shots – only 14 after 2 periods. Not enough. Personal note: I like the hot dogs up here better than the ones they sell at the concession stands. Which isn’t saying much.
Third period thoughts: Silent J fizzled on a breakaway. Gragnani is still a wreck. Just when you thought it was safe to plan for a win, the wheels fell off. Perhaps the retaliation penalty by Stafford was a sign of things to come. Gerbe getting the extra 2 was deadly. There were still too many passes that were sent on their way with no thought to destination. While they got a few more shots in, it was in no way enough. Miller definitely could’ve been better but you can’t lay it at his door, not totally. Seemed like no one was on the same page, except maybe McCormick/Ellis/Boyes. A tough loss to swallow. Personal note: Not sure I want my first post-game press conference to be with Angry Lindy.
Post-game presser thoughts: Lindy was ticked with their effort, using words like pathetic, disjointed and the like. Didn’t want to say too much about the calls. On a personal note, Vogl works blue and I had a difficult time not throwing down a #feces reference. It’s interesting to see the regulars operate there, there’s a hierarchy in place for questioning, though I don’t think too many wanted to gamble on getting an earful back for a dumb question tonight.
Anyway, it was a great experience. I want to thank Ian Ott, Kevin Snow and the Buffalo Sabres for the opportunity. I think I will do this again, though it’ll be easier once my wife is off work again. Philly comes to town on Wednesday, a 7:30pm start game on Versus, so plan accordingly.