Friday, March 2, 2007

Sabres 8, Canadiens 5

I guess we're back in track meet mode.

The Sabres, still playing without many of their top offensive weapons, put on a scoring clinic tonight at HSBC Arena, and once again the "Saberks" prospects figured in the outcome in a big way.

Mike freakin' Ryan, of all people, netted his first two NHL career goals, and they were things of beauty. After the game Lindy said "he's not a young prospect. He's been around a while and came so close to making this team out of camp."

Montreal did pull the goalie at the end, and I asked Ryan if he would have liked to have been out there with a chance to net the hat trick. "Heck yeah I thought about it" Ryan laughed. "But I'm just glad to have the opportunities I'm having and making the most out of them."

WNY'er Patrick Kaleta is looking like a guy who is having the time of his life. He got right in and defended goalie Ryan Miller as he was getting roughed up at a whistle, and even took a penalty, but a good penalty at that. After the game he said the hubbub still hasn't died down at home, the phone at his parents' house is still ringing nonstop. As we're talking, Sabres owner Tom Golisano cuts in to introduce himself and congratulate him on the nice game. Interesting how the two hadn't met yet, and I was there to witness it... Before continuing, I said "Pat that's the guy whose name is at the bottom of the check." Kaleta smiled.

Fun indeed.

The Sabres scored two quick ones, another was disallowed and Vanek got stoned on a breakaway, otherwise this one would have been over early. Montreal kept on coming, until Drew Stafford gave our guys a two goal cushion middle of the third. Vanek added an empty netter to seal the deal.

Andrew Peters left early with "an upper body injury". No details on how severe but hopefully nothing major. Looks Like Mancari's E-Z Pass will be getting some use as he will be coming back from Rochester to fill that spot.

So tomorrow night it's back to Toronto, and every player said tonight they expect a different game than last Tuesday, when it was all Sabres. And on behalf of my partner Peter I'll throw this in... "Die Leaves Die".

My parting comment - as I'm heading up Washington Street back to my car, I see more than a few carloads of fans wearing Montreal's rouge, bleu et blanc. So does even ONE of those cars have Quebec blue plates, you know the ones that bear the slogan "Je me souviens"? Nahhhh! Ontario plates, one framed with a logo of a Fort Erie car dealership. So let me say this.. you freakin' people from Welland and Fort Erie and Stevensville make me sick!!! Since day one in 1970 this franchise has championed the Canadian culture, the anthem, the flag, the cross border bond with Hockey Night in Canada and shared TV signals. Why can't you people wrap your arms around that and embrace this team??? But no, even when Vancouver comes to town, a city with a culture closer to Tokyo than Kitchener, you are quick to don their colors because their mailing address happens to be on Canadian soil. You guys suck! All of you!

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