“Roy leaves it for Vanek, he scooores!”

In the words of Butch Cassisdy, Who are those guys?

Thomas Vanek cracked a joke in his post game press conference? Toni Lydman got into a fight (well, sort of)? Craig Rivet scored the winning goal? The whole team adjusted after a cardiac bursting of a second period. This is going to be fun.

I was a little worried as the refs were basically applying questionable logic in terms of what they were going to call on Thursday night in the opener as both teams could make a case for getting screwed and that always leads to trouble. The lack of heart the Sabres were criticized for earlier in the year, by well, me, wasn’t in evidence as Toni, that noted brawler, got into the act and Raffi Torres seems to have found himself.

Vanek seems to have found himself at the right time and nobody seems concerned or afraid of Chara. The first and third periods were great, our boys were full of passion, hitting what needed to be hit. The second was cause for alarm, but the nice thing is they righted themselves. We play a whole 60 minutes today, this is going to be fun.

Got to love playoff hockey. During the lovely run of 2006, my employer at the time had a space at the Arena to welcome our customers, who were basically using the tvs to watch other hockey or check on the Yankee game. I always volunteered as it was a palpable feeling in the air. To be “backstage” during the ramp up to a game at the Arena couldn’t help but get you pumped up too. It’s good to see the plaza jumping again, seems like it has been awhile.

Hopefully, Thursday was the first of quite a few parties this spring.