22 Apr

For the first 18 minutes, the Sabres and Rangers played a good game Friday evening, two flukey goals later, the wheels came off. They weren’t Ryan Miller‘s fault. Stuff or skates happen, especially on those first two goals, but when four straight shots over two periods amount to four goals, it was hard to watch the wheels come off. I don’t begrudge Miller’s wave after some sarcastic cheers for a save. Actually from my ushering vantage point, it was pretty funny considering. A few of the sportwriters were talking how it was a Patrick Roy moment, referring to Roy’s last moment on Canadiens ice before winning two cups in Colorado (by the way, I’d love to see Roy, a current OHL coach, get a shot with Buffalo, if Rolston doesn’t return).

I sort of hope not. I couldn’t blame Miller. He’s been statistically pretty good this short season. Given how inconsistent the play in front of him has been, the good numbers are a flippin godsend.

Yeah, fans made noise once again. There were a lot of Rangers fans in the house. There’s a lot of frustration in the air and in the aisles. Nobody wants a season to end this way, to be on the outside, while the Leafs (the LEAFS!?!?!) are the most charming hockey team in the region.

I’ve never been a BOO-er, doesn’t do anything for me. But you have to see it as a sign that the fans (you know the folks in the 300s) care, it’s how they show their love, that they are watching, not just applauding the goals (like in some rinks).

The post Drury/Briere hangover lingers and it sort of feels like Miller and Thomas Vanek‘s primes got a little squandered as we shoot for an identity.

But I got to tell you a balanced team that shows up and plays hard gets respect, even when the scoreboard doesn’t smile on em.


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