I always think Montreal is the perfect opponent on a Friday night. They are the classic hockey team to me. And the marquee teams should be on Friday Nights. Boston should be saved for a Monday. They are winning but they aren't what they use to be. But Montreal is Montreal. Sure its wear Red night for heart health. And people are like that's dumb, you're playing Montreal, it will look like its a Montreal crowd. Well no, there will be Hab fans there. But today is the day they picked and they partnered up for a good cause. It just happens to be bad timing. Some people overreact to the dumbest things. We are way too concerned in how we look. People already look down on us, so who cares.
But this article actually shown some nice light on the Sabres. Darcy was asked about fighting in the NHL and comes off pretty well. A topic I really don't care about, but if staged fighting goes away, I'm perfectly fine with that. They are never good fights. No Passion. But its the start of the article that really gets me. Its by one of the top hockey writers, Eric Duhatschek
For clarity on contentious issues, a good place to start is usually Buffalo, where the Sabres represent one of the more forward-thinking bunches in the NHL.
Buffalo and Forward thinking is hardly ever in the same sentence.
Example: During the NHL lockout of 2004-05, when everyone around them was bemoaning the economic state of the league, the Sabres were busy trying to find ways of making the game more attractive for when they did get back to playing. So they ordered larger nets, at their own expense, to see what those looked like and the effect they might have on scoring. Also: For a game involving their minor-league affiliate, but staged at the HSBC Arena, they tinted the ice blue to determine if that improved the picture quality for a television viewing audience.
Also developing talent. Miller, Roy, Pominville, Vanek and Gaustad
The president, Larry Quinn, thinks the NHL needs a research and development arm (what smart business doesn't?). The coach, Lindy Ruff, has been on the job longer than anyone else in the business, belying the theory that the players eventually tire of hearing the same old, same old from the man behind the bench. The general manager, Darcy Regier, usually thinks before he speaks.
Hey nothing negative about the big 3. Bucky's head just exploded.
Coming out of the lockout, the NHL has seen remarkable growth in revenues, although Regier suggests that may not continue indefinitely – and he doesn't believe fighting represents a growth area for the league.
“I'm a big believer in forgetting about what I think, run the numbers, do the work, ask people, talk to the players, find out where they are on the issue. It's not going to be one or two people making the decision – and it shouldn't be.”
WOAHHHHH!! Research and asking people what they think? What about running a team from your gut. You know like newspaper guys. Where numbers aren't important and its all about perception. Jerry Sullivan just had a stroke.
Anyway onto the hockey game.
The Sabres are chasing the Habs and are only 5 points back of them. So its an important game to gain some ground if the Sabres want to be higher in the standings come April. They are hot, the Habs are not. But the injury parade continues. Spacek and Hecht are back, Gaustad is out. I guess the injuries have moved from defense to offense. LOOK OUT MATT ELLIS!
Well the Sabres have to look out for the usual suspects. Though some are hurt. Robert Lang is gone for the year, and maybe the best name in hockey Guillaume Latendresse is out. Along with Tanguay,Briesbois and Dandenault. Lots of letters, but only half are pronounced.
Andrei Markov leads the team in points with 40. Defensemen shouldn't lead in points, unless they are Bobby Orr. Kovalev has 36 points, which is alright, Andre Kostitsyn has 18 goals and 31 points. Koivu has 26 points and the Sabre killer Tomas Plekanec has 22 points. They really aren't a high scoring bunch. But are filled with plus players, so they play a strong defense.
I'm assuming Carey Price will be in net. He is a nice young goaltender with solid numbers. So the Sabres can't assume their offensive ways will show up. The Habs never scare me as a physical bunch, but Laraque is back, so there is a heavyweight out there.
Hey remember when Ryan Miller couldn't get a shutout, and we all waited for that 1 goal to go in? Well he has 5 shutouts this year. He had 5 combined the previous 2 years. Looks like our boy is getting better. (knocks on wood)
Enjoy the game.