Last night a promised a full blown recap of the game on Thursday night and now it's time to live up to that promise. I briefly mentioned that I was going to be attendance at the game Thursday night but I didn't mention my seat location and the history surrounding the games I've attended. It's been right around a year since the last time I was at HSBC Arena to see the Sabres play. It was a loss against the Detroit Red Wings the last time I was in attendance.
Thursday night however was much different, first of all the Sabres won this time but more importantly I sat in the 300 level for the first time in over seven years. Oh how much I miss the seats in the rafters. The high seat location allows for a great view of the ice and it allows me an opportunity to analyze the play of both teams.
I Stand Corrected
The other day coolman856 wrote a post about the first start for Mikael Tellqvist. I commented by saying that he should play Thursday and that Patrick Lalime needed a rest based upon his previous two games. Wow was I wrong. Patrick Lalime was once again outstanding for the Sabres and was rightfully named the games first star.
Lalime made 30 saves and allowed only one goal. There were a couple of times that Lalime left a juicy rebound but either he recovered or his defense did a good job of clearing. As good as Lalime was he needs to credit his defense for help on rebounds and for forcing most of the shots from the outside.
Playing Not to Lose
I am as happy as the next guy with the Sabres victory in a MUST WIN game. However, this is no time to get excited about this teams chances. I went into the arena expecting a playoff like atmosphere but instead I seen a scared team. They always made the sure play, they didn't take many chances and they looked scared when they had the puck. Maybe this is the way this team plays and I never notice it on TV but they didn't look like a desperate hockey team and they should.
If this win was any indication as to how the rest of the season will go, I don't like this teams chances. It worked last night because they avoided making the big mistake but there are teams that will make the Sabres pay for playing a conservative hockey game.
Toni Turnover at His Best
It's no secret that I grow frustrated with the ill-advised passes by Toni Lydman. He was up to his old tricks again last night, making one of the most idiotic passes I have seen in my life. Everytime Lydman touches the puck you can actually hear everyone in the arena hold their breath (except the guy in Section 101 who missed the whole game playing kissy-face with his girlfriend).
I'm not sure what else can be done to teach Toni Turnover not to pass the puck in front of his own net. Maybe they need to give Lindy a button and every time Lydman clears the puck in front of his own net he pushes it to send an electric shock to Lydman. If he gets shocked enough he may actually learn where not to pass the puck.
Roll Call: Brian Galliford, coolman856, qdloser, aerosmithers, dfderie, Americanario, stopplayinglikesissies, BeastMode
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The Sabres remain at home to take on the Atlanta Thrashers. It's another two important points for the Sabres. There is no room for the Sabres to lose games against the teams they are ahead of in the standings.