VANEK I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUU.
Oh HECK YES Buffalo Sabres.
I had to catch this game throughout a meeting and would burst out cheering randomly while everyone else looked at me; and to them, I'd say, "VANEK!!! SHORTHANDED!!!" And then they'd say, "What is wrong with you?"
Damn it feels good to be rocking the Sabres cap in New York City.
Vanek, I would write an ode to you, or even a haiku, but I am bad with words.
1. Macarthur went 1 for 10 on faceoffs. Overall, Rangers won 27 and Sabres won 23. Roy and Mair were excellent on the draw, while Drury went 5 for 13.
2. All three Sabres goals were on special teams; they were 2 for 5 on PP chances and the third goal was shorthanded. Rangers were 0 for 4 on their PP. This means that Sabres remain at 100% PK while Rangers allowed their first PP goals of the season.
3. Miller stopped 19 of 20. Lundqvist stopped 16 of 19.
4. Vanek has now been the top star in all three Sabres games; he scored one SH goal and one PP goal, registering 7 shots on net.
What won it for the Sabres
1. Key moments: Kaleta's check on Mara that led to the 5-minute major, killing off Rivet's 4-minute penalty in the 3rd period, Miller's key saves at the end of the game, and not getting worked up over Rangers getting on the board first.
2. The things I called: First of all, Macarthur did badly on faceoffs, but Roy and Mair more than made up for that. Second of all, Macarthur was excellent at center (he pretty much made that 1st goal happen), and Ellis seemed to fit in with the team just fine, with a big hit on Girardi and a key shot block. Miller kept his cool and made the saves he needed to. He wasn't a headcase about letting the first goal in. PK and PP were spectacular for Sabres and Vanek continues pwning the competition hardcore.
3. Slashing might be a 2-minute penalty, but Paille/Vanek on the PK is just hot.
4. Ruff switched up the lines! A lot! Macarthur centered for Kotalik's goal and Vanek was playing on Roy's line who was teamed up with Pominville once again. Yes, a lot of the line switcheroos were ugly, but the creativity paid off. Line match-ups didn't play as much of a role as I thought they would.
5. Defence was SOLID. I attribute this to Teppo's return and Rivet being solid in front of Miller. It's nice to have d-men who will play like d-men (uh, nothing against Paestch, I mean).
I could only catch the game in five-minute segments on the radio, but it didn't seem as exciting a game as I expected, with pretty low shot totals for both sides. It turned out to be more of a defensive battle than the goalie battle I imagined.
Lindy Ruff is coaching genius. A cheer for putting Vanek on the PK, two cheers for mixing up the lines successfully, but most importantly, three cheers for his 400th win!
adwolf130 | October 15, 2008 1:28 PM ET: "Rangers win 3-0. Kalinin is going to be motivated to be playing against his former team. I just don't think Buffalo has the depth on the blueline this year."
Dear adwolf, this is what Kalinin looks like when he's motivated: http://img73.imageshack.u...img73/7190/kalininqa4.jpg
As I said, words -- they are tasty.