1) What’s better than playoff hockey? In a series that could potentially be labeled “boring” by comparison to past playoff series and those currently underway (especially Ottawa-Pittsburgh), the Sabres and Islanders have, instead, found a way to stay interesting due to an odd debate over “shooting at the goalie’s head”, the ridiculous behavior of Islander fans at their home arena, and other issues not particularly typical of an NHL playoff series.
If purposefully shooting at a goalie’s head does happen and is even sanctioned by certain coaches as some insiders have alleged, why haven’t I heard of it before this series? Now I’m sure I haven’t heard of a lot of things, but this seems to be something that should have come up before and, because of its oddity, been remembered.
Because it seems so strange, I really believe this might just be some ploy by Lindy to distract his players from themselves. That is, the fact that the Sabres lost Game 2 probably put a seed of doubt into some of the younger Sabres’ minds. By hinting that the shots to Miller’s head may have been intentional, Lindy puts the focus on that odd situation (that probably isn’t even true) and away from the fact that this powerhouse one-seed lost a game to the lowly Islanders. It may not be true, but, if you saw the postgame news conference w/ Lindy, you could see that he almost went out of his way to mention that he thought “they were trying to shoot at (Miller’s) head”. He also said it just coyly enough so that it could have been interpreted as a joke or sarcasm. In any event, it was weird and Lindy doesn’t usually do weird things in front of the media unless he has a motive. I’m just sayin.
A final point on this - Why do referees stop play when a goalie gets blasted in the mask? Is it because it hurts so bad and temporarily places the goaltender in La-La Land or is it because the mask itself gets jarred loose so as to make it dangerous for play to continue? If it is the former, I find it to be an odd goaltender-specific fringe benefit as non-goalies get hit by shots all the time without any love/stoppage from the refs. The fact that play was stopped twice due to shots to the goalie’s mask in Monday’s game (Dipietro got a whistle as well following a shot to the face) was just one of the many odd facts and occurrences that have made this series interesting even though it hasn’t necessarily been exciting.
2) The tragedy at Virginia Tech should also serve as an unfortunate reality check to those of us (including myself) that have gotten bogged down in the fog of the Iraqi war. 33 human beings died in horrible fashion on Monday in Virginia. Today, 160 human beings died in Baghdad in comparably horrible fashion and, unfortunately, it will probably happen again soon (http://news.yahoo.com/s/a...70418/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq