Random Thoughts from the Past Week
Thursday, 02.9.2012 / 2:14 PM ET
|Tyler Ennis (Photo: Bill Wippert)
I respect Claude Julien as a coach, and he’s excellent with the media during interviews. He gives thoughtful and insightful answers to questions on strategy and match ups. However, I had to chuckle when NBC’s Pierre McGuire asked Julien what the Sabres were doing to frustrate his team during Buffalo’s eventual 6-0 win. Julien said, and this may not be exact, ‘Nothing. It’s what we’re not doing. We could be a lot better.’ Of course they could, but the reason was what the Sabres were doing to prevent that! In Claude’s defense, every coach gives that answer when getting thumped during a game so forgive me for picking on him.
The game of hockey brings people together. From the grass roots level of youth hockey, to the big events like this weekend’s Labatt Pond (street this year) Tournament, people form bonds that become quickly cemented. That also happened this year with the Buffalo Sabres trip to Europe to start the season. Specifically, the first three days spent practicing in Mannheim, and the final exhibition match up against Adler Mannheim. The fans in Mannheim were nothing short of fantastic. The tribute they paid to hometown hero Jochen Hecht prior to the game was something I’m sure he’ll never forget, because I sure won’t. They sang in chorus, “Jochen, Jochen” as he took warm ups and was the last to leave the ice, still recovering from a training camp concussion. The local fans weren’t finished there. They sang and chanted the entire game, paid another great tribute to the retiring Rene Corbet, and finished things off chanting ‘Let’s Go Buffalo.’ It was the best atmosphere for a non-playoff game that I’ve ever witnessed. But that’s not all.
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Finally, Dave Andreychuk is the featured speaker at the Friday’s Power Play Luncheon. It begs me to ask one rhetorical question. How is he not in the Hockey Hall of Fame? The case is simple: 1639 games played, 640 goals, 698 assists, all time leader in pp goals with 274, and captained Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup at age 40.