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SYLVESTER'S BLOG: OPENING NIGHT

Tuesday, 10.6.2009 / 4:30 PM ET / Blogs - Kevin Sylvester
By Kevin Sylvester  - Sabres Hockey Hotline Host (@kevsylvester)
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SYLVESTER\'S BLOG: OPENING NIGHT
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Various thoughts from opening night:

  • Kudos to Game Presentation, Editing, and Creative Services crews for an awesome game open on the HD Video boards.  The images that accompanied ACDC’s “Hells Bells” pumped everyone up for hockey and also foreshadowed the style of game the Sabres played.
  • Speaking of the style of play, I was impressed with the scrappiness and grit the team displayed.  The team wouldn’t be pushed around and each player got in on the action.  The gloves will be coming off soon, and I do not fault any of them for not dropping them with George Laraque of the Canadiens.  He is the heavyweight champion of the League right now, but Eric Boogard and Wade Belak are not far behind.
  • Give Ryan Miller credit for calling out Scott Gomez for his actions in one of the scrums in front of the net.  During his post-game comments, Miller admonished Gomez for elbowing Chris Butler in the face several times at the bottom of the pile up. Gomez is a very good player, but he’s a little dirty.  He took out Miller last season when he didn’t need to engage with him behind the net, and he made little attempt to avoid Vesa Toskala on opening night in Toronto.  In the Toskala collision, Gomez had his typical “who me?” look on his face while his teammates had to come to his defense.  With George Laraque on his side, he’ll continue to go at goalies and “mix” it up in scrums whenever he can.
  • It’s just one game, but I think Tyler Myers can unpack his suitcase.
  • Loved the work of the Gaustaud line with Jochen Hecht and Mike Grier.  They worked the wall well and provided a good forecheck.
  • At the risk of sour grapes… how can a goal count when the only reason it crosses the line is because the shooter barrels into the goalie? Yes, Andrej Sekera was on Travis Moen’s heels and perhaps leaned on him a little, but egregious enough for that result? That goal is the definition of borderline.
  • It was bad enough waiting all of last week for the opener, but I think waiting five days for the second game is even worse.  It’s hard to believe such a long gap between the first two games, when the rest of the season looks like a checkerboard on the calendar.
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