1. Happy Valentine’s Day, all you lovable little chickadees! Whether you are in a couple, or as single as single can be, take a minute today to close your eyes and send a few extra love vibes out into the world. After that, celebrate Valentine’s Day however you see fit. Personally, I prefer the “eat some candy-hearts and then otherwise go about my business,” method of celebration.
2. Maybe it’s because of Valentine’s Day (and my belly full of soul-nourishing candy hearts), but I’m just not too worried about the Islanders game. I mean, seriously. It was one game. The Sabres kept pace with the Hurricanes, the offense looked robust, Drew Stafford is completely blowing our minds, and it’s warm enough outside that some of this snow is finally going to melt. Chin up, soldiers!
The bad news: Miller was terrrrrrible (Bad, Ryan! Bad!), and the defense looked quite poopy.
3. Apparently, things got all cranky and bitch-slappy during the postgame, but whatevs. People get cranky sometimes, especially cranky goalies when they are in cranky moods. I don’t think I care what goes on between Ryan Miller and the local media. Sometimes Miller’s going to be a brat because he’s a crazy-assed goalie, and being a brat kind of comes with the territory. *shrug*
Here’s a dramatic interpretation of events that would rouse my genuine interest:
Vogl: Did you feel okay?
Crunchy: (screeching) WHAT ARE YOU IMPLYING?!
Sullivan: He’s not implying anything!
Crunchy: Why don’t you let him speak for himself?!
Sullivan: You’ve given up 4 goals or more 14 times this season, LOSER.
*Crunchy karate-chops Jerry Sullivan*
Call me if (when?) Miller karate-chops Jerry Sullivan, but until then, I’m unmoved.
(For the record- I have absolutely no problem with how Vogl handled himself in the audio I heard, so it’s probably not very nice of me to reference his famous “feces” twitter-analysis. But I couldn’t resist.)
4. Would it be nice if Ryan Miller returned to Vezina form? Absoluuutely. Is it reasonable to demand that he do so? Sadly, no. Frowny faces all around. :(
Corey Griswold made a pretty good case yesterday on Twitter that the Miller we’re seeing this season is the real Miller, and that last season was an anomaly. (I believe Corey used the Malcolm Gladwell-approved word, “outlier” to describe Crunchy’s last season.) Corey used a bunch of stats to make this point, so, you can rest assured that numbers and mathematics were consulted when I came to the following conclusion: Every needs to calm the eff down about Crunchy.
I’m not in the mood to get all pissy about Ryan Miller. He’ll be fine. He’s just doing his thing and unfortunately that thing does not include winning the Vezina every year. That’s a bummer for us.
The Sabres lost yesterday because of Ryan Miller. It’s true. Deal with it.
Be glad it doesn’t happen very often.
If you really have your undies in a bunch about Ryan Miller, you can begin crossing your fingers that he gets traded before the deadline. (Lemme know how that works out for you.)
5. That said, a competent backup goalie would be REALLY HANDY right now. I have no idea what’s got Miller all out of sorts, but it sure would be nice if there was another NHL-ready goalie on the team. Riding Miller into the ground has always seemed like a bad plan, but it seems like a particularly bad plan this season.
Not only is it a bad plan on an intuitive level (I mean honestly, look at Ryan Miller. He looks like he belongs on a Depression-era soup line), but we’ve seen AMPLE evidence that Miller is not up to the task. It didn’t work when Lindy played Miller for the entire second half of 07/08, it didn’t work when Lindy played Miller for the entire second half of 08/09, and Miller was not particularly sharp in the playoffs last season (an Olympic year). In my opinion we’ve waded WELL into “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” territory.
The Sabres need another competent, NHL-caliber goalie on the roster, and they also need a coach who is willing to play him. They will need this for every year that Ryan Miller is on the team. (Mr. Pegula, if you’re reading this [and I assume you are], you might want to add that to the list of “needs”.)
6. The thing we really should be talking about today isn’t, “Ryan Miller vs The Local Media, Hair Pulling Galore!” We should be talking about the wondrous, shocking, titillating, confusing, glorious, and jaw-dropping recent play of Drew Stafford.
Yesterday during the game, Kevin Snow tweeted that Staffy had six goals, on his last six shots. THAT’S RIGHT, YOU FURRY BEEYOTCHES. Six shots. Six goals.
Personally, I have absolutely no idea how to analyze Staffy these days. He’s a mystery, wrapped in a hat trick, and smothered with club sauce. Staffy is currently the most beloved wonky-browed player on the Sabres, which is title I NEVER thought could be wrestled from Ryan Miller’s bony grasp. This is a stunner, Sabres fans.
Behold, our new Wonky-Browed King: