Now, don’t get me wrong here…there are a great number of fine, well-adjusted, fun-loving, decent hockey fans that originate from western New York. These folks could be found in Taco Mac after the game…kicking back a few adult beverages and mingling with Thrashers fans. But for some odd reason, this fanbase also seems to breed more than their fair share of fans who just don’t seemed to be secure enough with themselves to simply come in, root for their favorite team and just enjoy the game.
As Sean Grace pointed out so wonderfully just the other day…”Sabre fans fully intend to roll through Blueland and disrespect our team and our fans”.
To be sure, this crowd make Flyers fans look somewhat human.
I know these types get under the skin of so many fans…and obviously that is their intention. But for me, well, it just makes the final outcome that much sweeter. Watching the Thrashers come away winners in all four times against them this year… and knowing that these guys won’t be able to see their team perform in the post-season due in no small part to the points denied them by the Thrashers…well, it just makes me chuckle at ‘em.
Honestly, I sorta got a kick out of last night…the way the infestation that is Slug-Nation got in our faces, hurled there insults at us, wagged the finger at us…then, once Kovy beat Ryan Miller on OT, hauled-ass outa the place faster then cockroaches when the lights get turned on.
As for the game…for the fourth time this season Atlanta and Buffalo required overtime to determine a winner. And, also for the fourth time, the Thrashers proved to be just thaaaaaaaaaaaat much better than the Sabres in their match-ups.
After Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win, completing the season sweep, Atlanta is now 12-3-3 against Buffalo on the home ice of Philips Arena since the Thrashers came into the league. Although the Sabres did manage a point out of the contest, they are now left five points behind Montreal for the eighth and final playoff spot in the east. And they only have six games left to make up the difference.
They may not be dead yet…but they certainly are circling the drain.
Johan Hedberg was outstanding on this night, stopping 30 of the 32 shots Buffalo got off. The two that did beat him were while the Sabres were on the power play…one of the two-man variety. He was only required to stop one shot in overtime, a blast by Jason Pominville.
After falling behind 1-0 on a Thomas Vanek goal at 7:01 of the first, Zach Bogosian zipped one past Ryan Miller one minute and thirty-five seconds later. Slava Kozlov jammed one in halfway through the second before Vanek tied it up while on a 5 on 3 power play.
In overtime, it was Kaptain Kovy that sent the crowd home happy…well, at least those who didn’t have giant yellow skid marks on the front of their jerseys. After Vanek ever-so-kindly passed the puck off his skate, Kovalchuk raced in and powered the puck under Miller.
“LET’S GO BUFF-A-LO….LET’S GO BUFF-A-LO…LET’S GO BUuu……Oh crap, let’s just GO”!
The victory brings Atlanta’s second half record to 20-15-1 with five games remaining. The Thrashers are now winners of three in a row, four of the last five and ten of thirteen.
Now the Thrashers embark on their last road trip of the season, playing Florida Friday night and in Washington D.C. on Sunday afternoon. The next home game is Tuesday night…which should be just about enough time for the cleaning crew at Philips to fumigate the place as to rid Blueland if the residue that was left behind.
Remember TJs On Sunday
Just a quick reminder regarding the Thrashers viewing party at TJs on Holcomb Bridge on Sunday afternoon to watch the game in D.C. Hope to see ya all there…and that includes Pat and the lovely & whimsical Ashley who sat with us Wednesday night, helping to make beating the Sabres even that much more enjoyable!