Sunday, March 02, 2008

Early St. Patrick's Day?

Today's Sabres opener went like this on MSG-TV:
The red-hot Canadiens poured on the power Friday night sending a chill through HSBC Arena. Cold is the only way to describe Detroit in February...And we're not talking weather. The Red Wings enter March in a slump as the rest of the West closes the gap. Will the Sabres keep 'em cool...and keep pace in the race for a playoff spot?
Find out...next on MSG!
Unfortunately, Detroit beat us 4-2. They remain the top team overall in the NHL with 92 points. The top gun in the East now is Montreal, who also beat us on home ice on Friday, 6-2. The Canadiens have 81 points after 66 games. Pittsburgh has 81 points after 67 games while New Jersey and Ottawa have 80 points after 66 games apiece.

The Sabres are in ninth place right now, 3 points back of Philadelphia, who hold down the eighth and final playoff spot. In two days we tangle with them again...deja vu? Just a week ago I blogged: The Sabres hold down the eighth and final playoff spot with 68 points. Tomorrow we tango with the ninth place team, Philadelphia, who are only one point behind us. Buffalo lost that one in a shootout, 4-3. We NEED both points in Philly Tuesday so, YES, it is the biggest game of the year!

Buffalo-born Patrick Kaleta got his second goal of the season today and was the third star of the game for the Sabres. Another Buffalo-born Patrick who had an even better day was Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks. He scored two against Vancouver giving him 16 for the season and assisted on his 39th. It was Chicago 4, Vancouver 1. Other Patricks powering up for the Hawks were Patrick Sharp with his 32nd goal of the season and Patrick Lalime in net. Besides Patrick Kane, there is one other Chicago player who should be in Buffalo. Not so much because of his skill like Kane, but his name is a perfect fit: Dustin Byfuglien (pronounced "Bufflin"). Check out this article on NHL.com called: A buffer Byfuglien is a better Byfuglien.

Other Patricks that have left a mark in the NHL include these former Sabres:
Pat LaFontaine (Hall of Famer)
James Patrick (currently an Assistant Coach for Buffalo)
Plus:
Patrick Roy (another Hall of Famer)
Pat Quinn
Pat Price (Big Bry, that one is for you in Saskatoon!)
Lester Patrick
Patrik Elias
Patrick Marleau (born in Aneroid, Saskatchewan.
Bryan, Is that near Steroid, Saskatchewan?)
Patrick Rissmiller (a San Jose Shark - just like Marleau)
Patrick Eaves
Patrick O'Sullivan
Patrik Stefan
Patrick Thoresen
Glenn Patrick
Craig Patrick
Patrick Poulin
Patrick Leahy