Sunday, March 7, 2010

1st game at Madison Square Garden

Posted by Craig on 3/07/2010
I've been in New York City for three months now and apologize for not updating again since the move!

I've been busy, settling into the new place and the new job (which I love!) and I wasn't really sure what my next blog should be about. But this is definitely worth posting about...

I was fortunate to witness this one, as my hometown Buffalo Sabres came into New York and beat the Rangers at Madison Square Garden tonight 2-1 in overtime.

The win snapped Buffalo's miserable eight-game losing streak on the road. It was also just my second time ever seeing a Sabres road game - the first was a 5-1 loss at Chicago.

Here's the game-winning goal, scored by Buffalo native Patrick Kaleta. I caught it on video via digital camera from my seat -- Section 115, Row 13.

I posted PICTURES from the game on Facebook. Find those here.

And here are my observations from this one:

-Ryan Miller: With 35 saves, sensational as usual. The Sabres definitely helped him out with great D, limiting the Rangers to mostly perimeter shots and letting Miller see the puck. The lone goal came off a rebound; Ryan had no chance with New York on the power play.

-Adam Mair and Patrick Kaleta with the goals. Great to see them on the scoresheet, they were physical, won battles and put in countless second efforts. Kaleta's game-winning goal came off a second effort and some old-fashioned hard work and getting the puck to the net.

-Thomas Vanek had a great game. Very noticeable tonight, all over the ice, great defensive plays as well as scoring chances. Strong effort.

-In his second game as a Sabre, Raffi Torres (love the pickup, by the way) seemed a little out of place. A few bad plays, missed passes and other mishaps. One line change confusion involving Torres nearly led to a Rangers goal. That said he made some nice plays too, a few big hits and you can tell he's trying. Great to see that.

-Sabres hit the Rangers stride for stride tonight and were ready from the get go, perhaps taking advantage of the fact New York was playing for the second straight night. All around great effort and an impressive road win -- that's how you do it on the road too, just keep hanging around, hanging around. Solid.

-Rangers fans are very knowledgeable of the game and respectful, at least those around me in Section 115.

-Nice to see Rangers fans cheer Ryan Miller getting second star; there was a solid "USA, USA" chant then and just prior to the game. They booed the first star though - Kaleta - no surprise there.

-MSG is a very loud and fun arena. There was lots of energy in the building.

4 comments on "1st game at Madison Square Garden"

Dad said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time. I was impressed by your assessment of the game. Same thoughts that I, even though my seat was 400 miles away from MSG. Miller did have a lot of help not only from his defensemen, but also the back-checking of his wingers. Solid win on the road. Points are very tough to collect this time of the year.

Craig on March 8, 2010 at 7:49 AM said...

Thanks Dad!

Yep, forwards back-checking was a huge part of the win. You can tell they stuck to the system, nothing fancy, and played a great road game.

Would only be nice to be scoring a few more goals lately, but as you say, two points are hard to come by this time of year -- we'll definitely take it!

mom said...

Great review of the game, so descriptive felt like I was at the game! I especially like the video of the game winning goal! Sabres definitely put forth great effort and made us proud once more! In fact, if we break down the word "TEAM", Sabres played "together", with great "effort", great "attitude" and left us fans wanting "more!!"

Craig on March 10, 2010 at 7:15 PM said...

Thanks Mom!

Glad you enjoyed my synopsis of the game and the video. I was very lucky to get that video; did it at the right time!

Awesome breakdown of the word 'Team'! The words are all accurate and especially true about the 'more' part. That's a big part of sports; fans always want 'more.' We can't have it all unfortunately but the losses make winning so special and due to our recent losing streak this was a welcome win!


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