Michael DeNicola

 

What more can I say, sexy, sexy, sexy! Cold blooded! Holy smokes and gee whiz, sexy, sexy, sexy! Cold blooded! ~ Rick James, bitch

 

Rick James had a point; What more can I say? Ryan Miller stepped out onto the ice last night with ice water running through his veins colder than a witch's breast in a brass bra doing pushups in the snow. 

"He made saves he had no business making," Sabres defenseman Chris Butler said. "It was absolutely phenomenal." ~ Flyers.nhl.com

 

Miller saw 32 Flyers shots and stopped them all, and for the second time this series he's shut Philadelphia out, 1 - 0. That makes him only the third Buffalo netminder in the franchise's history to record two shutouts in a Playoff series, and the first since Dominic Hasek.

But the difference between last night's shutout and Game 1's was Ryan, and not the combination of him and his blue line defense. 

With the series potentially on the line, the Sabres knew they'd have to come out strong against the 2 - 1 series leading Flyers. 

 

Once Buffalo forward Jason Pominville scored the game's only goal in the 10th minute of the 1st period, it then became a hodgepodge of Miller-Off-the-Cross kinda saves, relentless Sabre hits and arguably the worst officiating I have seen throughout a playoff series in a long, long time. And apparently, I'm not the only one who thought so; When asked about the frustration levels climbing and the malevolence deepening between the two rivals, Mike Richards had this to say --

"Yeah," Richards said. "When you're allowed to get away with murder out there." ~ Flyers.nhl.com

 

Of course I'm sure he's referencing the penalty called on him at the tail end of the 2nd period when Richards was playing the puck along the team benches. That's when Buffalo's Leprechaun-look-a-like, Patrick Kaleta, skated in to play the man. 

At that moment, Richards felt Kaleta's presense and braced for impact. In doing so, his arm lifted in a case of natural instinct. When the arm raised, Kaleta took Richards' elbow to his douchey chin-strap-beard covered chin and tumbled to the ice like a terrible actor auditioning for Lethal Weapon 5 as the role of henchmen #41. There he knelt, holding onto his face as if Mr. Sandman just caught him with a wild hook across the jaw. 

Click HERE to see the video of the "infraction". 

 

So with less than 3-seconds left in the period the whistle blew, the officials congregated and then stewed up a 5-minute major for "direct intent to injure" handed down to Richie. It may have warranted a 2:00 minor, but NOT a 5:00 major. 

HSBC Arena went buck nutty in celebration after the call. Richards, however, tried to plea his case but to no avail. The officials didn't want to hear another word from our Captain. 

Mike then began his skate back to the visiting locker room but not before swinging his stick and smacking the glass out of....disgruntlement (for lack of better words). What made me laugh was how Richards' stick battering the glass caught some poor, unsuspecting little girl by surprise sitting ice-row. She jumped backward....and get this....instinctively LIFTED HER ARMS AND ELBOWS!!!!

But that's besides the point.

Fortunately for the Flyers, our PK and Brian Boucher killed off every single second of the major penalty which chewed a quarter of regulation time out of the 3rd and final period. So there's your silver lining around the metaphorical turd. 

 

An absolutely hysterical call against us came early in the 2nd period when Daniel Carcillo (who had an outstanding game, by the way) crashed Miller's crease in attempt to aggressively scratch a lotto ticket...

...no, I'm kidding. He was trying to light the lamp, but unsuitably received a 2:00 roughing penalty after Ryan Miller whacked at Carcillo's stick while Daniel was lying on the ice in front of the goal-mouth, and Sabres defenceman Mike Weber gave him a face wash that made onlookers cringe. 

Carcillo didn't get the nickname "Carbomb" for no reason however he surprisingly kept his cool for a hothead just getting mugged. After some dispute, both Carcillo and Weber received roughing minors and got sent to the box forcing a 4-on-4. But to this minute I still have no idea how Carcillo roughed anyone. He was too busy protecting his stick from getting cracked in half by Miller's guillotine and not passing out from the odor off Weber's glove. 

Perhaps just a mixture of Carcillo's reputation biting him in the ass and the officials being worse at their jobs than a registered sex offender working airport, walk-through security. I dunno. 

 

But the fun doesn't stop there. 

Remember Richards' elbow? Remember how blown out of proportion his handed down penalty was? You'd think after something like that the officials would stop play and call a penalty on Peter Laviolette for blowing a bubble with his chewing gum that was too big. 

Nuh uh. 

Instead this time it was the officials' failure to MAKE a call. 

In the tailend of the 3rd period, Ryan Miller shined in net while the Flyers kept the puck in his zone. Miller was tested every other second by shot after shot, and his crease got more crowded than the Mens room in Veterans Stadium. 

Ryan's glove made tent over the puck INCHES from the goal line and the play was called dead. Five, maybe seven seconds after the play, Briere was balligerently shoved to the ice by Tyler Myers. 

There was enough time on the clock for a power play to potentially be effective. Even OUR power play. 

But nothing. Nothing was called. NOTHING. 

No, instead one of the refs skated up to Myers, pulled him to the side and (according to me reading his lips) said something like, "Why'd you do that? You can't do that."

Oh, is that right? You mean Myers isn't allowed to just take an opposing player after the play's called dead and turn him into a coat covering a mudd puddle? WHO KNEW! 

Well at least the ref will call a roughing penal.....NO!?!?

 

By this point I was so angry....so livid....so bordering on the line of becoming a serial killer that my face had no expression. I showed no emotion. I sat on my couch staring at the television like a lion before pouncing on its unsuspecting prey. 

My eyes became glass. My pupils never dialated. It was as if my body couldn't even react to the mayhem my mind was running on. In a moment of sanity I noticed my girlfriend to my left was glaring at me. Waiting for the ball to drop. Anticipating yet another ferocious side of Michael to erupt like a sleeping volcano. 

It never came. Not even smoke emitted from my anaphoric magma chambers. 

Just a lowered brow. Glass eyes. And a twitch on my mouth's side. 

 

The buzzer sounded and the match was finalized. As Sabres fans smacked and shook the plexiglass in jubilation, James van Riemsdyk wasn't finished. Before the players left the ice, a handful of them scrummed along the boards. 

A helmetless JVR snarled as Sabre gloves reached closed-fisted to hit his face. Briere was the cherry on top of a dog pile, and Peter Laviolette did everything in his power to reel in any one of the officials but with no luck. 

There's no question the Flyers went into the locker room fuming....frustrated....and disgusted that this series is to start all over again. 

"It's a physical series and we're going back to our building where we feel comfortable playing in front of our fans," Richards said. ~ Flyers.nhl.com

 

Well I hope our captain's ready to slit throats and bleed this Sabres team out, because they just won't go away. We may have been outhit in last night's Game 4 loss, but we certainly weren't outplayed, and yet again Ryan Miller steals a decision out from under us. 

 

 

However, I personally wouldn't mind fighting Patrick Kaleta myself. I would not hesitate a single second. I'd throw punches with all my might, eye gouge, fish hook, bite and scratch, and weeks later after I woke from my coma.......I'd lift my broken arm above the tubes keeping me alive, extend my thumb and whisper through my wired-shut teeth, "Yo, Adrian! I TRIED!"