I’m not going to lie; at first, this past July, when I got that fateful text message (while driving at high speeds; NOT GOOD) saying that my beloved Big Bear had been traded to wherever, for whomever, I was angry at everyone involved, including you, dear Number 52.
Oh, Craig Rivet… How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
(1) The guys voted you captain.
(2) You kick ass.
(3) You set up goals.
(4) You stick up for your teammates.
(5) You “kinda” have a poodle–Teddy–but insist that he’s your wife’s dog.
(6) Your first name is Anthony.
(7) You’re Canadian.
(8) You love the Bills.
(9) You can’t tell Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus apart.
(10) You dress really well.
(11) You say things like this:
“You always want to stick together whether it’s the first minute or last minute. We care about each other in this dressing room. Adam Mair is one of the guys on our team who will certainly be there for all of his teammates. Right now he’s nursing that knee but he’s played really well and I’ll be there for him.”
(12) Your teammates say things like this:
“Our team showed great camaraderie and hung together really well,” Mair said. “[Rivet] came flying over top of me and before I knew it that guy was on the ground and I was on top of him. It’s just one part of his leadership abilities… His ability to lead goes far beyond that. Those things are the easy things to do. All the other things he does are the hard things and that’s why he was voted captain. He has such a positive outlook on everything he does, just a very rational, professional player.”
Now, I know I said not too long ago that I wasn’t going to touch the Briere/Drury subject with a ten-foot pole, but I have to say what I feel; I honestly believe we’re better off without them. I said before that we didn’t win with them, so who or what is to say we won’t win it without them? And in my heart, after seeing how the Sabres have played behind Captain Craig Rivet just after two games–and I realize that there’s a lot of hockey left between now and April–but count me in on the playoff bandwagon, not that that needed to be said, or anything. I truly believe that, when shown what these guys are all about–how they battled last year through adversity, how they support each other, how they believe in themselves and each other, and how they rally around their teammates–they can go deep, and they can go all the way.
And I, for one, can’t wait.
Changing the subject a little bit, I need to address Islanders’ coach, Scott Gordon; you are certifiable jackass, just like your player Mike Comrie.
“I can tell you right now, I’m not a strong believer in pulling our goalie to change momentum,” Gordon said. “I don’t want them looking over their shoulder to the bench. It’s a way for Joey to find a way to battle, whatever the situation.”
Let me get this straight; so you’re a fan of HANGING YOUR GOALTENDER OUT TO DRY? Dude, honestly, a coach should pull the goalie in this situation. I mean, down 3-0, yeah, leave him in. Maybe he’ll wake up, and maybe the team will wake up. But once you’re down 4-0, there’s obviously something wrong. And while MacDonald actually didn’t play too, too bad of a game, he’s a backup goalie for a reason. And yes, DiPietro is still working back to his normal self from his injury, but you have to play the guy sometime! Honestly, what better time to put him in than in a game that’s already lost. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, at that point. I NEVER, EVER, EVER like it when a coach leaves a goalie hanging like that. No matter how bad the team is playing, or how bad the goalie is playing, it’s not fair to anyone to do that.
And before I forget, I have to bring your attention to this if you haven’t already seen it. 19 year-old Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov passed away yesterday, during an Omsk KHL game. He collapsed on the bench late in the game and died shortly after. It was not known at the time what caused his death. The hockey world is in mourning for this talented young man. (This kind of creeps me out, too, because he’s actually younger than me. And it’s believed that the defibrillators in the arena weren’t exactly up to par, so he possibly could have been revived. I guess we’ll see what actually happened in the near future.) Thoughts are prayers to his friends, teammates, and family.