I love the smell of playoffs in the morning.
The goal scored to give the Sabres the crucial point in the standings to clinch the playoffs was quite a shot in the arm. In fact, it was quite a shot. Forever to be logged in the Buffalo Sabres highlight library: “Nathan Gerbe’s 360 goal.”
Thomas Vanek would end the mathematical drive to the playoffs in OT, and I cannot imagine a better way to close out the playoff drive. Vanek scooped up the puck in his own end, charged with gusto right down the middle of the ice, willed himself and the puck through two defenders, bore down on the Flyers’ net by himself, and beat the netminder.
It was nothing fancy, it was just pure will – the same sort of willpower that brought the Sabres from 12 place and 10 points out to no worse than 7th place in the East after all is said and done.
Here’s how it looked, felt, and sounded in the HSBC when Vanek put the “Austrian Icing on the Cake,” (a great call by RJ, and another piece of this game destined for that library):
The 80+ alumni and golden towel twirling fans in attendance were treated to one of the most dramatic and rewarding regular season games in team history.
The Sabres will be in Columbus tonight, to finish the regular season and determine who their playoff opponent will be. See you soon, Boston, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia.