Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm not going to say "I told you so..."

...oh wait, that's exactly what I'm going to say, probably every five minutes until around 7:00 PM on Wednesday.

Last Thursday against the Rangers, Sabre-nation was in an uproar due to Vanek's apparent refusal to shoot when he had the puck.  The icing on the cake came late in the overtime when Vanek dished a brilliant pass to Roy which was flubbed and promptly taken the other way by the Rangers for the game-losing-goal.  Despite the fact that Roy fanned on the shot, most of the blame was heaped on Vanek, basically for not being a one trick pony and making the correct hockey play.

Evidently, several folks think that Vanek should try and fit the Ales Kotalik mold...shoot and do nothing else.  Now to be fair, there were a few decisions to pass from number twenty-six that looked like the lesser of two options, and I can certainly criticize him for that, but the play to end the game was a brilliant move that Roy failed to execute.  People were pissed.  I was pissed at why people were pissed.

And then I bought this before Saturday's game...

What a different tune you hear now.  Vanek puts in two goals on Saturday, including the brilliant game winner and tallies another two (which could and probably should be three) assists in an overtime victory tonight.  I think people have pidgeon-holed Vanek as a pure goal scorer which is really unfair.

Take a look at his history.  He's scored on breakaways, he's scored on tip-ins, he's scored on garbage goals, he's scored on slapshots, he's set up his teammates like he has eyes on the back of his head, he's blocked shots, he's back-checked, and he's even killed penalties in his time in Buffalo.  I don't think Vanek should be doing anything.  No, scratch that, I think Vanek should be doing exactly what he is doing, and what he's always done:

Whatever the god damn hell he can to help the Sabres win games.

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