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by Kevin Sylvester / Buffalo Sabres
I’m back by popular demand.  That really means Scott out web guru said, “Hey Sylvester, it’s been forever since you’ve done a blog.”  He’s right, but I have the World Jr’s, Christmas, and the West Coast trip as good excuses. Anyway, here we go…..

The best hockey game I’ve witnessed in person in 2010 was Canada vs. Sweden on New Year’s Eve during the IIHF World Jr. Championship.  Sweden won in a shootout.  The game was end to end with excitement and the crowd was awesome.  What added to it was watching the shootout from the penalty box with Lindy Ruff waiting to present the Player of the Game awards.  It was fun to see his enjoyment of the game and comments during the shootout (sorry, they won’t be shared).

Major kudos to Marcus Foligno of team Canada.  The Sabres draft pick and son of Buffalo Sabres Hall of Famer Mike Foligno was a beast down low and along the wall.  I couldn’t be happier for him considering what he’s been through in the past year with the passing of his mother, and the fact that he carries himself extremely well.  He’s the kind of kid you want your kids to root for. 

It was tough to see Team USA lose to Canada, but not as tough as it was hearing about from Rob Ray for the rest of the trip out west.  By the way Rob, what the heck happened against Russia?

Speaking of out West, could the trip have gone any better?  When you throw in the Alberta portion before New Year’s, the Sabres took 7 of a possible 10 points.  That’s exactly what this team needs to do the rest of the way.  It would have been 8 of 10 if not for the unlucky break of Tyler Ennis’ stick making the save on Luke Adam.  File that under, just when you thought you’ve seen everything.

If you haven’t seen it by now and need a good laugh, check out me in net for Niagara University.  It was done during the fall and maybe the most humbling thing I’ve done, but it was also a lot of fun.  I did make a few decent saves on a radio guy and a weatherman, but also let in some horrible goals.  All in all it was a great experience and gave me a greater perspective and appreciation for what Miller, Lalime and NHL goaltenders are capable of.  A quick shout out to my trainer Andy, whose flexibility work saved me from ripping every muscle in my legs off the bone.

The All-Star rosters have been announced and the only Sabres player to make it is Tyler Ennis for the rookie skills competition.  I’m wasn’t completely surprised, but then I saw a couple of names on the roster that can be questioned.  Thomas Vanek is certainly having a better season than Patrick Elias of New Jersey, and Alex Hemsky of Edmonton.  Elias has 9 goals 21 assists, while Hemsky has 9 goals and 15 helpers.  Vanek has 16 goals and 15 assists through the midpoint of the season.  The argument for Hemsky is that he has played just 27 games due to injury, and whom else is the league going to take from Edmonton?  Oh wait, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall also made the rookie skills competition.   Joe Thornton is a glaring omission in San Jose.  Jumbo has 10 goals and 25 assists, but somehow didn’t make the cut.  I’m sure both Vanek and he don’t mind, as it means the weekend off at the end of the month.  I’m not sure if Jordan Leopold would mind having the weekend off, but you can make a good case for his inclusion too.  Leopold is 4th in the NHL in goals scored by defensemen behind Dustin Byfuglien, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Brent Burns.  The latter three will all be in Raleigh at the end of the month.  Erick Karlsson of the Sens is going, as is Marc Staal of the Rangers.  Karlsson has one more point than Leopold, but is a –11.  Staal has just 6 goals and 11 assists, but does have a plus 9 to Leopold’s –5.  Leopold is in good company, as Keith Yandle of the Coyotes, and John Michael Liles of the Avalanche were also snubbed.

Does anybody else think they figured out the movie Inception half way through
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