Gilbert Perreault (left) and Rene Robert speak at the a public memorial service for Rick Martin (Photo: Bill Wippert)
-As I sat in the media center of the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday, things felt pretty good compared to a week ago. The entire organization and community was grieving the loss of legend and friend Rick Martin, and we had a narrow lead on Carolina for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Now, the sun was out and our friend’s life had been celebrated with extreme class and style, and the Sabres are still holding onto a playoff spot with the chance of moving up depending on how things play our over the next couple of games. Patience is tough to have, but usually is rewarding. Now that could, and possibly has, all changed by the time you’re reading this, but I don’t believe that will be the case.
-Hats off to Corey Martin for the passionate and loving eulogy of his father.
-Isn’t the number ‘7’ behind each net a great tribute?
-It’s hard to believe (at the time of writing this) that there are just seven games remaining in the season. The season flies once we hit St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve spoken to many fans and friends that think it's great how we’re finishing the season strong heading into a possible postseason berth. Many of the same folks cite how last year, the Sabres eased in as the Northeast Division champions. That’s actually not the case if you look at the numbers. I looked at the final 15 games of the season last year and compared them to where the team is at this year. It’s a bit of a stretch since only nine of the final 15 have been completed this year. But this is more about last year than this year. In the closing portion of the 2009-2010 season, the Sabres finished 9-6 with that big win in Ottawa (Vanek scored four goals) in the second to last game. That’s not coasting or easing in my opinion. This year is not different, so far, as the team is 5-3-1 in the first nine of the final 15. We all certainly hope the first round, should the team stay in position, is different this year.
-Never trust directions from anybody who works at The Buffalo News. OK, that may not be fair to all the employees of The News, but too bad. What am I talking about? Here you go. During a lunch break in Toronto, John Vogl of The News was headed out the door the same time as the Sabres’ Web guru and me. We asked where he was headed, and he said “a couple of blocks” up the street for a shawarma. Yes, we had the same question: what the heck is a shawarma? It’s a middle eastern “sandwich” or “burrito.” Never ones to shy away from a new experience and curiosity, the Guru and I tagged along as it was only a couple of blocks. A couple of blocks turned into at least eight in a -5 degree wind chill. Another ‘sh’ word was uttered several times and believe me, it wasn’t ‘shawarma.’ The story does have a happy ending as the shawarmas were quite good and packed with healthy stuff. Now that I think about it, maybe he did me a favor. I could probably use more long walks for healthy food (easy Guru).