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by Kevin Sylvester / Buffalo Sabres
Adam Mair (Getty Images)
♦ Lindy Ruff phrased it appropriately after Monday’s shutout loss to New Jersey, “It was a clunker”.  There’s not much more to say after that.  The best comment about it from a player came today (Tuesday) when Thomas Vanek stated that the fans pay good money to see them play and deserve a lot better.  You don’t hear that everyday from professional athletes.

♦ I think it’s unbelievable that Martin Brodeur is now tied with Terry Sawchuk with 103 career shutouts and will become the all time leader with the next donut he hangs on an opponent.  I also wonder how many he would have if he didn’t play for the franchise that developed the trap and played it perfectly for so many years.  That’s not to question his greatness, toughness, and leadership, but you have to wonder.

Patrick Kaleta was penalized for boarding against the Devils.  It was a bad call.  The hit was clearly shoulder to shoulder, and seemed to be whistled on reputation.  I just hope the referees notice when he misses near the boards, because some are on purpose to avoid penalties and/or injuring an opponent when they turn their back at the last second.

♦ Coaches and parents of kids playing hockey should point out the example Adam Mair is setting.  Mair was placed on waivers November 9th, went unclaimed and remained with the team that deemed him expendable.  Did Mair pout? No. He worked harder and has been in the lineup the past six games, four of them wins, and earned over 12 minutes of ice time against the Devils because of his hard work.  Sports are full of stories like Mair’s and it’s important to point them out every single time.  

♦ The Chicago Blackhawks visit this week and they are loaded.  Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, John Madden, Cam Barker, Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brent Sopel, and so on.  They are going for the Cup and better this year, because the cap is going to be an issue next season and players will need to be moved to fit the big stars under the cap.  Give Stan Bowman credit for getting Kane and Toews signed together for five more years.  Both could have made more next summer, but likely learned from free agents of past summers that the money may be greener, but the grass may not be.  
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