Was talking to my friend Don early morning about the state of the Sabres.
Buffalo dropped another one 2-1 to Minnesota as former Sabres captain scored the game-winner on the powerplay with less than 10 seconds left in the second period.
Normally cantankerous, Ol' Don was somewhat subdued, but, as always, a little edgy.
Q: Was that some kind of poetic justice? Jason Pominville scoring the game winner?
A: No, not really. It was a poor play by [Mike] Weber at the blueline with a short, back-up goalie in net.
Q: No credit for the passing? No divine intervention the way Pominville was whisked away at the deadline seeing only his buddy, Thomas Vanek, and the equipment manager?
A: NO! None at all. It's professional sports. It was a trade. It happened. Move on. And it was Weber at the blueline supposedly to stand somebody up. And they blew right by him.
Q: The Buffalo News thougth the Sabres were clueless by not honoring Pominville during the first commercial break.
A: Why should they honor him?
Q: Well, he was the captain when he was traded...
A: Isn't Vanek wearing the "C" right now?
Q: Yeah we'll get to that later, maybe. Anyway. He has been with the team for a long time. Was well respected and scored that big short-handed OT winner vs. Ottawa...
A: That was seven years ago. Look. I read that Harrington article. The sportswriters at the News are a bunch of whiners. Like he said, [Daniel] Briere didn't get one. [Chris] Drury didn't get one. I mean those two were the engines that drove the team to their success. You think they cared whether or not they were recognized?
Q: Well, I like to thin....
A: No. They could give a rat's ass. Why the pampering? Does Jason Pominville need to be pampered? The reason that the Sabres are in this mess is because [Darcy] Regier's vaunted core was a pampered lot. They had no balls. No intestinal fortitude. Look. I liked him when he played here. He was very consistent. The personification of Lady Byng. Often wondered why he never won it.
Q: So the Sabres were right in not honoring him?
A: There is no right or wrong. It's not even worth fighting over. He was the vanilla face of a vanilla team that really did nothing when it counted post-2007. They chose not to honor him like they've done before. It's the media that makes this bigger than it really is. That and maybe all the teenage girls with their "marry me" signs.
Q: Some fans thought it was classless?
A: Ummmm. I really don't quite know how to answer that except to say that those fans might be clueless when it comes to class.
Q: Are you calling them out?
A: Ummm. Yeah, I guess. Look there are fans of teams in every sport who want nothing but to whine and complain, like little ol' bitties. Especially if there in a city like Buffalo starving for a championship. Most are guided in their thoughts by a media outlet. Like the Buffalo News. They do stuff like that. Harrington raises the point and is offended by what the Sabres did not do for Pominville and there's this large groundswell. He, as well as others like Bucky Gleason, throw those pearls towards the cliff. Next thing you know there's a stampede.
Q: That sounds a lot like you'r...
A: Look, I'm not anything, except for detached. Jason Pominville was a real good, solid, all-around player who spent his entire career in Buffalo before getting traded. He was waived at one point and luckily for the Sabres no one claimed him. He was named captain. Whether it was by default or not he was named captain of "the core." And I don't like anything associated with "the core."
Q: Should his jersey be retired? Like one caller from Cleveland said it should?
A: No. No way. He wasn't Perreault-like or Gare-like. Or Martin. Or Robert. Those all made significant contributions. Were difference-makers. Pominville was exceptional at being vanilla. Yeah you could say he averaged x-number of points per game, and played in all situations. But other than that one goal vs. Ottawa, what will he be remembered for?
A: Exactly. Dude from Cleveland went a bit too far. Retiring Pominvilles number would be like ABBA being inducted into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame.
Q: Uh, Don? ABBA is in the Rock Hall.
A: And?...There you go.
Q: When will the Sabres get their first win?
A: I think they're game for a point tonight. Hopefully they can get that second one in overtime. The teams are closer than some might think. The Islanders scoring can be countered by Ryan Miller and a pretty good defense. Nabakov is beatable, even by the likes of the Buffalo offense.
Q: Will the Sabres score more than one goal?
A: Not sure I'd bet the farm on it. But I'd bet my blue Pominville slug jersey on it.