On the eve of what should be the biggest night in the NHL, the most storied franchise in hockey history is officially turning 100 years old. The team should be flying high and winning games. Instead they are hanging their heads and wondering what is going wrong. The Montreal Canadiens are set to celebrate 100 years of hockey in Montreal, almost a quarter of those years are championship years.
The Sabres had other plans on their own anniversay, and it was to demonstrate that they are better than the .500 hockey they have been playing as of late. Winning their fourth game in a row, the Sabres had the Canadiens headed home mentally very early in this game.
For a short time period, it looked like the Sabres were ready to mail this one in a little too early, after scoring the first four goals, the Canadiens were sparked to life to bring it within two before the Sabres broke out for two more.
I would have to say, the first five minutes of this game, and the last five minutes were probably the best; the inbetween 50 minutes of play were rather boring. The Sabres were content playing a laid back game, and the Canadients had no energy, no life, and absolutely no emotion.
With the win, the Sabres moved once again to first place in the Northeast, with games in hand. Their next contest will be Saturday against the Rangers – a team also looking to right the ship; and has plenty of time off in order to figure out what is wrong.
Speaking of figuring out what is wrong, Jhonas Enroth had the best seat in the house tonight, as Patrick Lalime and him swapped spots – so Lalime can get a conditioning stint in. Hopefully this is a sign that maybe, just maybe Lindy Ruff will have a little bit of faith in him so he can use him more as the Sabres started a December where they will play 15 games in 27 nights.
While Lindy Ruff can’t tinker properly with his goaltending, his tinkering on the offensive line has been genius. Trying to spark an offensive unit who couldn’t produce in a string of four games, the Sabres have now scored 18 in their last four games.
Another stroke of genius on his part was dressing Andrej Sekera – unsure of whether Rivet would play or not. Both Rivet and Sekera were huge parts of the win tonight.
It seems the word on the street in Montreal tomorrow is more likely going to be embarrassant or genant instead of celebration.