It took them almost two periods to put the game away, but the official Pegula era in Buffalo starts out with a huge win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
A power play goal put the game tied at one, but two goals in 30 seconds to end the second, and a goal in the third to put it home sets the Atlanta Thrashers further down their spiral and puts the Buffalo Sabres closer to the playoffs. With Carolina picking up a point last night in overtime against the Rangers; the Sabres are now three points out of eighth, and six points out of seventh.
With just about twenty games left in the regular season, it is looking more and more clear, at least who in the Eastern Conference is going to be watching hockey come April. New York (Islanders), New Jersey, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida, and Atlanta all face incredibly steep (some steeper than others).
We could sit here and dwell on the win and make Pegula Night last as long as we could, but points are at a premium and we are up against the trade deadline.
Darcy Regier said to the media during the game that the Craig Rivet waiver move was not a result of the ownership change; and I am almost inclined to believe him – I can honestly think that the Buffalo Sabres were trying with no avail to move Craig Rivet and get something in return – when it looked like that wasn’t going to happen they put him on waivers. I think if that were the case, they should have maybe waited until tomorrow to place the aging captain on waivers, but I am not an NHL GM for a reason. If it wasn’t an ownership decision to waive Craig Rivet, it was a timing foul by the organization.