You don’t have to go far to read, or re-watch what happened to Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller against the Boston Bruins last night. Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic lost the chance at a break away and ran Miller over as the puck was clearly played away prior to Lucic reaching Miller. Actions speak louder than words, but so far the Buffalo Sabres have done little to respond to a targeted attack on one of their star players.
Milan Lucic stood there and laughed as the Buffalo Sabres meekly addressed the situation immediately after on the ice. The rest of the game, the Boston Bruins continued to stomp a mud hole in the chest of the Buffalo Sabres, continually driving the point home about of ill prepared defensively, and physically the Buffalo Sabres were to play in that game.
With the comments made about the team playing harder in front of backup goalie Jhonas Enroth, it makes you wonder if the on ice response would have been any different as well.
Every team has a right to an off night, and the Buffalo Sabres sure had one on Saturday against the Boston Bruins. There is little they can do now but prepare for the next battle against the Montreal Canadiens. Headed into that contest, a few thoughts.
- The Boston Bruins started the night out with the classiest move of the night as far as Veterans Weekend celebrations go. While the Buffalo Sabres awarded a Purple Heart during their pre game festivities, The Boston Bruins chose to honor a family whose son was fighting in Afghanistan. As the parents of the Massachusetts National Guardsman walked to center ice, they thought they were going to get to drop the ceremonial puck drop in honor of their site fighting on foreign soil. The look on their face when he walked across the ice was priceless. Awesome job to both American and Canadian franchises whom paid tribute to the men and women of their respective armed forces. A bigger kudos to the European members of the team, who paid silent homage and allowing the ceremonies to occur.
- There playing tough, and then there is playing like a douche bag. The NHL is reviewing the hit on Ryan Miller, and should have a ruling on it shortly. Anything less than a suspension would be a joke, and very laughable to anyone associated with the blue and gold organization, fan, player, and front office.
- Arena amenities were upgraded this off season, as well as positive upgrades to the lineup, yet we are seeing the same on ice product game in and game out? Maybe the mistake was keeping Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier around. You can update the players but if the system is stall, a team full of Hall of Famers might not be able to win. I applaud the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators who have stuck with Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz through the long ups and downs of a decade and a half of hockey – but in a position where there is no job security in this league, they seem to be a little too protected.
- Speaking of protected, and this might be a by-product, but after the stinker of a defensive stretch the Buffalo Sabres have been on – why, oh why, are we continuing to watch as Mike Weber watches from the Press Box while the likes of Tyler Myers, and the rest of the Sabres blue line treat their jobs like the three stooges. The Buffalo Sabres need more than the outside protagonist of the Lucic hit to get things headed into the right direction.
- This might be good news for Jhonas Enroth. Despite not being able to bail the Buffalo Sabres out after Ryan Miller was pulled/brought out of the game for the second time this year, in games he has started the smallish goaltender is damn near undefeated in his last 15 starts. Any extended time away from the game for Ryan Miller just adds more fuel to the fire for Enroth’s case for the crease to be his.
- The Buffalo Sabres response to the hit wasn’t merely a wimper, it was heard very clear around the National Hockey League. And right now, 29 other teams in the league are preparing to get real physical in and around the Buffalo goal crease, because there is no protection in the paint for Miller or Enroth.
- One final thought…Milan Lucic is a scumbag.