(screen capture from Magnum P.I. on YouTube...you know you're going to watch some now)

Knee-Jerk Reaction: Sabres host the Bruins

Tonight’s Sabres/Bruins game has been surrounded by more hype and anticipation than any so far this year. The stakes have been set high, both because of the dogfight for first place in the Northeast Division and the Sabres’ need to recoup some pride after the debacle that was the last Bruins matchup. No sense dancing around it, we’ve all heard why this game is huge, let’s get to it.

  • Right off the bat, Goose addressed Lucic and the two danced for a bit. I want to go back to the 90’s and buy Gaustad some boxing lessons as a kid, because Lucic’s experience in the field showed. Yes, Milan pretty much had his way with Buffalo’s current tough guy (Kaleta and McCormick are out), but Gaustad must’ve looked at some old film of Lindy Ruff taking some beatings for the team. It was important, it was needed, and it set the tone.
  • Oh boy did it. This game is chippy with a captial C. A little bit of a brawl bust out after Brad Marchand stuck his nose in and took a big run at Nathan Gerbe. Gaustad, not slowed at all by losing his earlier fight, flew right in and it all culminated with Robyn Regehr doing his damnest to fend off a polar bear. Yet again, the fight went Boston’s way, but Chara hurts his team big time when he sits in the penalty box for 5 minutes.

Zdeno Chara in his natural habitat (from Wikipedia.org)

  • Johnny Boychuk might be my favorite name in hockey.
  • Adam McQuaid is 6′ 4″ and only 197 lbs, but he plays even bigger than that. He might be under-sung because of his comparatively average stats to the rest of the Boston defense, but he is definitely one big, nasty defender.
  • With Chara and McQuaid in the box, Buffalo’s power play looked extremely sharp as Christian Ehrhoff rifled one in!
  • Thomas Vanek puts the Sabres up 2-0 while Dennis Seidenberg was in the box for hooking! Vanek gives a spit about this game. #VanekIsTheCamel
  • Just like Tom Selleck, Thomas Vanek scored with the power of his mustache.
  • Drew Stafford has had an awful season thus far, but he has been playing like a man possessed so far tonight. If I may play coach for a moment, my issue with him is that even when he drives to the net, he always swings out wide which gives the defense time to adjust. If he were to drive straight in, he may get his clock cleaned but it would result in more solid scoring chances.
  • Brad Boyes leaves the game with what’s being called a “lower body injury.” It looked as though the Boston player fell on to his knee from the outside, so here’s hoping it not an issue with his ACL or MCL. Boyes had been surprisingly physical on the night.
  • Corey Tropp is a shot-blocking machine! Chara broke his stick with one shot, so Tropp took the second right to the chest, and he finished it off by charging at the 7 foot monster.
  • TJ Brennan scores in his first NHL game to put the Sabres up 3-1! Ville Leino gets big credit for the play, which solidifies my argument about him; when he plays well, he is a team augmenter who brings out the best of those on the ice with him. Great kid, don’t get cocky.
  • Tyler Seguin‘s goal to put Boston on the board was one helluva shot on the power play, and Brad Marchand‘s goal was a bit more flukey. Jhonas Enroth has looked superb otherwise, and I think I’ll keep my David Leggio jersey on the shelf for a while yet.
  • Tim Thomas has looked awesome as well, to no one’s surprise. He was kind of riding back-to-back shutouts going in to tonight. But the first shutout was against the New York Islanders, so it doesn’t count.
  • It’s not Sidney Crosby’s 4 point night, but Jochen Hecht has had a solid return from his concussion. His salary makes him a bit of a whipping boy among Sabres fans, but Hecht has always been steady and he shoots a lot of shots.
  • Chara made up for an awful first period (chock full of giveaways and sitting in the penalty box) by firing a bullet to tie the game at 3. Asking Enroth to stop that is like asking a cat to catch the red dot.
  • Drew Stafford tries to get a second assist on the night, but Derek Roy made sure to get his stick above the crossbar to cancel out the goal. Gotta keep Stafford’s ego down.
  • My quick take on tonight? A lot of these penalties seem to be questionable, on both sides. While I appreciate the refs trying to keep the peace, there comes a point where they’re dictating the outcome of the game. I’ve never been a fan of preemptive officiating. Did the refs honestly think that Ehrhoff was kicking his stick in order to trip the Boston player in some sort of Wile E. Coyote maneuver?
  • So, what’s with Luke Adam lately? He’s logged a little over 3 minutes tonight. I’m not a development coach, but with ice time like that wouldn’t it do better to send him and his 2-way contract to the AHL? Once everyone else is healthy, that is.
  • While I would normally hate the fact that Buffalo allowed Boston to come back from 2 goals down (twice) and escape to overtime and get a point, the injuries (Miller, Myers, Kaleta, McCormick, and Boyes now) mixed with the physical mismatch makes it a bit forgivable.
  • Boston takes the second point in the shootout. That’s what happens when you blow 2 goal leads twice in a game. You give a team their 10th straight win…every time.

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Tags: Adam Mcquaid Boston Bruins Buffalo Buffalo Sabres Christian Ehrhoff Corey Tropp Darcy Regier Derek Roy Drew Stafford Eastern Conference Fansided Free Agency Hockey Jason Pominville Jhonas Enroth Jochen Hecht Lindy Ruff Milan Lucic Nathan Gerbe NHL Northeast Division Patrick Kaleta Robyn Regehr Ryan Miller Sabres Stanley Cup Stanley Cup Playoffs Terry Pegula Thomas Vanek Tim Thomas Tj Brennan Trade Deadline Tyler Myers Tyler Seguin Zdeno Chara

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