Tonight is supposed to feel like old time hockey. Division rival Boston Bruins are in town, and for the first time in a long time, the smell of bad blood is on the air – a strong rival-type game is on tap for tonight.
While the Sabres have retribution on their minds – that might not be the route they should take into tonights contest. For the Bruins, a win tonight would make it ten in a row. Their last two games they have shutout their opponent. The Bruins are on top of the Sabres in the standings, and could overtake first place, being only two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins are going to be looking to play their game that has them undefeated since the abysmal 3-7 start to the season on the Stanley Cup hangover.
The rivalry is brewed by the fact that in the teams last meeting, Bruins Milan Lucic ran goalie Ryan Miller as Miller attempted to play the puck away from Lucic. League disciplinarian Shanahan did little to prevent further action by either team when he decided not to suspend Lucic, citing his “lack of intent”.
Both teams would be wise to play a tough, but clean game – as you know the league will be watching this one carefully. The Sabres would be best to listen to their starting goaltender injured on the play.
Lucic’s a tough guy. What are you going to do, try to hack him, spear him, cheap-shot him? Then you’re no better than he is.
Regardless, I would expect the Buffalo Sabres to get some form of physical revenge on the much tougher Bruins team. The biggest way to get back at the Bruins, knock them off their pedestool.
Despite the early season contest, it is a much contested two points on the line. There is only two points seperating the Bruins and the Sabres from the top spot in the division – and the standings are jumbled close enough that a quick stretch of games could see everyone from Carolina (15) surge into a playoff position.