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Knee-Jerk Reaction: Sabres vs Panthers


My knee-jerk reactions haven’t been near knee or jerky enough lately. Luckily tonight I have a sixer of New Belgium Trippel and not a care in the world. The Cats are in town, and by the way they’re pretty good this year. All that spending to reach the salary floor turned out well and lo and behold they’re a good hockey team. Who’d a thunk it?

  • Marc-Andre Gragnani is playing tonight? Wow. Apparently Lindy Ruff didn’t get the message, which was all over Twitter and WGR, that he is not a good hockey player. He’s a bust. He’s a bum. Or, you know, he’s having a tough time. After that awful Philly game (especially the end when he winked at Claude Giroux before handing him the puck and telling him the super secret way to beat Ryan Miller) I’d have thought he’d be benched. If Lindy doesn’t follow me on Twitter, that’s his bad.
  • Damn it! Scott Clemmensen is in net. So much for my fantasy points for playing Jose Theodore. Alright, now I don’t have any reservations about the Sabres lighting Florida up for 9 goals.
  • Drew Stafford is continuing his season of almost playing like a complete hockey player. Keep it  up, Drew. You’re on pace to just barely top your career low of points per game.
  • Oh yeah, in case you missed it Ville Leino is out tonight for throwing a ‘bo against the Flyers. Apparently playing on a line with Luke Adam and Zack Kassian makes for great point production but leads to pent up anger.


  •  Some familiar faces are across the ice against the Sabres. We haven’t seen too much of Brian Campbell since he was traded way back in 2008, mostly because he was in the Western Conference. Well now he’s leading the Florida Panthers as an assistant captain, and he leads their defense in points, and next year they’ll be in the Sabres “conference.” I’m not a fan of booing former players just because they left, but I have a feeling he’ll earn those boo’s by giving this team a lot of trouble.
  • Also say hi to Tim Kennedy. I won’t say anything overly snarky because feelings are divided about him. Eh, screw it. He’s got 1 goal in 18 games and is a minus-6. So much for holding out for a million, Sport.
  • Derek Roy makes it 1-0, Stafford and Ennis get the assists, but everybody that watched knows that Braden McNabb made that goal happen! After  losing his stick, McNabb proved to be a better player without a stick than the Pathers with sticks. He juggled it up out of the zone TWICE with his feet before Roy’s linemates fed it up to him for a perfect goal.
  • Corey Tropp sustained an upper body injury following a brutal, perfect, and legal check by Dmitry Kulikov, and won’t return. Thus continues The Season Of Injury. #TheCurseOfTimConnolly
  • Speaking of Kulikov, he’s an up-and-coming All-Star. At 21 years old he is a dominant force on the blue line, and in the Sabres’ future division he is sure to be a big-time villain in the next few years.
  • Jochen Hecht and Thomas Vanek have been absolute monsters at going offsides tonight. Which really hurts those 2 man breaks they keep getting.
  • The FN Center may need to invest in something to amplify the 4 or 5 people that are cheering. I understand this team has been a bit disappointing, and it’s disheartening to see 2 or 3 Sabres get hurt every. single. game. But it sounds like freakin New Jersey in there for crying out loud.
  • 3 New Belgium Trippels is plenty enough. Those squiggly red lines are popping up under everything I type.
  • With Christian Ehrhoff and Jochen Hecht in the box Jason Garrison makes it a 1-1 game. That’s your best defender and your best two-way forward in the box, which doesn’t make for a good penalty kill.
  • Upon hitting the third period the Sabres have decided on an interesting strategy of not shooting at all. Let’s see how this works for them trying to break this tie.
  • Ehrhoff blocked a shot with his Adam’s apple, which is just what this team needs right now. He seems to be doing okay after an ehrcough, but the thought of him being injured is just ahwfhull.
  • I’ve noticed the crowd does make some noise, in fact erupts by comparison, whenever Zack Kassian even touches the puck. The kid’s impressed highly since coming up, and if anything he seems to embody hope for fans right now. I won’t criticize…it’s great to see this team have a player who seems like he could do something at any time.
  • Jochen Hecht just limped off the bench. Sigh. #TheCurseOfTimConnolly Who’s next to call up? Colin Stuart?
  • The third period had very few scoring chances, and the Sabres are headed to overtime. Not bad considering this Florida team shut out the big bad Bruins the other night. The Sabres escaped with a point by the skin of their teeth against Philly, and they’re going to make sure they avoid any blind passes from “certain defensemen” to get the win tonight.

Pictured: "certain defensemen" (photo courtesy Mel K/Sabrenoise)

  •  THE POPULATION OF POMINVILLE GOES UP BY ONE! The Captain gets a much much much much MUCH needed overtime win in the FN center. It was a great sign to see them beat a surging Panthers team, and hopefully this will calm the masses a bit!
  • A bittersweet victory: Hecht and Tropp never did return to the game. The revolving door of injuries continues.
  • Beer Number 4. Or 5. I don’t remember.



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Tags: Brian Campbell Buffalo Buffalo Sabres Darcy Regier Derek Roy Drew Stafford Eastern Conference Fansided Florida Panthers Free Agency Hockey Jason Pominville Jhonas Enroth Lindy Ruff Nathan Gerbe NHL Northeast Division Patrick Kaleta Portland Pirates Rochester Americans Ryan Miller Sabres Stanley Cup Terry Pegula Thomas Vanek Tim Connolly Tim Kennedy Trade Trade Deadline Tyler Ennis Tyler Myers

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