With the NHL lockout having consumed almost half the season, I’m sure all of us found ways to prevent the hockey withdrawal from setting in. I spent quite a bit of time on the YouTube searching through random hockey videos in an attempt to distract myself from the painful truth regarding the NHL season, prior to the new collective bargaining agreement being announced.
I happened across one video that I thought I might share as the start of the season is right around the corner. Let’s be honest, we all know there’s a good amount of those hockey fans out there that watch the sport primarily to see the big fights. It’s like why some of us who watch NASCAR just to see the big wrecks on the raceway, it’s just good entertainment. And hockey just happens to be the one great team sport where opponents are allowed to drop the gloves and beat the sh** out of each other without any major repercussions from the league. Something Brendan Shanahan can’t really say too much about either.
To get the Buffalo faithful a little riled up for the season, I thought I would reminisce on the 2006-2007 Sabres season where in my opinion, one of the best hockey brawls of the most recent decade took place against the division-rival Ottawa Senators. I still remember watching this game live, and screaming at the TV as the melee erupted on the ice, and I swear Rick Jeanneret was on the verge of a stroke.
After watching this video, especially after the events of last season, one can’t help but really take note on how the team responded after team their captain, Chris Drury, takes the cheap shot from Neil. I sit there and wonder to myself where the hell was this kind of retaliation last year after Ryan Miller got decked my Milan Lucic. I mean come on guys, he’s your goaltender. Arguably the most valuable asset on your team and even now it still frustrates me.
The reason I bring this up is because since last year, the Sabres have been labeled for having a very soft roster and that’s the last thing a hockey fan wants to hear about their team. This is an area that needs to be addressed if the Sabres have any hopes of a serious cup run in the future. I am hopeful that their most recent acquisitions and off-season pickups will be a step in the right direction for their reputation as a physical team, but no promises yet.
I’ll definitely be looking in Steve Ott’s direction to stir up some excitement on the ice this season for Buffalo. This is a guy who back in junior hockey would learn swear words in his opponent’s native language just to get them rattled and piss them off. Ott seems like the intimidation factor that Buffalo is in desperate need of this season, among other things.
The Sabres open up the season against the Philadelphia Flyers this Sunday at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.