After the last meeting between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins, I wanted awful things to happen to Milan Lucic. Congratulations, you scored on an empty net and proceeded to taunt the crowd. Go Home. Lucky enough, the Sabres sent the B’s packing after this rubber match by a score of 4-2.
I almost did not survive the first few minutes of the game. The Bruins were manhandling the Sabres; who could not clear the puck for the life of them. But before I knew it, Drew Stafford had put away his first goal of the season.
And then by some sick, twisted clockwork, Stafford was tagged with a tripping penalty and the Bruins ultimately scored with two minutes left in the first. Miller made some great stops during the B’s onslaught, but was out of position when Dougie Hamilton cranked a top-shelf goal. Early in the second period, Rich Peverley put the Bruins ahead 2-1. And in typical fashion, the Sabres were significantly outshot, 17-6.
I would have loved to be a fly in the Sabres’ locker room during the 2nd intermission. Apparently, Lindy Ruff was able to string together some motivational words and the Buffalo Sabres hit the ice with a ferocity I have not seen this season. Miraculously, Tyler Myers drove into the offensive zone and put away a deflected shot for his 2nd of the season. That’s right: Tyler Myers. Shortly thereafter, Christian Ehrhoff whipped in a wrist shot to put the Sabres up by one.
And by golly, three minutes later I see Myers in the trapezoid behind Anton Khudobin. I admit, I did a double take. Cody Hodgson was in the right place at the right time and redirected Myers’s puck off of the back of Khudobin to put the Sabres up by two. Ryan Miller, tonight’s #1 star, was spectacular again and if Buffalo’s defense can get their act together, they will slowly climb out of the Eastern Conference basement.
In the blink of an eye, we are more than a quarter of the way through this season and points are at a huge premium. Although I’m a Buffalo fanboy, I pride myself in being able objectively assess the Sabres’ situation. Boston is a good team; I’ll give them that. Prior to tonight’s game, they sat in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference while Buffalo was tied for last. With 13 points on the year, Buffalo’s chances at making the playoffs is now 10.8%. I suppose it is time to start praying to the hockey gods with just 33 games remaining.
Here is the bottom line: if Buffalo plays .500 hockey for the rest of the season it will be statistically impossible for them make the playoffs.I spend a fair amount of time in Boston and with each visit my hatred for the city grows. I loathe any and all teams that originate from New England. Buffalo being responsible for both of the B’s loses is incredibly satisfying. Unfortunately, my Lucic voodoo doll let me down tonight, so the Sabres’ win tonight will have to suffice.