Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Knee Jerk Reactions: Boston Bruins

As the Buffalo Sabres headed to Boston to face off against the Boston Bruins, you knew that tonight was going to be no ordinary game. Not only was it a key game for the Sabres playoff battle, it was also the first sporting event played in Boston since Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon.

The city of Boston was met with tragedy, and in amazing fashion fans banded together to show they were still strong. As a Canadian myself, one thing I really admire about Americans is their Patriotism. While the tragedy affected the many lives in the city of Boston, everyone in America became a Bostonian to show their support. It’s truly remarkable how Americans band together in times of tragedy.

Back to tonight’s game. It was a must win for the Buffalo Sabres playoff hopes and a must win for the city of Boston.

  • We knew that tonight the Bruins would come out flying and play a very emotional game, especially off the bat. But the Sabres got off to an extremely slow start and quickly found themselves down by 1. As the Bruins scored their first goal the arena erupted with cheers.
  • Thomas Vanek tipped in a point shot from Christian Ehrhoff to tie the game at one. This was Vanek’s first goal in the last 5 games.
  • John Scott once again proved why he is useless. He get’s the puck in the slot and instead of doing the smart thing and shooting the puck for a scoring chance, he drops the puck for Marcus Foligno who wasn’t prepared. Instead of taking the shot and creating a chance, there is no scoring opportunity and the Bruins get the puck back.
  • The Sabres started the second period flying high, but then quickly hit rock bottom before the end of the period. The Bruins revved up their game within the last 5 minutes of the period and scored to go up 2-1.
  • Someone remind me why everyone wants Ryan Miller out of town? He stood on his head and kept the Sabres in the game. While

    the shots after 2 were fairly even (22-16) the Bruins had more scoring chances. If it wasn’t for Miller the Sabres could have been down 4-1. Miller continued his strong play in the third period, stopping 2 breakaways while the Sabres had the power play. By the time the dust settled it was a 41 save night for Mr. Miller.

  • The Sabres Patrick Kaleta, John Scott and Steve Ott all seemed determined to get under the skin of Jaromir Jagr. Jagr isn’t going to give them the reaction they’re looking for and all they did was upset the real Bruins tough guys.
  • When the Sabres seemed to be down and out the leaders of the team stepped up. Steve Ott won the faceoff and eventually the puck found Thomas Vanek who centred the puck and Cody Hodgson tipped it in to tie the game and send it to overtime. With the 2 points in the shootout win the Sabres are now just 2 points back of ninth.
  • For all the criticism Drew Stafford has taken this year, he deserves some props for stepping up and winning it in the shootout.

While the odds may be extremely slim for the Sabres to make the playoffs, there’s still a possibility. With the shootout victory the Sabres picked up a much needed 2 points that keeps their playoff dreams alive and puts them to within 2 points of the final playoff spot. Quite possibly it  may come down to the very last game of the season.

Tonight was a very emotional game for both players. The Buffalo Sabres were not just playing against the Boston Bruins, but were playing against the entire city of Boston. Everyone tonight was cheering for the Bruins and the city of Boston.

The best thing about the game tonight had absolutely nothing to do with the game itself. At the end of the shootout both the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres skated to centre ice to solute the TD Garden faithful. Some of the Sabres and Bruins also hugged each other at centre ice. Very rarely do you see both teams salute the crowd after the game, very classy move by the Sabres.

Tags: Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

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