It appears that the Buffalo Sabres lost more than just a preseason battle against their rival Toronto Maple Leafs last night. Not only did they lose the game, they lost their respect and most importantly may have lost two key pieces to the rebuilding puzzle. Last night’s brawl started by John Scott and Phil Kessel, may have got a little out of hand but it all started with two key injuries.
Right before the Sabres scored their third goal, Foligno was fighting for the puck along the boards and was hit awkwardly by TJ Brennan causing him to fall into the boards. As the play continued and the Sabres ultimately scored, Foligno remained down on the ice in pain. As some players celebrated the goal, Cody Hodgson rushed over to make sure his new linemate was ok and skated him off the ice. The Sabres best option to play with Thomas Vanek and Hodgson goes down with an injury in preseason… uh-oh.
Upset over the non-call on Foligno, Corey Tropp decided to play hero and pick a fight. unfortunately for Tropp he started a fight with
someone much bigger and stronger and as a result was easily taken down. On his way down, after Tropp had his helmet removed, he cracked his head on the ice and was knocked unconscious. The ref literally caught Tropp and held him still while signalling for the trainer. It was a scary scene as Tropp was left in a pool of blood and was clearly hurt.
In all likely hood Tropp suffered a concussion and will have to miss some time, which is a shame for the young kid who was fighting for a spot on the Sabres roster. To make matters worse, Tropp also missed significant time last season as well. It almost goes without saying that Tropp will spend some time on the IR.
Next we move to the more crippling injury. Through training camp, Foligno had appeared to be the best man to fill the hole on the first line with Vanek and Hodgson. Hodgson and Foligno have sparked solid chemistry and were starting to fly together on the ice. But a possible shoulder injury to Foligno spells trouble for the Sabres top line and offence.
With Foligno possibly out of the line-up or even playing hurt, Ron Rolston would be smart to mix up his lines again and find someone to fill the first line void. It’s a shame to see a player like Foligno who was a having a solid preseason go down to injury and depending on how serious his shoulder injury is, this will throw a wrench into the Sabres season. Not to mention, shoulder’s are extremely tough to get a handle on and can often linger much longer than expected.
Hopefully the Sabres can dodge a bullet with Foligno and have him back soon on the top line and hopefully Tropp will be okay after that nasty fall. While all the attention may be on the brawl, let’s not forget what else the Sabres lost last night.