In a contest between the two worst teams in the National Hockey League – you probably would have anticipated a more wide open affair. The Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers have nothing to lose so why not let it all hang out?
While the Florida Panthers are just a bad hockey team this year, the Buffalo Sabres are in a full on rebuild mode, and really trying to have chemistry after the trade deadline day shook up the roster. With injuries to Chris Stewart and Zemgus Girgensons – that just added to the potpourri of a lineup that Ted Nolan was taking into the game as it stood.
For all intensive purposes, the game was probably exactly what was anticipated from two of the worst teams in the league, a low scoring gritty affair. What you probably didn’t anticipate was the crappy officiating that ensued from the opening face off to the final whistle, on a night that seemed like the Buffalo Sabres couldn’t do anything right.
Marcus Foligno will no doubt be getting a call from the Department of Player Safety for his hit on Brandon Pirri, simply because of the duration of the penalty as called on the ice. That hit just didn’t deserve five and a ten minute misconduct, as it was nothing more than a series of unfortunate events that resulted in Pirri getting a bloodied nose.
There is no way that the penalty shot is awarded against a team in a playoff position the way that play went down, Drew Stafford was rightfully upset at that call.
It’s not just the penalties to the Buffalo Sabres that were bad tonight, there were plenty of missed calls on both sides, and the Erik Gudbranson penalty was a makeup penalty for missing the clear penalty committed earlier down the other end of the ice.
It’s not fair to fans of either of these teams to have to suffer through a plain miserable game when the worst teams meet up and play bad hockey; its not fair to the players to have to deal with such refereeing, and it makes the game that much more unbearable to watch.