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Buffalo Sabres vs Florida Panthers Knee Jerk Reactions

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?

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

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.

The Ville Leino slash was questionable, Leino’s stick came down on the Dmitry Kulikov‘s stick causing it to break, although it was more of a hockey play as opposed to a malicious penalty.

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.


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Drew Stafford Knee Jerk Reaction Marcus Foligno Referee Ville Leino

  • Jes

    Ville Leino slash wasn’t questionable. It’s written in the rule book if a players stick comes down with force on an opposing team’s players stick causing it to break it’s a clear penalty.

    Agree, Foligno didn’t deserve that penalty.

    That penalty shot could’ve really gone either way.

    Ennis should’ve got a double minor IMO before that Gudbranson penalty. Cross-Checking and interference.

    Only real one you could make a case on the Sabres side of things is the Foligno one.

  • davidmuscalo

    Give the officials a break! These two teams have loser-studded casts, and it’s tough to officiate a game between two teams that are going nowhere and just going through the motions. Teams of this ilk commit lots of penalties for precisely the reason they are so low in the standing; they can’t maintain puck possession. The only alternative for the players is to execute a chippy, edgy game and hope the refs don’t see their transgressions. Every once in a while refs take a night off, and it matters little when the games mean nothing.

  • Justin Tosczak

    I agree, I thought the officiating was terrible… I thought if a penalty shot is going to be called it has to be right after the puck leaves the players stick… not 30 seconds after the play?

  • Joe

    Only thing im super pissed about with the officiating is the foligno hit. He clearly turned just before and foligopno had no way of stopping it. Him falling as heturned made the hit look much worse than it was. It shouldnt have even been a penalty at all