The team out of the 716 is beginning to show some fighting spirit!
Wednesday night’s game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Montreal Canadiens was just another run-of-the-mill contest between two non-playoff teams . . . until late in the second period, when a scrum broke out around Robin Lehner:
If there is one goaltender in the NHL you probably should avoid fighting around, it is Robin Lehner, who dragged the 6’6″ Michael McCarron off of the pile and then proceeded to attempt to goad his off-the-ice buddy, Canadiens goaltender Ben Scrivens, to skate down ice for a good ol’fashioned goalie fight.
Scrivens, being a sane man, had this to say about Lehner:
Meanwhile, Lehner had a different take on his staredown with Scrivens:
How can you not love this? The Buffalo Sabres goaltender is a totally insane person who wants to fight, now!
In all seriousness: Lehner is not exactly the overwhelming fan favorite when it comes to the position of starting goaltender (even though I think he is playing better as the season goes on and has kept this team in many games they easily could have lost by 2-3 goals). Whether you want him to start in between the pipes in 2016-17 or not, however, you have to love the passion and competitive fire this man brings every time he takes the ice for the Sabres.
And it’s not just Lehner I am impressed with, although as a goaltender who is ready to drop the gloves, he commands most of the spotlight. The fact that the Buffalo Sabres were actually playing like the game mattered is a huge step in moving this team toward the playoffs, in my book – this wasn’t a case of a team fighting because they were frustrated; it was a team fighting because they wanted to win, dammit.
Hell, I have even seen Jack Eichel jump in to defend his teammates this season – not wise for the 19 year-old, perhaps, but a damn good sign.
The 2015-16 season may be full of nothing but moral victories for the Buffalo Sabres, but it’s pretty obvious that this team is much improved over the version we watched just last season, and the fact that everyone is playing these late-season games matter . . . well, that matters. The Sabres have been the NHL’s patsies for too long; time to let everyone know that the underdogs are ready to step and become contenders.