Some light reading for the Buffalo Sabres in the hours leading up to their tilt with the Boston Bruins, courtesy Douglas Flynn at NESN.com:
The hockey world will be watching to see if the Sabres will finally show some kind of response as Milan Lucic and the Bruins visit the HSBC Arena for the first time since Lucic crushed Sabres netminder Ryan Miller at the Garden back on Nov. 12.
I’m not expecting much.
The Sabres didn’t even have the guts to give Lucic a dirty look when he smashed Miller. That would have required making eye contact. The Sabres wanted nothing to do with contact of any kind with the burly winger that night. They’ve had trouble looking at themselves in the mirror ever since.
See, that last sentence is exactly why I think we will see some fisticuffs tonight. The Sabres need to stand up to the Bruins for their own sake. Who cares if they don’t actually beat anyone to a pulp? It’s not about that. It’s about coming together and sticking up for each other. Anyone remember who kicked off the 1997 Avs-Red Wings brawl? It was Igor Larionov and Peter Forsberg!
You know, everyone ripped the Canucks during the Cup final for not doing anything to Brad Marchand after he gave Daniel Sedin a few jabs in the face at the end of Game 6. A couple of big differences here: First, Sedin wasn’t hurt. Jabs in the face generally don’t cause concussions. Second, tonight isn’t Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. If the Sabres lose the game, so be it. The most important thing is they win back the respect of the NHL, their fans and themselves.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.
As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.
Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.
PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).
Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.
In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.
Gaborik’s first goal:
And here’s video of the OT-GWG:
Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.
With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.