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.