By the time this post publishes, this probably won’t be true any longer, but the Buffalo Sabres climbed into the East’s top eight for a precious few minutes. They did so by beating the conference’s No. 1 seed, winning a statement game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden 4-1.
The Washington Capitals are moments away from bumping them out of the top eight even if they lose – it appears their big game against the Winnipeg Jets is about to go to overtime – yet the bottom line is that the Sabres are staying in the picture. (Update: the Capitals did indeed lose to the Jets, but in overtime. Check out this post for an updated look at the bubble race.)
This marks a four-game winning streak for Ryan Miller & Co, a scary sight for the East’s top teams. The odds still seem to be against them, but let’s be honest; if you were the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins or Boston Bruins, would you want to face the Sabres instead of – say – the uneven Capitals or Jets?
Buffalo still has a way to go before they have a chance to make a top seed awfully nervous in the first round, but wins like these improve its odds substantially.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.