There’s plenty that could be said about Buffalo’s season that wasn’t. After an offseason that saw owner Terry Pegula open the wallet to let GM Darcy Regier spend like a mad man and turn the Sabres into a team that needed a furious finish to just miss the playoffs, you could say things in Buffalo aren’t too happy.
As John Vogl of The Buffalo News finds out from Sabres coach Lindy Ruff he didn’t mince words with how to describe the season.
As they clean out their lockers and conduct exit meetings today, the Sabres have to look at the 2011-12 season for what it really was. It was a wasted season. It was a lost season.
“For sure,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “I think you’ve got to look at it that way. You can’t look at it any other way.”
That cuts to the core. Do the players feel the same way though? Jason Pominville sure does as he tells Vogl that “it feels like another wasted year.” Another sad, depressing end to a season in Buffalo but there are reasons to have hope for next season.
Tyler Ennis emerged as an exciting playmaker and goal scorer while Marcus Foligno turned into a power forward with a nose for the net. Should Buffalo get complete seasons from Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek, there’s reason to be excited. They just might have to keep Terry Pegula away from his wallet this summer to be safe.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon has a pretty good knack for scoring goals, especially considering the fact that he doesn’t always take a ton of shots.
Maybe Bruce Boudreau should consider asking him to fire away a little more often.
You won’t see many prettier examples of hand-eye coordination than Spurgeon’s power-play goal from Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, which gave the Wild a 1-0 lead. Watch it in the video above.
It’s almost impressive enough to justify rhyming his last name with surgeon. You know, theoretically.
Tuesday’s Dallas Stars – New York Rangers almost seemed destined to be a wild affair, and so far, the two teams aren’t disappointing.
For one thing, Chris Kreider and the Rangers were open about “not forgetting” Cody Eakin‘s hit on Henrik Lundqvist, something Eakin realized heading in. The Stars had their own irritations coming into this game, as they clearly weren’t happy with their loss to the Buffalo Sabres and their shaky play overall.
So, yeah, plenty of reason for this to be a rowdy affair.
Kreider is delivering in particular, with the most memorable moment being his strange fight with Eakin, which you can see above. SBNation’s Pat Iversen points out that Kreider probably should have been ejected for hitting Eakin with a piece of his equipment, a violation of Rule 53.
As many know, Kreider has even more of a reputation for “interacting” with goalies, as he did once again with Antti Niemi:
The Stars currently lead the game 5-3, so it’s been a busy one on the scoreboard, too.
Down 2-0 to the Buffalo Sabres, the Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a shaky start on Tuesday. Still, their concerns likely revolve the most around the health of defenseman Morgan Rielly.
As you can see from the video above, the young Buds blueliner was shaken up by an awkward spill into the boards.
It’s too early to know if he avoided injury or might miss some time, but there’s at least some concern that he might have aggravated an issue from before his NHL days:
We’ll need to wait and see, but with his offensive skills and overall importance in mind (average just under 23 minutes a game this season, more or less in line with his breakthrough year in 2015-16), the Maple Leafs are crossing their fingers that this isn’t anything major.
The Chicago Blackhawks need to put a tough weekend behind them; maybe the Colorado Avalanche are just what the doctor ordered.
Colorado is clearly ranked last in the league, whether they believe they have some assets in the likes of Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog or not. Perhaps there will be a few scouts on hand to see how such potential Avs trade targets perform against a contending team?
It’s rarely a dull night when the Blackhawks roll out talented players like Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin and Jonathan Toews – among others – so it should be a good time on NBCSN on Tuesday.
You can watch online or via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream link.