French Connection

Sabres to unveil French Connection statue tonight


Despite the lockout, the Buffalo Sabres are still going ahead with tonight’s unveiling of a statue outside the First Niagara Center honoring the famed French Connection line of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert.

The date was chosen because the three players first skated on a line together in October 1972.

More from the Sabres’ website:

The bronze statue depicts all three members of the French Connection – comprised of center Gilbert Perreault, left winger Rick Martin and right winger Rene Robert –and will serve as the anchor of Buffalo Sabres Alumni Plaza, a tribute to all former players of the team. The plaza, which is presented by Tops Friendly Markets, sits directly outside First Niagara Center along Perry Street and will be a lasting acknowledgement of the 400-plus players who have donned the Blue and Gold as a member of the Sabres throughout the team’s 42-year history.

Perreault, Robert, and family members of the late Martin will be attending Friday’s ceremony along with over 30 Sabres alumni and Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula. Also in attendance will be Jerry McKenna, the award-winning sculptor of the statue, Ron Moscati, the former team photographer whose photograph served as inspiration for the statue. Longtime Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening’s events.

Tonight’s ceremony starts at 7 p.m.

Hopefully they play this song:

No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.