If things seem a bit more exciting for fans in Buffalo today, it’s because Ville Leino is back in the lineup for the first time this season.
Leino has been practicing more of late with the team after dealing with a hip ailment and it was thought he’d be making his season debut tomorrow. Instead, he gets the start alongside Tyler Ennis and Steve Ott this afternoon against Ottawa.
After the Sabres sent rookie Mikhail Grigorenko back to the QMJHL Quebec Remparts yesterday, it’s on Leino to step in and try to justify the monster contract the team signed him to two summers ago. Ideally, he should be able to help give them a second line that can score goals.
With the Sabres sitting seven points out of the eighth spot in the East, there’s time for them to get into the playoff race, but the wins have to start coming immediately.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger