Kaleta: ‘No one is going to take liberties’ with Sabres this year


The day after a rough-and-tumble affair against Montreal, Buffalo agitator Patrick Kaleta had a message for future opponents.

“We want to establish that we are a team and no one is going to take liberties on old guys, young guys,” Kaleta told the Buffalo News. “You’re going to have to deal with all five guys on the ice. We want to establish that early.”

On Sunday, Kaleta tried to hammer home that point.

Midway through the third period, Habs forward Alex Galchenyuk rocked Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain with a big hit, to which Kaleta offered the following response:

That wasn’t all from Buffalo.

Earlier in the game, Cody McCormick responded to Jarred Tinordi’s big hit on Colton Gillies by challenging Tinordi to a scrap.

Buffalo’s team toughness has been called out in the past (see: Ryan Miller vs. Milan Lucic) and now it seems that, rather than relying on a tough guy like John Scott to handle the rough stuff, the whole team will step up if need be.

Just ask Kaleta.

“We want to be a team that’s tough to play against,” he explained. “You’re going to have to go through five of us, not just one.”

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.