The NHL’s last-place team is starting to have fun again.
“Even with the position we’re in right now, it seems to be quite a positive room,” Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said, per the Buffalo News. “The direction we’re headed is one I think everyone is excited about.
“It’s a completely different feel in the room. I don’t think we’ve had this feeling in the room for quite some time now, not even just looking at this year but last year was a tough year as well. The atmosphere right now within the group, all the guys are pretty happy about it.”
The Sabres are 5-2-2 since starting the season 6-22-2 — a start that cost general manager Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston their jobs and led to the trade of veteran forward Thomas Vanek. And while they’re still relying too much on goalie Ryan Miller to keep them in games, at least they’re getting some shots on the guy in the other net now. In fact, they’ve registered at least 30 shots in six of their last nine games.
“I think they feel good about themselves,” said coach Ted Nolan.
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