Post-game notes: Bruins vs Sabres 2/8/12

The highlight of the night definitely came from Shawn Thornton for earning his 100th career NHL fight and surpassing it a period later. Though the Bruins won the physical fights against the Sabres, punches don’t win games.

Even though the Sabres were without head coach, Lindy Ruff, and Thomas Vanek, the Sabres were able to play an aggressive game against the Bruins to pull off the win. The Bruins definitely have a lot to be frustrated and angry about with how this game turned out for them.

Before either team had scored, Shawn Thornton and Cody McCormick dropped the gloves on the ice and battled it out. Though the two were pretty evenly matched in height and weight, Shawn Thornton took McCormick down to the ice with relative ease. I think the fight lasted for a total of ten seconds and Shawn did not end up with a scratch on him. Even though McCormick lost the fight, it seemed to have pumped up the fans and the team because they scored at 13:37 in the first period. Though the goal was credited to Christian Ehrhoff, the goal went in on a redirect from Gregory Campbell’s stick and slipped in passed Tuukka Rask.

Then the worst possible thing could happen for the Bruins. Lucic launched a shot at Miller which hit the post and slipped in over the line which indicates a goal. Peverley had been in front of the net and outside of the crease when the goal went in and passed Miller. The referee, Rob Martell, waved off the goal claiming it was incidental contact by Peverley with the goaltender. It was a judgment call by the referee and therefore was not reviewed. Now, Rule 78 states: “Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when contacted initiated outside of the crease.” Did the referee want to protect Ryan Miller from the tough Bruins? Whatever the reason, the referee’s call set the tone for the game and the Sabres ran with it.

gif by Teala

Lucic and Kaleta went at it in the first period right after a face-off and Lucic’s eyes were bright and full of distaste as he pulverized Kaleta. Even with that winning fight, the Bruins could not score a goal in the game. The Sabres continued to dominate, scoring another goal in the first by Jason Pominville.

By the second period, nothing had changed offensively for the Bruins. After Tuukka allowed the third goal by the Sabres slip by him, Claude Julien put Tim Thomas in net, in hope his presence could change the momentum of the game in favor of the Bruins. However, the Sabres were playing some of their best hockey of the season and were not backing down from the Bruins.

Ville Leino had the guts to spray Thomas with snow after Thomas had made the initial save on a shot. Despite Leino’s instigation, the Bruins did not respond to Leino the way the fans probably wanted. On The second period did not end well for the Bruins. With only 1:49 left to go in the second period, the one Sabres player every Bruins fan loathes, Kaleta, scored.

Even Jack Edwards gave up on the Bruins on twitter and called the game a “stinker.” The Sabres tallied two more goals in the third period. There was a little scuffle toward the end of the third that involved McQuaid dragging Kaleta down to the ice, but the fight was far too late to spark any retaliation by the Bruins.

The Bruins were poked relentless during the night by the Sabres, but their response was lackluster. They could not score on Ryan Miller, who made his first appearance against the Bruins since November when Lucic pummeled into him in the middle of the ice. Miller made some spectacular saves between the pipes, stopping all 36 shots.

Final: BOS – 0 BUF – 6

What can we take away from this game? A lot of Bruins fans are weary as the trade deadline approaches and after this loss, I’m sure they are looking for a scapegoat to blame. The Bruins are not in top form, and without Nathan Horton paired with Lucic and Krejci, Julien has had to shuffle around the lines and try to find a line that works for the Bruins. In the past fifteen games, the Bruins have gone 7-7-1, which is their worst since the season started in October. Still, this is a team that has a lot of chemistry and a lot of spectacular players. Bruins fans need to take a deep breath and relax. The Bruins may have lost to a team that is under .500, but every team has their bad night. They feel your frustration. Patrice Bergeron slammed his stick against the post of Tim Thomas’s net.

Keep in mind that the Bruins are still in first place of the Northeast division and only three points behind the Rangers for the top spot in the Eastern conference. Chiarelli will probably shop around and look for a player that can do something for the Bruins, but I don’t expect any drastic changes.

The Bruins will seek redemption on March 8th when the Sabres come to town, don’t you worry.

– Chelsey

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