The plot, it does thicken. After a resounding win over the Senators, Buffalo went to Boston and let the Bruins run roughshod over them (literally). A lot has already been said about Lucic and Miller and responses. I think Nick Mendola summed up the immediate reaction best for me:
The Sabres immediate response to the offense was mostly fine in my book, given their personnel. Miller tried a blind baseball swing back at Lucic. Thomas Vanek tried to knock the train over. No dice. Andrej Sekera shoved Lucic and looked around for reinforcements. Not seeing any coming, he buried his head and hoped for the least beating possible. I’d like Paul Gaustad to look more interested in getting to Lucic, and maybe it’s above Tyler Myers’ weight class right now.
While I did wonder where the Gaustad is that came off the bench to attack Ovechkin for cheap-shotting Briere, but the officials got their arms on guys as quick as they could and Goose apparently didn’t see it happen. As for not taking care of Lucic later, well, for the rest of the 1st and 2nd periods, the game wasn’t out of reach (though those two goals later in the 2nd off stupid defense AGAIN had to drive even a concussed Miller crazy). Would I want a full-on brawl to develop? Would I have wanted Kaleta to run Tim Thomas? Or the usual suspects to charge Lucic whenever they could, late/dirty or not? I might’ve had a positive visceral reaction to events like that at the time, but after the fact, I’d be a bit disappointed. I like Tim Thomas, and I wouldn’t like to see him get hurt, even in retaliation for a stupid shot on a Sabre.
So, what happens next week when these two teams meet again, here? There are a few scenarios:
- Scenario One – The Sabres call up Kassian, roll out a line featuring Cody McCormick, Gaustad and BZK (backed by Regehr and Weber), and they brawl with whoever they are on the ice with, Neil/Drury game style. EXTREMELY UNLIKELY.
- Scenario Two – Cody McCormick fights Lucic, Kaleta hits him a few times. Beyond that, a normal game. MORE LIKELY.
- Scenario Three – Gary Bettman or Colin Campbell attend the game, and the teams are on their best behavior. SOMEWHAT LIKELY.
There is one wild card in this – a Sabres player truly running a Bruins player. Maybe Myers bounces Horton’s head off the boards accidently with his elbow. Maybe Kaleta does the usual Carubba worthy hit near the boards on a guy in an awkward position. It might even be an accident, and have nothing to do with the recent history. But that’s the one thing that will kick that next game into clownshoes territory. Still, the most likely one is the ‘one fight and done’ thing. ‘The next game’ is always a disappointment.
Miller is concussed, and Drew McIntyre will be the door opener for however long that lasts. Jhonas Enroth is the man now, and it’s no easy stretch coming up, in Montreal tonight, home for NJ Wednesday, then another set of back to backs this weekend (Friday in Carolina, Saturday here for Phoenix). You have to think Darcy and Lindy are hoping Miller is ready for the weekend but with a concussion, you just can’t know. The team needs to pull together here and rally.