Tonight may be the kind of game that is a lot of fun or makes you want to choke somebody. Tampa is a garbage team, a top heavy, goalie-weak single line dependant group with a head coach that loooooves to suck his team’s popsicles while subsequently punching them in the face.
Seriously, have you ever heard of a coach pumping his own players up more than John Tortorella? Every time Tampa plays the Penguins he screams that Vincent Lecavalier is the best player on the planet to anyone that will hear. Did you watch the last Sabres@Tampa Versus broadcast? All that stuff about Dan Boyle being the best D man on the continent didn’t come from, well, fact, it came from John praising him so much his hair gel disintegrated.
Even so, he’s the coach most likely to throw his players under the bus. He’s had a sketchy past with the media as well.
The above doesn’t imply he’s to blame for Tampa’s suckitude, however. Tampa is a bad team with too much money tied up in one line, with a nice little $7.8 million going to Brad Richards and his 49 points (not to mention a league worst -25). Rumors are swirling about trades for both the big three and Boyle, who could very well be distracted by the talk. Or anything, it seems.
What does this mean for Buffalo? Well, they flat out have to win this game. Dropping a game like this to such a weak opponent not only kills confidence, but it puts another big dent in our hopes of chasing down NYR, Philly, and Boston. All three are less than four points away, meaning the next two games against the cellar dwellers are absolutely essential.
Nothing has been reported about Brian Campbell as of yet, but who really comes here for breaking news stories? Let’s just hope Vanek continues to live up to “the Namath” and we have something positive to talk about tonight.
If not, that green slug may be getting some more play…