Just a few things to get you through the evening:
– Oh hey look, Ruutu got two games. That was fast. I’m not going to complain about the length because a part of me is just happy he got anything at all.
– The interesting thing about this whole situation is that everyone is talking about fighting again. Um, what fighting? Even after all that drama there were zero fights last night. This bite happened in a scrum along the boards, but it never escalated into a true altercation. I really feel like this has nothing to do with fighting because even if/when they finally kill fighting in this sport, these scrums are going to continue. So will incidents like this.
– Before the Ruutu bite Peters and Neil got involved around the same area. Did anyone actually think Neil was going to drop right by his own bench? I give Peters credit for not getting carried away, but we should all know better than to expect Chris Neil actually does anything so close to the head shaking “no” on the bench. Speaking of that…
– Hey hey! The Sabres got another head coach fired! Our one coach per year quota has been filled! And Murray, too?
*It’s only a newspaper report, but still. Let me have this.
UPDATE: Not so fast, apparently. Ottawa ownership denying the firings and the eventual arrival of Pat Quinn (which would totally make sense, kind of like having secondary scorers on your team).
– Matt Ellis now has more goals than Mike Fisher. Did I mention Fisher makes $6 million this year?
– It looks like we will be seeing Brad May at bit more often.
– The rivalry between the Sabres and Senators has changed so much over the last few seasons. The two teams have had history before (as much history as a team only a few decades old can have, I guess), but since the lockout it has exploded into something completely different. This morning Chris and I were talking about it and he said something to the effect of, “It had to be Ottawa, didn’t it?”
Think about it this way: most people have all but forgotten about the Briere/Ovechkin incident. Hindsight has moved us beyond arguing over whether it was a dirty play, and Briere’s spearing habit and subsequent actions with the Flyers has changed just how much we care about that incident. That absolutely hasn’t happened with Ottawa, and no matter who Chris Drury plays for the Drury/Neil incident will stay with Sabres fans.
It wasn’t just that hit but all the games played before it, and all the events that followed it. There is only Briere/Ovechkin, but it isn’t just Drury/Neil. It’s Sabres/Senators, and that’s what makes it a real rivalry. Today everyone is talking about Ruutu/Peters, but in time it will become just another chapter in the battles between the Sabres and Senators.
Today we look forward to Capitals games because Alexander Ovechkin is the best player in hockey. That’s an aspect of the sport that everyone can appreciate, but a true rivalry is what hockey is all about. Natural goal scoring talent is one thing, but if you’re not looking forward to February 7th and that awkward home and home against Ottawa, you don’t have a pulse.
And just because we can: