The Sabres are sort of a mess right now. No one is very happy, and there are already rumblings about Lindy Ruff’s job floating out there in the ether. In other words, not the start most people had in mind for this team.
Tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks means many things to many people. Some want to see revenge for the Pominville hit, and the Sabres have been saying all the right things when it comes to that.
Others, however, just want to see a win. Playing the Blackhawks at the United Center is suddenly a difficult thing to do since Kane and Toews came to town, and a 1-3-1 Sabres team needs wins, plain and simple. Sabres fans aren’t seeing very much to get excited about thus far. The defense looks slow and unorganized, Myers doesn’t look like the best defenseman in the league and Ryan Miller isn’t getting a whole lot of goal support.
Still, there is that whole Pominville hit thing still lingering. We know Cody McCormick can fight and Kaleta has said some strong words, but I think we all know what will happen tonight.
That’s not to say the team is weak and they don’t have the guts to do anything about it. The league just isn’t a place where retribution is given out on the ice anymore. The punishment for retaliation will be much more than the two games Niklas Hjalmarsson already got.
Hjalmarsson says he isn’t worried about the game tonight, and he shouldn’t be. There isn’t going to be some kind of retribution fight, and Hjalmarsson won’t drop the gloves to “defend his honor” against anyone. Even when that does happen, it always looks like a lame, scripted event with no real result.
If anything, we see a McCormick fight and Kaleta flying around with a little more intensity than usual. I think intensity is welcome, but we’ve already seen the Pat Kaleta Circus once this year and it didn’t do any good.
The Sabres don’t need to pick on number four in black, or anyone else on the Blackhawks. They need to score goals and win hockey games, and that’s what tonight is going to be about.