That went about as badly as you could’ve imagined if you were hoping to thrill at the Buffalo Sabres power play on Friday night. Holy crap, kids.
Now look I know that there is a lot of talent on the ice when that team decides to ball on the power play. However, the coverage of the offensive blueline left much to be desired.
Christian Ehrhoff didn’t have a particularly strong night in this regard. Even Tyler Myers had difficulty skating a bit, a trait which makes him as good as he is, until a last minute bull rush to the net in the third opened a hole for Stafford to tie the game at 3. Then Thomas Vanek happened.
That is quite possibly the worst penalty I’ve seen considering the in-game circumstances. The game has just been tied. Two minutes left. Just get it to overtime and steal a point, man.
Vanek tails his man poorly into the offensive zone and trips him up from behind when he was clearly out of position. It was aggregious. Carolina scores 30 seconds later. What an asshole. But, you know, its the third game. No Ehrhoff shouldn’t be sent to Rochester. No this doesn’t have any bearing on Vanek’s leadership ability. Rough end, man. Just sucks. Get on the plane and get the next one.
The hit on Jason Pominville initially looked clean to me, even including the timing. As of this writing I haven’t seen the replay. Pominville has his head down, but Allen hit him square with his shoulder into Pominville’s shoulder/chest.
That was Allen controlling his body to deliver a clean check to someone who wasn’t looking. This proves that it is indeed possible to hit cleanly in this league without murdering someone, which was within Allen’s power at that moment. (And upon review, it shouldn’t have even been an interference call. Allen hit Pominville a half second after he lost control of the puck. Finish your check.100% clean hit.)
And another thing – when the fuck did it suddendly mean that any time someone gets hit cleanly a fight is the only response? Thats not a response, it’s an escalation. What you do kids is hit back. Land a good clean check and let it be over. The code” is such a pile of junk. Maybe instead of chasing a guy around for a period and a half trying to goad him into a fight and looking like a dorknozzle (Cody McCormick) and fighting the first guy you can hug (Paul Gaustad) you should put the puck in the net. Well, the Sabres got their fight in and defended their team’s honor. Congratulations. They didn’t get another solid scoring chance until there was 2:30 left in the game.
It got them exactly nothing. It changed the momentum for perhaps a shift at the most. Stupid.
That said, I’m worried not. Carolina was good, the Sabres had strokes up and down the ice. I do not expect this to continue.
BONUS: Pominville is macho for coming back and staying tough. That was a hell of a hit he took and he got right back in it. That’s quiet leadership and a hard head.
WHO SUCKED? Vanek. Stop reinforcing sterotypes on how you’re lazy, because that penalty was lazy.
WHO BALLED? Andrej Sekera had a solid game, as did Marc-Andre Gragnani. Your third defensive pairing everyone!
See you Saturday night.