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  1. My Lock for Rookie of the Year Elias Pettersson has taken the NHL by storm. Three goals and two assists in his first two games in the NHL. Canucks fans haven’t had a dynamic player like this since Pavel Bure dawned the skate logo. Still some work ahead of them in this rebuild. But, with the likes of Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Quintin Hughes, Bo Horvat, and Thatcher Demko in the organization the light is at the end of the tunnel for a franchise who was one win away from the Stanley Cup in 2011. Surprising Habs I know it is only two weeks into the season for the Montreal Canadiens… that being said they took the Toronto Maple Leafs into overtime… (and deserved to win too). Saturday night they handled the Pittsburgh Penguins with ease in a dominating 5-1 win. They look a lot faster this year with some injected youth (Kotkaniemi, Armia, Domi,). Carey Price has looked like vintage Carey Price early in this season and that is great news for Habs fans. Can they keep this up? Probably not. But at the end of the day the Canadiens will go as far as Price takes them. Marchand the Rat The RAT was back at it again. This time I don’t have a problem with what Brad Marchand did. In a 6-0 game against the Washington Capitals, and the Boston Bruins. Lars Eller skated by the Bruins bench and taunted the team during a fly by on the 7thgoal. The next shift Brad Marchand took matters into his own hands and went after Eller and got some punches in. Could he have handled it in a different way? 100%. But… growing up you are taught to never show up the opposing team doesn’t matter what the score is. After this incident Lars Eller for sure will think twice before taunting the bench. Toews is Back Jonathan Toews is RED HOT to start the season 5 goals, 1 assist in 3 games to start the season. Last year he scored a respectable 20 goals (his lowest total in his career). Toews returning to high 60- mid 70-point total this year would go a long way for a Black Hawks team. The Hawks are off to a surprising 2-0-1 start to the season. Also getting Corey Crawford back soon. Many have them in the basement of the powerful Central division. Including myself. Tom Wilson enough said… Tom Wilson was suspended 20 games by the NHL earlier this week. This this the 4thtime Wilson has been disciplined. So as a repeat offended I have no problem with a 20 gamer. Obviously, he hasn’t learned his lesson. With the suspension Wilson will forfeit over a million dollars in salary. He has appealed the suspension. What are your guys’ thoughts on the hit? Yes, Oskar Sundqvist shouldn’t have cut into the middle…. but Wilson didn’t need to drill him in the head. I’m glad the NHL finally sent a message to the rest of the teams that stuff like this is going to warrant a lengthy suspension.
  2. Please check out the full article at Below the Goal Line. Thanks for reading! NHL Game Updates: Arizona Coyotes @ Buffalo Sabres, Clayton Keller had two assists, setting a new Coyotes' record for points in a rookie season with 55. The Coyotes out-muscle the Sabers 4-1. Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins, Carey Price returned for the Canadiens, who gave up five in this won. Sidney Crosby picks up his 700th career assist in the 5-3 win. Anaheim Ducks @ Calgary Flames, If the Calgary Flames were looking to gain some ground to get back into the Western Conference playoff race, they needed a better effort than what they gave tonight. The Ducks put four, and John Gibson gets the shutout, as Anaheim wins 4-0. The Ducks now sit third in the Pacific Division. Boston Bruins v St. Louis Blues: The suddenly surging St. Louis Blues were home to take on the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. The Bruins, fresh off a Monday night overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, sit in second in the Atlantic Division, but lead the Eastern Conference by giving up just 184 goals. The Blues, who I wrote off a week ago, are back in the playoff race in the West, sitting just three points behind the Anahiem Ducks for the last Wild Card Spot. A win tonight would propell the Blues over the dreadful Dallas Stars. This was another hard, physical game between two teams we very likely will see in the playoffs. In fact, with a point in this game, the Boston Bruins would clunch a playoff spot. The Bruins would get on the board first in the first period when Ryan Donato picks up his second goal and fourth point as an NHL player after finishing his collegiate career a few days ago. Donato is in a fortunate area when the puck squirts out to him. He's all alone in the slot and fires home a shot past Blues goalie Jake Allen. That pucks find Donato after a Blues player hits the referee with the puck as the Blues are attempting to clear the puck out of their zone while shorthanded. I really don't understand why the referee is above the goal line, and in the shooting lane for a playing trying to ice the puck... You could call this game the Jaden Schwartz Show. Schwartz was flying for the St. Louis Blues in this game. In the second period alone, he had two breakaways. He was strong on the puck, and kept his foot moving throughout the game. He was definitely the most dangerous player in this contest. Jaden Schwartz would get on the board in the third period after a scoreless second. At 9:36, Schwartz breaks in with two other Blues. Alexander Steen drops the puck for Schwartz, and two Bruins defenders jump toward the loose puck and the Blues forward. Those defenders create a screen for Schwartz to quickly shoot a puck that goalie Anton Khudobin never picks up before it's in the net. Khudobin makes a huge diving save at the third period buzzer to send the game to overtime. This save preserved the 1-1 score, and provided the Bruins with the point they needed to clinch a playoff spot. The extra point should be awarded exclusively to Jaden Schwartz, who again impressed by going coast-to-coast for the game winner. Schwartz picks up the puck in his own zone, flys through the center of the ice, and rips a shot past goalie Khudobin for the win. The shot again was through a Bruins defender, and the Bruins goalie had a hard time picking it up. St. Louis jumps up to 9th place in the Western Conference with the win. They sit just one point behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final Wild Card spot. The Blues will likely go only as far as their goaltending takes them. Jake Allen was good in this game, stopping several strong Bruins' chances for the 2-1 win. Expect more of these hard-hitting, good defensive games from both of these teams as they make their push for the playoffs. Thanks for joining us. Please subscribe for email updates of future posts on the right side of the page (or after the entire article on your mobile devices). Don't forget to check us out on Twitter and Facebook!
  3. The annual NHL All-Star Game is a favorite event for many fans. The festivities span an entire weekend and include the Skills Competition, and in years past, a young stars game. The format has changed over the years – it began as a matchup between the reigning Stanley Cup champions and all-stars from the other teams, turned into a matchup between conferences, went through a stage when it was North America against the world, and now has the flavor of a pickup game where team captains choose their players – but it has remained immensely popular over the decades. The All-Star game became an officially sanctioned annual NHL event in 1947, but that was not the first time NHL players took part in an All-Star game. To find the first such event, we must jump into our time machines and travel back to 1934. Before we do that, however, let us see why the game was played. The date is December 12, 1933. The Toronto Maple Leafs are riding high in the world of ice hockey. They are on their way to posting the best regular season record in the league. Last season, they advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, and the season before that, they won the Stanley Cup. The man that scored the Cup clinching goal for the Leafs was Irvine “Ace” Bailey. At the beginning of the game between the Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins, no one could have known what fate held for Ace Bailey. During the game that night, Boston’s Eddie Shore was violently checked by Toronto’s King Clancy as he skated into the Toronto zone, pushing Shore into a rage. Intent on getting revenge, Shore spun around to see what he believed to be Clancy, charged at him from behind and tripped him. Shore had not found his intended target, however. Rather, it was Ace Bailey whose head slammed into the ice, fracturing his skull. Bailey was knocked unconscious and began bleeding from his head. In retaliation, Bailey’s teammate Red Horner knocked Shore out with a punch to the head. When he regained consciousness and learned of Bailey’s condition, Shore went to the locker room where Bailey was to apologize. By now, Ace had also come to, and despite believing that he was going to die, upon receiving Shore’s apology gave a remarkable display of grace and forgiveness in his response: “It’s all part of the game.” Bailey then lost consciousness once again. By the next morning, that Bailey would die seemed all but certain because of cerebral hemorrhaging. Shore, meanwhile, was interviewed by homicide detectives who announced that should Bailey die, Shore would be charged with manslaughter. Shore was indefinitely suspended by league president Frank Calder (he ended up missing 16 games). Shore was devastated by the guilt – enough so that he took a three week convalescence to Bermuda – and was not allowed to visit Bailey in the hospital. Boston manager Art Ross was able to do so, however, and when he did, Bailey once again said that Shore had not intentionally injured him. Miraculously, Bailey survived, and eventually recovered to live a normal life, but his hockey career was over. On January 24, 1934, the NHL Board of Directors decided to schedule a game between Bailey’s Maple Leafs and a team of All-Stars from the other teams in the league to raise money to benefit Ace and his family. The game was scheduled for Valentine’s Day, and would be played in Toronto’s Maple Leafs Gardens. Two players were selected from each of the other teams in the league, and Lester Patrick, the coach of the defending Stanley Cup champion Rangers was selected as the coach. During the festivities, the Maple Leafs retired Bailey’s number six jersey, making it the first jersey to be retired by an NHL team. Bailey presented a trophy to Calder which he hoped would be awarded at an annual All-Star game held to benefit the families of injured players. But, the most dramatic moment of the night took place while Bailey, Patrick, and Calder presented jerseys to the All-Stars. Black Hawks goalie Charlie Gardiner (who died, sadly, only four months later) was first, and after him came Eddie Shore. The crowd of over 14,000 fans became totally silent as Shore skated toward Bailey. The mood of the building changed entirely when Bailey extended his hand to Shore. As the two men shook hands, the crowd roared its approval. During the game, Shore, who was extremely nervous about how he would be received was cheered by the crowd. At the end of the game, the scoreboard showed a 7-3 win for the Maple Leafs. The event raised $20,909, and the Bruins organization added another $6,000. Bailey’s desire for an annual benefit game did not come to fruition, but similar events were held in 1937 and 1939 to benefit the families of Howie Morenz and Babe Siebert. Even if the tradition was not immediately established, that night with the stars set a precedent, and achieved a lot of good for the Bailey family. The first NHL All-Star Game is an excellent demonstration of the sportsmanship that those of us who call ourselves hockey fans so greatly value in the athletes that we cheer for.
  4. After the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in the summer of 2011 Chris Kelly went out and had himself a follow-up season potting 20 goals and shining as a third line player. It was a perfect scenario for him and the team. A nice versatile depth player that could put the puck in the net as well. His 20-goal season earned him a four-year, $12 million contract from then general manager Peter Chiarelli to remain a Bruin. Fast forward three seasons and 171 regular-season games since signing that big contract and Kelly has scored 19 goals... total. Chris Kelly is routinely the guy the fans scream needs to be traded or bought out. And they often aren't wrong. He personifies what Chiarelli got fired for; overpaying players for past performance rather than a true evaluation of how the player fits going forward, and more importantly how their cap hit will affect team financial flexibility going forward. The catch with Kelly's contract is it included a no-trade clause. But at this point entering the final year of his contract it is not ironclad. Kelly can provide the Bruins a list of 8 teams he'd be willing to go to if they were looking to deal him this season. If he had not been injured coming off the 2013-2014 season there is no doubt in my mind he would have been bought out of his deal that summer but due to collective bargaining rules regarding injured players he wasn't eligible for a buyout at the time. I won't lie, I've been a Chris Kelly cheerleader for quite some time. I do feel he was overpaid, amplified by the four-year term, for what he provides on-ice. But I like him with the "A" on the jersey. I like that he's a total team guy with a voice in the locker room. I like his effort on the penalty kill and the way he seems to accept whatever role is given to him and goes out and gives his all. But the fact that his, Daniel Paille's, and Greg Campbell's contracts all ate up the money last year that would have gone to a much bigger need and asset in Johnny Boychuck stings. Other players can do his job on the ice at half the cost. And the cost of his contract goes beyond not only what he's getting paid, but to those who couldn't get paid because of it. If Kelly remains a Bruin for the entire upcoming season I think he'll do fine as a 4th line, penalty killing, player. He can absolutely contribute positively in that role. But if they can move him to free up cap space for a bigger trade-deadline deal of some sort in return for any late round draft pick they should do it. He is in the final year of his deal, making more than any 4th liner should, and he surely won't be back next season when by then he'll be 35. General manager Don Sweeney has made it pretty clear that he's willing to move old and bad contracts to usher in the new. It'll be interesting to see if the value he brings to the locker room and the respect he truly deserves is enough to keep him in Boston. http://BostonPucks.com is written by two life-long Bruin fans who enjoy the NHL, beer, rock music, and writing about the sport they love. Check us out for more articles and takes on everything from around the NHL.
  5. We all know that professional athletes can have a target on their back. There's heckling from the stands, strangers come up to you in the streets, you're more recognizable. Professional hockey players who handle the spotlight well often keep themselves out of trouble or from looking stupid. Former Boston Bruin and 2-time Stanley Cup Champion Shawn Thornton recently spoke at his Putts & Punches charity event in Boston and was asked if he had any advice for new Bruin, Jimmy Hayes. He touched on that very topic of being a recognizable public figure in a hockey crazed town like Boston: “Stay out of the bar. You can’t hide here. Don’t be dancing on tables with your shirt off and bottles of vodka in your hand, like somebody else,” Thornton said. It was straight shooting advice for Jimmy Hayes from a humble hardworking NHL veteran who has reached the ultimate goal and captured the respect of every Bruins fan still to this day. Jimmy Hayes is walking into fantasy land to some extent. He won an NCAA National Championship at Boston College. He's from Dorchester, MA. And he's got plenty of cheddar in his pocket after inking a new deal with his native Boston Bruins. It is absolutely a dream situation for a local kid. But he's got to seize the on-ice opportunity and avoiding being Norm Peterson from Cheers off ice. When you're winning a Stanley Cup and pictures of the celebration hit the internet it's not going to do damage to a great extent because the fans are elated. But when you "come home" like Jimmy has fan expectations are high, old faces want to hang out, you're a significant public figure. With the Florida Panthers, Hayes old team, no one recognizes you without your jersey on. So it's best to avoid the bad photo op in the bar back home if Lord Stanley isn't in the picture with you. So listen to Thornton. Stay out of the bars, Jimmy. Unless you want to take me then I'm getting the first round. http://BostonPucks.com is written by two life-long Bruin fans who enjoy the NHL, beer, rock music, and writing about the sport they love. Check us out for more articles and takes on everything from around the NHL.
  6. Back in March Bruins defenseman Torey Krug signed a one year deal for $3.4 million. When that contract expires at the end of the upcoming 2015-2016 season he will again be a Restricted Free Agent, so one would think the Bruins have the leverage. But Krug is going to get paid. With the threat of an offer-sheet from another team a possibility, how much he gets paid and by who is the real question. The Bruins really need to think long and hard about paying him. Torey Krug is a good player and he is an important part of the Bruins. He is able to jump up in the play to create an odd man rush and he is great on the power play. But is he ultimately worth $5 million a year? The problem is there are not a lot of comparable players to figure how much he might get paid. The closest comparison to Krug is probably Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie. Barrie has been in the NHL full time for two years. So has Krug. Barrie is 5'10" and 190lbs. Krug is 5'9" and 180lbs. They are both 24 years old. In 2013-2014 Barrie had 13 goals, 25 assists for 38 points in 64 games. In the same year Krug had 14 goals, 26 assists for 40 points in 79 games. After the 2013-2014 season Barrie signed a 2 year, $5.2 million (2.6 per season) contract. Krug signed for 1 year and $1.4 million. Then in the 2014-2015 season Barrie put up 12 goals, 41 assists in 80 games. Krug put up 12 goals, 27 assists for 39 points in 78 games. For the upcoming season Krug is playing for $3.4 million and Barrie is playing for $2.6. They will both be Restricted Free Agents after the season. This will be interesting to watch to see what each player signs for. I would have to assume who ever signs first will make the negotiation for the other player and team easy. I hope the Bruins show patience and wait until the end of the season to sign Krug if that is what they are going to do. The Bruins have a bunch of young defensemen in the system waiting for their chance and if one or two of them develop into a more complete player would the Bruins be willing to let Krug go? I think Krug would have good trade value if that is the route the Bruins went. Most Bruins fans assume they are going to either sign or trade for a top 4 defenseman sooner than later. If and when that happens the Bruins could have 10 NHL able defensemen, so something will have to give at some point. In the salary cap world it would put the Bruins in a tough position in the 2016-2017 season and beyond if Krug is making $4 - $5 million and Adam McQuaid is making $2.75. Potentially the third pairing on defense could combine to make $6.75 million to $7.75 million. That seems like a lot of money tied up to guys that could be replaced by a younger player making under a million dollars a year. Maybe Torey Krug develops into that coveted top 4 defenseman. Last year he averaged 19:36 minutes of ice time per game so he is trending that way. Do not get me wrong, he can be a dynamic player. But I am just not sure he is eventually a top 4 defenseman. I like Krug and it seems he likes being a Bruin but it still could be a risky move to sign him to a big money contract if he is going to just be a power play specialist. From: http://www.BostonPucks.com
  7. In this instant gratification world we live in today the firing of Peter Chiarelli and the ushering in of Don Sweeney satisfied a lot of Bruins appetites. The old face was quickly gone, the new one was familiar, warm, and easily accepted. Then The Don started going to work and the results were not instantly well received by "shoot the puck!" and "hit him!" screaming barstool GM's throughout New England. Lucic, Dougie, Reilly and what feels like their bazillion dollars are all gone to other teams. And after what felt like a team without any fight last year, in comes a welcomed change of energy on the rise in Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, and a barrel full of draft picks. In that barrel the Bruins held five, yes five, 1st round picks with three being used this summer and two in the back pocket next year. And by all accounts this years development camp was the deepest and most impressive the Bruins have had in some years with Sweeney and director of amateur scouting Keith Gretzky's newest picks on hand. Just that scenario alone is such a nice feeling as a Bruins fan. It never seemed like the system could sustain itself. And it was rapidly proving it couldn't. Aside from David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner recently, you couldn't head out to the farm in Providence and find much in the way of studs to develop or push those on the NHL roster. Before you could. David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuk, Kevan Miller (how many more should I list?) all developed in Providence. You didn't really get the feeling that successful model was even part of the Bruins plan. Instead, you felt Chiarelli would draft poor, trade for mediocrity, and continue to hand out Powerball winners to those who shouldn't be so handsomely rewarded. At this point in the summer with the farm already starting to be replenished correctly I feel what may be the wisest move so far by Don Sweeney is the move he hasn't made yet. The move to get the top-4 defenseman they need to add. I've been screaming like a newborn baby to not sign Cody Franson, the man known as "the last best free agent" on the market. The man who was traded for a 1st round pick this past spring by Nashville only to be able to walk out the door shortly after without a fight. I don't think Cody Franson is bad and I don't think he'd hurt the Bruins. I think he'd actually help the Bruins. But he isn't worth the price tag Chiarelli would have gave him within an hour of free agency opening on July 1st. Andrej Sekera satisfied that lust in Edmonton. Don Sweeney is taking the best salary-cap-era NHL approach he can and people should applaud him for it. He created cap space needed so they can go get, and pay, a player who should actually get paid. Not pay some one because their name was listed in the game day program during the 2011 Stanley Cup season. He's feeding the farm the proper way, knowing long-term success will depend on the affordable boys coming in from Providence. And he's not jumping the gun on filling a defensive spot. Sweeney's patience with the defensive situation is what will ultimately make his appointment to GM with the task of fixing Chiarelli's mess pay off. If he's going to dip into free agency to fill the void of Dougie not wanting to be a Bruin, and Cody Franson won't accept what he really is financially, then he shouldn't look further than Marek Zidlicky. Affordable, short-term, and as reliable of a band-aid as you can find. But I think he'll go to the market this summer, maybe even using Boston's 1st or 2nd rounder next year (and/or Chiarelli's former draft pick Malcolm Subban), in a trade and get the stud defenseman he really wants. The Bruins may not be a Cup team right now but Don Sweeney has already successfully, to a point, made them much more flexible and ready to pounce on the right move. He's stopped the bleeding out of talent and dollars by making hard decisions based off of his vision of how you sustain success. And creating that environment so quickly has put him in a position to be selective with the defense, and as thorough and smart with them as he should be. Source: http://bostonpucks.com/2015/08/01/sweeneys-patience-with-defensive-situation-will-pay-off/ For more articles visit: http://www.BostonPucks.com
  8. There hasn't been much in the way of news in the NHL over the past few days but one thing that did stand out was Brad Marchand strutting his stuff on an outdoor bar in Montreal last week. The moves were caught on camera and as you can see below they were electrifying. Fortunately for Bruins fans when Marchand reaches the end of the bar a bouncer is there to assist him in getting down safely. After studying the film of him on the bar closely it's hard to believe the Montreal Canadiens didn't draft him back in 2006 when he was still available. The Habs 22-year-and-counting Stanley Cup drought might have ended by now had they pulled the trigger on the Halifax native. For more of our blogs, fun and serious visit: http://www.BostonPucks.com
  9. Well it’s been almost two weeks since the NHL free agency signing period started and things have started to quiet down. The majority of the interest has now shifted from unrestricted free agents to restricted free agents and salary arbitration cases. Early last week a rumour came out of a Montreal radio station reporting that the Canadiens were prepared to offer young Boston Bruins defenceman Torey Krug an offer sheet. Though many were skeptical about the credibility of the report and some confirmation that Krug wasn’t eligible to be given an offer sheet, nonetheless the report brings up an interesting idea that in recent years we have seen almost completely eliminated from the game; the use of offer sheets. In the NHL there has become a moral code it seems among general managers around the league when it comes to offering contracts to restricted free agents, in the hopes of stealing them out of their respected clubs. Though the risk that also comes with making offer sheets is that the team making the offer must comply with a pre-determined compensation to the team they take the player from. This compensation is pre-determined based on the salary that the offer sheet is signed for. Globe and Mail hockey writer James Mirtle outlines the compensation agreement here: https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/484009107272519680/photo/1. It’s happened just a handful of times in the last few years with the last being in 2013 when the Calgary Flames attempted to lure Ryan O’Rielly out of Colorado. Eventually, the Avs matched the Flames’ two-year $10 million dollar bid. In 2006 the Philadelphia Flyers offered then-Vancouver Canuck Ryan Kesler an offer sheet to lure him to Philadelphia. At the time the offer sheet made big news around the NHL and the Vancouver Canucks at the time made it clear that they weren’t happy with the Flyers front office. It was situations such as this one that has caused teams to be careful not to step on other teams’ toes in a non-written code of, you don’t sign my players I won’t sign yours. But why not? Of course it has happened as I mentioned a few times in the last few years, with players such as Shea Weber, Nicklas Hjalmarsson, and David Backes, but just nine offers made dating back to 1998, with just one being accepted. At the time when the Flyers went after Kesler, Kesler had yet to produce huge numbers. The Flyers saw the potential in him and put the pressure on the Canucks to keep him, which would be a similar stance taken if the Habs did offer a contract to Krug (all hypothetical of course). Krug has proven in his short time in the NHL that he can be an offensive force on the blueline and his offensive skills will only get better and better as he gets older, so what better time to go after him then now. Last season Krug made just over $1.7 million while putting up decent numbers, especially for a player playing in just his first full season in the NHL. Now, if you are the Bruins it might be too early to decide whether you want to commit a large upgrade in pay to Krug, as he is still so young. However, if you are another team like the Habs and you feel confident you can probably offer him a deal in the $4 million range, a number that if he does pan out the way he might, would be a good deal for a good defenceman. Yet, for the Bruins it could be too much money to invest for a player that might not pan out. $4 million would also be a hefty number for Boston as they are already sitting tight when it comes to the salary cap, a reason why signing Jarome Iginla may not have panned out for them. (Iginla signed with the Colorado Avalanche on July 1st). Looking at the list of restricted free agents, there is many other interesting names out there that, if teams were willing to break the non-written code, could really benefit them in the long run. Names such as P.K. Subban, Nino Neiderreiter, Ryan Johansen, Mats Zuccarello, and Reilly Smith, just to name a few. These names stick out because like Krug, each player here put up good numbers this season, but are coming off season where looking now they made a lot less money than they are likely to make next year and into the future. Subban made just under $3 million, Neiderreiter also made just under $3 million, Zuccarello made just over $1 million, Johansen made just under $2 million, and Smith made $900,000 so each of them could argue for higher salaries and with them each being very young players, teams may be weary to pay up. It’s a very interesting situation. Of course like recent years, we shouldn’t expect much to be done to take these players out of their current homes, but the fact is that in a time where teams try so hard to cash in at free agency and trade deadline it’s surprising that more teams don’t take this root to improve their rosters. Follow me on Twitter: @Craig_Hagerman
  10. The Sabres return to TD Garden tonight for the first time since Milan Lucic steam rolled Ryan Miller. Since that game the Sabres are 2-0-1 against Boston in 3 meetings in Buffalo. They have stood up to Boston in all three meetings and have out played them during most of those games. Another story line tonight for Buffalo is that 8th place is on the line with a little help on the out of town scoreboard. First off the goaltending matchup will feature Tim Thomas against most likely Jhonas Enroth. However Enroth starting has not been confirmed. Sabres fans were hoping for Marty Turco to get his first start for Boston no such luck. Boston is looking for back to back wins for the first time since Jan. 10-12. The Sabres rolled out a similar streak this season. Last night the Sabres burried the Hurricanes by getting a 3-2 OT win. After a poor first period, Buffalo owned the final 40 minutes. Cam Ward stood on his head to give the Carolina a point, but he couldn't pull it out in the end. Pominville blew a shot by him on the PP in OT for the winner. The Sabres first line showed up big last night with Vanek and Pominville both registering a goal and an assist. Buffalo needs them two to get going again to get into the top 8. Starting to become a tad nervous that Alexander Sulzer is making more of an impact than Cody Hodgson. CoHo has looked a little lost the last two games trying to do a bit to much. He needs to get back to playing a simple game like he did when he first joined the club. Sulzer played well last night in place of a sick Andrej Sekera. Sekera will probably miss tonights game as well. Games of intrest tonight: TB @ Washington (NO 3 PT GAME!!) Florida @ Philadelphia Winnipeg @ Vancouver Sabres fans need to root for the Bolts, Flyers, and Nucks. Projected Lineup: Vanek-Roy-Pominville Ennis-Hodgson-Stafford Gerbe-Leino-Kaleta Boyes-Ellis-Tropp Myers-Leopold Sulzer-Ehrhoff Weber-Regehr Enroth (Miller) Prediction: Hang on for dear life boy's. They need to win 3 of 4, here is your one loss 4-2 Boston.

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