The only loss the Boston Bruins have faced this season in regulation came at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. It was one of those rare games for the Bruins where everything seem to go wrong for them. There were plenty of defensive breakdowns leading to easily exploited opportunities. Tuukka Rask had an uncommon poor showing. Shawn Thornton got concussed by the Sabres’ in house goon, John Scott. (As much as I hate the term ‘goon’ , if you have as many goals in your career as your sparing partner has Stanley Cup rings… you might be one.) Thomas Vanek had a field day with us, scoring a five point game with a hat trick to boot. In the end, the B’s fell to the Sabres by a score of 7-4.
Then the chirping began. The Buffalo Sabres, and their fan base were whipped up into a frenzy. The Sabres were asserting themselves finally. Boston had fallen under the skills and might of a determined Buffalo team. As the old saying goes “pride comes before the fall.” The Sabres certainly did a bit of falling. They have played three more games than Boston and have scored seven less points. In the Northeast Division, the Bruins are at the top of the list, and the Sabres are at the bottom. (Ok, that’s enough chirping from me.)
As much as the Bruins seem to have the numbers of many other teams in the NHL, Thomas Vanek seems to have ours. The man has an impressive skill set, and it took a serious effort from the Bruins to shut him down in their 3-1 victory over the Sabres in Buffalo. If the Bruins wish to repeat that performance, they’ll need to do it again. A similar shut down will need to be affected against John Scott. As long as they don’t push Scott into doing what he does best, then his only use to the Sabres will be giving the first lines a few extra seconds to breathe.
I think its important that the Bruins place Tuukka Rask back into the crease. He had a bad game with the Sabres, and let a sloppy goal through in the 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers. Tuukka has a tendency to be way too hard on himself. A good night in the crease, backed up by defensemen who are a bit more watchful will make all the differance. The Bruins will make an effort to succeed, and when they bring a victory tomorrow night, they’ll vindicate themselves in front of the Buffalo fans. (I bet that will shut down the chirping for a while too.)