The Boston Bruins secured themselves the President’s Trophy this afternoon with a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. We can talk about David Krejci‘s two goals, how Patrice Bergeron put in number thirty in the second period, or how the Merlot Men (courtesy of Gregory Campbell) made their presence known yet again on the ice. This game was one of the more physical brutal games the Bruins have played all season. The contact was so rough that even Montreal fans commented on how ugly it was getting in the TD Garden.
Make no mistake, it was a meat grinder of a game, and the Sabres certainly got the worst of it. Sabres starting goalie Matt Hackett was taken from the ice on a stretcher after Boston defenseman Torey Krug fell on his right leg while he was in the net half way through the third period. He wasn’t the only injury for Buffalo. In addition to Hackett, four other Sabres left the game with injuries sustained in one of the more brutal games the Bruins have put down this season. The Sabres casualties are as follows: Christian Ehrhoff (concussion), Chris Stewart (leg), Matt D’Agostini (lower body), and Brian Flynn (lower body).
Their were casualties for Boston as well. Daniel Paille was hit hard by Jake McCabe in the third period and Paille needed help to get off the ice. “I mean, I knew right away that it probably didn’t look good, he dropped like that and you hope the guy is okay,” said McCabe, after the game. “I think he’s got a concussion history in the past, a couple of guys are telling me, so the best wishes for that, but I wasn’t trying to be dirty at all; I was just trying to play hard.” McCabe was ejected from the game for the hit. There is no update as of yet on Paille’s condition, but it was obvious he sustained a concussion on the play. Patrice Bergeron suffered a minor injury in the final period as well.
As (I still hate using this term) goons go, the Buffalo Sabres have one of the best grinders in the league (with one goal for the entire season, it’s hard to call him anything else) in John Scott. John Scott attempted to have a go with Milan Lucic in the second period, but Lucic demurred to his captain, Zdeno Chara. Two of the biggest players in the league (one respected for his play in every hockey city outside of Montreal, and the other for his ability to do nothing but attempt to cripple other players) squared off briefly before the very brave refs decided to end it quickly. Scott ended up with fourteen penalty minutes for the fracas and a total of twenty four for the game.
Here’s a blast from the past on NBC’s opinion of John Scott.
Apparently the theoretical Chara vs Scott fight earned quite a following. You can read people’s opinion of what would happen here.
“It’s just sad,” said Krejci of Paille’s injury. “This time of the year, in the third period, it’s just sad. We need a guy like that. He’s been a big part of the team. He brings so much speed on the fourth line and lots of energy. He’s good on the PK as well, so it’s just a sad day, not just for him but for us as his teammates, so we’re going to miss him. Hopefully he’ll come back soon.”
In the end, the Boston Bruins were victorious, and they’ve earned their second President’s Trophy in the award history. It’s just a shame that Paille got hurt this close to the playoffs, and the Hackett got hurt while attempting to do the best he could for Buffalo. The Bruins finish out the regular season against the Devils in New Jersey tomorrow.