Thursday, February 22, 2007

Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators Brawl

Finally some old time hockey! Did you hear those fans? The HSBC was absolutely rocking during and after the melee. Here is a recap from my pal Maguire...

Neil hammers Drury with a nasty hit. The hit was a bit dirty as it came late. But Drury had his head down too. There was no penalty for the hit. Drury is on the ice and bleeding. Stafford comes in and tries to glove punch at Neil. Neil drops em and hammers Stafford with 6-7 shots while he has his sweater over his head.

Ruff is screaming at Murray with only Rob Ray separating the two. Ray sits back and takes it all in without saying a word. I am sure Murray was upset because Ruff used the last change to put out his tough guys. Good for Ruff...shades of Glen Hanlon earlier this year. The code came in to play here and it fell under "an eye for an eye."

So the very next shift, Ruff sends out Mair, Peters, and Kaleta. The puck drops and Mair goes right after Spezza; he hits him a good 5-6 times while everyone tries to get in. Off camera to the side Kaleta and Phillips are going. The camera goes to Peters who piles in and starts grabbing Volchenkov out of the pile. Out of the blue, Biron skates down to challenge Emery who is more then happy to go. They square off briefly, come together and it's basically all Emery doing the throwing. Biron slips to the ice and the lines men come in while Emery gets a couple more pops in. Peters then skates over and starts throwing them on Emery. Emery returned one or two but Peters got him a couple, no damage done. Emery enjoys a good fight. Just ask Josh Gratton who Emery beat in the AHL. Emery was grinning ear to ear during his bouts with Biron and Peters.

Here's your YouTube video... remember to listen to the rocking fans at the HSBC.

Drury is out for the game with a head injury. Rob Ray said it right when he noted that you don't send your tough guys out to fight the other team's tough guys after one of your star players was cheapshotted. You send them after the other team's star players. That's exactly what Mair did... he went right after Spezza. And while the Yuppie Hockey League (YHL) fans will tell you that this sets hockey back, I will tell you to listen that arena rocking. The fans were going crazy as we finally got a good taste of some old time hockey.

Drew Stafford is your Player of the Game. He went after Neil for his hit and took a beating. But he stood right in there for his teammate. Then Stafford goes to the backhand in the shootout for the game winner. Ryan Miller then proceeds to follow up with a Statue of Liberty left handed glove save to end the game.

Here is your box score.

These two teams meet again Saturday night. I wouldn't expect Murray to make the same mistake twice in scratching Brian McGratton. With the addition of Kaleta, the Sabres were carry three willing tough guy tonight. And yet Murray decides to go without his enforcer and he is unable to counter Buffalo's toughness.

The YHL fans might not agree; but these are the types of games that will put fans in seats. While I imagine the NHL brass were busy taking notes on what transpired during the line brawl, they should have been taking notes on the Buffalo fans' reactions. Again, an electric atmosphere tonight at the HSBC... simply electric.

And there should not be any suspensions from this game. Neil's hit was clean... it was borderline late at the most. But it certainly does not deserve a suspension. Peters fought the goalie; but there is nothing illegal about that. The NHL would be best served to leave this between the two teams. And they would also best be served to sit back and watch the Sabres/Sens television ratings soar come Saturday night. There is no doubt casual fans will be tuning in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the in-game commentary Sig. Great stuff!