As soon as Milan Lucic nailed Sabres goalie Ryan Miller with an open ice hit that left the former Vezina winning goalie with a concussion, everyone in Buffalo grabbed their pens, took out their Sabres pocket schedule and circled November 23, 2011.
The date was not circled due to Thanksgiving eve being one of the biggest drink days of the year; it was circled because the bullies of the NHL, the Boston Bruins were set to hit the ice of the First Niagara Center to take on their beloved Sabres.
Ask a Sabre fan how their team should seek revenge tonight and you’ll get answers ranging from run Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask, all the way to take off your skate and try and stab Milan Lucic Happy Gilmore style. (A bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea)
When asked if he expected a Sabre tough guy to seek some sort of revenge tonight, Lucic had a simple answer.
“Yes… I’m not going to lie, yes” Well thanks for being honest Looch.
This has Matt Cooke vs. Boston Bruins written all over it. Cooke injures Savard, no Bruins do a thing about it on the ice, weeks later Cooke and the Penguins come to town, Cooke and Thornton dance, (which according to Mike Millbury who spoke with 98.5’s Toucher & Rich this morning “was as exciting as a wet fart”) Pens win the game and it’s done and over with, looks like déjà vu to me.
As difficult as it may be, try and put aside the whole Lucic/Miller incident and the “eye for an eye” Sabres mentality because there are two important points up for grabs in tonight’s contest.
The Bruins winners of their last nine and the Sabres who look to get back to .500 at home are tied for second place in the Northeast division with 24 points, just two behind the division leading Toronto Maple Leafs.
With Miller still out due to his concussion, Jhonas Enroth should be between the pipes for Buffalo. The Bruins got to Enroth three times in the third period in their 6-2 win over the Sabres in Boston on November 12.
Tim Thomas who has not allowed in a goal in his last three starts away from the TD Garden should get the start for the B’s tonight.
Bruins bench boss Claude Julien knows his club needs to stay smart in this one.
“We’re not the ones looking for revenge, we’re looking to win a hockey game” said Julien “ We’re on a pretty good roll right now, why should we want to change our ways and fall into a situation where you’re only going to hurt your team more then you’re going to help it?”
If it’s at your local bar, or your living room couch, make sure to be in your seats by puck drop, because this one has entertaining written all over it.