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Posts Tagged ‘buffalo sabres’

We won people!  We got rid of the skills competition!

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That’s right.  Last night in Calgary, the Capitals had a NINE-MINUTE POWER PLAY.  Now, one might ask, “How do you get a nine-minute power play?”

Like this:

Tyler Sloan gets a nice open-ice hit and then Rene Bourque pounces on him.  Bourque was given 4 penalties.  A five-minute major for fighting, a two-minute minor for instigating, a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, and a 10 minute misconduct.  Keep in mind that it was just a misconduct, not a game misconduct.

On Friday against the Maple Leafs, Marc Staal laid a nasty (but clean) hit on Matt Stajan.  Almost instantly,  Jamal Mayers went after Staal and proceeded to wrestle him to the ground.

Those two plays were very similar, yet they had very different outcomes.  As I said before, the Capitals ended up getting a nine-minute power play (which they failed to score on) but in the Rangers’ case, both Staal and Mayers were given five-minute majors for fighting.

But Eric, Staal fought back while Sloan didn’t!

That’s not true.  If you go watch the first video again, you can see that Sloan throws his gloves off as Bourque comes after him.  Sloan just didn’t get any punches in and fell down almost instantly.  Staal, on the other hand, stayed up a few for a few seconds.

So why do the refs deal with these two similar plays so differently?  Is the league trying to crack down on this sort of thing?

Also, why is it that Paul Mara gets a game misconduct for sticking up for himself after he avoided what would have been a very dirty hit from the guy that broke his face last season, but Rene Bourque only gets a misconduct (which allows him to return) even after being given an instigator AND an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty?

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The Sabres downed the lackluster Rangers last night by a score of 3-1.  The Rangers only managed 9 shots through 2 periods, and never seemed to get it together.

The turning point came midway through the 2nd period with the game tied at 1, when Paul Mara dropped his gloves and unleashed a barrage of punches on Patrick Kaleta.  The problem was Kaleta just keeled over and took the punches without dropping his gloves.  Mara received five for fighting and a game misconduct, while Kaleta was not penalized.  The Sabres scored on the ensuing power play, and never looked back.

Were Mara’s actions justified?  Decide for yourself:

If you recall, Patrick Kaleta was the player who took a run at Paul Mara at the Garden last February.  The result of that questionable hit was that Mara needed facial surgery and missed 12 games.  Mara’s take, “If you look at last year, he late hit me and left his feet.”  (I’m not so sure about the assertion that Kaleta left his feet, but it was definitely a late hit.  Anyway, you can decide for yourself by clicking the link above).

What happened last night?  Mara took exception to Kaleta taking another run at him, claiming that Kaleta left his feet again.  But Kaleta missed.  So, what made Paul Mara so angry?  Well, if you believe Mara, in the ensuing scrum, before Mara dropped his gloves, Kaleta asked Mara “how his face was.”  Ouch.

Mara’s parting shot:

If he was a man he would’ve dropped the gloves, and stayed in there. But I did what I had to do, and that’s it. . . If he was a man he would’ve stood in there, but he can leave his feet whenever he wants, and run around, but he doesn’t have the guts to do anything about it.

What does everyone else think?

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Now that the Bruins have completed their season with a loss to the Sabres, they finish with 94 points. That means that the Rangers cannot finish lower than 5th place. The Rangers will open the playoffs against the Devils regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s game. The only question left unanswered is which team will have home ice advantage. A win in regulation for the Rangers gets them 4th place and home ice advantage for at least the first round. With any other outcome tomorrow, the Rangers will open the playoffs in New Jersey.

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The NHL handed down a one-game suspension to the Sabres’ Andrew Peters this morning. This comes after he involved himself in an altercation that was on the ice while he was on the bench. Peters reached over the boards and punch Colton Orr multiple times. Both players were given 10-minute Misconducts. Peters was probably still upset over having his ass handed to him early in the first period (the altercation at the end of regulation is also in this video):

Peters suspension is without pay meaning that he forfeits $2807.49. That money will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Peters will not play tonight against the Penguins.

Colton Orr is waiting for the 2008-2009 schedule to be released so he can mark down on his calendar when Andrew Peters will receive his next severe beat-down.

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With the “we’ve gotten at least a point in every game” streak now at 12 (9-0-3), the Rangers head into Buffalo to try to make it 13 (hopefully with a win). The Sabres come into tonight’s game having gone 4-4-2 in their last ten games but only 1-3-1 in their last five. Their last game was on Saturday against the Hurricanes. The Sabres lost in Overtime.

Steve Bernier, whom the Sabres got in a trade with the San Jose Sharks (which sent defenseman Brian Campbell the other way) will be playing tonight. The NY Post reports that Slats rejected a trade that would have brought Bernier to MSG in exchange for Sean Avery. The Avery Effect be damned, I think I would have made that trade. Then again, maybe that’s why I’m not the Rangers GM.

Last time the Rangers and Sabres faced each other, Avery got a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. My prediction, Rangers win 4-1.

UPDATE: Bernier is scratched. I suppose that his groin injury is still bothering him. -Marc

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