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Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Hereby Propose That the Sabres Change Their Name to the Buckets of Crap Until Further Notice

In sports, just like in life, things often change pretty quickly. That's why it can be comforting to know that some things remain frozen in time seemingly forever. It hasn't always been like this but for the last few seasons, the Sabres have been an absolute disgrace to the great game of hockey and the NHL.

Only six games into 2014-15, it looks like Buffalo (1-5-0) is still the worst team in the league. Boston (3-4-0) came into the First Niagara Center tonight desperate for two points and so they put up a season-high in goals (3 from defensemen) while Niklas Svedberg (32 saves) recorded his first NHL shutout in his sixth start.

The B's finished 2-1 on their tough three-game road trip to Detroit, Montreal and Buffalo. It's hard to take much away from a matchup with a club that belongs in the AHL or maybe the ECHL but Boston must have regained some confidence which they'll need against real teams.

This was never in doubt as the Bruins scored twice in the first period and twice in the second so the third felt like a lifeless preseason contest. Dougie Hamilton opened the scoring at 9:56 of the first period. His wrist shot from the point (with a screen provided by Reilly Smith) was his first goal of the season and Patrice Bergeron assisted on it.

Less than four minutes later, captain Zdeno Chara put in his first goal of the season on a one-timer from Brad Marchand and Hamilton. Once again, Smith helped with a screen of Buffalo's hapless goaltender Jhonas Enroth (32 saves).

Before the goals commenced, Kevan Miller fought Nicolas Deslauriers in a true heavyweight battle. Boston's young defenseman suffered an upper-body injury (shoulder?) which caused him to miss the rest of the game. If he is out for any length of time, the B's do have Matt Bartkowski (he's been a healthy scratch the last few games) who is waiting for another opportunity to screw up.

At 11:40, Torey Krug kept the good times rolling for the Bruins, and their many fans in attendance, when his soft shot from the point found its way through traffic and into the net. His first goal of the season was arrested by David Krejci.

Boston's last goal fittingly was the prettiest of the night and one of their best of the season as Carl Soderberg finished a passing sequence between linemates Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson at 14:48. It was Soderberg's second goal of the season and I don't normally give out fantasy hockey advice, but if Soderberg is available in your league, go get him!

The B's return to TD Garden to face two teams that are off to really good starts this season. San Jose (4-0-1) and Joe Thornton will be here on Tuesday (7, NESN) followed by the Islanders (4-1-0) on Thursday (7, NESN). Just like the Bruins needed to get away from home last week to develop more chemistry with the younger guys and new guys, now it is important that they start to raise their games and display more consistency in each game.

UPDATE 10/19: Since they haven been healthy scratches lately, the Bruins made the wise move to send Seth Griffith and Ryan Spooner to Providence where they'll get big minutes in every game.

UPDATE 10/20: Griffith was recalled from Providence while Miller is out indefinitely with a dislocated right shoulder.

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