End of An Era, Blackhawks 6, Sabres 2

In 1997, Lindy Ruff took over the bench for the Buffalo Sabres.  In that same time frame, the Hawks have had 9 head coaches.  It appears the longest coaching tenure in all major professional sports is about to come to an end.  The Sabres are the definition of bad money.  No one is taking the albatross Ville Leino or Christian Ehrhoff contracts off their hands.  Ryan Miller isn’t going anywhere.  There is simply too much money invested in this team to blow up the roster after a couple bad months.

Unfortunately, Lindy Ruff will likely be the first domino to fall in the 2011-2012 Buffalo Sabres.  Buffalo looked interested for about 15 minutes and then disappeared as soon as the Hawks scored their 3rd goal.  Sabres Owner Terry Pegula can’t fire his entire roster; so instead his head coach and his general manager will be the first ones on the chopping block.

For the Hawks, they stepped on the Sabres throat when they needed to.  And that was that.

–Dave Bolland had such a Dave Bolland celebration on his goal that even Dave Bolland would be impressed…if that makes any sense.  When Bolland scored, he nonchalantly avoided all of his on-ice teammates and glided to the bench where he high-fived the bench.  I can’t imagine how he’ll ever top that short of scoring a goal and stripping naked.

–So much has been made of Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes and rightfully so.  They have had as good of a debut as two rookie role players since the ’07-08 season when the Hawks brought up the likes of Dave Bolland, Kris Versteeg, and Jake Dowell (remember that?).  Probably even better.

The important thing to remember is that neither has played more than 10 games so writing any roster spot with their name in ink would be a bit premature.  I will say Shaw is far more likely to stick into April as Quenneville is already playing him in all situations.  His obsession with Shaw is reminiscent of how he felt towards Versteeg when he took over.

Hayes is a good finisher but he still makes too many mistakes in the neutral and defensive zone for Quenneville to trust him in the latter parts of the season.  But I suppose we can only wait and see.

–I wish Patrick Kane would just score a goal already so every moron can stop playing amateur psychiatrist.

–It didn’t really make a difference in the game but the NHL has to change their reviewing policy.  Marcus Kruger had a goal taken away because the referee called a hand pass on Andrew Shaw even though replays showed otherwise.  Kruger banged home the rebound but because hand passes aren’t considered reviewable, there was no call to Toronto.

An easy solution would be to make all scoring plays reviewable no matter what.  And that includes getting rid of the idiotic intent to blow the whistle rule.  It’s only going to take one controversial call in the playoffs that costs the team their season for it to come under greater scrutiny.  By then, it will already be too late.

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11 Responses to End of An Era, Blackhawks 6, Sabres 2

  1. tom says:

    Agree 100% with your ‘review scoring plays/intent to blow’ thoughts. They’ll get to it eventually.

  2. rich Lindbloom says:

    worst call in the history of the NHL on Kruger’s goal.

    is anyone besides me not worried about Kaner?

    Doesn’t it seem that more and more Bruno is fitting in?

    Kaleta not dropping them with Hayes could be part of the reason for the Sabres demise.

    remember when we were struggling to score more than two goals / game? As Rex Kwan-Do would say – “Forget about it!”

  3. HawkVision says:

    “I wish Patrick Kane would just score a goal already so every moron can stop playing amateur psychiatrist.”

    Oh Lord, yes. YES.

  4. feyer says:

    I think you are right about Shaw. Much like Versteeg in 07/08, he is making it very tough for the hawks to send him back down. When Sharpie comes back, it looks like Bickell is the odd man out.

  5. ScottA says:

    I’ll take the amateur psychiatrists any day over the “I listened to the score last night and they said his points are probably down because he’s drinking too much and is hungover” or the “He didn’t have strep throat, he was hungover” or “he broke his wrist falling down because he was drunk” I’m not worried about Kaner long term but I hope he has a monster game and gets out of this funk because it looks like he’s gripping his stick a little too tight right now.

  6. Patrick says:

    John – good recap and glad you’re back up broadcasting. Few thoughts/questions:

    1. On Kane – he’ll be fine, and glad he’s going through his case of the yips now, rather than in April. Good that the whole team isn’t experiencing the same malaise.
    2. In watching Shaw last night, he’s very solid – doesn’t look like a rookie. What is he doing right (my thinking is solid skating, good hands, good hockey IQ, crashes the net, no fear, and positionally sound), but also what does he do wrong (I can’t find much)?
    3. Hayes is a little more raw, but he will make decisions about his future tough too.
    4. I think the price for Beachemin just got a little higher (he’s my pick to click – at the trading deadline)

  7. BobbyJet says:

    Sabres looked dismal so one can’t get too excited, but I did like the killer instinct we saw last night to make it a real laugher in the end. Hawks played with a little more zest physically and Mayers got Gaustaid back for that knee-to-knee on Bolland earlier in the game. Speaking of Bolland: Nice game from him and it’s good to see him healthy again – knock on wood.
    It seems Shaw’s hustle has helped spark this team to play with more jump. He also played over 20 minutes last night! With Carcillo out, I think he’s a keeper and I hope Q gives Hayes a long look before making any decision on him. A big man with soft hands is a welcome commodity.

  8. Otter says:

    BTW, where did Andrew Shaw come from? Yeah, yeah I know he’s a fifth round pick from last summer who if you would have asked me what the Owen Sound Attack were, I would have said a crappy Brooklyn indie band… but this is just insane. Considering how ‘loaded’ everyone says the Hawks system is, for Shaw to be the guy who comes in and play like this is crazy.

    BTW, anyone else hoping that Joakim Nordstrom plays at least one game for the Hawks someday?

  9. Otter says:

    Also, sort of interesting that eight teams are out of the playoff race already right? Sabers, Habs, TB, Isles, Canes, Ducks, Oil, and Jackets. Seems like the Ducks and Habs would have the most to pick at… Hal Gil? Beauchemin? Saku Koviu on the 2nd line would be fun…

  10. datHorsaGuy says:

    Erik Cole from MTL would be a nice little pickup. The Hawks need a LW and a power forward and EC fits both of those nicely. Get on it Stan!

  11. CT says:

    Hawks are 1-5-1 since the End of the Fifth Feather Era.

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