Do I truly believe the NHL hates the Buffalo Sabres? Of course not but some times it feels that way. I gave this post a lot of thought because I worry that this going to sound like sour grapes, than I realized that anyone who seen the Sabres past three games is going to agree with me.
The Sabres are playing better hockey and have earned four points in the their past three games but they could easily have earned six points. Would the Sabres have won last night if the overtime goal was correctly called a no-goal, would the Sabres have won on Saturday night if not for some suspect officiating? Nobody knows the answer to those questions but it would have been fun to see.
In the short span of four days, Sabres fans have a real argument that they are hated by the NHL. Whether it was the non-suspension of Dennis Gauthier, the suspect officiating on Saturday night or Sidney Crosby scoring a goal with a high stick it's evident that things are not going in favor of the Buffalo Sabres right now.
Friday Night: Dennis Gauthier cheap shots Patrick Kaleta
Any sane hockey fan understands that plays like this are not and should not be allowed in the NHL. It doesn't matter who was hit or whether or not he deserved it, there should be a long suspension for a hit like this. Is it possible that the NHL will still suspend Gauthier? I suppose they could but this should have been taken care of immediately. Sean Avery makes a comment about sloppy seconds and is not allowed to play that day, Gauthier punches a guy in the face when he isn't expecting it and there is no discipline yet.
This isn't a post to defend the actions of Patrick Kaleta because I've said it before, he better be ready to get a cheap shot. Truth is that Patty is a cheap hockey player. I would venture to say that 75 percent of his body checks are late and 95 percent could be called charging. Does that mean that it is okay to punch him in the face when he isn't expecting it? Of course not and if that is the precedent the NHL is going to set they are setting themselves up for plenty of trouble.
Saturday: Suspect officiating in Montreal
It has forever been said that the Montreal Canadiens get favorable treatment from the referees when they play at home and this game was no exception. It seemed like all night the Sabres were called for doing very little while they turned away when the Canadiens were committing penalties.
The biggest call of the game came in overtime. Buffalo had already killed off one penalty in the extra session before they called Jochen Hecht for holding although it appeared that he never held the Montreal Forward. There was also a controversial goal call on a play that it appeared Ryan Miller was interfered with.
Monday Night: "Sid the Kid" on Versus
This is the goal from last night and some commentary from the Versus crew. It seems that the crew from last night as well as the general public are split on this call. I'll admit it was close but you'll nevre convince me that his stick was not above the cross bar. It's my opinion that the goal should not have counted and based on what has happened the past couple of days it is a bitter pill to swallow.
That being said, this was simply a tough call that went against the Sabres. It was not a case of the NHL hating the Sabres. It wasn't even a case of the NHL wanting the "Golden Boy" Sidney Crosby to score the game winner on National TV. I don't believ any talk of conspiracy but I will say we were screwed!