Just when you think it can't get any worse...
It's one of the oldest cliches in the book, but I think it applies to this season, and in particular, today's Sabres game. It was bad enough pitting the 30th place team against the first place team to begin with, but by the end of the game, that 30th place team was down to almost half a team as injuries and ejections took an astonishing seven players off the ice en route to a 4-1 loss.
The Sabres lost a number of players to injury, including Chris Stewart (ankle) Christian Ehrhoff (concussion) Matt D'Agostini (lower body) and Brian Flynn, but none was more gruesome than Matt Hackett, who had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher after being hit by Torey Krug, who was himself tripped into Hackett by Jamie McBain. Ted Nolan said that Hackett's leg isn't broken, but he'll be wrapped up tight and reevaluated by the Sabres training staff back in Buffalo.
As for the other two players, John Scott and Jake McCabe were both ejected from the game thanks to questionable calls from the referees, who spent the entire game making sure the big bad Sabres couldn't beat up on the Bruins. McCabe got a five minute interference penalty and a game misconduct for this hit on Daniel Paille, who had to be helped off the ice. Paille would leave the game, though he would later pass his concussion test, according to TBN's John Vogl.
John Scott would be ejected midway through the second period after coming off the bench and looking for Lucic. After skating over to Lucic and yapping at him, Lucic punches Scott in the face and runs away, at which point Chara comes over and cross-checks Scott in the face for his trouble. Scott is then ejected, and neither Boston player receives a penalty. Watch the video below and enjoy a) Lucic faking some type of nose/eye injury for effect, b) Jack Edwards' homage to Mike Milbury with his player selection call, and c) Ted Nolan's WTF face. Remind me again why the toughest team in the league needs to be protected by the refs?
As for the actual game itself, there wasn't much to say from the Sabres side of things. Cody Hodgson scored his 20th goal, setting a new career high, and with his assist, Mike Weber stretched his career-long points streak to four games. You'll forgive us for not throwing him a party.
With only half a bench by the end of the game and their sixth-string, ECHL journeyman goalie Connor Knapp in net, there wasn't much to do for the Sabres but play out the last few minutes. As for what they'll do for their game tomorrow, nobody's sure at this point, though we do know that none of the injured players today will be playing in tomorrow's season finale.
We'll all have one more chance to view the Sabres trainwreck tomorrow against, ironically enough, the Islanders. When it's all said and done, at least we can say this season has been interesting.