Game #60, Senators @ Sabres: As Rome Burns
What a night to remember Wednesday was. Out of all of it, seeing Rene Robert on the ice was the most significant indicator of a bright future to me. It resembled a mending of bridges, an out with the old and in with the new mentality. For those unfamiliar, the schism between the Sabres and Robert came from a conversation the winger had with former team president Larry Quinn. Robert outright questioned his ability to run a hockey team. Robert must feel damn confident the new regime knows what it’s doing.
The morning skate at HSBC earlier was an optional one with only four players suiting up for practice, two of them in sweats. Don’t expect any line-up changes for tonight is my inclination. The only thing worth noting is that Craig Rivet has been placed on re-entry waivers as reported and is looking for a team to claim him at half price and give him ice time.
Meanwhile, the Senators will look rather different with Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Jarkko Ruutu, Brian Elliott, and Alexei Kovalev all leaving in the last couple of weeks and Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Neil, Pascal LeClaire and Sergei Gonchar all injured. Just today, Corey Locke (who happens to be the AHL scoring leader) and Roman Wick (2010 Olympian) were called up by the Senators from their Binghamton affiliate. Bruce Garrioch, Senators beat man for the Ottawa Sun, made note of the fact that 8 of the Ottawa forwards in tonight’s game did not start the season with them.
It’s a big night around the NHL with lots of implications toward the Sabres’ playoff chances as the Rangers play the Capitals, the Penguins play the Hurricanes, the Panthers play the Thrashers, and the Devils play the Lightning. Sabres fans already scoreboard watching want the Caps, the Pens, the Cats, and the Bolts to win in regulation.
The Sabres are 1-0-0 in the Pegula era and need to march on their senatorial foes tonight to continue their quest for the playoffs, much like the Gauls and Goths did to Rome.
(Ed. note: Neither the Gauls nor the Visigoths or Ostrogoths marching on Rome had anything to do with Great Fire of Rome. “As Rome Burns” was chosen because, hell, it’s an epic song and the Senators makes me think of ancient Rome.)