I read Garth’s blog earlier about the upcoming matchup with Boston (See Chowds Have Another Thing Coming). Dear God, I don’t know what else to say to this. I don’t know if he’s been watching the same games as the rest of us, but it was pretty presumptuous.
Buffalo should not be worried about extracting revenge on Lucic. Will someone take a run at him? I’d like to see it happen, but I’d rather see 2 points for Buffalo, 0 for Boston. That should be the focus, not settling the score from a few weeks ago. What Buffalo should be focusing on is tightening up their game and fixing their play in their own end.
A couple things will happen if Buffalo decides to extract revenge Wednesday when the Bruins come to town. First, Buffalo is going to get sucked into a style of hockey that they cannot afford to play. Boston is better at the aggressive style of play. Boston wants Buffalo to do this because it’s a guaranteed win for them. Second, someone will get suspended. Shanahan, the “God” of hockey discipline (I’ll touch on this one in the future), will see any move by Buffalo to instigate fights, or deliberately cream Lucic, as an action worthy of a suspension. If, and that’s IF, Buffalo is going to hit Lucic, make sure you do it clean, because if it’s not, get ready to sit for a few games. Don’t stoop to Lucic’s level.
As I said before, Buffalo is letting their opponents walk all over them once they clear the Buffalo blue line. When Boston breaks out of their own end, Buffalo needs to make sure that they force Boston to dump the puck into the corners, instead of letting them just walk into Buffalo’s end. However, if Buffalo wants to succeed with this, Buffalo’s defense needs to step up and play physical from the blue line, to the corners behind Enroth. Don’t worry about just decking someone. But, win the 1 on 1 battles in the corner. Make sure when someone goes into the corner with a Boston forward, a man in a blue jersey emerges with the puck. And do it clean, no dirty hits.
However, what Buffalo doesn’t need to do Wednesday is drop the gloves every two seconds and, how did he say it, “shut pie holes”. I agree that Buffalo needs to play a more aggressive style of hockey. That style needs to be played in their own end, and they need to be physical and not be afraid to throw a body check. But, this is not the time for revenge. That time has come and gone.
In the meantime, hopefully Buffalo can be working on improving their breakout plays, and will toughen up in their own zone. If Buffalo doesn’t fix these 2 aspects of their game, look for Boston to blow them out of the water again. This isn’t a game to “exact revenge” as Garth would like to see. This is a game where Buffalo needs to play their game, get high quality shots, and defend their own defensive end with authority. If they can do that, look for Buffalo to come out on top.
The best “revenge” that Buffalo can get, is getting 2 points, and sending Boston home with a loss.