Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"It's a miracle they didn't blow the whistle"

Rick Jeanneret summed it perfectly with those words near the end of the following video.

With the Sabres down 5-4 late in the third period, no less than 11 bodies were in the crease jammin' away at a loose puck as the referee looked on just outside of the scrum.

No quick whistle on this one. In fact there was no whistle at all and Jordan Leopold finally "pitchforked" (his word) the puck past the wall of Leafs and their goalie Ben Scrivens.

Gotta like the fact that the ref was right there with his eyes right where the puck was. You can see him move his arm a couple of times ready to blow the whistle, but pulls back when the puck squirts free.

From Ryan Miller:  "I think the ref [Mike Hasenfratz] actually did a good job," Miller said. "He wasn't giving quick whistles the entire night. He was consistent. I kind of noticed that. He was kind of right over it.... [Scrivens] made no indication he had the puck.

"I think it's the right play by the referee. Now if the shoe's on the other foot, maybe I'm a little bit ticked. I'm going to try to at least show or fake I have the puck or something."

Added Marcus Foligno, ""I think the ref was watching how many times I got punched in the face," Foligno said, "and he was in awe." He added, "I was just hoping to God we'd hear a horn that we scored,"

Props to Foligno. The NHL rookie of the month for the month of March had a real strong, first-star game to kick off April including his first NHL fight. He threw some monster hits and used his noggin' to school the Leafs Mike Komiserak after the two exchanged words prior to the faceoff on the Leopold, game-tying goal.

Speaking of his fight, Foligno bowled over Tyler Bozak in the corner and the Leafs Matt Frattin came in to defend his teammate:

You'll notice also that Foligno joined rookie defender Brayden McNabb in the box.

McNabb was serving five for fighting Jay Rosehill, who had come to the rescue of his fellow Leaf, Matthew Lombardi. McNabb flattens Lombardi and Rosehill didn't take kindly to the clean hit:

Finally. This was an incredible game with plenty of ups and downs for the Sabres. Props to them for somehow finding a way to pull it out.

And props to Foligno setting the tone early with this hit on Leafs d-man Carl Gunnerson (who left the game with an "upper body injury"):

Alexander Sulzer had a Jekyll and Hyde night. He had the first two-goal game of his career and his first ever three-point night and reached a career-best three-game point streak. He finished the night and even plus/minus despite being on the ice for two goals where he couldn't control his man.

As the Buffalo News' Mike Harrington notes, he had "one crazy night."

TSN chimed in on the game-tying "scavenger hunt" Leopold goal:

From WGR funny, classic "no whistle":

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