Sunday, December 4, 2016

Gearing up for the Bruins today

Published by, 12-03-2016

Wake up you slumberous Sabre waifs, game time is 1:00 pm today and it's against the hated Boston Bruins in a rivalry that dates back to the Sabres inception--the high-flying Buffalo Sabres vs. the Big, Bad Boston Bruins. And it could be a tad contentious to say the least.

One of my earlier memories is this gem featuring Jim "Schony" Schoenfeld vs. Wayne Cashman at the Aud. To put it into perspective, in 1972 when this incident occurred the Bruins were coming off of two Stanley Cups in the previous three seasons and being in the same division as the Sabres, they weren't about to give the fledgling franchise one inch. Intimidation ruled back then, and the Bruins were the best at it at the time.

But the Sabres wouldn't back down and Schony was the point man in defense of the crest. The fiery red head was a fifth overall pick of Buffalo's that summer and would have non of what the Bruins were dishing out and when Cashman flew into the Buffalo zone to negate an icing call, Schoenfeld checked him through the boards.

Here's the rest compliments of Dan Conroy:

Although it was a lot of fun to watch, those days of dropping the gloves in an instant are long gone and for a while, so was the Sarbes/Bruins rivalry. It takes two for a rivalry and unfortunately for Sabres fans Buffalo hasn't been up to the task. In their last 10 meetings Buffalo is only 2-4-4 and only 3-5-2 in their last 10 at home.

Boston still holds the hammer as proven by a 4-0 win in their first meeting of the season at TD Garden on November 7. The Sabres had won four of the last five prior to the trip to Boston but were thoroughly outclassed. It was a loss that would begin a 3-5-2 tumble to the bottom of the division prior to the return of Jack Eichel.

Jack's back, however, and for the first time this season he'll be facing his hometown Bruins.

In Eichel's first game ever against former favorite team last December, the North Chelmsford native poked the bear to the tune of two goals and two assists in the Sabres 6-3 win in Boston. Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly spurred the Sabres come from behind win scoring four of Buffalo's five unanswered goals. After that game, however, the B's have shut Eichel down. In three meetings after that Eichel had zero points and was a minus-5.

Gearing up for the game today:

--Defenseman Brendan Guhle has been recalled from the Prince George Cougars on an emergency basis. Quick. Do you know where Prince George is on the map? It's north of Vancouver just a few hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean. Guhle had been with the Prince Albert Raiders in Saskatchewan before a trade sent him west to Prince George. He arrived in Buffalo at 1:30 am. The Sabres were able to call up the junior player because of injuries to defensemen Zach Bogosian, Dmitry Kulikov, Josh Gorges and Casey Nelson.

--Head Coach Dan Bylsma said they recalled Guhle because he was a left-handed defenseman and because of his skating ability. The 19 yr. old Guhle impressed at camp in 2015 and was one of the last Sabres cuts this past training camp. He'll be paired with Cody Franson today. When asked by the gathered media whether there will be any restraints put on the youngin, Bylsma said "he needs to use his (skating) abilities to be effective. It would be a mistake to anchor himself behind the goal line."

--How did Guhle hear about his promotion? "Coach said I was traded to the Sabres," was how he put it to the media.

--Robin Lehner gets the start for Buffalo in net after missing his last start because of a minor hip injury. From Sabres PR, Lehner has faced Boston more times than any other NHL team. In 14 career games against the Bruins, he has logged a .923 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average.

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