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Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Bruins aim to increase Sabres’ suffering

Oct 23, 2013, 8:47 AM EDT

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Boston Bruins will head to the First Niagara Center to take on the Buffalo Sabres at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also¬†watch the game online.

Buffalo is one of just three clubs with only one win this season, along with the Philadelphia Flyers and the New Jersey Devils. If you’re fishing for some kind of silver lining for the Sabres, it’s that they at least didn’t enter the season amid high expectations and they still have their 2014 first round draft pick.

Those are the kinds of “well it could be worse” stories that seem appropriate lately. Buffalo’s 1-8-1 record is bad enough, but its offense outside of Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek has bordered on non-existent. This is a team that gets better as games progress, but only because they’ve set the bar so low with just a single first period goal so far this season.

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It’s still early, but rather than that being an indication that there’s plenty of time to stage a comeback, it might just be a reminder that Sabres fans have a long road ahead of them. But at the same time beaten down teams can be dangerous, especially when they’re playing against old foes.

After finishing just shy of the Stanley Cup in 2013, the Boston Bruins have gotten off to a great start. Goaltender Tuukka Rask is excelling, even by his high standards and the Bruins attack has been balanced. They can’t afford to let up though; not with the Atlantic Division looking better than expected.

The Detroit Red Wings have adapted well to the Eastern Conference and the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t been deterred by their Game 7 collapse in the first round of the 2013 playoffs. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, and Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t been quite as good so far, but each team certainly has enough talent to be a threat. With that in mind, banking points now against struggling teams would make life far easier for the Bruins come March and April.

So Boston will look to add to Buffalo’s pain while the Sabres would just like to give themselves and their fans some indication there’s still reason to be hopeful about the 2013-14 campaign.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    I watched the thing NBC did on this rivalry and to me there hasn’t been much of one since 1993. Sure these two are in the same division but there’s just not enough hatred between them both. If both teams were consistently good then yeah there could be a rebirth in but until then there’s just not a strong enough one.

  2. nhlgeezer - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Well I watch this thing called Bruins hockey and believe me there’s plenty of hatred. I hope the Milan Lucic takes down the ogre beast that is John Scott, and Shawn Thornton destroys steve ott and his stupid mouth.

    • billsin20xx - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      yea sure, Lucic will get hammered again if he goes after Scott. And BTW I notice you don’t mention Thornton going after Scott – after the total beatdown he took last year from him! Good idea having him go after a much smaller player like Ott!!

      • pepper2011 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        ahahahah. Buffalo is a joke. you should work on getting hockey players not fighters. Shawn Thornton is a hockey player who can fight. John Scott is a hell of a fighter; you should be proud, but your team has 1 win. One. yeah, one. 3 points, congrats you made it to OT once too. ahahaha. What were you doing two of the last 3 months of June? I have been watching my team win a cup and battle a hell of a team in Chicago.

        you?

        wondering if you baby goalie will sell his house, or your sniper will be “healthy” enough to play tonight?

        1.3 goals a game. ahahahaha.

      • pepper2011 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        Also the size difference between Ott and Thornton is not a great as it is between Thornton and Scott, but whatever makes you feel better.

        why don’t you just watch MMA – why cloud it with hockey? I mean all you seem to care about is how your guy won in a fight… maybe if the fan base put as much into the actual skill on the team the owners would be forced to; well, put some actual talent on the ice for you, but you all act like you won the cup cause I guy who is almost 7 feet tall and 300lbs beat someone up… whoda thunk it?

    • hockey412 - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      Lucic would never challenge Scott, and is every bit as much of an ogre beast – hopefully he won’t charge anyone. Ott and Thornton are about on the same level also. I think Boston has plently to root for, like Iginla’s first goal, for example…but why is it you guys always just root for fights, then? Too much of the bad-as* attitude, really.

      I do hope that Lucic fights Scott, though. I’d love to see it.

  3. billsin20xx - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I think I speak for many fans and say don’t worry about the suffering, we have already lost interest in the Sabres for this year, or at least until Regier is gone and we get a GM who does know how to do a rebuild!

    • pepper2011 - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      The best part about this is you have no idea what you really said here. This year is the make or break season for the Sabres. Miller,Vanek, Tallinder and Ott can walk for nothing

      If I am a Sabres fan; this year is exciting. It’s looking like a top 5 pick. You should be able to deal Vanek and Miller for high end picks/prospects, and if some team gets desperate enough come the deadline – you may even be able to deal Tallinder, Ott or Stafford for way to high of a price much like the Gaustad trade.

  4. esracerx46 - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Just for the record I think NBC’s “rivalry night” is the dumbest thing I’ve heard of. They can try to build it up any way they want They’re trying to give people a reason to watch a game on a Wednesday night. Call it what you want but for the most part, these games are just another game. Sure you’ll get the occasional “rivalry”. Most teams only have 1 or 2 true “rivals”. Some don’t seem to have any. The way NBC is trying to bill it, if its not on on a Wednesday night, its not a rival.

    • benp72 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      BOS decided to start Johnson over Rask two days ago. So that shows you how seriously people are taking Buffalo. They’ll play against backups for the rest of the year

      • dropthepuckeh - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        I think this has more to do with Bruins playing San Jose tomorrow night and not wanting to play Rask back to back. Also as Jason pointed out in anther article, Rask let up six goals in his last start against Buff and the Bruins have used their 2nd goalie against them ever since.

    • amityvillefun - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      Agree 100%. They often talk of “rivalries” where there aren’t any! Completely bogus and they think NHL fans are too dumb to notice.

      In this case, Buffalo and Boston are rivals, only due to crybaby Miller getting upset for being bumped for coming WAYYYY out of his crease and for Scott giving Shawn Thornton a rare pounding.

      Personally, I hope that Thornton has done his homework on Scott and gives it another go. The bigger dog does not always win the fight, as proven by fighting masters like Bruce Lee and the Gracie family.

      A little cunning and strategy can go a long way. Beat him in round two Thorty! And then show him something he never sees….score a goal!

  5. dropthepuckeh - Oct 23, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    I still love any game between two Adams Division teams and don’t think there any easy wins in the NHL. Buffalo gets up for games against the Bruins and there is plenty of animosity between the two teams to make things fun. This should be a perfect appetizer to watch while there is a rain delay at Fenway.

    PS I think Ott fights Campbell. Those two have a long history dating back to to their FL/Dallas days I believe….

    • bildomac07 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      I think you’re spot on with Campbell/Ott and I think Ott will probably pound Soupy as he hasn’t won a fight since Jan 7th 2012 vs Maxim Lapierre (per hockeyfights.com)

      • dropthepuckeh - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Maybe but the guy still isn’t afraid to fight anyone. Whether its guts or stupidity, you have to like his willingness to go.

  6. jhuck92 - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Are there any old-school Sabres or Bruins fans who actually think this is a rivalry?

    • jhuck92 - Oct 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      In my opinion, a rivalry has to be hot-blooded, not lukewarm or stone cold. You wouldn’t say you and your ex-girlfriend are still together, even though things have cooled down considerably. A friendship might remain (in this case, both teams in the same division), but the relationship/rivalry is nowhere near as passionate as it used to be.

  7. atlwmn - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Well dang, what is a Boston fan to do tonight? Red Sox or Bruins?

    • dropthepuckeh - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      I think Mother Nature will delay the start of the Sox game until later so we don’t have to switch back and forth. Otherwise Bruins obviously….

  8. steelers88 - Oct 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Has NBCSN gone insane? This is like the 3rd or 4th time that the Sabers have been on national tv!

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