This was a Sabre team that had not scored first in 14 games. Nor held a lead since John Glenn's ass was revolving around the galaxy (the first time around). Playing with that kind of Buffalo in the room, the Sabres found purpose last night.
And so it began. The first period was u-gly. Cristobal left to his own devices for most of it. Then those very devices failed him miserably on a 6000-footer from the blue line at the old Buffalo Auditorium.
The Casa Greque Solution conjured up memories of the Axl Rose-Elton John duet. You don't ask Fred Astaire and 50 Cent to Paso Double together (largely because 50 would confuse the term as meaning double or nothing and murder Astaire if he didn't come up with the cash).
No need for auditions on the first line. Just cut to the chase and give the part to Grabovski. And stick with it, no matter how much it hurts, because it can't get any worse than the Ryder Softly Motion Picture we have been forced to watch since the start of the season.
We can't fault la Ligna Una alone (or as I recall, it's now la Ligna Dos), for there were other culprits on this night. Every anal cavity extended to full capacity with the giant egg the players laid last night (Yes, in my imaginary world humans lay eggs out of their asses, not their mouths nor a fictitious new orifice designed solely for egg laying).
The Sabres wanted this one. They pressed the Habs as much as they could early on to set a tone that is familiar to la façon de faire in Montreal: skate, play the puck deep in the offensive zone and work hard at both ends. When Daniel Briere and Chris Drury decided to dismount the Buffalo this summer, the Sabres were left with a very Montreal-like team. Save for Vanek, the only pure scorer on either side, one is a mirror image of the other. Small and skilled forwards, mobile blueliners, youth, and reliable goaltending all playing to the tune of their offensive limitations and adhering to a defensive, tight-checking system. There was no escaping this game featuring a case of "a taste of their own medicine" regardless of who was going to administer the drug.
Habs fans in anticipation of guts and glory on this cold Friday night were brought back to earth faster than a John Glenn U-turn in space after forgetting his Metamucil near the launch pad (the second time around).
They say don't seek intentions in other peoples' mistakes because behind every culprit lies a victim crying for help. Carey Price to the rescue tonight.