01 February 2008

@#$% the preview

What the @#$% is this? The best guy on the ice in the last game gets benched? Twice in a row? Does Waddell need to be put on a 5150 hold at Grady? Because clearly he's lost his damned mind.

The Thrashers were upset after the Jan. 18 contest because they felt the Sabres were laughing at them as the goals piled up. A power-play goal by Ales Kotalik with 2:18 to play really stuck with the Thrashers. It came on a five-on-three shortly after Boulton picked up 29 minutes in penalties with a cross-check, instigator, fighting major, 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct.

"We spread the ice time around pretty good," Ruff said. "They can obviously say what they want to say. Those games are tough, and there's no getting around it.

"I think they're reaching for straws," the Sabres coach added.

They definitely were reaching for goaltending equipment. Johan Hedberg started the game and gave up four goals in the first 9:07. Kari Lehtonen replaced him and allowed three more goals. Hedberg went back to the crease for the third period, and the Sabres scored three more times.

"It gives us more to play for," Lehtonen said. "It's not only about two points. It's about not letting Buffalo run our show."

If Lehtonen sees the ice tonight, it means things are going the Sabres' way again. Atlanta coach and General Manager Don Waddell said he'll start Hedberg, who made 37 saves in a 5-2 win over Buffalo early last month in Atlanta. Hedberg is 7-2-1 in his career against the Sabres with a shutout, .927 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average.


Sure. Start the guy who let in 7 goals against this team last time they met. Why not?

No wonder Kari was in a damned mood yesterday at practice. Screw the damned preview and prediction. You want a prediction? Here's one. If Kari doesn't start getting treated better and rewarded for his good play, he's going to give up on this team. Yeah, I know there's a chance Waddell is showcasing Hedberg in time for deadline day, but at the price of his starter's confidence? Not smart. At all. I'm heavily disappointed to see how he's handling Kari.

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