A little 3pm Saturday start for the boys so that those savage Sabres fans can get ready to fire it up for the Bills and Chiefs later. If you’re in Buffalo, is there any better pregame than to fire up the Sabres game and blackout and bash tables to prepare for a possible trip to the Super Bowl? I will say i’ve still got a bit of a hangover at 3pm here, and it’s not ideal. I haven’t done much over the past few weeks from having covid and all, so I fired it up last night for the McGregor fight and FUCK am I disappointed in that outcome. I’m a big Conor fan (and no, not like all you losers that claim to be yet he’s the only UFC fights you watch) I’ve spent time with the guy, a lot of time with him during my time working for the UFC and i’m a massive Conor fight fan, but also a massive Conor as a human fan. But here’s the thing, i’m not crushed after that loss, even though it does put some pressure on his lightweight career. I’m a big Dustin Poirier fan too. When I was working there back in 2015, he was on his come up, but still not that fairly known. I remember hanging with him time and time again, but specifically one night at Red Rock Casino after a UFC Athlete Summit session and we kicked back and chilled for about two hours and just had an awesome convo about his life, Louisiana, my come up and Maryland. It was two guys being dudes hanging out, and for that i’ll always be a fan of his, so congrats to the Diamond, the true CHAMP in my eyes as that division currently sits. Check out his incredible foundation here https://www.thegoodfightgroup.com/ . In terms of Conor? He’ll be FOOKIN’ back, and i’ll be riding with him all the way through as the champ champ makes his run back to gold.

Pregame Storylines

You guys want the bad or the good first? The bad? Okay let’s do that, here it is. Tom Wilson is out of the lineup. That’s a tough pill to swallow right now. We haven’t had much info in terms of a return or how serious the injury actually is. He’s been THE guy for this team this year, and with the guys missing due to covid, this hurts that much worse.

But hey! There’s the good news. We’re about to see Connor McMichael make his NHL debut. I have a good feeling about it too, as we’ve seen a lot of these guys that just came out of the world juniors have a hell of a jump to their NHL careers so far in the early go this season. Hell, we saw it last game with Cozens absolutely piping one for his first career goal over Vannys right shoulder. Another guy making his Caps debut today? Trevor Van Riemsdyk gets the nod over a health bomb Nick Jensen. Jenny has been playing great, but I get it. We’ve gotta start getting these reserves some ice time and Lavs has to get a good look at the guys in case shit goes sideways again throughout the season. Back to McMichael, love the fact he’s with Eller and Dick Pan instead of being shoved back onto the fourth line.

First Period

Caps would get on the board first and it’s the FOURTH LINE THIRD LINE GRIND getting the good guys up one rip and fuck me do I love this line. They’ve been getting a ton of ice time throughout this Buffalo series due to being a shut down line against Hall and Eichel, and they’ve done great doing so as that lines been scoreless (so far) but they get on the board early and it all starts with Hathaway as he staples Hall who’s mid wrap, Schultz corrals it at the point and just puts it on net and it finds its way home for his first as a Cap.

Outside of the tuck above, that’s all the action we’d get out of the first 20 min of the game. Connor McMichael truly made himself a Capital by taking a penalty, because, that’s what the Caps do! All and all, dominate period IMO by the Caps and that’s exactly how you wanna come out and play without the bulk of your team.

Second Period

Vanny was holding strong all game and has made some massive saves. Couple on that first period PP (two of the 16 damn shots the Sabres had) but god damn if the Caps can’t stay out of the it’s gonna be impossible to keep it scoreless. Chara gets a tripping penalty, a very questionable one as he swings, with one hand, his stick at the OUTSIDE of Taylor Hall’s legs, he feels the contact and drops to his knees for a split second (enough to draw the call) immediately pops up and still heads down the ice for a shot. Sabres would finally convert on the PP with a Miller bomb from the point to tie the game at one a piece.

Here’s the thing tho… refs give, and refs take, and the refs gave us a PP just a few min later and CUE COUNTRY FUCKING ROADS IT’S TJ OSHIE. Schultz is having a game as he once again get’s the puck at the point and puts one chest high towards the net, Osh babe (literally all alone in front lolol) get’s a beautiful tip on the puck, drops it, and it finds the net giving the Caps a 2-1 lead.

Here’s the thing tho, you know how I mentioned that thing above about penalties? Well the Caps fucking LOVE to take them and it’s just so mind blowing to me how we continually take stick penalty after stick penalty. Sabres, right back to the power play after we score, tied the game with an Olofsson bomb wide open to Vannys left as Chara is basically… laying on the ice?

Third Period

I really don’t understand how we seemingly take MORE penalties now that Todd is gone, but boy are we taking a ton still. Sabres would go back to the PP with about 12 min left in the third and would convert for the third time as Staal would hammer a one timer from Vannys lefst side (yet again!) to give the Sabres their first lead of the game. Buffalo would go 3/5 on the game up to this point on the PP, so.. you know, that’s fun. No 5v5 goals against bus down 3-2. Have no fear tho, as the Caps get a power play shortly after and it’s the man himself (the only man left it seems) Nicky Backstrom would corral the puck late in the pepper, and shoot it from… behind the goal line? Yup behind the goal line and banks it off the tendys back and into the net.. just like he planned it… to tie the game at three.

Caps would take another penalty later in the period giving Taylor Hall a penalty shot with a chance to go up 4-3 and THANK JESUS that he has been snake bitten as he rings one off the post to keep the game tied. Vanny would give the left post a lil lovin right after.

Shootout

I mean.. DUH! You mean you didn’t expect a shootout?! Lol silly you. Here we go again (I hate it, TBH, but we’re here) Carly would go first since he won the last one, but would miss. Eichel second and he sneaks it under the bar to give BUF the 1-0 lead coming out of round one. Oshie would go next after missing both to start the season, and would miss again and at this rate is Oshie elite in the SO anymore? Ppl are asking. BUF would miss, then Backy would miss, and the Caps lose. Whatever… got a point. Finally get to play somebody besides Buffalo. Still haven’t loss in REGO

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