November 11, 2010

There Was no Way Buffalo Was Going to Lose This Game... Unless, of Course, the Shootout Didn't Go as Planned

That's right, the Buffalo Sabres needed a shootout to dispatch the incredibly bad New Jersey Devils in head coach Lindy Ruff's 1000th game behind the bench. It could have been worse. They could have lost. Hell, Ruff could not have even made it to his 1000th game - all with the Sabres - if many of the team's fans had their way. But he did (becoming the 18th coach to accomplish the feat in the process), and his team won, albeit in less-than-impressive fashion. Good thing less-than-impressive does not necessarily translate into less-than-dramatic, with the Sabres scoring twice in 13 seconds, to pull ahead 2-1 in the game's second period. Of course that was before Ilya Kovalchuk didn't even get a shot away in his chance to tie the aforementioned shootout.

The team record for the two fastest goals, which is actually an NHL record shared with four other teams, is four seconds, scored on October 17, 1974 when both Lee Fogolin and Don Luce scored against the California Golden Seals, whose reputation as perennial losers in the league (and the ones that gave up the right to draft Guy Lafleur) may end up holding up better in the long run than that of the Devils when all is said and done. For the record, the Seals were in existence for nine seasons. The Devils have just less than 15 years left on Kovalchuk's contract, meaning plenty of time to turn a once-proud dynasty (or as close as a team could come to being a dynasty in the NHL) into a laughingstock. Kovalchuk's already leading the charge in that respect.

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