Greetings from Pegulaville, where the team that has just taken the ice is one step closer to having a new owner. The NHL board of governors has approved Terry Pegula's purchase, and all that's left is the $189 million moving from Pegula's bank account to Tom Golisano's vault.
Bucky Gleason and I were laughing about that today. What do you do, send a Brinks armored car from house to house with a big wad of cash? Write a check? Do it by clicking a button? We weren't sure if either of us had enough cash on us to pay a pizza guy, so how the heck do you pay for a hockey team?
Anyway, the hockey team is making a big change tonight -- Rob Niedermayer is going to watch the game rather than play. The forward -- who has as many goals as me and you combined -- is finally taking a seat after skating in 47 scoreless games. He alternated with Cody McCormick this morning, and coach Lindy Ruff has decided it's time for a benching.
More when the puck drops.
... Oh, by the way, do you feel OK?
7:38 p.m.: The Sabres start with the line of Nathan Gerbe-Jochen Hecht-Jason Pominville, with Andrej Sekera-Tyler Myers on defense. Ryan Miller is in goal against Ty Conklin.
7:48 p.m.: Each team is 0 for 1 on the power play, as the first commercial hits with 12:41 to go. St. Louis has a 3-2 shot edge. The Sabres acknowledge Army Sgt. Patrick Allen, who is at the game courtesy of Chris Butler's Tickets for Troops program.
7:54 p.m.: The Blues have a 5-4 shot edge with 8:31 to go. The best chance so far belongs to Cody McCormick, who forced Conklin to make a left toe save. More updates coming soon. Just finishing the A-1 story on the Pegula approval. So, I guess tonight I'm writing in the first period.
8:03 p.m.: The teams hit the final commercial break still knotted at 0-0. St. Louis has an 8-5 edge.
8:43 p.m.: So I was ready to go at the start of the second period, but the Sabres' Internet wasn't (and isn't). Along with Ottawa, this team is the worst in the league. The provider is i-Evolve and in the immortal words of Bart Simpson, they suck and blow.
I had a paragraph that summed up the first period, but that didn't take as the Internet crashed again. Not that it was working much as it was. Anyway, the Blues hold a 1-0 lead with 10:21 left in the first. TJ Oshie scored with 17:13 left.
8:48 p.m.: It's still 1-0 St. Louis with 7:25 to go. The Sabres are going on the power play. The worst part is the Sabres have known for a long time this Internet is awful. Why do anything about, though, who needs the Internet to work?
8:53 p.m.: St. Louis kills the penalty as the fans boo with the Sabres failing to take a shot.
8:56 p.m.: The guy working for i-Evolve just set me up with a hardline for the Internet. Internet has been awful since they came in. The Sabres said they warned them last season they would toss them if the service didn't improve, but the Sabres are good at saying things and not doing anything. (I'm talking organizationally, not hockey-wise. I can keep the two separate.)
8:58 p.m.: I was in such a good mood, too.
9 p.m.: Mike Weber goes for tripping with 2:29 left, giving the Blues a power play.
9:02 p.m.: David Backes gives the Blues a 2-0 lead with a power-play slap shot over Miller's left shoulder with 1:22 left.
9:04 p.m.: Boos and a 2-0 deficit accompany the Sabres to the dressing room. They do have an 18-16 shot edge, though.
9:21 p.m.: The Sabres are 4-20-1 when trailing after two periods. The Blues are just 15-3-1 when leading after two.
9:31 p.m: Patrick Kaleta wakes up the crowd with a big hit on Carlo Colaiacovo with 14:27 to go. The Blues defenseman dumped the puck out from behind his net, kept going and got crushed along the boards.
9:42 p.m.: Judging by all the boos, the Pegula takeover can't come soon enough. The Blues hold a 2-0 lead with 9:34 left. The Sabres have just four third-period shots against a team that traded its captain today.
9:48 p.m.: Fans are booing as they head for the exits with 5:26 to go. it's still 2-0, and there are few signs of that changing.
9:55 p.m.: It's mercifully over, with Vladimir Sobotka's empty-net goal giving the Blues a 3-0 win. The Sabres are 0-2-1 in their last three home games.