By Tim Schmitt
BUFFALO — It wasn’t his first NHL goal, but it was his more important to date. After scoring three times in 19 games for the Sabres during the 2006-2007 season, Clarke MacArthur basked in the glory of scoring on the day he was called back up to Buffalo, giving the hosts a 2-1 overtime win over Boston at HSBC Arena on Wednesday.
MacArthur, who got a regular shift and finished with 16:21 in ice time, said this goal was bigger than any he’d scored during his stint in the NHL last season.
“It’s night and day. Usually when I scored last year, it was such a dominant team that it would be the eighth goal of the game. To get one in overtime like that is a dream come true.”
While Buffalo fans are certainly knowledgeable about their team, you have to wonder if managing partner Larry Quinn’s opinion of the fan base isn’t a little too lofty.
The Sabres wore their white jerseys at home on Wednesday and will do the same against divisional opponents throughout the month of November.
Quinn’s statement on the matter:
“The Buffalo Sabres asked the NHL to wear white jerseys at home for the month of November so that fans could differentiate divisional games from non-divisional opponents.”
Huh? Does Quinn think fans will be instantly realize that the St. Louis Blues are a non-divisional opponent when they come to HSBC on Nov. 28 and the home team is back in blue?
He’s little, but Derek Roy doesn’t give up any advantage in the faceoff circle. The Buffalo center finished Wednesday’s game by winning 13 of the 18 faceoff he took.
Roy also blocked a pair of shots and had a hit.
Thomas Vanek was a minus-one, dropping him to a minus-six overall on the season, just a year after he led the National Hockey League in the stat.
Coach Lindy Ruff said after that he’s trying to help the star winger, who signed a $50 million contract in the off-season.
“I feel bad for him because he is pressing. I watch his action and reaction. He’s in some new territory and it’s my job to help him through it,” Ruff said. “I think he feels a lot of pressure. I’m trying to get him through that.”
Contact group sports editor Tim Schmitt at 282-2311, ext. 2266.