Nothing seems to be going Bob Essensa's way this season. Coming into Thursday night's game against the Kings in Los Angeles, Essensa was sporting a 0-4-0 record. Being 37 years young, Essensa had something to prove, and after having at least a half a dozen Sabres players came forward earlier in the week and said Essensa should be given another chance to start in goal.
Archives for January 18, 2002
'"It was just, "We brought you here, and you know what you came for: to help this team for a playoff run.' They got some younger guys they want to step in and build for the future rather than having an old vet like me around."'
'They also played a strong defensive game in front of Storr, who stopped 21 of 23 shots. The Kings killed off all five Buffalo power-play opportunities, extending their streak to 44 consecutive kills, tying a club record.'
'Thursday it became official: Kings winger Ziggy Palffy and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky were granted permission to participate in an Olympic qualifying game for their native Slovakia…The problem was the Kings play three games during the qualifying tournament. For Palffy and Visnovsky to play for Slovakia, they would have had to play seven consecutive days. Slovakia general manager Peter Stastny spoke to Kings GM Dave Taylor and a compromise was struck.'
'Palffy's tying goal officially went on the scoresheet unassisted but it was aggressive forechecking by wing Adam Deadmarsh that led to Sabres defenseman Richard Smehlik's ill-advised pass from behind his net. The puck took an odd bounce off the side boards into the left faceoff circle where Palffy ripped a slap shot past Sabres goaltender Bob Essensa high on the glove side.'
'Adam Deadmarsh scored the winner as the surging Kings won their third in a row, blowing past defenseman Richard Smehlik down the left side before backhanding a shot between Essensa's legs with 1:16 to play. Bryan Smolinski scored an insurance goal with 45 seconds left.'
'The Kings will allow two of their top players to leave the team for two days next month to play in an Olympic preliminary-round game, General Manager Dave Taylor said Thursday, because they know how much it means to the players.'
'Essensa, who signed with Buffalo as a free agent last August for $600,000 after helping Vancouver get to the playoffs, surrendered a goal on the second shot he faced.'
'Satan continues to be Buffalo's most productive player on the road, collecting five goals and 13 assists away from HSBC Arena.'