NOTEBOOK: MACARTHUR'S REDEMPTION
Monday, 12.22.2008 / 10:41 PM / Features
By Erin Pollina - Sabres.com
|Clarke MacArthur (Photo: Bill Wippert)|
| Game Highlights
Lindy Ruff: Audio | Video
Ryan Miller: Audio | Video
Jason Pominville: Audio | Video
Daniel Paille: Audio | Video
Listed as a healthy scratch on Dec. 13, the winger sat out for the first time in the 2008-09 season as he watched his team defeat the Devils 4-2 in New Jersey.
That was all the motivation he needed.
“It was embarrassing,” MacArthur said. “You just have to do your best to take things into your own hands so that the coach won’t be able to take you out.”
Since returning to the lineup Dec. 17, MacArthur has done just that, tallying at least a point in each game – including a goal Monday night at HSBC Arena as Buffalo fell to the Pittsbugh Penguins 4-3 in overtime.
The goal extended a season-high four-game point for the winger, in which he has three goals and as many assists.
“I’m starting to get some bounces and things are starting to go my way,” he said.
The production hasn’t always come so easily for MacArthur this season. Leading up to Head Coach Lindy Ruff’s decision to bench the 23 year old was a 16-game stretch in which MacArthur failed to score a goal – after netting six through his first 13 games of the year.
“I’m working harder. It’s paying off and helping to maybe create some bounces for me,” MacArthur said.
He is also feeding off his linemates. Paired with Derek Roy and Drew Stafford, the trio has combined for seven goals and 13 points in the last four games.
“They move the puck pretty well,” MacArthur said. “Between the three of us I think we had around 15 shots tonight. When you put on that type of pressure you are bound to get some goals.”
Now he just has to find a way to keep it going.
Jochen Hecht was sidelined midway through the second period, sustaining a cut below his ear after being hit by a puck. The centerman did not return to the ice.
“We’re just hoping it’s short-term,” Ruff said.
Andrew Peter’s earned his 10th fighting major of the season after taking on Eric Godard midway through the second frame.
Only three other players in the League have more majors this season: Jared Boll (CBJ) has 12 on the year while Brandon Prust (CGY) and Riley Cote (PHI) each have 11 majors.
Peters leads the Sabres with 74 penalty minutes.
The UB Bulls football team was in attendance Monday night, receiving a standing ovation at HSBC Arena as they were recognized on the HD Video Board.
The Bulls captured the team’s first Mid-Atlantic Conference title in school history on Dec. 5 with a 42-24 upset against Ball State. They recently accepted an invitation to play the University of Connecticut in the International Bowl on Jan. 3, 2009 at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
“We have a long way to go, but we can take a little bit of a break here, a little bit of a breather and readjust. I feel good that we got ourselves out of a rut… We haven’t translated everything into wins, but I think you guys can agree that we’ve been playing damn good hockey.”
~Ryan Miller on the team going 5-2-2, and claiming 12 of 18 points in the last nine games