Overreactions, Edition 55: Who’s #1?

It’s too bad the NHL couldn’t just end the charade they call a hockey game and just have shootout contests. In that case, the Buffalo Sabres may just be the best team in the NHL.

Swedish rookie sensation Jhonas Enroth picked up his third career shootout win as the Sabres rebounded from a 2-0 deficit in regulation and 2-0 deficit in the shootout to grab two points from Montreal at the Centre Bell with a 3-2 victory.

Buffalo got goals from Nick Pappagiorgio-hot Drew Stafford and American hero Jason Pominville to send it to overtime. In the shootout, it was clutch goals from Thomas Vanek and Tyler Ennis to send it past the first three shooters. After both teams failed to grab the win, it was Jochen Hecht in the 10th round of the shootout who ended it.

But the star of the night was the guy wearing the “uno” on his uni, Enroth, stopping 32 of 34 shots and coming up big in the shootout, making the saves he needed to make.

  • Very nice to see the Sabres come back and get the shootout win, but Buffalo had multiple chances to end it well before Hecht got to shoot. Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly, Tyler Myers, Paul Byron and Jordan Leopold all had the winner on their stick and didn’t convert. The team must have a better killer instinct there. You can’t rely on teams giving you that many chances.
  • Of course the argument now is that Patrick Lalime is useless, but honestly, I don’t feel like there’s much of a need to change the situation. I’m okay with sending Enroth back to Portland and getting playing time when the Sabres don’t need him. If you want to rest Miller, bring Jhonas back up and play him. Let Lalime be all-time backup. If you can have a situation where Ryan can get a night off where he doesn’t even have to put the equipment on, that might be a good thing. It’s not Lalime that’s the problem. It’s Ruff not knowing after 14 years how to handle a backup goaltender.
  • That first period may have been the worst combined effort from the blueline all season. Enroth was the sole reason the game wasn’t lost in the first period.
  • Rob Niedermayer is awful. It can’t be said enough. What has to happen for Lindy Ruff to keep Paul Byron in the lineup over Special Nieds?
  • I am so looking forward to placing my bet for the Sabres to cover tomorrow night. It’s the easiest money I’ll ever make. Don’t ever change, Toronto.
  • Chris Butler continues to look shaky. I wonder if Ruff is willing to insert Montador after the team won a game.
  • Tim Connolly continues to show that his reputation with fans is a little off-base. He’s been showing some aggression lately, and laid out to block a big shot in overtime. Sure, he’s not the toughest guy on the team. Not totally off-base, but a little.
  • Montreal D P.K. Subban is someone the NHL has got to market better. I tweeted this during the game, but the guy is just so good in front of the camera, he could be a star. I don’t care if he doesn’t follow “the code” or not. He’s a talent.
  • Buffalo is now 5-0 in shootouts this season, with Enroth being the winning goaltender in three of them. The only other team in the league without a loss in the skills contest is Colorado, 3-0 in the shootout and sitting 14th in the West. Los Angeles (6-1) and New Jersey (2-1) are the only other teams that have less than two shootout losses.

With the win, Buffalo moves into 9th, two points behind 8th place Carolina with two games in hand. Buffalo hosts Toronto tomorrow night, while the Hurricanes are in Newark to face the Devils.

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Posted on February 16, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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