Overreactions, Edition 66: Something’s missing, alright.

Despite the absence of several key Penguins, I’m not sure anyone could’ve seen what happened to the Sabres’ lineup between the end of Sunday’s win in Minnesota and the puck drop in Pittsburgh and said, “Oh yeah, they’re winning this one.”

Without flu-stricken leading scorer Thomas Vanek, the Buffalo offense was, in kind terms, anemic in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh.

Seriously, the odds of a team winning when Rob Niedermayer is the only goal scorer is similiar to the odds of seeing everyone in the crowd with a shirt on at a NASCAR race. Pittsburgh got all the offense they needed and completed the season sweep of the Sabres.

Ryan Miller made 28 saves in the loss.

It was the end of a good run for the Sabres, who had gone 5-0-2 in their last seven games. The loss was the first regulation defeat under the ownership of Terry Pegula.

With Vanek out, NHL veteran Mark Parrish made his Sabres debut, who played over ten minutes on the fourth line.

  • Buffalo didn’t do a very good job staying out of the box, taking eight minor penalties. The Pens didn’t score any powerplay goals, but the penalties often killed any momentum the Sabres had built up.
  • The first period was one of the most exciting periods of hockey we’ve seen all season. The second period? Well, let’s just say Dan Bylsma made the proper adjustments and toned it down a bit.
  • Seriously, Rob Niedermayer. I wouldn’t have been hating on you so much if you would’ve shown up earlier this season. But like my old Adam Mair argument, you’re not gonna win many games if Rob Niedermayer is a part of your offense. When his ice time is approaching 13 minutes, there is a serious problem.
  • Andrej Sekera was held pointless and had his streak of mult-point games ended. It seemed like Pittsburgh was definitely keying on him, and it really helped them.
  • Brad Boyes went 9/12 on the faceoff dot. There was discussion before the game about why he was playing center on a line with Luke Adam instead of Adam. They were both -2, but Boyes did win his draws.
  • Mark Mancari did a good job getting his nose dirty, whether it was sticking up for Tyler Ennis after a big hit or helping out Paul Gaustad in a scrum. Good to see out of him.
  • By the way, that scrum in the second period… how the hell did the Sabres get the extra penalty? Deryk Engelland was the third man into the scrum, went after Gaustad, and he didn’t get anything. Mancari grabs Lovejoy off of Gaustad, they exchange punches, and both go. How is that not an even-up situation? I try to believe there’s no bias towards Pittsburgh, but sometimes you wonder.
  • Anyone else really hoping Zdeno Chara gets suspended for that hit on Pacioretty? Yeah, me too.
  • Jhonas Enroth served as the backup instead of bench veteran Patrick Lalime. Buffalo took a too many men penalty in the first period. Listen, Lindy, I know Jhonas is better than Patty, but we all know you’re not taking Miller out of that game. Just keep Lalime on the bench. Why would you change things up when you’re on a good run? I don’t understand that decision.

Posted on March 9, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Enroth is just there so they don’t have to call him up for when they play him against Ottawa. That’s all.

  2. I know that. But why not keep Lalime as the bench goalie? I wrote this before it came out today that Lalime had a knee injury, but if healthy, I think you put Enroth in the press box for the night.

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