Overreactions, Edition 71/72: Getting the point

The sky is not falling.

Yes, the last few minutes of yesterday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Nashville were not the work of a great team. But the Sabres are an average team. That’s why they’re in 8th place in a 15 team conference.

But average teams can be successful when they perform above-average, which is what they did Saturday night, blowing out Atlanta 8-2. But that outstanding effort got overshadowed by Sunday night’s collapse.

“It’s stunning,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “When you get up by two, and you’ve got a couple minutes left and you give up a point, that one really hurts. It was a quiet room walking in there.”

I’d say the team needs to look at that result and use it as motivation, but it’s the seventh, yes, seventh time they’ve blown a two-goal lead this season. But flashes of brilliance Saturday night, and solid play for the majority of the weekend should be a point of emphasis.

Again, the sky is not falling. The Sabres are still in a great position to make the postseason, holding a three point edge on Carolina, with one matchup remaining between the teams and ten games to play. If they can win in Raleigh on April 3rd, chances are very good that they’ll do enough to get in.

  • Defending a one goal lead late, with the opponent pressing, why the hell are Rob Niedermayer, Mike Grier and Cody McCormick on the ice with under two minutes to go?
  • It appeared the Sabres coaching staff did a good job of keeping Nashville’s Shea Weber away from the Vanek-Connolly-Pominville line. That line was incredibly effective Sunday, and had some great pressure.
  • I’m not sure I agree with Lindy Ruff deciding to play Ryan Miller again on less than 24 hours rest Sunday. After letting in a couple shaky goals Saturday, and playing a Western Conference team, it would’ve been a great opportunity to get Jhonas Enroth back in. Instead, Miller, who has been good but not great of late, will likely play his third in four nights on Tuesday.
  • If the Sabres were a better team, I’d love to have a line like Gerbe-Gaustad-Mancari as a fourth unit. They had a solid weekend. Unfortunately, they’re the third line, and until they can fill out the roster a little better, it’ll have to do.
  • Tyler Ennis just continues to get his touch, and if he can remain a consistent scoring threat, it’ll make the Sabres’ offense so much more formidable.
  • Atlanta’s Evander Kane is on the short-list of guys in the NHL I wish were on the Sabres’ roster. Kid’s dynamite.
  • Predators rookie Blake Geoffrion, who scored the hat trick in Sunday’s game, is the first NHL player from the Nashville area, growing up in suburban Brentwood, Tennessee. Southern expansion is working, whether the hosers like it or not.
  • Mark Mancari is definitely making a case to keep his roster spot. I don’t know if Grier’s penalty killing is enough to keep Mancari in the press box over him with a healthy roster.
  • Tim Connolly had a very good weekend. His snipe on Sunday was gorgeous.

My thoughts on my trip back to Buffalo will come later… and believe me, I’ve got stuff to say.

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Posted on March 21, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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