Overreactions, Edition 79: Nothing could be finer.

In a defining moment, a bounce went Buffalo’s way.

A point shot from Marc-Andre Gragnani bounced past Carolina’s Cam Ward to give Buffalo a 2-1 overtime victory, and two points in possibly the most crucial game of the season.

The Sabres weathered a storm of sorts, as Jhonas Enroth was stellar in goal, making 35 saves, and the special teams killed off all six penalties, including over a minute at 5-on-3.

Of course, the Hurricanes probably felt they were lucky to get a point out of it, only beating Enroth on a fluke deflection that found its way over his head, right?

“It appeared to be going wide, and it got deflected off of something,” Ward said. “I’m not sure what it hit, but they got a lucky break.”

Right, guys.

In addition to Gragnani’s first NHL goal in the extra session, Chris Butler added his first goal of the season in the first period.

Carolina remains on the outside looking in, and the Sabres are a few points away from locking up a playoff spot. Buffalo sits in 7th place, just one point behind 6th place Montreal.

  • Yes, Ryan Miller is still our number one goalie. Buffalo media, please stop making this an issue. Enroth’s presence only matters in this type of situation, where Miller is hurt. When Ryan returns, Jhonas will be going back to the bench. What about Lindy Ruff’s history with goaltenders makes you think he can balance them? If he can ride Miller, he will.
  • Congrats to Eric Staal for seamlessly claiming Mats Sundin’s title of “biggest dickhole in the NHL” for himself. Little shots behind the play, after the whistle, and holding enough star status to get away with it.
  • Cody McCormick seemed to throw his weight around a little more on Sunday than he has of late. I’m not complaining. He cleaned some people out.
  • The officiating wasn’t very good, both ways. Lots of things could’ve been called, especially away from the play. But that call on Ennis right after Carolina got away with two blatant crosschecks was atrocious.
  • With all the special teams work, the Sabres’ top line of Thomas Vanek-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville didn’t get as many shifts together as I would like to see. They generated some good chances when they did get on the ice together though.
  • Speaking of McCormick, I’m still not sure I like Cody on Gaustad’s wing opposite Gerbe more than Mark Mancari. That line was rolling for a bit.
  • Matt Ellis gets points. 8-1-2 with him in the lineup.
  • Another officiating note… why the hell didn’t they blow that play dead sooner when Enroth lost his helmet? That’s gotta be automatic.

Sabres host Tampa Bay on Tuesday, and pending other results could clinch a ticket to the postseason with a win. That’d be swell.


Posted on April 4, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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