Overreactions, Edition 80: The perfect storm

In hindsight, the result isn’t that surprising.

Factor in what we knew heading into the game, and you’d almost expect it to go the way it did, right? Things like the fact that Thomas Vanek always seems to score against the Lightning. That Tampa Bay’s Dwayne Roloson has never beaten Buffalo. That Matt Ellis would be in the lineup.

So, if I would’ve told you before the game that Vanek would have a hat trick in a 4-2 Sabres win, you’d have to think I was on to something. And that’s how it ended.

“He played a very good game for us,” Ruff said. “Van was big again tonight. Our big players are making a difference, and that’s important.”

Vanek reached the 30-goal mark for the fourth time in his career and pushed his season total to 31. Tim Connolly also scored and added two assists as well. Jhonas Enroth made 23 saves for his third win in four games since Ryan Miller’s injury. And Matt Ellis played.

So Buffalo moved another two points closer to clinching a playoff spot, and more importantly, eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs from playoff contention. The team does not play again until they close out their home slate Friday against Philadelphia.

  • Sabres are 9-1-2 with Matt Ellis in the lineup this season.
  • Pretty much a guarantee Jhonas Enroth will get one more game this season. No way they use Miller more than once this weekend. I’d expect Ryan on Friday and Jhonas on Saturday in Columbus.
  • Nice to see Mike Weber step up and scrap. Being ambidextrous would’ve helped, though.
  • Mark Mancari had a great game. Oddly enough, it was on a night he was reunited with Gaustad and Gerbe. Did I not call that one last game?
  • Tim Connolly with another game-winning goal and a three point night. The top line was phenomenal. I’m telling you, they may be forced into resigning him if that line keeps playing well.
  • The Sabres have had six hat tricks against Tampa Bay in the last four seasons. That’s hysterical.
  • Powerplay looked very tentative on the five-on-three in the first, but they converted. I think when you have an extended chance like that, you be more aggressive. Looked like Tampa left some holes right off the first draw, but Sabres sat back. I’m alright with the results.
  • Are we to the point where we can’t take one of these forwards out yet? Team is playing so well, you wonder if it’s too good right now to mess with if Kaleta, Grier or Hecht get healthy.
  • Want to point out Andrej Sekera had a couple shifts where he looked like a beast and almost walked through the offensive zone himself. Would love to see that come out a bit more out of him.

Posted on April 5, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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