Delayed Overreactions, 21st Edition: Sabres make their point against Bruins

The goal in each game is to win. Those two points are what the teams play for.

On Wednesday night, the Buffalo Sabres got one point, but still walked away with somewhat of a victory.

With the hockey world watching to see how the Sabres would respond in their first matchup with the Boston Bruins after the Milan Lucic hit on the still-sidelined Ryan Miller, the team succeeded in showing their mettle, albeit losing in a shootout by a score of 4-3.

Paul Gaustad got the business out of the way early, challenging Lucic in an early scrap, despite it happening 11 days after many argue it should have. Buffalo used the energy to jump out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Christian Ehrhoff and Thomas Vanek.

“It was an unfortunate incident in Boston, and I give credit to Milan for fighting,” Gaustad said. “It’s something where guys don’t have to, and he did. I wanted to step up after I thought I could have done more in the (earlier) Boston game.”

Boston climbed back within one early in the second, only to be answered by T.J. Brennan’s first NHL goal in his first NHL game. The Bruins continued to press, and tied the game at three early in the third on a powerplay goal by Zdeno Chara.

It went to a shootout, where Tim Thomas stopped all five Sabres shooters and Benoit Pouliot ended it after Jhonas Enroth had stopped the four previous Bruins to shoot.

Enroth finished with 36 saves on the night.

Sure, they didn’t win the game, but arguably, they won some respect.

  • A very nice debut for T.J. Brennan. He didn’t get a regular shift early on, as Lindy surely wanted to ease him into such an intense atmosphere. He converted the chance he got, and played a very simple game. A great step forward for a kid who is likely gonna stick around a while.
  • By the way, kudos to the game presentation for stepping up and doing a new intro. The environment was much better, and the crowd responded. Unfortunately, they still don’t have it quite right, as the heavy start faded after the first period and the crowd was pretty lifeless in the second and thirds. The music is so crucial, and you can tell what an effect playing more appropriate music. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t have to beat people over the head with “go run through that brick wall” music the whole night.
  • Not having Brad Boyes available for the shootout may have been the difference. Jhonas Enroth made the saves he needed to, but the skaters need to score. Unfortunate that they failed to take advantage of the situation.
  • I’ve never seen a player jump into hits more than Brad Marchand did Wednesday night. Even when trying to lay out Nathan Gerbe, who’s even smaller than he is, Marchand feels the need to leave his feet. Total scumbag.
  • Speaking of scumbags, must be nice for Greg Campbell to know he’s exempt from the same rules everyone else has to play by with Daddy being so influential.
  • Back to the music, is there a reason the organist needed to play “Rolling In the Deep” during breaks, not once, but twice? Just because a song is good doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. I mean, come on, nothing says hockey and energy like some Adele, right guys?
  • Jordan Leopold was absolutely outstanding again. Since Sekera’s play has dropped off a bit, I’d say Leopold has been the team’s best blueliner this year. Uncle Leo was solid in 27:43 of ice time.
  • The Sabres rolled about three lines the whole night. Boyes left in the first period after only playing four minutes. Luke Adam only saw 3:21 of ice time. Matt Ellis also only played eight minutes. Impressive effort from the forwards in a rough game.
  • Jochen Hecht looked good in his first game of the season. Skated well, and didn’t seem too worse for wear coming off a concussion in that kind of a game. Not a fan of him centering Pominville and Vanek though. I’d prefer a more offensive option.
  • There aren’t many players on the Bruins I respect. Dan Paille is one. Tim Thomas is one. But holy crap, Tyler Seguin is a stud. Scary to think that he’s so young and so good already. Looked like the best player on the ice. As a fan of another team, when I think about facing him for the foreseeable future… yikes.
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Posted on November 25, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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