Overreactions, 29th Edition: Enroth takes trip to Sieve City

If you can say one thing about tonight’s game, it was at least a hell of a lot more entertaining than last night’s win over the Panthers. Despite the on-ice intrigue, the result didn’t match.

Thanks to two shorthanded goals and a two goal night from Swedish scoring sensation Carl Hagelin, the New York Rangers handed Buffalo a 4-1 defeat in front of 18,690 and a horde of HBO camera crews at First Niagara Center.

Jhonas Enroth made 29 saves in perhaps one of his weakest outings of his career. The game winner turned out to be Ranger captain Ryan Callahan’s soft backhand that beat Enroth through the legs.

Thomas Vanek scored his 14th of the season for Buffalo, who falls to 15-12-2 on the year.

“Scoring one goal is not good enough,” Vanek said. “On special teams, you don’t have to score, you just want to create some positive momentum and today it cost us the game.”

Former Sabre Martin Biron was sensational for New York, stopping 32 shots.

It was the second time this season Buffalo allowed two shorthanded goal in one game, both instances coming in losses. All five shorthanded goals they’ve allowed this season have been at home.

  • Hagelin’s shortie was a snipe, but holy shit, that Callahan goal was absolutely awful. Christian Ehrhoff defended him well and cut off the opportunity. Enroth has to stop that.
  • Buffalo had just one player who was more that 50% at the faceoff dot: Drew Stafford, 3-for-4.
  • On Enroth, he has to be a lot better when he gets these starts. The key to the Sabres’ success this year is going to be the ability to rest Ryan Miller on a regular basis because they have a competent backup. If he is the difference in games to a negative degree like he was Saturday night, Lindy Ruff might be pushed to stick with Miller more often. An overworked Miller is a Miller no one wants to see.
  • The crowd seemed to be into it early, but they were certainly lulled to sleep as the game went on. See previous post.
  • Another thing on Enroth, if Ryan Miller had let in those goals, the crowd would’ve been calling for his head. Enroth is going to get a lot of slack from fans simply because of how he reacts to letting in goals. His body language is always calm. After games, he always accepts blame and acts positive. People don’t like how Miller looks so flustered at everyone but himself when he allows goals. They don’t like how he deflects blame for goals afterwards. Whether it’s fair or not, the fans like players holding themselves accountable.
  • Paul Szczechura centered Vanek and Jason Pominville. Sure, there’s a ton of injuries, and I thought he played well, but there’s something philosophically unsettling about the 5th center on your depth chart being on your top line.
  • Tyler Ennis was a team worst -2, but he also led the team in shots on goal. He’s been good offensively since he returned from injury. Biron made a good save on him in the first period.
  • Luke Adam was in beast mode early on in the game. He kind of disappeared as the game went on, but he had more than one opportunity to get a goal in the first and couldn’t get it done.
  • Vanek needed to get that goal. He blew so many opportunities early on, if he would’ve gotten through that game empty-handed his confidence would probably be shot. He had a number of early opportunities that produced nothing except a couple shots against the glass. His powerful slap shot is most effective when it hits the net.
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Posted on December 11, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Rely on Miller, haha, that’s a good one!

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