Overreactions, 34th Edition: Sabres fall to Leafs

The NHL shuts down for the holidays at this time every year. It’s a safe bet Sabres fans are looking forward to the two days off as much as the players are.

It was another excruciating result for Buffalo, falling 3-2 to Toronto and losing Thomas Vanek to injury midway through the game. Vanek is reportedly day-to-day with an upper body injury.

Ryan Miller was fairly solid, making 28 saves in the loss. He was spectacular in the first period and seemed to get hung out to dry on a couple occasions.

Jason Pominville and Derek Roy scored for Buffalo, who have just one win in their last six.

The Sabres took a second period lead as Pominville opened the scoring, but the Leafs answered with two quick goals. Roy tied it early in the third period, but a goal by Nazem Kadri was enough to give Toronto the win.

Buffalo is now 1-4-1 in their last six games.

  • Seriously, if Thomas Vanek misses any time, or this is a nagging injury, this team is screwed.
  • Brayden McNabb had a really good game. Created a lot offensively, played solid defensively and made an impact physically. If he can string a few of these games together, he should be able to stay in the lineup even after Tyler Myers returns. Being the only defenseman who’s waiver-exempt, he’s going to have to play his way in every night.
  • After a strong debut, Derek Whitmore wasn’t as effective tonight. He didn’t seem to be on the same page as linemates Paul Szczechura and Drew Stafford. The team’s lack of centers renders any discussion about whether Whitmore or Szczechura is next to head down the 90 moot.
  • I thought the Robyn Regehr-Andrej Sekera pairing looked really good. There was a four-on-four shift in the first period that might have been the smartest, subtly brilliant shift I’ve seen a pairing play in a while. They worked well together, and save for Regehr falling on his ass to create the Kessel goal, I thought they were both good.
  • Does anyone have any problems with Jason Pominville’s contract right now? I sure as hell don’t.
  • Patrick Kaleta returned to the lineup tonight, and I wasn’t thrilled with what he brought. Made some nice plays, but took a couple dumb penalties.
  • People continue to rip Derek Roy and Drew Stafford, but I thought both had decent games. Roy scored a huge goal, and Stafford did a good putting pressure on offensively. The absence of offensive contributions from the bottom of the lineup is hurting.
  • Related to that, if Matt Ellis had hands, he’d be a star. Seems to do a good job putting himself in good spots, but can’t do anything with the puck.
  • These two Sabres/Leafs games have been incredibly entertaining. It seems that more now than in past years, the Leafs players don’t like the Sabres. There seems to be genuine distaste for one another between the teams. It’s turning into a really good rivalry.

Posted on December 23, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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