Overreactions, 36th Edition: New Jersey shuffles past Sabres

Staring back at Ryan Miller from the other end of the ice tonight was one of the most accomplished goaltenders in NHL history.

Far from the days of his prime, Martin Brodeur is still capable of playing at a high level, as seen in New Jersey’s last visit in Buffalo. Tonight, he wasn’t far off either.

In the end, Buffalo’s inability to beat Brodeur when presented with opportunities, as the Devils handed the Sabres a 3-1 defeat.

Trailing 3-0 in the second period, Thomas Vanek scored his team leading 18th goal of the year, but it would be Buffalo’s only marker.

“We just didn’t finish,” Vanek said.

Ryan Miller stopped 20 of 23 shots in the loss.

  • Luke Adam appeared to have scored on a deflection in the second when the game was still 2-0, but it was waved off on the ice and after review, was confirmed as not a goal. Neither replay shown on the broadcast was conclusive. Of course, the MSG feed used for the game was the Devils broadcast, as the Sabres don’t produce their own games when they play in metro New York. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that if there was a better angle, I wouldn’t be surprised if they chose not to show it to help out the home team. Happens all the time.
  • The fact that Jochen Hecht is the team’s #1 center says a lot about what the issue is with this team.
  • Tell me who this is: 36 games. 4 goals. 9 assists. -13 rating. $4.4 million cap hit. Answer listed at the end.
  • Obligatory “Thomas Vanek can’t do everything himself” statement.
  • Ryan Miller wasn’t horrible. Sure he let in three goals, and the first one was a little weak, but he made many of the saves he needed to make. Can’t blame him for the loss, but as a supposed superstar goalie, this “they need to score four goals to win” isn’t gonna get them very far.
  • Buffalo created a lot of threats offensively, but they couldn’t win battles in front or convert the chances they got off the rush. New Jersey gave them a lot of solid opportunities on the rush, but they put zero of them behind Brodeur.
  • The answer: The Sabres’ fourth line. Paul Gaustad, Patrick Kaleta and Cody McCormick have combined for exactly four goals through 36 games. Unacceptable. Championship teams get contributions throughout their lineup. I’m not even touching the fact that Matt Ellis is on the third line. That is unacceptable production.

Posted on December 29, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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