Delayed Overreactions, 47th Edition: They can’t even beat Winnipeg!

In a shocking development, the Buffalo Sabres lost another road game. The streak of futility outside the 716 area code has now reached 11 in a row.

Yes, 11.

This time, it’s a 4-1 defeat to the team formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers at an AHL arena somewhere in Canada.

Drew Stafford scored the lone goal for Buffalo. Failing to beat goaltending icon Ondrej Pavelec more than once isn’t going to get anyone very far.

Special teams wasn’t an area of strength on this night either, with the powerplay leaving empty handed after two opportunities and the penalty kill allowing two goals on four chances.

“You’ve got to win that battle,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said about the special teams. “We had a tough time getting shots through. They got theirs.”

The solution to the team’s problems getting points continues to elude the roster and coaching staff, and the season continues to slip past the point of saving. Ryan Miller, who started extremely strong in this game, stopping 18 of 19 shots in the first period and making key stops on many of the 30 shots he faced through two periods, couldn’t have stolen this one.

Another game, another search for answers.

  • His play of late hasn’t been stellar, and his name keeps popping up when talking trades, but Derek Roy made a subtle and crucial play on Buffalo’s only goal. With Nathan Gerbe and Drew Stafford charging ahead with a two-on-one break, Roy made a nice positional play that prevented a second Jets player from getting back into the play. Roy cut right in front of the defender to open up the passing lane that Gerbe was able to use to get the puck over. If Roy doesn’t make that play, that puck doesn’t get through, and there’s no goal. Watch the replay. Didn’t seem like anyone else noticed it.
  • Ryan Miller did play extremely well early, but without any offense, he’s not going to be able to sit back and weather the storm the whole game. The inability to carry offensive pressure is putting more on him to do everything to keep the game close. He faced 19 shots in the first period. That’s on the team defensively to limit that number. 19 is embarrassing.
  • The defense is currently a mess. Christian Ehrhoff is desperately needed to bring some calmness to the team’s breakouts and possession in their own zone. Robyn Regehr’s steady play is absent too. Few guys have been able to step up and play decent.
  • Thomas Vanek has no goals in seven games.
  • If anyone’s been noticing on Twitter when teams play in Winnipeg, the 50/50 raffles at games have been absurd. The jackpots in Buffalo, on good nights, surpass $10,000. The jackpot for Thursday’s game was $41,140.00 CDN, which is slightly above average. Unfortunately, with the exchange, that’s about $82.50 US.
  • Luke Adam’s name has been brought up multiple times here because of his lack of playing time, being arguably the most skilled center on the team. He played 13:50 on Thursday, the second time he’s broken 13 minutes in the last 11 games. It takes an injury to Paul Gaustad to do that though.
  • Cody McCormick dropped the gloves with Mark Stuart early in the game. It was his first scrap since December 13. He still has no goals this season.
  • Should be noted the last road win was December 3rd in Nashville, a 3-2 win on a night Ryan Miller was absolutely lights out. Buffalo had exactly 14 shots on goal. Prior to that their previous road win was a 1-0 shutout in Carolina, with Jhonas Enroth stealing the show on November 18. One road win in two months.

Posted on January 21, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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