Overreactions, 57th Edition: Too bad games aren’t 20 minutes

Yeah, it is too bad.

It’s too bad that the Buffalo Sabres came into Philadelphia with playoff hopes nearing non-existent. It’s too bad that after heading to the locker rooms at the first intermission with a 2-0 lead, it didn’t last more than a few minutes into the second period. It’s too bad that Ryan Miller’s rare night off lasted just under 27 minutes.

Blowing a lead is bad, but that’s not what happened here. Surrendering a lead and walking into a woodchipper is more like it.

Early goals by Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, the only two players the team has been able to rely on all season, gave Buffalo an early lead en route to a 7-2 loss to the Flyers.

“This time of year, it’s unacceptable to get a lead like that and blow it,” Pominville said. “In the first, we had control, we generated chances and didn’t give up much. Then the momentum changed sides. That’s when you have to lock in and play better.”

Philadelphia climbed one back just 54 seconds into the second on a Max Talbot goal. Wayne Simmonds scored identical powerplay goals at 3:32 and 6:49 to cancel the lead and chase Jhonas Enroth. The Sabres didn’t get a boost from Ryan Miller, and the Flyers ran away with it.

Enroth stopped 15 of 18 shots in 26:49. Ryan Miller stopped 13 of 17 in relief.

14th place Buffalo now returns home to face Montreal Friday night at First Niagara Center.

  • Ryan Miller had been long overdue for a night off. Jhonas Enroth wasn’t especially horrible, but the move was made to try to wake up the team, and it did nothing except ruin Miller’s time for rest. Now he’s probably going to go back in and start tomorrow night against Montreal. Enroth is gonna need more starts. They need to know what they have in him moving forward.
  • I tweeted during the game that Brad Boyes should be playing 18 minutes a night until he’s dealt. He played 16:29. Give him a proper audition now that they’re headed nowhere.
  • Can’t be said enough how well Jason Pominville has owned that captaincy. Team MVP.
  • Flyers forward Claude Giroux had five assists. Pretty sure that’s at least the second five-point night the Sabres have given up this season. Evgeni Malkin did it back in December.
  • Nathan Gerbe hasn’t brought much of the offense that was expected and needed from him this season, but it’s nice to see the effort he puts in. Kid’s a scrapper.
  • Paul Gaustad won 15 of 18 faceoffs in just 13:01 of ice time. That line, with Gaustad, Pat Kaleta and Drew Stafford, didn’t get much ice time. Think Lindy decided to save them for tomorrow night so they could play a bigger role? Not sure, but it’s a possibility.
  • I think Zack Kassian is fully aware that there’s gonna be roster spots available soon as long as he doesn’t play his way back to Rochester. That scrap was needed to build his case. Would rather see more initiative to try throwing hits instead of fists but hey, whatever he feels like he needs to do.
  • Tyler Myers needs to work on defending 2-on-1 rushes. I was looking forward to praising how he played for most of the night, but that play on the Hartnell goal was brutal. Gotta take the man or the shot. He did neither.
  • Ryan Miller allowed four goals on 17 shots, but he got hung out to dry on just about all of them. He’s been spectacular lately and has gotten no support.
  • With Dominic Moore getting traded, the market is officially open for UFA forwards. I’d expect a lot of scouts at the next two games, especially Sunday against Pittsburgh.
  • Thomas Vanek’s slap shot hides way too much. Guy just needs to shoot more. That thing is lethal.
  • Of all teams to get your ass kicked by… Philadelphia. Really?

Posted on February 17, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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