Overreactions, 58th Edition: Where’s the dynamite?

Here we are.

With only ten days until the NHL trade deadline, the Buffalo Sabres aren’t in the position they expected to be. No one expected this.

Buffalo now sits 15th in the Eastern Conference with 24 games remaining as they dropped a 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal at First Niagara Center on Friday night.

“I’m obviously very disappointed,” said coach Lindy Ruff after the game. “Embarassed.”

Twice in the first period, the Sabres grabbed leads on goals by Robyn Regehr and Tyler Myers. Both were cancelled by the Canadiens, who tied the game 2-2 with under 14 seconds remaining in the opening frame.

A second period goal by Montreal’s Chris Campoli gave the visitors what seemed like the deciding lead, but Tyler Ennis’ goal with just over eight minutes left in regulation was enough to get it to overtime.

Failing to capitalize on a truncated powerplay in overtime, Brad Boyes and Jason Pominville were both stopped by Carey Price in the shootout as Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais sealed the win.

“This is a game we should’ve put away but didn’t,” Ruff said.

Ryan Miller made 16 saves on 19 shots for the Sabres. With Carolina defeating San Jose, Buffalo is tied with the Hurricanes at 55 points, but sits last thanks to tiebreakers.

  • Andrej Sekera had a phenomenal game. He was strong and responsible defensively and was a beast in the offensive zone. He made a great play to set up Robyn Regehr in the second period that Regehr couldn’t put away. Sekera was great early in the season, but hasn’t been as good the last couple months. Tonight was a step forward.
  • Zack Kassian’s fumbling of that 3-on-1 rush in the second period that preceded the Campoli goal is a sign of a kid who isn’t confident enough to make a play himself or a passive guy being indecisive. The fact he’s a part of this awful team should be worrisome. He’s got a bright future if he develops right.
  • The Sabres would have the third pick in the NHL Draft if the season ended today, and a 14.2% chance of winning the lottery to move up to #1 overall.
  • Tyler Myers again had a good game. Wasn’t perfect by any means, but he was good. Picked up another goal and was named second star.
  • The announced attendance being sponsored by StubHub “where many fans bought their tickets” was extremely appropriate. Lot of red in the house, expectedly so.
  • Ville Leino is quietly playing somewhat decent. Added two assists tonight, including a great effort on the Ennis goal. Not where he needs to be to justify the deal he got, but better.
  • Very disappointed no Sabres fans brought a “Where’s Chara?” sign. More surprised than that to see little-to-no residual animosity from that spat after the last meeting.
  • Thomas Vanek may have had his worst game of the season tonight. He seemed obviously frustrated and was watching the play a lot, trying to get the puck to do the work. He took the awful penalty that led to the Kaberle goal and was generally ineffective until late.
  • If you’re trying to trade Brad Boyes, maybe playing him under 11 minutes on the fourth line isn’t the best way to showcase him.
  • 12 of Montreal’s 18 skaters tonight wore numbers above 45. What a mess.
  • Shoutout to Nathan Gerbe for the effort tonight. Had an assist, but was visibly the hardest skating player on the ice for both sides.

Posted on February 18, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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