Overreactions, 61st Edition: So much for selling…

Hard to believe, but there’s no firesale in Buffalo this weekend.

Left for dead not long ago, the Sabres won’t go away. Somehow, they’re getting themselves back into the playoff picture, and the wins keep finding their way to Buffalo.

Facing the defending Cup champs and Northeast Division leading Boston Bruins at First Niagara Center on Friday night, both teams played well enough not to lose. Since the game has to be decided eventually, the shootout handed the Sabres two points and a 2-1 victory.

Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy scored in the shootout, and Ryan Miller only allowed one goal after stopping 35 of 36 shots in the game.

Andrej Sekera gave the Sabres their only lead of the night with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. Boston came out gunning in the third, outshooting the Sabres 15-5 and tying the game on a powerplay goal by Zdeno Chara.

“I think we got on our heels a little bit in the third,” said Lindy Ruff after the game.

Buffalo held on, and even killed a late Thomas Vanek penalty that ran into overtime without surrendering the deciding goal.

The Sabres now move to 27-27-7 on the season, good enough for 11th in the Eastern Conference and just five points behind 8th place Florida.

The Panthers sit at 66 points, one back of Southeast Division leader Winnipeg with four games in hand. For all intents and purposes, Buffalo is chasing the Jets, who at 63 games played, hold a tenuous spot in the playoff picture.

  • Having played three incredibly intense games so far this season, these teams played one absolute stinker tonight. Animosity was limited. Each team doled out only 20 hits through 65 minutes of action. Very few scrums. It was an incredibly lackluster game to watch considering the previous efforts.
  • Ryan Miller has been the backbone of the Sabres’ resurgence. In his last 13 outings, he’s allowed more than two goals just four times. He is 8-2-2 in that stretch. His save percentage is up to .910 on the season.
  • Good for Andrej Sekera to get rewarded for his great play with a goal. It was a nice play by Ennis to set it up, and Sekera filled in a open lane to perfection. Guy has been a rock lately, even in limited ice time.
  • Liked Corey Tropp getting the recall, and even with taking two penalties, he brought a good game. The kid plays with energy, physicality, and he actually has hands. I’m ready to put him on the fourth line next year.
  • For being a rivalry game, holy crap, the arena was dead. Not that there was anything done to provoke the right kind of reaction, but the atmosphere was incredibly passive, and it definitely showed on the ice.
  • Still think the whole “booing one guy” thing is stupid and unintelligent, especially in Chara’s case. Everyone booed Brad Marchand because of his dumbass comments yesterday, as expected, but the Chara thing still makes no sense.
  • Drew Stafford seemed to have a good game. He went down hurt in the first period and missed some time, but for as many horseshit performances as he’s put up this season, he was pretty good tonight.
  • The bitching about Christian Ehrhoff’s contract has died off. My guess why? Because everyone’s figuring out that at this point, it’s a pretty damn good deal.
  • Did not notice much extra-curricular douche-ness out of the Bruins. So out of character.
  • Mike Weber’s been eating up minutes. He played 22:44 and was on the ice for the penalty kill in overtime. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but Weber hasn’t done much this year to warrant being relied upon. But, hey, it worked.
  • Seeing more Boston fans than ever at games. Perfect combination of the Sabres being bad, the Bruins being good and the general public’s tendency to bandwagon.
  • Seriously, who thought five weeks ago that we’d still be talking playoffs? I sure as hell didn’t.

Posted on February 25, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The exact reason escapes me, but booing Chara has happened since 2005. Most people don’t remember it either, but it’s definitely been that long.

  2. I’d say hockey IQ has something to do with it, also the bandwagon atmosphere that surrounded the team back in 05-06. He was part of the Senators who were, at that time, the Sabres’ “biggest” rival. That is, until Carolina won the ECF.

    Chara was a big oaf who threw his weight around, still does. He is an easy target. But I would think Sabres fans are above booing a guy because he is good. Same goes for Ovechkin and Crosby, to a certain degree.

  3. Unfortunately, we know the majority of Sabres fans aren’t above booing a player for being good.

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