Overreactions, 75th Edition: Bandwagon seeing population growth, Sabres beat Rangers

For the doubters, this was a statement game. For the dreamers, this was just another step.

As the Buffalo Sabres have resurrected their playoff hopes, there have been many key victories to get them back into contention. It could be a Friday night win in New York City that may have allowed the team to escape the casket their season had been placed.

Drew Stafford scored twice, and Tyler Ennis added a goal and two assists to lead the Sabres to a 4-1 win over the East-leading New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

“We’ve put a lot of work into getting to the position where we’re at right now, but obviously we’re not there yet,” Stafford said. “We’re not worried about the other teams around us. We know if we play well, take care of our business and win the games, we’ll be sitting just fine. Right now we haven’t accomplished anything.”

Ryan Miller was spectacular in goal, stopping 26 shots and outdueling Hart-candidate Henrik Lundqvist at the other end. Miller stopped all 13 Rangers shots in the third, allowing the Sabres to pull away.

Travis Turnbull also scored his first NHL goal for Buffalo, who with the win, had briefly vaulted into 8th place before Washington picked up a point in an overtime loss to Winnipeg. The Capitals and Sabres are tied with 82 points, but Washington holds the tiebreaker.

  • Looking at the remaining schedule coming into this game, you could’ve justified saying this was a game the team would be alright not getting two points. The best team in the conference on the road? Maybe that’s asking too much. They went in and picked up bonus points.
  • Congrats to Travis Turnbull on his first NHL goal. Didn’t get a chance to do a recap of his debut Wednesday, but he made enough of an impact in the mere 3:27 he played Friday. The kid reminds me of Adam Mair. Shows a lot of hustle but too often looks lost. He let Brian Boyle drift to the front of the net undetected on the lone Rangers goal. Good for the kid to get rewarded for his hard work, but I don’t see him earning a spot in the lineup if the team is competitive.
  • The “Sign Tyler Ennis for life” bandwagon should be filling up. Dude is just tearing shit up.
  • Marcus Foligno with the quietest two-point night by a rookie ever. Stafford and Ennis were lighting it up, and Foligno is along for the ride. Now has nine points in eight NHL games this season. For those curious, Zack Kassian now has nine points in 38 NHL games this season.
  • Sure, a Capitals loss benefitted the Sabres, but I’d rather see Winnipeg lose any game they ever play.
  • Can we get some appreciation for Derek Roy? His play of late has been really, really good, and he was a rock for the Sabres, playing a team high 23:11. He was double-shifted in place of Travis Turnbull on the fourth line for much of the game, and won 64% of his draws.
  • I’ll never understand the logic behind some Buffalo News writers referring to Christian Ehrhoff as a $40 million defenseman. Dude counts $4 million against the cap. That’s the only number that matters. Get off his ass, he’s the team’s #1 defenseman.
  • New York captain Ryan Callahan was credited with nine hits. The entire Sabres team was credited with a combined 18. Such a subjective stat that gets so easily compromised by homerism.
  • Cody Hodgson had his two-game point streak snapped. What a dud of an acquisition. Signed, Morons.
  • Tyler Ennis’ play to set up Stafford’s eventual game winner was so quietly brilliant. With an odd man break heading up ice, Ennis took a pass, and as soon as he got over the blue line, he found Stafford. Instead of waiting and allowing the defense to collapse, he took the defenseman out of the play early and gave Stafford room to pick his corner. Nice play.
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Posted on March 24, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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