Overreactions, 76th Edition: I thought I told you that we won’t stop

The wins just keep coming.

It wasn’t long ago that the Sabres looked at the standings and saw themselves sitting dead last in the East. It wasn’t long ago that they were talking lottery pick instead of playoffs. But tonight, the Sabres will go to sleep sitting in 8th place, in prime position to win the last spot in the playoffs.

(Well, whenever they go to bed, after they spend the night downtown at the bars…)

Fresh off a convincing 4-1 win over New York the night before, the Sabres rebounded from an early deficit and earned a 3-1 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.

Thomas Vanek tied the game early in the second period, knocking in a loose puck in front of the net. Buffalo would carry play for most of the middle period, outshooting Minnesota 17-5.

The Sabres took the lead 1:45 into the third period, as Tyler Myers ripped a point shot that found the leg of Marcus Foligno before hitting the back of the net to give Buffalo a lead they would never relinquish. Cody Hodgson scored a buzzer-beating empty netter to add the insurance.

Ryan Miller turned aside 24 of 25 shots, earning his seventh win in his last nine games.

Buffalo moved past idle Washington with 84 points, with the Capitals holding a game in hand, which they’ll play tomorrow evening when they host these Wild. The Sabres travel to DC on Monday for Tuesday’s showdown with the Caps.

  • Corey Tropp was the well deserved second star. He made the play in the corner that paved the way for the Vanek goal. He was a physical presence all night. That line is developing some nice chemistry. They chipped in two goals tonight.
  • Can I copyright the “Travis Turnbull is Adam Mair” comparison? I was on that early. Spent five seconds more on the ice (5:05 TOI) than in the box (5 PIM) tonight.
  • Tyler Myers made the play on the Foligno goal with a good point shot, but I thought he was overall bad with the puck. Senseless giveaways, fumbling the puck at the blueline and making poor decisions. It didn’t kill them, but it didn’t help. He can be better.
  • Derek Roy has been really, really good lately. Again, led the team with ice time, and was really good with the puck in general. Was 64% at the dot. His turnaround has been a big part of the team’s turnaround.
  • This may be mentioned here every time they play in Buffalo, but Minnesota’s road whites are beautiful. Possibly my favorite uniforms in the league.
  • Weird situation at the end. Cody Hodgson’s shot into the empty net yielded a green light instead of a red. The officials appeared to check it and declare it beat the buzzer, meaning there was still time left on the clock. Ryan Miller and Derek Roy seemed aware of this, but Minnesota headed to the dressing room and Buffalo jumped on the ice to celebrate the win. It looked like they were just gonna waive off the goal and skip the faceoff, but they counted it. So, in effect, tonight’s game did not last a full 60 minutes.
  • Jordan Leopold’s giveaway on the Minnesota goal? Brutal.
  • With Turnbull’s goal Friday night, the Sabres have had 29 different players score a goal this season. Cody McCormick remains off that list. He whistled a shot by the post past Harding, but still sits with a goose egg. He’s the only guy on the active roster without one.
  • According to the essential SportsClubStats.com, the Sabres can guarantee a playoff spot by winning their last six games, reaching 96. 93 points yields a minimum 95.5% chance of making the playoffs. Just win, baby.

Posted on March 24, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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