Delayed Overreactions, 81st Edition: So much for that

“It’s disappointing. It’s embarrassing to miss the playoffs,” Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said. “We have a lot of talented players on this team and we just didn’t get it going early enough this season.”

And so it ends.

Despite a rousing run to insert themselves back into the playoff race, all postseason hopes are gone after a 2-1 loss in Philadelphia Thursday night.

Ville Leino gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead in the second period, but the Flyers rebounded in the third period, tying the game on a Marc-Andre Bourdon goal six minutes into the period.

With the Sabres holding on trying to send the game to overtime and earn at least one crucial point, Philadelphia rookie Matt Read took advantage of Robyn Regehr’s defensive zone miscue to add the dagger with 4:21 remaining.

“We just didn’t finish,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “We had our chances, and we didn’t get the kind of shots we needed. There were far too many chances by the wayside.”

What should’ve been a mad scramble to tie the game turned into a circus, as Philadelphia dominated possession in the final minutes and the Sabres were unable to create good opportunities to tie the game.

Thanks to Washington’s victory over Florida, Buffalo is officially eliminated from playoff contention and will finish 9th in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres will miss the postseason for the first time since 2009.

“We did this to ourselves,” Miller said.

  • Buffalo’s tentative play for most of the game put them in the spot that in the end did them in. They sat back for most of the game, and it was one mistake that turned into the difference. Dangerous way to play against a team that’s so strong.
  • Rough night for the Sabres’ best line of late, as Tyler Ennis, Drew Stafford and Marcus Foligno were on the ice for both Philadelphia goals.
  • No blame goes to Ryan Miller for this one. While his goals allowed the last few games had taken a bump, Miller was outstanding and made the saves needed to keep Buffalo in position to win. Not on him.
  • Alex Sulzer was out of the lineup because he had to leave for Nashville to attend to personal business. Information on the issue is scarce, but the reaction to his surprise scratch shows how much has changed in so little time. Exactly one month before, Sulzer was a healthy scratch as the Sabres played Winnipeg. Now, he’s become such a useful piece that his absence hurt.
  • The team struggled a lot this year, especially missing certain defenseman, but Jordan Leopold has not gotten enough credit for his strong play. Was on the ice for almost 28 minutes in what ended up being the deciding game of the season. Would’ve been a nice choice for the team’s unsung hero award.
  • Seriously, how many odd-man rushes did the Sabres fumble without getting a quality chance? Absolutely awful decision making on many of them. In the third period of a tie game, that killer instinct must take over. Chances mean shit if you don’t convert.
  • In 18 games since the trade deadline, Thomas Vanek was pointless in ten of them.
  • Hey, at least Cody McCormick was in the lineup to play four minutes.
  • Fighting for your playoff lives, it might be a good idea to get more than three shots on goal in the opening period.
  • Kudos to Scott Hartnell for going after a heavyweight. Takes a lot of balls to take on Cody Hodgson. Douche.
  • Injuries are going to be an argued about excuse forever. Fact is, injuries happen, to varying degrees. The issue isn’t that injuries happen, it’s whether or not you’ve got a team capable of stepping up. This team didn’t step up.

Posted on April 7, 2012, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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