Overreactions, 26/48 Edition: Sabres’ ship remains on course

163486250_slide(Holy shit, I really did one for a road game!)

The loss to New Jersey Thursday night was a lost opportunity among few remaining to reinsert their playoff hopes into discussion. After a couple days off, there was another, with the chance to vault two teams with a win over struggling 11th place Philadelphia.

It turned out well.

Facing a team that was such a mess as recently as the day before that they needed a closed-door, players only meeting after a pathetic performance in a loss, the Sabres came out flat and never really put themselves in position to win. They lost, falling to the Flyers in a 3-2 loss on national television.

Buffalo fell behind 2-0 before the game was even halfway through the first period. Sabres rookie Brian Flynn scored his second in as many games to cut the lead in half before the end of the opening frame.

Claude Giroux scored 17 seconds into the second period to give Philadelphia the margin they would need. Jochen Hecht scored a shorthanded goal in the third period, but Buffalo couldn’t tie it.

Ryan Miller stopped 25 of 28 shots in the loss for the Sabres.

  • The Foligno-Porter-Flynn line was really good throughout the game. Flynn notched a goal, Porter added an assist and was named third star of the game. That can be one hell of a fourth line if this team is any good.
  • Speaking of Flynn, his goal was possible because of a subtly-brilliant play just prior to it in the shift. With Philadelphia collapsing around the net, Flynn collected the puck above the faceoff dot. Instead of throwing it towards the net into traffic, he spotted Foligno on the far post and threw it into the far corner boards. Foligno easily won the race to the puck and the Sabres continued to work the puck around, eventually scoring. Possession likely doesn’t continue if not for that heads up play.
  • Hopefully Jochen Hecht keeps scoring so someone might look at the scoreline and think he’d be a useful pickup at the deadline.
  • Tyler Ennis needs to adjust his game around the boards because if he’s going to keep putting himself in that position and there’s no league initiative to stop hits like that, he’ll be sitting in a dark room with Mark Savard before his career is done. 
  • I tweeted when it happened, but in the last minute of the game, with the Sabres trailing by one and the goalie pulled, Philadelphia cleared the puck from their own zone with about 40 seconds to go. Looked like it was Vanek, but irregardless, a Sabres player batted it with a high stick trying to knock it down, but it deflected off the stick and back in the Sabres zone. As soon as the Sabres touched it, the whistle was going to blow for a faceoff in their own zone. Everyone knew this, the ref had his arm up. Only way this is avoided is if a Flyers player touched the puck first, which would’ve given them a free shot at the empty net. Great. Anyways, Tyler Myers was skating back for the puck. In no apparent hurry. In fact, he skated along with the puck for a moment before touching it. The clock was running the whole time. My issue with Tyler Myers is exactly the issue at play in this scenario. What the fuck is he thinking? You know you need to touch it, Tyler. The clock is ticking. Time is of the essence. For what reason do you not hurry and touch it immediately? This kind of oblivious play and lack of awareness makes me wonder if the alleged franchise defenseman is even capable of being one.
  • Mike Weber’s willingness to stand up for teammates is commendable. But does anyone else in that room see that he gets mauled every time and think to themselves “Maybe I’ll take care of this one” the next time it happens?
  • Every time the Sabres play Philadelphia, some one… a coach, a player, a trainer… someone, needs to write “Don’t let Giroux shoot the puck when we’re penalty killing” on the white board in the room.
  • Nathan Gerbe’s tenacity is remarkable. Gets drilled like that and basically ends up standing up for himself by battling even harder in the corners. If that was contagious, we’d be looking at a different team. But it really isn’t. Not with this group anyways.

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia (GW-PP goal (8))
2. Max Talbot, Philadelphia (SH goal (2))
3. Kevin Porter, Buffalo (assist, 17:44 TOI)

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Posted on March 10, 2013, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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