Overreactions, 41/48 Edition: The wheels are officially off

166357552_slideIf Tuesday’s loss wasn’t all you needed to write off the season, the Buffalo Sabres wanted to make up your mind tonight. And they did, in emphatic fashion.

With a split crowd thanks to legions of visiting fans in First Niagara Center, there was no home ice advantage, and the home team got crushed by the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-1 loss.

“That was an embarrassing loss,” said Sabres forward Cody Hodgson. “They played a lot better than we did and we, collectively as a group, didn’t match it.”

Buffalo got outplayed for the duration of the game, getting outshot 42-15, and after Rene Bourque opened the scoring 6:43 into the opening period, the outcome was never in doubt. Montreal would take a 2-0 lead on an Alex Galchenyuk goal moments later, and added two more in the second period.

Ryan Miller ended up getting pulled after 40 minutes, surrendering four goals on 32 shots. Jhonas Enroth would stop 9 of 10 he faced in the third.

Rookie Brian Flynn scored the only goal for Buffalo, his fifth of the season, while the team was shorthanded in the third. Montreal’s star defenseman P.K. Subban added a powerplay goal late to extend the final margin.

The Canadiens clinched a playoff berth with the win, while the Sabres are for all intents and purposes dunzo. The only race they’re in now is to the bottom.

  • The Sabres got assessed a bench minor for abuse of officials near the end of the game. I don’t know if anyone asked what happened, but I at least appreciate the passion. That’s something.
  • Steve Ott can’t get praised enough for what he does. He does everything he can to win. He’s got the right attitude and mindset, and if you look at the numbers, he does back it up. Seeing him in the locker room, full equipment still on, bruised and bloodied… as a fan, you can’t ask for more.
  • As much as the team on the ice needs fixing, they got enough work to do off ice as well. Such a miserable place to see a game.
  • Really taking a liking to Brian Flynn, which I’ve stated in here before, but I’ll reiterate it whenever I feel the need. I could handle a Flynn-Porter-somebody fourth line next year. He’s gonna need some time to develop, but the tools are there.
  • Ryan Miller actually played quite well tonight. He got hung out to dry, and shouldn’t take much, if any, blame for the loss. Putting in Enroth was an act of mercy.
  • Maybe it’s just me being weird, but twitter during games has been highly entertaining lately. Not as good as during Bills games come late October, but it’s up there. The bitching and snark is fantastic.
  • Back to Flynn, speaking to him after the game, he seemed incredulous about what was going on. He’s in the NHL, living the dream, and all this despite the fact that the team is a mess and the atmosphere is toxic. I liked his attitude.
  • The forwards in general were largely ineffective. I really think Thomas Vanek is going to struggle without Jason Pominville. He’s not just missing his chances, he’s not even getting as many looks as he used to.
  • We talk and talk about making Buffalo “Hockey Heaven” but, you know, it sure as shit doesn’t look good when Hockey Night in Canada comes to town for an exclusive game and you get crushed in front of a dead crowd and the seats are empty before the end of the game. Who’s coming to play here by choice right now?
  • Ron Rolston didn’t have many answers after the game. He was basically throwing his hands up in the air. With seven games left, I don’t see how they retain him in his current role for next season.

3MI Three Star Selections (vote never entered because we didn’t get passwords)
1. PK Subban, Montreal
2. Max Pacioretty, Montreal
3. Michael Ryder, Montreal

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. PK Subban, Montreal (PP goal (11), assist)
2. Michael Ryder, Montreal (2 assists)
3. Brandon Gallagher, Montreal (goal (12))

Quote of the night:

“It’s disappointing. Coaches do all the scouting, watch all the video and give us the best game plan we have possible, and it’s meaningless if we don’t show up and execute or compete.” — Buffalo Sabres forward Brian Flynn

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Posted on April 12, 2013, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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