Overreactions with 77 to go: Panthers beat Sabres… There’s really 77 more of these?

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Coming off a win on Tuesday night in Carolina, it’d be expected that the Sabres would see the opportunity to keep it going and come out strong. That, they did not.

The visiting Florida Panthers jumped on the Sabres early, peppering goaltender Jhonas Enroth with shots, outshooting the home team 16-3 in the opening period. Despite Enroth’s valiant effort, Buffalo fell 1-0 on a second period goal by Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim.

“It’s frustrating,” said Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons. “You feel bad for the goalie.”

Buffalo would turn it on over the final forty minutes, but couldn’t crack Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, who registered his third consecutive shutout against the Sabres. Luongo hasn’t allowed a goal against Buffalo in 178:49, dating back to then-Sabre/now-Panther Brad Boyes’ (who had an assist tonight, of course) tally on March 3, 2012.

It was a very forgettable outing for Buffalo, who looked at times incompetent in front of the announced crowd of 17,364.

“We’re not happy,” said coach Ted Nolan after the game. “No one’s gonna help us get out of this except ourselves.”

The Sabres return to action Saturday, as division rival Boston comes to town for the first matchup between the teams this season.

Hey, we’ve got 77 more games of this. Fasten your seat belts.

  • Tonight was the first chance I’ve had to see Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad play in the NHL, and he might have been the best defenseman on the ice for either team. Very poised, made great decisions with the puck… this kid is going to be a stud. I knew it when I saw him play with Barrie against the Niagara IceDogs last year, and less than a year later, he’s in the NHL to stay. Can’t feel bad about missing out because the Sabres never had a chance to pass on him. But he’s gonna be good.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers is Marcus Foligno without the hands or bloodlines.
  • At this point, it’s just a matter of playing out the nine games he gets without counting a year off his contract before Sam Reinhart goes back to Kootenay. Team low 7:09 of ice time. He’s just a body here. There’s zero reason Brian Flynn can’t be in the lineup doing what Reinhart does while the kid gets minutes in juniors.
  • Torrey Mitchell is Matt D’Agostini without the apostrophe in his last name.
  • Jhonas Enroth might explore free agency simply because he’s going to spend the prime of his career getting shelled with 40 shots a night. He’s been phenomenal and it’s not getting them anywhere. It’s incredible.
  • Who has better hands: Deslauriers and Cody McCormick or the two guys Reinhart will be on a line with in Kootenay?
  • Tyler Myers hasn’t looked awful. That may be because the rest of the defense is just that bad, but there’s a possibility he may be playing average-to-below-average defense. Sell high?
  • When the team is good and you’re playing games that matter, the organization is gonna have to go back to 7:30 or 8:00 starts on Fridays. Let the fans relax, not rush down to the arena, maybe get a few drinks before game time. The crowd in the building is placid.
  • The Luongo stat mentioned above is pretty incredible. The last time Luongo allowed a goal, he got pulled after giving up one to Boyes and two to Ville Leino in the first five minutes of a game, in a meeting days after the teams swapped Cody Hodgson and Zack Kassian. Crazy.
  • If you didn’t see the poster I did for the game tonight, go here. We talked about this before. People will buy it, Sabres. Do it.

3MI Three Star Selections
1. Sean Bergenheim, Florida
2. Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo
3. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. Sean Bergenheim, Florida (GW Goal (1))
2. Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo (34 saves, 1 GA)
3. Roberto Luongo, Florida (26 saves, 0 GA)

Quote of the night:

“It’s hard to win games in this league.” — Buffalo Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth

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Posted on October 17, 2014, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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