Overreactions with 60 to go: Sabres get back on right track, lose to team that was the Thrashers

459625692_slideYou’d almost expect the Sabres to come out flying, riding a three game winning streak and having one game in the last eight days. But you’d be disappointed.

Buffalo came out flat, surrendered an early power play goal, and eventually fell to the team now called the Jets by a 2-1 score.

Patrick Kaleta‘s celebrated return to First Niagara Center ice was a storyline through the night, as his roughing penalty at 3:06 led to the opening Winnipeg goal.

Late in the second period, he was drilled into the boards from behind by Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry, drawing a major penalty. Buffalo wasted no time, surrendering a shorthanded goal 14 seconds into the penalty, with Michael Frolik taking advantage of an Andre Benoit giveaway.

“It was tough,” said Sabres defenseman Andrej Meszaros. “The puck was bouncing. We didn’t execute. We didn’t do anything on the power play.”

Chris Stewart would pull the Sabres within one at 5:30 of the third period, cashing a breakaway for his second of the season. But Buffalo couldn’t find a way to get the equalizer and dropped back into dead last in the league.

Jhonas Enroth made 24 saves for Buffalo, falling to 3-9-1 on the season.

  • Rasmus Ristolainen was fantastic. Him and Nikita Zadorov were by far the Sabres’ best defense pairing.
  • Andrej Meszaros on the other hand was solid. Solid in the way that he played the Andrej Meszaros game that we’ve grown to expect, and that he was both awful and sometimes barely competent.
  • Announced attendance was 18,442. Couldn’t sell out the night before Thanksgiving? That’s weak.
  • A beloved Buffalo News writer was really going after Nolan in the postgame press conference, demanding answers as to why Meszaros and Benoit are even on the team. Teddy kept looking at the Sabres’ PR staff hoping for an out and just skirted the questions. It’s beyond obvious that Murray isn’t gonna make roster moves to fix things. This is part of the plan. It’s working, whether people embrace the tank or not.
  • Good to see Stewart pop in another goal. He needs to be putting up points if he’s gonna net any kind of return in a trade between now and the deadline.
  • The Sabres have giant banners on the 300 level walls with information on a fan services hotline to text regarding issues. Only problem is the background is half yellow so you can’t read it. Classic Sabres over-design. It’s a running theme. Some of the Sabres’ graphic work is great. The rest isn’t.
  • Torrey Mitchell can skate really fast but he gets bodied off the puck real easy.
  • Is there any other team in the league that has a top pairing of defenseman that can’t drink at a bar yet?
  • Did not see one Thrashers jersey in the crowd tonight. What a bunch of bandwagoners these Jets fans are.

3MI Three Star Selections
1. Michael Frolik, Winnipeg
2. Bryan Little, Winnipeg
3. Chris Stewart, Buffalo

Official Three Stars of the Game
1. Bryan Little, Winnipeg (PP Goal (8))
2. Michael Frolik, Winnipeg (GW-SH Goal (5))
3. Chris Stewart, Buffalo (Goal (2))

Quote of the night:

“We’ll have discussions on that, I guess”

— Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan, on replacing Benoit or Meszaros

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Posted on November 26, 2014, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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