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Delayed Overreactions: Sabres defeat Coyotes in ridiculous finish

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To quote Vin Scully, who called Kirk Gibson’s unlikely home run in the 1988 World Series, “I don’t believe what I just saw.”

Pretty much.

On what was and will be one of the most incredibly ridiculous goals you’ll ever see, the shorthanded Buffalo Sabres defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in overtime. Mark Pysyk got credited for the winner as the puck was carried over the goal line by Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.

Reaching for a rebound from his own shot, Pysyk’s effort was deflected up in the air above Smith, and it fell directly into his waistline. Not knowing where the puck was, Smith retreated to his goal, unaware that the winning goal was stick on his backside. That’s a turn of events that could be referred to as “unlikely,” but that definitely happened.

The Sabres were able to get the win despite playing with an incomplete roster, only dressing 16 skaters thanks to a flu bug making its way around the locker room. One of those 16 was John Scott, and another was Drew Stafford, who was ejected mid-way through the second period. Somehow, the home team made it happen.

This was all made possible by a late goal by Tyler Ennis to tie the game at 1. Buffalo dominated play for much of the third period, and a miscue at the Phoenix blueline by the Coyotes allowed Zemgus Girgensons to find Ennis alone in front to beat Smith.

“It’s a great win for the guys,” said Ennis. “We beat some adversity today.”

Ryan Miller made 36 saves to get the win for the Sabres, and was strong in the first period as Phoenix outshot Buffalo 15-3. He was only beaten by a questionably-high deflection from Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal early in the second period.

“These are the kind of things that weren’t happening for us,” said Miller. “It’s a little bit of a Christmas present for us, and we’ll take it.”

More like a Festivus miracle.

  • I commented after the first period how impressed I was with Tyler Myers defensively. I thought that might have been his best 20 minutes of the season. The next 40-plus? Back to unimpressive Tyler he went.
  • That goal went “viral,” as the kids call it on the internet, and for once the Sabres actually got on SportsCenter and Deadspin and dumb stuff like that. It was a dumb goal that brought a lot of brilliance, especially Harrison Mooney’s Grammy Award worthy “Goal In A Butt”. So much fun, guys.
  • Girgensons has been fantastic lately, but I think people need to realize he’s only 19. Let’s not build him up into something he’s not yet. Temper the enthusiasm a bit. I know there’s not much to be excited about with this team, but you run the risk of it getting to his head. That’s dangerous (see: Myers, Tyler) and we do not want to ruin anything about this kid. He’s the real deal. Read the rest of this entry
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Instigator #10: Inflating Expectations (May 1, 2012)

Another week brings another edition of “The Instigator Podcast” featuring Chris Ostrander of Two In the Box and the infamous guy who runs this site..

This week we discuss the Sabres raising ticket prices, how fans react, Cody Hodgson being Mike Gillis’ forlorn lover, and some Plus/Minus.

Comments, suggestions and lewd images are always welcome. Let us know below or on twitter, @3rdManIn or @2ITB_Buffalo.

Delayed Overreactions, 20th Edition: Come on, really?

I’m sure if someone would’ve told you before the game that Paul Bissonnette was going to score the game winner, they’d either have been a) drunk, b) a jackass, or c) one of his handful of relatives who came down from Welland for the game.

Well, the infamous fourth line plug was the hero.

On the strength of four goals and a stellar performance from goalie Mike Smith, the Phoenix Coyotes beat Buffalo 4-2.

Luke Adam and Patrick Kaleta scored for the Sabres, who got 25 saves from Jhonas Enroth in his second loss of the season.

Smith was the star, though, making 43 saves to stymie a Buffalo offense that seemed on the verge of opening the floodgates throughout the first period.

“We missed too many opportunities,” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. “Point blank. We missed empty nets. We hit a few posts. It isn’t good enough. If you want to win a game and come out with that much energy, you have to put those chances away.”

  • Not quite sure what Tyler Myers was doing on the eventual winning goal. If he sticks with Bissonnette, the opportunity gets eliminated. Instead he’s behind the goal chasing butterflies and the puck is in the net.
  • Two Sabres did not register a shot on goal: Robyn Regehr and Ville Leino.
  • Jordan Leopold continued his solid run, adding two assists. He seems to be the steadiest defenseman on the roster lately. He and Christian Ehrhoff played over 26 minutes, and ended up even on the night. Leopold hasn’t been a minus player in the game since October 27.
  • Jhonas Enroth looked shaky coming off his first shutout of the season the night before. While he stole two points Friday night, he didn’t do much to duplicate the effort Saturday. If Miller is out an extended period, you’d think that Enroth isn’t going to be able to play every back-to-back. Maybe Friday in Columbus might be a good time to get Drew MacIntyre a game. Can’t run the kid into the ground. He’s vital right now. Read the rest of this entry