Coming into the weekend, most Sabre fans wanted a split. A split against arguably the best team in the league and one of the worst was a fair request of our mighty Sabres. However, as of about 9:45 PM tonight, our worst fears have been realized: two games, zero points.
It’s a tough request to beat the Penguins. Crosby and Malkin are other-worldly players, and Jordan Staal is no slouch. But the Leafs? The Leafs played an AHL goalie. The Leafs are led by losing players and leaders like Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel. The Leafs have Tim Connolly.
Raise your hand if you had a bad feeling as soon as Andrej Sekera started fumbling the puck on the Sabres’ first powerplay. I did. And I didn’t stop screaming at number 44 all night. He had his worst game of the season when his best game was needed, given the absences of Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff. Sorry Mike Weber. You are not missed.
Paul Hamilton has complained all year that once the Sabres get back in a game, they tend to give it right back with a dumb penalty or loss of concentration that allows the other team to take back the momentum that it lost. How many times did this happen tonight? It seemed constant. Sekera’s giveaways, the team’s inability to hit the net, Miller gave up a soft goal or two, and Sulzer made a poor read on the 3v2.
Add it all up and it might have been the most disappointing game of the season.
Derek Roy has managed to be invisible when the team has had its best stretch of the year. Coincidence? The team plays better when Roy contributes nothing. The Ennis-Stafford-Foligno line continues to dominate. Without them, this game might have been a blowout. Vanek is obviously carrying an injury, and we’ve seen better nights from Hodgson. Nathan Gerbe might be a nice spark to put with Vanek and Hodgson. Just a thought.
Is Miller tired? Is Myers out long term? Is Brad Boyes the biggest pansy to ever wear a Sabres jersey? Two out of those three questions are terrifying me right now.
And Jeremy White, thanks for pointing out that no Myers and Ehrhoff hurt the team tonight. Way to step out on the ledge, Jer. I’m sure Ted Black cringed after that stinging criticism.