Penguins vs Sabres recap

I won’t be foaming at the mouth like Mike Robitaille was after tonight’s game, but the Sabres played a smart defensive hockey game against the high-powered Penguins offense. Unfortunately for the Sabres, they continue to struggle with the powerplay and were unable to cash in on 8 PP opportunities.

Besides the PP problems, the game could be summed up like this; both teams had a ton of scoring chances and both teams blew those scoring chances. I guess you could look at the game as being one where neither team should have lost. But when you can’t score 8 times on the PP, it’s kind of tough to just waive the moral victory flag. But if you’re suppose to be one of the best teams, you have to beat the best. Did the Sabres play well tonight? Yes. Was it a Moral victory? No. Still room for improvement offensively? Yes.

-Even though the Sabres only scored once, you can tell that the Sabres players were really into this game. Moving their feet and being aggressive. If they can just somehow find a consistent way to score goals, I’d feel a lot better about them-

-It’s pretty impressive that the Sabres were able to shut down the duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Besides a couple of scoring chances from the Penguins superstars, the Sabres defenseman were stellar in frustrating the duo. Malkin especially looked like he was more into ripping someones head off than trying to score. That’s not a good game plan for the Penguins-

-I wrote yesterday that I wasn’t a big fan of the Sabres starting Patrick Lalime against the Penguins. However, the silver lining that I looked at was if Lalime played a good game like he did against Chicago, we wouldn’t have to hear the Marty Biron fan club making the back-up goalie spot into a position of dire need. After tonight, everyone needs to take notice that Lalime is just fine. He was outstanding tonight and has only allowed two goals in his last two games against arguably the two best teams in hockey. The biggest difference between the Lalime of the last two games and the one from last season is that the Sabres are in the zone when it comes to playing defensive hockey in front of their goalie-

-One more thing about the Biron factor: fans should be careful for what they wish for. Remember, the Sabres brass aren’t stupid. If they sense this huge pull by fans for wanting “cheap” Marty to come back to Buffalo, they’ll do the trade just to make those fans happy and to give them an excuse to not make any other moves. Hey, this is the same franchise that considered the Tim Connolly resigning their big trade addition last season-

-I know morel victory is on the minds of a lot of Sabres fans, and it should be, but there were still too many scoring chances that the Sabres couldn’t cash in. Even though the Sabres are a little better in scoring as of late, they are still ranked 22nd in the NHL in Goals. I’ll be saying it until the trade deadline, the Sabres need to add more scorers. Fans have to remember, when the playoffs start, the games are going to be a lot more tighter and the scoring is going to go down. I’m not sure you can win in the playoffs by just scoring 1 to 2 goals a game-

-Before I watched the game tonight, I went to go get a haircut and started reading ESPN the Magazine while waiting. They had an interesting article on the art of shootouts. One of the players they interviewed was Ryan Miller. Miller spoke on how sometimes the most difficult players to face in shootouts are defenseman and guys on the third or fourth lines. The reason being is you’re not sure what they are going to do because their normally not playing in a shootout.

I really wish Lindy Ruff would have read that article before the shootout tonight. Those were some ugly ass shootout attempts by Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Drew Stafford. I’d have really like to see Lindy throw in a defensemen or someone who normally doesn’t get a shootout attempt. Shouldn’t surprise the Sabres that Kris Letang, a Penguins defenseman, scored on Lalime-

-Man, is Harry Neale becoming the Van Miller of the Buffalo Sabres? You remember Van in his latter days with the Bills.

Van Miller: And there’s a fumble on the play, and the Bills have It!
John Murphy: Um Van? someone lost a helmet on the play.

Someone needs to have Harry watch some Sesame Street with “The Count.” I think he must have mentioned the word “secondly” at least three times on “The Whip.” Good for Rob Ray to call him out on it-

-Overall, it was a great effort by the Sabres and proved that they can hold their own against the best in the NHL. However, I’d still like to see the team light the lamp a little more-

This entry was posted in Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Sabres 2009-2010 game recaps, Buffalo Sabres 2009-2010 Season. Bookmark the permalink.

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