Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Max is back

The Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 and Maxim Afinogenov showed up for this game and played great. Afinogenov set himself up for a breakaway that resulted in a nice goal, set up Derek Roy for a breakaway that resulted in a goal, and then managed to squeeze a shot through for another goal that Biron looked to have pretty well covered.

At one point the Sabres were looking as if they were going to blow their lead like they did the last time they played the Flyers, but instead came away with three goals early in the third period to take the win.

While neither team scored (or even looked good) with the man advantage the game saw a high amount of four on four play, and three goals scored in those situations (two for Buffalo). On Roy's goal the Flyers have claimed the Sabres had five on the ice but I'm not quite buying that, and think they probably should have thought about covering Roy anyhow.

The game saw a few line changes as Sekera was brought up for Kalinin and Peters for Paille. I still think Paille should be playing ahead of Peters, but perhaps they felt bad benching Peters for two games after he finally scores a goal, or else assumed there would be some more fights against Flyers. Speaking of fights, with a bit of a brawl behind Buffalo's net Marty Biron drifted out to center ice to consider taking part. As much as I like Biron, I don't want to see him fighting against the Sabres. Against other teams I'm all for it, but he is supposed to like Buffalo.

The big news though is that Tallinder got himself injured. This could be really bad. He (along with the also injured Hecht) is key to the Sabres game, and their best defenceman. While I wasn't worried playing the Capitals before, that was based on the idea that Tallinder and Lydman could double shift to shut down Ovechkin and the rest of the Sabres could outplay the rest of the Capitals. Suddenly this next game isn't looking so good. Also suddenly the absence of Brian Campbell is starting to hurt. Fortunetly Sekera looked good last game.

Back to Campbell, he had an awesome spin-o-rama goal for San Jose the other night. I've never seen him score off of that before, but then again the goalie probably should have had that. Of course that's Montreal's fault for trading away Huet.

A few more thoughts on the game. Vanek was the only Sabre to have a minus plus/minus, but didn't play to poorly. Kaleta had zero hits, but probably didn't deserve the ten minute game misconduct he got, and finished the game with only 3 min of ice time. Peters ended with even less ice time and no fights to show for it. Bernier looked good, picking up two assists while picking up two shots and two hits as well. He also looked good in the corners as a Gaustad like scraper.

Official Three Stars
  • Maxim Afinogenov
  • Jason Pominville
  • Steve Bernier

  • My Three Stars
  • Maxim Afinogenov (two goals, one assist, plus three)
  • Jason Pominville (two goals)
  • Henrik Tallinder (two assists, possibly should have had credit for Pominville's first goal, and in only 7 min of ice time)
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