Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Once again Ottawa ends our Season

Technically the Sabres still have a shot at this thing if they win out, but based on their play in the 6-3 loss to the Senators I highly doubt that is going to happen. How the team managed to fall apart so badly is beyond me. Worse yet the breakdown came from some of the teams better players.

While usually the among the best on the team, Hecht, Lydman, and Tallinder all had a rather poor showing in this game. Our top two defensemen ended the game a combined minus five with three giveaways. The Sabres best two way player (Hecht) finished the game minus three. Even Gaustad had a less then stellar game. If these players don't show up there is no way Buffalo is ever going to win.

That said, the Sabres were by far the best team in the first two and a half periods of this game. While the score was 1-1 going into the third, the Sabres had far more chances, and were getting stopped by lucky goaltending more than anything else. One huge mental lapse by the Paetsch and Pratt pairing allowed the Senators an easy goal in the first, but for the most part only rookie Lee in his first ever NHL game looked impressive for the Sens.

Then the Sabres made an even bigger mental mistake, somehow allowing a three on one while being up a player. Shorthanded goals will kill you every time. After that Buffalo never really had any chance.

A (small) handful of players did play well for Buffalo. These were Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, and Mike Weber. Roy had two of Buffalo's goals, and did so with very little help from Vanek or any of his other line mates this game. Pominville continued to show how good he is as a captain, and played excellently both ways and even scored a goal.

Weber had an almost perfect game. Despite the three point loss, Weber ended the game plus two, and even earned a primary assist on Roy's second of the night. Even before that going into the second I was starting to fell that he may very well be our third best defenseman. After the third period I'm not even sure that he shouldn't be number one. Another rookie playing well was Brian Lee for the Senators. In his first NHL game, he played very solid and saved a sure goal by kicking the puck out of the net.

The Sabres play again in a day or so, but for real the season is over now.

Official Three Stars
  • Daniel Alfredsson
  • Derek Roy
  • Anton Volchenkov

  • My Three Stars
  • Daniel Alfredsson (two goals, three points, plus two)
  • Mike Weber (assist, plus two, had a perfect game)
  • Anton Volchenkov (goal, three points, plus three)
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