Offense stalls again, Sabres losing ways continue

How does it feel to be a Buffalo Sabres fan right now?  Well lets see, our star goaltender Ryan Miller is out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain.  Once league leading goal scorer Thomas Vanek was lost for several weeks with a major jaw injury, and when he went down so did the Sabres offensive output.  As I searched for something on the internet to help me describe what it feels like to be a Sabres fan, I think I found an accurate video:

The Sabres again last night failed to play a 60 minute hockey game, and after playing two tight periods with the fourth place Philadelphia Flyers, allowed three early goals in the third period to go on and beat the Sabres 5-2.  Over the last two games, woes have started from the crease.  Lindy Ruff has been known to misuse his starting goaltender, and that trend continues with his back up.  After allowing six goals against Ottawa, it was clear that Lalime needed a game off.  Only when the game was out of hand did Mikael Tellqvist make his Buffalo Sabres debut.

From what I saw last night, the Sabres were able to jump to a very early 1-0 lead on a deflected goal by often invisible Maxim Afinogenov.  That brings his season total to 3.  This is Max’s worst year ever as a Sabre, a clost second though to the 2002-2003 season.  As long as the contest stayed with the Sabres strengths, the game looked like it could go Buffalo’s way.  Then Philadelphia started playing physical, and the Sabres disappeared.  On many occasions, to include at least two of the Flyers goals, they were between the Sabres defense and the net.

The Sabres are not getting any help from the out of town score board either, as teams in front of them keep winning.    Some of the Sabres realize this, Paul Gaustad is one of them:

We messed it up, Its something we can’t afford right now.  There is no time left.

There is some time left, but not a lot.  With 15 games left on the schedule, the Sabres need an impressive streak if they want to be considered a playoff team.  With still no solid return date left for Miller, that might be a task that is impossible for a team with a stale offense.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Eastern Conference Hockey Lindy Ruff Maxim Afinogenov Mikael Tellqvist NHL Ottawa Senators Patrick Lalime Paul Gaustad Penalties Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Miller Stanley Cup Playoffs

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