Last nights game proved to be exactly what everyone was predicting, a low scoring affair, a 2-1 game.
I don’t think anyone could have predicted the fact that the intensity and physical elements of that game were going to be as high as they were. Watching that game reminded me of playoff hockey from a bygone era. I have not seen so many guys in a penalty box at one time during a Sabres/Bruins game in a long time.
The Sabres would be wise to learn many things from last nights contest in the hopes of extending their chances at a lengthy playoff run:
- Play out of character. Who was that guy wearing Tony Lydman’s jersey last night? Was that Thomas Vanek digging in and battling for pucks? If the Sabres can keep matching Boston’s intensity and physical they are going to prove a lot to the rest of the NHL.
- Let Vanek shoot. Wasn’t that a pretty goal by Thomas Vanek? My first comment about that goal was holy shit what a pure goal scorer’s goal. The Sabres are going to have to get more traffic in front of Rask (and definitly run him a little more like the B’s are doing to Miller). Rask will probably stop that shot three out of four times, but oh how sweet it was last night.
- Traffic in front of and through Rask. How many times did Miller get run over last night? Two that I saw. And surprisingly the men in front of him were up to the challenge of standing up the offending Bruin. It would have been nice had they gotten a little help from the referrees, but maybe its time to start returning the favor on Rask. He’s a rookie, get under his skin and he might crack.
- Keep it hard, keep it clean. Chara’s hits on Kaleta were dirty. I didn’t see the Myers hit. But if the Sabres can keep it hard and clean, they won’t have any problems. I like the fact that Claude Julien played it off after the game as “part of the playoffs”. This series is only going to get uglier.
- Tighten up the defense. You can’t survive the playoffs if you continue to allow your opponents 24 shots in one period. Ryan Miller probably needed an IV of fluids after the workout he got in the second period.
Game 2 is Saturday afternoon on NBC.