If the Sabres home wearies continue, it could be a very long month of October. The good news is, if they win all their away games they will be two games above .500 this month. I am sure they will get it together to climb out of the basement and back into contention. I mean, hell, its three games into the season, but the games are starting to get a little ugly.
At first I thought the Rangers game was a fluke. I was eagerly optimistic about playing a “new” Blackhawks team that had to pretty much rebuild its “non-core” group of players from the net out. So Ryan Miller was going to face the rookie unknown Corey Crawford? I figured at worst we were going to see a gun battle – and we had Miller on our side, how could we lose? Well last year’s Vezina winner hasn’t been playing up to the standards of the trophy, he has looked mediocre at best, but thats more of the fault of the team in front of him than anything.
So I tune in Monday night, like I normally do; of course now it involves a fight with my two year old who was watching a Disney movie. Last night it happened to be Wall E. So I finally win that battle and get the game on. I had just settled into my favorite lump on the couch when bam, it was 1-0, thanks to Drew Stafford. Not only did they score 00:14 seconds into the game, but the passing just seemed to snap from stick to stick. Welcome to Buffalo Corey Crawford.
Two and a half minutes later Derek Roy continues his early season surge by scoring his fourth goal in three games. 2-0!
Then my favorite player this year, Tim Connolly takes a tripping penalty. Having an extra player and a “home” crowd to please, Patrick Kane pops in a power play goal to snap the lead.
The Sabres effort in the game ultimately stopped at 14:18 of the first period, when Niklas Hjalmarsson slammed Jason Pominville into the boards; resulting in a boarding major and a game misconduct. Pominville lay motionless on the ice, while the remaining Sabres made it look like they were going to get tough on the Blackhawks. It took medical staff quite some time to get Pominville off the ice, as they took every precaution necessary in the event he was seriously injured.
Once play resumed, you would have thought that something like that would have energized the Sabres. Wrong Answer. It was all Blackhawks from there out – as the listless Sabres played like Jason Pominville would never walk again – as opposed to the concussion he had received.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t know the guy personally, but sat here wringing my hands for a bit over him, because you just don’t like to see things like that happen to guys like Pominville. But here’s the thing, Hjalmarsson is not a dirty player, he wasn’t trying to hurt Pominville, he was mostly guilty of hoping a play developed instead of waiting for it to develop.
Tim Connolly added a goal at 5:24 of the third period, but at that point his name might as well have been Miroslav Satan – because the goal really didn’t matter.
There are quite a list of Sabres that need to “look in the mirror” before Wednesday nights game against the New Jersey Devils. Tyler Myers leads the list as it looks like the kid is lost on the ice most plays. Shaone Morrisson hasn’t done a thing in a Sabres uniform to make me think bringing him in was a good move. I thought he was supposed to be a big stay at home defensemen? Rob Neidermayer came into town like whirlwind and had a damn decent preseason – but has been no where for games one and two. Mike Grier looks lost. Tim Connolly, well he can find his way out of Buffalo at any time.
Its only three games, we shouldn’t panic just yet, but some very dangerous warning signs are there.