It can be very dangerous letting a team stay in a game for as long as the Buffalo Sabres let the Ottawa Senators stay in tonights game, but with an empty net goal that went off both posts, Thomas Vanek and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators for the fourth time this season.
Unfortunately for the Buffalo Sabres – the Carolina Hurricanes picked up two points by defeating the Penguins, and the New York Rangers throttled the Washington Capitals 6-0, so the two teams immediately in front of the Buffalo Sabres also picked up two points. The Florida Panthers did their best to keep Atlanta from gaining ground on the Buffalo Sabres, but the litter box dwellers allowed the Thrashers to tie the game and pick up one point by losing in overtime. Its probably a safe bet to rule the Thrashers and below out of the playoff picture, but a slide by the Sabres and ‘Canes could have the Thrashers right back into the picture – so it’s always a good idea to watch your six.
The storyline of the line will not end up being the fact that @JPegula had close to 19000 people at her 17th birthday party down town, complete with birthday cake delivery by Sabretooth, nor will it be the fact that finally, the Buffalo Sabres are able to consistently beat the Ottawa Senators (as they should, this year even the Argentinian National Hockey team could beat the Ottawa Senators). No, the story of the night will be for the first time this year, Mike Grier on a breakaway didn’t end with thousands of Mike Grier breakaway jokes.
The Buffalo Sabres are now 2-0 in the “official” Pegula era, but are their normal .500 since he took over control of the team. We are still waiting any changes to the lineup that might come, other than the Craig Rivet move that is supposedly nothing more than standard procedure, having nothing to do with Pegula.
It still boggles my mind to see Tim Connolly continuing to get ice time. I almost have to wonder if Derek Roy had not been injured for the remainder of the season if we maybe, just maybe wouldn’t see Connolly moved faster. Doubtful, but with Darcy Regeir there’s an excuse for everything, so I figured I would just help him out on that one. If you want to look at actual time on ice, Tyler Myers continues to lead the team with over 20 minutes, Connolly fell right around the middle mark of the team, with just about fifteen minutes; which at this point for most of Sabres Nation, is fifteen minutes too long.
Couple of notes from tonights game, I wasn’t impressed with Weber’s play, in fact about midway through the third he threw a puck in front of the net that was eerily reminiscent of the goal he setup for the Boston Bruins earlier in the year, only with a slightly different outcome (Sens weren’t able to score). He took a bad penalty for boarding.
Tomorrow night the Buffalo Sabres complete their homestand against the Detroit Red Wings, and then the white knuckle period begins, as the countdown to the trade deadline starts, and maybe for one or two guys (maybe more?) Saturday night could be the last night in HSBC Arena in the home locker room.
Two important games start this upcoming seven game road trip, and that involves trips to New York and Raleigh to face the Rangers and Hurricanes. Now would be a really good time to put three wins in a row together. A loss to either team could put a damper on making the playoffs this season.
Keep it tuned in here all weekend, as we offer up commentary on any moves made by the Buffalo Sabres leading up to the trade deadline.
Tags: Atlanta Thrashers Breakways Buffalo Sabres Carolina Hurricanes J Pegula Mike Grier New York Rangers Ottawa Senators Ryan Miller Stanley Cup Playoffs Terry Pegula Thomas Vanek Tim Connolly Twitter