It wasn’t a must win game. It would have been a beautiful two points to put us in the eighth spot and gain ground on the New York Rangers.
The New York Rangers lost, but the Buffalo Sabres could not hold on to a lead tonight and only muster one point.
We are now three points behind the Carolina Hurricanes with two games in hand.
What was a very entertaining game for both teams, was also a text book defining game for why these two teams are slugging it out in the middle of the Eastern Conference for the final playoff spot, instead of trying to cement home ice advantage for the playoffs. Penalties, sloppy play, turnovers, and giveaways were the norm. Neither goaltender looked sharp on the goals they let in. Ryan Miller did not look focused in this game at times, and it showed on all three Carolina goals.
Brad Boyes continues to be the best trade deadline acquisition the Buffalo Sabres have had since the lockout – as he nets his second goal in two games, and almost had another one on a breakaway. He also hit a post.
Tim Connolly still amazes me with the fact that he remains on the ice wearing a Buffalo Sabres sweater. At this point it can’t be any worse by letting Portland Pirates center Luke Adam gain needed experience. Connolly proved that when he tried walking through four Hurricane defenders on a powerplay trying to do it alone instead of playing the system and setting up the play.
The Carolina Hurricanes have made it to seventh place tonight, so the immediate hurdle now becomes the New York Rangers.
It wasn’t a must win game, so it is in no way a nail in the coffin, but it is another sixty minute highlight of why this team is not anywhere near a contender either this year or next for the Stanley Cup, unless major changes are made in the off season.