Hello Sabres fans. Most, if not all, of you don’t know me. My name is Eugene and I write for Broad Street Buzz, the Flyers website on this network. I know that for the next week or so, we are the team that you will hate the most. That hatred might extend to the summertime. Anyway, Tim Redinger and I have switched roles to bring you a special insight into the teams we love most. So here it is, a Flyers fans perspective on what the Sabres need to do to beat the Orange and Black.
Starting in net is little known rookie, Sergei Bobrovsky. I know, you guys have Ryan Miller, who is arguably the best in the world. However, this year, the two netminders had similar numbers. Both had a 2.59 GAA, while Miller’s .916 SV% edged Bob’s .915 SV%. But the real question is, how exactly do you get the puck past him? Well, when he’s on his game, his lateral movement is sick. He’s got amazing reflexes, so east-west passing and one-timers aren’t really a sure bet. When he gets out of position, he recovers very quickly. He does get into trouble tracking pucks behind the net sometimes. A quick pass out to the front to the slot, followed by a well aimed shot has a nice chance of getting past him. Also, when there’s a screen, he goes down like most goalies. Low shots, even when redirected, don’t pose as much of a threat to him. He does manage to pick those up through a crowd, and his reflexes help him react to deflections. That’s why when there’s a screen in front, it’s better to aim high. Also, the fans and media in town call him Bob, but he calls himself Bobs, and has that printed around the china area of his mask.
With or without Pronger in the lineup, there’s a ton of skill back there. Andrej Meszaros has been a huge find this season, giving us 3 legit pairs of shutdown defensemen. All of them can move the puck, all of them can defend well. Sean O’Donnell is older and slower, and if he doesn’t take the right angle, a guy with some speed can get past him. However, nobody is perfect, and a consistent forecheck can be effective at times. Aside from big Mesz, nobdoy really throws big hits, let alone dirty hits, so if you can work the corners and the boards, that might be effective. Anything within reach of Kimmo Timonen’s stick will usually be knocked away. He’s a small guy who really knows how to position himself. But once again, if you can get a step on him, that’s to your advantage. He’s the one who fell for Patrick Kane’s head fake last year right before the Cup clinching goal. Overall, there’s not one specific thing that you can exploit to beat these guys. you just have to play your game and hope that works out for you.