Game 5 Thriller In The Books

The overtime period should have never happened.  The Buffalo Sabres jumped to a very fast three goal lead in Philadelphia tonight, a quick enough lead that if tonight’s game had gone a little differently I was contemplating a title of Fast Times at Wells Fargo.

The Buffalo Sabres held on to their lead until early in the third period when the Philadelphia Flyers tied the game.  It’s only fitting that one of these games has gone into overtime.  As close as they have been you would have thought that overtime was a great possibility for all the games. 

I was fully prepared to break out the energy drinks and settle in on the couch for a very long night.  Thankfully for Tyler Ennis‘ follow through in overtime, the game did not go as long as I had anticipated it going for.

It’s still going to be a battle to close this series out, so I don’t want to get too high on the fact that the Buffalo Sabres did not cave under a little adversity – but at the same time I want to point out a few things that I think we need to change in order to make this a successful run.

–Get the powerplay working.  I don’t care if you have to hire a specialist to work with the guys on and off the ice during practice, but something has to be done to make that unit click better.  Between the five minute power play from game four and the late power play in tonights contest, we look absolutely miserable.  You have to take advantage of those special team opportunities in the playoffs.  If you count the top three things a team needs to win it all, goaltending, defense, and special teams.

–This one is connected to the first one, but get Tim Connolly off the power play.  Even if you only dress him to kill penalties and maybe relieve a tired forward for a shift – he is killing this team.  His weak attempts at shots are being gobbled up by the Philadelphia goaltenders – who probably have the shakiest of goaltending in the entire playoffs.

–Which brings me to a great point, who are the Flyers going to play in net on Sunday?  Doesn’t seem like Laviolette can trust any of the three guys he has.  Maybe someone should let him know that Patrick Lalime is not doing anything Sunday night.  Could be the greatest win he gives the Buffalo Sabres in his career. My favorite comment of the night….it’s a good thing Philly is almost done….there out of goalies.

–Maybe I didn’t see it because we were winning so much, but has Danny Briere always been a bitchy little punk on skates?  I mean he had the occasional dirty play in a Sabres uniform but I never saw him act like a five year old as much as I do in this series.  Maybe those ugly ass orange sweaters bring out the worst in every player.

–Since it is out there now, yes I think the Flyers have the ugliest orange jerseys – but I also give them a lot of credit for it.  Every other team in the league is going black, red, white, silver – they are sticking with what works for them and frankly, I like to see a little color in the league.  Now if we could all just go back to wearing white at home, I would love it even more.

–Epic fail for the NHL to schedule any games on Easter Sunday.  It’s just another one of those small things that makes the league seem so second rate compared to other leagues.  Now I know that not everyone celebrates Easter, but there are enough people that do – that you shouldn’t be scheduling games for that early on a family holiday.  I could see a late game, seven or seven thirty.  It’s another one of those bush league plays by NBC – a deal that kills the NHLs ability to rival the NFL when it comes to television deals.  I for one am planning on a migraine so massive Sunday morning that my wife will leave me lying in bed in my own misery, just long enough for her to get out of the house with the kids to her families dinner party.  The minute I know they are a safe distance from the house – its high def NBC and a one man party in my living room.  I guess while she is sleeping uploading a GPS tracking app to hers and my phone so I could safely be back in bed moaning in agony well before she hits the driveway (thankfully my wife does not read my articles).

–Injuries could be mounting for the Buffalo Sabres.  The cut on Jason Pominville’s leg could be serious.  Hopefully nothing major was cut and he can be back on the ice for Sunday.  Jordan Leopold also left after he was spitting blood and had a nasty cut on his face – he returned to the game so I would anticipate him playing on Sunday.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Easter Sunday Game 5 Game Six Jason Pominville Jordan Leopold Michael Leighton Overtime Patrick Lalime Peter Laviolette Philadelphia Flyers Ryan Miller Sunday Thomas Vanek Tim Connolly Tyler Ennis

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