Pregame Skate: Pittsburgh Penguins

They didn’t have long to dwell on the first loss of the season – and that might be all very well.  Last night the Buffalo Sabres failed to click for 60 minutes and saw a game they probably should have won evaporate before their eyes.  Tonight, they are facing an opponent that is in the same boat.  The Buffalo Sabres travel to the Consol Energy Center for the first time this season to play the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Last season the Penguins dominated the Buffalo Sabres, winning all four contests.

Both teams remain without  forward suffering from post concussion syndromes.  Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact, but there is no time table on his return.  Jochen Hecht remains scratched and there is no time table for his return.

Both coaches are pleased with the play of their respective teams but will be looking for more out of their lineups – ensuring those games that you should be winning turn into much needed victories for the win column.

Lindy Ruff was happy with the opportunities his team was getting, but was equally as upset at the stuff his team was giving up.  Both shorthanded goals against last night game on plays where the Sabres were trying to do to much with the puck.  Credit that to Cam Ward who made some great saves – the Sabres were constantly looking for that pretty play, instead of going to the net.  When the Sabres did go hard to the net, they scored on the plays.  So far when the Sabres have dangled “hope” on the ice, as Lindy Ruff has called it, the other team has capitalized.

That was the consensus among those watching with me last night, the Sabres were trying to do to much to ensure that pretty goal.  We didn’t need the pretty goals, we had two of them, we need to cash in on some of the close to the net ugly ass goals that teams get to win games.  The long range has not been the problem, its been the close in combat that the Sabres are lacking in.

It’s a 7 PM faceoff tonight.

***

Tell me again why Paul Gaustad is not wearing the C?  Last night proved why the front of the sweater alphabet is a little out of whack.  There is no doubt in my mind that Pominville leads this team – but actions speak louder than words, and Gaustad grabbed his team by the horns last night to try and spark something.  That is something that Pominville will never do.  Granted, it was only one game, and I agree that Pominville is a leader, but more along the lines of the A than a C.

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, Jason Pominville, Lindy Ruff, Paul Gaustad, Pittsburgy Penguins

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