The last time the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes met, Ryan Miller was between the pipes, and the setting was the First Niagara Center. For the second year in a row, the Buffalo Sabres threwup a stinker in their home opener dropping the game to the Hurricanes.
The setting of tonights game was the RBC Center, and this time, it was Jhonas Enroth in net for the Buffalo Sabres, and the Canes are, well to a point struggling. A couple of notes on the game tonight as I saw:
- Defensively, the Buffalo Sabres till leave a lot to be dsired for. There were several times in the game that the Carolina Hurricanes were able to apply some serious sustained pressure. Thankfully for the Buffalo Sabres and Jhonas Enroth, the problems the Hurricanes are having are worse than the problems we are having.
- Being a Buffalo Sabres blog here, we typically focus on what went right and wrong for the Sabres. You could see tonight why the Carolina Hurricanes are hugging the bottom of the standings, sitting right on top of the New York Islanders. The Canes showed glimmers of being a contending team, but missed passes and whiffed chances plagued the entire roster tonight if you were wearing a black and red sweater. Anytime the Canes were able to get a solid chance or sustained pressure, it seemed like the heads of the players were elsewhere, as pucks drifted lazily off sticks, and passes were right into the guys feet instead of onto the tape. If the Canes are going to have any success this year, I fear it will come after Head Coach Paul Maurice is no longer behind the bench – but the Canes have to get back to basics and really simplify their game.
- If Jhonas Enroth was the star of the night of the Buffalo Sabres, then Brian Boucher was equally important in keeping the Carolina Hurricanes in this game. There were several chances that the Buffalo Sabres had right around the net where Boucher was key in snuffing out the plays.
- Special teams were the key to the game tonight. Sabres penalty killers continued the torment that is the Carolina Hurricanes power play, at 29th in the league they can’t seem to get anything going with the extra man on the ice.
- Where has Drew Stafford’s game gone? I don’t get to worried when Vanek’s game taes a night off as far as the score sheet is concerned, but whens the last time Stafford was able to bury a chance?
- Totally off topic of the actual game, but I am not hating the fact that Kevin Slyvester is calling the games when Rick take a night off, but he needs to slow down just a little bit, and his “game” will be much better. I think at times Slyvester tries to hard to be RJ – and thats where he makes the mistakes. Be your own man Kevin, and you will be fine.
- On a similar note can we put Harry Neale back on the shelf and get Danny Gare to get te commentary full time? Back in the day Harry may have known hockey, but Danny has so much more of a modern grasp of the game.
- First Niagara Center is fifteen years old now, I think it is time for a new arena. I am all for the Skyway to collapse and destroy First Niagara Center (of course while no one was on the skyway). The result – we don’t play home games and we win more often. Then we get a new building.
- Don’t miss the chance to read Dan’s Knee Jerk reaction to tonights game.
- Not a perfect game by the Buffalo Sabres by any stretch of the game. But they playedthe game they needed to play.
- If Ryan Miller gets voted into the All-Star Game but is still suffering from an injury – can we send Enroth because he probably deserves to be there as much as any player that will get “voted” to go.
- I know every team goes through ups and downs, but cannot pass up the option to take a stab at the Carolina Hurricanes, but do all the empty seats at the RBC Center help the acoustics for the anthem singer?
Buffalo Sabres don’t get to relish the shutout for long; they have a quick turnaround leaving Carolina tonight to head home to host the Phoenix Coyotes.