Once again the Buffalo Sabres offence failed to show up leaving Ryan Miller to do it all on his own once again to salvage a point. But with all the rubber Miller has faced over the last few games he wasn’t able to keep the Ottawa Senators at bay long enough for the offence to crack the brick wall known as Craig Anderson. When the offence (Thomas Vanek) doesn’t show up and Miller isn’t playing lights out it’s usually a recipe for disaster, add that to a tired bunch of players and the Sabres fall 2-0 to the Senators on the road.
One thing that was very evident for the Sabres tonight was their complete and utter lack of discipline taking 9 penalties throughout the game. All throughout
the game there was a constant parade to the penalty box, which started right from tough guy Patrick Kaleta and ended with Marcus Foligno. You’re not going to win hockey games when you take as many penalties (which wears down the defence) as the Sabres did tonight. Taking penalties keeps your skilled guys off the ice and puts more pressure on your goaltender.
While the Sabres were able to outshoot the Senators the offence failed to put anything past Anderson who turned down every Sabres attempt. Thomas Vanek failed to record a point in his 2nd straight game and the rest of the offence aside from Tyler Ennis and Mikhail Grigorenko weren’t able to generate many golden opportunities. Not sure if a line change-up is needed but Lindy Ruff has to do a better job of finding lines that will produce even when the big line goals cold like the have the last 2 games. Grigorenko had a great game and looked much better after having a chance to watch the game from the press box, but should by no means be playing with Steve Ott. Move Grigorenko up to the 2nd line with Ennis and Marcus Foligno and the rookie may have an easier time finding the back of the net.
Another positive for the Sabres is Tyler Myers looked substantially better tonight after his 2 game stint in the press box, which gave him an opportunity to watch and see what he was doing wrong and also get the message that he needed to play better. Despite a careless penalty he defensive positioning and play were much better and I don’t believe he was directly responsible for any of Ottawa’s 2 goals- there’s a step in the right direction eh?
The Sabres now have 2 days off till they face the Boston Bruins at home on Friday which will give them an opportunity to rest after a brutal 14 games in 21 days mixed with lots of travel. In the 3rd period you could tell the boys were tired and had given up trying to beat Anderson as they stopped skating especially in their own end, forcing Miller to make some big saves near the end of the game.
It has gotten to the point where I almost go into the game expecting the Sabres to find a way to lose. If the Sabres don’t start winning some divisional games they can all but kiss the postseason goodbye!