Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Knee Jerk Reactions : Tampa Bay Lightning

I think it’s time to file a missing persons report as the Buffalo Sabres team that showed up against the Tampa Lightning was not the same Sabres team that showed up on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens. The two days off seemed to hurt the Sabres as they played flat and uninspired hockey for most of the game.

This is the first of the last 3 games that the Sabres aren’t at least skating away with a point and at this stage in the season when every point is important as the Sabres will now be 5 points behind the New York Rangers for the final playoff spot.

Tonight’s performance for the Sabres was not a good and one they will quickly want to put behind them. The lone bright spot in the loss was the late goal from

Jordan Leopold which gave the Sabres a brief hope of light, but even then they couldn’t get anything going.

Game Notes

  • The Buffalo Sabres went 0/4 on the power play. An early goal on their first power play after a strong start would have gone a long way in this game. Not only did the Sabres fail to score on any of their power plays they also were unable to set up a normal power play structure.
  • 12 of the last 14 games have been decided by just 1 goal- a power play goal on one of their first 4 chances may have helped.
  • The Buffalo Sabres managed just 14 shots on the Lightning net. 14 shots?!?! Very rarely do you win a game with that few shots. On top of only getting 14 shots, another 16 of their shots were blocked and at least 10 missed the net. If you get just half of the blocked shots through and half of the shots that missed the net on net there’s at least 20 shots on the goalie. Shots force rebounds which force scoring opportunities but the Sabres didn’t have many tonight. The Sabres didn’t have more than 5 shots in any period.
  • It’s a well known fact that the Sabres wanted to get “tougher” this off-season, that’s why they acquired John Scott and Steve Ott. Ott has been great for the Sabres bringing lots of character to the team but Scott hasn’t brought much to the table. When you have Ott, Marcus Foligno (who fought tonight), Patrick Kaleta and even Mike Weber who are willing to play tough and drop the mitts whats the point of having Scott? He’s just sitting in the press-box eating up a roster spot.
  • Thomas Vanek was injured again when he came up limp after skating for a lose puck. Love the way Vanek plays and when he’s scoring he’s lights out but he can’t stay healthy! This is the 3rd time this season that Vanek has been injured.
  • Ryan Miller looked good despite only making 21 saves- he was called upon to make several point blank saves and keep the Sabres in the game when they clearly didn’t deserve to be.

This was not a good game for the Sabres who came out and showed little emotion and effort in the game. Although they’ve been playing well as of late, games like this make the fans want to waive the white flag and get ready for next season.



Tags: Buffalo Sabres Knee Jerk NHL Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Kevin

    The Sabres were also caught standing around and getting caught out of position. I guess if that’s what you mean by uninspired. Which is a good word for it.

  • Andrew

    This team makes no sense.

  • PaulR

    Sabres had absolutely no forecheck or offensive zone presence whatsoever – and it appeared to me to be by design. The Sabres fled the offensive zone as soon as Tampa D gained possession of the puck and would re-group at center ice. Did Rolston tell them to assume a very defensive posture because of fear of offensive players like Stamkos and St. Louis?

    Also – I blame Leino for the first goal. He was the last one out of the Tampa zone, and leisurely skated to the Sabres bench for a line-change. No hurry whatsoever. It gave Tampa an odd-man rush and easy entry into the Sabres zone. Goal came 5 seconds later.