It was a long night in Winnipeg for the Buffalo Sabres – and their winning streak stops at three, again. The Buffalo Sabres needed tonight’s game to end in regulation, however they needed to be winners, not losers in this contest.
The Winnipeg Jets pick up the much needed two points in the game, and the Buffalo Sabres climb into the playoff picture doesn’t get any harder, but it also doesn’t get any easier. With the New York Islanders winning – the Sabres target of eight place remains four points, but only the New York Rangers are in that range.
Instant reactions to tonight’s game, the officiating was horrible, and not just against the Buffalo Sabres. Bad off side calls, a hand pass that wasn’t. The Buffalo Sabres got away with what should have been a tripping penalty late in the game, in the same way that the Winnipeg Jets got called for tripping Thomas Vanek. Inconsistently bad would be the buzz words describing the black and white stripes tonight. There were at least six slashing calls that could have gone without question.
If you could sum up the Buffalo Sabres power play woes in one instance this year, it would be tonight. Instead of worrying about the play or the puck, and with his team already down by two goals, along with his team up a man – Drew Stafford was more worried about getting his helmet put back on then following the play.
Hopefully someone in the locker room asks Steve Ott if it’s alright for the Buffalo Sabres faithful to boo this team, another lackluster effort against a team that they team needed to beat, only the Buffalo Sabres haven’t been able to beat the Winnipeg Jets in the last six contests. The lone Buffalo goal came when Kevin Porter played pinball with the puck in front of Ondrej Pavalec.
Playoff hopes are not over with this loss, but with the remaining games, the Buffalo Sabres can ill afford anymore losses if they want to continue thinking they remain in the playoff picture. With eight games remaining, and only 16 points left on the table, the Sabres could max out at 54 points.