Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Knee Jerk Reactions: Montreal Canadiens

They say the toughest thing for a playoff team to do is a play a team battling for their playoff lives. Tonight the Buffalo Sabres proved that theory wrong. They put the final nail in the coffin of their playoff dreams and helped the Montreal Canadiens clinch a playoff birth.

Tonight may have been the worst Sabres game of the year- and there’s been some bad ones. Playing against a team in the midst of the playoff battle, they needed to come out firing early to drive the Canadiens back on their heels. Instead the Sabres didn’t even bother to show up for the first period and quickly found themselves down 2-0.

While everyone wants to hold out hope that the Sabres will make a last ditch effort to the playoffs, tonight took care of any of those thoughts.

Game Notes.

  • For a team that is fighting for their playoff lives tonight was not a good way to play. The effort wasn’t there, they weren’t disciplined (7 penalties) and they looked defeated right from the start.
  • Don’t know if it was just me tonight or what but It almost appeared Ryan Miller was playing injured. He was dropping into his butterfly awkwardly and jumping back up rather slow. Whatever it was Miller just seemed off. When Miller isn’t on his game and you’re facing off against the red-hot Canadiens it’s going to be a long night. Despite that tonight’s game was not Miller’s fault at all. His team didn’t show up and left him out to dry time after time.
  • Ron Rolston decided to break up the all Amerks line of Luke Adam, Kevin Porter and Brian Flynn with Steve Ott started the game on that line. Giving the rookies the veteran and future captain to play with seemed to calm down their game.
  • With only 11 shots through two periods of play it truly seemed like the Sabres just didn’t want to compete. Being outshot 32-11 after 2 periods. There is no way a road team should be able to manhandle their opposition and outshoot them that badly. The Sabres allowed the Canadiens to walk all over them at home.
  • For whatever reason Cody Hodgson seems to be in Ron Rolston’s doghouse. Hodgson played just three shifts in the second period. While he may not be playing his best right now, no one on the Sabres is. Why punish the future first line centre for something the whole team isn’t doing?
  • Brendan Gallagher has been a thorn in the Sabres side this season. Tonight Gallagher ran wild against the Sabres. He drew

    penalties, took the abuse from Miller and Tyler Myers in front of the night and scored a goal. Gallagher is a player who is willing to do the dirty work for the team. He out-worked, out-hustled and out-skated everyone on the Sabres tonight.

  • The best part about having young rookies on the team when the season is all but over is their work ethic. The younger players are playing for a spot next season. Brian Flynn has been one of the best Sabres since being recalled and scored the Sabres lone goal while shorthanded.

After tonights pathetic effort it appears the Buffalo Sabres players may be ready to mail-in the season. When the players put-forth an effort like tonight they truly deserve to be booed at home. If the Sabres aren’t going to care about the last 7 games why should the fans? Tonight showed the difference between a playoff bound team and the Buffalo Sabres.


Tags: Brendan Gallagher Buffalo Sabres Knee Jerk Montreal Canadiens

  • Kevin

    Just a painful game to watch. I could hear Otter swearing through my surround speakers. He has quite a vocabulary. :) I can’t believe Rob Ray or Gregg Milan didn’t get slammed in the coconut when Otter was throwing things. I don’t blame him for being so ticked of at the Ref’s, it was definitely a high stick to the face and no call.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      The game was really difficult to watch. Probably the closest I’ve come to turning a game off! Ott has the passion no doubt but he needs to reign it back a little bit- especially this late in the season. Tonight it was evident the Sabres are done with this season.

  • Duncan Leung

    Didn’t mind the Habs really before this. Now I hate the whole team and Gallagher. I watched the first two period of the game, it was painful to see how the team could give up possession so easily and let the Habs control the puck most of the time.
    Oh well, now I just hope some team knocks the Habs out in the first or second round. (For me, Bruins should sit second place in the standings.)

    • Caitlin Campbell

      It’s weird because I’ve always been a fan of Gallagher since his junior days. I love the way he plays and how he drives the opposition crazy. He did well drawing the Sabres off their game tonight. The Habs litterally manhandled the Sabres tonight, horrible game.