Apr 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Ryane Clowe (29) scores on a backhand against Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) during the first period at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Knee Jerk Reactions: Buffalo Sabres Versus New York Rangers




Those were the only “words” I could think of when the senior editor of this site, Tim Redinger, sent me a quick email after the first period of tonight’s game.

Nearly two hours have passed since that email came and went, and I STILL can’t think of any words that are more fitting than those primitive expressions of disgust.  Or is it frustration I’m feeling?  Sympathy?  Dejection?  Embarrassment?  I honestly don’t know.  It’s probably a wild cocktail of all of those emotions rolled into one, mixed with the Pepsi I had for dinner, and the Burger King food I really should avoid at my age.

Not good.

Where to begin?  This game started out like so many Sabres games have this year: a strong forecheck by the opposition forces the Sabres to spend too much time in their own zone, and not enough time on offense.  Of course, with Ryan Miller in net, the Sabres manage to avoid any real damage and we fans are settling in for a low-scoring affair that the Sabres might be able to steal, just like they did against the Boston Bruins the other night.

And then a puck bounces off of a skate into the net . . . and then another puck bounces off another skate into the net . . . and here I am, writing about an 8-4 loss that puts the finishing touches on the tombstone we will now use to finalize the burial of the Sabres’ postseason dreams.

The Sabres have been pretty resilient this year; I mean, they have been outplayed in most of their games, but have somehow found ways to keep games close and even steal some victories that they had no business claiming.  They went into Boston on a night where everyone in America wanted the Bruins to win, and they kept their composure and earned much-needed points.  They have endured the firing of their head coach and the trading of their captain to the Minnesota Wild, and they still came into tonight’s game with a faint shot at making it into the playoffs.

Tonight, though, they crumbled faster than the Harlem Shake’s popularity, beginning with Ryan Miller, who was not to blame for the first two goals tonight, but was on the hook for the next two.  Jhonas Enroth came in early in the second period and kept the train wreck, uh, wrecking, giving up a goal on the first scoring opportunity he faced.  By then, it was 5-0 and no one on planet Earth believed the Sabres were going to make a come-back, even with those three goals they netted in a too-little, too-late flurry at the end of the second.


Hats off to Mark Pysyk, who scored the first goal of his career tonight!  See – there’s always a silver lining if you look hard enough.  Make sure you give A.J. Haller’s game recap a read, to better understand what, exactly, went wrong tonight (besides everything!).  Thanks for reading!

Tags: Buffalo Sabres

  • Kevin

    As soon as the wheels fell off this team, with those bad luck bounces I knew it was just matter of time. But I give full marks to this team, they never gave up. They worked hard right until the final horn.

    • Richard Spalding

      The young ‘uns have a ton of promise, so let’s hope the Sabres bring in some people who know how to develop young talent, not screw it up.

  • Craig C.

    Two questions: 1-Is Grigs still sitting, doing nothing? 2 – do you expect any major change in this organization?

    • Richard Spalding

      Grigorenko did not play a single minute in the Rangers game. Now that they are eliminated from the playoffs, there is zero reason to not give him PT. As for changes . . . every single fan on the planet feels Regier should go, but the more I read about and see from Pegula, the less I feel he understands the game. I appreciate the open-wallet approach, but that doesn’t work if you don’t have the people who can ask the questions, “What system do we want our players to play within?” and “What players would best fit that system?” I’m crossing my fingers and hope they bring in some people with a proven track-record for building teams that succeed within a given system.