Despite not having anything left to play for this season, the Buffalo Sabres gave it their all against the Winnipeg Jets in their third last game of the year.
While the Sabres failed to play spoiler against the Jets, they did manage to strike a little revenge back at the New York Rangers, by allowing the Jets a huge 2 points. With the 2 points the Jets are now just 1 point behind the Rangers for eighth.
It was a record breaking night for the Sabres leading scorer and a performance that brought back memories of a former legend by the man between the pipes. But in the end it wasn’t enough to drag out the W. The good news for fans who support tanking, is the fact they lost and didn’t gain two points to move up in the standings.
- Another stellar performance from Jhonas Enroth tonight who faced 39 shots and stopped 37 of them. With another solid effort
between the pipes, Enroth seems to be turning doubters into believers. I used to be nervous when the Sabres threw him into a game, but now I’m completely confident. He kept the Sabres in the game and made some huge saves, including one that went off his butt while he was facing the boards and a Penalthy Shot against the always dangerous Evander Kane. His performance tonight drew comparisons to Sabres legend Dominik Hasek. If Enroth continues to play like he has as of late, there’s no doubt in my mind he could become a solid NHL starter.
- With his goal tonight Thomas Vanek now has 248 career goals which puts him 6th amongst all time Sabres.
- It’s great that the Sabres have Mikhail Grigorenko back with the NHL club to finish off the year but they need to play him more. He only drew into the line-up tonight due to an injury to Patrick Kaleta. He was kept mostly on the third line between Jochen Hecht and Drew Stafford. The best way for the kid to learn is for the coach to show trust in him and play him with line mates that will actually teach him something. The Sabres are out of the playoffs and have nothing to lose, why not put him with a Thomas Vanek, Tyler Ennis, Steve Ott or Marcus Foligno so the kid can learn and compete.
- Once again the Sabres had difficulties getting shots on the opposition. When the Sabres enter the offencive zone, instead of charging to the net to get a shot or create a scoring chance, they stop and look for the pass. That kills the momentum and often ruins any scoring chance the Sabres may have had.
- 6th game in a row against the the Jets where the Sabres were only able to score 1 goal. Not going to win many games only scoring 1 goal. As good as Enroth was tonight, getting some goals to support your goalie is always helpful.
Tonight’s game seemed to sum up the Sabres’ season. A valiant effort that fell just short. The Sabres didn’t play a horrible game and played well enough to win. A bounce or two their way and a couple more goals and it could have been a W for the boys in blue and gold. The good news is this year has a very deep draft.