Who’s ready for some regular season hockey? According to the effort of the Buffalo Sabres in their final preseason game, they are definitely over the preseason. The Sabres fell 1-0 in their final preseason affair at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes as they finish the preseason 4-2-1.
For a team forecasted to have a rough 2013-2014, the Sabres actually had a decent preseason showing. Of course that was mainly against
rookies and other incomplete teams, but still preseason wins are preseason wins. But, if the Buffalo Sabres put forth the effort they put forth in tonight’s game, they may want to mail in the season. The Sabres were held to just 7 shots through the first 2 two periods, yes you read that correctly in 40 minutes of action the Sabres managed just 7 shots. There was a stat during the 2nd period when the Sabres had just 6 shots, that Nathan Gerbe alone had recorded 5. Last time I checked you needed shots to score goals and goals to win hockey games, with just 7 shots through the first 40 the Sabres won’t win many games.
Besides the loss in the final preseason the game, the Sabres may have yet another rookie out with an injury. Nikita Zadorov left the game with a hand injury after blocking a shot and will be “re-evaluated”. For Pete’s sakes, Sabres, stop sacrificing the promising rookies in these meaningless preseason games!
Ryan Miller looked solid between the pipes, allowing just 1 goal on 30 shots and killing off all 5 penalties in the loss. Steve Ott had the honour of wearing the “C” for the final preseason game, but Rasmus Ristolainen stole the show on the night. Ristolainen played just over 20 minutes, throwing 3 hits and blocking 2 shots. His poise on defence is phenomenal and the Sabres would be wise to keep him on the Sabres blue line come Wednesday.
The Sabres went 0-4 on the powerplay tonight, bringing their preseason total to 1-23. The Sabres will need to get their powerplay rolling with the regular season right around the corner.
All in all it seemed like this was a “mail-it-in” game for the Sabres tonight. Just 18 shots on net and 0-4 on the powerplay, the Sabres just didn’t seem to have the effort for this game tonight. The Sabres preseason has now ended and they will be cutting down their roster to 23 players sometime before Monday. The Sabres will take on the Detroit Red Wings on October 2nd to kick off their regular season.