Did anyone else feel like they were watching a video from last season for the majority of tonight’s loss? A slow start, horrible powerplay, horrendous passing and not enough scoring. The Buffalo Sabres kicked off their 2013-2014 season in Detroit against the Red Wings, but it left many fans wishing they hadn’t. For Rasmus Ristolainen and Zemgus Girgensons their first NHL games are now under their belts and hopefully the young defenceman can get his head on straight.
Tonight the first period was the beginning of the end for the Sabres. The puck dropped, but the Sabres were nowhere to be found and it
cost them the game- literally. It took all of 13 seconds for the Sabres to lose this game. Mikael Samuelsson deflected a shot past Miller to open the scoring then just a few seconds later Pavel Datsyuk intercepted a Rasmus Ristolainen pass and put the nail in the coffin scoring a beautiful goal top shelf. Should Miller have stopped the 2nd goal, probably but it was a beautiful shot and you can’t fault Ryan Miller for tonight’s loss after he stopped 32 shots. Anytime a goaltender can limit the opposition to under 3 goals, they’ve done their job and given their team a chance to win and Miller did just that.
The Sabres didn’t show up in the first period and as a result they fell behind 2-0 early and had to play catch-up for the rest of the game. On a more positive note, Zemgus Girgensons scored his first NHL goal in his debut and kept the Sabres from being shutout by Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings. Girgensons had just one shot on net and finished with just over 11 minutes of play, one shot one goal!
The Sabres did catch a break in the second period when Todd Bertuzzi poked a loose puck past Miller, but the goal was called back due a goaltender interference call. Did you know you can’t sit on a goaltender? Later Corey Emmerton was granted a penalty shot after being dragged down by Thomas Vanek, but Miller answered the bell and stopped Emmerton point black. If it wasn’t for Miller tonight this game could have easily been 5-0.
Aside from the 2-1 lose, the big story for the Sabres tonight was their pathetic, embarrassing and horrendous power play. Yes I’m upset, you can’t go 0-9, failing to score on two separate 5-on-3 advantages if you want to win hockey games. Heck even if you don’t want to win you can’t go 0-9 with the man advantage. Ron Rolston needs to find a way to fix their powerplay woes in a hurry, because right now opponents don’t have to worry about taking a penalty against the Sabres.
Considering the skill level of the Red Wings and a young, inexperienced Sabres team a 2-1 lose to kick off the season isn’t horrible but they owe a huge thank you to Ryan Miller. What was horrible was the Sabres lack of effort for the majority of the game, it’s time the Sabres start acting like professionals and show up for puck drop not half-way through the second period.
The Sabres will be back in action on Friday night when they take on the Ottawa Senators for the Sabres home opener. Hopefully Rolston, puts the boys through some tough practices and they show up to play on Friday. But after one game the Sabres are 0-1 on the season, was tonight a sign of things to come or just a rough start?