Buffalo Sabres fan showed up to the First Niagara Center tonight expecting to see a Sabres-Senators game.
Instead, they were treated to the USA Olympic Team goalie tryouts.
Ryan Miller and Craig Anderson put on a goaltending extravaganza in the 716, stopping shot after shot and constantly one-upping each other in terms of who could make the most jaw-dropping save of the evening.
When it was all said and done, Anderson and the Ottawa Senators had prevailed 1-0 over the home team, but unlike last year when a slew of one-goal losses left Sabres fans feeling as if their team had missed a golden opportunity, fans of the blue and gold don’t have much, if anything, to complain about following this defeat.
Was this a perfect game? Nope. Each team displayed some carelessness with the puck, and made some bad turnovers that created high quality scoring chances for the other side. Once again, the Sabres went oh-fer on the power play, a disturbing trend that has carried over from last year and is going to result in a lot of “close, but no cigar” results for these young Sabres.
You know what, though? These Sabres played their hearts out all night long, and to quote one of my favorite bands – Metallica – “Nothing else matters.” As opposed to Wednesday night’s game in Detroit, when certain players on the Sabres’ roster looked as if they had about 99 better things they would have rather been doing, I cannot find fault with the desire and effort of anyone dressed in blue and gold tonight. Sabres players were flying around the ice all night long, squeezing off shots left and right and making up for mistakes they committed with hustle back on defense. I have to believe that having a perpetual motion machine like Zemgus
Girgensons playing for them lights a fire under so many of the Sabres’ butts – how could his teammates NOT want to give 100% when he is wreaking havoc all over the ice? If you’re not excited about the idea of watching Girgensons play, check your pulse: your term has expired.
And Ryan Miller: bravo. You have faced 34+46 = 80 shots in two games, and stopped all but three of them. A team as young as the one you currently play for needs you to be a rock every time you take the ice, and so far, you have been. Eventually, these young pups are going to figure out a way to steal a few of these close games, so keep doing what you’re doing in order to give them more chances like tonight.
When is a loss nothing to be upset about? Tonight. If these Sabres play like this all season long, even if they continue to come up short and fail to make the playoffs, Sabres fans will be entertained and excited about the future, which is all any of us can ask for right now. Hope you enjoyed it, and come back for our more comprehensive game recap later tonight!