Oct 5, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) scores on a penalty shot past Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth (1) during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres at Pittsburgh Penguins: Knee Jerk Reaction

Suffering, indeed.

Yes, it is only 3 games into the season, but these Buffalo Sabres are officially atrocious. Awful. Aggravating to watch. The team has done little except justify my decision NOT to purchase any tickets to any Buffalo games this year. In no way have they earned my money since Terrance Pegula took over the team, and that does not appear to be changing anytime soon. The players themselves certainly are not earning their own inflated paychecks, either.

For the Sabres, this game was deja vu of the Detroit game just a few days ago. Buffalo playing a top team, giving up two goals in the first, scoring one late, giving up a penalty shot, displaying little effort, and featuring a pathetic power-play. Oh, and don’t forget, losing.

Optimists will be quick to point out all of the rookies playing for the Sabres. And? In another sport, in the same city, the Buffalo Bills are also full of rookies. The difference here, is that the rookies on the Bills have been invigorating and inspirational. EJ Manuel, Robert Woods, and Kiko Alonso have Bills nation abuzz with electricity and hope. On the Sabres, Mikhail Grigorenko, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Johan Larsson have done nothing noteworthy.

Zemgus Girgensons has been a lone bright spot for the team, but he isn’t expected to carry the team. The top 6 forwards of the Sabres have been ultimately disappointing. The fact that Drew Stafford is STILL on the top line is beyond baffling. Jhonas Enroth did his best Ryan Miller impersonation tonight, but he received almost NO help from the rest of the team, not only in front of his own net, but on the scoreboard.

Buffalo repeatedly lost chases for loose pucks, lost battles on the boards, and gave up way too many shots – just as they did last night against Ottawa. The Sabres failed to produce any sustained pressure in the Penguins zone, and never found any chemistry or momentum. Buffalo badly lost the war (or, lack thereof) in the neutral zone. Though they are professionals, I have seen better passing in pee-wee hockey games.

I have nothing positive to say about the team at this point, but I will tip my cap to Enroth and Miller. Darcy Regier decided not make any moves in the off-season, which signaled no interest in fielding a competitive hockey team for 2013-14, and after 3 games, it shows.

Hockey Heaven has been proven to be a hoax.


Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports


Tags: Buffalo Sabres NHL Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins Reaction Sabres

  • Kevin

    Their biggest problems tonight were giveaways and getting beat out to the loose pucks all night long. Add that to bad passing. then when they did get the pass to their own player, it was in his skates or behind his back. Just not a smart game. But I know Andrew as much as you are correct in many of your assessment. The Penguins roster is far superior to ours. How the score was larger is a head scratcher. We must have done something right. If you want look at it that way. A very wise old hockey great told me when I was young that “no matter what the score is, it still takes two to tango” It was a great lesson learned. Btw the old guy was Tim Horton. I met him when he was injured while playing for the Sabres. It was quite an honor to talk with him, although I didn’t know it was him until he walked away and my foster Dad asked if I knew who that was. I still have his autograph because my foster Dad got it without me knowing about it. So cool.

    • Andrew

      I wish I had Tim Hortons autograph. I wasnt even born yet tho.

      Thanks for the response. The Sabres were awful. I don’t care how good the Pens are, Buffalo could have shown more effort.

  • Jes

    They honestly didn’t look good at any point of the game IMO. Except the goaltending everyone was a downer. We played the Pens great last year with basically the same team. Pominville being really the only guy who had any effect being off this team.

  • Dano

    Time to start line building. I would like to see Girgenssons moved to the first. Hes a 110% effort guy and deserves a shot.

    It would be easiest to build a top6/bottom6 setup with whats presently on the roster. Forget whos being paid how many millions this season.

    When they have 6 forwards that are actually putting pucks in the net, then move to a different system.

    I so badly want to take my smokeyBear off the wall, get a haircut and put the uniform back on and pull a Gunney Hartmen this team!