The Buffalo Sabres dropped their home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, 3-2 in overtime. There are no excuses. Yes, the Sabres had a goal taken away on a poor penalty call against Thomas Vanek, and I told my fiancée immediately after the call that the Lightning were about to tie the game. I explained to her, it is the Buffalo way. Less than a minute later, Tampa Bay tied the game.
A good team finds a way, they stay resilient, they battle against adversity, bad bounces and poor calls. These Sabres are not a good team, and it shows in the fact that they are winless.
I still don’t care if they are the youngest team in the league. This game was in reach. Jhonas Enroth had a stellar effort in goal. Buffalo is still a team without character or chemistry. Not one player took it upon themselves to step up and carry the team and motivate their peers and the home crowd.
As much as I dislike Drew Stafford, he did have a solid first period. He prevented a Lightning goal, and generated a couple of scoring chances. Thereafter, he fell off. Cody Hodgson got himself a goal, and the Sabres power-play looked mildly improved. New fan-favorite Zemgus Girgensons was invisible. Jamie McBain scored the other Sabres goal, in hopes of shedding the cloak of inconsistency that has plagued his NHL career.
Steve Ott, Marcus Foligno, and Mike Weber attempted to engage in fights, but none were entertaining. The punchless Sabres couldn’t even get punches in during these bouts. But hey, they got TWO WHOLE GOALS, doubling their season total! Two goals, against one of the most mediocre defenses in the NHL.
Finally, there is Tyler Myers. Can we get a refund? Not only does he take senseless penalties, but he is also adept at turning the puck over, making inefficient passes, and generally looking dazed and confused. There was also his “play” while the Lightning were busy scoring the game-winning overtime goal. Myers started the sequence by chasing around Tampa Bay forwards with no effect, sprinkled in a little ‘can’t-get-out-of-my-own-teams-way,’ and ended with standing next to the Sabres net all by himself, doing nothing, except watching the winning goal get scored.
I wonder if Darcy Regier, Ted Black, and Terry Pegula are proud of themselves. I wonder how much longer Sabres fans will continue to show up to First Niagara Center. This region deserves a contender, and these Sabres are clearly YEARS away from being one.