The Buffalo Sabres were in another close contest that they failed to capitalize on, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in regulation time. It is extremely difficult to continue to pick three Buffalo Sabres to give stars to when they continue to give up an insane number of shots every night – and only manage to average one goal per game. There are very few bright spots to pick on every night – but against the defending Stanley Cup Champions – the young Buffalo Sabres have much to look forward to.
Number 1 Star: Ryan Miller – whether it is because he is trying to justify playing in the Olympics despite being on a bad NHL team, or if he is
back on his game becuase of the contract year – Ryan Miller cannot be faulted for any of the Buffalo Sabres losses. While yes the Mr. Softy pundits are out there – Ryan Miller (and Jhonas Enroth) have been the only reason the Sabres have been in any of the six contests so far this year. Turning aside all but 2 of the 40 shots that got through to him – Miller once again gave his team the chance to win.
Number 2 Star: Yes I know that they gave up a goal, but you have to figure that it is the Chicago Blackhawks and the Buffalo Sabres gave them plenty of opportunities on the power play, but tonight I am giving the second star to the Buffalo Sabres penalty kill unit. Coming into tonights contest they had killed of 14 of 14 penalties taken on the season. The lone goal was the deflated effort on the bogus Thomas Vanek call in the Tampa Bay Lightning game. They continued to excel tonight killing off four out of five, bringing their season total to 18 out of 20 successful kills.
Number 3 Star: Drew Stafford. Before you choke on your post game snack and laugh your ass off at me – he wasn’t a burden on the team tonight, and he did put the puck in the net with the help of a Cody Hodgson pass missing its intended target of Thomas Vanek right in front of the net. The assists went to Cody Hodgson and Mark Pysyk – keeping Hodgson’s point streak alive at four games. Maybe putting in a goal will help get his feel back for the game. Regardless, someone outside of the top line needs to start scoring or the Sabres will be looking at the draft lottery as pretty exciting.