If no news is good news, should I just stop here?
The Buffalo Sabres lost a close game at home tonight, 6-3, to the Anaheim Ducks. When I say close, I mean that it could have been much worse.
Sure, the Sabres are going to struggle, since the team is chock-full of rookies and youngsters. Yet, in tonight’s game, the Sabres were facing a Ducks team that was featuring five rookies of their own – and Buffalo still got demolished. At home, no less. Flat out – the compete level was NOT there for the home team.
Buffalo managed only 17 shots on goal tonight. One of the lone bright spots is that Tyler Myers finally scored his first goal of the season. It was one of those nights where Myers looked like he could become an impactful player in the NHL, in contrast to most nights where he looks clumsy and mediocre. Whether or not Myers can actually develop into a Norris-contending player remains dependent upon whether he can put in consistent games of solid play.
One of the dark spots tonight was Jhonas Enroth. The ‘tender to take over once Buffalo finally finds a trading partner for Ryan Miller, Enroth let in 6 of 29 shots tonight. Imagine if it would have been the usual 40+ shots that the Sabres typically surrender. It seemed like most of the Ducks goals were occurring with Mark Pysyk and Christian Ehrhoff both on the ice – 2 players who are expected to be among the most defensively-responsible for Buffalo.
Curiously, coach Ron Rolston decided that Mikhail Grigorenko should be a scratch tonight. In my opinion, this is a maddening decision. “Grigs” was coming off one of his finest games of the season, winning 7 of 9 faceoffs against the Rangers, and leading in Sabres ‘Corsi Numbers’ for 5-on-5 play in that game. The team employs the man who invented ‘Corsi Numbers,’ yet the team pays no attention to them?
If you want a positive from me – the Sabres loss tonight improves their odds of getting Sam Reinhart in the 2014 NHL Draft. As hard as it might be, I still love the Sabres, but they are sure as hell hard to watch this season.