I’ll be honest this was the first of the three games from the Western road trip I was able to watch, but I’m not really sure why I stayed up after the game I just watched. Tonight the Buffalo Sabres learned what a real NHL team looks like and they are far, far from that level of
hockey. The Buffalo Sabres will head back to Buffalo and attempt to pick up the pieces from tonight’s brutal game as they welcome the Los Angeles Kings to town on Tuesday.
Once again the Buffalo Sabres were a no-show in the first period and it literally cost them the game tonight. When your opposition nets a hat-trick in the first period alone you know there is a problem. Tonight is a game that pretty much everyone in the Buffalo Sabres organization would like to forget and if Darcy Regier is smart it would be both Ron Roltson and Ryan Miller‘s last games for the Sabres. The Sabres netminder deserves better than what’s in front of him right now.
- Where has the Steve Ott that Buffalo Sabres’ fans fell in love with gone? The guy wearing number 9 right now is not that guy and giving him the C seems to have been a poor decision. Ott has become invisible, he rarely hits, plays weak defence, isn’t playing with his heart and clearly wants out of town. (He was on the ice for 4 goals against)
- The Buffalo Sabres Defence is absolutely horrible, in fact I’m 90% sure they don’t have any defence. From turnovers in the defencive zone to losing their man and leaving opposing players alone in front of the net. This defence is atrocious and what’s even worse is that the forwards don’t help out in their own end either. When you watch the coverage in the Sabres end you see about 4 players standing around lost and one player running around leaving the goalie out to dry. Sure Ryan Miller wasn’t at his best tonight but with the defence- or lack there of- that the Sabres have no goaltender can help. Somebody needs to teach the defence how to play defence and in a hurry.
- Ron Rolston need to reconsider his defencive match-ups tonight. Why have Nikita Zadorov and Mark Pysyk playing against the Ryan Getzlaf line? Pysyk has been the best defencemen but is still just a rookie and Zadorov was just a heathy scratch the other night. Clearly they were over-matched as Getzlaf nets the hat-trick in the first period.
- On the bright side Mikhail Grigorenko finally scored his first goal of the season tonight and he decided he wasn’t done there adding his second goal of the season in the second period. See what happens when he’s on the ice instead of the press box Rolston? With his first career two-goal game hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Grigorenko, who now has 3 career goals.
- Another positive both Corey Tropp and Zemgus Girgensons had very strong games on offence. They didn’t get on the scoreboard but they battled all night long and were the two best players aside from Grigorenko.
- Keeping Ryan Miller between the pipes was not a smart move by Rolston. It’s clear the team around him didn’t show up and he had no answer to stop the bleeding, Ryan Miller deserves better than this team and being kept in there tonight. Could this be his last game as a Sabre?
- The Cody Hodgson- Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis line fell from grace tonight as they were benched from the 13 minute mark of the second period till the end of the game. Moulson is new in town and the Sabres are trying to flip him, shouldn’t you showcase him instead of benching him?
- Stat of the night- this is the 50th game in which Ron Rolston has been the coach of the Buffalo Sabres and the Sabres have won just 9 of those 50 games.
That was one heck of a way to end the road trip, time for the Sabres to catch the first flight out of Anaheim and regroup back in Buffalo. You can only go up from here right?