Nov 21, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) cannot stop goal by Philadelphia Flyers right wing Matt Read (not pictured) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres - Philadelphia Flyers: Knee Jerk Reactions

Well, Buffalo Sabres fans, I don’t know about you, but I was filled with optimism during the first period of tonight’s showdown between Buffalo and the

Philadelphia Flyers.  After all, Buffalo headed to the first intermission up 1-0, the first time all season that the Sabres led heading into the first intermission.

Alas, my optimism gradually dwindled over the course of the second period, as a slew of penalties kept the Sabres from building on their lead, and the Flyers just ground down Buffalo minute by minute.  By the end of the game, the Flyers were playing their best hockey of the night, and the Sabres were just over-matched.  No doubt about it – these two teams are headed in different directions, as Philly seems to be finding its groove and the Sabres are still showing us that they are incapable of playing a full 60 minutes of hockey on any given night.

Well, I guess I should say that MOST of the team is unable to play a full 60 minutes.  Ryan Miller strengthened his case for a spot on Team USA this winter, stopping 42 out of the 45 shots he faced to keep this team from getting blown out of the water, yet again.  Seriously – so many of Buffalo’s games this year could have wound up being absolute laughers if not for the play of Miller (and Enroth, fr the most part).  If Miller doesn’t play in Sochi this February, it will be a crying shame.

Miller may be showing up night in and night out, but Sabres fans, you might want to start checking milk cartons to see if the faces of Matt Moulson or Cody Hodgson can be found in the MISSING section.  What has happened to these two guys?  Ever since Ron Rolston got the boot and Ted Nolan was brought in, the two players the Sabres absolutely need the most have totally disappeared.  It’s evident that Nolan has this team playing slightly better, more fundamentally-sound hockey, but if players like Hodgson and Moulson cannot elevate their level of play, the Sabres are going to struggle to get to 20 wins by the time things are said and done.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres

  • Vic Soga

    Maybe Rolston was not wrong about Moulson and Hodgson??? Why are they still playing together? Hodgson is afraid to get hit. Maybe put him with Grigorenko and Stafford. Ott with Moulson and Ennis. Girg with Leino and Foligno. Scott or Myers in front of the net on the PP. Adam with Tropp and Flynn.

    • Jes

      I’d put Grigorenko with Moulson.

      Ott with Hodgson.

      Scott on PP? Agree with Myers in front of the net, he did great there today, that long stick comes in very handy in front of the net.

      I’d send Flynn down to be honest.

      • Vic Soga

        Should have put Scott on the PP in front of Emery. Another Peters and Emery confrontation. You are right about Nolan. He still thinks he is coaching in the 90′s. Foligno is in his doghouse. Pysyk too. He wants the Matt Ellis type players. He will be called up next?

        • Jes

          Lol that would’ve been awesome. Emery probably would’ve beat him up again but then big John Scott will step in and take him down lol.

          Ya Vic I do not like his coaching style at all, dunno what everyone was raving about. Guess I got all excited for nothing. I think we should’ve just stuck with Rolston. At least our top line was earning there money. Personally I hope new GM brings in his own coach.

          Matt Ellis is probably next, your right about that. Zigomanis probably after that lol.

  • Jes

    I don’t think Nolan’s an offensive coach type. I think he’s more like grind it out type of guy, I may be getting it wrong but that’s the vibe I’m getting. Personally I didn’t watch hockey when he was coach, I started when Ruff was the coach. The year was when we went on that Stanley Cup run. But so far I don’t know what people see in him? I may be wrong, but whatevs. Other than that first game I honestly see very little improvement if at all. Whatever we lead after the 1st period today for the first time this season so it’s something to build on.

    • Andrew

      It has only been a handful of games. Nolan and LaLa will need a little time to evaluate what they have, and figure out what needs to be done.

    • Dano

      “I don’t think Nolan’s an offensive coach type. I think he’s more like grind it out type of guy, I may be getting it wrong but that’s the vibe I’m getting. ”

      Your vibe is correct. The team that went to the Cup was full of grinders.. and not much else.

    • Gordon Sands

      It’s the job of the coach to coach a style that fits the players he has on the team. You can understand that if there were any true offensive players on the team they’d play a more offense oriented style. Right?

  • Ben Chalker

    Trade Miller already.

    Call Doug Gilmour in St-Louis and just eat Miller’s salary, all of it, He’s off the books after this season.

    Ask for a first and Jake Allen or Ty Rattie.

  • Andrew

    I think we are finally seeing that maybe Moulson is not the first liner that he was with a player like Tavares. We may also be seeing that Hodgson is not a first liner without a player like Vanek.

    Maybe both are quality second liners, at best, unless they have elite talent with them.

  • davidmuscalo

    I am pinning my hopes a new GM. Hopefully, he will make some trades to improve the veteran stock on the team. There are lots of draft choices and he has some good trading bait in the talent pool. Ted Nolan, or any coach for that matter, can only do so much with the current sub-par personnel talent.