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.

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