The worst team in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres, did not make any advances towards leaving the basement of the league tonight. The team dropped tonight’s game in Ottawa against the Senators, 2-1.
While I am glad that the team has been more competitive under Ted Nolan, watching the team lose close games like this one are still painful. The Sabres fired 41 shots on the Senators – it is pathetic that only one found the back of the Ottawa net. Buffalo has now only won 7 of their 31 games. Between the Buffalo Bills, and these Sabres, it is an extremely numbing time to be a Buffalo-sports fan.
Tyler Ennis put forth a superb effort tonight, as did Drew Stafford. The pair combined for 13 shots on net, with Ennis notching the only goal. Is it a contract year for Stafford? We have not seen this level of compete from his since his last contract year. It feels weird rooting for him again, and seeing him perform well, after hating on him for the last couple years.
Ryan Miller, as usual, kept the team in the game, stopping 30 of 32 shots. Will he stay with Buffalo beyond this season? Doubtful. Will he be traded before the deadline? Also doubtful. If you look at this history of the league, it is quite rare for a top goalie to be traded mid-season. Unless a top contender in the NHL loses their #1 netminder, I think odds are low that he gets moved.
I am still not sure why Henrik Tallinder was brought here, nor do I know what his role is. I never see him making any significant contributions, nor game-breaking plays. Rather, it seems like he is always bungling around the ice during most opponents goals. Yet, there he is, usually on the top D pairing. It is pretty telling when two of your top defensemen (Tallinder and Jamie McBain) were castaways on teams that didn’t even make the playoffs last year. While I agree that the unit, as a whole, has improved since the beginning of the year, they still aren’t winning the Sabres any games. Tyler Myers is hitting an age where he should be entering beast-mode, and it still hasn’t happened.
The newly elected Sabres fan-favorite, Zemgus Girgensons, was invisible for much of the night. ZG threw one of the best hits of the night, but did not do much else beyond that.
At this point, my biggest disappointment is in Matt Moulson. Moulson was on pace for a 45 goal season while he was with the Islanders. Since being traded to Buffalo, he is on a pace for 18 goals over a full 82-game season…pretty damn pedestrian, if you ask me.
Until next time…