Buffalo Sabres vs Washington Capitals: Reactions

If the Buffalo Sabres keep gaining points in their games, they are going to lessen their chances of getting the top pick in the next NHL Draft. Buffalo pulled off an unlikely shootout win today, 2-1.

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead into the 3rd period, but a miscue by Steve Ott led to the Washington Capitals tying the game. It would be easy to make Ott a game goat for the folly, but he played a solid game for Buffalo, bringing a high level of physicality and dishing out plenty of hits. Ott also assisted on a Drew Stafford goal. Redemption came for Ott when he scored a beautiful goal for the OT winner.

I continue to be impressed by the improved play of Stafford. He only has 4 goals on the year, but Stafford is visibly better under coach Ted Nolan, instead of being the terrible player that he was for the past couple of seasons. With the right cast, and these types of efforts, he is easily a 2nd line winger in the NHL. The only issue that remains with Stafford, is his lack of burying more chances – which is team-wide plague for most of the current Sabres roster.

Zemgus Girgensons continued his solid play against the Caps. With only a couple dozen games of NHL experience, I am looking forward to seeing what happens when he hits his next stage of growth and experience. Girgensons is looking potentially like the best draft pick the Sabres have made in the last decade.

Don’t you wish there was a Winter Olympics every 2 years, just so we could see more dominant seasons from Ryan Miller? Although the Sabres defensive play is vastly improved since the beginning of the season, they had plenty of lapses against Washington, and Miller was there to cover up their mistakes. Miller stood on his head when he needed to. In his last 5 games, Miller has around a .950 save percentage, and stopped 49 of 50 shots in the game tonight, and stopped all 6 Caps shooters in the shootout.

I am loving the new and improved efforts of the Sabres, and the hard-work that they have been putting in under Nolan. The team is now watchable, and I am finally yelling at my television again. The only issue that I have with the team, is the lack of finishers. Buffalo has plenty of players that can make plays, possess the puck, and generate chances…but there is a deficit of players that can put the puck away. Hopefully a couple players can step up, such as Linus Omark and Matt Moulson, and become reliable scorers for the Sabres.



Tags: Buffalo Sabres NHL Reactions Recap Sabres

  • JHizzle75

    You’re preaching to the choir when you talk about Buff’s lack of finish. Every effort should be made to re-sign Miller. We can’t just let him walk without at least making him a decent offer. If he says ” no thanks” then trade him, even if a team just needs him as a rental he should get a great return on a trade. His stock went up a great amount tonight.

    • Jes

      What’s to say Lafontaine and company haven’t offered him a contract yet? I’m 99% sure he will be testing the free agency pool this offseason. Who wouldn’t right? Especially with big name teams like Anaheim and St. Louis having there starters goalies contracts coming to an end. Miller will look elsewhere before he decides he wants to stay here. IMHO he is as good as gone…. I also hope he is gone also…

      On another note JHizzy looks like we are both out of playoffs in NFL. I hope Miami grabs a new QB in the summer. Someone like Vick from Philly (He’ll come cheap). Someone who can actually use Wallace.

      • JHizzle75

        Yeah lol that was painful to watch.
        I’m glad the Chargers won so Pitt couldn’t sneak in there !

        Rumour has it we’re close to naming Benning GM so hopefully if Miller doesn’t want to stay we can get something for him before the deadline. I’d still like to see him stay, I think he has a few good years left.

        • Jes

          I know I hate the lame Steelers too.

          Really? They were saying on CBC hot stove that LaFontaine is close to naming himself GM.

          • JHizzle75

            I’m no hockey insider…lol
            I read the headline on the Sabres news, but when I tried to read the story it wasn’t there. It’s a Fansided headline.

  • [email protected]

    Miller for team USA!

    • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

      And I said he had no chance earlier in the season. Excuse me while I insert foot in mouth . . . .

      • [email protected]

        I figured you had it permanently placed there by now Rich!!

        • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

          Naw. Too cocky. :D But I under-estimated him, that’s for sure.

  • Dano

    Game was great. Lots of energy at FnC tonight. Good to see the crowd back into the games.

  • Ben Chalker

    Could we dare dream Stafford become a tradeable asset come deadline…?

    • Jes

      lol nope.