Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Knee Jerk Reactions Vs. Florida Panthers

What a crazy game by the Buffalo Sabres, or at least a crazy first period by the boys in blue and gold. Unfortunately, the frigid cold wasn’t enough to slow down the red hot Florida Panthers as they weren’t tired at all from their win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. There were no late game heroics tonight as the Buffalo Sabres blew two leads in the first period alone on way to another one-goal loss.

The Buffalo Sabres brought it in the first period, but seemed to fizzle out with every goal that got past Miller in the first. In the end their effort just wasn’t enough to pull out the W.

Ryan Miller was certainly not on his game tonight allowing three goals in the first period while blowing two different leads by the Buffalo Sabres in the period alone. While all three goals- or at least two- were deflected, they’re goals that Mr. Olympics’ might want to have back. Hard to fault a goaltender who’s defence is poor with 3 shots deflected right in front of him, but still not the greatest first period by Miller. In the second period his shaky play continued as he failed to properly cover the puck and nearly cost the Sabres another goal. Later in the period Miller dropped too early and was easily beat top shelf. Maybe it’s a little pre-Olympic jitters, but Ryan Miller did not look good tonight.

Drew Stafford is making his late bid for to be an injury replacement for the Olympics as he hits his annual goal scoring streak.

Tonight he notched two beautiful goals to give the Buffalo Sabres a 1-0 and 2-1 lead in the first. Stafford played one of his best games this season, and hopefully this Stafford sticks around.

The offence once again looked good tonight during the first and third period, but they were a little absent during the second period when they lost their steam, but were still present in the end. The offence that was swirling around the net all night managed to net 3 goals for the 4th straight game, the only problem is they don’t capitalize on all their opportunities. There were endless power-plays in which the Sabres couldn’t muster much.

In today’s poll I asked y’all what’s been worse for the Buffalo Sabres this season; the offence or defence, However, after tonight I think it’s clear the defence needs to be better. If you want to blame Miller for the 3 goals in the first period you also have to blame the defence in front of him. The defence appears unable to play the body or box out opponents and time after time Panthers are wide open for the tip or screen in front of the net. Another note on the defence, Mark Pysyk was scratched tonight for being “too young,” yet on the 4th Panthers goal he would have been huge. The defence on the Buffalo Sabres simply doesn’t know how to play defence, which is a big problem.

Props to Steve Ott for netting his 100th career NHL goal tonight when scored the Sabres 3rd goal.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Drew Stafford Knee Jerk

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