It was a lousy night for the Buffalo Sabres, as they dropped a home game against the Nashville Predators, 4-1.
The game itself was very uninspiring, as the teams did not even combine for 50 shots. The Sabres, in particular, were not good – which can be expected when you glance at their roster. Recently, they have found ways to be competitive in most games, but this was not one of them.
Jhonas Enroth only faced 20 shots, but could only manage to stop 17 of those. Various members of the Sabres defense made numerous gaffes, which should not be happening this deep into the season from tenured players. Mike Weber pinched unnecessarily on a play that led to a Preds goal, and Henrik Tallinder did the same exact thing later in the game. Alex Sulzer flat-out does not belong on the team, and neither does Jamie McBain. McBain could be seen fumbling with the puck all night long, making errant passes, and somehow still gets power-play time.
Extremely pitiful stat of the night: the Sabres defensemen combined for a total of six hits.
The lone bright spot for Buffalo is the chemistry between Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis. The pair combined for the Sabres only goal, and created so many chances, that they could have generated five or six goals if the puck gods had bounced their way.
Cory Conacher had another solid game. There is still room for improvement from him, and I am interested in seeing what a full season with coach Ted Nolan can do for him. He provides nice speed, skates hard, and actually throws his body despite his size. With more time with his Sabres teammates and the coaching staff, he could be quite a pickup – especially considering that we gave up nothing to get him.
Nick Deslauriers also looked decent. He is visibly not NHL-ready, but he is not far off. The energy, excitement, and effort that he has been displaying places him into the prototype of a player that Sabres fans usually fall in love with.
Ville Leino continued to be terrible, and appears to have no interest in shaking the label of potentially being one of the worst free-agent signings in hockey history.
With the Sabres loss, they continue to hold onto their last-place spot in the league, giving them great odds at netting the first overall pick in the upcoming NHL entry draft. Their next game is against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.