There really isn’t much to react to on tonight’s game. The Buffalo Sabres played a decent game in front of a home crowd. They didn’t fall on their face, they didn’t buckle under pressure, and they took the New Jersey Devils into a shootout. No surprise right?
How about the fact that the New Jersey Devils should have been gunning for two points instead of playing it safe against the Buffalo Sabres? They owned the puck possession battle but couldn’t figure out what they needed to do to take the gas out of the Buffalo Sabres.
Granted, its not like the New Jersey Devils are holding a playoff spot and trying to stand pat in the standings – they are on the outside looking in, and should have been desperate for two points.
Instead we get a game that appeared to have the feeling of a mid November game as opposed to one in the final two weeks of the season.
And the Devils could have easily gone over the Buffalo Sabres – but the organization again got goaltending that kept them in the game – he was calm and composed – and even had a couple of Hasek-like saves.
Many Sabres fans probably feel like the team should have given them some of the ticket money back as fans filed out of First Niagara Center, but with tonight’s was worth the money, from start to finish, from opening faceoff to shootout attempt number eighteen.
I put this on Facebook right after it happened, but its worth repeating here – Ville Leino scored the game deciding goal in the shootout, but he still stands at 0 on the season in the record book, as shootout goals don’t count towards individual standings.
Congratulations to Nathan Lieuwen – what a game for the rookie goaltender, and the emotion he showed when he realized he just won that hockey game – well deserved.