The Buffalo Sabres lost tonight on the road against the St Louis Blues, 2-1. The Blues at the top spot in the NHL, while the Sabres occupy the basement, so the result was nothing less than expected.
The fact that Buffalo hung on and kept the score close all game was a pleasant surprise. I have watched quite a few Blues games since the Sabres sent Ryan Miller and Steve Ott to St Louis, and the Blues were clearly not giving their all. I imagine that this infuriated their coach, Ken Hitchcock, but whatever. The players probably knew that they wouldn’t need too much effort to beat what is basically a minor-league team in the Sabres.
The Sabres only mustered 3 shots in the first period. Yes, THREE. Way to set the tone.
Buffalo already fields a mediocre roster as it is, and to be without players like Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers, Henrik Tallinder, Chris Stewart, and neither of their starting goalies, didn’t help matters. Marcus Foligno was lost to an injury only minutes into the game. Nathan Lieuwen was surprisingly solid once again in net for Buffalo, only allowing 2 goals.
Cody Hodgson was the best player for Buffalo tonight, and I am glad that his work and efforts were rewarded with a goal near the end of the game. Brian Flynn also had a very good performance. None of the other Sabres forwards had any notable showings tonight, in my opinion.
Jake McCabe made his NHL debut tonight. I thought he held his own very well, especially for a first game. He stood up Ryan Reaves at the line on one play, and jumped into the rush on another and wound up with a solid scoring chance.
Rasmus Ristolainen was AWFUL tonight. Turnovers and miscues were the name of his game. He was caught chasing the play around during the Blues first goal. Mike Weber and Jamie McBain continued with their typical uselessness.
Thankfully, this season is almost over. Only 12 more days until the draft lottery, when we will find out if Buffalo gets the top overall pick in this years NHL draft.