Buffalo Sabres Vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: Knee Jerk Reactions


After a heartbreaking loss the night before at the hands of the Flyers, the Buffalo Sabres headed into Toronto to take on their rivals from the North in the second half of a back to back. Tonight’s game was the 5th and final meeting between these two rivals this season and considering they began with a line brawl it’s was only fitting it ended in a dramatic high scoring affair, which needed a shootout to determine a winner.

After watching tonight’s very interesting game, I have something to say to Tim Murray; I honestly wish you the best of luck with this team, rebuilding them will be no easy task. I certainly do not envy the task you have ahead of you, Mr. Murray.

I really feel sorry for anyone who suits up between the pipes for the Buffalo Sabres with the defence- or lack there of- that is in-front of them. It doesn’t seem to matter who it is, everyone from Mike Weber to Christian Ehrhoff continually lets down the netminders. Not only is it tough for goaltenders to win games when their forwards can’t score, it’s even more difficult when their own defence lets them down night after night. Ryan Miller was beaten twice on shots screened by his own defenceman, including Christian Ehrhoff tonight. The defence gets caught standing around unable to cover their man until it’s too late and it’s just a big hot mess resulting in goals. Honestly, there is no other way to describe the Sabres defence.

There were at least 15 scouts at the ACC tonight to see the Leafs and Sabres battle. While having a few scouts is normal, 15 means something is up and hopefully they were there to examine Sabres players.

After watching Ville Leino play tonight there is no doubt in my mind that the Buffalo Sabres HAVE to buy him out at the end of this season. I don’t even care about the rising cap floor next season, he is not worth 5 cents of his contract.

Leino won’t shoot, he won’t drive the net and it looks as if he is allergic to both the puck and playing below the hashmarks. Tonight Leino was wide open in the slot with the perfect opportunity to snipe his first of the season but instead chose to find a teammate. That teammate was not open and the Sabres offence died.

Despite being replaced by Drew Stafford and being demoted to the third line tonight, Zemgus Girgensons continued his strong play.

Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

No matter where you slate him, Girgensons is going to give it his all every single night. In the first period alone he had 3 shots and 4 hits and he followed that up in the second with a hard earned penalty shot. He can’t seem to find the back of the net but he is still one of the most exciting guys to watch. Cody Hodgson also continued his strong play since returning to the ice from injury scoring the 3rd Sabres goal and using his speed to draw penalties.

Maybe, just maybe the Buffalo Sabres are finding their offence having scored  3 goals in 2 straight games. Perhaps the goaltenders can finally get that goal support that has been missing all season or maybe they just need to play the Leafs more often.