Buffalo Sabres vs Edmonton Oilers: Reactions


When people talk about the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres, you will commonly hear references to the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks. You hear how they drafted Crosby and Malkin, how they drafted Kane and Toews. How it is the right way, and how it led both franchises to Stanley Cups. As a Sabres fan, this gets you excited for the future of the club.

What you don’t hear as often, are references to the Edmonton Oilers. A team that selected top draft picks (and still will be), much longer than Chicago and Pittsburgh had to, and has gone nowhere. This is a fate that, as a Sabres fan, you hope does not happen to Buffalo.

When the teams faced each other tonight, there were a total of 17 first round draft picks on the ice. 9 of these players were on the Sabres side, and Buffalo lost. The list does not even include Mark Pysyk, Mikhail Grigorenko, Sam Reinhart, or Nikita Zadorov. Considering this, you get an idea of how important it is that Buffalo develops their picks properly, and hits on as many as they can.

While tonight’s game was much easier to watch than most of the other Sabres games this season, they way that they lost was heartbreaking. Buffalo grabbed a 1-0 lead on a beautiful goal by Matt Moulson in the 2nd, his first of the year. The relief on his face was blatant. The work by Tyler Myers that led to the goal was an unsung moment. Yet, Buffalo blew the lead less than a minute later.

Drew Stafford continued his recent hot-streak, getting his 3rd of the season in the 3rd period. Buffalo proceeded to blow the game for the remainder of the period, dropping this one 3-2. Anyone who reads my articles, knows that my expectations for this season are lower than interest rates for savings accounts at the bank. The prize for a terrible season is the next NHL superstar, and Buffalo has not had one since Dominik Hasek.

Still, when the Sabres play another bottom-feeder team, I expect more. It is one thing to get blown out by a top-contender; it is another to give a victory away to one of the only teams in the league in more disarray than Buffalo. Andre Benoit, a recent healthy scratch and who has done NOTHING to earn a roster spot over Zadorov, was somehow granted the 2nd-most minutes on the team tonight. He rewarded the team with shoddy play, and a minus-2.

Yes, you read that right.

Even more concerning – Buffalo gave up 52 shots tonight. Yes, you also just read that correctly. 52 shots, to the lousy Oilers. Poor Michal Neuvirth, who has played his butt off in goal the last few games, stopped 49 of them. Neuvirth posted a .942 save percentage tonight, and the Sabres lost. Pathetic. I do not even want to hear excuses at this point. I understand that the team does not have the talent that some of the top clubs do, but, the team DOES have players with PLENTY of talent and potential. Especially enough to beat a lowly team like Edmonton.

I will be here again tomorrow, as the Sabres take on the Penguins, for what promises to be….(fill in the blank).

Nov 7, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth (34) looks back into the net as a shot by Edmonton Oilers center Boyd Gordon (27)(not shown) scores during the third period at First Niagara Center. Oilers beat the Sabres 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports