Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver Canucks: Reactions


The media would probably want you to believe that the storyline for tonights game between the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks to be Ryan Miller playing his first game against the Sabres since he left Buffalo.

Sorry, folks, but this is not the Buffalo Sabres team that Ryan Miller played for. Aside from Tyler Ennis, Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, and Mike Weber – these are not the Sabres that Miller played with. Far gone are the Chris Drurys, Danny Brieres, Thomas Vaneks, Brian Campbells, Jason Pominvilles, Derek Roys, Paul Gaustads, Andrej Sekeras – the list goes on.

Sabres fan spent many years debating whether or not Miller was average, above average, or great. All you need to know is that he is posting one of the best goals against averages of his career this year for the Canucks. Being faced against a Buffalo team that is struggling to score (16 goals in their last 11 games, only more than 2 goals in 2 of last 13 games), you knew what the outcome would be tonight.

Canucks 5, Chris Stewart 2.

The real storyline tonight is the Sabres march towards futility records. Now losers of 14 straight games, Buffalo is closing in on the record of 17 straight losses set by the expansion Capitals in the 70’s, and the expansion Sharks of the 90’s. Sadly, these Sabres are not an expansion team. While I get that the Sabres are “rebuilding” (Bettman today proclaimed that nobody is tanking), management should be embarrassed. The team is nowhere near competitive, and it is a slap in the face to any Sabres fan. It would be one thing if the team was keeping the score close on most nights, but this team is incredibly inept. They could not even be in arms length of beating the 29th place team last night.

Cody Hodgson was a healthy scratch. Nobody noticed. If anything, the team was probably better without him. This says a lot, considering the team is full of “filler” players like Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn, Patrick Kaleta, Matt Ellis, and more.

Matt Moulson was a healthy start. I dont think that I have even noticed him in the lineup in the last 20 games. If you are looking for future “leadership,” Moulson is not the one. Either he mailed it in, or he just isnt effective unless he has a top player centering him, such as John Tavares.

Chris Stewart had a strong game. He has played very well as of late, which is sad, because he is potentially going to be gone soon. I think that he could be an excellent complimentary piece on this “rebuilding” team. He can hit and fight, and goes into the dirty areas, including in front of the net. He may not be meant for a first or second line role, but could be an incredible third liner on the right team – which could be the Sabres in a year or two. Please get rid of the true dead weight on the team instead of C-Stew, Tim Murray.

Lastly, and I should not have to say this, but coach Ted Nolan is NOT the problem with this team. Some commenters on this site may think otherwise, but I should not have to point out his successes with a talent-devoid Latvian team in the Olympics, as well as our minimal-talent Sabres teams of the mid-90’s (for those of you who are too young). Nolan may not be getting improvement out of the corpse called Hodgson, but he has gotten Rasmus Ristolainen, Zemgus Girgensons, Nikita Zadorov, and Nic Deslauriers playing well. If anything, try to figure out why captain Brian Gionta took one of the stupidest penalties that I have seen all season.