The Buffalo Sabres fall to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 6-1 and it was riddled with defensive miscues, bad penalties, poor luck, and a plethora of missed calls.
As the Buffalo Sabres fall to a record of 2-2-0 this season, there is still no reason to panic. They got outworked in the first period, showed dominance in the second, and hand plenty of chances in the third. The Sabres continuously drew penalties (multiple drawn by Jeff Skinner) but just could not capitalize at the right times.
Tonight’s game was highlighted by some sloppy defensive play. The return of Johan Larsson did not seem to help this as he was a -2 by the end of the night. Buffalo seemed to be running around the ice in their own zone, and couldn’t penetrate through at the right times, something a player like Remi Elie could have helped with a lot, so seeing Larsson played over him was a disappointment.
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Besides some tough defensive efforts by the Buffalo Sabres, penalties taken at bad times and two breakaways at the close of the game contributed to the solid offensive force of the Colorado Avalanche.
The Buffalo Sabres were on fire in regards to their effort and speed in the last two periods, but they found themselves on the wrong side of the coin every single time. They scored a power play goal at the close of the first period that was taken away from them due to a goalie interference call. Also, I counted 4 goal posts hit at key points of the game; one most notably by Casey Mittelstadt off the crossbar midway through the second period where they could have cut the lead in half.
Beyond those three things, one thing stood out above the rest; the referees’ lack of eyes for important penalties. One in particular that still is frustrating me is the boarding penalty against defenseman Nikita Zadorov. Zadorov in the first period hit Casey Mittelstadt from behind. This is a 6’5, 230lb man running over a much lighter 6’1, 200lb kid and it almost resulted in an injury. Something like that should warrant a higher penalty, especially considering Zadorov’s history. It was a bad sign of how poor the rest of the night would go.
If I had to pick something positive to take away from tonight, it has to be the fact that Rasmus Dahlin looked like a steady NHL defenseman. He scored his first career assist on Buffalo’s only goal, and the rest of the night he was still throwing his body around, and making great plays. No matter what the situation was, the kid played his heart out. Maybe the rest of the Sabres team will play off of that effort going into the next game agains the Coyotes.
A 6-1 loss is a tough pill to swallow for sure, but a firm kicking like that in your own building should be a great motivator to prove that this team is different; that this team is better than last year. I for one am looking forward to the next game.