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Sabres vs. Panthers 11/18/09 Postmortem November 18, 2009

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.
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The Sabres are coming off of an impressive two-game performance. That always makes me leery. Why? Because, let’s face it, the Sabres don’t tend to play these games well – it’s like it’s an emotional letdown or something.

The stats after one period made it look like Florida won the period. That’s not what I saw, though. Yes, they blocked shots, won more faceoffs, and got some good rushes, but it seemed like the Sabres were the better team. That wasn’t the story in the second or third periods, unfortunately. Florida simply wanted this game more. Why are the Sabres so disinterested in mid-week home games against weaker opponents?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the penalized player coming back to the bench after the other team scores? Eesh.

The Pens have five injured d-men. Ouch. I heard they were recruiting in the beer leagues in Pittsburgh.

Liked:

  • I’m falling in love with Paul Gaustad more and more every game. As people who know me can tell you, even though my favorite player is Jason Pominville I have a huge soft spot for defense. I played defense in soccer for years, and I understand how challenging it can be. Gaustad plays defense like his life depends on it. You’ve got to respect that if you’re the opponent.
  • The beautiful clearing passes by Tyler Myers during the first Florida power play. Like I said, I love good defense.
  • Captain Rivet’s got some offense!
  • The worst kind of player to face, I would think, would be one who plays with no fear. I think that’s part of the reason Pat Kaleta draws so many penalties.

Didn’t like:

  • I didn’t see the first goal, but I flinched as soon as I saw Ryan Miller trying to get rid of the puck after the initial save. Turns out, I was right. What were you thinking, Ryan Miller?
  • One hit after an entire period? Are you kidding me?
  • The power play 5-6 minutes into the second? Total crap.
  • 14 giveaways halfway through the game. That’s not good. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.)
  • Missed shots and opportunities. The puck was sitting in the Florida crease like a big, juicy steak so many times I thought I was going to see a pack of Dobermans going after it.
  • Bad penalty by Kaleta. However, I can excuse him for it because he does draw so many penalties. Unfortunately the Panthers scored, and that pretty much stuck the fork in the Sabres.
  • They showed Lindy Ruff on the bench shaking his head and frowning with about a minute left in the game. Funny enough I was doing exactly the same thing.
  • When did Miller become a sieve? Did he go out drinking last night or something? Apparently the entire team went on a bender – none of them were worth much tonight.

The Sabres play Boston on Friday and Ottawa on Saturday. I hope they don’t get distracted by Carrie Underwood in the crowd at the Ottawa game – apparently she’s still dating Mike Fisher. At this early-ish point in the season both Boston and Ottawa are on the outside looking in. The difference between them and the Sabres seems to come back to goals allowed, which makes sense since the Sabres don’t allow too many shots and Ryan Miller has the best save percentage and GAA in the NHL. (Maybe not after this game, though.)

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