Game 14: A Wild & Woolly Hall of Fame Induction Game

It wasn’t pretty, but the Sabres pulled out a 6-5 OT victory over the Winnipeg Jets on the night Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret were being inducted into the Sabres hall of fame. If you liked defensive hockey, this game would have sent you to a psych ward. It was that bad.

1st Period: The way both teams played on defense was reminiscent of the Jets-Flyers game when the Jets won 9-8. Both team’s goalies were hung-out to dry. I don’t really know what game those people who were doing “Bronx cheers” for Miller were watching, but those goals weren’t on him. Sekera and Myers were directly responsible for two of the three Jets goals and three guys were on one side of the ice, leaving Bryan Little all sorts of room to walk in for a wide-open shot on Miller for goal #3. Fortunately, the Sabres scored three goals of their own. After the Jets jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Derek Roy cashed in on the power play, courtesy of a Tyler Myers slap-pass off the boards. Shortly after, Paul Gaustad got a great fore-check going, won a battle along the boards, and got the puck to Gerbe who then chipped it out front to Corey Tropp who got his 1st career NHL goal to tie it up at 2-2. Buffalo found themselves losing again, 3-2, but then Gaustad made another nice play short-handed doing a spin-o-roma pass to Jason Pominville who tied the game up at 3-3. Buffalo failed to convert on a 5-on-3 to end the period. The defensive pairings looked awful for the Sabres.

2nd Period: This period didn’t feature as much scoring as the first, but it still had some exciting moments. The Jets capitalized on a power play opportunity to make it 4-3 early on. Miller’s overreaction and Derek Roy losing his man led to that goal. Cody McCormick got into a heck of a fight with Tanner Glass and caved his face in. Glass was grimacing a lot in the penalty box. Vanek non-chalent body language should be trademarked. He basically just casually waltzed in and cranked a slapshot into the top corner of the net and didn’t even bother to celebrate. The defensive play was better, but that’s not saying much considering how bad it was in the first. Buffalo was still allowing clean slot-passes to be completed by Winnipeg on a routine basis. Only difference is that they didn’t get burned as much during this period. Vanek and Pominville really shined during this period. Tyler Myers looked like a deer in the headlights.

3rd Period: Almost a carbon copy of the 2nd period. Bad defense by both teams and both teams only scored a goal a piece.  The Jets got theirs when Myers lost a battle along the boards and Sekera forgot about his side of the ice, leaving Dustin Byfuglien all alone to shoot on Miller. On their third 5-on-3 of the night, Buffalo tied the game up at 5-5, thanks to a Derek Roy snipe. This game would end up going to OT and Buffalo is just lucky that the Winnipeg is so awful. They certainly didn’t deserve to get a point with the way they played defensively.

OT: There would be no shootout tonight. Gerbe drew a penalty to give the Sabres a 4-on-3 power play late and Jason Pominville took a shot that went in off of Vanek’s foot to give them the win.

Onto the quick hits.

-The ceremony for Dale Hawerchuk and RJ was amazing. I got goosebumps watching the RJ montage of calls.

-Did I mention how much I hated the defense tonight. So many completed passes into the slot for the Jets. No one, except maybe Ehrhoff and Leopold resembled anything close to being good. Sekera and Myers were both terrible. I can forgive Rej for having an off game. It was his first one this season. However, Myers has had bad games more often than not.

-Vanek, Roy, Pominville, and Gaustad were awesome tonight. The Rochester-core got the job done.

-I’ve never seen a team be as undisciplined as the Jets were tonight. Roy did get away with pulling a Briere-special in front of the goalie though.

-I think you can blame Miller for only one of those goals tonight (the 4th one). He had no help from his defense on the other goals.

-Corey Tropp had an impressive game. Props on his 1st career NHL goal.

-The power play had a great night, going 4-for-12.

-Buffalo was spectacular on face-offs tonight. They won 50 draws tonight, twice as many as Winnipeg did.

-That play Gaustad made to Pominville for the Sabres first shorty of the year should make Sportscenter’s top 10 plays.

Scoring Summary:

Buffalo- Roy PP (Myers),  Tropp (Gerbe, Gaustad), Pominville SH (Gaustad), Vanek PP (Boyes, Roy) ,  Roy PP (Pominville, Ehrhoff), Vanek (Pominville, Gragnani)

Winnipeg- Flood (Glass, Slater), Little (Wheeler, Ladd), Glass (Wellwood), Little PP (Byfuglien, Stapleton), Byfuglien (Wheeler)

Power Play:

Buffalo: 4-for-12

Winnipeg: 1-for-5

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

OT

Buffalo

3

1

1

1

Winnipeg

3

1

1

0

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

OT

Total

Buffalo

19

9

14

3

45

Winnipeg

12

12

6

1

31

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

14

12

6

50

15

Winnipeg

18

10

7

25

39

Game Scoresheet

 

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