Game 16: Charmin Soft

After having such a good game against the Senators, the Sabres fell flat in pretty much every respect, losing to the Bruins 6-2 in Boston. Believe it or not, Buffalo actually led at one point in this game and were actually playing really well until Milan Lucic deliberately bowled over Ryan Miller, who eventually left the game with an “upper-body injury.” Naturally, you’d expect a team to respond after watching that, but the response from the Sabres only consisted of a few shoves.  There weren’t many positives in this game for Buffalo. In fact, I could probably count them on one hand, but I digress. Here’s the rest of the recap.

1st Period: As I mentioned before, the Sabres were playing well at one point. They seemed to have built off of their effort in the Ottawa game and were playing a solid defensive game to go along with some good scoring chances generated by Vanek and Roy’s lines. Vanek would open up the scoring in the game, scoring his goal off a rebound behind the net by banking it in off of Tim Thomas’ skate. This was by far the softest goal of the game. Guarding the post is goalie 101 and Thomas failed miserably at it. Around the 13-minute mark of the period, the momentum of the game turned. Milan Lucic took a run at Ryan Miller who lost his helmet on the play and much to my great display, the response of his teammates was feeble and meek. Lucic only got a 2-minute minor for charging on the play, but if there’s any justice, he’ll get Shanabanned. If they weren’t going to physically-respond to what happened, the least they could do is score on the power play, but that didn’t happen. In fact, the power play they ran was lifeless and only fed the Bruins’ momentum. Fortunately, Boston didn’t score, and the Sabres still had a 1-0 lead.

2nd Period: Here’s where the proverbial crap hit the fan. Boston started generating plenty of chances and they finally got on the scoreboard during this period. Only thing was that their pressure had no impact on their first goal they scored. Tyler Myers was nothing more than a human-pylon for Rich Peverely to skate around and he did just that and slipped the puck between Miller’s legs to tie the game up. Shortly after that Boston would score two goals that were only 16 seconds apart. Both of them were on 2-on-1’s. The first was courtesy of a horrible Myers giveaway which sent Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand on their way with only Sekera standing between them and Miller. Sekera then proceeded to not take away the pass or the shot, essentially leaving Miller on his own and Seguin made no mistake and blew the puck by Miller. The next one was essentially the same play, only Ehrhoff was playing the role of Myers while Gragnani was taking Sekera’s place and next thing fans knew, it was 3-1 Boston. Thankfully, the bleeding stopped and the Sabres were only down by two going into the third. The only positive for the Sabres in the second period was Pat Kaleta trucking Zdeno Chara behind the Boston net.

3rd Period: Ryan Miller didn’t start the 3rd period because of his injury and Jhonas Enroth took over the reins. He didn’t fair much better though. Boston would score three more goals during this period. Only difference here was that instead of only the defense throwing up all over themselves, the forwards got in on the act and played crappy defensive hockey a bit too. Boston’s fourth goal got its legs, courtesy of another terrible Ehrhoff pass. The puck went to Rich Peverely who fed it over to a neglected Chris Kelly (thank you Gragnani) for an easy, backdoor tap-in to make it 4-1 Boston. On the fifth goal, Bergeron skated right down the right side of the ice along the boards and Drew Stafford proceeded to run around like a chicken with its head cut off in his own end, disrupting the defense. A couple of passes and a Tyler Seguin snap-shot later, it was 5-1. Finally, Myers and Adam essentially stood still and watched Marchand dance around them for the Bruins’ sixth goal. Buffalo would get a power play goal in garbage time during this period, thanks to Gragnani actually shooting the puck for a change to make it 6-2 and that’s how it stayed.

Here are the quick hits:

-I can’t emphasize enough on how weak of a response the Sabres had to Miller’s hit. Lucic should have been pummeled and harassed the rest of the game. Tim Thomas had a cake-walk in goal tonight and that’s unacceptable, especially after the other team is punking your goalie like Boston was doing. Kaleta and Gerbe were the only ones who actually played like they had something between their legs.

-Matt Ellis was the only positive player in the plus-minus column tonight with a +1. I love Ellis’s game, but that stat says it all about tonight’s game.

-Speaking of plus-minus, it isn’t a reliable stat for defensive play for the most part, but tonight, it told the whole story. Regehr & Leopold were actually solid (both combined for an even game) while Myers, Sekera, Ehrhoff, and Gragnani stunk (all of them combined for a -7). How Mike Weber is unable to crack this lineup is beyond me.

-Props to Vanek and Pominville getting on the scoresheet.

Scoring Summary: 

Buffalo- Vanek (Pominville), Gragnani PP (Ehrhoff, Adam)

Boston- Peverley (Kelly), Seguin (Marchand), Horton (Boychuk, Chara), Kelly (Peverely), Seguin (Bergeron, Marchand), Marchand (Seguin, Chara)

Power Play: 

Buffalo: 1-for-4

Boston: 0-for-3

Scoring Per Period

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

1

0

1

2

Boston

0

3

3

6

Shots On Goal

1

2

3

Total

Buffalo

7

9

7

23

Boston

12

10

13

35

Team Stats

Hits

Giveaways

Takeaways

Faceoffs Won

PIM

Buffalo

14

8

5

25

20

Boston

26

8

7

44

22

Game Scoresheet

 

 

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