Game 46: We All Saw This Coming

Just like the title says, I don’t think anyone anticipated a different result with how good the Blackhawks are, especially at home. The Sabres continued their descent towards the basement of the Eastern Conference with a 6-2 loss in Chicago. Jhonas Enroth got the loss in goal.


1st Period: It wasn’t the ideal start for the Sabres. Chicago had some early momentum, thanks to turnovers by Myers and Sekera. Fortunately, no scoring resulted from them. Buffalo slowly started to play better and eventually got the first goal of the game. Hecht made a great pass to Pominville who was inexplicably given a ton of room to receive the pass and skate into the Blackhawks’ zone. From there, he sniped Corey Crawford to give the Sabres an early 1-0 lead. A couple of minutes later, Roy inexplicably hooked Pat Kane to give the Blackhawks their first power play of the chance and they would make Buffalo pay. Rookie forward Andrew Shaw got his 5th goal in eight games because Leopold and Weber both somehow lost Shaw. Technically it wasn’t a power play goal, but it may as well have been since the goal occurred four seconds after the penalty expired. Chicago would get a real power play goal about four minutes later though, courtesy of a Mike Weber penalty. Jonathan Toews would get the 2nd Blackhawks goal for two reasons: Pominville let the shooter have tons of room and once again, Leopold lost his man, Toews in front. The score would stay 2-1 going into the 2nd.


2nd Period: Thanks to Pat Kaleta *ahem* refusing to drop the gloves after a hit, Buffalo got a power play early on. Because of some nice passing by Myers and Boyes, Pominville found himself with another chance to score and he made no mistake, potting his 2nd goal of the game to tie the score, 2-2. Apparently, Ville Leino wasn’t satisfied with Buffalo tying the score because he made one of the most asinine passes that I’ve ever seen someone make in their to turn the puck over. Marian Hossa took the puck, pretty much skated in uncontested, and scored on Enroth to give Chicago the lead back, 3-2. Jamal Mayers would board Gaustad just over the half-way point of the period to give the Sabres their second power play chance.  They didn’t score on it, but they seemed to have gained some momentum from it. Buffalo seemed to ramp of the physical play a bit and play with a little more urgency.

That didn’t matter to the Blackhawks though. The Sabres got caught on a change, Mike Weber lost his man, and Enroth did a bad job reading the play, which resulted in a goal by Jimmy Hayes on the odd-man rush to expand the Blackhawks lead to 4-2. Andrew Shaw would take a hooking penalty on Myers late in the period though to give the Sabres a chance to get closer to tying the game. The Blackhawks did a great job killing off the penalty though and rendered Buffalo’s power play completely useless during that chance. Andrew Shaw did score a goal with about 20 seconds left that should have counted, but apparently, the ref thought it was a hand-pass and blew it dead. The chance happened because Weber could tie-up his man, Krueger who tip the puck into the air so Shaw could have the opportunity to score. Since the goal didn’t count, the score remained 4-2 Chicago with the 3rd period looming.


3rd Period: Despite outplaying the Blackhawks to start the period, Buffalo found themselves down three goals because of a goal by Dave Bolland. Jimmy Hayes made a great drop-pass to help set up the shot. Despite the great plays made during that sequence, that was a shot that Enroth should have saved. The puck support was also atrocious on the Chicago goal. Brennan would get a penalty a couple of minutes later for holding the stick and Myers would get one for hooking  a few seconds after that to give the Blackhawks a long 5-on-3. Chicago made short work of Buffalo on that chance to make it 6-2. Toews won the face-off and eventually got the puck back at the top of the circle and beat Enroth short-side. Honestly, from that point on, not much happened. Chicago sat back and just played defense like Detroit did the other night and Buffalo didn’t do anything on offense outside of a decent shot by Luke Adam that Corey Crawford saved.


Onto the quick-hits:

-How does this team survive this road trip without some sort of change(s) being made? Maybe getting humiliated on national television will result in some changes.

-Without Vanek and Pominville, this team would probably be worse than Columbus.

-Mike Weber needs a new team ASAP.

-Buffalo is light-years away from being as good as teams like Chicago and Detroit.

-Another game, another injury. Gaustad left the game and never came back. Oy vey.

-Lost in all of this was the good games Tyler Myers and Andrej Sekera had.

-I’ve never heard a national broadcast rip a team to shreds like Versus did to the Sabres tonight.

-If Chicago was interested in Roy or Leopold at all, I doubt that they are any more.

-I’m praying that my 49ers can win this week so I can look forward to watching them in the Super Bowl two weeks from this Sunday. This hasn’t been a good year for the Braves and it’s been a godawful one so far for the Sabres with no end in sight.

Game Scoresheet