What an unbelievable play by Roy on that first goal. Took up three defenders and then Lydman made a nice jump on the play and was able to score the Sabres 4th goal by defensemen. Yes, 4.
More importantly, Derek Roy has finally come around and has scored 15 points in his last 14 games. Guess him and Vanek don’t need to be on the same line.
I’m not sure how I really feel on this, but when someone’s stick shatters and it’s the short change why don’t they just skate to the bench quick. I realize that they can block the shot, but they are basically defenseless and can’t put any pressure on the puck? I think I read John Bucigross write that once, but I can’t remember. It happened tonight on the PK and just seemed like he was 15 feet from the bench and would’ve been better served getting a stick.
Jochen Hecht is so deceptively fast, he either catches up to someone or pulls away from them.
Sekera continues to make bad turnovers in the zone. He made a terrible, terrible play that led to Toronto’s goal. After the turnover they were scrambling around and you could almost feel the goal was coming. He did make a good one-on-one play right after and then took a stick right to the face which came at a great time because Toronto had dominated the last three minutes of the period.
Miller put forth a solid effort, but I hate that they basically scored two blue line goals. This was a tale of two games. The Sabres did a phenomenal job through the first 37 minutes, but the Leafs definitely won the last 23.
I think Stafford is dreaming of wide open nets.
The power play is awful. It’s the one thing that is really hurting. They aren’t scoring enough goals and they are blowing these opportunities and doing so badly. Through four power plays tonight they had one shot and that four minute power player was a disaster. I’m not sure what they can do to improve it, but it needs to become a point of emphasis because they really are playing pretty well as a whole besides that.
God I hate the Leafs.
I’m so excited about tonight’s game. I love the way the Sabres have played the last 3 games and think that there’s going to be that little extra energy in the building tonight. I think it’s a big game for the Sabres to continue this ride and get another game over .500 and plus I hate the Leafs.
There’s an article today on Thomas Vanek and it is really more just a numbers piece and not so much an article, but it points out just how valuable Thomas Vanek has been to the Sabres. He’s scored 28.9% of the our goals, not including anything in shootouts. That’s absurd. And where you want to attribute that to the lack of others scoring to support him that’s fine, but this team plays better when Vanek scores and need him to keep doing so tonight in is a pretty big game. If you really want a good Vanek piece go check out Top Shelf.
I’m hoping that Pominville’s three points from the other night carries over. He quietly had a great game and probably made the play of the game keeping the puck in the zone that led to Vanek’s second goal.
I’m also interested in seeing how Nathan Gerbe does again tonight. I think it’ll be interesting for him in his second home game in a divisional rivalry with a sea of Toronto fans in the 100 level. I’m not so worried about his goals right now. I like that he’s skating around hard, finishing checks and creating chances. I know it’s premature, but watching them play Tampa Bay the other night and Martin St. Louis felt like he could turn into that type of player. I just don’t see how they’re going to send him back to Portland for long, if at all.
Jerry Sullivan wrote one of his quibbling back and forth articles yesterday that wasn’t my favorite but brought up some relevant points. This team needs Ryan Miller (and Thomas Vanek) to be their best players on a night in and night out basis. There’s times when that happens and they look unstoppable, but at times they’re beyond frustrating. I love Ryan Miller, but at times he is a microcosm of this team and city. He does let in soft goals and get out of position in weird time and needs to elevate his play to a high, consistent level. I believe he will as this team continues to get of age in front of him. Vanek has gotten so much better of being that model of consistency. Even in the Penguins game when the announcers were killing him; he was working hard, playing hard and those are things I can live with.
The point is that this team needs to find consistency and I think it starts with tonight in a big divisional game. I just need to see what I’ve seen the last three games. Good physical play, sound defensive plays, killing penalties, a good forecheck and scoring opportunity goals. Those things win hockey games and I think this team is finally starting to know that an ugly goal and a pretty goal still put one on scoreboard.