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11 March 2007

The Sabres Lost Week

Well, I admit it, a bit sheepishly, I admit it. I bought into the Ales Kotalik, we don't need no stinking Ales Kotalik. Jaro Spacek, ha, who needs him! Max Afinogenov, who needs him when we got Drew!! It all came crashing down this week. It came crashing down in a blaze of mediocrity that has been unseen in Buffalo in few years. The most painful thing was watching this team lose to speed and the transition game; things that are the Sabres hallmark. Hurry back boys we need ya!

It started Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche. The Sabres, coming off a five day break, were facing an Avs team playing its third game in four nights in HSBC arena. All things pointed too a Sabres victory. Did not happen. The Avs dominated the late stages of the game looking far more passionate and fresher and beat the Sabres 3-2. Most people viewed it as a blip on the radar and paid little heed to the warning signs.

Next into HSBC Arena came the Minnesota Wild. The Wild proceeded to forecheck the Sabres to death and capitalize on every mistake the Sabres made, eventually chasing Ryan Miller in favor of newcomer Ty Conklin. Only a fluke goal prevented Wild rookie Josh Harding from recording his second consecutive shutout. The Sabres showed more passion in this game, but showed the scoring touch of Vaclav Varada.

Saturday night the New Jersey Devils rolled into town and beat the Sabres 3-2. The turning point was a short handed goal by Brian Rafalski late in the second period. That goal marked the third straight game Buffalo had surrendered a shorthanded goal while scoring none on the powerplay. The Sabres dominated large stretches of the game but, again, couldn't finish when it counted. Martin Broduer again outplayed Ryan Miller and the Devils reaffirmed to Buffalo fans why they are the team Buffalo least wants to see in the playoffs.

Of course it is only one bad week and the Sabres are still second overall. What the week did though was underscore the fact, which I admit I had ignored, that come playoff time you need your veteran talent. The kids from Rochester did their job but now it is time for the big boys to come back and right the ship.

1 fanatics have replied:

Tom L said...


Winner. Yes, Ghost, the kids have been alright but at some point they were going to run into a wall, and that wall was disciplined, high-quality NHL defensive schemes put into place by excellent coaches who get the most from their players.

Joel Quenneville, Jacques LeMaire and Claude Julien all came in here and put on a clinic on how to exploit an inexperienced lineup.

Chalk it up to a huge learning experience for them. I think of them all Drew Stafford was the one who improved the most over the 3 games, while the others rightly need to go back to Rochester for more seasoning. Ryan can stay for depth reasons.


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