Jhonas Enroth worked his magic again. If only his name rhymed with magic the way Ryan Fitzpatrick’s does.
It was Buffalo’s second visit to Montreal and the second time they had to rely on their goaltender to keep them in the game for the first 40 minutes. Enroth, despite looking a little sloppy on the two Montreal goals, was the only reason the Sabres had an opportunity to tie the game in the third period.
Lindy Ruff made a great coaching decision entering the third period. He changed 50% of his line up, and it worked. All three defensive pairings were shuffled and Derek Roy was moved between Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville – Luke Adam moved between Drew Stafford and Ville Leino. The change-up created Subway Line 2.0, we will see if Ruff sitcks with those top two lines for long, Adam’s style of play doesn’t seem to suit Stafford and Leino on his wings.
Regardless, the new Subway Line created quick. Jason Pominville wired a clapper in from the high slot on a beauty of a feed from Roy (Vanek picked up a phantom second helper) and Roy tied it with a neat snipe to the same corner Pominville hit earlier. Vanek recorded the primary assist on the Roy goal to finish with two points on the evening.
Vanek’s shootout goal was silky smooth, like many of his shootout tallies in the past. Brad Boyes’ shooutout goal, which would be the winner, was a thing of beauty. Lindy Ruff must love having those types of weapons at his disposal for the skills competition.
The one downer from the night came in the first 40 minutes. Buffalo was sluggish, sloppy in their end and didn’t seem to be in the game. Basically they were giving Enroth the treatment that is typically reserved for Ryan Miller. Still, their goalie kept them alive and they manged to strike in the third to steal their third and fourth points in Montreal. The Sabres have taken four of six on this gruesome run of games, just about the best case scenario for points percentage through the first three.
- Jhonas Enroth is certainly making me a believer. By no means am I ready to kick Ryan Miller to the curb. He showed his chops were still there on Saturday, considering the circumstances under which he attempted to play, Miller showed that he may have consulted Ilya Bryzgalov’s iPhone compass to get out of the woods.
- The Sabres special teams have been impressive lately. Granted, the power play was o’fer on two four-on-three chances, those are the ones that you must score on. Still, the power play has been generating chances and the penalty kill continues to be impressive. Regardless of the goal they gave up tonight (result of a few bad clearing attempts) they buckled down in the third and overtime, exactly what you need from the penalty kill.
- Mike Weber will not be going back to the press box any time soon. He had a very strong outing this evening. Outside of the muck-up he and Regehr made of Montreal’s second goal, he was sound. Compared to the Philly game he looked like a Norris candidate. Tyler Myers will be coming back to the lineup in no time, but I doubt Weber is the one removed for the 6’8″ rearguard.
- It is tough to see Brad Boyes relegated to the fourth line. I feel he brought the right offensive spark to the Gaustad/Gerbe line. While Kaleta gels nicely with those two to create a strong checking line, Boyes is being wasted on the fourth line. No offense to the great Matt Ellis. Still, Tyler Ennis will be back soon and either Ennis or Ville Leino will probably be pushed down with Boyes and either McCormick or Ellis. It isn’t a great situation with the hodgepodge they are dealing with there.
- It is my opinion that Tyler Myers remains in the press box for Wednesday’s game against New Jersey. Give Weber one more outing to really get his feet, identify the true weak link on the blueline (MAG, Sekera etc.) and remove them to reinsert Myers.
1. Brad Boyes
2. Max Pacioretty
3. Erik Cole