If yesterday’s 4-2 loss in St. Louis came during any other season, if would have been just a road loss. Buffalo had scored the first goal, yielded three to their opponent before cutting the lead to one before having the game iced with an empty net goal. However, because this came as the Sabres’ 12th-straight road loss, it has much more meaning.
Considering the Sabres were playing one of the league’s hottest teams and facing the hottest goaltender of the past few weeks, the outcome could have been much worse. Compared to the dismal effort shown in the previous three games, this was an improvement. Yet, there were still plenty of shortcomings.
The Sabres received goals from two defensemen. However, the forwards were shutout and only two (Ville Leino and Jason Pominville) registered points. Buffalo only had 21 shots on goal (three in the third) and seven were taken by defensemen. No player on the Buffalo roster had more than two shots.
Ryan Miller had a strong game, stopping 23 of 26 on the night. He made numerous big saves while the game was still in doubt. Two St. Louis goals, including the game winner, came with two players right on Miller a top the paint. Yet again, it was a night that Miller didn’t get much support from the players in front of him.
It just looked like another game where one of the wheels was broken, yet again. In a season where the forwards have been barely visible, they didn’t even show up last night. Once again, it make little difference who is in goal when your team isn’t scoring goals.
- Tyler Myers had a pair of points last night, but had his fair share of struggles during the game. His game has been solid since his return, but he is still making obvious gaffes in his own zone. At some point he needs to grasp the concept of establishing a physical presence and playing a sound defensive game. He is over-skating and over-pursuing a bit too much lately.
- There is always a point in each season that Thomas Vanek hits the skids. It would appear the time finally came for him recently. His offensive contributions have been minimal and he hasn’t appeared to have much gas in some games. Perhaps the injuries that hampered him recently have caught up to him. Hopefully the All-Star break can mend the team’s leading goal scorer.
- The Subway Line was back together, although they didn’t yield great results. Lindy Ruff was smart to put Luke Adam back between Vanek and Pominville. They remain the best line the team has had all season, there was no reason to keep the most effective offensive players apart any longer.
- Maybe the trade market for some of the Sabres that are being shopped is keeping much action from occurring. However, you have to wonder what approach Darcy Regier will take in regards to the players he will move and the pieces he will bring in.
- It was to be expected, but the Sabres penalty kill has seriously tailed off as of late. The unit was once the strongest part of the team and it is now one of the largest weak points.