The last time the Sabres won at least two games in a row they were sniffing the top of the Eastern Conference standings and looking like a contender. Then Milan Lucic happened, the team hit the skids and spiraled to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Alas, the Sabres won two-straight. Ryan Miller made 27 saves, Paul Gaustad had three(!) points and Ville Leino even scored a goal in the 3-1 victory over Montreal.
The Sabres did indeed score three goals, but the real story was hanging tough while trailing and eventually leading by just one. Despite giving up an early goal, Leino tied the game and Gaustad notched the game winning goal in the third.
The pair of victories have been sandwiched by the All-Star break. But what began as a truly ugly road trip, has closed with a little bit of hope. The Sabres now play three of their next thirteen at home, this stretch will truly determine where this season will be when the chips are down.
- Luke Adam watched from the press box this evening. It was a questionable choice considering the youngster had just returned from a weekend surrounded by the best players in the game. However, given his recent play, he certainly warranted some time watching in street clothes. If a healthy scratch in Montreal does for Adam what it did for Tyler Myers, then sit the kid down.
- The big story comes via Paul Gaustad. Gaustad chirped Max Pacioretty late in the game, asking “Where’s Chara?” Montreal is pretty angry about the whole situation, but it is probably getting overblown a tad. First of all, a chirp is a chirp. They are jabs meant to irritate or infuriate and you leave them on the ice. Montreal basically asked the same thing of Gaustad regarding the Lucic/Miller incident; so Gaustad responded in kind. On a side note, I’m fairly certain P.K. Subban has tossed out some real off-color nonsense himself. So Habs fans may need to temper their fury on that one. Lastly, for a city/fanbase up in arms over their coach being unilingual, they get awfully upset over a cheap chirp. The fact that the best man for the job may be chased out of town for not speaking French is embarassing for that franchise, city and fanbase. But it’s cool, get mad at a guy for tossing out a chirp during the game.
- Ryan Miller turned in another terrific performance. His last three outings have been pretty sharp, in my opinion. His team quit on him in Winnipeg, but he played a strong game. You have to like Miller’s attitude and work ethic recently. He will be the key to any sort of run the Sabres put together.
- Tyler Myers showed a strong physical side tonight. He also got caught up ice on the Montreal goal. I’m okay with him playing an active game, so long as his partner can support him. Pairing him with Christian Ehrhoff may not be the best choice because Ehrhoff is also an active threat offensively.
- Hey! Ville Leino scored a beauty tonight. His puck possession may be the best on the roster, quite a shocker to see him play a productive game skating with the team’s better players, no?
- Lastly, It’s cool if the Canadiens players are quick to jump on Gaustad for being a marginal talent. But when Carey Price says he is irrelevant during the game, he should check the gamesheet. Goal and two apples for Goose tonight, also 60% at the dot with two blocked shots.