It would appear re-investing in XM Radio this week came at the right time. I can only imagine what the whiner line (and message boards) are saying about the idea of leaving James Patrick behind the bench permanently.
News flash, Lindy ain’t going nowhere. Seriously though, the team had begun to turn things around before Ruff’s injury. This game was not a magical cure-all because Ruff was watching from the press box.
The fact of the matter is that the Sabres set the tone out of the gate and maintained that attitude for the entire game. It is something the team has struggled to do this season, but they played 60 good minutes tonight and were rewarded on the scoreboard.
Billy Jaffe may have said it best on NHL Tonight. He acknowledged that Buffalo doesn’t have the DNA to push teams around, but they pushed back this evening and proved they aren’t complete pushovers. Despite the fact the Sabres lost each of the fights they were a part of, I was impressed with the physical side of Buffalo’s game.
Ryan Miller turned in another sparkling performance, making 36 saves for his 25th career shutout. The shutout and his recent run will make it tough for Lindy Ruff to rest his starter this weekend. In fact, a Saturday start for Jhonas Enroth could be a long shot.
The Sabres have ran up an impressive run of nine points of their last ten; they’re still in need of a handful of points from their next games. The four points available on Friday and Saturday will go a long way in determining how for real this run could be.
- I give credit to Ryan Miller for being diplomatic about the no goal call he received in the first period. It was an obvious blown call and he admitted that the Lucic incident from earlier in the year likely had some impact on that call.
- Ville Leino has flourished playing on Buffalo’s top line. He has five points in his last six games and four points since receiving the promotion to the wing with Pominville and Roy. Leino made two nifty passes tonight and has slowly begun to look like the player the Sabres were looking for last summer.
- I wonder if Mike Milbury needs to go on the way he does during the intermission and pre/post-game reports. I feel like he is trying to be Don Cherry and he doesn’t need to imitate CBC’s resident curmudgeon. Cherry’s personality has developed for some time, I feel as if Milbury has turned his attitude up a notch recently. I understand his dislike for players who fight with visors (Cherry has dibs on that one) but Brad Marchand is virtually the same guy. So let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?
- I do really like Tim Thomas. I could care less about his political opinions, he is a darn good goalie and seems pretty down to earth. For example, he pretty much gave Tuuka Rask a shoulder shrug and a “no big deal” when he went in to replace the young Finn.
- Cody McCormick is a fine fighter, but he isn’t in the same class of Shawn Thornton. Needing a fighter of that caliber isn’t entirely necessary. But none of the Sabres were able to hold their own tonight, all were over matched. Kaleta bit off way more than he could chew with Lucic and Mike Weber clearly needs to take boxing lessons this offseason, I’m not sure he has ever won a fight in the NHL.
- It was cool to see Tweets about the rowdy Mannheim fans upping the volume late in the game. What is disappointing is the fact that so many fans with such a high hockey IQ felt the need to leave a 6-0 beating of Buffalo’s main rival so early. The louder fans stuck around and made some quality noise as the game came to a close.
- Tyler Ennis is officially the number two center. No need to split hairs anymore. He shouldn’t take another shift at wing for the rest of this season. He gives a mean hockey hug too, eh Harrison?