The 2011-12 NHL season is in the books for the Buffalo Sabres. Ultimately, it was a disappointing year considering the mid-season struggles and the failure to reach the playoffs. I’ll attempt to merely focus on yesterday’s loss in Boston.
Brad Boyes enjoyed what should be a nice swan song with the Sabres, picking up a pair of goals. I fully expect that he will be seeking a new city to play in for the 2012-13 season. Boyes’ first two goals staked the Sabres to a 2-1 lead before Jason Pominville’s 30th goal gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead. However, as was the case for portions of the season, Buffalo’s two-goal lead was not enough for a victory.
Jhonas Enroth was hardly to blame, turning aside 37 shots (including six in overtime). Tyler Seguin scored a pair and Brad Marchand tied the game on an interesting piece of defense from the Sabres. Enroth didn’t get enough playing time this season and it shows in his record. Winless since November, Enroth wasn’t the player so many fans fell in love with last spring. I’m wondering if the love affair would continue if he was indeed the full-time starter?
Regardless, yesterday’s failure was just another chapter in a season full of them. It was a meaningless game, so the outcome matters little in my opinion. The season finale was basically bonus hockey for me and that is how I treated it. Now comes a few months of playoff hockey and then what should be an interesting offseason for the Sabres organization.
- Good on Boyes to pick up that pair of goals. He has caught a bad wrap during his time here and has justified much of his criticism. Boyes was largely misused for most of his tenure but didn’t find much success with the power play time he was given most of the time.
- Brayden McNabb was rewarded with some serious ice time in Boston. He should be contending for a spot with the top-six next fall. Hopefully he continues to get big minutes for the remainder of the year in Rochester.
- McNabb has shown some great attributes. His physical game and two-way skills make him quite valuable. T.J. Brennan has been less impressive in my opinion, I think he will be an admirable cog to fill a spot until a player like Mark Pysyk is ready for the NHL.
- Great to see Jason Pominville hit 30 goals. He had a great year and deserved that milestone. Too bad Thomas Vanek couldn’t continue his early season success that had him pacing towards 40 goals. 2012 has been rough on Vanek, he needs to find more consistency in the coming seasons. Vanek is too valuable to continue this up and down play.
- Tyler Ennis and Andrej Sekera must have been listening to the Benny Hill Theme on the tying goal. Ennis made a poor choice trying to clear the zone and Sekera offered little help for his goaltender.
- Sekera chose a really poor time for his game to go to hell. He had a really rough few weeks and they happened to come when they needed him to be the shutdown defender that he and Robyn Regehr became as the calendar year turned.
- I’ll have a full load of coverage as the offseason gets rolling, keep your eyes peeled for a rough schedule regarding what will be coming along for the offseason. Thanks for reading this year.