Well, here we are again, shades of last season, with the Sabres on a skid and needing a win against a very tough Boston team. I'm pulling out the stops and wearing my Stafford sweater for this game. This means two things... 1) Stafford will get his first goal tonight and 2) He will be traded because I own his jersey.
By the way... my debut post this season about swagger? Yeah... that was a one time thing apparently.
Well, off we go.
Update: 17:07 1st - Scott and Thornton drop the gloves immediately off the faceoff. Scott lands several solid punches before Thornton loses an edge and falls. Wishing that fight would have gone the distance. I'm sure there will be more!
Update: 11:30 1st - Boston has had a couple solid chances. Now they head to the PP on a slash by Leopold.
Update: 8:22 1st - I'm surprised by the number of bad passes by Boston. They're spending a lot of time chasing the puck down. They don't look like a 5-0-1 team in this period. They are creating some good opportunities though. Sabres are going to be in trouble if they don't slow them down.
Update: 6:21 1st - You haven't lived until you've heard Rush's Subdivisions performed on the pipe organ.
Update: 5:18 1st - Pominville has excellent chance. Solid save by Rask who makes another solid save on Scott 30 seconds later.
Update: 4:20 1st - Boston gets another PP on elbow by Scott.
Update: 1st Intermission
Not a bad period by the Sabres. They've done a decent job of holding Boston at bay. Some moments where things got chippy, but nothing out of control. Killing off two power plays didn't help their cause, but at least they killed them. Miller has played well and has made some big saves. So has Rask. The Sabres need to generate some better chances in the 2nd, but overall, I have no complaints so far.
Rob Ray, regarding Rask: "They gotta get banging this guy!" oooooooohkaaaaaaaay.
One more update - Thornton left after the fight with Scott and will not return. :( Sniffle.
Update: 18:22 2nd - Vanek with a strong goal off pass from Cody Hodgson! 1-0 Good Guys.
Update: 16:08 2nd - This is what I'm talking about! Sabres generating a lot of offense and good chances early in this period.
Update: 14:46 2nd - Poor defensive play leads to Boston goal by Peverly.
Update: 14:27 2nd - Pretty good scrum in front of the Buffalo net leads to Buffalo PP.
Update: 12:58 2nd - GREAT PP chance for Sabres.
Update: 12:17 2nd - Boston Goal: Marchand. 2-1 Bruins. More awful defense as Marchand skates around not one, but two Sabres to score that goal.
Update: 9:06 2nd - Buffalo's defense is a COMPLETE JOKE in the 2nd. Marchand scores again. 3-1 Bruins.
Update: 4:31 2nd - Lucic levels Sulzer from behind. Maybe now John Scott will kill him.
Update: Upon replay, the hit from behind wasn't as bad as it looked at the time. Buffalo ends up with a 5-on-3 on which they won't score.
Update: 3:13 2nd - REVERSE JINX IN THE HOUSE! Vanek scores on the PP. 3-2 Boston. Still 1 minute of 5-on-4.
Update: 1:41 2nd - Exceptionally strong play to keep the puck in the offensive zone leads to a great goal by Tyler Ennis off a fantastic pass from Vanek. Vanek racking up another big points night. 3-3 game.
Update: 2nd Intermission
Well THAT was interesting. The Sabres defense got manhandled in the 2nd period, giving up three goals, all of which would have been prevented by a competent college defensive pairing. But the Sabres came storming back, scoring a PP goal and then playing the strongest hockey I've seen from them in a long time to keep the puck in play in Boston's end, leading to Ennis' goal shortly after returning to even strength. If they can continue to play the way they played that shift, they will win this game. Frankly, I'm impressed that they rallied. Last year they would have tucked tail. You can see these guys trying to fight through it this year. They are trying to right the ship and I dig it.
Miller is still playing strong. None of the three goals so far were his fault. If I'm Lindy, I'm playing eeny-meeny-miney-moe with my defensemen during intermission to decide which ones are scratched and which ones are sent down to the Amerks. Other notables so far: Foligno, Vanek, Ennis, Ott, and Stafford all had a solid period.
Update: 18:20 3rd - Tyler Myers' suckiness leads to 4th Boston goal.
Update: 17:33 3rd - Jesus Christ! I can't type this fast. Sulzer scores from the top of the circle to tie it up again. Heads up pass by Grigorenko. 4-4 game.
Update: 13:06 3rd - Vanek to Hodgson on a one-timer goal. 5-4 Good Guys! Lateral movement is not Rask's friend.
By the way, if you're keeping score at home, TV has 4 points.
Update: 10:03 3rd - Sabres defense continues to play poorly, tripping over each other, generally looking confused.
Update: 8:59 3rd - FANTASTIC save by Miller. Boston getting literally a dozen chances in a row. Miller puts on clinic, keeps Sabres in the game.
Update: 8:35 3rd - Myers continues to hurt the team by taking a 4 minute double minor for treating Daniel Paille's face like a pinata. Myers needs to sit.
Update: 8:04 3rd - Sabres catch a break as Foligno gets hauled down, cutting Boston's man advantage in half.
Update: 5:56 3rd - Miller is playing off the chain tonight. HUGE save on Bergeron.
Update: 3:55 3rd - Two GREAT chances by Ennis. Fans on both.
Update: 1:31 3rd - I was going to say Miller should get the first star... until Vanek scored that goal. Holy cow! Another 5 point night, and he made Rask look foolish on that one. Fantastic!! 6-4.
Update: :13.6 3rd - Pommers scores on a breakaway empty netter to ice the game.
Update: End of Game
It wasn't pretty, but great job stealing a much needed road win in Boston. Miller was ridiculous tonight. So was Thomas Vanek. They should share the first star as far as I'm concerned. The defense as a whole was abyssmal. Tyler Myers needs to be benched. I don't know what's wrong with him but tonight was his worst performance as a Sabre, and that's saying a lot after the first 6 games he's had.
Vanek continues to play like a premier forward. His pass to Ennis was pure above-and-beyond effort and his final goal made a mockery of Rask. He carried the team tonight. It's great to see, but he's famous for disappearing for long stretches, and no one can maintain the point streak he's on right now. At this rate he's on pace to match the huge point totals of Mogilny and LaFontaine back in the day. But it would be nice if he can keep playing at this level.
What impressed me most was that the team never quit. They had a rough patch in the 2nd, but they fought back and made it right. For Mille and for the offense, it's gotta be tough watching your defense play so poorly as you continue to bust your ass to stay in the game, but there's a noticable difference between this team and the team last year. I hope it continues.
On a down note, my jersey brought no luck to Stafford, although I thought he played a solid game.
That's it, I'm out. Good night.