There are times when the Sabres lose and I feel awful about the way they played, tonight is not one of those nights. I thought the Sabres battled hard and fought the Rangers every inch of the way but in the end it was the Sabres that made more mistakes than the Rangers did. It was the Sabres mistakes that were the difference in the game but the Rangers deserve credit for forcing the Sabres to make those mistakes.
One of the biggest mistakes was by Tyler Myers in the first period. Myers tried to skate the puck into the Rangers zone from the blueline and lost the puck to Marian Gaborik. Gaborik fed a remarkable saucer pass to Christopher Higgins and Higgins fired a perfect shot off the post and behind Ryan Miller.
We have chronicled the Sabres scoring woes this season and this game may have been the pinnacle of those offensive issues. The chances were plentiful for the Buffalo offense but they were unable to finish. The Sabres peppered Lundqvist with 37 shots but managed only one goal, a bullet off the stick of Jason Pominville in the closing minutes of the Rangers victory.
The Sabres were not without chances but the best scoring chances were from in close, while the perimeter shots were mostly easy saves for Lundqvist. The Sabres, by their own admission, did not have enough traffic in front on the long shots and they were outworked for most of the rebounds.
Two Not Enough
Ryan Miller has to be wondering what else he can do to help this team win hockey games. He held the opponent to two goals again but came out on the losing end. Miller made some outstanding saves but for the first time this season, he watched the opposing goalie steal a game for his team.
Miller made 30 saves in the game with his best work coming in the second period. The Rangers had a 1-0 lead and plenty of momentum in the second frame but Miller made 15 saves and many of the were spectacular. He made sure the Sabres had an opportunity to get back in the game but the offense never got going tonight.
A Rookie Mistake
There was a comment made by dfderie in the game thread regarding the play of Tyler Myers and how it's easy to forget that he is a 19 year-old rookie.
(2) When did I begin thinking about Myers in terms of being experienced? Why am I surprised when he doesn’t play the puck properly? I hear rumors he’s not even 20 years old. I think I’m looking for some proof about that anymore.
It's hard to disagree with dfderie. Myers has been phenomenal this season and much better than any of us could have hoped for, unfortunately he is still a rookie. Myers had a horrible giveaway that led to the Rangers first goal. That goal allowed the Rangers to play much differently than they might have if the score remained 0-0.
Despite his recent string of giveaways, it will be difficult to find any Sabres fans that are not happy with his play.