When entering the locker room at the end of the 5-2 Bruins victory over the Sabres, an observer can tell that this team is sick of losing. The room was quieter than normal, guys were visibly frustrated, and in certain cases just emotional. When a team loses as often as the Sabres have, it can start to take a toll on the fans as well. Semi-full crowds that are at the start of a game start to dissipate as the game wears on, frustrated fans start to chant and boo, and the fans start to get more restless.
The 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres have yet to win a home game in seven tries and it is starting to show everywhere.
Boston's First Line Gives Buffalo Fits
Milan Lucic has drawn the ire of Sabres fans since the infamous hit on Ryan Miller back in 2011. Those resentments are probably never going to go away. Lucic was able to do some more damage to the Sabres in 2013 as he scored the first two goals for the Bruins.
The first line for the Bruins consisted of Jarome Iginla, David Krecji, and the aforementioned Lucic. Their final stat line on the night was two goals, five assists, and nine shots on goal all in an average of 16:11 of ice time per player. The Sabres were able to cool them off a little as the game wore on, but the ultimate damage was done early and often.
Jekyll and Hyde of Ryan MIller
Ryan Miller has always had those Jekyll and Hyde moments during a game in which he stands on his head for a period of time and then out of nowhere he lets in a terrible goal. That was none more evident in the first period as Miller made an incredible toe save of Loui Eriksson at the 8:06 mark of the period. The game was stopped to see if the puck crossed the line and it gave the fans a chance to see exactly how incredible the save was with the overhead shot. Three minutes later, Miller lets a tipped shot from Lucic trickle between his pads and into the net to give the Bruins the first goal of the game.
The same story holds true for the third period as well. Miller starts the period off with a nice save on a shot early in the period, but as the game drags on he allows a couple of goals that could have been saved. Those key saves could have kept the momentum in the Sabres favor. Miller himself acknowledged this after the game, "I need to come up with saves for the guys. The two goals weren't very good so I was disappointed a little in myself."
Miller has been derided by fans as Mr. Softee for those random goals that go in at either inopportune times or at the end of games that do not matter all that much. In this case, that goal allowed was one that Miller would clearly want to have back.
Zadorov Scores First Career Goal
There is one bright spot that can be taken from this game and it is the play of Nikita Zadorov. Playing in his second NHL game, Zadorov scored his first NHL goal on a nifty backhand play that made some people reminiscent of the guy that last wore 61 for the Sabres.
Zadorov's final stat line of the night was the goal on his only shot of the night and four hits all in 17:44 of ice time. Just two games into his short NHL career, Zadorov is starting to win over a lot of people. That's a lot better than being in the position that Mike Weber is in right now.
John Scott Will Be Visiting Mr. Shanahan
The toughest part of the night came at a time when the Sabres needed some offense and not a guy trying to destroy another. John Scott will be joining Patrick Kaleta as part of the suspension club with his third period hit on Loui Eriksson. If you haven't seen it yet, it's below and it really isn't pretty.
According to TSN, Scott is already scheduled to have an in person hearing at the league offices which means that a minimum of five games is coming his way. When factoring in the Kaleta suspension and the line brawl from the preseason, the Sabres have an aggression issue that needs to be checked real soon. Rolston has already been fined once for player selection and maybe should be fined again after having his goon out on the ice at a point where it makes no sense to do so. As Claude Julien said so eloquently after the game: "He's got two jobs out there, to fight and to injure. I guess he did his job tonight."
To make matters worse, this Scott hit gave Mike Milbury a chance to tee off on the organization for seven minutes. That's always fun right?
The Sabres will head to Florida for a two game road trip starting on Thursday night.