In 1978, the television show WKRP in Cincinatti launched on CBS and ran for four seasons on the network. It's seventh, and arguably most popular episode, was a Thanksgiving themed episode in which in the radio station had a promotion where they dropped live turkeys from a helicopter. Of course, the stunt goes terribly wrong as turkeys just plummet from the sky as everyone below runs for their lives. The show ended with the program director stating "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
So what does a 35 year old television show have to do with a Sabres game against the Montreal Canadiens played the night before Thanksgiving? Well, besides a gross attempt at getting a Thanksgiving lede into this recap, for most of this game I thought the Sabres actually had a chance. Then, a couple late penalties forced the team on the penalty kill, one was converted, and Sabres fans were sent scurrying to the exits.
The Sabres 3-1 loss to the Canadiens was pretty much the same type of game that the Sabres have played for the first two months of the 2013-14 season. The team gets down late, doesn't do much offensively but keeps themselves in the game with stellar goaltending play, and then falls apart down the stretch and can't do much of anything to get themselves back in the game.
Ryan Miller was sound in net for the Sabres as he made 28 saves in the losing effort. Matt Moulson scored his ninth of the season to give the Sabres their only tally but it wasn't enough to overcome the three Montreal goals by Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais, and Alex Galchenyuk.
Sabres Can't Convert Scoring Chances
The Buffalo Sabres' lack of scoring doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't getting chances to score. They just aren't able to convert the ones they are getting.The Sabres had chances that came early and were prevalent throughout the game.
Luke Adam was a prime candidate for one if not two goals on the night, but just couldn't either get the puck in the right spot, or put the puck in the right spot. Adam's first chance came just a couple of minutes into the game as he had a wide open net and a bouncing puck caused him to send the shot wide. His second opportunity came in the second period as Carey Price gave up a juicy rebound and Adam put the puck right square into the goaltender's crest.
There are players that can create chances and that was showcased perfectly by the work Drew Stafford did on the Matt Moulson goal.
More plays like that in the season, just outworking a guy and finding a teammate in the right spot, is going to go a long way to making the rest of the 2013-14 season relatively watchable.
Late Penalties Sink The Sabres Again
With eight minutes left, the Sabres were down one goal and actually were getting some shots on net. Then, Tyler Myers took a boarding penalty behind the Sabres net and the first of two momentum killing penalty kills happened upon the Sabres. The Sabres were able to kill off the first penalty, but the Tyler Ennis interference penalty taken six minutes later was the death knell for Buffalo as Brenden Gallagher scored to give the Canadiens a two goal lead.
The penalty problem has plagued the Sabres for a while and was the major talking point after the game highlighted by captain Steve Ott.
"It's simply not enough. I'm not going to sugar coat what's going on here. It's nothing to be proud of by any means. If that's the indication of a playoff team over there, for most of the game I thought we could play with them extremely well, but we found a way to lose."
Three Stars Of The Game
1.) David Desharnais - The game winning goal and an assist on top gives Desharnais top billing.
2.) Andrej Markov - Three assists on the night including a nice finish on the first Montreal goal.
3.) Drew Stafford - A homer pick but made a nice play on the lone Sabres goal of the night.
Comment of the Game
Mmm... "The Sabres are sandwiching thanksgiving." Sounds delicious. I love RJ
Happy American Thanksgiving y'all.