So this is what it feels like to have your heart ripped out. Go ahead and admit it, when Buffalo went ahead 3-1 you started checking the out of town scoreboard to see where Buffalo stood in the playoff hunt. At the time it looked good but the Ottawa Senators scored five unanswered goals, including a shorty, and the Philadelphia Flyers came from behind to beat the Rangers in overtime.
In addition to that completely unfortunate change in circumstances, the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals both won. The Sabres sit in 10th place and are five points behind the Boston Bruins for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. In order to have a realistic shot at the playoffs the Sabres will need to forget about tonight and win all of their remaining games. The Sabres have two games at home against the Canadiens and Bruins and four games on the road against the Sens, Leafs, Canadiens and Bruins. It's certainly an almost impossible task for a team that blows a two goal lead at home with a playoff spot on the line.
Buffalo took complete control of the game by outshooting the Sens 10-2 to close out the second and 10-3 to start the third. Cory Stillman took an extremely undisciplined penalty for punching Thomas Vanek in the face with 8:37 left in the game and it looked like Buffalo would be able to hang on. Jochen Hecht loses the puck behind the net,Jason Pominville pinches and wiffs, setting the Sens on a 2-on-1 that they cashed in on. After that goal the bottom fell out on the Sabres and Daniel Alfredsson made them pay big time. The Sens outshot Buffalo 9-2 and outscored them 5-0 over the final eight minutes of the game.
Is anyone else tired of Ryan Miller always being on his knees? He obviously needs to get more help from his teammates but every once in a while you need your goalie to come up big to help a young team out. I for one, haven't seen enough of that this season. It's easy to blame the players on the ice, and they deserve the blame but please just once I want to see Miller be the guy. We used to see it all the time when Dominic Hasek was in net for Buffalo. I also take exception with Miller always blaming the team and his defense without ever accepting any blame for letting in the goals.
I'll have more tomorrow when I'm in a little bit better mood but for now it looks really, really bad for Buffalo. I don't anticipate it looking any better tomorrow but maybe I'll calm down a bit.