For the Atlanta Thrashers tonight was a just another regular season game as they are playing out the string till next season. For the Sabres this game was an opportunity to climb back in the playoff race. Unfortunately the Sabres played a good regular season road game instead of a road playoff game. The end result a 3-2 shootout loss in a game the Sabres needed to get two points.
I'll stop short of saying that they played poorly but they didn't have the same sense of desperation that we had seen out of this team lately. This team had been playing desperate as of late and seemed to have a real understanding of the situation they had played themselves into. That desperate play had rewarded them with three consecutive victories before the shootout loss tonight.
It is still possible for the Sabres to squeak into the eighth and final playoff spot but when the Sabres are losing games to the Atlanta Thrashers while the Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens continue to win, it seems virtually impossible right now.
The schedule down the stretch is brutal for the Sabres but all season we have talked about the team winning the games they should lose and losing the games they should win. Tonight was a clear indication of losing a game they should win. Five of the last six games are against teams that are currently in a playoff position. The lone game against a non-playoff team is against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
Another Overtime Loss
The Atlanta Thrashers have now completed a sweep of the Buffalo Sabres this season. The strange part is that all four games went to overtime and the previous three were in a shootout. I would have to do some massive research to find out if that has ever happened before but it seems very odd.
From Hero To Goat
I don't want to pile on Thomas Vanek but it was his mistake that led to a Ilya Kovalchuk breakaway in the final minute of overtime. Unfortunately when you allow a breakaway in overtime it spells disaster and Kovalchuk made that it was.
It wasn't all bad news for Vanek in this game. He scored both Sabres goals while the team was on the power play. The power play has been struggling a little bit lately and Vanek has been a big reason for that and they need him to be good on the power play down the stretch.
Harry Neale Quote of the Game
I never caught a Harry quote tonight because I was on kid duty while watching the game. If anyone heard one, feel free to mention it in the comments.
Thanks to everyone who came into the chat tonight.
Roll Call: Joan O., coolman856, BenAllen, qdloser, D.O., MattRichWarren, Fucilli5, dfderie
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The Sabres will remain on the road as they travel to Washington to take on the Capitals on Friday night. It's part of a brutal stretch to finish out the season.