The Buffalo Sabres lost at home tonight by a 3-0 score. They were massively outshot by their opponent, and were only in the game because of a fantastic game by the goaltender. Unfortunately, the possession stats eventually caught up to them, and with none of their top players showing anything tonight, the team eventually crumbled in the third period on the way to another depressing, boring home loss.
How many times over the last three years have we read a recap like this? Who was the goaltender tonight - Michal Neuvirth, Jonas Enroth, Chad Johnson, Robin Lehner? How many times have we seen the Sabres outshot 18-2 like they were in the third period. Hell, how many times have we seen the team go 16 minutes without a single shot?!
Look, I don't know why this loss bothered me more than the dozens of similar losses we've seen in recent history. There were plenty of excuses tonight - the two biggest being that the team is crushed by injuries at the moment, and that they got back from a Colorado flight early yesterday morning and their legs were obviously shot. But this is professional hockey at the highest level. Excuses don't mean much in a game that looked very much like JV against Varsity all night.
Kudos go out to Robin Lehner, who played another strong game tonight. Keeping Detroit scoreless for 50 minutes, he only let in a goal that went off his own pads while moving side to side and an unstoppable goal by Henrik Zetterberg along in front. Lehner was the only reason this game didn't end 5-0, and the team certainly let him down tonight.
The best thing we can all do is just put this game behind us, and be glad that the Sabres are going on another three-game road trip soon. They play far better hockey away from the FNC, so hopefully we'll see a rebound coming up soon.
God help us if we don't.
The answers to all the questions are that everyone stinks except Lehner.
Comment of the Game
Unfortunately the excuses are still relevant.
Thanks for being the counterpoint to this starting-into-the-void recap.
There were none.