The Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins. Badly. They tried two goalies, both of who allowed 3 goals. The Bruins took a bunch of stupid penalties. When they couldn’t solve Ryan Miller, they tried to get dirty. That didn’t work, either. Buffalo stood in and took the physical pounding, and won the game. My positives:
Ville Leino. What a game he had last night. He’s a puck possession beast, and we might finally be seeing what we hoped to see from him. Great fun watching him right now.
Patrick Kaleta. That was about as close to a perfect Kaleta game as we’ve seen in a long time. Scored, fought (well, mostly held on for dear life), and was a prime agitator. Bruins were after him all night, including Chara trying to elbow him in the head. This is what we expect when he’s in the lineup.
Ryan Miller. His stellar goaltending performance could almost get lost in the shuffle, with all of the other stuff going on. But we won’t let it, because it was awesome. It seemed like there were long stretches where he wasn’t challenged, but he made 36 saves anyway.
Tyler Ennis. The only guy above 50% at the faceoff dot (other than Luke Adam’s single faceoff win), he had a goal and an assist to boot.
The officiating. I think that the Boston goal probably should’ve counted, that was a reputation call based on the previous games in this series. I’m glad it didn’t count, though. The refs also didn’t seem to have a good feel for the rough stuff and how to control it.
NBC Sports Network. I love Doc Emrick, so I don’t think it’s his fault, but it seemed as if the broadcast and studio show were ready with all sorts of stats and facts and video to show how awesome the Bruins are…and had no idea what to do when the Sabres dominated them. Milbury was an idiot again (no surprise), and as mentioned on Twitter last night, I find it really funny that someone who once beat a fan with a shoe would think that someone fighting on the ice with a visor on is some terrible person.
Buffalo currently sits 9 points back of Ottawa for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, but they have to leapfrog a few other teams to get there. The Senators have lost seven straight, though, so a run by the Sabres now might just get them back into contention. Still, I think the focus should be on getting past the Islanders (who they are tied with) and Winnipeg (4 points up). Then we’ll talk about 8th place.