The Meltdown

by Ryan

FIRST PERIOD

Alex Auld. I couldn’t remember which goalie killed us a month ago, but turns out it’s Auld. Awesome.

Max and Tim are scratched once again, so we get at least five minutes of Pat Kaleta time tonight.

Good pressure on the first few shifts, but no dice. (This will be said a lot tonight)

Glen Murray gets a good chance on Miller early in his first game back. Both look sharp.

Rob Ray says something, but I’m distracted by the fact that he is pretty goofy looking in HD.

Sabre Killer Marc Savard sparks some good chances off a Vanek turnover, but Miller comes up big. At some point Savard will kill us, it’s just a matter of time. He and TBO are the two people that make me want to jump off the balcony when attending Sabres games.

SPINORAMA! Wheeeee! (This time it sets up a nice play, actually. This time.)

Mair goes flying down the wing and takes on Stuart. Gets the puck by and Stuart gets up in Mair’s five-hole.

Powerplay- Good movement, good pressure, very few shots.

Nada. (sigh)

Turns out Kaleta has a decent set of hands. He also hits like a freight train. I like that about him.

Goose gets creative in his forecheck when he backhands a defensemen in the face. Style points, yes, but that’s also two minutes in the box.

One of the more terrifying visions in hockey is a seven foot unfrozen caveman waiting for a pass in the slot. No dice on the manpower advantage of hockey playing men, however.

Toni “do it all” Lydman is all over on this shift. He gives the puck away to Savard, then mauls him like a bear and takes the penalty. Cool beans, Finland.

Phil Kessel has ball(s), but nothing doing on the power play.

Time slowly melts away with disjointed neutral zone play. Man, thank God we play Boston eight times a year, I just can’t get enough of action like this…

Zdeno Chara gives Stafford “the business” behind the net and gets a penalty. Late PP always means good things for this team, right?

Riiiiight. One minute left.

Spacek fakes the Big Shot at least a half dozen times. Clock’s wearing thin.

Campbell makes the cross ice pass with just second left.

Boom.

1-0

The primal roar Jaro gives when it hits twine says it all. Huge goal.

SECOND PERIOD

The teams exchange chances in the first three minutes, and I’m pretty sure Chara was on ice for all of it. Does he sleep in an oxygen chamber or something? How can he keep up that kind of pace?

I really like our energy line, and I’d appreciate it if a third of that line doesn’t get sent down if/when Max comes back.

Kotalik blocks a shot, then fights with Zdeno down the ice for the puck. Who won? Alex Auld.

Soup gets caught planning his next spin and loses a puck to Murray. After a hack Murray walks out in front. In NHL 94 he shoots and scores, but instead he passes and Miller makes the stop. Campbell to the box. (Not judging…)

PP- lacking the necessary six sided cubes.

Vanek gives a hearty F bomb after a chance on the rush.

Gaustad is arguably our worst player leading a breakout play, but he and Stafford almost connect on the rebound. Good chances, but Auld is keeping the Bruins in this game.

Savard gives Miller a bump and Kalinin takes exception. Nice to see someone other then Pratt step up like that.

The resulting 4 on 4 gives a partial break for Stafford and nothing more.

Strange turn of events here: Kaleta gets off the bench on the change. An errant pass goes to the Bruins bench. Savard halfheartedly goes after Kaleta picking up the pass. Pat braces himself and Savard drops like a sack of Chara’s big and tall laundry.

Zdeno takes exception to that terrible joke and jobs Kaleta. Good sell by Pat (flailing like a giant is grabbing you) and the Sabres have another PP to waste.

PasspasspasspasspasspassGooseinfrontsave.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

PaJamas Axelsson gets a partial break but Miller stones him. A bit of chaos ensues with our worst defensive line out. No damage, but a scary moment in a low scoring game.

Tickticktick.

One thing I’ve noticed about Vanek: you can tell when he’s on based on how he forechecks.

With less then a minute to go Vanek turns on Beast Mode and refuses to let the puck leave the zone. After a scramble Roy finds him in front and Vanek takes a hack at it. 8/10 times that puck goes over the net if you don’t get good wood on it. This time it bloops in.

2-0.

Vanek looks like he needed that one. Heck, we all did.

THIRD PERIOD

Oh no. 2-0 after two. That dreaded two goal lead. Nah, things are different now. Stay strong, boys.

17-1-3 when leading after two.

Straw Paille gets a two on one right off the faceoff but can’t get the pass over to Kotalik. That goes in and this whoooole thing is different.

But just as you’re thinking about that missed chance, Chara cuts down a tree and shoots the puck with it. Doesn’t go anywhere, so he reloads and guns it again.

2-1.

Hit something maybe, and suddenly it’s a one goal game with 19 minutes to play. Guuuuh.

Hank comes up big on the pass breakup when the two Sabre Killers get a two on one.

The game starts to feel oddly familiar, as if we’ve seen this kind of third period just a few days ago. Hrm…

Goose gets on the loose on a shift, deciding he doesn’t like Kobasew very much, then takes exception to Chara giving Paille a rough ride. No chant from the crowd… bummer.

Sabres haven’t gotten a shot all period, and at the 10:45 mark Jaro hooks someone down to the slug. Here comes the Chara Power Play.

Neale says Miller is having a “vintage game.” And here I thought Vintage Miller would be him crying after giving up eight to the Red Wings. Huh.

Chara stays on the ice the entire PP. Nothing doing.

The crowd just noticed Buffalo is sitting back. Shots are 13-0 for Boston.

Make that 14. Seven minutes to go.

PaJamas Axelsson forgot this was men’s hockey and gets run over by Campbell. Chasing the puck with his head down over the middle is bad news, man. Clean and well executed, but Glen Murray takes exception.

Power Play

Offsides= Vanek F bomb.

The PP is garbage once again, but it killed two minutes of game clock.

4 to go.

If you know your Bruins hockey you are just waiting for Marc Savard to kill us. He obliges by sending Sturm down the wing past Jaro.

2-2

15th shot of the period. All against Miller. The term “finish strong” doesn’t even begin to apply here.

The fans may not be into it anymore, but at least they are paying attention. A sarcastic cheer goes up as Ales puts a point shot on with 2:50 to go.

Vanek almost sets up the play that sends everyone home happy, but he didn’t realize Adam Mair was the guy driving to the net. F bomb I’m sure.

Last minute of play.

Sabres can’t clear the puck, just like all period.

Boos rain down as the horn goes. Shots are 17-1 for the period. Yeah, I think those are well deserved.


Does Ryan Miller have to slap a ho?

OVERTIME

The first minute is controlled by Buffalo, but the play could be called pedestrian at best. Seriously, I’ve crossed Main street with more vigor then the team displayed.

Suddenly the Vanek line comes out and creates. Thomas moves the puck back to the point but Jaro forgets he has a stick to whack at stuff with. Slides to center.

Boston has killed in the faceoff department, too. Good to see your team get outplayed in all areas.

Best chance of the period comes when a cycle lets Pominville walk into the slot. Auld takes care of it.

One minute.

The Sabres call a timeout to let Ryan Miller punch someone in the face. Okay, Ryan stays in the crease, but I thought he deserved the opportunity. Maybe during practice tomorrow.

Savard wins the offensive zone faceoff, but Hecht breaks through and looks poised to go on the breakaway. Hecht drops his stick, though. Yep.

With less then 20 seconds to play Toni Lydman almost ends my life by giving the puck away in the slot. If that doesn’t go high and wide, The Stress Buffalo finishes this post by being embedded into the LCD screen.

SHOOTOUT

Does Hank go tonight? I really want to see what that move is…

Yep. Hank it is.

Our shooters for this evening.

Buffalo- Kotalik, Tallinder, Roy
Boson- Sturm, Kessel, ?

Ales goes first.

He tries the backhand but Auld knows what’s up. Stoned.

Sturm now.

Goes forehand high and Miller curls the toes. Great save.

Hank the Tank up.

Wow. He did the double move but Auld doesn’t bite.

Kessel with speed but loses the puck.

Miller never sees it.

Roy needs to score.

I’ll let Vanek say it for me.

3 Comments

  1. amy

    Vanek was the one dropping all those f-bombs? Thanks for clearing that up. I kept hearing them, but didn’t know who they were from.

    Also, based on his post game interview, I really think Miller will be having a few words with his teammates. He was not a happy camper at all (and he shouldn’t be).

  2. Anne

    We all rip on Vanek (because he kind of deserves it), but its clear that he hates himself for not scoring 35 goals already this season even more than we do.

  3. Dave

    I’m actually quite sick of the Vanek bashing, the kids still a kid, he just had a kid, bought a new house, and signed a little peace of paper for an insane amount of money that if any of us would receive we probably wouldnt be ourselves. He wont get better with all the shitty talk about him, comfort him, let him find his centre of mind again.