Smoke and Turnovers

by Ryan

That was… kind of predictable. You outplay a team for two periods and suddenly it’s a tie game going into the third. If you’ve been following this Sabres team for the past few seasons you could sort of feel it coming. At the time I said that if they didn’t score during the four minute power play coming out of the intermission they would lose. Think about the way momentum shifted at the end of the second period, a four minute penalty kill is only going to add to surge. The Sabres weren’t capitalizing on their chances, and sooner or later those chances would run out and the Leafs would get a lucky one.


It was one of those games you hope they are better than, but the more this season progresses the more it seems like this is exactly how the team is going to play. They will surprise you and win a few games they probably don’t deserve, only to drop the games they absolutely should win. The Sabres play frustrating hockey, both for their opponents and themselves. Tonight they were on the losing end of that frustration, and there’s not much anyone can say to fix things. Until something major changes this is exactly what we are going to see.

Oh, and on back to back games the Sabres have yet to win the second game. Aren’t you pumped for tonight? A few other things about Sabres/Leafs:

– I love going to hockey games with an involved crowd, but I’m glad I didn’t take out a second loan to attend last night. I’m telling you, if I ever sit next to people in the 100s that stand up and wave to the camera during the game, I will stab them. I will stab them and I seriously doubt anyone else can blame me. Crowds like that are so frustrating.

Attendance was listed as 18,211, or 97.4% full. On a Friday. So… have they out priced everyone yet? Can we have a double-secret probation game next year?

– I’ve been really surprised by Gerbe’s physical play. He isn’t afraid to take a hit and certainly hits back. He still hasn’t made the score sheet just yet, but I’ve liked his game. We still have another four games or so left with him, so enjoy it while you can.

– Sometimes I watch Maxim Afinogenov play and I wonder what a $3.5 firework display would look like. I bet it’s pretty excellent. Maybe Darcy could buy that for us next year to replace Max’s contract. It’s about the same, right? All flash and you’re left with nothing of consequence. Just smoke and turnovers bright colors.

– Paul Gaustad has been playing excellent hockey the past few games. It doesn’t show up in a box score, but his line has been everywhere and he’s the reason for it. He’s played physical, stood up for teammates, and the forecheck has been excellent with him leading the way.

– Vanek was quiet tonight, but so was everyone else really. It’s a rough game when Lydman is the only Sabre on the scoresheet.

– I’m looking for a proper way to describe what Drew Stafford couldn’t hit with various objects in certain situations. Right now it’s between a white person at a Beck concert and oxygen anywhere. Stafford has missed soooooooo many open nets this year. What a disappointment he’s turned out to be. He’s an RFA at the end of this season, and I’m not sure I’d mind if we somehow couldn’t keep him around. That’s a pretty big departure from what we saw in his rookie season. Sad.

– Sekera was balls tonight.


  1. buffalosportsfan

    I agree with Max. I wonder how someone can be so graceful from blue line to blue line only to be a complete failure entering the zone. If the firework display was the equivalent of Max we’d get to the finale and each firework would get 10 feet off the ground and fizzle.

    I agree with Gerbe and I’d love to see them dump a forward in a trade sooner rather than later to continue to give him a chance to stay up here.

  2. Becky

    People that pay good money to sit in the front row and then bang on the glass annoy me the most. My son however would like the opportunity to be that annoying.

    When Stafford missed that wide open net I said out loud that we were doomed. It just seemed like an omen.

  3. thesportsroadtrip

    Ryan — Were you and I watching the same game??? Sekera’s inability to clear the puck THREE times directly led to Tor’s first goal.

    Gerbe works his ass off, but consistently loses the puck going up ice… looks like a lost soul. He’ll be great… someday. But not now.

    Max v fireworks? Awesome analogy!!!

  4. Jonathan

    I still can’t believe he missed the open net. It was even worse on the replay.

    Actually I thought the Pominville Hecht Vanek line was pretty decent. Well in the first two periods. They were always around the net.

  5. sabresfan88

    All I could think all night was Balls Sekera.

  6. Slacker867

    Stafford has 10 pts in the last nine games and you’re griefing him? Sure he screwed the pooch, but I sure thought there was a lot of blame to pass around

  7. Ryan

    URST- Balls is a bad thing to me. Sorry, I should have been a bit clearer.

    Slacker- Stafford’s been good as of late, but overall his progression has been pretty stagnant. This isn’t the first layup he’s missed this year, and to me he hasn’t done much to prove he’s worth a contract since his initial callup. Last season was a letdown for sure and this year he hasn’t blown me away.

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