Tough to Swallow

by Ryan

What’s in the water in Kanata? Or perhaps more importantly, what’s in the food?

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said the following after the 2-0 loss to Ottawa: “I knew last night when we got the call at midnight and you’ve got seven guys with food poisoning you don’t have much chance of winning. I’m not going to make an excuse, but we had guys this morning that couldn’t come to the pregame, couldn’t come to the pregame meeting, and it showed. There were guys who typically skate a lot better who couldn’t skate. End of story.”

Vogl did some extra digging and gave a list of the players on ice during Wednesday’s morning skate, which would seem to eliminate them from the list of poisoned Sabres. Now we could spend all day cross-referencing lists and deciding who was sick and who wasn’t, but that seems beside the point, really.

Sabres Senators Hockey

Whether Derek Roy was under the weather or not, this is a stupid penalty to take. No amount of upset stomach makes this a smart play, and despite over 21 minutes on ice he was awful last night.

He’s not the only one in that category, as the entire team seemed off. They made Brian Elliott look good on a night where Ryan Miller was once again the best player on the ice. Put it this way: Elliott registered the shutout and he still didn’t get the game’s first star. Miller was everywhere, cleaning up the mess his team left in front of him and giving yet another strong performance in a losing effort.

Sabres Senators Hockey

Wednesday night will go down as yet another game where the Sabres couldn’t make good on the play of their goaltender. For as sick as some Sabres were, Ottawa had just as many injuries and rookies in the lineup. Spezza was out and some guy named Hennessy played almost seven minutes. Ottawa wasn’t in great shape either, but they came through. It was a four-point game where both teams were ailing, but someone had to grit it out. Despite five minute power plays and a ton of special teams opportunities, Buffalo just couldn’t get anything started.

The more you think about it, they didn’t look interested in playing hockey at all. Coming off a four-game winning streak and with food poisoning as a convenient excuse, I suppose we shouldn’t complain all that much. Perhaps tonight’s game had less to do with the Sabres’ utter inability to beat the Ottawa Senators and more to do with what they had for dinner last night.

Whatever gets you to Friday, I suppose.

2 Comments

  1. “For as sick as some Sabres were, Ottawa had just as many injuries and rookies in the lineup…. Ottawa wasn’t in great shape either, but they came through.”

    Not to make excuses for the healthy members of the Sabres yesterday, but I think I disagree with this reasoning. Ottawa might not be in great shape from a lineup perspective, but at least the guys that suited up were capable of actually playing hockey. I would think that a healthy AHL squad with an NHL goaltender is probably likely to beat any NHL team that stocks half its lineup with guys who were puking 4 hours before.

    That said, where was the effort from the healthy Sabres? I agree that the mental block of playing in Ottawa still lingers. Good thing we only go there once more this season? I guess?

    Of course being a scientist I want to test this hypothesis by getting half the team ill before a home game, a road game in a place where they usually win, and against an actual AHL team.

  2. I don’t know how one can call getting your head skated OVER a tripping penalty. Alfie sure took a world-class dive on that.