You really can't blame Linus Ullmark nor Carter Hutton. Both goalies have been spectacular for the Sabre's, making the big save when needed keeping the Sabre's in the game. The difference is what you do with the puck after said saves.
Tonight some glaring holes that were evident through out the ten game win streak, in our team, were exposed and taken advantage of by The Florida Panthers.
The Sabres, game in and game out have had a bad time exiting the d-zone. It's like being at an auto dealership where you take the scratch off mailer to claim your prize of a $5 Walmart card, there's give a ways for everyone! "Step right up for the puck" where you'll enjoy a comfy ride into the Sabres d-zone, while shots from the slot are served up on a silver platter! Way too many SOG.
Winning like we have been isn't going to get us far in the playoffs. We got banged up in Tampa Bay like it was a playoff game, our depth better be able to step it up and play like its their only chance to make the team or we'll be in trouble.
Another glaring need is a PP specialist. More often than not we have trouble not only exiting the d-zone, but also when trying to get in the o-zone. The puck goes in three feet the the puck goes out.
Drop the dump play, it slows down the rush and we rely to much on Jack to carry the puck in. Did anyone notice how slow they were moving the puck, wait that's an understatement, did anyone notice multiple Sabre's players standing around in the d-zone on the power play while , maybe 20 seconds clicked off the clock? WTF! MOVE THE PUCK UP NORTH!
Rasmus Dahlin's been in a slump. He's been making bad plays with the puck that are costly to the team. While I think he'll come out of it Phil has to calm him down.
I don't think Phil plays to one of Rasmus's biggest asset, his speed. While watching the Panthers in the Buffalo zone, they were great at executing drawn up plays that allowed them to cycle the puck that usually ended up being scoring threats from the slot. And that's what I wish the coaching staff would do is draw up some plays that feature Dahlin skating the puck up. There's too much "drop the puck back to Jack while everyone else stands at the blue line where no one can get through", mix it up by drawing up plays based around Skinner, Eichel, Dahlin and Reinhardt. These four players are speedy skaters, great stick handlers and shifty as all hell, div it up and show 'em off!
I enjoyed the tie of the win streak as much as the next Sabres fan, but through out the streak I thought this could've been much worse, we could've lost at most 20 points . If we took away some puck luck and slot this team where it realistically belongs, I'd say we would've gone 4-6.
Phil should practice the penalty kill like its an offensive threat. There's no icing, idea for a dump n chase. There should be a video library somewhere around the office, locate it, find the tapes on Teddy Nolan's PK, study them and implement them, you have the players to do this, get 'er done!
Good thing we have a good shooting percentage because we're outshot a lot, If we only got more sog.
Don't let Skinner skate out of Buffalo.