There is no nice way to say this after the Sabres vs Bruins game from TD Garden Place tonight. The Buffalo Sabres deserved to lose.
Just about anytime that the Sabres made a turnover, anywhere on the ice, the Bruins capitalized. Buffalo’s passing was lackadaisical throughout the course of the game. The team lacked energy, despite having scored the first goal of the night. Buffalo, who had been playing fantastic hockey, and coming into Boston after a thrashing of the Senators, looked like a division III college team tonight going against a Stanley Cup Champion team.
However, the apathetic play from Buffalo was only part of the problem tonight.
The Bruins play a very physical style of play. They are aggressive, and wait for their opponents to make mistakes. Their physical play helps them “create” mistakes for the other team. Buffalo looked like they were almost intimidated by Boston’s play. The majority of the Bruin goals, Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth didn’t have a prayer on. Buffalo did not show the togetherness attitude that they displayed in other games this year. Even after Ryan Miller got creamed by Lucic, Buffalo didn’t present as having the passion to stand up and play physical hockey, and support each other. The only player that stood up and played physical to match Boston was Kaleta. Boston dictated this game, on the scoreboard, and physically.
Boston is the threat in the eastern conference, despite the slow start. Pittsburgh, Washington, I’m sorry, but I just don’t see them as serious threats at this point in time. They are excellent teams, but Boston have a well-balanced team, solid defense, and outstanding goaltending. They have players like Seguin and Bergeron, but the entire team can bring the pressure and score. The Bruins aren’t built around super stars, and are all the better for it. Plus, they play very physical hockey that’s easy to intimidate opponents.
Buffalo has a date with the Bruins again on November 23. In order to beat Boston, Buffalo is going to need to play with a heck of a lot more heart in this matchup. Plus, the players need to match Boston’s physical play. Everyone needs to step up. It will send the message that Buffalo isn’t going to be able to be bullied. Finally, Buffalo needs to play smart hockey. Their passing and scoring chances were atrocious, and they lacked speed all night long. Buffalo can’t get sucked into trying to play Bruins hockey. The Sabres need to play their speed game, and be aggressive offensively. Yes, play physically, but use your speed to keep Boston hemmed in their own end.
Montreal is up next for the Sabres on Monday night. Hopefully, Buffalo will relax, regroup, and bounce back with a solid win in Montreal.