A Solid Loss
Posted 12:35 PM ET | Comments 0
I watched an extremely entertaining hockey game last night. Buffalo showed up to play, and meant business as well. I think Boston was probably surprised at Buffalo’s style of play last night. Despite the fact that Buffalo lost in the shoot out, it was a good loss for Buffalo, and should be a boost to their confidence.
Last night, Buffalo started to show the type of potential that they have. As I watched, Buffalo was skating hard, and using their speed to pin Boston in their own end, and created some fantastic opportunities. I’ve been saying it all week, but if Buffalo wants to succeed, they need to use that speed. Buffalo was going into the corner’s with authority, and playing good aggressive hockey. It didn’t help them get the win, but it helped them at least pull a point out of last nights game.
One small bright spot, Ehrhoff finally started shooting on the power play, and it paid off. He was brought in to Buffalo to be an offensive defensemen. Hopefully he keeps it up, and continues to let the shot go on the power play.
The other perk that I saw last night, was that the Buffalo defense was joining the rush, and had an offensive mindset. Brennan’s 1st career goal was due to his identifying the opportunity, and moving into the high face off circle and taking the shot. If he doesn’t do that, no goal is scored. In addition, the Buffalo players cycled very well. In past games, the minute the defense pinched, the other team pounced on the puck, and took it down the ice with an odd man rush. The players were aware of where they were on the ice, and made very smart plays offensively. Boston was limited with their odd man rush opportunities.
The only area for improvement, is that I’d like Buffalo to still be more aggressive when they are defending their own end. Buffalo was giving the Bruin forwards a little less space, and Boston definitely wasn’t getting a ton of great opportunities. However, Buffalo still needs to force opponents to play the dump and chase game, and continue to play strong in their own end.
If Buffalo can continue to play this way, and once Ryan Miller gets healthy, Buffalo is going to show the NHL what they can do. If Buffalo was playing anyone but Boston last night, the game probably would have been a huge win by Buffalo. Buffalo has only been playing to a fraction of their potential. Last night, Buffalo showed that they can skate and stay with the big boys for 60 minutes. Buffalo needs to continue to improve, and use their speed.
Look at where Buffalo is right now in the standings in the division. They are still 3rd, 1 point out of first place, and they haven’t exactly played great hockey this season. If Buffalo plays to their full potential, they will be a force to be reckoned with. Buffalo may have lost in the shoot out, but they got 1 point, and played a great game. This was a good loss for Buffalo.
That being said, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!