The title of this blog, pretty much sums it up. If you can’t play 60 minutes, you will lose. Every. Time. I’m starting to run out of excuses for Buffalo’s bad play. I’m holding off on the coaching... for now. Tonight, it was the fact that Buffalo couldn’t play 60 minutes.
Buffalo had a simply excellent first period. I haven’t seen Buffalo play that well in a period for quite awhile. The Sabres played aggressively, and didn’t let up. When Philly made a mistake, Buffalo pounced on it. They continued to play aggressive. Buffalo also defended their end fairly well too.
However, in the last few seconds, Gerbe made a horrid turnover, and all of a sudden it was 3-1, when Buffalo could have gone into the locker room with a 3-0 lead, but due to that one mistake, Buffalo loses momentum. The next, oh, 38 minutes and 25 seconds belonged to the Flyers. Buffalo made atrocious turnovers, and played sloppy hockey in their own end. Buffalo also didn’t get any offensive pressure on Philly whatsoever.
Buffalo then comes out and gets momentum back, thanks to the heroics of Drew Stafford, with 1:35 to go in regulation. Buffalo gets momentum back and almost pulls off a heroic win in the last 90 seconds of play. Heading into overtime, Buffalo controlled the game. They were aggressive and getting great pressure on the Flyers. Then, a surprise happened.
Marc Andre Gragnani made a horrid pass to Ehrhoff. Except, it didn’t get to Ehrhoff. Claude Giroux got it. He was only standing right between Gragnani and Ehrhoff, but Grags let it go anyway. Giroux walked down the ice, and put the winning goal in the back of the net.
Again, fed up with Gragnani. Lack’s physical play in his own end, and then makes a classic pass like the one to end the game.
However, to be fair, it wasn’t all Gragnani’s fault. Buffalo didn’t play 60 minutes of hockey again, and made costly turnovers. Aside from watching Philly skate around with ease in Buffalo’s end, the turnovers killed the Sabres tonight again as well. Hartnell’s goal came off of an Ennis turnover, the game winner came from a turnover as well. Plus, the Flyers were able to skate around in Buffalo’s end easily. Buffalo just gave the Flyers the blue line, Jagr was able to just walk into the Buffalo end, and take his shot. This style of play is unacceptable. Stop playing pansy hockey, and throw a check.
Plus, the Sabres need to continue to keep the pressure on their opponents. Buffalo again demonstrated that no lead is safe. I don’t care if you’re up 3, 5, or 10. Keep the pressure coming, and don’t back down.
Buffalo needs to toughen up, and fast. The coaches need to motivate the players, and get Buffalo playing more consistent hockey. If not, it’s going to be a really long season. As for tonight, Buffalo should be sitting in their locker room right now, grateful they even got a point out of tonights game.