Wow, tonight was just what the doctor ordered. Buffalo controlled just about the entire game tonight against the Lightning. Everyone got involved tonight and several players joined in the scoring frenzy in Tampa.
The Stafford, Ennis, and Foligno line... unbelievable. This team has been in need of some serious chemistry this year. This three seem to have found it. Right now, there’s no way that Foligno doesn’t stay in Buffalo. You can’t send him down, especially the way that Buffalo is playing with him in the nightly lineup. He’s sparked this line and appears to have a bright future. Hopefully it continues.
The other great part of this game, is that Buffalo didn’t get discouraged when Tampa was starting to make a little noise. Buffalo bounced back after both goals. Tampa scores to make it 3-1, and 1 minute 4 seconds later, Tropp has buried his chance to give Buffalo the 3 goal lead back. Then, Tampa makes it 4-2. 2 minutes 8 seconds later, Foligno nets his 2nd to give Buffalo back the 3 goal lead. From that point on, Buffalo didn’t look back.
Buffalo didn’t let up either. It’s obvious that they are still trying to generate scoring opportunities despite having a 5 goal lead. Buffalo’s even outshooting the Lightning in a big way. This Buffalo team has been known to try to sit on leads. There’s been constant pressure on the Bolts throughout tonights game.
I don’t know what was done to the Buffalo Sabres. THIS is the type of team that Buffalo can be. Buffalo has the ability to put in 6-8 goals a night. They’ve been aggressive. They used their speed and generated some great 2 on 1’s, and got 2 goals from them as well! They played to their strengths and it’s resulted in a huge win against the Lightning. Also, it was nice to see Hodgson finally get 2 points tonight as well.
The downside, I absolutely HATE scoreboard watching. Especially at this point in the season. The problem, I loathe having to say this, is that Buffalo’s fate lies on the fate of other teams. I’d much rather be sitting in 8th place, and knowing that Buffalo controls their fate. No matter what happens with the Capitals tonight, even if Buffalo ties them in points, it’s not good enough. Buffalo is going to need help to get into the playoffs. I’d much rather see Buffalo, by the end of the week, sitting in 8th place, by themselves, and not have to rely on Winnipeg and the Capitals tanking. Will it happen? That depends.
Plus remember, a tie in points with Winnipeg OR the Capitals is simply not good enough. Buffalo needs more points than them in order to get into the playoffs.
All Buffalo can do right now is focus on playing their game. Buffalo needs to play like this every single night from here on in, and then still have energy for the playoffs, should they make it. Focus on what you can control. Buffalo can control how they come out each and every night, and control how they play hockey. Don’t worry about the scoreboard.
Especially since Washington won tonight against the Red Wings. Again, need the Capitals to lose a few, and Buffalo to win some to get in. Also, Winnipeg has 1 game in hand on Buffalo. Buffalo still needs a lot of help.
And that’s all the more reason for the Sabres to just focus on their game instead of worrying about what the Jets and Capitals are doing.
I love being able to sit down in the 3rd period, and know that Buffalo has got things taken care of. Tonight was one of the few nights that I have been able to do this all year. Great effort tonight in Tampa. Time to keep it going against Montreal on Wednesday.