I’m not ok with this loss. Buffalo needed this win, and needed to stay ahead of the Capitals. With a loss, Buffalo goes back into a “tie” for 8th. I’ll hit on what’s wrong with calling it a “tie” later.
Buffalo had a great game plan early in the game. Buffalo played Pittsburgh with a phenomenal physical manner. They attacked them hard, fought them in the corner, and weren’t afraid to hit people (even Crosby). There’s no denying that Pittsburgh is a playoff team, but they are no Cup team (and yes, you can hold me to that in the playoffs). Pittsburgh was clearly rattled at times when Buffalo was playing physical hockey. When Buffalo stopped doing that, shock surprise, Pittsburgh scored. Buffalo played this great physical hockey for the first period.
Then, something stunning happened.
Buffalo stopped doing it!!!!
Yes, in classic fashion, the game plan to play the Pens physical was working, lets stop doing it!!! Classic.
Buffalo did get some pressure at the end of the game, and did match the Pens with the aggressiveness (not to the caliber of the 1st period) but couldn’t quite rally to pull it off. Hopefully Buffalo can regroup and go into Toronto with a solid attitude and come out with a win. Aside from Buffalo losing this game and stopping the physical play, Buffalo played pretty good hockey tonight. They stayed with the Penguins, nearly matched them for shots, and didn’t back down all night. They didn’t respect Pittsburgh too much like a lot of teams. However, those things don’t take away from the fact that a loss is still a loss. That negates the good hockey. Especially at this point in the season.
Here’s my overall problem with tonights game, Washington won yesterday, and in turn, Buffalo had to win tonight, or at least get a point from the game. So, Buffalo now has 86 points, as do the Capitals. But look at the standings. For some reason, in 8th place, it says Washington, and in 9th it says Buffalo. That’s because Washington has the tiebreaker. Tying them with points doesn’t get Buffalo into the playoffs, and in turn Buffalo goes back to needing help to get into the playoffs. Say Buffalo wins the rest of their games, as do the Caps... that means nothing because the Caps get in, Buffalo packs their bags for the year. I’m saying this as clearly as I can.
Being tied with Washington for points... ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH.
The last 4 games of this season for Buffalo, are must wins. I don’t care who they are playing. Must win, every game. I wouldn’t care if they were playing the best teams in the NHL for the last 4 games. There’s no excuses anymore for a loss. No loss can be construed as a positive loss either. Lossses = No Playoffs, and a long wait for October 2012.
Time to win Buffalo. It’s as simple as that.