I’ve really had to wrap my head around this blog. It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve had something even remotely positive to write about with this team. Well, the Sabres finally delivered something mildly positive to bring a glimmer of hope to the fans of Buffalo.
Remember, it’s just a glimmer.
Buffalo has gotten 6 much needed points the last 3 games. They even carried back some of their good fortune from Florida to get a win in Buffalo before heading to the Big Apple tomorrow to take on the Rangers. Don’t get me wrong, Buffalo was in desperate need of these wins to give this team a spark. The problem is, these last 2 games have been flat out ugly.
Buffalo, while their style of play has improved, still have a very inconsistent game over the course of 60 minutes. Today was no different. At times, Buffalo looked very good. They got the puck in deep, and generated some good scoring chances on the Devils. Other times, they looked completely lost trying to play in their own end. Buffalo was again outshot, but it was nowhere nearly as bad as it was against the Panthers.
My biggest concern over the past 2 games has been Buffalo trying to sit on leads at inappropriate times. The past 2 games, the Sabres have had a 1 goal lead in the 3rd period, and blew it. There is no reason that the Sabres shouldn’t have taken these 2 games in regulation. Instead, they provided a touch of drama, and managed to get to the shoot out, where they won quickly and efficiently. I’d love to see the Sabres try to build on these 1 goal leads. If they don’t manage to build on it and still have their lead late in the 3rd period, then try to sit on it and only then.
In order to continue to have success, Buffalo needs to really step up their play, and continue to play smarter hockey. Turnovers, and lackadaisical play continue to haunt this team. While this continues to plague the Sabres, I am starting to notice something different about this team.
Normally, when the Sabres would give up a lead, no matter how big or small it is, they would almost seem to get deflated, and accept that they were going to lose. Buffalo appeared to be heading down the same path the past 3 games. First, was the goal by Stamkos less than 90 seconds into the game in Tampa. The past 2 games they gave up late goals and failed to protect the lead. Buffalo continued to battle, and be persistent instead of rolling over and dying prematurely. While it definitely wasn’t pretty, they kept their poise and managed to get the much needed 2 points in each of these games.
Hockey is a mental game. There’s several lead changes that take place over 60 minutes, and in turn there’s several swings in momentum. In order to succeed in this league, one needs to be able to roll with the punches, and rise up when they’re in a hole. Buffalo has lacked this for the first half of this season, and finally seems to show a little resiliency when it comes to battling back in a game.
I know that these 3 wins have not been the greatest for Buffalo. I’m just glad to see them win for a change instead of having to write about another mind-numbing loss. While I’m not thrilled with how the Sabres have won, I’m trying to keep one thing in mind.
Don’t criticize a win, no matter how ugly they may be.
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